…for ANY significant move by the Boston Bruins this summer.
Wait, why the hell are we talking about the Bruins in August?
The Red Sox are done…and we’ve covered them more than enough based on that fact alone. The Celtics have done absolutely nothing of note since we last wrote about them about a month ago. We chatted about the Patriots last week, but what more is to say about a team one week into the preseason schedule? Nothing. Well, Danny Etling just got released. Guess he isn’t the next Julian Edelman. Whatever…
And if you want me to comment on Tom Brady’s contract “extension” then you came to the wrong place. Go hit the local radio airwaves if you want non-stop chatter about that. Who cares if he is selling his house? Furthermore, do people realize that going into next season Brady will be 43 YEARS OLD?!
Listen, the guy is a legend and likely the greatest NFL player of all time. But if you are asking me to worry about a 43-year-old QB, you came to the wrong place. I love the guy as much as anyone. But we really don’t know how much he has left. He could plummet as soon as this year. After all, Bill Belichick has seemingly “loaded up” on the running game, defense and has like 10 mediocre (ie: “blocking”) tight ends in camp now. Oh, and not many receivers either. Looks like he may be thinking ahead about Brady regressing, no?
In any event, SHOULDN’T you go “year to year” with a guy like that? Yup. And if he is pissed, well, I am sorry. He could’ve battled the Pats harder over the years to get more money if that is the underlying issue. And maybe he absolutely should have. But since he didn’t, why are we talking about it now?
Some of the greats finished their careers on other teams. Maybe Brady does too. I really don’t think he will be going anywhere. Highly doubt it. But I am not sure the topic is even worth discussing at this point. Let’s see how this season plays out at age 42 and then take it from there.
Ugh…I know, I just got caught up in it…
As for the B’s…well, despite the run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals last season, as far as I am concerned, there is a great reason to be well, concerned.
I will tell you. Did you think otherwise??!!
Here’s the first reason(s): Maxime Lagace, Brendan Gaunce, Brett Ritchie, Par Lindholm, Pavel Shen…
These guys are the free agents brought in by the team since the start of the signing period.
You may be like, “well, they only lost Noel Acciari (replaceable) and Marcus Johansson (oft-injured and expensive)”, so they are basically bringing the whole team back that came within a game of winning the whole thing!”
And I will retort, “it was a huge f’ng mistake to bring back basically the entire team after actual championships for the 2019 Boston Red Sox and 2012 Boston Bruins, did we forget?? Complacency, fatigue, all that crap??”
But that isn’t even the biggest issue.
The B’s still have 2 kind of huge restricted free agents sitting out there in Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.
Ok, nevermind. The re-signing of Steven Kampfer and Connor Clifton should offset that.
HAHAHAHAHAHA…just kidding my friends!!
I’m still not even sure why they re-signed Kampfer. To a TWO year deal, to boot. Assuming the two aforementioned d-men come back in the fold, Kampfer will then be at least the eighth defenseman. Well, I guess ninth, now that they re-signed Clifton too? Then they have some kids in Providence that seem to be on the cusp of the NHL, such as Urho Vaakanainen? Maybe Jeremy Lauzon too, but perhaps not Jakub Zboril…
I don’t get it.
Maybe that means they are dangling some of the “top seven”? McAvoy, I would doubt. Carlo too. No one wants John Moore’s contract. Or Kevan Millar’s injury history. Someone would take Zdeno Chara, despite his age, but he is going nowhere. Matty Grzelcyk? Sure. But what happens if Torey Krug leaves after the upcoming season as a free agent? Gryz may be a natural replacement…and far cheaper.
Trade Krug before he walks away for nothing? Something I would strongly consider. But all indications are that the team has no interest in that. And Krug wants to be here. So maybe he signs a “team-friendly” extension at some point.
There are a lot of capable D-men signed. And let’s face it, Carlo and McAvoy will eventually sign as well. Their options seem to be kind of limited. I just read where Chaz can’t even sign an offer sheet with anyone. Had no idea about that. In any event, it’s nice to have depth. But 10-11 deep? I don’t know. And please don’t give me, “well they used 12 defensemen last year…” That has to be an aberration. Plus, Urho and Zboril only played 2 games apiece, so really it was 10.
All that being said, they can keep all these D-men if they want. It won’t hurt them, no question.
In net, expect a regression from Tuukka Rask. Bet on it. But at least he and Jaroslav Halak should form a pretty good one-two punch in goal…at least for the regular season.
Me? This would appear to be a GREAT time to trade Tuuks (would be even better if the Bruins won the Cup, but alas…). But we already know that ain’t happening.
Forwards? Ugh…this is where the issues lie.
As noted above, the B’s signed a bunch of 4th liners/Providence type dudes. Not scintillating to any degree.
Oh, and they made sure they gave Danton Heinen 2.8 per for the next 2 years. Why? You got me. They love the guy though. I guess he plays awesome defense. Because he is less than mediocre on offense. At least last year he was…and he got some run on the Patrice Bergeron/Brad Marchand line. Not good.
So we still have that Bergy/Marchy/David Pastrnak line. All well and good.
But here we go with the second line issues again. David Krejci centering Jake DeBrusk and…who? I guess the leader in the clubhouse would have to be Karson Kuhlman. Kid showed some flashes. But are we ready to anoint him?
I think we can assume Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen make up 2/3 of the 3rd line. With Sean Kuraly, Chris Wagner and Joakim Nordstrom starting out as the 4th line. In my eyes anyway.
So who gets that last spot on the third line?
Would you believe David Backes and his 6 mil per year are still around? I am absolutely astonished at this fact. He should have been bought out the first day that was possible. At this point, is a buyout still even an option? The front office has led us to believe that he will not be bought out. Why is this?
So Backes HAS to get that spot, no? What, are they going to waive him (of course he will clear) and send him to Providence? Healthy scratch every night? No and no.
This absolutely pains me. I understand that General Manager Don Sweeney probably doesn’t want to eat 3 mil the next two years against the cap (half of Backes’ salary, which is what I think would be the case on the buyout…but maybe I’m wrong). And I get it, as they already have a smidge over 3 mil in dead cap money for the upcoming season tied to former greats Matt Beleskey and Dennis Seidenberg. Actually, Seids was pretty good. I just thought this wording was smooth! And Beleskey did suck badly. Anyway…
Then all these other guys apparently are out of luck. Ritchie, Lindholm, Shen, Anders Bjork, Peter Cehlarik, Trent Frederic, blah, blah, blah…I guess we don’t really care unless Bjork or Cehlarik or a guy like Jake Studnicka (a new “name” that has picked up some steam recently) can, you know, actually play.
I don’t know man…I would have loved to have seen a little turnover in the forward group. A little more turnover overall actually. There is limited cap room to sign McAvoy and Carlo. Not only should Backes be gone, but one would figure there would be other trades to free up room.
But nothing…yet. And I don’t feel like that other proverbial “shoe to drop” is going to happen. I was absolutely convinced it would in June. Doesn’t seem that way now.
It has been eerily quiet over there, however. Does that mean that this could be a calm before the storm? I truly do not think so. But something has to give with those two D-men needing to re-up.
There is still some offseason left. I won’t completely lambaste the front office at this point. But it’s clear I am leaning that way.
Hope I’m wrong. Goes without saying, I guess…
…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….