23-24 Bruins Season Thread

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
I am sticking my fingers in my ears and yelling "LALALALALLA" as loud as I can, because I don't want to begin to even entertain the possibility.
Oh, I want to entertain the possibility. Just thinking about it is bringing me a little bit of joy.

It is like playing out the fantasy for the afternoon after you buy your lottery ticket. Sure it was not to be, but it was fun for a few hours.

Earlier this season, he looked to me like he was a good 15 lbs. below his playing weight.
Which is probably better than 15 above, I'd think.
 

Salem's Lot

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Oh, I want to entertain the possibility. Just thinking about it is bringing me a little bit of joy.

It is like playing out the fantasy for the afternoon after you buy your lottery ticket. Sure it was not to be, but it was fun for a few hours.



Which is probably better than 15 above, I'd think.
I don’t see him returning. Honestly I had the same reaction as @Myt1 when I saw that clip. He looked like a guy that’s been working out like a normal dude that wants to be in good shape works out, but he looks noticeably smaller than he was was when he was working out to play in the NHL. I doubt he can just ramp that up in a month.
 

Myt1

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Which is probably better than 15 above, I'd think.
I think it cuts the other way, TBH. It’s easier to cut excess 15 lbs.—getting back the cardio is probably a bit harder, but less so for guys whose job it is to do so—but packing on lean muscle to a lean frame for an older guy can take some work. Or gear, I guess. :)
 

RIFan

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It's not the same thing, but I think back to when Cam Neely was getting back on the ice and seeing if he had enough to make a comeback. The irrational hope that he could make it back made it all the more crushing when he couldn't make a go of it. I'm not going to let myself buy into a Bergy comeback and be let down when it doesn't happen. The difference, or course, is Bergy could 100% do it if he decides that is what he wants.
 

Cotillion

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Isn't this just Patrice taking advantage of having free access to NHL level facilities and the trainers to go with it, and to get out there with some of his friends he liked on the team? I really think that's the limit of it. I would love for him to come back, but really seems like this is just stretching for stuff to talk/dream about by people trying to get eyeballs on their podcast/articles/etc
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I don’t see him returning. Honestly I had the same reaction as @Myt1 when I saw that clip. He looked like a guy that’s been working out like a normal dude that wants to be in good shape works out, but he looks noticeably smaller than he was was when he was working out to play in the NHL. I doubt he can just ramp that up in a month.
Totally agree. Don’t ask me about three months, though.
 

Salem's Lot

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Totally agree. Don’t ask me about three months, though.
But wouldn’t he have to be on the roster by the trade deadline to be eligible for the playoffs? I guess they could put him on the roster and just not play him.

I’m still not even allowing myself to think that it might be a possibility.
 

lexrageorge

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Trade deadline is March 8, so closer to 2 months. Add a couple of weeks sitting on LTIR for “conditioning” and suddenly he’s in shape for the playoffs
 

TFP

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Never say never but I'll personally be stunned if he comes back. I have no doubt he's been skating but he's not the guy that seems like he'd just sit on the couch all day. Plus I'm sure he'd never want to be distraction or take away from Marchand's role (do you make him captain again?). I'd love to be wrong, but I don't see it.
 

cshea

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On the Swayman front, Kaplan reported last week the Bruins are believed to be close to an extension with him.

https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/39278034/jake-guentzel-future-cutter-gauthier-trade-hot-nhl-topics

THE DEPRESSED GOALIE
market should get moving closer to the trade deadline. Some have wondered whether the Boston Bruins would deal away either Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman, considering it's an area of surplus for Boston and there's such a thirst for goaltending around the league. From what I understand, that doesn't seem like the path they'd choose during the season. In fact, Swayman was eligible for an extension on Jan. 1, and a few people have told me to expect that to get done soon.
 

joe dokes

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On the Swayman front, Kaplan reported last week the Bruins are believed to be close to an extension with him.

https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/39278034/jake-guentzel-future-cutter-gauthier-trade-hot-nhl-topics
That's great news, if accurate. I've thought he was the real deal since Day 1 (probably before he really was the real deal; there was just something about him). For *this* season's team, trading a goalie is an absurd thought (absent an unrealistic haul). This year's team was built to "get by" offensively, be above-average at the blue-line and dominate in goal. If the goaltending is anything less than that, they could drop to a wild-card team. Off-season & for the future, they may approach things differently (as I thought they might this past off-season). But this season's die is pretty much cast; and the huggers are where it starts and ends.
 

cshea

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Yeah, they aren't trading a goalie in season. I think it's highly likely Ullmark goes in the offseason though.
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

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Wotherspoon‘s play this year has re-set expectations. He’s on emergency recall so I could see him going back down within the week (With Carlo returning soon and Forbort getting closer) but he’s earned a longer look.

