Bruins Offseason Thread

RedOctober3829

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When Cassidy said "Tuukka is ready to go" he meant "Tuukka is ready to go".

Tuukka was clearly capable of playing Game 6, and he played fine. The defense gift wrapped 4 goals for them, 3 of which Tuukka had zero chance on (a save on the breakaway would have been nice). He's had a torn labrum literally all season and has played through it. So yes - he was ready to go.

The clamoring for a guy who's played 20 mins of playoff hockey and got beat on the first shot he faced is wild. You can second guess the decision but acting like it was a sin against humanity is just absurd. It was probably a 50/50 play and he went with the guy the whole team was behind and has been at worst the 2nd best goalie in recent franchise history (after Cheevers). I'm not going to kill Cassidy for it especially in a game they got so thoroughly outplayed otherwise.

Team loss, and well deserved.
This right here sums the whole situation up for me. If the doctors and ATs say he can play and Rask wants to play, I am not sure that you can say no. With the info now that he's been playing with it the entire year, the training staff and Rask had formulated a plan to stay as healthy as he could and it worked. He had a really good year and was playing great in the playoffs until Game 5. Playing Swayman would not have prevented the turnovers they committed nor covered for the depleted back end. It's easy to blame Cassidy and/or Rask, but looking at the bigger picture the Bruins are squarely in purgatory: good enough to think they may make a deep playoff run but not good enough to actually do it.
 

Haunted

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I would very much like Tuukka back if he'll take a rather large pay cut, and having him return mid-season would be plenty of time to sort out Swayman/Vladar. It might even make sense to find a Halak-like vet as insurance.
 

veritas

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Hard pass on Eichel. That is a huge contract and his injury is potentially something he'll never be back to 100% from.

For me the two major issues are:
1. Impact 2nd line player. Re-signing Hall solves that problem. Otherwise they need to replace Krejci with a #1 center, and that's going to be almost impossible.
2. Partner for McAvoy. I love Grz, he just can't be your 2nd best defenseman.

I don't love the goalie situation, but it is what it is. Whether it's Tuukka, Swayman/Vladar, a veteran FA, they're going to have above average goaltending at best next season.
 

Haunted

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This right here sums the whole situation up for me. If the doctors and ATs say he can play and Rask wants to play, I am not sure that you can say no. With the info now that he's been playing with it the entire year, the training staff and Rask had formulated a plan to stay as healthy as he could and it worked. He had a really good year and was playing great in the playoffs until Game 5. Playing Swayman would not have prevented the turnovers they committed nor covered for the depleted back end. It's easy to blame Cassidy and/or Rask, but looking at the bigger picture the Bruins are squarely in purgatory: good enough to think they may make a deep playoff run but not good enough to actually do it.
But one look at him and it was obvious that he couldn't play. I absolutely don't believe the doctors said "no he's fine to play goalie in an NHL playoff game when we'll be scheduling him for surgery immediately after his season ends, it's fine!". They may have said "continuing to play will not further injure him", but that's different.

Seeing him play in games 5 and 6 made it 100% clear that he was not capable anymore of playing at a high level. Yes, he played great against Washington and in games 1-4 (well, games 1-2), but then he didn't and it was obvious. I could understand, after game 4, continuing to start him in game 5, but by game 6 it was brutally obvious.
 

FL4WL3SS

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This is a very fair question to ask. and I'm honestly not sure the right answer there.
The answer is a hard no. This isn't the Thomas/Rask situation where we clearly had a franchise goalie waiting in the wings and you take whoever is the hot hand. It was Rask or bust all the way. You don't hand important playoff games to an unproven goalie while your franchise goalie sits by ready to go. That's a great way to lose the locker room.
 
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jezza1918

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The answer is a hard no. This isn't the Thomas/Rask situation where we clearly had a franchise goalie waiting in the wings and you take whoever is the hot hand. It was Rask or bust all the way. You don't hand important playoff games to an unproven goalie while your franchise goalie sits by ready to go. That's a great way to lose the locker room.
The only reason I posed the question was because I find it hard to believe the medical/coaching staff expected Rask to be able to play 25ish games in 55 or so nights. I also think the phrase "ready to go" isn't 100% applicable in this case.
 

kenneycb

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I’m sure it’s more Twitter than sports radio.
Are you hating when a player is sucking and you're talking about his sucking? This isn't a Rask situation where a certain subsegment of fans will shit on him unless he gets a shutout every game. DeBrusk objectively sucked this year and brought next to nothing to the table despite having expectations going into the season as a solid second liner. His best skill is supposed to be scoring goals and he did not do that.
 

cshea

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But one look at him and it was obvious that he couldn't play. I absolutely don't believe the doctors said "no he's fine to play goalie in an NHL playoff game when we'll be scheduling him for surgery immediately after his season ends, it's fine!". They may have said "continuing to play will not further injure him", but that's different.

