2019-2020 Bruins

cshea

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I know that shootouts and regulation play are different but in 13 overtimes) they have scored two goals (Krug, Krejci) and in shootouts they have scored on 16.0% of their attempts compared to the league average of 32.32%. So what is the explanation when they have the numbers 1, 14, an 21 leading goal scorers in the league?
Small sample size mostly, at least in overtime. No explanation for shootouts other than bad luck that has snowballed and is into their heads.
 

TFP

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I know that shootouts and regulation play are different but in 13 overtimes) they have scored two goals (Krug, Krejci) and in shootouts they have scored on 16.0% of their attempts compared to the league average of 32.32%. So what is the explanation when they have the numbers 1, 14, an 21 leading goal scorers in the league?
Alex Ovechkin, the greatest goal scorer of our generation and maybe of all time, sits right behind Martin Erat in career shootout % at 31%. There's not a lot of correlation between goal scoring capability and shootout success. It's a completely different skill. They're just not at good at it.
 

Maximus

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Also, apparently Cassidy is keeping Coyle at right wing for now. I’m not a fan of this decision.

View: https://twitter.com/_tyanderson/status/1212926658510016512?s=21


They don’t have a viable option to replace Coyle as 3C. Kuraly has always struggled when taken out of the 4C spot and I don’t think Lindholm is anything more than a 4C. That line did have some chances last night but a few died on his stick. I don’t think Bjork and Heinen are good enough offensively (yet, in Bjork’s case) to carry an anchor at center. I’d rather leave Heinen with Krejci, end the Ritchie experiment, and call up Senyshyn and eventually Kuhlman for looks on the 3rd line with Coyle and Bjork.
This. Coyle needs to be the 3C, Kuraly the 4C. Leave Heinen wth Krejci until Sweeney closes a deal on a 2RW. Call up Senyshyn for the 3rd line with Coyle and Bjork. I'd love to see Kuhlman on the 4th line when he is healthy.
 

joe dokes

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This. Coyle needs to be the 3C, Kuraly the 4C. Leave Heinen wth Krejci until Sweeney closes a deal on a 2RW. Call up Senyshyn for the 3rd line with Coyle and Bjork. I'd love to see Kuhlman on the 4th line when he is healthy.
Trying (perhaps unsuccessfully) to put my dislike/underappreciation of Heinen aside, but I think Bjork's been the better player of those two for the last month or so. So I'd put Bjork with Krejci. That said, I think DummyHoy is right that this is temporary in order to get someone who has been pretty consistently good alongside Krejci, instead of someone they hope will be.
 

Lupe Whalewatch

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Trying (perhaps unsuccessfully) to put my dislike/underappreciation of Heinen aside, but I think Bjork's been the better player of those two for the last month or so. So I'd put Bjork with Krejci. That said, I think DummyHoy is right that this is temporary in order to get someone who has been pretty consistently good alongside Krejci, instead of someone they hope will be.
I don't think it will happen, but I'm with you here 100%. Heinen is a solid hockey player, but its strange to me how many big minutes he gets on this team.
 

cshea

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Heinen is their Swiss Army knife. He does a bit of everything. Plays left wing, right wing, top 6, bottom 6. He’s good defensively- in Heinen’s 487 5x5 minutes this year opponents have only scored 10 times. The only Bruin to be scored upon less is his linemate, Krejci. I don’t think Heinen will ever drive things offensively, but he has shown he’s capable of riding with the big boys. In the 16 games Pastrnak missed last season, Heinen had 13 points playing with Bergeron and Marchand. I would mind going back to Heinen with 37 and Pasta with 46 for a bit, but for whatever reason, Cassidy doesn’t think it’s a viable long term solution. He doesn’t seem to trust Heinen when he’s up against other teams top lines on a nightly basis.

