Halfway point, where do they stand?

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
31,580
Deep inside Muppet Labs
We're halfway through the season now, let's look at the team a bit.

8th in the conference, 2 points ahead of 9th.
-3 goal differential.
Losing record at home. That's bad!
Winning record on the road. That's good!
25th in the league in goals per game (2.34), That's bad!
7th in the league in goals allowed per game (2.44). That's good!
25th in the league in power play percentage. That's bad!
2nd in the league in penalty killing. That's good!

Rask is 4th in GAA and 7th in %, very good numbers.
Marchand leads the team with 32 points, which is good for only 29th in the league.

So I dunno. Just a whole lotta "meh" here. It's good that the likes of Rinaldo aren't in the lineup any longer but the team still struggles for consistency and scoring, and oddly can't win at home. No real jumps forward from last year in results. Backes' injuries don't help, and Bergeron hasn't had a good year. Improvements from both would go a long way to helping the team's scoring ills.

Where do they go from here? I don't have much more to add than this, I haven't been able to follow the team as closely as usual this season. I haven't read too much of the usual "Fire Clode!" stuff this year, and honestly I'm not sure what he can do save get guys healthy. The Globe (well, KPD, so ugh) floated a Landeskog-for-Carlo trade but that will never happen and I'm not sure it should even if possible.
 

grimshaw

Member
SoSH Member
May 16, 2007
3,503
Portland
If nothing else - they are owed a free frogurt, potassium benzoate be damned!

I think most preseason predictions had them at roughly this spot in the conference, so I'd say they are right on pace with their projected mediocrity. It's another year where a half decent if unspectacular offensive core with an all-star goalie is getting another year older with pretty crappy results.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
13,596
Tuukka's refugee camp
Yeah this seems par for the course given their roster at the start of the year. That said, I have been mildly more impressed with the defense this year and slightly more disappointed with the offense, specifically the lack of production from anybody not named Marchand and Pastrnak.

But, at this point, they are pretty much what they thought we were.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
18,862
It's another year where a half decent if unspectacular offensive core with an all-star goalie is getting another year older with pretty crappy results.
That's all well and good, except last year they were 5th in goals with 3 30 goal scorers and their goalie had a career down year. So it's not like that at all.

This team is the complete opposite of what I expected, yet in the same position in the standings as expected. The effort is actually really good - this team tries hard and doesn't give up. They have improved their 4th line dramatically (hooray DoMo!) but their 2nd and 3rd lines are dramatically worse. Riley Nash does nothing for me, Krejci just "feels" like he's a non-factor, Spooner disappears for long stretches, and then the smorgasboard of Schaller, Hayes, Czarnik, etc are just kind of there. They're not terrible (except maybe Hayes) but they're a far cry from the Peverley - Kelly - Ryder 3rd line of yore.

One thing that's been completely overlooked - Beleskey has been hurt for 1/2 the season so far. He had a terrible start, but he's a significant upgrade over all those people I mentioned. A combo of Beleskey, Backes, and Vatrano is a solid injection of talent to the current forward group.

So I don't know where that leaves them. This feels like it's going to be a 3rd straight season where it comes down to the final week. Which sucks.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
18,862
I think it's just a combination of an injury and some bad luck. He's still the same player, the shots aren't going in. That's starting to turn around (3 goals in the last 4 games), so hopefully that improves going forward.

It's basically the inverse of his year last year, where everything he shot went in.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
31,580
Deep inside Muppet Labs
And while I honestly hate to ask this: if they miss the playoffs again, is Claude gone? What about Sweeney? Charlie had no problem shitcanning Chiarelli when they missed but Sweeney seems to have been given more leeway due to his newness to the job.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,127
306, row 14
Their underlying numbers are really good.

- 55.3% CF, 1st in the league
- 33.2 shots per 60 at 5x5, 2nd in league
- 26.4 shots against per 60, 3rd in league

These are big improvements from a year ago. Last season they had a 49.5% CF, took 31.1 shots and allowed 29.9. So they are doing a lot of things right, and there is team wide improvement. Julien should be commended for this, but the Fire Clode movement I'm sure will continue to beat that drum.

The issues are scoring and backup goaltending. I've beaten the shooting percentage thing to the ground, but that is really the main problem. It's a luck/talent issue. Bergeron and Marchand in particular seem snakebitten. Just thinking back to last night, the Oilers get a puck to pin ball in off RNH, then the Bruins come right back down the ice and Bergy smokes one right off the post. That sort of an example of the shit luck they have experienced. Bergy's starting to score more so hopefully the worm is turning.
There are talent issues on the bottom lines that tie into the bad percentage. Guys like Schaller, Spooner, Nash etc. aren't goal scorers and have spent lots of time this season playing higher in the lineup than they should be. The Bruins could use a goal scoring winger.

