2022-23 Bruins Season

cshea

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This is a great question. I also wonder if shifting the workload to 100% would negatively impact Ullmark too. Probably not, but it's a variable that doesn't exist now. I think I'm in favor of this approach, and would guess that Ullmark and Swayman are the right duo to do it with.

What a good problem to have. "Both are goalies are playing too well to sit."
It's essentially what they've done all year. Ullmark has 42 starts to Swayman's 27. A lot of the difference is from early in they year when Swayman got off to a bumpy start and then missed 3 weeks with an injury. Since Swayman returned on 11/19 the workload has been 29 appearances for Ullmark and 26 for Swayman. They've been in this every other rhythym since essentially Thanksgiving. It's clearly working as one is going to win the Vezina in all likelihood and the other hasn't given up a goal in a few games. I don't really see the need to stop doing it so long as both guys are performing at their current level. It's part of what has made them so successful this year, why not take advantage of having two good goalies and keeping them as fresh as possible?

I just don't recall a team wilfully rotating in the playoffs so as I said it'd be against conventional wisdom. Teams have won Cups using multiple goalies but it's typically injury related.
 

TSC

SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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It's a good problem to have - to be sure.

I wouldn't mind starting each series Ull then Sway - and then riding whoever looks more dialed in against that specific opponent. But there's a reason I'm not the coach of the Bruins and instead am just some random commenter on a messageboard.
 

joe dokes

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Anothing thing I've considered for a few years now is rotating goalies in the playoffs. As it stands, Ullmark and Swayman have essentially been alternating games. The last time either played two in a row was Ullmark on 2/16 and 2/18. Is there any reason not to keep alternating them? It depends on where you look but essentially both of them are top 10 goalies right now. In all situations, NST has Ullmark as the top goalie by goals saved above expected. Swayman is 10th.

The conventional wisdom is to pick a guy and go but I don't really see a reason to stop doing one of the things that has made both guys so successful this season.
The absence of back-to-back in the playoffs takes one "normal" reason for rotation off the table. I'm not sure I can remember a true playoff goalie rotation.* (As opposed to trying to "shake things up" or replace a struggling goalie.) A rotation also means each guy gets 3-4 days between games. Is that too much?

*Billy Smith and Chico Resch each played 5 full games in 1979 for the Islanders. (The last year before their dynasty run; lost in 2nd round). But the following year, when they won the Cup, Resch only played 118 minutes in 4 games (Smith nearly 1200 in 20).
 

joe dokes

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I must've been mistaken about Hall. Looking good. From the glob:
Taylor Hall (lower body) went at near full speed wearing a red noncontact sweater during a 20-minute practice at Warrior Arena. “He looks really good,” Montgomery said. “He’s skating out there, he’s flying. I know there’s some more steps that have to happen but he does look good.” .
 

DeadlySplitter

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3/25 vs. Tampa
3/26 @ Carolina
3/28 vs. Nashville

Resting the guys for the playoffs is somewhat challenging due to cap constraints and call up restrictions.
That's annoying because I would give the whole starting team 3/26 off if I could.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

Red-headed Skrub child
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Wasn’t really sure where to put this but I didn’t see it anywhere and figured here was as good a place as any.

ESPN is doing a 30 for 30 about the aftermath of the 2011 Stanley Cup called “ I’m just here for the Riot”. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of great Vancouver sad face shots.
 

BaseballJones

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Just when the Bruins stumble a little, they bounce right back. After losing 3 of 4, they've ripped off 7 straight wins.

- 4 on the road
- 3 at home
- 3 in blowouts (3-0 over Winnipeg, 5-2 over Minnesota, and 7-0 over Buffalo)
- 4 in close games (2-1 over Ottawa, 4-2 over Montreal, 2-1 over Tampa, and 4-3 over Carolina)
- 3 over good teams (Minnesota, Tampa, Carolina)
- 3 over mediocre teams (Winnipeg, Ottawa, Buffalo)
- 1 over bad teams (Montreal)
- 3 in high scoring games
- 4 in low scoring games

I mean, they're doing it every which way, against a range of opponents, both home and away.

