23-24 Bruins Season Thread

cshea

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Brazeau has been a nice find. Didn't enter the year with an NHL contract. Spent part of last season in the ECHL. Earned one and is now contributing at the NHL level. 13 games, 53% xGF% with 4th line minutes and 36% o zone starts. Big, can get to the net and has good enough hands to finish. 3 goals (and a 4th that was waived off) all from around the crease. Might lose time when Maroon is ready, I think the footspeed of both means they can't play on a line together. I'm assuming Monty defers to the veteran and Maroon brings more snarl than Brazeau. Either way, looks like they have a useful player on a league minimum contract in Brazeau.
Monster game from Brazeau last night. Goal, assist, 4 SOG, 94% xGF%. Played so well Monty gave him run on the top line in the 3rd. Goal from, you guess edit, right in the crease. Did a nice job out-muscling K'Andre Miller and also not contacting the goalie.

I'd put him on PP1 and see what happens.
 

cshea

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The descriptions here of Brazeau (I haven't seen him in action yet) make him sound a lot like Tyler Bertuzzi.
Bertuzzi got inside ice and was good in front of the net but Brazeau is much bigger. Bert more of a playmaker too.

To be honest the best comp I can come up with, and I'm sure this won't go over well, is Nick Ritchie.
 

catomatic

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Bertuzzi got inside ice and was good in front of the net but Brazeau is much bigger. Bert more of a playmaker too.

To be honest the best comp I can come up with, and I'm sure this won't go over well, is Nick Ritchie.
I dream of a poor man’s Tim Kerr.
 

j44thor

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Brazeau reminds me a bit of another late bloomer that used to wear the B, Mike Knuble.
Incredibly Knuble didn't have a 20G season until his age 30 season when he scored a career best 30 and would follow that up with 8 straight 20+ G seasons. He didn't break out until his age 26 season with the NYR. Knuble is a unicorn as far as career path so I'm not suggesting Brazeau is the next Knuble but they do have a somewhat similar game.
 

The B’s Knees

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Interesting that Brazeau played 49 games in Providence this year.
He scored 18 goals, but none on the powerplay.
 

cshea

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Who is the Bruins top prospect at this point? I'm so out of the loop.
Kinda of depends on how you want to define prospect. Mason Lohrei, Matt Poitras, John Beecher and Jakob Lauko are all 23 years old or younger and playing in the NHL as rookies/2nd year pro's. Lohrei and Poitras have higher ceilings than Beecher and Lauko in all liklihood. If we consider them graduated then the next group is probably Fabian Lysell, Georgii Merkulov and Brandon Bussi.

Lysell was a first round pick in 2021. Winger, just turned 21 and has played the past 2 years in Providence. A little under a point per game, 86 in 109 games. Merkulov is a center, 23 years old, scores a bit more than Lysell and has also played the past 2 years in Providence. 110 points in 121 games. Got a brief cup of coffee in Boston around Christmas when they sent Poitras to the WJC. These two are probably the highest ceiling players in the system. Bussi is a bit older at 25 but a goalie. Another UDFA signing, has been one of the better goalies in the AHL over the past 2 years, 19-9-3 with a .913 save percentage this year. A lot of chatter that he'll be the backup in Boston next season since he'll no longer be waiver exempt.

After those 3 we get into the longer term prospects.
 

jk333

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Lysell was a first round pick in 2021. Winger, just turned 21 and has played the past 2 years in Providence. A little under a point per game, 86 in 109 games. Merkulov is a center, 23 years old, scores a bit more than Lysell and has also played the past 2 years in Providence. 110 points in 121 games. Got a brief cup of coffee in Boston around Christmas when they sent Poitras to the WJC. These two are probably the highest ceiling players in the system. Bussi is a bit older at 25 but a goalie. Another UDFA signing, has been one of the better goalies in the AHL over the past 2 years, 19-9-3 with a .913 save percentage this year. A lot of chatter that he'll be the backup in Boston next season since he'll no longer be waiver exempt.

After those 3 we get into the longer term prospects.
Given the trades they’ve made and how strong the teams have been, you can’t be upset. So I’m not saying this in a negative way.

But, if you don’t count Lohrei or Poitras as prospects anymore- is that the worst collection of prospects for any NHL team? Or are other contenders in similar positions. Fair to count Poitras as a prospect too if that’s what is done.
 

Dummy Hoy

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Scott Wheeler at the Athletic, who is always a little low on Bruins prospects (correctly notes the prefer floor over ceiling), has them at 30th this year but notes that Poitras not being a prospect anymore causes them to drop a few spots. He includes Lohrei as a prospect (#2).
 

