23-24 Bruins Season Thread

tims4wins

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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.



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.
Sure, fair. I just meant if both guys are 100% I’d have Sway in G1
 

cshea

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Through 50 games Swayman has been the better goalie so if you do the alternating thing, starting him game 1 means he gets game 7.

That said, Monty still needs to have a quick trigger if things go sideways. That was really the root problem last year. It wasn't that he stopped rotating it was that he stuck with an injured Ullmark when he had a top 10 goalie on the bench.
 

lexrageorge

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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.
About the only thing the Bruins, or any team for that matter, can do to improve the chances for playoff success is add depth to the middle or back end of the forward or blueliner rotations. Injuries happen. And then hope an Ullmark or a McAvoy don't make a mistake at a bad time (team's that make the fewer mistakes often win the close games, not unlike what Bill would always preach in the NFL).

Obviously, adding depth will be challenging given the team's cap constraints, but that's why Donnie makes the big bucks.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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About the only thing the Bruins, or any team for that matter, can do to improve the chances for playoff success is add depth to the middle or back end of the forward or blueliner rotations. Injuries happen. And then hope an Ullmark or a McAvoy don't make a mistake at a bad time (team's that make the fewer mistakes often win the close games, not unlike what Bill would always preach in the NFL).

Obviously, adding depth will be challenging given the team's cap constraints, but that's why Donnie makes the big bucks.
They need to also figure out how to win at home in the postseason, it's something they've been particularly bad at for the last several years. It cost them a Cup in 2019 and the series against Florida last year. It's unacceptable.

Again, these problems are intractable and infuriating to see. I am unconvinced it's just bad luck. I hope they figure something out, because the postseason failures have really taken the shine off what should be very enjoyable regular seasons.
 

tims4wins

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They need to also figure out how to win at home in the postseason, it's something they've been particularly bad at for the last several years. It cost them a Cup in 2019 and the series against Florida last year. It's unacceptable.

Again, these problems are intractable and infuriating to see. I am unconvinced it's just bad luck. I hope they figure something out, because the postseason failures have really taken the shine off what should be very enjoyable regular seasons.
Home road has to be more luck than anything no? Unless they are just too hyped or less focused?
 

The Napkin

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right here
My personal feeling is that they get too hung up on last change and getting matchups at home and it takes them out of the flow of just playing their game. It probably isn't backed up by anything but I'm convinced it's true.
 

cshea

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They are 14-11 at home in the postseason since 2018-2019 (excludes the bubble year), .560 win percentage. Since 2008, NHL teams are .552 at home in the playoffs. They went 3-0 at home against the Hurricanes 2 playoffs ago. In 2019, they won 6 of 7 at home at one point (game 7 vs Toronto, Game 1,5 vs Columbus, Game 1, 2 Carloina, Game 1 St. Louis). Then they lost 3 in a row. Last year they lost 3 in a row. On the flip side, they went 2-1 on the road vs St. Louis and 2-1 on the road vs. Florida, so it wasn't a key to success for those two teams.

I don't think home ice in the NHL as impactful as other sports like the NFL or NBA.

The Athletic had a piece up last year that sort of touched on this subject league wide.

https://theathletic.com/4431522/2023/04/20/nhl-playoffs-home-ice/

While the regular season is mostly steady, playoff home-ice advantage changes so drastically that it’s difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions. Some years it matters a lot. Some years it doesn’t at all. And it’s hard to predict whether it will or won’t in any given year — which can make forecasting what happens especially tricky. Last year, home teams won 61 percent of the time. This year is off to a rough start toward matching that.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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They lost 3 out of 4 at home in the Cup Final, and 3 out of 4 at home last year.

That is what I am concerned about. They cannot be losing that many home games in a series if they expect to win anything. It's very, very frustrating.
 

Dummy Hoy

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I think most of you put far too much emphasis on winning the Cup than enjoying the hockey. Obviously I have a different perspective. But if only one team all year has a "good season" then it's fucked...enjoy the ride
 

catomatic

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They grip their sticks too tightly at home. I think there were even quotes from Marchand to that effect, at one point.