They are trying to work out the backup goalie issue with the McIntyre / Khudobin swap. They can't afford to have the backups give sub .900 efforts. Zane has been hot for Providence and I thought handled himself well early this year in Rask's absence.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
18,860
The Bruins could use a goal scoring winger.
Spooner, a reasonable 3rd center and PP contributor, is badly miscast as a winger. I'd like to see what Vatrano can do with Krejci and Backes. I dont know enough about the rest of his game, but Vatrano at least has goal scoring skills (and the other two are pretty reliable defensively). I dont know whether that's hands, quickness, vision, willingness to shoot at will or something else, but he has it, and someone like Schaller, who I like, and who plays his ass off, and is an otherwise effective hockey player, doesn't. It took me a really really long time to appreciate that finishing is a skill that not a lot of players have. Schaller had the rebound on the doorstep last night; even Hayes made a nice run to the net, but both bollixed it at the end. Krug, OTOH (who I know is having other issues), is a scorer (albeit on D); he drove to the net and nearly roofed the one off the cross bar. Most players dont even get the good shot off there.
 

TheRealness

Don't make him go all Lucic on your ash
SoSH Member
Feb 8, 2006
11,278
The Dirty Shire
I am frustrated by them, as I feel they are better than their record. Yet, despite playing like dogshit, they are still currently in the playoffs, which is a little surprising given their recent uninspiring play.

I think they will continue to be mediocre, but I feel they should absolutely be in the playoffs this year. While they have a great young pipeline of talent, that failure will cost Julien his job and I think that's fair.
 

FL4WL3SS

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
12,090
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
Their underlying numbers are really good.

- 55.3% CF, 1st in the league
- 33.2 shots per 60 at 5x5, 2nd in league
- 26.4 shots against per 60, 3rd in league

These are big improvements from a year ago. Last season they had a 49.5% CF, took 31.1 shots and allowed 29.9. So they are doing a lot of things right, and there is team wide improvement. Julien should be commended for this, but the Fire Clode movement I'm sure will continue to beat that drum.

The issues are scoring and backup goaltending. I've beaten the shooting percentage thing to the ground, but that is really the main problem. It's a luck/talent issue. Bergeron and Marchand in particular seem snakebitten. Just thinking back to last night, the Oilers get a puck to pin ball in off RNH, then the Bruins come right back down the ice and Bergy smokes one right off the post. That sort of an example of the shit luck they have experienced. Bergy's starting to score more so hopefully the worm is turning.
There are talent issues on the bottom lines that tie into the bad percentage. Guys like Schaller, Spooner, Nash etc. aren't goal scorers and have spent lots of time this season playing higher in the lineup than they should be. The Bruins could use a goal scoring winger.

They are trying to work out the backup goalie issue with the McIntyre / Khudobin swap. They can't afford to have the backups give sub .900 efforts. Zane has been hot for Providence and I thought handled himself well early this year in Rask's absence.
This is my main problem with using shots and shot% as a basis for any measure. The quality of shot matters and getting a lot of poor quality shots from the defense and bottom lines shouldn't really count. While I agree that there are some real concerns surrounding a select few with respect to being snake bitten, there is a bigger issue with shot selection that needs to be addressed.

I've been a huge Claude fan, so I hope he recognizes this and is doing something about it. Quantity is great, but quality is better. Just look at what the Blue Jackets are doing, Torts looks like a genius this season and teams either aren't adjusting to what they're doing or can't.

I'm hopeful they can turn it around and maybe make a move or two to put them over the hump, but Claude needs to make some adjustments for that to happen. The one thing I'm not sure about, however, is if he's sacrificing offense to cover for the weak defensive corps. There might be a correlation to the defense being better than expected.
 

timlinin8th

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 6, 2009
1,521
This team is the complete opposite of what I expected, yet in the same position in the standings as expected. The effort is actually really good - this team tries hard and doesn't give up. They have improved their 4th line dramatically (hooray DoMo!) but their 2nd and 3rd lines are dramatically worse. Riley Nash does nothing for me, Krejci just "feels" like he's a non-factor, Spooner disappears for long stretches, and then the smorgasboard of Schaller, Hayes, Czarnik, etc are just kind of there. They're not terrible (except maybe Hayes) but they're a far cry from the Peverley - Kelly - Ryder 3rd line of yore.

One thing that's been completely overlooked - Beleskey has been hurt for 1/2 the season so far. He had a terrible start, but he's a significant upgrade over all those people I mentioned. A combo of Beleskey, Backes, and Vatrano is a solid injection of talent to the current forward group.
This team's depth is absolutely an issue; with Bergy having a down year and guys like Backes and Beleskey missing significant time, they've needed some of those secondary players to step up and they haven't. I'm with you in that Nash, Hayes, Schaller are basically useless, and while I know a lot of you guys like him, I'm gonna add Blidh in there as well. I like that he's a grinder but he's up to 14 GP now and has a whopping 2 points. I don't mind Czarnik but he should be on the 4th line, as he is similar to Moore (aside from Moore being a little better possessionwise), and I'm with you on your feeling about Krejci, though that he is third on the team in points and tied for third in goals speaks volumes for this team.