Salem's Lot

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It’s really not surprising that they’re at the bottom of the prospect rankings, considering that they have been competitive for the last 15 or so years, and frequently trade high draft picks.

The fact that Sweeney continues to find useful players to add to the lineup of a perennial playoff team through mid round draft picks, the UDFA market, and guys that were non tendered is a testament to the good program that they’ve built.
 

zenax

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I cannot see the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup this year and I doubt they will even get far enough in the playoffs to even get the chance.
 

Salem's Lot

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I cannot see the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup this year and I doubt they will even get far enough in the playoffs to even get the chance.
Going into this season, many of us thought they’d be a borderline playoff team. They might win the President’s Trophy again. They overachieved.
 

jk333

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It’s really not surprising that they’re at the bottom of the prospect rankings, considering that they have been competitive for the last 15 or so years, and frequently trade high draft picks.

The fact that Sweeney continues to find useful players to add to the lineup of a perennial playoff team through mid round draft picks, the UDFA market, and guys that were non tendered is a testament to the good program that they’ve built.
Agree with you!
Just funny to see the prospects listed out. Sweeney has done well.
 

cshea

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9 of the 23 players on the current roster were Sweeney draft picks (includes Heinen).

They tend to prefer low ceiling/high floor types but they are good at identifying these players and finding NHL players deeper into the draft than most. Lohrei and Poitras were both 2nd round picks in years they didn't have a first, so hitting on them is huge. Lauko was a 3rd round pick. Swayman is a Vezina caliber goalie they got in the 4th round. We'll see what the future holds for Beecher but he's likely an NHL player, albeit a bottom 6er. Merkulov and Bussi were both UDFA signings who are near the top of their prospect lists.
 

TSC

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I cannot see the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup this year and I doubt they will even get far enough in the playoffs to even get the chance.
Cool. So what?

Seriously. What is the point of this post? Can you back this up with even one stat or are you going purely on ~vibes.~

The team is going to make the playoffs. That alone means they're getting the chance to win the Stanley Cup. So already your 1 sentence post is 50% worthless.

That this season was considered a transition year by almost every smart person who follows the team (not you), and they're currently 1 point outside of winning the Presidents Cup with 10 games remaining means this is a good team worth following.

Do better.
 
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Jungleland

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I was so disappointed and mad about how last season ended, I didn’t follow the offseason at all. Within a week? two? of opening night I was fully back on board. Even with the shine of the first couple months a bit worn by the post break slump and the OT woes, this team has been fun as hell. Nothing's going to be last year's regular season and Bergeron (and Krejci) aren't replaceable personalities, but somehow this has still been at least in the top half of enjoyable seasons to follow for me since the window opened with Kessel. I'd be absolutely thrilled with a deep run, but I don't need anything more than avoiding an embarrassing exit to be content with how this year has gone.
 

j44thor

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If he hated the finish to the Philly game I wonder how he felt about the first 50min?

One thing for a team to play well and have bad puck luck or run into a stretch of hot goaltending. This seems like the first time in a while you have to question the effort over the last few weeks. They have spurts where they look good but for every good period they seem to coast through 2-3.
 

cshea

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To me the biggest issue is they aren't generating much offense. If you compare their statistical profile to last year, the biggest differences are their shots for per 60 (32.04 down to 27.03) and scoring chances for (31.45 down to 27.31). Early in the 3rd NESN posted that the Bruins had 5 scoring chances through that part of the game and I thought that was generous. They had a 2:00 shift in the Flyers zone in the 2nd period but it never really felt threatening, just skating and passing around the perimeter.

I know Monty is generally a quality over quantity guy but I think they could use a dose of throwing that out the window and just fire away. He's been talking for weeks about how he wants PP1 to shoot more, but they seemingly refuse to do so. He's gone so far as starting a few PP's with the 2nd unit. I can't remember if it was the PP or ES but I lost my mind on Saturday when McAvoy was coming down from the top of the right circle with a clean lane to the net and he tried a low percentage cross ice pass to Pasta that easily got broken up. That's always been one of Charlie's flaws, but it seems to have permeated to the whole team.
 

LogansDad

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I wonder if the sense of urgency about last year's team, and then the urgency that comes from (probably) playing over their heads for the first two thirds of this season is finally causing some of the top guys to wear down.
 

joe dokes

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I wonder if the sense of urgency about last year's team, and then the urgency that comes from (probably) playing over their heads for the first two thirds of this season is finally causing some of the top guys to wear down.
They'll have a lot of guys with 40 points--which is a good thing. But maybe 3 with more than 60. Seems like that puts a lot of pressure on a lot of middling players.
 

wiffleballhero

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I wonder if the sense of urgency about last year's team, and then the urgency that comes from (probably) playing over their heads for the first two thirds of this season is finally causing some of the top guys to wear down.
Or just ease up for a few weeks before things get real.

