What went wrong? Non-Seguin division

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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The Four Peters said:
Its ok to put forth legitimate criticisms without hyperbole, made up facts, and revising history, everyone. They did manage to win the President's trophy last year without him. Why not analyze why they went from the best team in hockey last year to completely mediocre this year? Here's a hint:
 
  • Bergeron, Tuukka, and Krejci all got paid, and their performance has not improved and in some cases has declined, yet the aggregate cap hit for them is much higher now.
  • The Iginla cap carryover (a move I supported but it didn't work out)
  • The knee injuries to Chara and Seidenberg sapping them of being a top pairing
  • Lucic falling off a cliff (and being their 2nd highest paid forward)
  • Miller/McQuaid/Campbell/Bartkowski eating up over 5M in cap money and providing absolutely nothing, probably a negative overall. 
 
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Four Peters had this list in the other thread and it was requested to be moved out to get away from the Seguin discussion so here we are.
 
So discuss. Are these some of the reasons why the team has struggled so much this year after being much better last year? Is it fixable?
 

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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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I think Jack Edwards tweeted the other day that the game against Ottawa was the first time all season the Bruins had the full (projected) lineup out there together since the first week of the season.
 
That probably has a lot to do with it.
 
Other than that TFP pretty much nails it. Marchand and Lucic being useless, Tuukka being average, and injuries have killed the team this year.
 
Edit:
 
You can also add that call ups from the AHL have provided virtually nothing. Spooner, Koko, Cunningham....I don't know if it's organizational, or what - but the Bruins haven't developed and promoted a GOOD forward in a while.
 

TFP

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I don't think Marchand's been useless. He might be slightly underperforming, but he's playing ES, PK, and some PP and is 4th on the team in scoring. He's in a whole different world from Lucic's vortex of suck lately, and Lucic gets paid much more.
 

Eddie Jurak

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TheShynessClinic said:
Edit:
 
You can also add that call ups from the AHL have provided virtually nothing. Spooner, Koko, Cunningham....I don't know if it's organizational, or what - but the Bruins haven't developed and promoted a GOOD forward in a while.
None since Marchand, right? It's impossible to know exactly what the cause of this is (drafting vs development vs coaching) but it is a huge organizational failure, likely due to deficiencies in multiple areas.
 

cshea

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TheShynessClinic said:
You can also add that call ups from the AHL have provided virtually nothing. Spooner, Koko, Cunningham....I don't know if it's organizational, or what - but the Bruins haven't developed and promoted a GOOD forward in a while.
Part of the problem is that they haven't drafted particularly well in recent years. Marchand is really the last forward they've developed into a top 6 player. He was drafted in 2006.

Edit: They have nothing to show for the 07-12 drafts so far. Hamilton, Cunningham and Caron are the only roster players that they've drafted during that time frame. The jury is still out in the last 2 drafts. They need to get more out of the draft.
 

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Is it poor drafting or poor development? I realize it's a chicken/egg argument. But you have to imagine that by pure luck SOMEONE should have panned out since Marchand - but that's not the case.
 

cshea

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I think it is mostly poor drafting. When they've had talent, they've been able to develop it. There are only 6 total players that the Bruins drafted during the 07-12 time frame that are in the NHL. Seguin, Hamilton, Colborne, Caron, Cunningham and Michael Hutchinson. 4 of those were 1st rounders, 2 top 10 picks. I wouldn't expect them to hit on every pick, especially since they've been good and drafting near the bottom, but they haven't been able to find talent in the draft. They shook it up and have Keith Gretzky running the draft now, and the early return on the 2014 draft is promising, but they can and need to do a lot better in the draft.

Edit: I somehow forgot about Seth Griffith. So 7 guys, 3 on the active roster.
 

Eddie Jurak

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TheShynessClinic said:
Is it poor drafting or poor development? I realize it's a chicken/egg argument. But you have to imagine that by pure luck SOMEONE should have panned out since Marchand - but that's not the case.
It is a chicken/egg argument, but I tend to think they have problems in both areas.

Caron looked decent as a rookie playing alongside Bergeron, then he got sent down in what appeared to be a numbers crunch... and stagnated for (literally) 5 years.

Marchand ultimately made it, but came up the year before, looked like Bill Parcells' "ball in high grass... lost" and sat behind Trent Whitfield while his injury decimated team blew a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers.