I gotta add Krug to the shit list as well since he's an offensive defenseman. While he has a lot of assists to his name, 1 goal and a sub 1 percent shooting percentage are just flat out bad.

And while I honestly hate to ask this: if they miss the playoffs again, is Claude gone? What about Sweeney? Charlie had no problem shitcanning Chiarelli when they missed but Sweeney seems to have been given more leeway due to his newness to the job.
Sweeney and Cam should be feeling a little heat. A lot of the depth problems this team has are related to where they have spent their money, and while I know they do have cap room right now, imagine how they could have spent their money had they not bid against themselves for the likes of McQuaid, KMiller, and Liles (member him?), tied up a ton of money in Krug who is an offensive defenseman who is sucking offensively (and all the signs were there that might be the case before signing him), the money being spent on Jimmy Hayes who is useless, and the money given to Khudobin this offseason for them to now waive him. That's over sixteen million tied up in garbage players. Its expected that you miss here and there but that is a lot of moves that were openly criticized the moment they were made, where that money could have been spent in more useful ways.
 

FL4WL3SS

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
12,090
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
I am frustrated by them, as I feel they are better than their record. Yet, despite playing like dogshit, they are still currently in the playoffs, which is a little surprising given their recent uninspiring play.

I think they will continue to be mediocre, but I feel they should absolutely be in the playoffs this year. While they have a great young pipeline of talent, that failure will cost Julien his job and I think that's fair.
Can you explain why? I'm genuinely curious why you think that is and what better options you'd be looking at.

To be transparent, I disagree with that statement.
 

FL4WL3SS

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
12,090
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
I agree with SJH, I think Sweeney and Cam are more to blame than Claude. Although I know it's easier to can the coach and Jacobs has shown an undying love for a stalwart in the past, so I'm guessing Cam is safe.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,127
306, row 14
This is my main problem with using shots and shot% as a basis for any measure. The quality of shot matters and getting a lot of poor quality shots from the defense and bottom lines shouldn't really count. While I agree that there are some real concerns surrounding a select few with respect to being snake bitten, there is a bigger issue with shot selection that needs to be addressed.

I've been a huge Claude fan, so I hope he recognizes this and is doing something about it. Quantity is great, but quality is better. Just look at what the Blue Jackets are doing, Torts looks like a genius this season and teams either aren't adjusting to what they're doing or can't.

I'm hopeful they can turn it around and maybe make a move or two to put them over the hump, but Claude needs to make some adjustments for that to happen. The one thing I'm not sure about, however, is if he's sacrificing offense to cover for the weak defensive corps. There might be a correlation to the defense being better than expected.
I hear you on shot quality, but they are still running a 52.8% scoring chance for rate, which is still good. I think the PP is an area where the shot quality is an issue. They generate the 5th most shot attempts on the PP, but are only 14th in shots on goal on the PP. Too many shots from the point that go wide or into the defenders shin pads. They need to be more creative and not try and filter everything back to the point or try a low percentage cross-ice pass.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,127
306, row 14
Sweeney hitched his wagon to draft and development. That takes some time to come to fruition, so I'd probably let him see it through for another year or two as his players start to come into the system and make an impact at the NHL level. Jacobs and Neely scare me if they don't have the patience to let it play out. No idea how it went down and who was calling the shots, but I really don't want to see the same futures for rental type deadline deals we saw a year ago.
 

TheRealness

Don't make him go all Lucic on your ash
SoSH Member
Feb 8, 2006
11,278
The Dirty Shire
Can you explain why? I'm genuinely curious why you think that is and what better options you'd be looking at.

To be transparent, I disagree with that statement.
To me, the lack of effort at the beginning of the games, the malaise at times with some of these games, and then tactical decisions like putting Schaller on the PP, or on Krejci's wing with Dominic Moore are all bad decisions born of his own preference for grit and toughness. The latter is a lesser issue, but the team coming out flat constantly, not being able to get on a roll, and ultimately looking inconsistent, to me, are coaching issues. I am concerned he is being tuned out, as he has been the coach now for a long time.

While I understand the trap you are attempting to lay, as that is the primary issue with Claude is his replacement, I also think there are a couple intriguing candidates. It's not that he isn't, or shouldn't be on the hot seat, it's what flotsam or jetsam is out there to replace him with. One guy that does make me curious is Kevin Dineen (current Asst. Coach for the Blackhawks), but he flamed out pretty hard with Florida after leading them to the playoffs in 2012. Another name that is hot in the AHL market is Travis Green, who has a reputation for working well with young players and has done very well in the AHL and WHL prior.
 