Seeing him play in games 5 and 6 made it 100% clear that he was not capable anymore of playing at a high level. Yes, he played great against Washington and in games 1-4 (well, games 1-2), but then he didn't and it was obvious. I could understand, after game 4, continuing to start him in game 5, but by game 6 it was brutally obvious.
I just can't agree here.

In his final 10 starts of the regular season, he had a .926 save percentage. To start the playoffs he had a .938 in the first 8 games. In games 3/4 in NY he stopped 58 of 61 shots (.950). I don't recall anyone asking for Rask to be benched prior to game 5. The team and staff had 18 games of evidence suggesting that he could play through the injury at a high level.

He stopped 12 of 16 in game 5, but I don't think he was bad or looked hurt. He gave up a Barzal PP wrist shot from the low right wing circle that went blocker side high. Next goal was a puck that bounced through and off Clifton to Palmieri who had an open net from the far post. 3rd goal was a one timer where Bailey was literally unchecked at the top of crease. 4th goal was a mirror of the Barzal goal, this time a low left circle PP wrist shot that went glove side. I mean, you'd like a save on either the Barzal or Eberle goals but those were quality chances against. Those are going to go into the net from time to time. Neither of them was as bad a goal against as the goal Swayman allowed to make it 5-2.

In game 6, first goal was a rebound that Zajac fired in from the top of the crease. Low shot, tricky rebound to control and the defenseman in front was spun around and couldn't find the puck before Zajac did. 2nd goal was a breakaway. 3rd goal was again a tap in from the crease. Rask played the puck to Reilly who fumbled it right to the Islanders who had 2 guys right on top of the crease who put it into the net. Final goal was a rebound that went to Grzelyck who fumbled it and Palmieri cashed in before Rask could reset. You could say bad rebound control but I'm not convinced he wasn't trying to leave the puck there for Grz to clear. I'll knock that one against him though.

To me, Rask was performance was fine, not great. The teams performance in front of him, particularly defensively in game 6, meant he needed to be great. If he's fully healthy, maybe he stops the breakaway or one of the Eberle/Barzal goals in game 5 and it's a different series. Maybe Swayman would've been great, who knows. He was shaky in 1 period and 3 shots faced so it's anyone's guess as to how he'd have played if starting. He could've just as easily stunk up the joint. I just don't think Rask's performance is the sole reason they lost, and bringing the pitchforks and torches out for Cassidy for starting Rask isn't really fair. There's a lot of things Cassidy did wrong. He never made any adjustments until the 3rd period of game 6 when they were down 4-1. He never countered Trotz putting Pageau's line out against Bergeron. Those are far more concerning to me than the handling of the goalies. The Rask situation isn't anything near a Grady Little or Belichick/Butler moment to me.

Anyways, that's it. This will be the last I say on it because it's clear pretty much everyone disagrees with me and we're just going to go around in circles. Time to move on.
 

Salem's Lot

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Are you hating when a player is sucking and you're talking about his sucking? This isn't a Rask situation where a certain subsegment of fans will shit on him unless he gets a shutout every game. DeBrusk objectively sucked this year and brought next to nothing to the table despite having expectations going into the season as a solid second liner. His best skill is supposed to be scoring goals and he did not do that.
It was more speculation on my part on what form of media he consumes given his age. I doubt he was sitting in his apartment listening to 98.5 all day, and more likely he was referring to what he reads on his Twitter feed.
 

The Napkin

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He stopped 12 of 16 in game 5, but I don't think he was bad or looked hurt.
He was down early because he couldn't react quickly enough and deep in the crease because he couldn't push off to move out fast enough. I mean he could barely skate to the bench during tv timeouts and they flat out said they pulled him because "he needed some maintenance" and "he wasn't himself".
 

burstnbloom

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I just can't agree here.

In his final 10 starts of the regular season, he had a .926 save percentage. To start the playoffs he had a .938 in the first 8 games. In games 3/4 in NY he stopped 58 of 61 shots (.950). I don't recall anyone asking for Rask to be benched prior to game 5. The team and staff had 18 games of evidence suggesting that he could play through the injury at a high level.

He stopped 12 of 16 in game 5, but I don't think he was bad or looked hurt. He gave up a Barzal PP wrist shot from the low right wing circle that went blocker side high. Next goal was a puck that bounced through and off Clifton to Palmieri who had an open net from the far post. 3rd goal was a one timer where Bailey was literally unchecked at the top of crease. 4th goal was a mirror of the Barzal goal, this time a low left circle PP wrist shot that went glove side. I mean, you'd like a save on either the Barzal or Eberle goals but those were quality chances against. Those are going to go into the net from time to time. Neither of them was as bad a goal against as the goal Swayman allowed to make it 5-2.

