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The B’s in the Second Half

Discussion in 'Rick Middleton's Pron 'Stache: Bruins Forum' started by cshea, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    The B’s are at their bye week and are off until Saturday. Seems like a good time to take stock of the team. Where they are and what can be improved upon. Their place in the standings is pretty solidified. 2nd in the Atlantic, 53 points. 42 regular season games left to play, but it seems that the B’s and Leafs will spend the 2nd half jockeying for home ice for the first round playoff series. The B’s underlying numbers support their spot as a contender. Rask/Khudobin will probably dip a bit (Tuukka got it last night!) as their recent run is unsustainable, but there are no major concerns with the team right now. They probably have too many forwards and D that can play in the NHL, and that’s a good thing.

    The trade deadline is 2/26, but the chatter seems to be picking up. LeBrun had a piece on The Athletic last week laying out the contenders wants/needs at the deadline. For the Bruins he said they sniffed around Vatanen before Vatanen was dealt to New Jersey and that they’re also looking for scoring. I wonder if Grzelcyk’s emergence has cooled them looking for a D. I personally don’t think the Bruins should do much of anything, unless they can land a bigger fish. I’m not sure that a Stafford/Stempniak/Liles type would add more than what they already have internally. They still have Bjork, Cehlarik, JFK and I guess Beleskey (3 goals in 9 games!) down in Providence as possible help, plus perhaps Donato coming in if Harvard’s season ends early enough. If they are looking for scoring, I’d rather go for someone like Mike Hoffman to solidify the top 6, but that’d be tricky with the salary cap. I think a bona fide scoring winger to play with Krejci is the only real spot I’d like to see them look to add. But if that is cost prohibitive, I’m fine with riding it out with what they’ve got.

    Anyways, this should be a fun second half of the year. They are good and entertaining.
     
  2. lexrageorge

    lexrageorge Member SoSH Member

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    I did not expect this team to be this much fun to watch. Especially when they were dealing with the rolling injuries at the start of the season, it appeared like it was going to be one of those scratch-and-claw for the final playoff spot (maybe) type of years.

    Biggest concern I see is Krejci's status. When healthy, he can drive the second line scoring which is critical for making the team hard to defend against in the stretch run and in the playoffs. The problem is his health. But I don't see them adding a forward, unless they decide this is the time to swap out Spooner.

    I could see them adding a veteran blueliner as insurance against either injury or McAvoy/Grzelcyk hitting a rookie wall. If the cost is reasonable, I would be OK with that; they've got enough prospect depth in general that shipping out a mid-round draft choice wouldn't be the worst scenario.
     
  3. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    I'd kind of like to see them run with what they have, straight through to the playoffs. Learn what these kids are made of. If there are kids who already look like they will be on the outside looking in (Vatrano?), I wouldn't be against dealing them.
     
  4. grimshaw

    grimshaw the new rudy SoSH Member

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    If you told me before the season that the Bruins would have a better 2+ year outlook than the Sox or Patriots I would have thought you were nuts.

    Who gets more credit for their success this season between Bruce Cassidy and Don Sweeney?
     
  5. veritas

    veritas Member SoSH Member

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    Completely agree, I don't want them making a move for a Stafford/Stempniak/Liles type. Depth isn't the issue on this team, they have 7 NHL defensemen and at least 5 lines full of forwards.

    A top 3 defenseman seems like the biggest "area of need", especially on the left side, but I'm not sure it's the best idea to be making deals based on that. Teams showed last year that there are many ways to win in the playoffs. Just look at the cup finals, Pittsburgh won with overwhelming force at forward and trash on defense. Nashville got there with tons of depth, mostly on defense. Anaheim and Ottawa were two of the most top-heavy teams in the league. The Bruins adding a very good defenseman makes them much more balanced, but adding a very good center makes them an impossible matchup for most defenses. Either one is a big win. If they can get an equally valuable C for cheaper, I think that's what they should do.

    Spitballing, if they are confident in extending Backlund, something like a 1st, JFK/Heinen, a lesser prospect, and Beleskey's contract for Backlund would make sense for both teams.


