2021-2022 Bruins Season Thread

The Napkin

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right here
which version? like, you know I can see how many times you go back and edit and add and change things right? you've edited that one 4 times since I started posting this.
 

Myt1

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which version? like, you know I can see how many times you go back and edit and add and change things right? you've edited that one 4 times since I started posting this.
That’s a bullshit, dishonest response unless you think I somehow went back and edited my conversation with burstnbloom from this afternoon after you posted, and I’m pretty sure you know that.
 
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Myt1

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It's okay to just say "you're right, I was was wrong about that" without being a dick about it
Here, I’ll even help:


I wasn't saying you said that, I was saying you needed to spend money on a second goalie. The Bruins clearly went into the offseason thinking they needed to hold serve in net. They wanted a viable NHL starter to replace Rask's minutes and Swayman would take Halaks. Halak was not an option for that. He was below replacement level and had already lost his job to Swayman (and by all accounts was pissed about it.)

. . .

You're suggesting the Bruins should have signed a cheaper goalie to play with Swayman but the only way to do that would have been to severely downgrade the position as a whole and hope for Rask to come back.
You’re basing your argument that Halak is a severe downgrade—not just 1 to 1 vs. Ullmark, but downgrading the position as a whole—on a single abbreviated season, during which Halak got COVID, right?

Because Halak’s stats look better for the other two of the past three years, don’t they? Or is that the Boston/Buffalo thing at play, and you’ve corrected for that somehow? If so, I’d love to see it. Which stats for which years show that Halak is a severe downgrade from Ullmark?
That’s fine. I think you mistake your preference for immutable reality and engage in silly rhetorical bolstering in service of that, but I screwed up the timing of the signing of Oleksiak in the 20 minutes I spent looking at this, so we can still be friends.

I would be interested in seeing the Halak to Ullmark evidence, though. It would be nice to have even more stat-based evidence of his skill—goalie stats strike me as annoyingly variable and noisy.
What part of that is, “I certainly haven’t looked at Ullmark’s and Halak’s stats; somebody please post their career stats to help me?” instead of a very specific request about very specific stats to a specific poster?
 
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kenneycb

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Are you fucking serious? There’s literally an entire run of posts that preceded this. There’s like a multiple post conversation about it.


I was absolutely wrong about Oleksiak. What I took issue with was the common dishonest bolstering that we might have lost McAvoy in Kenny’s kind alternate universe where he gave me a pass on that.
It’s Kenney for fucks sake.

And I didn’t suggest anything outside of laying out what needed to happen to get him to point out the absurdity of the suggestion. Letting go of any of those three for a mediocre UFA D would be dumb that I wrongly assumed was self-evident.
 

kenneycb

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After a promising rookie season, Debrusk has failed. At this point, maybe they should look to move on? Whether it’s breaking in another rookie/young player on the 3rd line or establishing veterans, I no longer think the future potential from Debrusk is better than trying someone new.

It’s possible he just clashes with Bruce and will be better on another team. But that doesn’t help the Bruins either.
The issue with this is selling low. Are you better off hoping Jake doesn’t suck anymore or trading him for pennies? I probably lean towards keeping him but don’t feel too strongly on that. I haven’t been a fan since he was an RFA but think he’s cratered his value at this point where you can’t get much useful.
 

Myt1

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It’s Kenney for fucks sake.

And I didn’t suggest anything outside of laying out what needed to happen to get him to point out the absurdity of the suggestion. Letting go of any of those three for a mediocre UFA D would be dumb that I wrongly assumed was self-evident.
Oh, absolutely. My only point in response was that it obviously wasn’t going McAvoy, so why do that? I didn’t think it was a particularly sarcastic response, so far as those things go.

The real issue was that I missed when he was signed when I looked at the FA signing list. So I fucked that up from the get go. But I actually liked your response, because it got me thinking about other possible avenues.

Could you have worked out a trade of some sort that would have ameliorated things, or would the lure of Carlo or Grz have even too much anyway? Lose Carlo, and you’re in the same position of being down a RD. He worries the hell out of me, given the injury history, though. His boneheaded decision making this year doesn’t help, either.

As for your other question up thread re: 2C and my projected roster (and the apparent futility of just trying to improve), I guess my deeper response is to ask whether I need to solve every problem on the team this Saturday or just find somewhere arguably better to spend that money than they spent it. The second seemed to be the challenge when both of you argued that there was nothing else they could have done, and seemed to take issue with my statement that it’s not like they saved the money and did something awesome with it.

