2022-23 Bruins Season

durandal1707

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It's the NHL, so you never know. But what can derail this team right now?
Right now my biggest concern is the first round. We've seen time and again the President's Trophy winner fail to get in gear against a team that, more likely than not, has been fighting for its playoff life for weeks.

Of the four potential WC2 teams they can face, only Pittsburgh doesn't worry me that much—middling stats across the board combined with poor goaltending. (Though the officiating in that series might drive me up a wall.)

Florida is technically a better possession team than the Bruins are, has a lethal offense, and actually is above average defending 5v5. They get into trouble on the penalty kill—but again, in this hypothetical playoff scenario, I don't see that being that big of a factor.

Islanders are third in PDO, thanks to Sorokin having an elite season in net. They suck at possession, but have players like Barzal who have in the past cashed in repeatedly on sneakaways and odd-man rushes against the Bs. They can easily steal a series by getting early leads and parking the bus in front of Sorokin.

If somehow the Sabres make it in, it will be because Levi is a goaltending messiah. Combined with their outstanding offense and the fact that they would probably be on a heater (they need to practically win all of their remaining games), they could easily be a first round spoiler.

The good news is that of all the President's Trophy teams recently, I really like the Bruins as a playoff team. They're the best defensive team in the league, with not just the best goalie in the league, but a backup that is right behind him in terms of goals saved above expected. In the past this team was over-reliant on its power play for goal scoring... well, they've just spent the past three months with an objectively awful PP and were still among the best in the league in overall scoring. Unlike other President Trophy's teams they didn't rely on a lot of overtime/shootout points and currently have as many regulation wins as the next beat team's overall wins (Carolina). They're deep at every position and have several players who've been here before. Obviously a lot can happen but I expect they'll be ready to go Game 1.
 

joe dokes

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The good news is that of all the President's Trophy teams recently, I really like the Bruins as a playoff team. They're the best defensive team in the league, with not just the best goalie in the league, but a backup that is right behind him in terms of goals saved above expected. In the past this team was over-reliant on its power play for goal scoring... well, they've just spent the past three months with an objectively awful PP and were still among the best in the league in overall scoring. Unlike other President Trophy's teams they didn't rely on a lot of overtime/shootout points and currently have as many regulation wins as the next beat team's overall wins (Carolina). They're deep at every position and have several players who've been here before. Obviously a lot can happen but I expect they'll be ready to go Game 1.
Maybe its wishcasting, but I think that in a strange way, clinching as early as they did has allowed them to get their coasting out of the way. Between some well-placed injuries and their depth, they have several players legitimately fighting for playoff ice time, which helps keep the overall foot on the gas more than it might otherwise for a team so far ahead in the standings or one that locks its position with only a few games to go.
 

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
My only real worry with the Bruins is that they might end up unlucky and hockey, unfortunately, is a game where luck matters.


What's with all the golfers? Bergeron, as always, has it right. Although it is interesting that so many of these guys -- who get the thrill of the team and the crowd every day -- answered in a way that would seem at odds with much of the debate in this thread. And this thread makes me think somebody at the Bruins is cruising around SoSH.
 

Dummy Hoy

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Golf is what they do for fun, it’s not that physically taxing, it’s you alone in the spotlight, and you make fucking bank. I’m not a fan of golf or golfers, but I see where people who answer that are coming from.
 

joe dokes

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From today's Glob. I'm actually a bit more concerned about Krejci than McAvoy.

Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy might have avoided serious injury after a collision with teammate Patrice Bergeron in the second period Thursday night against the Maple Leafs at TD Garden.
Coach Jim Montgomery removed his star defenseman for “precautionary reasons” because of an upper-body ailment, and the coach doesn’t seem inclined to put him back on the ice for a back-to-back slate against the Devils and Flyers this weekend.
That same sentiment extends to David Krejci, who missed Thursday’s game because of a nagging lower-body issue.
“Krejci has just got some real soreness right now,” Montgomery said. “We want to make sure everyone’s feeling really good. When you have some soft tissue and some stuff, you don’t want it to get to the point where it’s chronic.”
 

Sin Duda

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One other playoff derailment possibility is a team just beating the Bruins up and the refs swallowing their whistles because it's "the playoffs". That's my perception of what St. Louis did to us in the 2019 Cup finals. It still irks me. Have the refs called the finals more closely since then? Are the Bruins better prepared for such a scenario?
 