It will be interesting to see what Monty & Sweeney do here - once Forbort is back do they have a 6/7 rotation of Shattenkirk and Lohrei, or Shattenkirk and Wotherspoon? I’d send Lohrei down to Providence to log heavy minutes and get tons of D-zone experience. Wotherspoon is steady enough to slot in and give guys a breather at the NHL level. (I see the argument for Lohrei getting sheltered NHL minutes and NHL practice but I think his lapses in the D zone are too risky to carry right now).

And next season Wotherspoon might end up as a 3rd pair starter, a steady D that can play either side and fill the Forbort role. Hopefully Lohrei is ready for 2nd pair duty by then.

Yeah it is. When you get deep into the depth chart on defense, having guys who can hold down a steady diet of defensive zone starts and not have the puck end up in the back of the net frequently is a very good thing. Anything in the goals for column is a plus. He's also been really good shorthanded. He's averaging 2:29 per game in SH TOI, 4th on the team behind Carlo and Forbort. In 43 minutes of PK TOI, he's been on the ice for only 2 goals against. At a time where they are without Carlo and Forbort, having Wotherspoon eat those extra PK minutes and not get killed is huge. And he's doing more than just "not get killed" he's been really good on the PK. His expected goal numbers are among the best on the team.
 

cshea

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Does moving Ullmark potentially impact Sway extending, with how close they've gotten?
I don't think so. Swayman is an alpha and while they have a very close relationship, moving Ullmark means more games for Swayman which is something he'd want.

It's probably not practical to keep both beyond this year. Right now they cost $8.5 million against the cap. Swayman's going to get a significant boost from the $3.475 million he's getting this year. It's probably not feasible to carry 2 goalies making north of $5 million on the roster.
 

LogansDad

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I don't think so. Swayman is an alpha and while they have a very close relationship, moving Ullmark means more games for Swayman which is something he'd want.

It's probably not practical to keep both beyond this year. Right now they cost $8.5 million against the cap. Swayman's going to get a significant boost from the $3.475 million he's getting this year. It's probably not feasible to carry 2 goalies making north of $5 million on the roster.
I agree, but do you think it is looking slightly more feasible with the emergence of some of the younger players and all of the money coming off the books after this year from the Bergeron/Krejci bonus pool?

I am not great at reading CapFriendly, but it looks like they are about $30M under the cap for next season with only DeBrusk and Grzelcyk being UFA's of note (and Forbert, I guess). I hope they try to keep DeBrusk and Grz, but it feels like even after Swayman's raise that should put them at around $15M or so under the cap, with not a ton of spots to fill. (Note: These are all serious WAG estimates, so I could be way off). I figure if one or more of Merkulov (who looked okay to my eye in his limited time), Lysell, Zboril, or Lohrei take that next step, they only have, what, 3 roster spots to fill at that point?

Moving Ullmark would give them more room to maneuver, for sure, but man is it awesome having the best tandem in the league.
 

Salem's Lot

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I agree, but do you think it is looking slightly more feasible with the emergence of some of the younger players and all of the money coming off the books after this year from the Bergeron/Krejci bonus pool?

I am not great at reading CapFriendly, but it looks like they are about $30M under the cap for next season with only DeBrusk and Grzelcyk being UFA's of note (and Forbert, I guess). I hope they try to keep DeBrusk and Grz, but it feels like even after Swayman's raise that should put them at around $15M or so under the cap, with not a ton of spots to fill. (Note: These are all serious WAG estimates, so I could be way off). I figure if one or more of Merkulov (who looked okay to my eye in his limited time), Lysell, Zboril, or Lohrei take that next step, they only have, what, 3 roster spots to fill at that point?