If that’s not the point, then why bother at all? Why not tank if we can’t make more than a game or two of difference in the playoffs (as if that’s some small amount)?
 

lexrageorge

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The schedule excuse sucks. If we want to say that they are still coming together as a team, that's fine, but this is a team full of professionals that have been in the league for a while. The coaching and leadership on the team is the most consistent in the league.

They're a mediocre team, it's not surprising. They've done nothing to improve themselves in the past few offseasons and have tried to ride depend on the core guys. It was a fine strategy, but it was obvious that it was going to end up this way.
I hope it's OK I quote your post. I don't want to start an argument about whether the schedule should or should not be a factor in the team's performance. But I do want to cite the schedule as a solid reason for fan (and SoSH poster) frustration.

The team had 10 days off between the end of the exhibition season their season opener. After being the last team to play their first game, they had another 3 days off. Finally, when it appears that the pace of games is starting normalize again, they have another 5 days off for no good reason. IMO, the early schedule has made it difficult to get a feel for the team's true identity beyond their 8-5 record. Now, they are not alone: the Blue Jackets (12) and Islanders (11) have similar asinine schedules.

And this schedule will truly bite them in the ass come March/April when they have 4 games nearly every week.
 

burstnbloom

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The schedule is so stupid, but its not just stupid for them, as you pointed it out. The Islanders haven't even played a home game yet.

Lot's of good stuff last night. Caveats apply in that its the habs and they are one of the worst teams in the NHL (lol), but there are a number of interesting take aways.

1) One of McAvoy's best games of the year. It's amazing how good he is when he's not stapled to Derek Forbort. I really liked him playing with Zboril last night. It was only 3:45 but the generated 10 shot attempts to 2 by Montreal and they scored 2 goals. McAvoy has emerged in the public consciousness as the norris contender the analytics community have been calling him for the last couple of seasons. He has some stiff competition with Adam Fox actually playing better this year than last and Cale Makar, but those three are the clear top 3 D in the NHL. Interesting that they are all 23 years old (Charlie is the oldest with a December birthday, Fox in Feb and Makar in October), right shot D, who played in the NCAA. Very strange. It reminds me of the Arod/Jeter/Nomar SS race in the 90's. They are all a little different in how they get the job done but get really similar results. Charlie is the brusier, Fox is the cerebral one and Makar is the dynamic skater. These guys are going to dominate the NHL for the next 10 years. Very cool.

2) I kind of felt like Foligno went to the net and started whacking the goaltender on a freeze just to start a scrum and wake the boys up in the second and it worked. I'm not really a fan of what he's bringing on the ice but that stuff does matter and I was happy to see it. Also happy to see he survived McAvoy crushing him on the first goal.

3) the Bruins clearly don't have a roster full of finishers like the Caps and when they don't get in close, it can feel really hard for them to score. It's frustrating as hell. Last night they generated 10 high danger chances and scored 3 high danger goals. Hopefully getting rewarded for it helps them realize who they need to be to be successful.

46454

In the 87 days before they play again maybe they can watch a bunch of that tape and see how much better they play when they play like that. Even in that game they showed the maddening inconsistency. I still have some hope this team gets it together and plays like they are capable. We'll see.
 

cshea

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Foligno had his ass parked in front of the net on both of McAvoy's goals. I'm still not really sure where he best fits (pretty sure 2RW is not it) but that's the sort of stuff he was brought here to do.

I missed parts of both games, but from what I saw, Zboril looked really good. He was engaged and making plays offensively both nights. He never, ever made plays offensively last year. He actually led all Bruins in xG last night, and in his short 3 game sample has a 66% xGF%. He has 3.39 xG in 3 games played. McAvoy leads the D with touch more than 10 xG in 13 games. Really small sample of course, but a "hmmm.." kind of start for Zboril. I'd give him a little rope here and see if we catch lighnting in a bottle. He's still only 47 games into his NHL career. I'd do it at the expense of Forbort but concede that won't happen. It did take Zboril 2 full seasons in Providence before it started to click and we got whispers in his 3rd full year that he might be able to help. I don't have high hopes but doesn't hurt to try and find out what they have here.

