2021-2022 Bruins Season Thread

burstnbloom

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Or another somewhat older fellow Czech. :(
Alas, it is too late. Also Hertl is a pipe dream as they have very few assets to trade. He does have a 3 team NTC and he and Pasta are good friends, so lets hope for a miracle.

I've been mostly "ok" about the second line with Coyle. They aren't scoring enough but they are playing decent hockey but its borderline. To downgrade it with a guy who has been legitimately horrible this year is crazy to me.
 

LogansDad

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I don't necessarily think they need to punt the season, but at this point they need to stop being picky and move DeBrusk for whatever futures they can get. Anything can happen in the playoffs, but it's unlikely that whatever NHL caliber dreck they can pry off of another team isn't going to be the difference maker, so I think their best bet on Jake is a mid-round draft pick/flier prospect type combo. The salary relief would also give them room to sign Rask, with the added benefit of making some room for one of the kids to get some regular PT, though the chances of them fucking that mess up sit at around 85% at this point.

Also, this might sound crazy, but if they have discussions with Bergeron and he is leaning toward retirement at the end of the season, I would absolutely look into trade partners for Marchand. Marchand is an incredible player, but I think, maybe more than any other wing in the league, a lot of how awesome he is comes from his chemistry with Bergeron. This would definitely be a "punting on this season move", obviously, but outside of Pasta and McAvoy, who aren't going anywhere, I think Marchand has the best chance of bringing back something that might right the future of this team.

Man, what happened? Two years ago I thought they looked set up great for a half a decade long future run, and none of the prospects turned into NHL contributors.
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

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At this point anything that tries to redistribute talent/goal scoring is worth trying.

Flipping Pasta and Smith is a good start - strengthens the 2nd line and the 1st line should adapt well enough.

Pairing Hall and Pasta - great - they push the pace, Hall is a playmaker, Pasta is a finisher.

Swapping Coyle and Haula - eh, we’ll see. I think the idea is that Haula showed some spark when he was promoted to the 2L before and that he will play with pace. That line will be fast. Will it work? Maybe (Would I rather try Studnicka - Yes).

If it doesn’t, Coyle can move back to 2C (or they can try Studnicka, or trade for a new C).

Debrusk/Coyle/Foligno is a cycle and possession line. Not flashy but may be effective. Might open some opportunities for the 1st and 2nd lines by sustaining pressure.

And we all know that Cassidy will put Marchy/Bergeron/Pasta on the ice whenever he feels the need.
 

cshea

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I don't necessarily think they need to punt the season, but at this point they need to stop being picky and move DeBrusk for whatever futures they can get. Anything can happen in the playoffs, but it's unlikely that whatever NHL caliber dreck they can pry off of another team isn't going to be the difference maker, so I think their best bet on Jake is a mid-round draft pick/flier prospect type combo. The salary relief would also give them room to sign Rask, with the added benefit of making some room for one of the kids to get some regular PT, though the chances of them fucking that mess up sit at around 85% at this point.

Also, this might sound crazy, but if they have discussions with Bergeron and he is leaning toward retirement at the end of the season, I would absolutely look into trade partners for Marchand. Marchand is an incredible player, but I think, maybe more than any other wing in the league, a lot of how awesome he is comes from his chemistry with Bergeron. This would definitely be a "punting on this season move", obviously, but outside of Pasta and McAvoy, who aren't going anywhere, I think Marchand has the best chance of bringing back something that might right the future of this team.

Man, what happened? Two years ago I thought they looked set up great for a half a decade long future run, and none of the prospects turned into NHL contributors.
In short, they got old. They lost Krejci without replacing him and the UFA skaters have been horrible. Toss in a Pastrnak shooting slump and here we are.

I don't really think there's much they should do this year other than ride it out and hope for internal improvement. They were really really good at the end of last season and in the playoffs. They currently have basically the same team minus Krejci (obviously a big minus there) and what should be better bottom-6 guys. Theoretically Haula and Foligno are better than Kuraly and Ritchie. They haven't shown it yet, maybe they never will. So, I think there's still a good team in there somewhere they just have to coax it out. Maybe this long break is what they needed and they look at it like a new season beginning.