It has got to be hard to maintain the intensity level that teams really fighting for a playoff position might, or a team looking to show that they are top dog would bring to a March game. But especially after last year, not far in the back of their minds, most of the Bruins players have got to know that all they are looking to do right now is start the playoffs with fresh legs and not injured. The Presidents' Trophy is a Pyrrhic victory.

I'm on team wait-and-see mostly because every time I read about some data point that tells us how middling this team is, I can't help but wonder what that data point was saying about last year's regular season and thus, you know, I'd rather not get too fatalistic about this team's future over the next few months.

I like our goalies. I like our chances.
 

zenax

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Do better.
In their first 36 games, they were 23-7-6. That's 53 out of 72 possible points. In their last 36 games they were 18-9-9. That's 45 out of 72 possible points. And they also started their season 9-0-1. That's 19 out of 20 possible points. So they have gone 32-16-14 if the first ten games are not counted. They are tied for last in the NHL for most Overtime Losses. While they outscored their opponents by 26 goals in the first 36 games, that dropped to 15 goals in the second 36 games. Teams have figured out how to play the Bruins, whose main idea of offense is to dump the puck in the corner and fight for it behind the net and along the boards with a lot of their shots hoping for deflections into the net.

If you don't like what I write, I think you can ignore me.
 

Salem's Lot

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In their first 36 games, they were 23-7-6. That's 53 out of 72 possible points. In their last 36 games they were 18-9-9. That's 45 out of 72 possible points. And they also started their season 9-0-1. That's 19 out of 20 possible points. So they have gone 32-16-14 if the first ten games are not counted. They are tied for last in the NHL for most Overtime Losses. While they outscored their opponents by 26 goals in the first 36 games, that dropped to 15 goals in the second 36 games. Teams have figured out how to play the Bruins, whose main idea of offense is to dump the puck in the corner and fight for it behind the net and along the boards with a lot of their shots hoping for deflections into the net.

If you don't like what I write, I think you can ignore me.
What you’re describing is how most teams generate offense in the playoffs. They key is winning battles especially in front of the net which they haven’t been doing a ton of lately, but systematically I think they’re on the right track.
 

cshea

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Eh, I'm not sure. Traditionally, dump and chase is an ineffective strategy. Give up the puck, waste energy trying to get it back. None of the recent cup winners have been dump and chase. The only team that does it a lot and is somewhat successful is Carolina, and even they've shifted away from it a bit this year. I don't have a full subscription but All Three Zones has the data on this and the Bruins are a heavy rush team. They generate the vast majority of their offense from off the rush. Part of the problem, IMO, is they aren't getting many follow up chaces. If the rush attempt gets stopped or goes wide, it's getting cleared. They need more follow up pursuit, not just dumping and chasing.

Also, some of the stats are cherry picking. The "if you take out the good stretch they're only a +15 goal differential!" would still put them 12 in the NHL. They have the most OTL's can be seen 2 different ways. People are looking at it like they're just feasting off loser points but the flip side is they've difficult to beat in regulation. In fact they have the fewest regulation losses in the league. That's not nothing and I don't particularly care about their 3x3 or SO record, those are going away in 10 games.
 

kenneycb

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The OTL's wouldn't be an issue if so many of them (or the OTW's for that matter) weren't because of blown leads. They've blown 17 leads all season and 11 3rd period leads, which is third most in the league, tied with the Islanders and only behind Columbus and San Jose - not good company to keep. And several of those were in the final 5 minutes. They have difficulty closing games recently (4 of the 11 have occurred since Feb. 17) and the sheer amount of OT games, let alone wins or losses, are a sign of that.

https://champsorchumps.us/records/most-nhl-blown-leads-in-2024
 

zenax

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Headline in Sports Section of today's Boston Globe:

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery warns, ‘I don’t think our team’s ready yet for the playoffs’

Less than five minutes into Monday's practice, he barked, "Wake the [expletive] up." Although he did go on to say in the article that "I don’t think I’ve done a good enough job of teaching the details and game management that we need."
 

Salem's Lot

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For what was a transition year, this was the goal I was hoping for them to get. It's all house money from here on out.
I think it’s a good example of the program and the culture that they’ve established.

It’s really difficult to be competitive for 16 years, with basically two different groups without having a couple of years where they go to the bottom of the league.