In game 6, first goal was a rebound that Zajac fired in from the top of the crease. Low shot, tricky rebound to control and the defenseman in front was spun around and couldn't find the puck before Zajac did. 2nd goal was a breakaway. 3rd goal was again a tap in from the crease. Rask played the puck to Reilly who fumbled it right to the Islanders who had 2 guys right on top of the crease who put it into the net. Final goal was a rebound that went to Grzelyck who fumbled it and Palmieri cashed in before Rask could reset. You could say bad rebound control but I'm not convinced he wasn't trying to leave the puck there for Grz to clear. I'll knock that one against him though.

To me, Rask was performance was fine, not great. The teams performance in front of him, particularly defensively in game 6, meant he needed to be great. If he's fully healthy, maybe he stops the breakaway or one of the Eberle/Barzal goals in game 5 and it's a different series. Maybe Swayman would've been great, who knows. He was shaky in 1 period and 3 shots faced so it's anyone's guess as to how he'd have played if starting. He could've just as easily stunk up the joint. I just don't think Rask's performance is the sole reason they lost, and bringing the pitchforks and torches out for Cassidy for starting Rask isn't really fair. There's a lot of things Cassidy did wrong. He never made any adjustments until the 3rd period of game 6 when they were down 4-1. He never countered Trotz putting Pageau's line out against Bergeron. Those are far more concerning to me than the handling of the goalies. The Rask situation isn't anything near a Grady Little or Belichick/Butler moment to me.

Anyways, that's it. This will be the last I say on it because it's clear pretty much everyone disagrees with me and we're just going to go around in circles. Time to move on.
You remain the best poster on this forum. Give this man a crown.

Great post. you're 100% right.
 

Myt1

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If Tuukka were healthy enough to play Game 5 and 6, and his injury were of such little concern such that those goals, including the Barzal PP goal in Game 5 didn’t result from staying too far in net and going down too early to make up for being unable to compete athletically further out and on his edges—a specific adjustment that Tuukka has made later in his career, then why didn’t he practice that morning?

Why did they limit his reps before Game 6, the game after getting yanked for “maintenance”?

If nothing had changed with his physical condition vs. what happened at the end of the season or in the first round, why the change to his practice routine? What was the “maintenance” that he had to go through that led to him getting yanked in Game 5?

An analysis that looks only at what everyone else was doing on these goals ignores the fact that results can have contributing causes, and is the equivalent of looking at the penalties on the Bruins in Game 5 and saying, “What’s the big deal? Those are penalties.”

Of course. But that’s half the story.

Tuukka absolutely should have started the playoffs. But he’s been quite obviously physically laboring, such that the team knew he couldn’t/shouldn’t practice. And this new weakness didn’t come out of nowhere and was not of unknowable etiology; he had a known medical condition—one that had flared up previously, leading to an aborted comeback (in a game that he was no doubt cleared by everyone to play, because sometimes doctors, coaches, and patients try some shit out that ends up being the wrong move). This isn’t a moral or character failing. It’s just a thing.

I’m even fine giving him the Game 5 start. See if whatever you shoot him up with works. He’s a warrior and wants to tough it out. You gave him a rest that morning. I’d have had a quicker hook, but whatever, reasonable men can differ.

But then Game 5 happened. He looked like he was wading through gravy.
 
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Myt1

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@TFP is shitting on my analogies (but I still love him), but if Tuukka were fine, he practices in full both days. You don’t give an order that Santiago isn’t to be touched and also transfer him from Gitmo.
 

Haunted

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I'm with Myt1 here. Tuukka was absolutely terrific until game 5, absolutely, which is exactly when it became obvious that he wasn't fine at all. He had largely overcome the "goes down too early" criticisms from earlier in his career until he suddenly couldn't walk or stand up quickly - and then those top shelf lasers started going in again.

But please, keep going over his outstanding results in games I'm not saying he shouldn't have started.
 

RetractableRoof

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The answer is a hard no. This isn't the Thomas/Rask situation where we clearly had a franchise goalie waiting in the wings and you take whoever is the hot hand. It was Rask or bust all the way. You don't hand important playoff games to an unproven goalie while your franchise goalie sits by ready to go. That's a great way to lose the locker room.
No snark, but Binnington got it done. I'd be hard pressed to believe that Swayman would have crapped his pants - and in some cases a goalie sub brings another level of effort from a team to cover for the inserted player. I'm only saying is it's not as absolute as you seem to be saying - especially given the players were watching Rask struggle with his athleticism/movement at times.
 