This team is a machine unlike anything I've ever seen before.
 

cshea

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I thinkoverall their play has dipped a little since they clinched the playoff spot, but the goalies have been outrageous. Since the ASB:

Ullmark: 10-1-0 .939
Swayman: 8-3-0 .931

They've both basically been 2011 Tim Thomas for the last month and a half. It's why I'd basically keep on going, one after the other, until one of them gives me a reason not to.
 

durandal1707

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It's even more impressive given that their power play fell off a cliff and still isn't fixed. Since the start of the calendar year they've had a PP% of 15.5, good for 28th overall. But they're still 3rd overall in G/GP during that timeframe.
 

cshea

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I'd try flipping Marchand and Pastrnak and see if that gets opens things up a little. The 4 forwards on the first unit are Bergeron (bumper), Pastrnak (Left half boards/circle), Marchand (right halfboards/circle) and DeBruks (net front). It would make shooting a bit more challenging but would also kind of flip what they've been doing all year. Might open up some lanes.
 

joe dokes

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FWIW..brief mention of the injured in todays Glob:
Nick Foligno(knee) participated in practice for the first time since his Feb. 28 collision with Nikita Zadorov in Calgary. Taylor Hall (knee) was also present. Neither is expected to play before the postseason.
 

cshea

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There was a TSN report that implied, tsk tsk, the NHL is watching what the Bruins do with Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno for cap shenanigans. The repot from Dreger is that Hall is ready to play but the Bruins can't activate him because of cap issues.

View: https://twitter.com/TSNHockey/status/1640844097995825152?s=20


Unless I am missing something, TSN didn't do the math and the Bruins do have the flexibility to activate Hall and potentially Foligno if they wanted to. They currently have $2.06 million in LTIR space. They need to get that number to over $6 million to activate Hall. Demoting Steen would get them to $2.86 million. Moving Foligno from IR to LTIR boosts their LTIR pool to $6.66 million. That would be enough to activate Hall. So they activate Hall and now they are down to $666,000 in cap space. They need to boost that to above $3.8 million to get Foligno back. They can then demote Lauko ($764,000) and put Forbort ($3 million), who has been ruled out for the rest of the year and is not on the ice rehabing, on LTIR. 764,000 + 666,000 + 3 million equals roughtly $4.3 million, which lets them activate Foligno.

Secondly, it would be classic NHL to decide to put their foot down now after letting other teams cross into the grey area of this rule far more egregiously. It'd be like when they suddenly decided they didn't like the long term back diving contracts and after approving like 20 of them decided the Devils should hand over a first round pick for the Kovalchuk deal the NHL themselves approved.

Hall has been skating for about 2 weeks, one of which has included practies/game day morning skates. Kucherov was practicing for like 2 months before Tampa activated him. But of course his leg would've fallen off if they brought him back a game sooner inthe regular season.

In short, fuck off, Gary.
 

cshea

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To continue the rant further, the Arizona Coyotes have $26.9 million in cap space going to Shea Weber (last played in 2021), Jake Voracek (suffered career ending concussion this year), Andrew Ladd (last played 2022) and Bryan Little (last played in 2020). The majority of the actual salary owed to these 4 players is being paid by insurance policies (I think it's like 80%). Take those 4 players away and the Coyotes have $39.8 million in cap liabilities, $21.2 million below the floor.

But of course, nothing to see here. There's no cap circumvention whatsoever. But let's take the magnifying glass out to look at the LTIR stuff...
 

TFP

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I blocked Dreger on twitter a long time ago and don't regret it one bit.
 

Salem's Lot

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We all knew that there was going to bitching out of Toronto as soon as the Bruins had even a whiff of using the LTIR loophole. It’s probably been a topic on the Fan for a couple days now. That’s usually how the ball gets rolling at the league office.
 

Cotillion

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There was a TSN report that implied, tsk tsk, the NHL is watching what the Bruins do with Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno for cap shenanigans. The repot from Dreger is that Hall is ready to play but the Bruins can't activate him because of cap issues.