Maximus

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
5,243
I am frustrated by them, as I feel they are better than their record. Yet, despite playing like dogshit, they are still currently in the playoffs, which is a little surprising given their recent uninspiring play.

I think they will continue to be mediocre, but I feel they should absolutely be in the playoffs this year. While they have a great young pipeline of talent, that failure will cost Julien his job and I think that's fair.
I agree that they are maddening and are better than their record. The D has been much better than expected, Carlo has been a great surprise and Kevan Miller has played pretty well but Krug has been a huge disappointment and not worth his new contract. The infusion of some new young talent, Czarnik, Acciari, Vatrano and Blidh have been ok and Dominic Moore has been a solid addition. Khubodin has been a disappointment and McIntyre should be an upgrade there. I think they should add a scoring winger but they need to be careful and not compromise their young assets. Hayes is useless, Nash and Schaller are JAGS. They should be a playoff team but not sure that they'll get there. I am a Clode supporter but I think Neely & Sweeney will replace him if they don't make the playoffs.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
28,991
Melrose, MA
They are obviously a rebuilding team that is trying to pretend that it is a legit contender. At least there is some reason for optimism on the rebuilding front, with Carlo, Pastrnak, and some of the prospects who are working their way up (McAvoy, Senyshyn, JFK, Bjork, Heinen, DeBrusk, etc).

I don't expect a whole lot from this team in the near future though.
 

burstnbloom

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
1,904
Im fighting my emotional self with this team quite a bit. I am trying not to get as annoyed about the slow starts and the games where it feels like they dominate but lose anyway. I think its pretty obvious that this team has played better than their record so far. I feel like they "deserved" wins in the following:

11.8 - Montreal
11.29- Flyers
12.1- Carolina
12.14 - Pitt
12.20 - NYI
12.27 - Carolina
1.4- Edmonton

If they get even half of those games as it really felt like they should have, they would be in a much different spot. I expect some of that boneheadedness/bad luck to correct itself.

I am getting really tired of the stiffs that they insist on playing on this roster though. Nash, Blidh, Hayes, Schaller, Moore and Accari should only be on the 4th line. All are nice players in some respects (except Nash and Hayes) but they are sprinkled throughout the forward lines. It just feels poorly constructed. Spooner and Czarnik are both talented offensive centers on the wing. Chiller and Krug are amazing together but its barely happening in favor of McQuaid.

All that said, i think if they do nothing, some of this poor fortune will turn around and they will end up in the 3rd slot in the Atlantic. I'd like to see some of the depth/trash/prospect logjam moved in an effort to infuse the roster with some better fits.

Long story, short, they are about where I thought they'd be. Middling with a somewhat promising near future.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
11,400
I'm with those that believe that the Bruins are caught in a bit of a rebuild, which is the product of some bad drafts and even worse player personnel moves a couple of years back. The middle of the roster has basically been gutted by veterans leaving, injuries (Beleskey, Backes, and even Krejci), or general ineffectiveness (Hayes). A lot of the younger players are either still developing (Czarnik, Vatrano), and so will have the typical peaks and valleys of younger players, or are simply destined to be JAGs (I'll put Spooner here). Unfortunately, it's likely a year or more likely two before their more promising prospects are ready to contribute.

There are bright spots: the D, especially with the emergence of Carlo. But with Krug simply unable to hit the ocean, the blue line is unlikely to be able to relieve the forwards' scoring drought. The 4th line is better than last season's plodding dumpster fire. Obviously, Rask has been a savior, but there is real risk of him fizzling out by end of season again unless they can get competent play from their backup. And Pastrnak has arrived.

I'm with those that do not believe there is a quick fix. Their future is based on guys like Carlo and Pastnak continuing to develop, and their prospects making an impact down the line. Unfortunately, I am very worried that Sweeney and/or Neely will feel pressure to fix things now and overpay for another middling forward or two and lose a future top line forward or defenseman in the process.

Regarding their contract situation, as it was mentioned upthread: Lilles is signed for only 1 year, and the $2M cap hit is very reasonable for a veteran defensive presence. I don't blame Sweeney for not predicting his concussion. Krug appears to be an overpay, but he's the only player back there that can bring the puck out of his zone and jump start the offense. But his contract situation is nowhere near as odious as that of either K. Miller or McQuaid. Those will be the contracts we'll all regret.