Salem's Lot

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One other playoff derailment possibility is a team just beating the Bruins up and the refs swallowing their whistles because it's "the playoffs". That's my perception of what St. Louis did to us in the 2019 Cup finals. It still irks me. Have the refs called the finals more closely since then? Are the Bruins better prepared for such a scenario?
This year’s Bruins team would welcome a series like that. They dominate 5 on 5. The 2019 team relied on the power play for most of their offense. Changing the rules on what justified a penalty was a huge blow to that team.
 

wiffleballhero

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Are the Bruins better prepared for such a scenario?
They are a better team than in 2019.

5v5 play is better.

Also, notice that Hathaway is on the team. This Bruins team strikes me as a grittier group compared to 19 and more capable of returning and overcoming goon hockey, if need be. Orlov for Krug is quite a transformation in that regard.

Also worth observing that TB gave this strategy a test drive a couple weeks ago and the Bruins were able to win.
 
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RedOctober3829

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One other playoff derailment possibility is a team just beating the Bruins up and the refs swallowing their whistles because it's "the playoffs". That's my perception of what St. Louis did to us in the 2019 Cup finals. It still irks me. Have the refs called the finals more closely since then? Are the Bruins better prepared for such a scenario?
I think they are much better equipped to handle a physical series this go around. Between Hathaway, Nosek, Frederic, Bertuzzi, Orlov, McAvoy, etc. they have enough guys that play a physical brand of hockey.
 

kenneycb

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They are a better team than in 2019.

5v5 play is better.

Also, notice that Hathaway is on the team. This Bruins team strikes me as grittier group compared to 19 and more capable of returning and overcoming goon hockey, if need be. Orlov for Krug is quite a transformation in that regard.

Also worth observing that TB gave this strategy a test drive a couple weeks ago and the Bruins were able to win.
Physicality manifests itself over a series a lot more than one game so I don't think you can draw your specific conclusion. A lot of hits in a short period of time add up.
 

mwonow

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Per RO, I am not *that* worried about a 2019 repeat. Add Uncle Nick to the previous list, and you have a team that's tough enough for a heavy series
 

sheamonu

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Following this team has been an incredible experience. The records they have set, the front office moves to get better, the camaraderie that is obvious to any observer, the depth at every level - all point to a deep run in the playoffs. But for a group of Bruins fans of a certain age this feeling is not a new one. We have been here before and please understand that through no fault of our own we will be killing the buzz over the next couple of weeks by invoking a single word. Do not judge us too harshly - for this word is linked to one of the great traumas of our youth. We have been here before, and this place, this circumstance, calls this word to mind and old terrors arise.

That word is "Dryden".
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
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Following this team has been an incredible experience. The records they have set, the front office moves to get better, the camaraderie that is obvious to any observer, the depth at every level - all point to a deep run in the playoffs. But for a group of Bruins fans of a certain age this feeling is not a new one. We have been here before and please understand that through no fault of our own we will be killing the buzz over the next couple of weeks by invoking a single word. Do not judge us too harshly - for this word is linked to one of the great traumas of our youth. We have been here before, and this place, this circumstance, calls this word to mind and old terrors arise.

That word is "Dryden".
Don’t forget “alcohol”. I would argue that the nightlife habits of the 68-73 Bruins had as much to do with not beating Montreal in the playoffs as much as a goalie. That was an extremely talented group that drank their way out of one cup, and probably two.
 
Jul 18, 2005
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Don’t forget “alcohol”. I would argue that the nightlife habits of the 68-73 Bruins had as much to do with not beating Montreal in the playoffs as much as a goalie. That was an extremely talented group that drank their way out of one cup, and probably two.
As someone who started watching in the 80's, thank you for the context. I've been struggling to find a prior Bruins team to even compare this to. I've seen many good-to-great teams, but I've never experienced this kind of depth. I've been wondering if this is what it looked like to fans of the Yzerman Wings or the Sakic Avalanche, the only other teams I can remember having what looked from the outside like cheat-code level depth.

Obviously we can look to the Canucks Cup loss to us (it's just the regular season) and our Cup loss to the Blues (unfairness/luck exists) to keep us from counting our chickens. But I've never followed a team where a Thanos-like snap could take out everyone on the playing surface at a given time, and they could have a deep playoff run team ready to go the next day.
 

Salem's Lot

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That word is "Dryden".
Dryden didn’t score 8 goals for Montreal in game 6.

That’s right, the Bruins had a chance to wrap that series up in game 6 in Montreal. Instead they gave up 8 goals that night. They had the game tied at 2, and proceeded to get out scored 6-1 after the mid way point. I’m sorry, they scored three goals in that game, it should’ve been plenty. Dryden was damn good in that series, but I think the narrative that was built around a deification of Ken Dryden was a convenient way to let a great team that pissed away a winnable series off the hook.
 