They have to clear the DeBrusk mess up, but I don't think that'll happen until closer to the deadline. There's no one move sitting out there that woudl magically transform them. Hertl would be nice but he's pricey (I'm not trading what few future assets we have) and San Jose is a point out of a playoff spot. At the end of the year, regardless of Bergy's decision, they need to figure out the center position. It's why I've been beating the Studnicka drum all season. I'd like to get a bona fide sample on him as an NHL center. If he stinks, he stinks and they go one route. If he holds his own or succeeds, they go another route. Either way, they'll have more information and can plan accordingly. I don't want to just pencil him in after a reportedly up and down Providence year and hope for the best.
 

burstnbloom

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In short, they got old. They lost Krejci without replacing him and the UFA skaters have been horrible. Toss in a Pastrnak shooting slump and here we are.

I don't really think there's much they should do this year other than ride it out and hope for internal improvement. They were really really good at the end of last season and in the playoffs. They currently have basically the same team minus Krejci (obviously a big minus there) and what should be better bottom-6 guys. Theoretically Haula and Foligno are better than Kuraly and Ritchie. They haven't shown it yet, maybe they never will. So, I think there's still a good team in there somewhere they just have to coax it out. Maybe this long break is what they needed and they look at it like a new season beginning.

They have to clear the DeBrusk mess up, but I don't think that'll happen until closer to the deadline. There's no one move sitting out there that woudl magically transform them. Hertl would be nice but he's pricey (I'm not trading what few future assets we have) and San Jose is a point out of a playoff spot. At the end of the year, regardless of Bergy's decision, they need to figure out the center position. It's why I've been beating the Studnicka drum all season. I'd like to get a bona fide sample on him as an NHL center. If he stinks, he stinks and they go one route. If he holds his own or succeeds, they go another route. Either way, they'll have more information and can plan accordingly. I don't want to just pencil him in after a reportedly up and down Providence year and hope for the best.
Stud also requires waivers next year so he really needs to get 'his shot' this season.
 

LogansDad

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Steen has a goal and 2 assists through a period and a half today. I’d like to get him a bona fide look too.
I think that's a big part of the issue, too, is that every year there are guys who "deserve a real shot" and every year they end up filling the roster with bottom six guys who block them. Not many minor leaguers step right in as a top-6/top-2 player, and none of them have had the opportunity to develop as an NHLer because we are stuck watching guys like Haula/Ritchie etc. Obviously, the "plan" for the last few years has been to maximize the end of the Bergy/Chara/Rask/Krejci window, but there doesn't appear to be a clear plan after that.
 

kenneycb

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I think that's a big part of the issue, too, is that every year there are guys who "deserve a real shot" and every year they end up filling the roster with bottom six guys who block them. Not many minor leaguers step right in as a top-6/top-2 player, and none of them have had the opportunity to develop as an NHLer because we are stuck watching guys like Haula/Ritchie etc. Obviously, the "plan" for the last few years has been to maximize the end of the Bergy/Chara/Rask/Krejci window, but there doesn't appear to be a clear plan after that.
But there haven’t been any that deserve to stay once they get their shot. If there were they would’ve done something either with their shot on the Bruins or elsewhere. Outside of Reilly Smith, everyone that’s left has continued to be mediocre to bad.
 

durandal1707

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Also, this might sound crazy, but if they have discussions with Bergeron and he is leaning toward retirement at the end of the season, I would absolutely look into trade partners for Marchand. Marchand is an incredible player, but I think, maybe more than any other wing in the league, a lot of how awesome he is comes from his chemistry with Bergeron. This would definitely be a "punting on this season move", obviously, but outside of Pasta and McAvoy, who aren't going anywhere, I think Marchand has the best chance of bringing back something that might right the future of this team.

Man, what happened? Two years ago I thought they looked set up great for a half a decade long future run, and none of the prospects turned into NHL contributors.
I'm 100% on board with a potential Marchand trade, assuming they get full value for him. He's 33 and has a few years left on his contract, so he's a bit too old to help with a future rebuild of this team but still has enough gas in the tank that there should be huge demand for him around the league as a premier all-situations winger. He should easily fetch a 1st and a decent prospect. Also maybe his departure would help with this team's officiating problem. I would miss him, but this team really needs to start building its future.

I gotta agree with what a lot of folks here have said, though. I do not want the Sweeney regime handling any sort of rebuild. There should be a complete house cleaning done IMO, down to the scouting and development staff. This team can't keep going forward while comically undervaluing goalscoring skill at all levels.