View: https://twitter.com/TSNHockey/status/1640844097995825152?s=20


Unless I am missing something, TSN didn't do the math and the Bruins do have the flexibility to activate Hall and potentially Foligno if they wanted to. They currently have $2.06 million in LTIR space. They need to get that number to over $6 million to activate Hall. Demoting Steen would get them to $2.86 million. Moving Foligno from IR to LTIR boosts their LTIR pool to $6.66 million. That would be enough to activate Hall. So they activate Hall and now they are down to $666,000 in cap space. They need to boost that to above $3.8 million to get Foligno back. They can then demote Lauko ($764,000) and put Forbort ($3 million), who has been ruled out for the rest of the year and is not on the ice rehabing, on LTIR. 764,000 + 666,000 + 3 million equals roughtly $4.3 million, which lets them activate Foligno.

Secondly, it would be classic NHL to decide to put their foot down now after letting other teams cross into the grey area of this rule far more egregiously. It'd be like when they suddenly decided they didn't like the long term back diving contracts and after approving like 20 of them decided the Devils should hand over a first round pick for the Kovalchuk deal the NHL themselves approved.

Hall has been skating for about 2 weeks, one of which has included practies/game day morning skates. Kucherov was practicing for like 2 months before Tampa activated him. But of course his leg would've fallen off if they brought him back a game sooner inthe regular season.

In short, fuck off, Gary.
And the bolded is why Canadians have to do a math test before they claim a lottery prize in the US.
 

tims4wins

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Two general thoughts:
1) The playoffs don't begin for 2+ weeks. How should they balance resting up while staying sharp? Maybe start staggering games off, so that everyone more or less gets 2 games off out of their last 7, but play as hard as possible in each individual game? I worry about them losing the edge they've had all year.
2) This was touched on pre-game in yesterday's game thread, but how do they handle the goalies in the playoffs? Is Ullmark the unquestioned starter? Do they alternate every other game? Do they let each goalie just play until they have a bad game? Play until they lose, then rotate? Other?
 

cshea

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I'm not too worried about rust. They only have 2 extra forwards (Greer and Steen) and 1 extra defenseman (Zboril) to use to give guys rest. It'll be a rotation 3 guys in, 3 guys out. and I don't think anyone is going to have a significant break between games, unless there is an undisclosed injury. It'll be something like Bergeron and Marchand sit Saturday, then play on Sunday while Krejci and Pastrnak get that game off. Stuff like that. They have 3 days off to start next week but otherwise it's essentially an everyother day pace to close the season, so nobody is going to be idle for all that long. With the rules they are working with they can't call up a taxi squad and ice Providence for a few games.

As for the goalies, it seems they are getting Ullmark ready by giving him back to back starts. I think he'll also play tomorrow to give him 3 in a row, every other day, which is the typical playoff schedule. I'm fine with it, Ullmark is going to win the Vezina and deserves it, but I also am pro-rotation. The rotation is a big part of why they were so good this year, I'd keep it going. Swayman has been a top 10 goalie since mid-February so there's not a significant drop off between the two. If they are both comfortble with it, I see no reason to stop. It is a luxury to have 2 goales this good.
 

tims4wins

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I'm not too worried about rust. They only have 2 extra forwards (Greer and Steen) and 1 extra defenseman (Zboril) to use to give guys rest. It'll be a rotation 3 guys in, 3 guys out. and I don't think anyone is going to have a significant break between games, unless there is an undisclosed injury. It'll be something like Bergeron and Marchand sit Saturday, then play on Sunday while Krejci and Pastrnak get that game off. Stuff like that. They have 3 days off to start next week but otherwise it's essentially an everyother day pace to close the season, so nobody is going to be idle for all that long. With the rules they are working with they can't call up a taxi squad and ice Providence for a few games.

As for the goalies, it seems they are getting Ullmark ready by giving him back to back starts. I think he'll also play tomorrow to give him 3 in a row, every other day, which is the typical playoff schedule. I'm fine with it, Ullmark is going to win the Vezina and deserves it, but I also am pro-rotation. The rotation is a big part of why they were so good this year, I'd keep it going. Swayman has been a top 10 goalie since mid-February so there's not a significant drop off between the two. If they are both comfortble with it, I see no reason to stop. It is a luxury to have 2 goales this good.
Thanks for the roster clarification. If they can only go 3 in 3 out, then yeah, basically all of their better players are only going to get 1, max 2 games off.