Myt1

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the goalie situation for the playoffs as well. Great problem to have, but also not one to answer easily IMO. I lean towards sticking with the rotation because it’s definitely not broken, neither guy seems like it would get in their head (they aren’t competing and genuinely like each other), and it may actually prove tougher for opponents because they have to prep for different goaltenders.
 

lexrageorge

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Dryden didn’t score 8 goals for Montreal in game 6.

That’s right, the Bruins had a chance to wrap that series up in game 6 in Montreal. Instead they gave up 8 goals that night. They had the game tied at 2, and proceeded to get out scored 6-1 after the mid way point. I’m sorry, they scored three goals in that game, it should’ve been plenty. Dryden was damn good in that series, but I think the narrative that was built around a deification of Ken Dryden was a convenient way to let a great team that pissed away a winnable series off the hook.
Yeah, Dryden gets a lot of undeserved credit for that upset. In that series, Dryden had games where he gave up 3 (L), 5 (W), 4 (L), 7 (L), and 3 (W). Bruins and #2 goalie Eddie Johnston coughed up a 5-1 lead late in Game 2, and Cheevers and team gave up those 8 goals in Game 6.

Dryden had 2 outstanding games in that series: the pivotal Game 3, where he gave up only one goal on 38 shots, and Game 7 where he made 46 saves in the 4-2 win. And he was also excellent in the Finals that year when he out-dueled Brother Tony in net (he was also very ordinary in the series against the North Stars, but there was no way Minnesota was winning that series). But had the Bruins not blew the big lead in G2 or shat the bed entirely in G6, they would not have needed to beat Dryden in the infamous 3rd period of Game 7.
 

The Mort Report

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the goalie situation for the playoffs as well. Great problem to have, but also not one to answer easily IMO. I lean towards sticking with the rotation because it’s definitely not broken, neither guy seems like it would get in their head (they aren’t competing and genuinely like each other), and it may actually prove tougher for opponents because they have to prep for different goaltenders.
I have too. Normally, I would lean heavily towards picking one, but then again so few teams have 2 elite goalies playing well heading into the playoffs. I'm also sure there are numbers leaning it that direction, but this team has defied odds all season. Even when they are not playing up to their standards they win. They've only lost 3 in a row once, at the end of January with one in OT, and 2 in a row once early March. I'm for rotating them, why change the plan when this team has been humming along all season?
 

wiffleballhero

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With regard to the goalie issue, it seems to me that none of us are in a position to read the room.

The Bruins probably have already made a decision that they are at peace with. I bet the goalies themselves know and are on board with it too. I also imagine the players in front of them know as well and are confident about what is going to be behind them between the pipes. And since some of it is about feel and the culture of the team, until we know, we'll just not have a handle on it at all here on the hallowed grounds of SoSH (hollowed?).

If I was betting, I'd say they continue with both until they face an elimination game, at which point they'll make a gut check on the hot hand.
 

cshea

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I'm pretty sure it'll be the other way around. It'll be Ullmark's net until they feel the need to make a change.
 

Ferm Sheller

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It was good to see Swayman get the 63rd win on such an important day to him—the second anniversary of the death of his beloved UMaine coach.
https://nesn.com/2023/04/bruins-jeremy-swayman-gives-special-dedication-to-record-setting-win/

If he’s not going to get playoff games (and I vacillate, but would probably continue the rotation), this will be a cool little experience with which to close out the season.
Not stated in that article is that Gendron was an assistant coach under Shawn Walsh in the early 90s when Jim Montgomery played for Maine, including their 1993 Championship year. Nice that Monty broke the NHL wins in a season record by a HC on the anniversary of Gendron's death. Surprised that none of these articles (or at least not the couple that I've seen) mention this.
 

Myt1

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Not stated in that article is that Gendron was an assistant coach under Shawn Walsh in the early 90s when Jim Montgomery played for Maine, including their 1993 Championship year. Nice that Monty broke the NHL wins in a season record by a HC on the anniversary of Gendron's death. Surprised that none of these articles (or at least not the couple that I've seen) mention this.
Appreciate the additional context. Definitely very cool for Montgomery, fall all kinds of reasons.
 
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Myt1

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With regard to the goalie issue, it seems to me that none of us are in a position to read the room.

The Bruins probably have already made a decision that they are at peace with. I bet the goalies themselves know and are on board with it too. I also imagine the players in front of them know as well and are confident about what is going to be behind them between the pipes. And since some of it is about feel and the culture of the team, until we know, we'll just not have a handle on it at all here on the hallowed grounds of SoSH (hollowed?).

If I was betting, I'd say they continue with both until they face an elimination game, at which point they'll make a gut check on the hot hand.
My understanding is that Montgomery has said the opposite of this, that it’s Ullmark’s net, and that’s why they got him a few games in a row.