Cassidy’s also been clear since training cap that he and the team feel Bjork’s better at left wing. He briefly played right wing during the Sabres games last week but they’ve kinda gone out of their way to keep him at LW this season. That’s why we haven’t really seen him with Krejci or Bergeron. Maybe they could get creative and flip Bjork and DeBrusk or something and try that.
 

joe dokes

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Cassidy’s also been clear since training cap that he and the team feel Bjork’s better at left wing. He briefly played right wing during the Sabres games last week but they’ve kinda gone out of their way to keep him at LW this season. That’s why we haven’t really seen him with Krejci or Bergeron. Maybe they could get creative and flip Bjork and DeBrusk or something and try that.
I overlooked the LW/RW aspect. It's not insignificant.
 

cshea

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I overlooked the LW/RW aspect. It's not insignificant.
Haha, well looks like Bjork is going to play some RW with Krejci. Lines today:

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
DeBrusj - Krejci - Bjork
Heinen - Coyle - Ritchie
Kuraly - Lindholm - Wagner
 

Maximus

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Haha, well looks like Bjork is going to play some RW with Krejci. Lines today:

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
DeBrusj - Krejci - Bjork
Heinen - Coyle - Ritchie
Kuraly - Lindholm - Wagner
Interesting idea but it puts the human statue Ritchie on the 3rd line who shouldn't still be here at this point.
 

cshea

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Right. Needs more Kuhlman. Hope he gets healthy soonish.
Kuhlman played 2 of 3 Providence games this weekend so he’s healthy. With such a long layoff, they’ll probably want him to get 10 or so AHL games in before considering a call up.

The other issue at the moment is their roster is not flexible. They are carrying the max of 23 players and don’t have a single waivers exempt player. They either need to IR, trade or waive someone to free up a roster spot. Cap space is also very tight. I think sometime over the next 8 weeks or whatever before the trade deadline they’ll make a decision on Ritchie and Backes- one stays, the other goes on waivers- and try Kuhlman, Senyshyn or Studnicka in the lineup before jumping into the trade market.
 

Dropkick Izzy

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Was about to say that Kuhlman played yesterday (I was at the game for my daughter’s team’s intermission skate).

Walked by Don Sweeney in the stairs while retrieving some equipment on level 1. He was headed down towards the locker room and didn’t look too pleased following the 4-1 loss.
 

Maximus

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Kuhlman played 2 of 3 Providence games this weekend so he’s healthy. With such a long layoff, they’ll probably want him to get 10 or so AHL games in before considering a call up.

The other issue at the moment is their roster is not flexible. They are carrying the max of 23 players and don’t have a single waivers exempt player. They either need to IR, trade or waive someone to free up a roster spot. Cap space is also very tight. I think sometime over the next 8 weeks or whatever before the trade deadline they’ll make a decision on Ritchie and Backes- one stays, the other goes on waivers- and try Kuhlman, Senyshyn or Studnicka in the lineup before jumping into the trade market.
Let's get Kuhlman, Senyshyn and Stunicka in the lineup asap to see what we have with them. Continuing to play Ritchie is a waste of asset deployment.
 

Salem's Lot

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Ritchie, Lindholm, and Backes are all useless plugs right now. Dump them all and bring up Studnicka, Kuhlman, and Senyshyn. Create some real competition for ice time. Benching guys like Heinen and DeBrusk won’t work unless you have guys that can actually push for playing time.
 

joe dokes

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Haha, well looks like Bjork is going to play some RW with Krejci. Lines today:

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
DeBrusj - Krejci - Bjork
Heinen - Coyle - Ritchie
Kuraly - Lindholm - Wagner
According to the Glob, DeBrusk will move to his off-wing and Bjork will stay at LW.
 

Dummy Hoy

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I would like to see Kassian or Josh Anderson join the Bruins. I think the two biggest missing pieces are the 2RW (maybe a stretch for Anderson) and a face puncher.
 

cshea

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Anderson and Kassian both made Custance’s trade board at The Athletic.