    Lines 2-4 have been getting all the love with their huge improvement year over year, but I think Cassidy's system and McAvoy deserve as much credit for their success. McAvoy gives them a real #1 defenseman and bumps Carlo, Miller, and McQuaid down to where they belong. It also gives them a real puck mover on every pair. When interviewed right after taking over, Cassidy said he wasn't going to change much, but wanted to focus on improving transition, and getting the puck into attacking areas before defenses could get set up. He's managed to do that this season without sacrificing their possession numbers, and I think he deserves a lot of credit.
     
  6. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    Friedman says the Bruins won’t trade prospects, most likely looking at another smaller deadline buy like Stafford and throws out Vanek as a possibility. He says they won’t trade top prospects unless it’s an absolute “stunner” of a deal. I guess some team took a run at Frederic last season and the B’s didn’t budge.

    https://www.fanragsports.com/friedman-bruins-not-including-top-prospects-in-trades/
     
  7. LogansDad

    LogansDad Member SoSH Member

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    If true, that news gives me happy pants.
     
  8. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    A couple of B’s notes in Friedman’s 31 Thoughts this week...on Sportsnet as usual. He also has a new 31 Thoughts companion podcast that he does with Jeff Marek each Wednesday that should be out later today. Worth a read and listen each week.

    Apparently they tried to pry Slater Koekkoek from Tampa but were rebuffed.

    Friedman asked Sweeney about a rumor that the B’s were telling teams that they’re not trading young players or prospects. Sweeney’s response: “It is true that we aren’t interested in moving young players who are impacting our lineup. We know what other teams want, and it’s a painful list to part with.”

    Nothing really new, but that’s straight from Sweeney. I suppose there is room there for a Providence, Europe or NCAA/CHL kid to move, but Sweeney is generally a straight shooter so I wouldn’t expect much beyond saying the course.
     
  9. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    In this week’s edition, Friedman has the B’s jumping into the Mike Hoffman chase.

    $5.18 mm AAV for 2 more seasons after this. Sweeney has said no prospects are going, but I do think this is the kind of move that they could make a prospect or 2 available for. Good player under a good contract. More of a traditional winger, I think he would be great for the Krejci line. Only hesitation would be if he can’t play RW, I haven’t watched him enough to know if there would be any issue. Ideally if they’re looking for a winger, it’d be to upgrade Spooner’s spot.

    I would think deal based around Spooner, a Providence winger (Senyshyn/Cehlarik?) and D (Zboril/Lauzon?) and then maybe draft picks could work for both sides. I don’t think that is crippling for the B’s farm system, and would shed salary on the Sens end with no salary commitment past this year to Spooner, get them 2 good and cheap prospects, plus draft picks.
     
  10. TFP

    TFP Dope Dope

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    I would do that deal in a Wade Redden heartbeat. Which makes me think it wouldn't be enough for Ottawa, but who knows what they're doing anymore.
     
  11. RedOctober3829

    RedOctober3829 Member SoSH Member

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    Would the Rangers trade Ryan McDonagh for a package including Torey Krug and a combo of picks/prospects? 2.5 years left on McDonagh's deal at $4.7.
     
  12. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    I don’t think that makes too much sense for the Bruins. McDonagh (only 2 year left; not 2) is better than Krug but probably not better enough to make the “+” in whatever deal worth it.
     
  13. TheRealness

    TheRealness Don't make him go all Lucic on your ash SoSH Member

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    I am hoping Spooner's run of actually giving a shit physically will increase his value, but we will see.

    I don't see them making a move as they don't have a huge need. I am perfectly content with them doing nothing at the deadline and rolling with the current team as is.
     
  14. veritas

    veritas Member SoSH Member

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    I'm surprised they're interested in Hoffman with that contract. Although I would be intrigued by him on Krejci's wing, Krejci hasn't played with a shooter like him since Michael Ryder. Mark Stone seems more like their type of player but he's going to be a lot more expensive.

    If they do add a forward, I hope it's not a replacement for Spooner. Ideally a move for a forward would bump everyone down the ladder, strengthen the bottom 6, and sit Schaller/Acciari.
     