Agreed on the goalie situation.
 

FL4WL3SS

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They absolutely don't need to rest up, they need to keep the foot on the gas. They play a style that isn't too taxing in the regular season that could absolutely get smothered in the post season, they need to stay crisp.
 

cshea

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They've been playing almost every other day since mid-February. The last 4 weeks they've had to play every other plus weekend back-to-back's. There's been a lot of travel. When the playoff start, it's 2 more months of playing every other day if they get to where they want to go.

Give me all the rest they can get. They've clinched everything there is to clinch. That gives them the luxury of resting some players, something not a lot of teams can do. It's an advantage. They are a veteran group, I trust that they will be ready to go game 1.

Plus, as I mentioned, they have 7 games in 2 weeks left. They can't sit everyone at once so it's going to be a rotation. They won't get rusty.
 

Dogman

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Yep, getting a game or two off over the last two weeks won't change anything. However the cap is managed, I'd love to see Hall. skate for a few games before the playoffs start as well. That would give the team 4 rotational players and allow for the top 6 forwards and top 4 defensemen each to get a game or two off. I want that.
 

RIFan

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Rest is definitely part of it. We've also seen a few cases of guys with nothing to lose taking runs at Bergy and others. You definitely can't played scared, but I'd be sitting Bergy and 2 of Marchand, Pasta, and Krecji when they play STL, PHL, and MTL. Activating Hall allows all 4 to sit. B's don't get last change in those games and can't dictate matchups the way they'd like. Zero reason to have those guys on the ice. I'm sure Monty is also in Marchand's ear about not even approaching the "line". I have zero faith that the wheel of justice hits doesn't hit him hard for stuff not any worse than refs are calling a minor penalty for.
 

wiffleballhero

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I am more worried about the Bruins getting out of game speed and opening the playoffs flat, allowing a first round to get a little gnarly because they concede the first game or so.

They absolutely don't need to rest up, they need to keep the foot on the gas. They play a style that isn't too taxing in the regular season that could absolutely get smothered in the post season, they need to stay crisp.
So I think I am here as well. I don't want anyone over 30 doing a back to back these last two weekends, nor should they push anyone who is sort of working out nagging injuries. Beyond that, the risk of being flat seems important to consider and I want them to keep pounding away.
 

Eddie Jurak

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With 6 games to go, Pastrnak has 56 goals, 46 assists, 102 points.

That is the 5th highest goal total in team history, behind:
  • Esposito, 1970-71, 76
  • Esposito, 1973-74, 68
  • Esposito, 1971-72, 66
  • Esposito, 1974-75, 61
I suppose with 6 games left he has an outside chance to reach 61. Even if he doesn't, that's the highest goal total by a Bruin in 48 years.

This was also his 14th hat trick, tying him with Neely for second in team history, behind Esposito who had 26.
 

snowmanny

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The Bruins are 60-12-5 (125 points in 77 games) but of course it is hard to compare them to the 70-71 Bruins that went 57-14-7 (121 points in 78 games) because the rules have changed. A regulation tie now goes to overtime/shootout and can turn into a win but not a loss.

This year's Bruins have had 15 games that ended tied in regulation so under the pre-overtime rules I suppose they'd be 50-12-15 (115 points). But going 10-5 in OT/SO games is pretty remarkable. If the Big Bads of 1971 played under today's rules and went 4-3 in OT/SO games they'd have finished at 61-14-3 (125 points, same as this year, with one more game).

Both teams are on the short list of most dominant ever.