I don't think firing Julien makes sense or will help anything. However, few coaches in the NHL can survive 3 straight playoff DNQ's, so my assumption is that he would end up being the fall guy if the team is flying home in early April. Sweeney will probably be given another year. SJH mentioned Chiarelli being fired, but the situations were not the same. Chia got caught in a bit of a power struggle with Neely, who for whatever reason was Charlie Jacobs' anointed one (and probably still is).
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
31,580
Deep inside Muppet Labs
Does it really matter? Production is down, and he's -3 on the season which is unheard of for him. He's having a bad year, by definition. I think the real question is is he having a bad year due to bad luck, or bad play? If it's the former then there's hope for a rebound over the second half. If it's the latter...
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
11,400
Does it really matter? Production is down, and he's -3 on the season which is unheard of for him. He's having a bad year, by definition. I think the real question is is he having a bad year due to bad luck, or bad play? If it's the former then there's hope for a rebound over the second half. If it's the latter...
The possession stats, for whatever their worth, indicate it's more of a luck issue than a decline. Of course, he may be hampered by the wrist/arm injury he suffered at the start of the season.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,127
306, row 14
It is bad luck, in my opinion. He's as good as ever in possession, leading the league like he always does. The Bergeron line is 2nd in the league in scoring chances for per 60 behind only the Crosby line in Pittsburgh, and the Bergy line has the highest scoring chance for rate (63%) in hockey. They get a ton of chances, don't give up many.

For whatever reason, they can't translate any of this into goals. I don't know what more that line could do, they just have to finish. Bergy and Marchand have had season long slumps. Pastrnak has hit a bump the past 2 weeks, which hasn't helped. On the bright side, Bergy appears to be on the verge of getting out of it with goals in 3 of 4.
 

Dummy Hoy

Angry Pissbum
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2006
6,830
Falmouth
Of course it matters...this isn't a guy like Kessel where 100% of his value is based upon points production.

We need to stop saying Bergeron is having a bad year.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
31,580
Deep inside Muppet Labs
Respectfully, in what way is he having a good year? I'm being honest here, I had no idea this was up for debate. His scoring is way down. His +/- is terrible for him. Against Edmonton he had his first game of more than 1 point in 2 months. His scoring percentage is by far the worst of his career. He has 5 PP points at the halfway mark this year; on pace for half of his total for last year. And most importantly, for a guy who's been a damn Jedi on the ice during his career, making plays away from the puck and generally helping the team win in the most small yet fundamental ways....the team isn't winning.

It's of course very possible that he's had a terrible run of luck and he'll snap out of it, which would be great. But bad luck can cause bad years, can't it?

I'm not trying to be a dick about this, I'm genuinely curious.
 

FL4WL3SS

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
12,090
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
To me, the lack of effort at the beginning of the games, the malaise at times with some of these games, and then tactical decisions like putting Schaller on the PP, or on Krejci's wing with Dominic Moore are all bad decisions born of his own preference for grit and toughness. The latter is a lesser issue, but the team coming out flat constantly, not being able to get on a roll, and ultimately looking inconsistent, to me, are coaching issues. I am concerned he is being tuned out, as he has been the coach now for a long time.

While I understand the trap you are attempting to lay, as that is the primary issue with Claude is his replacement, I also think there are a couple intriguing candidates. It's not that he isn't, or shouldn't be on the hot seat, it's what flotsam or jetsam is out there to replace him with. One guy that does make me curious is Kevin Dineen (current Asst. Coach for the Blackhawks), but he flamed out pretty hard with Florida after leading them to the playoffs in 2012. Another name that is hot in the AHL market is Travis Green, who has a reputation for working well with young players and has done very well in the AHL and WHL prior.
Fair points regarding effort. I do see some concern there. However, I'm not ready to criticize his roster or tactical moves quite yet. I see a lot of trial and error, which is exactly what you want to see your coach doing when things are flat. Maybe I'm being a little too rose colored glasses here, but where you see negative, I see it as somewhat positive. Now, the first half of the season is over, he should have a pretty good indication of what's working as what's not, so I reserve the right to jump on your bandwagon if we're still having this convo in March.

There was no trap being set with the coaching question, I was honestly curious who was out there because from where I stand, the good coaching candidates are already employed. So if there are guys I'm not aware of, then I'd love to hear about it. I'm not up on my college and AHL coaching candidates. I'm also not convinced we should bring in someone with little NHL experience if Claude gets replaced, but that's a conversation for another time.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
8,095
Gallows Hill
To my untrained eye they seem to be very inconsistent, they play well against good teams (and sometimes win) but then blow games against bad teams like the Devils.
That's what mediocre teams do. They lack the top end skill to win games when everyone isn't on their A game, and they lack the depth to do what they used to do,and that's wear teams down over 60 minutes. Really my only beef this season is why they continue to play no upside veteran mediocrity like Nash, Schaller & Hayes over younger higher upside kids. It's obvious to anyone that watches this team that they're going no where if they happen to get in the playoffs. The fan base would probably be more understanding if they were watching kids develop in the bottom 6 instead of veteran stiffs. It's even worse on defense, where the decisions to extend stiffs like Kevan Miller & McQuaid for multiple years is very counterproductive to what they should be doing.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,127
306, row 14
Respectfully, in what way is he having a good year? I'm being honest here, I had no idea this was up for debate. His scoring is way down. His +/- is terrible for him. Against Edmonton he had his first game of more than 1 point in 2 months. His scoring percentage is by far the worst of his career. He has 5 PP points at the halfway mark this year; on pace for half of his total for last year. And most importantly, for a guy who's been a damn Jedi on the ice during his career, making plays away from the puck and generally helping the team win in the most small yet fundamental ways....the team isn't winning.