The bottom 6 is still a clusterfuck. Bruins forwards with a sub 50% xGF%...Blidh, Frederic, Smith, Haula, Kuhlman, DeBrusk. Basically, the bottom 6. Lazar is at 50.13% and Nosek is much better at 54% but not sure how much of that is due to some time with Hall and Coyle. I have hopes Craig Smith will figure it out eventually, and they really really really need that to happen, maybe his injury from early on is lingering, but the rest are pretty hopeless on the offensive front. DeBrusk can score in bunches when he's on but it's been a long fucking time since he's been on. I think at this point we can safely say he's not going to carry a line on his own and needs someone to get him the puck. Early returns are that won't Erik Haula. I don't know. Maybe Smith gets un-fucked and they get the DeBrusk - Haula - Foligno trio back together that looked promising for a game and a half early on and that settles things down. I still think I'd give Jack some run here and bump Haula down to the 4th line. His numbers were pretty ugly last night but eye-test wise I've liked Steen's game. Maybe give him a longer shot. Another thing, I want to rail on the 4th line sucking but Butch still throws them out there to the wolves. Blidh has had 2 ozone starts all year. Lazar has 5 in a much bigger sample. Nosek is at 30%, but again, has played 2nd line minutes. I get the reasoning behind Butch doing it, but feel like he could throw these guys a bone on occasion. We complain a ton about the depth scoring, rightfully so, but it's also hard to start every shift in the defensive end against a top 6 line from teh opponent.

Anyways, here's the bottom 9 I'd try out for a bit.

Hall - Coyle - Foligno/Smith
DeBrusk - Studnicka - Foligno/Smith
Haula - Nosek - Steen

Goalie wise, nice to see Swayman rebound from a shaky start to the season. I think Ullmark's been fine, numbers skewed a bit by the Edmonton game where the defense put him in some tough spots. You'd like a bailout save or two after breakdowns but he wasn't able too against Edmonton. We'll see how it plays out with Rask. Can't do anything with Ullmark and with each passing Swayman start he looks more and more like he won't need time in Providence.
 

joe dokes

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I am not handy with the advanced numbers, but my eyeballs have Nosek just kind of floating around and being large.
 

cshea

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I am not handy with the advanced numbers, but my eyeballs have Nosek just kind of floating around and being large.
He's been fine, a little snakebitten. He's been on the ice for 2 goals for and 3 against, so a whole lotta nothing. Which really is OK given the usage of the 4th line. The underlyings are good though. His xGF% is 54%, and he has a solid 59% HDCF% (high danger chances for %). Right now, they have a on-ice shooting percentage of 2.7% with Nosek on the ice which is ridiculously low. That is why he only has 2 even strength points. He won't turn magically into an offensive dynamo mut the on-ice shooting percentage should positively regress a bit and he'll collect a few more points.

He kind of is what he is. He's not goign to light the world on fire but should get to the vicinity of double-digit goals. I would like to see him shoot a little more. He has 11 SOG in 13 games. Again, it doesn't help that he/4th line get absolutely burried with dzone starts. In Vegas he started 3 out of every 4 shifts in the offensive end and had 18 points in 38 games last season. In Boston, it's essentially the other way around, 3 out of 4 in the dzone.
 

cshea

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From Friedman's 32 Thoughts:

Boston remains Tuukka Rask’s top priority, but the timeline for a return isn’t set.
I'm interested to see how this all shakes out. Do they carry 3 goalies? Send Swayman down? If Swayman keeps it up for another month, do they tell Rask no-thanks?

I don't think Rask's return is imminent, but he has been skating/working out at Warrior so he's not terribly far away either. Swayman has settled in and the small sample, inexperience tag drops a bit with each passing start. I think Ullmark has largely been fine, numbers impacted by a lousy Edmonton game that wasn't all his fault. They can't do anything roster-wise with him unless he gets hurt.

I would've thought the original plan was for Swayman to hold down the fort as backup until Rask was ready, but the big what-if is what if Swayman is the #1 at the time Rask is ready?
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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From Friedman's 32 Thoughts:



I'm interested to see how this all shakes out. Do they carry 3 goalies? Send Swayman down? If Swayman keeps it up for another month, do they tell Rask no-thanks?

I don't think Rask's return is imminent, but he has been skating/working out at Warrior so he's not terribly far away either. Swayman has settled in and the small sample, inexperience tag drops a bit with each passing start. I think Ullmark has largely been fine, numbers impacted by a lousy Edmonton game that wasn't all his fault. They can't do anything roster-wise with him unless he gets hurt.

I would've thought the original plan was for Swayman to hold down the fort as backup until Rask was ready, but the big what-if is what if Swayman is the #1 at the time Rask is ready?
Could they trade Ullmark or does he make too much money?
 

cshea

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Could they trade Ullmark or does he make too much money?
Ullmark's got a no-move. If Rask is in their plans, I suspect it'll only be for the end of this year. He's 34 and coming off major surgery. Goalies tend to age better than skaters so maybe he has more left in the tank than your typical 34 year old, but they can just kick that decision out to the offseason.