No, Baseball Jones did not hack my account.
 

durandal1707

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The stretch from March 9th to April 2nd is 15 games in 25 days, with four back-to-backs. And those B2Bs are against either playoff teams or current wildcard hopefuls:
  • a home-and-home with Detroit (2 points out of East WC2 currently)
  • Minnesota (West WC2) and Buffalo (2 points behind Detroit)
  • Tampa and Carolina
  • Pittsburgh (East WC1) and St. Louis (6 points behind MIN)
They're a stupendously good team, but I expect quite a few losses during that stretch. Especially if they're doing some load management. (Which they should do.) I'd love to be proven wrong but I think it's wise to temper expectations here because the back half of the season is always brutal.
Well, they've made it through. Despite a dismal 1-3-0 start to this stretch, they went 10-1-0 the rest of the way, 22 out of 30 possible points. All while resting key players and, as far as we know, not suffering any serious new injuries.

As for their final five games, they need 3 wins and 8 points to break the respective regular season records. Given this team's incredible depth and ability to stay competitive even when resting their stars, it's definitely a possibility.

Regarding the best approach to get ready for the playoffs... I would probably make the game against New Jersey the "dress rehearsal." The Devils might be gunning for the top seed in the Metro side of the playoff bracket, and the only potential meeting in the playoffs would be in the ECF (probably over a month away). Otherwise, I'd keep rotating guys in and out and if possible, get Hall up to game speed.
 

cshea

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Full lineup from practice with Hall being a full participant. Probably close to a game 1 lineup:

Marchand - Bergeron - DeBrusk
Zacha - Krejci - Pastrnak
Hall - Coyle - Bertuzzi
Frederic/Lauko - Nosek - Hathaway
Foligno (no contact), Greer

Grzelyck - McAvoy
Lindholm - Carlo
Orlov - Clifton
Zboril

Ullmark
Swayman
 

joe dokes

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Full lineup from practice with Hall being a full participant. Probably close to a game 1 lineup:

Marchand - Bergeron - DeBrusk
Zacha - Krejci - Pastrnak
Hall - Coyle - Bertuzzi
Frederic/Lauko - Nosek - Hathaway
Foligno (no contact), Greer

Grzelyck - McAvoy
Lindholm - Carlo
Orlov - Clifton
Zboril

Ullmark
Swayman
Likely to have 15 NHL forwards and 8 NHL defensemen when the playoffs start. (assuming Foligno and Forbort). There are no guarantees, of course, but as long 13-14-15 & 7-8 aren't replacing 1-2-3 & 1-2, that's about as ready as a team can be.
 

BaseballJones

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It's the NHL, so you never know. But what can derail this team right now?

1. Injuries, especially to key players. Unfortunately, they just kind of happen in an unpredictable fashion. Just hope that if/when they do, it's not to guys like Pastrnak.

2. Weird puck luck. The puck bounces in crazy ways, and some shots deflect in off crazy angles and such. Often when teams are upset in the playoffs, a lot of it can be attributed to just bizarre bounces of the puck.

3. An opposing goalie goes into God mode. This prevents the Bruins from scoring and they lose a lot of 2-1, 2-0, 1-0 kind of games.

I don't expect many teams to have more talent than the Bruins. I don't expect many teams to outwork the Bruins. I think a bad injury or two, or some crazy things happening, are what could derail them. Barring that, I think they're in pretty good shape to finish this deal off right.
 

IdiotKicker

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Good lord that is a deep lineup. I don't know how you defend this team in a 7-game series because they will just hunt matchups at home every chance they get.
 

Salem's Lot

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It's the NHL, so you never know. But what can derail this team right now?

1. Injuries, especially to key players. Unfortunately, they just kind of happen in an unpredictable fashion. Just hope that if/when they do, it's not to guys like Pastrnak.

2. Weird puck luck. The puck bounces in crazy ways, and some shots deflect in off crazy angles and such. Often when teams are upset in the playoffs, a lot of it can be attributed to just bizarre bounces of the puck.

3. An opposing goalie goes into God mode. This prevents the Bruins from scoring and they lose a lot of 2-1, 2-0, 1-0 kind of games.

I don't expect many teams to have more talent than the Bruins. I don't expect many teams to outwork the Bruins. I think a bad injury or two, or some crazy things happening, are what could derail them. Barring that, I think they're in pretty good shape to finish this deal off right.
Don’t forget officiating. If 2019 taught us anything, they may change the rules at some point. Bruins have to be able to overcome that.