As for "what happened?" Apologies if I'm repeating myself, but 2019 was the worse thing to happen to this team. They've been a middling 2nd round team for all of Cassidy's time behind the bench, they just got a couple of extremely lucky draws in the 2019 playoff bracket. It convinced them that they were much closer to true "contender" status than they were, and since then there's been a parade of marginal-at-best "upgrades" that have left the team in its current state.
 

cshea

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2.94 xGF at 5x5 on Saturday, 3.28 xGF on Sunday. The only games with higher xGF this year were game 2 @ Philly and the OTL against Tampa a few weeks back.

They finally got chances inside in high danger areas. Voila. Smith bangs a rebound in, Foligno bangs a rebound in, Hall from the low slot, Coyle from the mid-slot, Bergy from the doorstep, Haula snipe from the low left circle, McAvoy in close, Frederic rebound in close, Nosek in close. That's really the name of the game. It's just a matter of if they can do it consistently. The defense and goaltending will be there, but can they generate enough of these high danger chances?
 

burstnbloom

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2.94 xGF at 5x5 on Saturday, 3.28 xGF on Sunday. The only games with higher xGF this year were game 2 @ Philly and the OTL against Tampa a few weeks back.

They finally got chances inside in high danger areas. Voila. Smith bangs a rebound in, Foligno bangs a rebound in, Hall from the low slot, Coyle from the mid-slot, Bergy from the doorstep, Haula snipe from the low left circle, McAvoy in close, Frederic rebound in close, Nosek in close. That's really the name of the game. It's just a matter of if they can do it consistently. The defense and goaltending will be there, but can they generate enough of these high danger chances?
It reminds you of the light switch turning on last year. They were one of the worst teams in the league at generating high danger opportunities for the first 30 games and the best team in the league the last 20. It's only 2 games so far, but encouraging to see them work the way we want them to work and get rewarded for it.
 

durandal1707

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Very small samples against terrible competition alert, but comparing new lines with old lines:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak: 65.6% xGF, 61.5% HDCF
Marchand-Bergeron-Smith: 86.3% xGF, 80% HDCF

Hall-Coyle-Smith: 51.6% xGF, 46.2% HDCF
Hall-Coyle-Pastrnak: 70.8% xGF, 63.6% HDCF
Hall-Haula-Pastrnak: 55.2% xGF, 40% HDCF

DeBrusk-Haula-Foligno: 53% xGF, 75% HDCF
DeBrusk-Coyle-Foligno: 39.2% xGF, 50% HDCF

I keep rolling with Smith on line 1 and Pasta on line 2 for sure. I'm starting to think that Coyle just has anti-chemistry with DeBrusk (39.7% xGF together). The sample is miniscule on Hall-Coyle-Pastrnak (about 34 minutes TOI) but I would keep sending them out on oZone draws and see if there's something going there. DeBrusk-Haula-Foligno looks mediocre in expected goals but they generated a good number of high-danger chances.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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I do wonder about how much the loss of baby Pasta is impacting 88. I have, fortunately, never had to deal with that, but I can imagine the impact that it is having on DPs game. There is no book/timetable as to when he will "be better", whatever that means for him.
 

burstnbloom

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Steen plays great again. Cassidy says he's forcing them to make a decision. They send him back to Rhode Island.
 

cshea

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FWIW, I think Pasta’s been fine. His underlying shot and chances numbers are in line with his career. His shooting percentage is 6.7% and he’s been about a 14% shooter in his career. Much like Taylor Hall last season, the percentage should positively regress.
 

cshea

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Steen plays great again. Cassidy says he's forcing them to make a decision. They send him back to Rhode Island.
Did they? Didn’t see an announcement. They could be papering him up and down for cap purposes. Kuhlman is in the protocol so they’ll have to do something when he comes back. Agreed that Steen should be a regular right now.
 

cshea

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DeBrusk will miss tonight and Thursday. He should be out of protocol on Friday and play Saturday.

On the plus side, this kinda forces them to give Steen an extended run with Coyle and Foligno. Also, Cassidy said Steen was playing regardless of DeBrusk's status. He said Oskar has earned it.
 
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Zososoxfan

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I don't follow the league nearly as close as the rest of this crew, but did protocols change at all in line with the CDC with Omicron now the dominant variant?
 

cshea

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Rask is going to practice all week and then they'll make a decision on Providence for this weekend. Providence is home on Friday and Sunday.