It's of course very possible that he's had a terrible run of luck and he'll snap out of it, which would be great. But bad luck can cause bad years, can't it?

I'm not trying to be a dick about this, I'm genuinely curious.
I'm going to lump Marchand in here with Bergeron since they essentially are always on the ice together, and they tie into each other's production. They are both basically in the same boat right now. Marchand a little less noticeable because he leads the team in scoring.

Bergeron is career 10% shooter. Marchand is a 15% shooter. This season Bergy is st 5% and Marchand 8%, so essentially it's halved. They are shooting at the same rate as they always have, but getting half the goals which eats into their production. Marchand scored 37 last year, with a 14.4% shooting percentage, in line with his career average. For both players. half the pucks are going in this yea. Marchand is on pace for only 20 goals. I posted it above, but the 63/37/88 line generates the 2nd most scoring chances of any line in hockey, behind Crosby's line. The shots and chances are there, they just aren't going in. Pastrnak has dried up recently too. I'd be more concerned if Bergy wasn't generating the shots and chances. I posted in another thread, but I think a lot of shooting percentage is luck. Sometimes you pick a corner and it goes in. Sometimes the goalie robs you. Sometimes a floater from 30 feet away dribbles in. That sort of stuff. The problem is the bad luck could last the whole year or more (See Krug, Torey). Or it turns today. Who knows. I don't think Bergeron or Marchand have suddenly forgotten how to shoot or score.

+/- is a rubbish stat, but Bergy is -3 because they aren't scoring. Hard to stay as a positive when he's typically matched up against the other teams best players. Bergy's still the best defensive and possession player in hockey.

Cliff notes version- Bergy's fine, they just need to finish off some plays.
 

Maximus

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
5,243
That's what mediocre teams do. They lack the top end skill to win games when everyone isn't on their A game, and they lack the depth to do what they used to do,and that's wear teams down over 60 minutes. Really my only beef this season is why they continue to play no upside veteran mediocrity like Nash, Schaller & Hayes over younger higher upside kids. It's obvious to anyone that watches this team that they're going no where if they happen to get in the playoffs. The fan base would probably be more understanding if they were watching kids develop in the bottom 6 instead of veteran stiffs. It's even worse on defense, where the decisions to extend stiffs like Kevan Miller & McQuaid for multiple years is very counterproductive to what they should be doing.
Agreed and I hope in the 2nd half they play the higher upside kids and not the no upside veterans mediocrity of Hayes, Nash and Schaller. The decision to extend both Kevan Miller and McQuaid is mind numbing. And please, Clode, don't put Schaller or Hayes on the PP.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
18,862
Good God. Tim Schaller is 26. Jimmy Hayes and Riley Nash are 27. They may be JAGs, but pretending they're these grizzled veterans is INSANE. Nash is a proven player and Schaller has shown flashes of upside (and flashes of disappearing).

Like 8 guys have made their NHL debuts this year on the Bruins, which by the way may contribute to their inconsistency. Let's not overlook that a REAL grizzled veteran, Moore, has been one of their best additions this year.

The youth movement crowd is getting out of control. The Bruins are embracing the youth. Their aren't any high upside youngsters not getting a chance to play that are gonna save their season. At some point you need to ice a team with actual NHL talent to make the playoffs, which this team is absolutely capable of doing.

Let's all have a little perspective here. What "high upside" kids are sitting in favor of these guys? Czarnik, Spooner, and Vatrano are all getting plenty of ice time. Heinen got his shot but he isn't ready. Who else is there? Kuraly? Acciari?
 

burstnbloom

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
1,904
I hear you complaint but settle down a little bit. Heinen, Debrusk and Cehlarik should definitely be getting time in the middle 6 over the pluggers. Hayes and Nash, in particular, do very little that would constitute a better chance at making the playoffs. It is laughable that you say "at some point you need to ice a team with actual NHL talent" when we are talking about those guys. Neither of which has ever been on a playoff team. At some point, the higher upside PRO guys, and many others behind them, are going to need time at the NHL level to figure out if they are players or not. Marchand and Krejci were both very slow starters in the NHL and proved to be excellent players after a little patience. What is the harm in using right now as that development time? I'd be perfectly fine with a 4th line of Schaller - Moore - Nash if it meant the fill in time in the top 9 was given to younger players with considerably more upside. Development of those players is infinitely more important to the future of this franchise than Riley Nash being a safe defensive minded forward for Bergeron when one of his wingers is hurt.