Montgomery acknowledged last week that he has at least thought about the possibility of continuing a rotation into the postseason. He doesn’t anticipate doing it, though.
“I have thought about it,” Montgomery said. “That being said, I don’t anticipate that. At the beginning of the year, I saw them rotate in and out. As the season has progressed, with the year Linus has had, you have to give him that opportunity to lead the way.”
 

Ferm Sheller

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Appreciate the additional context. Definitely very cool for Montgomery, fall all kinds of reasons.
Yes, and like the current Bruins, that 1993 Maine team experienced much winning, finishing 42-1-2, which is among the top 2-3 college hockey seasons ever (and arguably the best).
 

FL4WL3SS

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I just looked up the Bruins stats and my mind is blown. Outside of Pasta, they don't have a 30 goal scorer or anyone with 70 points.

But they are going to finish the season with 9+ players with 40+ points and 7 with 50+ points. Crazy.
 

GeminiFish

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Pretty sure their only loss was an 8-7 OT game v. a stacked BU team
That was the night of my first date with my now-wife. We watched on NESN as BU was trailing 6-2 and came back to win 7-6 at Alfond Arena. But that Maine team was incredible.
 

lexrageorge

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While the Bruins do not have another 30-goal scorer, they do indeed match up favorably when one uses 20 goals as the cutoff w/ 4 players. Most playoff teams have 4 or 5, with some at 3 and the Penguins and Stars with 6.

Also, as @FL4WL3SS noted, the B's scoring looks better balanced scoring when one takes into account total points. Only one other team (Calgary) has 8 players with 40+ points, with most around 6 or 7. And Tampa has 6 players with 50+ points, whereas most other playoff teams have 4 or 5. Full list of playoff and possible playoff teams in the spoiler tag:

Order is 20+ goals, 40+ points, 50+ points

Boston: 4, 9, 7
Leafs: 5, 6, 4
Tampa: 5, 7, 6
Carolina: 3, 5, 4
New Jersey: 5, 6, 5
Rangers: 5, 7, 5
Panthers: 4, 8, 5
Islanders: 3, 4, 2
Penguins: 6, 6, 4
Sabres: 5, 6, 5
Colorado: 3, 7, 4
Stars: 6, 6, 5
Wild: 4, 4, 4
Vegas: 3, 7, 6
Edmonton: 4, 6, 4
LA Kings: 5, 7, 5
Seattle: 5, 7, 4
Jets: 3, 5, 5
Flames: 3, 8, 5
 

Chainsaw318

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While the Bruins do not have another 30-goal scorer, they do indeed match up favorably when one uses 20 goals as the cutoff w/ 4 players. Most playoff teams have 4 or 5, with some at 3 and the Penguins and Stars with 6.

Also, as @FL4WL3SS noted, the B's scoring looks better balanced scoring when one takes into account total points. Only one other team (Calgary) has 8 players with 40+ points, with most around 6 or 7. And Tampa has 6 players with 50+ points, whereas most other playoff teams have 4 or 5. Full list of playoff and possible playoff teams in the spoiler tag:

Order is 20+ goals, 40+ points, 50+ points

Boston: 4, 9, 7
Leafs: 5, 6, 4
Tampa: 5, 7, 6
Carolina: 3, 5, 4
New Jersey: 5, 6, 5
Rangers: 5, 7, 5
Panthers: 4, 8, 5
Islanders: 3, 4, 2
Penguins: 6, 6, 4
Sabres: 5, 6, 5
Colorado: 3, 7, 4
Stars: 6, 6, 5
Wild: 4, 4, 4
Vegas: 3, 7, 6
Edmonton: 4, 6, 4
LA Kings: 5, 7, 5
Seattle: 5, 7, 4
Jets: 3, 5, 5
Flames: 3, 8, 5
Am I missing something?

Bruins have 5 guys with 20+
Pasta, Bergeron, DeBrusk, Zacha, Marchand.

The depth is going to show up when guys get dinged in the playoffs. I think they will grind 2-4th lines and 2nd/3rd d-pairs to dust over a series.
 

Jordu

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That was the night of my first date with my now-wife. We watched on NESN as BU was trailing 6-2 and came back to win 7-6 at Alfond Arena. But that Maine team was incredible.
That Maine team had 12 players who scored 10 or more goals. It had Garth Snow and Mike Dunham in net. Kariya had 75 assists and Montgomery had 63. Best college hockey team I ever saw.
 

The Mort Report

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Am I missing something?

Bruins have 5 guys with 20+
Pasta, Bergeron, DeBrusk, Zacha, Marchand.