Haunted

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Swayman was also not playing with a torn labrum that prevented him from practicing, or standing, or playing goal.
 

kenneycb

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Binnington dragged the Blues to the playoffs and was the starter going in. There wasn’t a question as to whether he or Jake Allen should start that year.
 

jcaz

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My observation on Tuukka was that throughout the playoffs he was staying farther and farther back in his net, and his lateral movement was really poor. I don't know that I can point to any individual goal and say that his injury precluded him from making the save. But, I do think it's on Cassidy to decide not if Tuukka's good to go - the doctors tell him that - but whether or not in his current condition he gives the team a better chance to win than Swayman.

I probably would have given Swayman the start in Game 6 and rolled the dice that he might stand on his head.
 

FL4WL3SS

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I think once they committed to Rask in game 5, you have you stick with him in a do-or-die game 6. The real opportunity was game 5. If Swayman plays well there, you can justify putting him back out in game 6.
 

biff_hardbody

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He never countered Trotz putting Pageau's line out against Bergeron.
Your entire post was excellent and has persuaded me that Tuukka in Game 6 was probably the right move. But I wanted to focus on the above quote.

In game 6 (or even before) Cassidy could have broken up the Marchand-Bergeron-Pasta line, and put Pastrnak on Krejci's right wing with Hall on the left. Smith could have gone to Bergeron's right, or Kuhlman could have moved up to Bergeron's right and Smith gone down to Coyle's right. This would have served a couple purposes: help get Krejci and Hall going, made the Krejci line a real 1st scoring line, and maybe gotten Bergeron away from Pageau and allowed him to matchup with the Islanders best scoring line (Barzal line). That lineup starts to look more like the way the lines were set up in 2011. It would have been nice to see some lineup creativity . Pageau's line did well to stifle the Bruins top line.

In any event, I hope at some point we get to see Hall and Pastrnak play on a line together for an extended period of time.
 

Jordu

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Hall, Rask and Krejci all told reporters today that money isn’t their top priority in negotiating their next contracts.

From his quotes it sounds as though there’s a chance Krejci won’t be in the NHL next year.

“You guys write a lot that I always wanted to play in Czech, finish my career in Czech, which has not changed. But when I said that, I was younger. Now I’m a husband, I have two kids, they’re getting older. So yes, I still, at one point, would like to finish my career in Czech but for different reasons now than when I first said it.

“I would like my kids to speak my language, because my parents don’t speak any English. My kids don’t speak Czech. So I would like them to learn my language.

“But again, when that’s going to happen — or if that’s going to happen — we’ll see next. I’m going to try to get away from the game for a little bit now and think about lots of things, spend some time with my family, and just go from there.”

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/06/11/sports/bruins-veteran-david-krejci-is-doing-some-deep-thinking-about-his-future/
 

Myt1

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So, can you wait until after Tuukka’s surgery to make him an offer? See what the kids give you, and how successful it is?

I guess there are a few questions there:

1. Do the rules allow you to sign Tuukka as a free agent in late Jan/early Feb?

2. If so, would he be playoff eligible?

3. If so, is there a material risk that someone else signs him first, or that he gets pissed off enough not to want to play?
 

MiracleOfO2704

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1. PSK or cshea will probably know better, but if you sign him now, he can go on LTIR and his cap hit is off the books until he’s back. As far as what I think you’re asking, the Ruotsalainen Rule, which kept teams from having wink-wink nudge-nudge deals with overseas players, wouldn’t apply here

2. Again, willing to be corrected, but I think the playoff eligibility cutoff is the trade deadline, and Rask should be recovered well before it.

3. He’s said he’ll only play for the Bruins, so you wouldn’t think so.

All that said, leaving him unsigned means he rehabs completely independently of the team, and you do run the risk of pissing him off to the point he retires and goes home to Finland. Honestly, the better play would be to sign him after the expansion draft, stash him in LTIR-land, and worry about him infringing on Swayman or Vladar when the time comes. As good as both were this season, I’d like to see more than a third of a season’s work before handing the reins to them full-time.
 

LogansDad

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As far as I understand it, they can sign him and LTIR him, but they have to be cap compliant on day one so it would affect their ability to sign free agents. They can also wait until after the season starts to sign him, but he would have to go through waivers before he could join the team.
 

Salem's Lot

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As far as I understand it, they can sign him and LTIR him, but they have to be cap compliant on day one so it would affect their ability to sign free agents. They can also wait until after the season starts to sign him, but he would have to go through waivers before he could join the team.
I don’t think teams have to be cap compliant on day 1 of the league year anymore. That’s how Tampa got away with being $11 million over the cap this year. I could be misunderstanding that though.