Frankly, this team needs some adjusting. If Czarnik is your third line center, fine, keep him there but that means Spooner has to go. He is not nearly as effective at the wing as he is in the middle and his trade value lessens each day.

I'd argue that this:

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
Vatrano- Krejci - Backes
Debrusk/Cehlarik/Beleskey when he returns - Czarnik - Heinen
Schaller - Moore - Nash

as a forward group has just as much chance of being a playoff team than what they are icing right now with considerably more long term benefit. I would love it if Sweeney could pull off a Landeskog or someone of that ilk to play on Krejci's wing but it really would require moving a couple of players off the forward lines either way. The logjam is frustrating.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
18,862
Or they could just do this, which is basically what they have now so I don't understand why people are complaining. Hayes is only playing because of injuries, they haven't had their full lineup healthy once this year.

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
Vatrano - Krejci - Backes
Spooner - Czarnik - Beleskey
Schaller/Blidh - Moore - Nash

Once the injuries resolve themselves this all goes away. Heinen hasn't done shit in the NHL or AHL this year, I have no idea how he makes this a playoff team today over Nash. Cehlarik has never played in the NHL so it's not even close to factual that he can help them make the playoffs right now. I don't think a 10th player making his NHL debut is going to save their season, but maybe this is the one who'll figure it out on day 1.

The youth movement is out of control. You're arguing for a 3rd line of all rookies (and not Toronto level superstar rookies). That is not a playoff NHL third line at all. That's a great AHL line with one NHL caliber player on it (Czarnik).

This is an extremely young team. The youth are getting plenty of chances to play. Guys are playing up a line because 2 top 9 guys are hurt, once people return it will look better.
 

burstnbloom

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
1,904
I never said they'd be more likely to make the playoffs. You said they need to play NHL talent to make the playoffs and argued that "the youth movement is crazy." My point is that if they are playing shitty players with no upside, it makes zero sense to not replace them with kids playing well in the AHL in order to get them some experience. Heinen was behind the play in his call up but to say that he has done nothing in the AHL is totally false. He is close to a PPG player and has been excellent. I never said playing those guys will save their season, simply that there is more upside than playing the plugs. It seems like a really silly point that you're arguing.
 

Jordu

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2003
7,103
Brookline
Break down the first 40 games into 10-game chunks and this is what they've done:

1st 10 games: 12 points
2nd 10 games: 10 points
3rd 10 games: 12 points
4th 10 games: 10 points

They haven't had a winning streak or a losing streak longer than three games.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
28,991
Melrose, MA
Cehlarik has never played in the NHL so it's not even close to factual that he can help them make the playoffs right now.
FWIW, according to Kirk Luedeke, he's not ready. The shot is there but the overall game isn't yet. My impression is that Kirk seems lukewarm on him - acknowledges the shot but isn't sure he'll fit in with what the Bruins want from their forwards and most definately isn't ready now.

Edit: I think I'd rather see Heinen get a longer look, when they need someone to come back up.
 

RIFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,374
Rhode Island
I hear you complaint but settle down a little bit. Heinen, Debrusk and Cehlarik should definitely be getting time in the middle 6 over the pluggers. Hayes and Nash, in particular, do very little that would constitute a better chance at making the playoffs.
Serious question, what are you basing that on? Have you been to Providence to see them play? I've seen a number of games and in my opinion (which admittedly means nothing) none of the 3 are even close to being ready. They are not yet 200 foot players and can disappear for stretches. The gap between the AHL and NHL is huge. They need to prove themselves as complete players and getting 10-12 minutes combined with some healthy scratches isn't what they need. They need the ice time in all situations to develop their game.
 

jk333

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 26, 2009
2,623
Boston
Serious question, what are you basing that on? Have you been to Providence to see them play? I've seen a number of games and in my opinion (which admittedly means nothing) none of the 3 are even close to being ready. They are not yet 200 foot players and can disappear for stretches. The gap between the AHL and NHL is huge. They need to prove themselves as complete players and getting 10-12 minutes combined with some healthy scratches isn't what they need. They need the ice time in all situations to develop their game.
What do you think of Heinen's game? His numbers at Providence are good but he's already had some very quiet games for Boston. Probably not best to have him up and down multiple times this season. I'd rather they leave him in Providence for an extended period (40+ games, or even all year) prior to considering bringing him back. Since they have so many other options available for 3rd/4th line duty, they may have that luxury.

With that said, from the box scores and highlights, it does look like they should count on him next year. Is he clearly ahead of Debrusk or are they similar players right now?
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
13,596
Tuukka's refugee camp
One thing to note in the Debrusk v. Heinen comparison is Heinen is about 1.5 years older than Debrusk, which is a pretty big gap at those ages.
 

RIFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,374
Rhode Island
What do you think of Heinen's game? His numbers at Providence are good but he's already had some very quiet games for Boston. Probably not best to have him up and down multiple times this season. I'd rather they leave him in Providence for an extended period (40+ games, or even all year) prior to considering bringing him back. Since they have so many other options available for 3rd/4th line duty, they may have that luxury.

With that said, from the box scores and highlights, it does look like they should count on him next year. Is he clearly ahead of Debrusk or are they similar players right now?
I've seen Debrusk more than Heinen in Prov due to Heinen's time in Boston. I'm more bullish on Debrusk long term because I think he will be a more physical and better 2 way player. I will admit there are a few things about Heinen that bother me. I've seen him disappear when the game gets rough. I think time and experience will remedy that. I also think he needs to work on his skating. I know that isn't completely in line with some reports and I'm far from an expert so take it for what it's worth. I think he has great hands but his overall skating just hasn't impressed me.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,127
306, row 14
The Bruins made Colin Miller a healthy scratch yesterday. He has a 59.89% CF which leads all NHL defenseman who have a min of 400 min TOI. With Miller on the ice, the Bruins generate 8.78 scoring chances per 60; 4.94 scoring chances against per 60. That 64% rate is far in away the best rate among defenseman on the team, and in the league. Additionally, no Bruin defenseman has been on the ice for fewer scoring against per 60. Yes he is sheltered a bit. But the argument can be made that he is the 2nd best defenseman they have. When he is on the ice, the puck is in the offensive end. Furthermore, the Krug-C. Miller pairing Julien has used at times (usually late and down a goal) has been unstoppable. They have a 71% possession in ~120 minutes. 16 scoring chances for; 4 against. They should probably be a permanent pairing. I'm sure there is something they don't like about Miller's work in the defensive end....but he spends very little time there.

All this and Miller was a healthy scratch. I can't find any reason why this happened. I don't know if the coaching staff is to blame or the front office, but Miller needs to play. Sit Liles. Sit Miller / McQuaid. Trade one of the 3. Liles wasn't missed when he was out. I get you need depth, but they need to find a way to make it work.
 

Red Right Ankle

Formerly the Story of Your Red Right Ankle
SoSH Member
Jul 2, 2006
9,822
Multivac
It was an odd decision. It could be a maintenance day, maybe due to something nagging him, plus wanting to get Liles some playing time coming back from his injury to see how he is at game speed.

Sure would be nice if one of our intrepid beat writers did some work and found out.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
8,095
Gallows Hill
It was an odd decision. It could be a maintenance day, maybe due to something nagging him, plus wanting to get Liles some playing time coming back from his injury to see how he is at game speed.

Sure would be nice if one of our intrepid beat writers did some work and found out.
There is zero chance it was a maintenance day. On Julien's depth chart he's the 7th defenseman. He'd much rather have McQuaid, Kevan Miller & Liles out there, and that's a problem on a team trying to transition to a younger roster.
 

RIFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,374
Rhode Island
C Miller has definitely been one of their better D. Jack mentioned it early in the broadcast as them wanting to get another left shot on D on not have someone playing on their off side. It really comes down to McQuaid versus C Miller if that is the case. Given the way Miller has played it should be a no brainer, but yet McQuaid still rolls over the boards.
 

burstnbloom

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
1,904
Serious question, what are you basing that on? Have you been to Providence to see them play? I've seen a number of games and in my opinion (which admittedly means nothing) none of the 3 are even close to being ready. They are not yet 200 foot players and can disappear for stretches. The gap between the AHL and NHL is huge. They need to prove themselves as complete players and getting 10-12 minutes combined with some healthy scratches isn't what they need. They need the ice time in all situations to develop their game.
Ive seen all three play w/ Providence twice. You misunderstand. I want them playing in the NHL when there is a spot to fill and then going back to Providence. With this coach/administration, guys like Blidh (who i like) get the call and Nash or Hayes move up the lineup because they are "safe". Fuck safe. Bergeron and Marchand don't need safe on their line when Pastrnak is hurt. They need someone who can shoot. THAT is my problem. I don't have a lot of belief in this team making a run, so I want this year to be about development and getting better so this cycle of mediocrity doesn't last for 15 years like it did last time. Kids that are a part of the future need to be getting every minute of ice time that they can. I don't expect Heinen/Debrusk/Chelarik to be given jobs, but those are the people that should be rotated when there is injury.

Case in point, Colin Miller being scratched is asinine. cshea made the point more eloquently than I can, but I just dont understand what is happening with this team. Miller passes the analytics test with flying colors and to me, he passes the eye test. It was particularly annoying that Liles's terrible play led to the GWG for the Hurricanes last night.
 

RIFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,374
Rhode Island
In that case we're in agreement. I completely support the mini recalls like they did with Grzelcyk last month. Give them a taste so they know what it's like and what they have to work on.