Swayman has another year left on his ELC so he's the goalie with some roster flexibility. Ullmark is here no matter what. The *problem* in the Rask scenario is if Swayman takes over the top job, they don't really need Rask. So I guess my question is, if come mid-December, Swayman is still the #1 and it's Rask decision time, do they tell Rask no thanks? Go with a 3-goalie tandem? That's fairly unheard of, and tough to manage. The Rangers did it during Lundqvist's last season, rotating him with Georgiev and Shesterkin. It wasn't ideal, it's hard to find enough net for everyone someone will be grumpy.

Given his Bruins-or-nobody stance, I would think Rask got some assurances from the team that they'd bring him back when he was healthy, otherwise why would he go through the whole surgery and rehab thing? At least in terms of getting back into hockey shape, not just getting the surgery for comfort of living.
 

cshea

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Of course, but trading goalies is hard and he's got a $5 million cap hit and half the league is in LTIR so it'll be hard to move salary.

I don't think there's anything wrong with Ullmark, either. He has been brought in to be the bridge to Swayman. They didn't commit a ton of years to Ullmark, only 4. Swayman's ELC runs through next season so the cap hit is manageable, and goalies typically don't quickly escalate in salary so through the life of Ullmark's contract there shouldn't be cap pressure. They also don't like to overwork goalies so either way it's going to be close to a 50/50 split in games played.

I guess what I'm getting at, as much as it pains me as a Tuukka guy, I think they might be better off telling him no thanks. I've been caustious with buying too much into Swayman, but again, with each passing game he's shedding the inexperienced tag and looking more and more like a viable, NHL goalie. I don't see a 3 headed monster working, and it may not be in the best interest of the team to send Swayman down to accomodate Rask.

I think what the team should do over the next 3 weeks or so is ride Swayman a bit and not shelter him. Thus far it's primarily been Ullmark against the good teams and Swayman against the bad teams. If the schedule allows, flip that for a few weeks and build some more data on Swayman. If he's still a .920 guy and holding down the fort, I don't see the need for Rask.
 

Jordu

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I see your point, @cshea, but it’s hard for me to imagine the Bruins working with Rask throughout his rehab and then, when he’s ready, saying “been nice working with you.” If Rask gets into playing shape & Swayman and Ullmark stay healthy, then Swayman goes to Providence when Rask gets back.

Swayman is proving himself to be a good rookie NHL goalie but you want to go into the end of the season and (we hope) playoffs with the best goalie you have, and that’s Rask. Swayman spends his time in Providence keeping sharp in case Rask or Ullmark get hurt.

Two seasons ago Rask was an All-Star who led the league in GAA and was second in save percentage. I’m expecting a repaired Rask to be an elite goalie.
 

Myt1

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I see your point, @cshea, but it’s hard for me to imagine the Bruins working with Rask throughout his rehab and then, when he’s ready, saying “been nice working with you.” If Rask gets into playing shape & Swayman and Ullmark stay healthy, then Swayman goes to Providence when Rask gets back.

Swayman is proving himself to be a good rookie NHL goalie but you want to go into the end of the season and (we hope) playoffs with the best goalie you have, and that’s Rask. Swayman spends his time in Providence keeping sharp in case Rask or Ullmark get hurt.

Two seasons ago Rask was an All-Star who led the league in GAA and was second in save percentage. I’m expecting a repaired Rask to be an elite goalie.
In each of six of the past seven seasons Rask was roughly a league average starting goalie whose primary elite skill was consistency from year to year. His combined stats over that period of time rank near the top of the heap because he seems to be subject to less variability than other NHL goalies (my guess is that the Bruins’s reasonably strong team possession and defense over that period of time have a fair amount to do with his consistency, especially when you look at how good his backups’ stats have been).

And now he’s quite a bit older and coming off of a hip labrum tear.

If someone has a good argument for why we should expect Rask to be an elite goalie relative to other goalies in this particular half year, I’m all ears. Because that just doesn’t seem to be supported by the data. He’s certainly capable of it. But why isn’t he more likely to be the roughly .915 save percentage guy he largely has been over a longer period of time, instead of the two season ago All-Star?
 
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burstnbloom

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Fluto tries to answer that exact question.