They urgently need to improve at the dot or last change at home will prove even less meaningful than it has to date.

Pick up a middle/bottom six pivot with face off skills, or send reinforcements to Providence to deliberately tool up Beecher for the pro game. He’s good on the draw but making too many mistakes or disappearing too frequently for Monty to give him the run he needs.
 

durandal1707

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I think the goalie rotation is the way to go in the playoffs, in large part because it's shown to work in the regular season. Ullmark injury aside, playing him for that many games in a row was something of an unknown at that point. It also probably contributed to some rust on Swayman's part when he finally came in for Game 7. I also have to think alternating goalies makes it much more difficult for opponents to gameplan. Stick with what works.

They're going to need much better from Montgomery if they want to go on a deep run this year. The goalie situation was an obvious error on his part, but he also threw the lines into a blender after a dominant Game 4 win, putting in a less-than-100% Bergeron and not pairing him with Marchand in the initial lines for some reason. I also recall the overtime in Game 7 where the Bruins looked to be playing a very scared, passive, "pray for the stretch pass" game. Monty was a complete mess in that series and he needs to get his shit together this postseason.

Their major weakness, however, is their breakout when faced with an aggressive forecheck. McAvoy and Lindholm both struggled mightily in the Panthers series. I'm not sure how to fix that, though... it just seems like something the defensemen need to work on.
 

cshea

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I think I'd sit the deadline out*. First and foremost, if last season taught us anything it's that there's no sure thing. I don't have any regrets, they shoved everything in for what ended up being Bergeron's last year. But despite having the most talent I've ever seen it didn't get them any closer. They could add Connor McDavid, Cale Makar and Matthew Tkachuk and that doesn't gurantee anything.

Secondly, they've burned a ton of futures already. At some point that bill comes due. They made 5 draft picks in 2023, have only 3 left for 2024, and are down 2 in 2025. I'm in the minority that thinks they are good at drafting but given the high bust rate for all draft picks, they need volume.

As for depth, I think they're in OK shape. Defensively they currently have Lohrei, Zboril and Mitchell in Providence. I don't think trading a late pick is going to bring someone back that is any better than those guys. At forward, they've got Beecher, Poitras, Steen, Brown and then the prospect types like Lysell and Merkulov they could use. Obviously injuries could change the calculus but again, not sure I'd trade a pick or prospect to bring in a depth player. I'd prefer to just ride it out with what they've got.

* Everyone is focusing on Elias Lindholm but the only real exception, in terms of a *big* trade targets the Bruins could chase after, is Noah Hanifin. There's a more immediate need, he's local and they've been linked to him in the past, and the timing lines up well. Grzelyck and Forbort are pending UFA's so he's an immediate upgrade and there's an opening on the left after this season. Hanifin just turned 27 so he's close to the same age as when they acquired and extended Hampus Lindholm. Fits in age wise with the McAvoy, Pastrnak core. I would rather wait and sign him as a UFA and save the assets but he's the only real *big* name trade target I could see them spending for.
 

catomatic

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I agree with all of that, cshea, I’m trying to puzzle out a way to get better on draws, is all.

It’s possible this is where Bergeron’s absence is felt most acutely, close and late faceoffs. There’s just nobody in whom I feel all that confident (they’re sitting at 19th in the league, right now), and it feels like it’s bitten them already and will only do so more.

The 6 on 4 GA is, I’m sure, partly a product of lost DZone draws. Opponents are rightly smelling a little blood in the water in those situations.
 

catomatic

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Didn’t Chuck come in here and show us that draws weren’t really impactful (surprisingly)?
My vague recollection was that there was a dispute about Bergeron’s DZone usage, or something. It was weighing the best use of his skills with a view to maximizing his offensive talents which, at the time, had yet to fully emerge.