View: https://twitter.com/craigcustance/status/1214908835057549312?s=21


I don’t love Kassian. He’s had a nice year but has spent 550 minutes of it alongside Connor McDavid. Being able to produce while playing with a superstar is never a bad thing, but up to this point in his career he’s been more of a bottom six guy. I think he is more of a Ritchie/Backes than a solution to the RW problem.

Anderson is a bit more intriguing. Less face punching but plays a physical game and can fill the net a bit more than Kassian. He’d also not be a rental, but he’s restricted with arb rights after the year so that could complicate the future cap. He’s had a bad year and is currently injured, but the Blue Jackets are tied in points with the Flyers for the 2nd wild card spot and 2 points behind the Hurricanes for the top wild card spot, so they are firmly in the mix. Not sure they’d sell on him.
 

Haunted

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Retained, as in NJ retains some salary? I don't know enough about advanced stats but his traditional stats look appealing. I admit I'm not super familiar with him.

I'm (probably far too) high on Bjork, however, and am very leery of trading him away. I feel like he's finally turning the corner and developing into that 2nd/3rd line scorer we'd hoped he would, and every team needs a few of that cost-controlled player to balance the payroll.
 

TFP

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I would drive Bjork to the airport for that deal. Palmieri is a legit RW2 on a bad team with another year on his contract, exactly who the Bruins should be targeting. I'm not as high on Bjork as others, but I think he'll do better on a team where he can get a lot of PP minutes (as opposed to here in the next couple years).
 

Maximus

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Palmieri is a good fit for RW2 with a little term until 2021. I do like Bjork and his speed, a lot in today's NHL. I'd substitute Heinen +.
 

Salem's Lot

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Palmieri is a good fit for RW2 with a little term until 2021. I do like Bjork and his speed, a lot in today's NHL. I'd substitute Heinen +.
And NJ would probably want DeBrusk instead of Bjork. Bjork and an ok prospect is probably good value in a vacuum, but could be easily beaten by some other team before the deadline.
 

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Yeah I'm not taking from the second line to get Palmieri as that would really accomplish little but increase payroll going forward. I'm far less troubled with using someone from the third line like Heinen or Bjork with Kuhlman available as a replacement.
 

Salem's Lot

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Yeah I'm not taking from the second line to get Palmieri as that would really accomplish little but increase payroll going forward. I'm far less troubled with using someone from the third line like Heinen or Bjork with Kuhlman available as a replacement.
I agree. I’m saying the likely ask that gets it done now is DeBrusk. That’s why all these deals go down at the deadline. Deals don’t get done without an overlay until the team with the player has to trade them or keep them. Hopefully Bjork + a prospect that I forgot was even in the system is good enough then.
 

veritas

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Sure Palmieri would be an upgrade over Heinen or Bjork, I don't see that really solving their problem though. The goal here, in my opinion, is to find a play-driving RW for the second line, giving a very good third line of Bjork-Coyle-Heinen.

After Bjork and Heinen there's a huge dropoff in forward quality (except for Kuraly maybe, but he really thrives in his specific role of "punter", and his having a down year). Trading one of them for a winger hurts the 3rd line and puts them one injury in the top 6 from being in the same exact place.
 

The Napkin

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Krejci was just on the wing for Wagner for the last shift of the first. Has the winger they needed for Krejci been Krejci all along and they should grab a center instead?
Probably not. But fever brain comes up with some fun thoughts...
 

veritas

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Krejci was just on the wing for Wagner for the last shift of the first. Has the winger they needed for Krejci been Krejci all along and they should grab a center instead?
Probably not. But fever brain comes up with some fun thoughts...
I think Krejci could benefit from the Claude Giroux career rejuvenation path sooner rather than later. But he’s still playing center pretty well IMO and a center will be more expensive than a RW probably
 
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I watch the Bruins on Comcast, generally NESN HD, and the Comcast control has a C button which lets you pull up info about the game. Tonight, Pastrnak's first goal was listed as his 32nd, his 2nd goal was listed as his 32nd, his 3rd goal was listed as his 32nd. One game a while back had to Bruins each score their first goal of the season and, yep, the were listed as goal 0 and goal 0. Does anyone know who is at fault here? Comcast or NESN? They are always one goal off.
 