View: https://twitter.com/flutoshinzawa/status/1461391085075419141?s=21



After crunching the numbers from the Bruins’ 13 games this season and Rask’s performance from the two previous seasons, Clear Sight Analytics determined that the 2013 Vezina Trophy winner’s goals saved above expectation would be 1.99 goals better than Swayman’s and 1.22 goals higher than Ullmark’s. The latter result factors how Rask would have fared, in all likelihood, against Edmonton and Toronto, two of the flammable opponents Ullmark drew.
In Swayman’s case, a 1.99-goal delta may not seem like much over seven starts. It’s difficult to say, in other words, if the Bruins would have won either of the two games Swayman lost (6-3 to Philadelphia, 3-0 to Carolina) had Rask been in net.
But by projecting similar performance for Swayman over 56 games, which would be a reasonable workload for Rask, the goals saved above expectation would swell to 15.92 goals.
In the analytics community, the belief is that two goals saved above expectation equal one point in the standings. In this simulation, then, a Rask-for-Swayman full-season swap would net the Bruins approximately eight points. In 2018-19, the NHL’s most recent 82-game season, the Bruins finished with 107 points. Carolina, the first wild-card entry, had 99.
 

TheRealness

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In each of six of the past seven seasons Rask was roughly a league average starting goalie whose primary elite skill was consistency from year to year. His combined stats over that period of time rank near the top of the heap because he seems to be subject to less variability than other NHL goalies (my guess is that the Bruins’s reasonably strong team possession and defense over that period of time have a fair amount to do with his consistency, especially when you look at how good his backups’ stats have been).

And now he’s quite a bit older and coming off of a hip labrum tear.

If someone has a good argument for why we should expect Rask to be an elite goalie relative to other goalies in this particular half year, I’m all ears. Because that just doesn’t seem to be supported by the data. He’s certainly capable of it. But why isn’t he more likely to be the roughly .915 save percentage guy he largely has been over a longer period of time, instead of the two season ago All-Star?
Fluto obviously shows a much more objective and stat based basis for his opinion, but to my entirely subjective eye test, I view the Bruins goalies when all healthy as Rask—>Swayman->Ullmark. Rask is so quiet in his movements, but is always in the right position, and almost never moving on most shots. That ability to get square to the shooter and stay “quiet” in his movements allows better rebound control, better angles, and overall a more consistent approach. Rask’s movement and quiet nature of his mechanics sort of cause folks to think he’s not as good as he is. He really is a HOF level goaltender to me, even though he makes so much of what he does easy.

Swayman is similar in some regards. He’s more aggressive than Rask, so some of his learning curve is adjusting to not being exploited by them moving the puck around on him. However, he’s also quiet in his movements, and most often set when the shot is coming. Again, this helps rebound control, and overall performance. He’s also very smart, and his reads are almost entirely excellent. I am a big fan of Swayman, and view him as the clear future in the Bruins net.

Ullmark…. He’s like Tim Thomas in some sense as he’s all over the place. I have seen him live twice now, and find he overplays himself, and is almost constantly moving when the shot is coming. This allows shooters to wrongfoot him, lessens his rebound control, and contributes to him over committing and playing himself out of the way. For example, he had a nice blocker save against Edmonton sitting on his ass, but he shouldn’t have been on his ass in the first place. He’s sometimes falling backwards, and on your ass is a bad place to be as a goalie in modern hockey. You need to fall forward (not backwards), and stay on top of your pads and skates. This allows you to recover quickly, which is necessary in today’s modern butterfly era. Ullmark just seems out of control a lot. Another thing I found curious was he doesn’t really get set until the team is in his zone. I feel this causes himself again to play himself out of position, which you saw a couple times in the Oilers game. He’s also very leaky. Shots get through his body that don’t on Rask and Swayman. This, to me, is because he’s not set and still moving on some shots, which makes you a little off balance and thus you become “leaky” as a goalie because you are not set.

Just my observations, and completely subjective, but to me Ullmark is the 3rd best goalie on the roster and it’s not close. That being said, if Rask comes back to full health, he’s the starter and Swayman will be in Providence. That has more to do with the Ullmark contract though, and my feeling that the Bruins (and myself) believe Rask is better than the other two.
 

lexrageorge

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There is a lot to be said for consistency in net, and Rask being consistently in the upper half of league goalies night-in, night-out was indeed valuable.

My problem, however, with Fluto's article is that it assumes October's Swayman is what we will see over the rest of the season, which I'm not at all convinced is correct. Young goalies can have early season growing pains, and he hasn't looked all that bad to me.