I could be wrong but I don’t think that anecdote was offered as proof that DZone draws don’t matter all that much. Because, really, how could they not?
 

cshea

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My vague recollection was that there was a dispute about Bergeron’s DZone usage, or something. It was weighing the best use of his skills with a view to maximizing his offensive talents which, at the time, had yet to fully emerge.

I could be wrong but I don’t think that anecdote was offered as proof that DZone draws don’t matter all that much. Because, really, how could they not?
This was the statistical conclusion for draws from Fris' post:

I took a look at the effect of faceoffs on goals, specifically examining how many goals are scored within X seconds of a face-off. Simplistically, what I found was for every 50 (not the real number, but good enough for this) OZ or DZ faceoffs won more than lost a team would score or allow a goal. At this point, Bergeron was winning ~60% of his faceoffs, while Krejci was at ~50%. Running the numbers, I found the difference between Krejci and Bergeron taking 200 DZ faceoffs would be less than 1 goal, and that having Krejci take more non high leverage draws in his own end would be a "safe" way to reduce Bergeron's TOI and increase his late game effectiveness.
There's some value in faceoffs but I think in general they don't correlate to goals and wins much. A faceoff is essentially a puck battle and there are thousands of puck battles within the game. Draws just happen to be beginning points so there is more focus than a puck battle along the boards during the run of play. Better to win them than lose them, particularly in specific situations, but ultimately I don't think it's a pre-requisite for success.
 

catomatic

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This was the statistical conclusion for draws from Fris' post:



There's some value in faceoffs but I think in general they don't correlate to goals and wins much. A faceoff is essentially a puck battle and there are thousands of puck battles within the game. Draws just happen to be beginning points so there is more focus than a puck battle along the boards during the run of play. Better to win them than lose them, particularly in specific situations, but ultimately I don't think it's a pre-requisite for success.
You’ve left me no legitimate space in which I can reassert my confirmation bias. I must go now.
 

joe dokes

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From now on, every time I get frustrated by something I will throw a water bottle and shout "1 in 50!"
Sure you will. Just like everytime Jose Offerman turned a DP with the speed of a post-Vesuvius Pompeiian and the arm of venus de milo you shouted, "Mo Vaughn's OBP!!" ;)
 

riveraulwick

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This was the statistical conclusion for draws from Fris' post:



There's some value in faceoffs but I think in general they don't correlate to goals and wins much. A faceoff is essentially a puck battle and there are thousands of puck battles within the game. Draws just happen to be beginning points so there is more focus than a puck battle along the boards during the run of play. Better to win them than lose them, particularly in specific situations, but ultimately I don't think it's a pre-requisite for success.
All true, but puck battles along the walls do not result in set plays by your opponent deep in your own defensive zone. The amount of high danger shots as a result of clean face-off loses are what I have been looking for since I've read Fris' excellent post and I have seen a bunch. The fact that they haven't gone in isn't completely relevant to the discussion of whether we should be concerned by them.

We routinely get concerned about the poor play of defensemen that leads to high danger shots against us. I guess I'm just having a hard time understanding why we wouldn't be with clean face-off loses in our own zone.
 

Spelunker

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Sure you will. Just like everytime Jose Offerman turned a DP with the speed of a post-Vesuvius Pompeiian and the arm of venus de milo you shouted, "Mo Vaughn's OBP!!" ;)
Yeah, but did you see him go back on popups?
 

cshea

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I trust Friedman (and LeBrun also stated he thought the Bruins were interested) but I don't see a huge need. Those guys have sources but it also feels like since Bergeron and Krejci retired there's just an assumption among the "insiders" that the Bruins need a center and will be after any that becomes available.

Coyle and Zacha have been fine, then they've got some combination of Geekie, Frederic, Poitras, Beecher and Boqvist who have filled the other 2 center spots at various times with Merkulov down in Providence who has placed C here. All 7 of those guys are under team control past this year. Lindholm would certainly be an upgrade but I don't think a necssary one. As I posted earlier, Hanifin seemed more in their wheelhouse to me if they were going to sell the limited futures they do have.
 