Moving Ullmark would give them more room to maneuver, for sure, but man is it awesome having the best tandem in the league.
You would only be talking about 1 year with both of them anyway. Someone is going to pay Ullmark starter money as a UFA on 7/1/25, so they are better off paying Swayman, trading the last year of Ullmark for some asset (and I’m not talking about the 1st round pick/ Top 6 forward pipe dream that certain fans and talk radio personalities think is feasible) this summer with caps going up and having Bussi as the backup to Swayman playing 20-25 regular season games.
 

tims4wins

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You would only be talking about 1 year with both of them anyway. Someone is going to pay Ullmark starter money as a UFA on 7/1/25, so they are better off paying Swayman, trading the last year of Ullmark for some asset (and I’m not talking about the 1st round pick/ Top 6 forward pipe dream that certain fans and talk radio personalities think is feasible) this summer with caps going up and having Bussi as the backup to Swayman playing 20-25 regular season games.
I get that this is smart business and smart GMing, but I love the goalie hug era so much. Similar to the Celts trading Smart, I hope an Ully trade would work out too.
 

Salem's Lot

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I get that this is smart business and smart GMing, but I love the goalie hug era so much. Similar to the Celts trading Smart, I hope an Ully trade would work out too.
Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice luxury to have, but it’s a luxury that would be really expensive to maintain going forward.

Furthermore, I have full trust in their development program at that position to be able to turn Bussi, or DiPietro, or Svedeback when he turns pro into a nice backup for Swayman. Goalie Bob might be the best in the game at developing young goalies.
 

cshea

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I agree, but do you think it is looking slightly more feasible with the emergence of some of the younger players and all of the money coming off the books after this year from the Bergeron/Krejci bonus pool?

I am not great at reading CapFriendly, but it looks like they are about $30M under the cap for next season with only DeBrusk and Grzelcyk being UFA's of note (and Forbert, I guess). I hope they try to keep DeBrusk and Grz, but it feels like even after Swayman's raise that should put them at around $15M or so under the cap, with not a ton of spots to fill. (Note: These are all serious WAG estimates, so I could be way off). I figure if one or more of Merkulov (who looked okay to my eye in his limited time), Lysell, Zboril, or Lohrei take that next step, they only have, what, 3 roster spots to fill at that point?

Moving Ullmark would give them more room to maneuver, for sure, but man is it awesome having the best tandem in the league.
They have $25 million in space (assuming a cap increase to $87.5 million) but only 13 players signed. They need to spread the remaining $25 million among 7-10 players to fill out the roster, including a few pricy spots like re-signing/replacing Grzelyck (think he's gone too) and signing/replacing DeBrusk. Then there's also all the depth dudes that need to be replaced like JVR, Shattenkirk, Heinen, etc. So I think it'll go quick. I think 2 goalies above $5 million is a luxury they can't afford. It's nice to have the rotation back and forth but on the flip side but at the end of the day you can only play one at a time. Would you rather $5+ million in a backup goalie every night or spend $5+ million on skaters that will contribute every night?

Swayman's going to be 26 next year. That's about the same age as when they turned the net over full time to Rask. I could be wrong, but I think we're headed down a similar path. They've been pretty good at finding cheap, playable backups. Nik Svedback was OK, Chad Johnson was OK, Anton Khudobin gave them a few good years and Halak was great. I think that's the route we're headed.

I don't think Ullmark will bring in a massive return but it's also dealing from a surplus and potentially recouping some of the draft capital they dealt away last year.
 

The B’s Knees

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You would only be talking about 1 year with both of them anyway. Someone is going to pay Ullmark starter money as a UFA on 7/1/25, so they are better off paying Swayman, trading the last year of Ullmark for some asset (and I’m not talking about the 1st round pick/ Top 6 forward pipe dream that certain fans and talk radio personalities think is feasible) this summer with caps going up and having Bussi as the backup to Swayman playing 20-25 regular season games.
The most recent comp I can think of where a goalie was traded for a first round pick was during the 2021 offseason. Colorado acquired Darcy Kuemper from Arizona in exchange for Conor Timmins, a first-round pick in 2022 and a conditional third-round pick in 2024. Kuemper was 31 at the time with 1 year left on his contract.

https://www.nhl.com/news/coyotes-trade-darcy-kuemper-to-avalanche-325861278

But that was 3 seasons ago. Who knows how teams value a similar (and by all accounts better) goalie these days?
 