Guessing he'll sign an ATO to play in Providence then the Boston contract comes when he's ready to play for Boston.
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

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After another strong outing by the 4th line Covid rears its ugly head. Nosek joins the protocol group.

Oh and Fluto tweets that he’s hearing it’ll be a 1 year deal for Tuuka. I wonder if it will be a Chara-like incentives based deal that rolls cap consequences into the following year.

 

Salem's Lot

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After another strong outing by the 4th line Covid rears its ugly head. Nosek joins the protocol group.

Oh and Fluto tweets that he’s hearing it’ll be a 1 year deal for Tuuka. I wonder if it will be a Chara-like incentives based deal that rolls cap consequences into the following year.

I think that it would have to be 35+ contract to allow for bonuses to be rolled into next year. Tuukka doesn’t turn 35 until March.
 

cshea

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I'll have to do some digging, but I'm pretty sure it'd still count as 35+. IIRC, it's not age at time of signing it's age you turn in the year you sign. At least that's how it works with ELC's and the entry level slide.
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

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Cap friendly’s FAQ suggests that performance bonuses won’t be available - so if it’s a 1 year contract for Rask the whole kit and kaboodle would count against the current cap. Oh well.

What is a Performance Bonus?
A Performance Bonus can be given to a player in addition to their salary. Performance bonuses are only paid to the player if they meet the requirements as defined by the bonus. Performance bonuses count against the salary cap; however, a team can exceed the salary cap due to performance bonuses by the maximum performance bonus cushion amount of 7.5 percent of the upper limit. Not all players are eligible for Performance Bonuses, and to receive a bonus within their contract, a player must meet one of the following criteria:
  1. The player is on an entry-level contract.
  2. The player has signed a one-year contract and is over 35 years old.
  3. The player has signed a one-year contract after returning from a long-term injury (has played 400 or more games, and spent 100 or more days on the Injured Reserve in the last year of their most recent contract).
What is a 35-plus contract?
A contract is designated a 35+ contract if the players age on the first year of the contract is 35 or older (as of June 30 prior to the year of the effective contract).

35+ contracts that are two years in length or longer and:
1. Have a signing bonus in the 2nd or later year, OR
2. Are front-loaded
Will not benefit from a reduced cap hit regardless of the players location of play, termination, retired status, or a buyout. This rule was introduced by the NHL to prevent teams from backloading contracts past when the player was expected to retire. An exception to this rule is that a team will receive a $100,000 cap hit reduction if the player is on the 2nd or later year of the contract and assigned to the minors
 

cshea

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One year for Rask makes sense. Swayman seems to belong, I don't see how a 3 goalie rotation works for another year. Swayman is waivers exempt for another 29 games so they could leave him down there next year and roll with Rask/Ullmark but I'd rather have the cheaper Swayman up and use the cap savings elsewhere.

To be honest, even as a Rask guy, I'm not too enthused by bringing him back this year. I'd rather just roll with what they've got and use the money somewhere else. It feels like they kind of backed themselves in to this position where they kinda have to bring him back. They were scared off by having 2 rookies so they signed Ullmark and traded Vladar, but also told Rask there's net if he wants it when he's healthy. Turns out an Ullmark/Swayman tandem is fine. The one extenuating circumstance is the heavy schedule which may actually call for 3 goalies.
 

LogansDad

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I agree with you completely. I am a huge Rask fan, and, Cup or not, think he was one of the 3 -5 best goalies of the 2010's, but he's 35 coming off a significant injury, and the goalie situation is working really well. Feels like a "fix something that ain't broke" kind of deal to me, as I don't think Swayman (who is the future) benefits at all from being in the minors. It would be a different story if Ullmark had taken over as the clear #1 to the detriment of Swayman's playing time, but I don't really think that has happened.
 

Scoops Bolling

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One thing to keep in mind is that neither Swayman or Ullmark have ever played a full NHL season, let alone one including the playoffs. Swayman's never played more than 35 games in a year, his college workload. Ullmark had a couple bigger stints in the AHL (55 and 44 games in 16-17 and 17-18 respectively) but has never appeared in even 40 NHL games in a season. Adding Rask into the mix helps ensure neither of the new guys gets worn down, which is particularly helpful given the COVID situation. If he plays well and says he wants to keep playing, that's something the team can figure out in the offseason, but I don't see a real downside to being able to add Rask into the mix this year.
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

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Hey is this new guy any good? Tuukka signed his PTO, will start for Providence tomorrow. With 53 games left in the Bruins season the B’s will have lots of choices on how to divide the workload.