  15. veritas

    veritas Member SoSH Member

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    Sounds like the Rangers could very well be sellers:

    Zuccarello and Grabner are to wingers I'd be really happy with if the price is right. Zuccarello as a top 6 guy who's signed another year and Grabner as a cheap depth rental.

    McDonough would be a huge get obviously, I think his price would be outrageous though. He's also signed through next season
     
  16. RedOctober3829

    RedOctober3829 Member SoSH Member

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    Rick Nash would be awesome to get to play on the 2nd line. The forward groupings would be awesome. I'd move Heinen to RW on the 2nd line as he has experience playing there because I would try to trade Spooner in a Nash deal.

    Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak
    Rick Nash-Krejci-Heinen
    DeBrusk-Riley Nash-Backes
    Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari
     
  17. veritas

    veritas Member SoSH Member

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    (sorry I missed the other thread you started)

    Nash would be a great gamble if he wasn't making 8m/year and if he would be cheap. I don't see the Rangers eating much of that or giving him up for cheap. But if...

    Him and Riley Nash wearing their full names would be great though
     
  18. RedOctober3829

    RedOctober3829 Member SoSH Member

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    The Rangers can assume up to 50% of his salary in a trade. I'd assume they'd do that to get a better return.
     
  19. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    That still may not be enough for the Bruins. They will need to send $ back. I like Nash fine but I think that will be a tough fit.
     
  20. NYCSox

    NYCSox chris hansen of goats Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Cap Friendly has the Bruins at under $3.5M in available cap space at the deadline. https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/bruins

    Obviously moving back Spooner's $2.8M will help but more will be needed.
     
  21. RedOctober3829

    RedOctober3829 Member SoSH Member

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    If the Rangers take on some of the $7.8 then wouldn't Spooner's $2.8 be more than enough to remain cap compliant? Sweeten the pot with a pick or a prospect the Rangers like at a position of depth. The problem with this is that the Rangers will find a team more desperate to take Nash and they'll be willing to give up a lot for him. The Bruins are in a position where they don't have to do anything drastic to break up their prospect pool or young NHL players.
     
  22. Rico Guapo

    Rico Guapo lurker

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    From yesterdays game thread:

    I don't think they need to do anything significant.
     
  23. veritas

    veritas Member SoSH Member

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    I don't think they need to do anything significant, but picking up someone like Zuccarello (or Staal, Stone, etc) who is signed through next year could be a wise use of their excess prospect depth.

    As much as I like the B's young players, they may have a relatively short window right now where the young players are reaching their peaks and their older players haven't fallen off a cliff yet.
     
  24. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    I feel like if I'm the Bruins I'm not looking aggressively for a depth deal.
     
  25. burstnbloom

    burstnbloom Member SoSH Member

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    I agree with the sentiment that a depth move might not be worth it. I would entertain a larger deal for a rw or Ihd with term.
     
  26. jk333

    jk333 Member SoSH Member

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    I agree, upgrading Spooner to a rental would make most sense for the Bruins and the acquiring team. He’s a great 3c and serviceable 2c the way he’s been playing lately. And as an rfa, the acquiring team gets him for this year and (more importantly) next. They could add a Czarnik level guy. If that gets you a Nash great, if not, they have depth in the younger guys this year.
     
  27. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    To be honest, I'm not even eager to do this. Spooner is an asset to the team right now, and stirring up a mix is always a risk. (I'm still bitter about how poorly the Gonchar/Nylander acquisition worked out for the Bruins 15 years ago).

    Given the Bruins' salary cap situation, their prospect depth, and Spooner's future salary, I don't think he really has a long-term future in Boston. So I'm not averse to dealing him, and, indeed, he might be the type of player who should be dealt proactively in order to best maximize his value as an team asset. That said, I think the best way to do that would be to shop him during the offseason.
     