Hell the two years that they did miss the playoffs it was by a combined 3 points.
 

tims4wins

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Been a good 3 weeks. For a while it was looking like Florida would take the division - as of March 12 they had 94 points in 66 games to the Bruins 91 in 67 games. But Florida has lost 8 of their last 10 while the B's have won 6 of 9, and now the B's have a 4 point lead with Both teams having 6 games left. So 8 points would guarantee at least a tie (unsure how division tiebreakers work in the NHL?), and they do have one more head to head on Saturday - a win there would make things extremely difficult on Florida.

They still have a shot at the President's trophy, but not sure anyone really wants them to win that anyway!

Either way, it's been a much better than expected regular season. I'm looking forward to watching them in the playoffs, however it plays out. Would love a series win. Anything else beyond that is gravy.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I'm very pleased they've continued to win without Bergeron this year, but they REALLY need a series win this year. Badly. It's been a while already. And the young core guys need to figure out the playoffs thing now. The last two postseasons have been massive kicks in the balls.
 

kenneycb

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Getting ahead of the Rangers would be great. I would much rather have one of the pupu platter of Philly, Detroit, Washington, the Islanders or Pittsburgh than Tampa.
 

IdiotKicker

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Getting ahead of the Rangers would be great. I would much rather have one of the pupu platter of Philly, Detroit, Washington, the Islanders or Pittsburgh than Tampa.
Was looking at this last night. I want no part of even a weakened Tampa team in the playoffs. Rangers schedule is easier than ours the rest of the way, so I suspect we likely end up with Tampa, but it would be nice to catch a break if the Rangers stumble down the stretch.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Was looking at this last night. I want no part of even a weakened Tampa team in the playoffs. Rangers schedule is easier than ours the rest of the way, so I suspect we likely end up with Tampa, but it would be nice to catch a break if the Rangers stumble down the stretch.
Tampa has Gretzky, Jagr, and Esposito coming off of LTIR for the playoffs. Wise to avoid them
 

cshea

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Been a good 3 weeks. For a while it was looking like Florida would take the division - as of March 12 they had 94 points in 66 games to the Bruins 91 in 67 games. But Florida has lost 8 of their last 10 while the B's have won 6 of 9, and now the B's have a 4 point lead with Both teams having 6 games left. So 8 points would guarantee at least a tie (unsure how division tiebreakers work in the NHL?), and they do have one more head to head on Saturday - a win there would make things extremely difficult on Florida.

They still have a shot at the President's trophy, but not sure anyone really wants them to win that anyway!

Either way, it's been a much better than expected regular season. I'm looking forward to watching them in the playoffs, however it plays out. Would love a series win. Anything else beyond that is gravy.
The tie breaker is regulation wins. Florida leads 38-34 so I don't think it's even possible to catch them in RW and also end up in a tie. So the magic number for the division is 9 points won by the Bruins / lost by Florida.
 

BaseballJones

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Looking at the standings, it's so weird how Boston has a worse overall W-L record than Florida, but is nonetheless in first place in the division.

Bos: 44 wins, 32 losses
Fla: 47 wins, 29 losses

But Boston is ahead in points because they have a ton of losses in overtime.

Now that they don't do ties anymore in the NHL, why not just have "normal" standings of W-L? Why give 1 point for an OT loss - which used to be 1 point for a tie? No other sport gives you "credit" for losing a game in overtime (or extra innings). Why not just do away with points and just have a standard win-loss table? What would be the disadvantage of this?
 

Salem's Lot

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I’m assuming that Sergachev will be ready to go for Tampa in game 1 of the playoffs. He’s already started skating.
 

cshea

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I get the sentiment but the Bruins did the LTIR gambit last year and "probably done for the year" Forbort has miraculously resumed skating 3 weeks out from the playoffs.
 

tims4wins

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Now that they don't do ties anymore in the NHL, why not just have "normal" standings of W-L? Why give 1 point for an OT loss - which used to be 1 point for a tie? No other sport gives you "credit" for losing a game in overtime (or extra innings). Why not just do away with points and just have a standard win-loss table? What would be the disadvantage of this?
The league wants teams to actually try to score in OT - unlike the old 5 v 5 system which meant if you went for it but got caught in an odd man rush the other way and lost, you got 0 points. 1 point > 0 points. Now teams can play with reckless abandon in OT and it's a more exciting product. You don't lose out on a potential point if you lose in OT - it's already guaranteed. So you're incentivized to try for the win, instead of playing for the tie. I think it's awesome if they have to have some sort of OT / winner as opposed to just ties after 60 minutes (which I wouldn't be opposed to but probably wouldn't be liked by the masses).
 

cshea

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The real solution is the 3-2-1 point system. 3 points for a regulation win, 2 for an OT/SO win, 1 for OT/SO loss. Why we have games that are valued differently (some are worth 3; others 2) never made sense to me.