RedOctober3829

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Don't look now, but Tampa is now in 2nd place, only 7 points back, and TB has 2 games in hand. They have identical win totals, but the 7 pt difference is the number of loser points the Bruins have gotten to this point.
 

Salem's Lot

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Don't look now, but Tampa is now in 2nd place, only 7 points back, and TB has 2 games in hand. They have identical win totals, but the 7 pt difference is the number of loser points the Bruins have gotten to this point.
Having to battle it out for first down the stretch wouldn’t the worst thing for this team. Teams that don’t have to play meaningful games in March have had a hard time turning it up in April.
 

RedOctober3829

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Having to battle it out for first down the stretch wouldn’t the worst thing for this team. Teams that don’t have to play meaningful games in March have had a hard time turning it up in April.
I agree. Just pointing out that TB has been playing great as of late and is not dead and buried. Also wouldn't it be wild if Toronto ended up as the 2nd wildcard after years of meeting them as the 2nd/3rd place teams?
 

Salem's Lot

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I agree. Just pointing out that TB has been playing great as of late and is not dead and buried. Also wouldn't it be wild if Toronto ended up as the 2nd wildcard after years of meeting them as the 2nd/3rd place teams?
Tampa was way too talented to not put it together at some point and play themselves back into the conversation for the division. Toronto on the other hand, you could definitely see them dropping into a wild card. They’re a very top heavy team with poor defense and goaltending. That’s usually not a recipe for long term success. If Bobrovsky starts playing well in Florida, the Leafs might be in trouble. Their top end forwards are so talented that they wouldn’t drop out of a playoff spot without a significant injury.
 

cshea

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Toronto is 15-5-2 under Keefe, good for a 119 point pace over 82 games. Florida is within striking distance right now but I don’t see them passing Toronto. I also think we have a bit of a warped view of Andersen. He is a good goalie, probably top 10. The backups are another story.
 

RedOctober3829

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The Bruins are among the teams that have inquired about New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Kreider and the Rangers are speaking this month about a contract extension, but if a deal is not reached, the Rangers are expected to trade him by the deadline.
Kreider isn’t the only player the Bruins have interest in, however, as Los Angeles Kings right wing Tyler Toffoli remains a player of interest.

The Bruins came close to acquiring Toffoli from the Kings prior to last season’s trade deadline, according to a well-placed source, and Sweeney could swing a deal for him in the coming weeks if the right deal falls into place. The Kings, however, would likely retain a portion of Toffoli’s $4.6 million cap hit.
In order to acquire either Toffoli or Kreider, or another player of similar offensive pedigree, the Bruins will likely need to part with a high draft pick and a prospect as part of a deal.
 

cshea

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Rask is skipping the ASG. The only impact is they will need to call up Lagace or Vladar for the first game after the break to back up Halak since Rask will be suspended.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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0-7 in shootouts this year, despite all the goal scoring talent on the team.

It's not bad luck. It's a serious problem that they're completely incapable of solving and those lost points could hurt them in playoff seeding.

Of the many infuriating things I've seen from this organization over the last 35 years (which had been so much better over the last 9 or 10) this one has to be up there in terms of aggravation. I don't understand how they're THIS bad at the shootout.
 