  28. timlinin8th

    timlinin8th Member SoSH Member

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    Count me in as someone who is hesitant to make a “depth” move with the forward lines. The Bruins currently have a +40 GF/GA differential, second best in the NHL behind TB. With the cap being as tight as it is, I’d be hesitant to go pulling in more cap dollars on vet players. I agree that Spooner eventually will have to be moved because of his escalating price and the need to work in some other prospects but now isn’t that time, UNLESS he can be included for a top 4 LHD with term. That is the one spot I really feel could use an upgrade. Grz has been awesome so far this year, putting him on the third pair would be an incredible D corps.

    Chara/McAvoy
    LHD/Krug
    Grz/Miller
    Carlo
     
  29. Salem's Lot

    Salem's Lot Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog! SoSH Member

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    I don't want them to make any move for a player with term until they figure out McAvoy's extension, which should be Sweeney's number 1 priority this offseason. I'd go into the playoffs with what we have. Hopefully Spooner's desire to get paid this offseason helps the cause. Then they should move him for a pick and or prospect at the draft before they have to pay him $4 million in arbitration.
     
  30. RedOctober3829

    RedOctober3829 Member SoSH Member

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    I just checked CapFriendly and it says the Bruins have $5.1 million in deadline cap space.
     
  31. NYCSox

    NYCSox chris hansen of goats Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I think that's because of Marchand's suspension. Also it looks like there was a paper move of Bjork being sent down. So it's probably the effect of both moves. Probably the pre-suspension figure of $3.5M is correct but we'll see once the dust settles with Marchand in about 10 days.
     
  32. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    The $5.1 million will be their cap space on deadline day with their current roster. Cap accrues daily, so it’ll be less before then and with the current roster they would “bank” space and hace $5.1 million to work with. That amount will go up and down depending on call ups and assignments.

    Marchand’s suspension has no impact on the cap.
     
  33. NYCSox

    NYCSox chris hansen of goats Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Not sure about that.

    Where is PSK when you need him? :)
     
  34. PedroSpecialK

    PedroSpecialK Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    It's a bit trickier than normal due to Marchand's repeat offender status, and actually helps the B's in that sense. First time offenders forfeit 1 day's salary per game suspended, whereas repeats get 1 game's salary.

    The Bruins can operate with (5/82)* $6.125m = $373,475 in supplemental cap space to play with come deadline day, which is 41 days away from the end of the season. That prorates out to ~$1.7m in deadline cap space, in addition to the ~$5.1m the B's were already on track for.

    Big picture, the league should really not give teams cap relief for repeat offender salaries, but that's another story.
     
  35. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    "Hey, Brad! It's Don. We need a bit more cap space for our deadline moves. Can you take a few cheap shots tonight? Thanks."
     
  36. RetractableRoof

    RetractableRoof Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I was just wandering around the interwebs and took a moment to look at the NHL standings... damn. And with a couple of games in hand as well. After the way this season started I just can't get over that they are 5 points behind Tampa for the Conference, and fourth in the league behind Tampa. Where the heck did this come from??? I didn't see this coming this season, not knowing how they were going to respond to Cassidy from the start of the season. I know they were *forced* to play a lot of youth this year - especially given the early time missed by some of the veterans - but I wasn't expecting this much collective playing time for them either.

    Fun to watch, and effective in the standings as well. And for just the right hint of deliciousness that Montreal team is no where to be found at this point. (I just hope they don't bottom out - I'd rather they not get a real high draft pick.)
     
  37. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    They were better last year than they got credit for. They were definitely top heavy but they were still really good. They just ran into and couldn’t overcome the injury bug against Ottawa.

    This year the kids have added the depth they lacked a year ago and the goalies have been fantastic. The division being awful has helped, they are 10-1-2 against the Atlantic. Only dropped 1 point to dregs like BUF/MTL/OTT/DET.
     
  38. RetractableRoof

    RetractableRoof Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I think that is where I went wrong in some ways. Injuries aside, I closed last year thinking they were what they were and didn't see the depth coming to make a difference given the cap situation. I had my fingers crossed that some youth (Bjork, and perhaps one D) would help, but not to the extent it has. The question to me is what is the real Bruins team? Was last year injuries as you say (and some under performing under Claude?) leading to this year returning to its actual level supported by the injection of youth, or is this team over performing with an unsustainable level by the kids? Or is it somewhere in between and this is a high water mark for the season?