The depth is going to show up when guys get dinged in the playoffs. I think they will grind 2-4th lines and 2nd/3rd d-pairs to dust over a series.
I can’t remember, what was the season where they relied so heavily on the perfection line that if they didn’t score we had no chance. This team is the exact opposite, and why I feel so good about them going into the playoffs
 

Mr. Wednesday

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Paul Kariya had 100 points in 39 games. Monty had 95 himself. Wild.
I'm not sure, but that might be the last 100 point season in college hockey. It was right around the time that college hockey transitioned to being a lower scoring game (probably right around the time the NHL was making the same transition).
 

wiffleballhero

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My understanding is that Montgomery has said the opposite of this, that it’s Ullmark’s net,
I had not read that. Good to know.

I was maybe trying to read the tea leaves on some postgame comments about Swayman that made me think the players in front of him knew he'd be in net some of the time. Apparently I was just projecting.

I can't shake the sense that the good thing about the rotation is that if a goalie gets injured, you put a player in who has not been sitting around for a week or a month. You also get more, real time information about who is the hot hand.

All of the last 3 seasons?
Exactly. It is so nice to not see Bruce in panic button mode behind the bench.

I thought it was noteworthy that in the episode of 'Behind the B' where the Bruins were playing Vegas, between periods Monty says something to the effect of "they're trying to play this game with only two lines, well there about to find out why we're the best third period team in hockey." It was not really a 'shot' at Cassidy but seemed kinda on the nose for a critique of Cassidy's approach (I guess Cassidy got the last laugh that day though since Vegas won in a SO).
 

Myt1

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I had not read that. Good to know.

I was maybe trying to read the tea leaves on some postgame comments about Swayman that made me think the players in front of him knew he'd be in net some of the time. Apparently I was just projecting.
It’s entirely possible that he has or will change his mind, of course. Seems like that changing of his mind would be unusual, though. I think he’s really tried to provide them stability by giving the info a couple weeks ago (even if I disagree with the underlying strategy, I can buy keeping it in place if he’s already announced it to the team).
 

5dice

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Assuming that Foligno can go for the playoffs, who is the odd man out? I would hate for it to be Frederic, but Nosek is too valuable as a PK guy and D zone faceoff guy, and Freddy while technically a C has been good as a wing. It would be a shame to lose his bottom 6 scoring and of course, grit. He has earned his place IMO.

Assuming health:
Marchand Bergeron Debrusk
Pastrnak Krecji Zacha
Hall Coyle Bertuzzi
Foligno Nosek Hathaway

That leaves out Greer and Lauko which is fine, but also Frederic.
 

Haunted

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I know we've posted much about this but my god those are deep lines. That's 5 legit NHL lines if you include Frederick/Greer/Lauko.


A large part of their 2011 strength was the forward depth, and I feel like this is every bit as deep. My god, Hall and Bertuzzi on the third line.
 

cshea

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Foligno should sit. I like the guy and all but he hasn't played in a few months and doesn't provide a ton of on-ice value. He's a great guy and a great teamate but if they are trying to ice the 12 best forwards, Foligno is not one of them. Frederic has been the better player all year. Frederic's counting stats don't jump off the page at 16 goals and 14 assists but a lot of that is his usage. He does not get any power play time and is 10th amongst forwards in 5x5 ice time. His rates stats are pretty good though, he's actually 3rd on the team in 5x5 goals per 60.

The only thing going agsint Frederic is he doesn't play a ton of special teams. Zilch on the power play, scraps on the PK (about 30 seconds/game). Foligno was a 2nd PP mainstay for the bulk of the year when he was healthy but I don't see a ton of room for him there with the deadline additions.

PP1: McAvoy/Lindholm, Pastrnak, Marchand, DeBrusk, Bergeron
PP2: McAvoy/Lindholm/Orlov, Hall, Krejci, Bertuzzi, Zacha/Coyle

There just isn't an obvious spot for Foligno in there. On the 4th line Nosek provides too much value as a penalty killer (leads the team) plus has been elite on draws as a lefty and they don't have anyone else to replace those roles. Hathaway is also better than Foligno so it's just hard to squeeze Foligno in somewhere. To be honest, over the last little while, I may even prefer Lauko to Foligno.
 

j44thor

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I think Foligno is best suited to be the guy to give the team an "emotional lift" if they become stagnant at all. He is extremely well liked and a leader on the team but don't think he is among the top 13 FW you can put on the ice at any given time. That said if they somehow end up down 2-0 or 3-1 to another team I think that is when you deploy him over a Frederic assuming of course that he is healthy which may or may not be the case.