The buzz has been that he’d have a conditioning stint over the weekend and if all goes well, get him on the senior squad asap.

From Jan 12-24 the Bruins have seven straight home games (followed by 3 out of 4 on the road, and then the great non-Olympics schedule fill-in begins).

(Love the old pics).

 

MiracleOfO2704

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One thing to keep in mind is that neither Swayman or Ullmark have ever played a full NHL season, let alone one including the playoffs. Swayman's never played more than 35 games in a year, his college workload. Ullmark had a couple bigger stints in the AHL (55 and 44 games in 16-17 and 17-18 respectively) but has never appeared in even 40 NHL games in a season. Adding Rask into the mix helps ensure neither of the new guys gets worn down, which is particularly helpful given the COVID situation. If he plays well and says he wants to keep playing, that's something the team can figure out in the offseason, but I don't see a real downside to being able to add Rask into the mix this year.
I’ll give you one: if they keep all three up in Boston, you’re going to likely screw with Swayman’s development. It’s not likely he gets enough games behind the Scandinavians in a close race for the wild card, and he needs to see NHL-calibre shooting, and lots of it.
 

cshea

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Cassidy talked a little about this today. He said they've already talked to Ullmark and Swayman about the situation with Rask coming aboard and "nobody walked out of the room." Essentially, they'll figure it out as they go. Swayman has the waiver exemption but it isn't a guarantee he goes down. He'll play if they think he gives them the best chance to win. They also don't want him sitting too long. My guess is they roll the 3 in some way. Swayman will be shuttled back and forth with the taxi squad which gets his cap off the books and allows him to practice in the NHL. If Rask/Ullmark are hot and Swayman starts getting squeezed out of starts, then he'll go to Providence to get games in.

I still think this them fixing somethign that isn't broken, to steal LogansDad's phrase.
 

cshea

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Rask says he feels good, only needs a game or two in Providence and should be with Boston next week. He probably wouldn't have gotten the surgery if he retired.

Contract appears worked out, he's not looking for money. Said he gets along great with Ullmark and Swayman and is just looking to help out.
 

Dummy Hoy

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I think Rask is the only goaltender of the three that currently can steal a game/series. That alone makes it worth the signing IMO

Swayman (who I'm very bullish on) and Ulmark (who is growing on me) still need to show me they can take that next step...to me, this isn't the year for that.
 

durandal1707

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I'm still trying to figure out what Cassidy sees in this particular line combination.

Hall-Haula-Pastrnak: 36:28 TOI, 84% oZone Faceoffs, 1.23 xGF to 1.06 xGA (53.7%), 5 HDCF to 5 HDCA (50%), 19 SCF to 13 SCA (59.38%), 31 CF to 25 CA (55.36%)

You've got a Richard trophy winner and another winger who is at the very least above average and giving them a massive number of offensive zone draws and... this is it? Over 7 minutes per 5v5 HDCF. Please try Hall-Coyle-Pastrnak again, please.
 

TSC

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Interesting article by Ty Anderson with some pretty blunt quotes from Krejci about Cassidy's reluctance to break up the first line in seasons past.

https://985thesportshub.com/2022/01/07/ex-bruins-center-david-krejci-has-an-issue-with-the-2021-22-bruins/

“Coach Cassidy rarely let the two of us play together,” Krejci said (huge shoutout to Twitter friend Bořivoj Jarek for the translation). “It must have been something to split the first line and give Pasta to me. It was a maximum of two matches.

“After years, I leave Boston and suddenly it is possible. That surprised me. [Cassidy] always told me that he had no reason to take Pasta off the first line and that it would be as short as possible to dismantle the forces. I had to take it. But now Pasta has five or so many matches on the line with Taylor Hall and Erik Haula. Strange.”
 

cshea

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I don't know. They played 325 minutes together at 5x5 over the last 2 seasons. That isn't a ton, but it's not nothing. They also weren't very good together, 45% xGF%.

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak has been the best line in hockey for like 5 years running. There's been no real reason to split it up for long stretches. the only reason is to lengthen the lineup but again, Krejci and Pastrnak didn't really play well together in a reasonable sample size.
 

burstnbloom

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Agreed. It's long been known that Krejci wanted to play with Pasta but they just weren't that effective together.