    I don't know the answer, but I see an awful lot of things going right (which can snowball and build just as much as a negative spiral). Spooner is playing well, is this the real him? The goalies are playing well in a way I had accepted Rask was no longer going to provide. The D is getting it done for the most part when I thought they were going to be more porous. The offensive top line is one of the top 5 in the league I guess - and there isn't anyone really playing over their head on that line. It's the consistency that is fun to watch. The rest of the lines are balanced, in a way where if I had hoped for that performance to start the year it would have felt like I was being a homer wearing rose colored glasses.

    Real fun to watch, and especially to see it play out going forward.
     
  39. TheShynessClinic

    TheShynessClinic SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer SoSH Member

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    This team is legit.
     
  40. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    Yup. They are a wagon. Nothing about this run has been flukey.
     
  41. twothousandone

    twothousandone Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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  42. Salem's Lot

    Salem's Lot Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog! SoSH Member

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    Wow as impressed as I was watching that live last night, I'm even more impressed now. I forgot it was their fathers' trip weekend. So they played Toronto without Marchand and a rusty McAvoy, and they kicked their ass in front of their dads. That's legit.
     
  43. LogansDad

    LogansDad Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah, this isn't the same team that lost 3 out of 4 point against Toronto in November.

    I also don't think, if this was indeed a first round playoff preview, that the Bruins dominate a series and crush Toronto. There's quite a bit of talent on that team, and I suspect a playoff matchup could be pretty epically entertaining.
     
  44. lexrageorge

    lexrageorge Member SoSH Member

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    Boston fans now turn their sad and downtrodden eyes to the spoked-B. Their play this season has been one of the more under-the-radar stories this winter. Consider me fully on board the bandwagon.
     
  45. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    The trade deadline is 3 weeks from today. Chatter picking up a bit.

    I still think I’d go big game fishing or sit this one out. None of the rentals available seem all that intriguing. I guess if he’s cheap maybe someone like Vanek could be useful as depth and a boost to PP2. they go for a home run- Ryan McDonagh would be awesome, OEL (if he’s even available) would be awesome, Mike Stone or Hoffman from OTT would be real nice fits IMO. Doesn’t seem like there’s much out there that the B’s would be too interested in at this point, but maybe that changes over the next few weeks.
     
  46. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    Rangers have Nash’s no-trade list.

     
  47. kbourdon

    kbourdon lurker

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    Who is on the no trade list for Nash?
     
  48. TheShynessClinic

    TheShynessClinic SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer SoSH Member

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    Carolina is sinking and potentially selling. Lots of discord in that organization.

    I know left D isn't a position of weakness, but Noah Hanifin may be a good buy low candidate. He hasn't looked great this season, and he's an RFA due for a big (potentially unearned at this point) raise. Canes also have Slavin and Pesce so it's not like they'd be selling all their talent.
     
  49. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    I don’t know, I think Hanifin’s having his best year. On pace for a career high in points, getting increased ice time, rate stats all are outstanding. Career high’s across the board- 56% CF, 57% Scoring chances. He is looking like a top 4 maybe even top 2 guy right now.

    There has been chatter over the past season or so that Carolina may be interested in moving a D for an F, so I guess it is possible, but I think it’ll take a monster package to do so. They apparently have hesitated in one of their D for the Avs forwards that were on the block all last year. I don’t think they would want futures. They’d probably ask for Pastrnak, Bruins hang up. Carolina is also only 1 point out of a playoff spot, so I don’t think they are in free fall just yet. They had a bad game yesterday where the coach ripped them. Maybe that sends them into a tailspin, but they have a new owner so I think they’ll try to push for the playoffs. Their real problem is they can’t buy a save.
     
  50. veritas

    veritas Member SoSH Member

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    What do people think they should do with Spooner? Between his breakout and Krejci's ongoing frailty, I think it'd be a huge gamble to trade him without getting a 2C back. As much as I like Riley Nash, they'd be a Krejci injury from him/Backes/Czarnik/JFK at 2C, and those are all terrifying options for a contending team. It would have sounded crazy last season, but I'm much more comfortable with Spooner than any of those guys.
     

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