Hard for me to judge Ullmark, as his bad games coincided with the rest of the team ignoring defense. I do hate the NMC; no real reason to give those out to anyone except #1 defenseman and first line forwards. But that is not Ullmark's fault (other than the fact he asked for it, but I cannot blame him for that).
 

kenneycb

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Given he signed when the B's had Vladar and Swayman on the roster (or Vladar soon to be traded) and Rask waiting in the balance, I imagine the NMC in the first couple years was a pretty big component to him coming here. Total speculation but, given we're talking about it right now, I assume he and his agent could read the tea leaves as well.

Regarding Swayman, IIRC Fris said it takes something like 1.5K shots (don't remember the exact figure, may have been 1K or 2K) for goalie stats to stabilize. Swayman has faced 446 in his career so he still has a lot more to see. Good pedigree so we can project a bit but goalies are weird animals in multiple senses.
 

Myt1

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Yeah, it’s an awesome article (I started laughing when I got my email from The Athletic this morning). I have a little bit of suspicion about a stat that has the Bruins as 17th in team defense last year, but second so far this year, but it’s a great piece and good food for thought.

You obviously know more about this than I do; are you familiar with the stat that he is citing, and can you tell us any more about it? Has it shown good predictability from year to year, and in as small a sample as we’re looking at for this season (thinking BABIP normalizing over time, and some early advanced baseball defensive stats being wildly variable).
 

Myt1

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Fluto obviously shows a much more objective and stat based basis for his opinion, but to my entirely subjective eye test, I view the Bruins goalies when all healthy as Rask—>Swayman->Ullmark. Rask is so quiet in his movements, but is always in the right position, and almost never moving on most shots. That ability to get square to the shooter and stay “quiet” in his movements allows better rebound control, better angles, and overall a more consistent approach. Rask’s movement and quiet nature of his mechanics sort of cause folks to think he’s not as good as he is. He really is a HOF level goaltender to me, even though he makes so much of what he does easy.
Rask is absolutely a HoF goalie. The quietness and staying up on his edges are really, really incredible improvements that he made later in his career as the game adjusted a bit. When he’s rested and healthy, his discipline in staying in that form is incredible to watch. I don’t know shit about it, but there’s art in his economy of motion that’s not unlike watching a top fighter who uses distance and angles to avoid harm. To my eye, his puck handling also improved a fair amount over his career.
 

Myt1

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I’d be really interested to see the CSA data comparing Rask last season (when his more traditional stats were more in line with his longer but still recent history) to 2019-2020, when he played out of his mind in what seems—from the traditional stats—to have been a little bit of an outlier.

That’s not necessarily a “fair” comparison, given Rask’s primary and compensating injuries last year, but it would be useful in thinking about the statistic.

Anyone been on their site? Am I just an idiot for not being able to find that stuff, or is it private and proprietary?
 

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Rask is absolutely a HoF goalie. The quietness and staying up on his edges are really, really incredible improvements that he made later in his career as the game adjusted a bit. When he’s rested and healthy, his discipline in staying in that form is incredible to watch. I don’t know shit about it, but there’s art in his economy of motion that’s not unlike watching a top fighter who uses distance and angles to avoid harm. To my eye, his puck handling also improved a fair amount over his career.
I'm not familiar with it, but I enjoyed the article and thought it was timely for your post. I am a little skeptical about using historical data to project specific outcomes like this (if Rask faced Swayman or Ulmarks actual shots he would do X) but it could be that Fluto is being a bit surface level on how their model works and it holds up to scrutiny. I just don't know. I can say their model does use similar data to other models. EH has Rask as 21.5 GSAA and Moneypuck has him at 21.3 GSAE over the same time period that CSA has him at 25.8, so they are operating from a similar foundation. Hard to know what kind of real projection utility it has.

My guess is its a bit rosy. Those numbers are all bouyed by Rask's 2019-2020 season before he got hurt when he was roughly 17 GSAE. Is he that guy still at 34 after major surgery? I don't know. He was an above average goalie last year, though, and he could barely move, so there's a good chance its somewhat true that he'd be an upgrade.

One last thing - I see absolutely no downside to adding a guy like Rask if he's really a "cheap goalie." My thoughts on Ulmark have been hashed and reshashed. I don't mind the contract or the decision and most of his issues appear to be mechanical. The Bruins have a track record of significantly improving goalie mechanics with Goalie Bob an Mike Dunham, so I expect him to be fine to good for the life of the contract. He already "looks" like a better, calmer goaltender than he was a month ago in the preseason. I expect that to continue. It's hard to keep three goalies rolling but their March/April schedule is unusual and it actually shouldn't be that hard. Look at this mess.