Salem's Lot

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The most recent comp I can think of where a goalie was traded for a first round pick was during the 2021 offseason. Colorado acquired Darcy Kuemper from Arizona in exchange for Conor Timmins, a first-round pick in 2022 and a conditional third-round pick in 2024. Kuemper was 31 at the time with 1 year left on his contract.

https://www.nhl.com/news/coyotes-trade-darcy-kuemper-to-avalanche-325861278

But that was 3 seasons ago. Who knows how teams value a similar (and by all accounts better) goalie these days?
That would be great if they could get that, I just wouldn’t bank on it. Kuemper didn’t have a no trade clause at the time. I know Ullmark’s is only a 15 team list, but it still limits the market, and most likely the return. For example, Edmonton might be willing to overpay for a goalie, but then you’d have to talk him into going to Edmonton. Not an easy task.
 

Eddie Jurak

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That a trial date has been set roughly a month from now most certainly does *not* mean that this case is going to trial. (There may be other reasons that make it more definite, but the existence of a trial date is not such a reason).
Correct. My wife (a public defender) has set many more trial dates than she has actually had trials. It's just a standard thing that happens. From here, they could resolve via plea, reschedule the trials date, etc. Trial on Feb 16 is possibly but very unlikely.
 

Myt1

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I get not wanting to call one of several blatant penalties against the Jets to give the Bruins a 5-3 toward the end of the game, but last night against Ottawa was probably the most poorly officiated game of anything I’ve seen in a decade. And, like, consistently, glaringly so.
 

cshea

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5 on 5 points per 60 this season:

David Pastrnak: 2.48
Trent Frederic: 2.48.

Frederic's shooting percentage is a bit high and likely to regress but overall he's been a very nice surprise. I thought some of his production last year was a result of playing with Coyle and Hall a lot and was curious to see how he'd adjust this year with lesser linemates. So far, he's basically maintained the same production as last year (on a rate basis). Looks like a quality middle 6 player who can play all 3 forward positions.
 

mwonow

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That's a good argument to add some bottom-6 or third-pair toughness, you don't want a guy who contributes at a high level to also be the one who settles scores. (not to mention, he's kind of out of his league in that role, as the set-to a week ago with the Montreal guy showed)
 

jezza1918

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With the caveat that I dont want too many other games too closely, it feels like via the eye test that the Bruins give up more goals than a good team should in the last five minutes of a game. Looking up their goals/goals allowed by period the 3rd is when they allow the most goals, but also when they score the most (2nd best period goal differential wise at +17, 1st period they are at +20, 2nd at +7). Overall NHL wide they are 11th best in league in terms of goals allowed in the 3rd period...which may well mean my initial feeling is off, but does anyone have any insight into this? Or a resource to check it? Ive perused a bunch of stat websites and have so far come up empty when trying to find out goals allowed in last 5 minutes (or thereabouts) of a game.
 

cshea

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With the caveat that I dont want too many other games too closely, it feels like via the eye test that the Bruins give up more goals than a good team should in the last five minutes of a game. Looking up their goals/goals allowed by period the 3rd is when they allow the most goals, but also when they score the most (2nd best period goal differential wise at +17, 1st period they are at +20, 2nd at +7). Overall NHL wide they are 11th best in league in terms of goals allowed in the 3rd period...which may well mean my initial feeling is off, but does anyone have any insight into this? Or a resource to check it? Ive perused a bunch of stat websites and have so far come up empty when trying to find out goals allowed in last 5 minutes (or thereabouts) of a game.
15 goals against in the last 5:13 of the 3rd period (stretched 13 seconds to include the STL goal at 14:47 of the 3rd a few games back). Some notes:
  • 1 was into a Boston empty net
  • 10 they were shorthanded...either via a penalty kill or facing an empty net situation (6x5 or 6x4 etc)
  • 2 were blowouts where the Bruins were up 5-1 in both cases and coughed one up
  • 2 in tie games (Minnesota, Carolina)
 

jezza1918

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15 goals against in the last 5:13 of the 3rd period (stretched 13 seconds to include the STL goal at 14:47 of the 3rd a few games back). Some notes:
  • 1 was into a Boston empty net
  • 10 they were shorthanded...either via a penalty kill or facing an empty net situation (6x5 or 6x4 etc)
  • 2 were blowouts where the Bruins were up 5-1 in both cases and coughed one up
  • 2 in tie games (Minnesota, Carolina)
Ok thank you! But is there any (easy way) without box score checking to compare that with other teams? Is 15 (although really 12 'meaningful') alot, relatively speaking?
 

cshea

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Ok thank you! But is there any (easy way) without box score checking to compare that with other teams? Is 15 (although really 12 'meaningful') alot, relatively speaking?
I'll dig around. NST has a tool where you can get raw numbers for game situations such as "against an empty net."