PedroSpecialK

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It's not even that they're bad in the context of other NHL teams - they are probably worse than a local high school team would be.
  • 4/35 (11.42%) this season including last night's 0/5 - the only other team with 10+ shootout attempts that's worse is St. Louis (1/12, 8.33%). League average is 31.22%
  • 5/28 (17.86%) last season - the only other teams with 20+ shootout attempts that were close were Detroit (5/27, 18.52%) and NYI (7/35, 20%). League average was 29.47%

Going off results, Bob Essensa's been great as a goalie coach, and has done an average-to-slightly-below-average job in preparing the B's goaltenders for the shootout. But the shooters have been dreadful. I don't know how much of this ineptitude can be tied to coaching given he can't be telling these guys to hit the opposing goalie's logo or flick a wrister at their pads with their attempts, but it's more than a one-season thing now - and it's compounded by the B's being in so many shootouts.
 

cshea

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I posted it in the game thread, but the next time they get in a shootout they need to just try something completely different. Send Chara out as the first shooter to bomb one from the circles. Try Kuraly or Grzelyck or something unorthodox. Anything different. It’s completely in Marchand and Pastrnak’s head. Marchand is 0-7, Pastrnak is 1-8 including penalty shot and a lot of theOr attempts don’t have a prayer of success.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I was thinking the same thing: Goalie Bob's the guy providing scouting reports etc for the shootouts, but the results are below replacement-grade. He's a good goalie coach but it may be time to bring in someone to specialize in shootuts.

Because the numbers are appalling and it's getting embarrassing, even ignoring the Marchand flub last night.
 

cshea

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Some of the shooters don’t like seeing a scouting report, they just go. Not sure what the goalies look at ahead of time.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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It can't continue. Marchand humiliated himself last night and he'll be a meme forever, but the larger issue is absolutely killing them.

There has to be a shootout specialist coach they can find to work on this. It's a disaster.
 

TFP

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I mean it sucks but assuming a 50% win rate, it's cost them overall probably what...3 points? 4 points? And it has zero relevance to the playoffs?

It's the blowing of the leads in regulation that leads to all these OTs/shootouts that really bothers me. They were up 5-2 last night, the shootout shouldn't even be in the conversation.
 

The Napkin

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If I'm shootout coach for the day my instruction would be to stop the slow approach and trying to deke. 65 minutes on ice especially without the scrape anymore and it just doesn't work. Come with speed and shoot.
Some of the shooters don’t like seeing a scouting report, they just go. Not sure what the goalies look at ahead of time.
That's great that they don't like seeing a report. But at some point someone needs to tell them what they're doing clearly isn't working so maybe stop being stubborn and go ahead and try looking at the report.
 

NYCSox

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The shootout instructions could be as simple as "treat this like a breakaway in a game setting." I can't tell you how infuriating the slow winding crawls are. Go in there with speed and shoot or make a quick move and deke the goalie.

Edit: Damn you Nap.
 
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Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I mean it sucks but assuming a 50% win rate, it's cost them overall probably what...3 points? 4 points? And it has zero relevance to the playoffs?

It's the blowing of the leads in regulation that leads to all these OTs/shootouts that really bothers me. They were up 5-2 last night, the shootout shouldn't even be in the conversation.
True about the blown lead last night as Halak was bad and the defense too....but Tampa is closing in fast in the standings. I suspect an extra 3 or 4 points so far (and who knows how many by the end of the years as they continue to go to OT and the SO at a very high rate) will prove to be dearly missed.

I am a bit concerned about their 5 on 5 scoring as we all know that penalties simply aren't called as much in the playoffs. They went into the Final last year with a great PP but then Berube convinced the league and the officials to put away the whistles and the goals dried up. They've got to improve there.
 

cshea

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Well they are one of the best at 5x5 right now, they have a +25 goal differential right now (100-75). The 57% GF% is 2nd in the league. There is a bit of good luck there as their underlying numbers don’t support a 57% GF%, but they are trending up and have nudged over 50% by expected goals. It’s getting better but last night was a disaster from the 2nd period on.
 

Salem's Lot

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Tampa is on a tear right now that is probably unsustainable, and they’ve only gained a grand total of 3 points on the Bruins over the last 10 games.

The larger issue is blowing leads. The third goal was on Halak, it happens, he’s been a good backup for them. The 4th and 5th goals were an obviously injured Grzelcyk losing a physical battle in front of the net. That’s the stuff that can’t happen in the playoffs. They shouldn’t have dressed him if he was too banged up to handle the front of the net.