Monthly Archives: May 2019
…so here we are…finally. Almost anyway.
It’s been a long wait for Boston Bruin fans. Not in terms of years, since it has only been 6 years since they last appeared in the Finals. As opposed to the 49 year gap the St. Louis Blues and their fans have endured.
We, of course, are talking in terms of days. 11, to be exact, since the Bruins’ last game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
That’s a long time to be idle. Sure, it may have helped some guys who were banged up a little bit. Well, as long as that scrimmage the Bruins had last Thursday didn’t produce any more injuries. Rumor has it Brad Marchand got dinged up in that one. But it didn’t appear to be serious…hopefully anyway.
In any event, I find it hard to believe it will help someone like goaltender Tuukka Rask. As we all know, Rask has been playing unconscious. Out of his F’ng MIND, actually. Like…something we have never seen before. Despite the fact he makes 7 mil a year and should be doing this all the time. But I digress…
I would think it would be hard for a goalie to stay sharp with that much time off. Tuuks usually plays better when he gets some rest during the long regular season. But not after a week and a half off. Well, I can’t imagine he does anyway.
AND THAT IS WHAT SCARES THE F’NG BEJESUS OUT OF ME!!!
My opinion? Glad you asked!!!!
The St. Louis Blues are a nice story. Like last place early January. Fired their coach. Brought up a new goalie, never before having played in the NHL. Nice run along the way. Blah, blah, blah.
And although the Boston Bruins avoided some heavyweights in the Eastern Conference, especially the Tampa Bay Lightning and their best record in the NHL and kind of…ever…, and the defending champion Washington Capitals, they were a pretty good team start to finish.
And, with my usual disclaimer of having not watched copious amounts of Blues hockey throughout the year, the Bruins do seem to be the better team.
Why? I don’t know. Just seems like the Blues are another “Carolina Hurricane” type story. Underdog going on a nice run, then meeting their match in the Championship Round.
At least I hope it turns out that way anyway.
To me, it all comes down to the goalies. We have already talked about Tuuks. Can he keep up his level of play? I really don’t have the answer to that. If you told me there would be a 4 day gap instead of an 11 day one, I would have bought it. I would have felt that in a short gap between series, he would easily have kept his mojo. But now I am not so sure.
But I am also not so sure on the flip side. Jordan Binnington played AWESOME in the regular season since the Blues called him up, right around the same time as the teams’ turnaround in early January. But he hasn’t been quite as airtight in the playoffs. I suppose that is possible, seeing as he has played several years in the minors, including part of the previous season for the Bruins’ farm team in Providence, on loan from the Blues organization. But who knows which guy shows up in the Finals?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we can say that about Tuuks too, I know.
So since I have no real riveting analysis to actually add here, I suppose I will cut to the chase…PREDICTION TIME!!
I guessed at the first series for the B’s. I said Bruins in seven. Right. Of course, I was unsure, but let the record speak for itself, however bogus it may sound! I never put predictions on paper for the next two series. I would have gone B’s over Columbus in seven and over the Canes in 5. But I have no proof, so call me a liar, whatever.
This one? Bruins in six. I know the recent record is something like the last 3-4 teams with the longer layoff have lost…and it’s like 13 of the last 16 or something like that. Not good. And the time off I think invariably hurts Tuukka at least a little…meaning a softie or two along the way…his SPECIALTY!!
But I just feel like the Bruins veterans will not let them ruin this golden opportunity to put one more notch on the belt for guys like Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. Even Rask. And the whole Cinderella thing with the Blues. And how will the rookie Binnington fare with the pressure?
Once again, just a feeling and a hunch. With all due respect to a former college roommate, who gifted me a sweet Blues lid back in the day, that we wore the sh$t out of until the thing crumbled. Thanks Maaaaaan-yeeeeeezzz!!
But your day is not today….
…so while the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins presumably wrap up their current playoff series’ this coming week, one way or the other, and me waiting to comment more on them until after they are complete, we thought we could stuff a New England Patriot roster projection right in the middle of all that to pass the time.
How’s that for a run-on sentence?!
Oh and the Red Sox? They seem to be rounding back into form. But then they will probably lose the upcoming series to the Orioles. So let’s push them off for a bit as well.
In any event, projections don’t really mean much, especially at this time of year. But we certainly do love to do them. Even better once all the draft picks and other nobodies fill up the 90-man roster without anyone ever seeing (or really, hearing) what they are doing in practices over the spring/summer. So let’s get right to it:
Locks: Tom Brady, Jarrett Stidham
In: Brian Hoyer
Out: Danny Etling
Way Out: None
Comments: Stidham would have to be really atrocious all spring and summer for him not to stick. Hoyer’s 3 mil cap hit is stupid, but he will be around for insurance for one more year. Could they cut him and leave him “on call”? Perhaps. But I don’t see it playing out that way. Unless Stidham is the real deal. Some people have been pointing out that the Pats did keep 4 quarterbacks one year of the Belichick regime. But that 4th QB was Brady. Etling is…and will not…be Brady. Plus if they thought he could be they would have kept him on the roster last year.
Locks: Rex Burkhead, James White, Sony Michel, Damien Harris, James Develin (FB)
Way Out: Nick Brossette, Jakob Johnson (FB)
Comments: Nothing to see here. 4 dudes from last season and a third rounder from this year. Good enough.