I'd imagine 15 is a lot, however a lot that is because they're always ahead and thus are facing a man disadvantage. They've allowed the most goals when facing an empty net this year but have also played the most minutes against an empty net.
 

jezza1918

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I'll dig around. NST has a tool where you can get raw numbers for game situations such as "against an empty net."

I'd imagine 15 is a lot, however a lot that is because they're always ahead and thus are facing a man disadvantage. They've allowed the most goals when facing an empty net this year but have also played the most minutes against an empty net.
Right, game situation definitely plays into it. Unless you really want to dont bother digging further, it was just to satiate my naked eye...but now after thinking about the game situation Id bet that year in year out typically speaking teams with the best records also tend to let in higher number of goals.
 

Dummy Hoy

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1. I find I don't care for this break.
2. I was probably one of the high people on the Bruins at the start of this season, I thought they could contend for the Atlantic (would ultimately fall short), and would be a tough out for anyone in the playoffs. But goddamn I did not expect to get to watch another absolute wagon. It's not always pretty but they just keep getting it done. Very impressive
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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1. I find I don't care for this break.
2. I was probably one of the high people on the Bruins at the start of this season, I thought they could contend for the Atlantic (would ultimately fall short), and would be a tough out for anyone in the playoffs. But goddamn I did not expect to get to watch another absolute wagon. It's not always pretty but they just keep getting it done. Very impressive
Same, same and same. Even without Bergeron they are a regular season force.

Although (not to be a negative nelly) I also find that the playoffs are looming and the last two years have been massive postseason disappointments. I don't know if they are going to get over that hump this year. We've seen that the regular season success hasn't yet translated to the playoffs for this iteration of the team. What can they do better to make sure that doesn't happen again? No idea.
 

cshea

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Don't think there is much they can change. There's a lot of luck and randomness in the playoffs. *ducks*

The goalie situation will be the big one to watch for and is largely to blame for their downfall last year. Do they pick one and go or do they continue the rotation? They're both top 10 goalies in the league this season so I'd just roll them every-other but last year they picked the Vezina winner and played him through injury until it was too late.
 

tims4wins

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Don't think there is much they can change. There's a lot of luck and randomness in the playoffs. *ducks*

The goalie situation will be the big one to watch for and is largely to blame for their downfall last year. Do they pick one and go or do they continue the rotation? They're both top 10 goalies in the league this season so I'd just roll them every-other but last year they picked the Vezina winner and played him through injury until it was too late.
I think Sway has earned the game 1 start, and I think the correct approach is simply every other game. I don't think doing something like "you play until you lose" works, because it puts undue pressure on the goalies. Sway knows he gets game 1, Ully knows he gets game 2, they can just prepare as per their normal regular season routine without worrying whether their performance will land them on the bench the next game. I really, really, really hope Monty goes this route.
 

wiffleballhero

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The goalie situation will be the big one to watch for and is largely to blame for their downfall last year. Do they pick one and go or do they continue the rotation? They're both top 10 goalies in the league this season so I'd just roll them every-other but last year they picked the Vezina winner and played him through injury until it was too late.
I'm choosing to believe that they learned a lot from the mistakes of last season, which should include the sense that all things being even, the more rested goalie is the better one that day.

I think Sway has earned the game 1 start
This is fine, but the problem last season was that this concept of 'earning' it over the course of the season came to trump winning the game they were playing that day. It was obvious that Ullmark was hurting, but this sense that he somehow earned it, come hell or high water, was foolish. So I love the idea that Swayman is earning it, for now. But if he shows up with so much as a bruised toenail before the first game, I hope the Bruins are smart enough to have an honest assessment of who gives them the best chance to win that night.