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Myt1

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I'm not familiar with it, but I enjoyed the article and thought it was timely for your post. I am a little skeptical about using historical data to project specific outcomes like this (if Rask faced Swayman or Ulmarks actual shots he would do X) but it could be that Fluto is being a bit surface level on how their model works and it holds up to scrutiny. I just don't know. I can say their model does use similar data to other models. EH has Rask as 21.5 GSAA and Moneypuck has him at 21.3 GSAE over the same time period that CSA has him at 25.8, so they are operating from a similar foundation. Hard to know what kind of real projection utility it has.

My guess is its a bit rosy. Those numbers are all bouyed by Rask's 2019-2020 season before he got hurt when he was roughly 17 GSAE. Is he that guy still at 34 after major surgery? I don't know. He was an above average goalie last year, though, and he could barely move, so there's a good chance its somewhat true that he'd be an upgrade.
Thanks for the additional context. I appreciate it.
 

cshea

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Defense shakeup today. Looks like Zboril will stay in tomorrow (and it's deserved) and Grzelyck is back with McAvoy. Forbort-Carlo apparently a thing.

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
Hall - Coyle - Foligno
DeBrusk - Haula - Smith
Blidh - Nosek - Lazar

Grzelyck - McAvoy
Forbort - Carlo
Reilly - Zboril/Clifton

Zboril had another strong weekend, even in the Flames game. Still at 67% xGF% with 5 games played and 78 5x5 minutes. He deserves to stay in.

Then things go sideways. Clifton is the collateral damage to Zboril's mini-breakout. This is unfair. Clifton has been pretty good overall, victimized by some bad luck (.901 PDO due in part to a .843 on ice save percentage). The Bruins have a 78-56 scoring chance advantage with Clifton on the ice. Sure he can make dumb decisions that lead to chances against, but overall he hasn't been a problem. Meanwhile the 2 lugs on the backend, Forbort and Carlo are getting paired together. The Bruins are getting outchanced 113-88 with Carlo on the ice and 95-83 when Forbort is on the ice. Both have sub 50% xGF%. I pity the forwards that get stuck on the ice with this pairing. They've played 33 minutes together this year and goals are 4-0 for Boston but the underlyings don't support that differential (once ice shooting percentage is almost 18%) and they will likely get caved in.
 

burstnbloom

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Defense shakeup today. Looks like Zboril will stay in tomorrow (and it's deserved) and Grzelyck is back with McAvoy. Forbort-Carlo apparently a thing.

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
Hall - Coyle - Foligno
DeBrusk - Haula - Smith
Blidh - Nosek - Lazar

Grzelyck - McAvoy
Forbort - Carlo
Reilly - Zboril/Clifton

Zboril had another strong weekend, even in the Flames game. Still at 67% xGF% with 5 games played and 78 5x5 minutes. He deserves to stay in.

Then things go sideways. Clifton is the collateral damage to Zboril's mini-breakout. This is unfair. Clifton has been pretty good overall, victimized by some bad luck (.901 PDO due in part to a .843 on ice save percentage). The Bruins have a 78-56 scoring chance advantage with Clifton on the ice. Sure he can make dumb decisions that lead to chances against, but overall he hasn't been a problem. Meanwhile the 2 lugs on the backend, Forbort and Carlo are getting paired together. The Bruins are getting outchanced 113-88 with Carlo on the ice and 95-83 when Forbort is on the ice. Both have sub 50% xGF%. I pity the forwards that get stuck on the ice with this pairing. They've played 33 minutes together this year and goals are 4-0 for Boston but the underlyings don't support that differential (once ice shooting percentage is almost 18%) and they will likely get caved in.
Do not like. I want to see Zboril play with Carlo and see if he's finally become something. Put Forbort on the right with Reilly - he's done it before.

Also - its time to put Smith back with Hall and Coyle. Sometimes I really wish Cassidy was a bit more analytically minded. It's hard to argue with his results but that second line was HILARIOUSLY unlucky and should be given another shot. Foligno is dragging them down. Hall and Coyle are both below average finishers. They need a shot on their line and Smith is tradtionally that. It was working, they just got unlucky. 82% on ice SV% and a .866 PDO is due for a massive positive regression.


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cshea

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I was going to mention Smith/Foligno too but got too mad at the Forbort - Carlo thing that I forgot.