Locks: Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry
In: Phillip Dorsett, Bruce Ellington, Demaryius Thomas
Out: Braxton Berrios, Maurice Harris, Damoun Patterson
Way Out: Ryan Davis, Jakobi Meyers
Suspended: Josh Gordon
Comments: Could be the position most in flux. Edelman and the first rounder Harry are locks of course. Then what? The coaches seem to love Dorsett. Thomas signed for fairly big coin and may start the year on the PUP list, so he likely sticks…unless he turns out to be Chad Ochocinco, Reggie Wayne, Eric Decker, Joey Galloway or the like. Meaning, he can’t get the offense or is officially done. Maybe Berrios or Harris beats out Ellington. Maybe none of the three make it. There seems to always be some buzz around Berrios, but for now, I’m going with the veteran. If, for some unknown…and unbelievable…reason Gordon is reinstated, then he gets a spot over everyone but the top two. Not going to count on that, however.
In: Matt LaCosse, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Ryan Izzo
Out: Stephen Anderson
Way Out: Andrew Beck
Comments: Complete turnover. Worse yet, no Gronk. In any event, your guess is as good as mine. LaCosse got signed to a decent deal. But the club seems to like Izzo and Anderson. Sefarian-Jenkins may be the guy with the most talent, but who really knows with him? Rumors of Ben Watson are in the air. And perhaps Gronk at midseason? Doubt it. But it wouldn’t surprise me if none of these guys were here for Opening Night, to be brutally honest.
Locks: Isaiah Wynn (LT), Joe Thuney (LG), David Andrews (C), Shaq Mason (RG), Marcus Cannon (RT),
In: Yodny Cajuste (T), Hjalte Froholdt (G), Ted Karras (G/C),
Out: James Ferentz (C), Brian Schwenke (C), Cole Croston (T)
Way Out: Calvin Anderson (T), Jake Eldrenkamp (C), Tyler Gauthier (C), Cedrick Lang (T), Dan Skipper (T), Tyree St. Louis (T)
Comments: On the other hand, this group seems to be fairly set in stone. If Wynn is healthy, they probably go with him to replace Trent Brown at left tackle. The other starters are mainstays. The two fourth rounders would seem to be in, along with Karras who is the backup center. Maybe an undrafted free agent sneaks in there somewhere since one or five always seem to make the team. But for now, this seems right.
Locks: Michael Bennett, Deatrich Wise, John Simon, Chase Winovich
In: Keionta Davis, Derek Rivers
Way Out: Nick Thurman
Comments: Bennett goes without saying, but the rest of the group looks to shake out like this. Wise shows flashes from time to time, Simon re-upped for decent cake and Chase is a third rounder so they all are no brainers. Think they give Davis and Rivers one more year. But their spots are anything but safe.
Locks: Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, Mike Pennel
In: Byron Cowart
Out: Ufomba Kamalu, David Parry
Way Out: Trent Harris, Frank Herron
Comments: Wouldn’t shock me if a fifth body made it, but for now looks to be these guys. Hey, Danny Shelton is apparently available! Ugh…
Locks: Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Elandon Roberts
Out: Christian Sam
Way Out: Shilique Calhoun, Terez Hall, Calvin Munson
Comments: Looks like Hightower’s high cap number is irrelevant to the team. Roberts still stinks, but they love him. Sam is still on the outside looking in. May be a place where any of the last three players could sneak in with a big camp. But maybe I just wanted to say the word “Shilique” again?
Locks: Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Duke Dawson, Jason McCourty, Joejuan Williams
In: Keion Crossen
Out: Ken Webster
Way Out: D’Angelo Ross
Comments: Loaded. McCourty signed a pretty pricy 2 year deal, so he’s firmly in, as opposed to last year where he was firmly on the bubble. Hard to believe they would cut bait with Dawson after lugging him around all last year. Williams’ second round status this year locks him in. Crossen could be in trouble, but he supposedly showed well last year, we don’t believe they would just toss him by the wayside at this point. Jones played plenty of safety in the Super Bowl, so maybe that’s part of next seasons’ plan?
Locks: Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon
Out: Obi Melifonwu
Way Out: Malik Gant, A.J. Howard
Comments: Harmon makes too much money (as does Devin, for that matter), but I don’t see them jettisoning him. Some of the corners and special teamers can back up here, in my opinion.
Locks: Stephen Gostkowski (K), Jake Bailey (P), Joe Cardona (LS), Matthew Slater (ST), Nate Ebner (ST), Brandon King (ST), Brandon Bolden (ST), Terrance Brooks (ST)
Out: Ryan Allen (P)
Way Out: None
Comments: A hunch on the punter. Allen has been serviceable since he has been here. And he had a helluva Super Bowl! But they tried to replace him last year pretty much, by getting a dude with a big leg, trying to “hide” said dude by not punting him the entire preseason, yet he still was claimed by Buffalo at final cuts when they tried to get him through waivers to the practice squad. Now they DRAFT one in the fifth round? And Allen only signed for one year because “that’s what he (Allen) wanted”? Seems like the writing is on the wall here. The rest of the specialists…it’s almost like they have tenure here. Yeah, Bolden left for a year, but you know Bill loves him. And Brooks is new, but he was a kind of a “priority signing” if you will.
Final comments: Yup, that’s 56 guys for a 53 man roster!! I can add, I swear! I thought it was pretty good narrowing things down as I went along position by position in order though. I didn’t go back and adjust, because…I don’t have any real answers. There will be injuries. And trades. That will pare things down.
But for the sake of accuracy, the three I would remove from above to have an actual 53-man projection would be both Keionta Davis and Derek Rivers at defensive end, to be honest. They can move some linebackers around to cover the edge. And it’s not like those guys have stood out in any way. For the last cut, I considered Crossen, Hoyer (as discussed above), Ellington or one of the TEs. But I’m taking the easy way out and putting Demaryius Thomas officially on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
I can do what I want I guess…but a lot can happen from now until September of course. So again, this doesn’t really mean all that much in the end…