Maximus

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I agree with cshea, as usual. Hanifin is definitely in their wheelhouse and I think they'll make a run at him at the deadline.
 

5dice

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So sad. And I say that as the only person in existence with an autographed jersey. :(

I wanted big things for him. Not for him to get big.77556
 

cshea

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Thank the lord this ridiculous break is almost over.

Here's the practice lines today:

Marchand - Coyle - DeBrusk
van Riemsdyk - Zacha - Pastrnak
Lauko - Geekie - Frederic
Heinen - Boqvist - Steen
Poitras

Grzelyck - McAvoy
Lindholm - Carlo
Forbort - Shattenkirk
Wotherspoon

This is about how the ended the first half.

Curious to see what the end up doing with Poitras. He's only played 5 games since returning from the WJC. He was injured for a bit so that factorsi n but he's played less than 9:00 minutes so it seems he's falling a bit down the depth chart. They've sort of settled in with Geekie as the 3C so I wonder what the immediate future holds for Poitras. There was some chatter about trying him on the wing to lessen the load, maybe that happens sooner rather than later.

He's played 33 games so they could theoretically send him back to the OHL and the year won't accrue as service time towards free agency (the ELC year is burnt). I think that gets triggered at 40 games.
 

joe dokes

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Curious to see what the end up doing with Poitras. He's only played 5 games since returning from the WJC. He was injured for a bit so that factorsi n but he's played less than 9:00 minutes so it seems he's falling a bit down the depth chart. They've sort of settled in with Geekie as the 3C so I wonder what the immediate future holds for Poitras. There was some chatter about trying him on the wing to lessen the load, maybe that happens sooner rather than later.
He's played 33 games so they could theoretically send him back to the OHL and the year won't accrue as service time towards free agency (the ELC year is burnt). I think that gets triggered at 40 games.
I think they keep him. If they thought there was even a chance he had more to gain from OHL, they would've moved him before game 10. The comp may not be perfect, but Joe Thornton played 55 games (8 min ATOI) as an 18yr old rookie. While I hope that sitting and not playing doesn't wreck his confidence, it's likely that he benefits more from being here.
 

mwonow

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Gotta say (avatar notwithstanding) Matty has seemed to be more watcher than participant lately.
 

Salem's Lot

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Poitras is still better off being practicing and training with NHL players than he would be going back and dominating kids in the OHL. At this point, if they sent him back there would be a better chance that he would pick up bad habits, lose confidence, or get really pissed off at the organization if they sent him down now.

Let him play 1 or 2 games a week and spend the rest of the time hitting the gym and practicing like an NHLer.
 

Cotillion

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He's still winning puck battles in the corners and coming out of scrums with pucks when I don't see how he does it.

He just hasn't had any scoring to go along with it other than some random assists here or there (some he should have assists cause he did a lot of work to setup the eventual play but doesn't work that way).

I think he was one of the only ones (there was one other) that had zero points in that laugher against Montreal, but I still remember he played well.
 

cshea

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I don’t disagree but the sample size of 18 or 19 year olds with 25 NHL games played this season is like 10 players, half of which are defensemen.

I’d keep him I was more or less just wondering if, as they solidify the playoff lineup, Poitras loses ice time and if they would consider sending him back before the year of service time accrues.
 

TSC

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I don’t disagree but the sample size of 18 or 19 year olds with 25 NHL games played this season is like 10 players, half of which are defensemen.

I’d keep him I was more or less just wondering if, as they solidify the playoff lineup, Poitras loses ice time and if they would consider sending him back before the year of service time accrues.
According to the tweet, 9.
 

cshea

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B's called up Anthony Richard.

27 years old, has 15 games of NHL experience (13 came with Montreal last season). Has been scoring at a high level in the AHL, 48 goals and 56 assists in his last 101 AHL games over the past 2 seasons. Believe he can bang a little, more than 100 PIM's over the same time frame.

Curious to see if he stays and they use him or if he's just up because someone is sick and questionable for tonight.

View: https://twitter.com/NHLBruins/status/1755675629213618350?s=20