I think on the whole Butch is pretty good analytically. The Grzelyck thing is enfurating (for fucks sake, leave him with McAvoy) but on the whole he gets it right. I actually think my problem with Butch is in the playoffs he kind of leans in on the analytics when you can't really do that in a short series. In the Islanders series last year, the Bruins dominated analytically but not on the scoreboard. He was content on playing it out and hoping the scoreboard results would catch up to the analytical results. Can't really do that in the postseason, and he didn't try any adjustments until it was too late. Foligno/Smith is kind of a reverse of that. He's got the runway to let Hall/Coyle/Smith regress to the mean but isn't going there.

Forbort - Carlo just makes no sense from an analytical or eye test standpoint. They should only be together on the PK. At even strength, I don't see how that pair is going to get the puck out of their own end. It's going to be a parade of pucks chipped out off the glass.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Might have to Prime order some rawhide to chew on for tomorrow night's game, that is going to be an absolutely dreadful pairing to watch. Big +1 to getting Smith back on line 2, I like that Foligno is willing to take abuse and get in the crease to spark shit, but he just doesn't seem to add much at even-strength.
 

burstnbloom

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I was going to mention Smith/Foligno too but got too mad at the Forbort - Carlo thing that I forgot.

I think on the whole Butch is pretty good analytically. The Grzelyck thing is enfurating (for fucks sake, leave him with McAvoy) but on the whole he gets it right. I actually think my problem with Butch is in the playoffs he kind of leans in on the analytics when you can't really do that in a short series. In the Islanders series last year, the Bruins dominated analytically but not on the scoreboard. He was content on playing it out and hoping the scoreboard results would catch up to the analytical results. Can't really do that in the postseason, and he didn't try any adjustments until it was too late. Foligno/Smith is kind of a reverse of that. He's got the runway to let Hall/Coyle/Smith regress to the mean but isn't going there.

Forbort - Carlo just makes no sense from an analytical or eye test standpoint. They should only be together on the PK. At even strength, I don't see how that pair is going to get the puck out of their own end. It's going to be a parade of pucks chipped out off the glass.
Sure - I was being a bit unfair. It just seems really obvious that this team needs the second line to be a strength, they showed themselves to be one (albeit in limited ice time) and now he's not putting them back together when all the numbers say they should.

My hope with Forbort and Carlo is he plays them mostly with Nosek or Haula against a top 6 line. Foligno with Haula would work for this as well because he's so good defensively. If they just want to shut a team down, Carlo is the king of zero events. He's been really bad this year but we have a lot of sample with him that he's just a vaccum in the defensive zone. If Forbort cam mimic that a little maybe we just play that 20 minutes of the game to a draw. We know Bergeron and McAvoy are going to win their matchups most of the time. I can see a scenario where its helpful. Carlo just needs to go back to being himself and not doing his best Forbort impression.
 

Myt1

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I wonder whether Carlo is consciously or unconsciously worried about contact catching him by surprise when he’s retrieving the puck. His decision making and vision have been inexplicable at times—handling the puck like a hand grenade.
 

burstnbloom

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I wonder whether Carlo is consciously or unconsciously worried about contact catching him by surprise when he’s retrieving the puck. His decision making and vision have been inexplicable at times—handling the puck like a hand grenade.
He had some quotes about this in training camp that gives credence to this possibility. There is something going on, that's for sure. I usually like, don't love, Carlo's game. There's something to be said for a guy who just erases anything exciting from happening but this year he's only erasing Bruin's offense. Something is up.
 

cshea

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If he can't erase opponents offense, he essentially becomes Tinordi with no fighting.

$4.1 million for 5 more years.
 

burstnbloom

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If he can't erase opponents offense, he essentially becomes Tinordi with no fighting.

$4.1 million for 5 more years.
I get what you’re trying to say but I’m just going to take this moment to remind the class that tinordi had a 33% xG last year and was the worst player I’ve ever seen. We must not invoke his name.
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

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Butch is sending Haula and DeBrusk to the 9th floor for Sunday night‘s game against the Canucks. I’m glad to see him shake things up but that bottom 6 of Foligno-Frederic-Kuhlman and Blidh-Nosek-Lazar won’t get it done long-term.

Smith back to L2, which is better than Foligno. Hoping that line will catch fire - Smith looks primed for a scoring run. Would love to see Pasta and Smith flip for a few shifts to see if those combos click. The squad needs more high danger chances.

 

burstnbloom

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I find it frustrating that he’s scratching Debrusk who has been fine to good. Lazar and Blidh have been insanely buried since playing with Haula but they’ve been pretty bad regardless.