In 2013 playoffs, the team had no one to call on better than Kaspars Daugavins in the Final.

This year, they have no first line wing and a horrific 4th line.

The year the Bruins drafted Khokhlachev, they passed on Brandon Saad, who is now playing a key role on the Blackhawks. Did they simply draft the wrong guy? Or would Saad not have progressed as well here had the Bruins taken him?

The odd thing about the Bruins is that as bad as their drafting and development of forwards has been, they have been pretty damned good with defensemen throughout most of Julien's tenure. In 2007-08, they ended the season strongly, locking up a playoff spot, with Chara injured and the likes of Matt Lashoff playing. The 2012-13 playoffs and both seasons since then saw the top 6 defensemen depleted by injury but the team always had depth it could call on. Strange.
 

jk333

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cshea said:
Part of the problem is that they haven't drafted particularly well in recent years. Marchand is really the last forward they've developed into a top 6 player. He was drafted in 2006.

Edit: They have nothing to show for the 07-12 drafts so far. Hamilton, Cunningham and Caron are the only roster players that they've drafted during that time frame. The jury is still out in the last 2 drafts. They need to get more out of the draft.
 
1st and 2nd Rounders
2009 - Caron, looking around, he's a pretty average pick in retrospect. They could have done better or worse here. (no 2nd rounder)
2010 - Seguin, Knight, Spooner, Knight is a bust but Spooner is a prospect
2011 - No 1st rounder; Koko, he's a decent pick but Granlund, Saad, Ritchie could all be arguably better picks. Not a bad pick though
2012 - Subban, seems like a good pick based on what was taken after him. (no 2nd rounder)
 
2007 and 2008 were bad but lately, they've been better. [SIZE=13.63636302948px]Their draft picks have been late in the first round. The 3rd and 4th lines are filled with veterans and it's another challenge for players to break in with the team. They were spots where they could have drafted better but one of the challenges in rolling four lines is that they haven't really had open positions. Also, Spooner and Koko are almost at a PPG pace but don't seem to fit/mesh with the current roster. Again, more of a bad break than a terrible draft pick.[/SIZE]
 
The Bruins have had mixed results in the draft. They've been trying to win and have utilized forwards like Pouliot, Paille and Thornton to fill their bottom lines. I'd say there is more to complain about with their contracts or trades lately than the draft picks. The focus needs to be how do we get better this year and over the next few years. 
 

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cshea said:
I think it is mostly poor drafting. When they've had talent, they've been able to develop it. There are only 6 total players that the Bruins drafted during the 07-12 time frame that are in the NHL. Seguin, Hamilton, Colborne, Caron, Cunningham and Michael Hutchinson. 4 of those were 1st rounders, 2 top 10 picks. I wouldn't expect them to hit on every pick, especially since they've been good and drafting near the bottom, but they haven't been able to find talent in the draft. They shook it up and have Keith Gretzky running the draft now, and the early return on the 2014 draft is promising, but they can and need to do a lot better in the draft.
 
The drafting has been spotty overall, but I'd argue that they have two prospects that should be playing in the NHL right now in Spooner and Khokhlachev that are being blocked by veteran bottom six forwards like Campbell and Paille. There needs to be real competition for ice time on this team, and right now I don't see it. Spooner made the team out of camp, and the coach played him 5-7 minutes for a few games, slammed him in the media, and the GM responded by sending to Providence to make room for this year's Steve Begin or Trent Whitfield, AKA Simon Gagne. This seems like a player development issue to me. 
 

jk333

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TheShynessClinic said:
Is it poor drafting or poor development? I realize it's a chicken/egg argument. But you have to imagine that by pure luck SOMEONE should have panned out since Marchand - but that's not the case.
 
In my opinion, its more development. The Bruins haven't really tried to develop someone over an entire season. Letting Caron play a whole season on the 4th line when you're trying to win a Cup is challenging.
 
In terms of development, Koko and Spooner have scored in the AHL. Griffin had a good season last year. When they come up to the Bruins they don't seem to fit in. I'm not sure it's fair to say it's all on the drafting. 
 

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cshea said:
I think it is mostly poor drafting. When they've had talent, they've been able to develop it. There are only 6 total players that the Bruins drafted during the 07-12 time frame that are in the NHL. Seguin, Hamilton, Colborne, Caron, Cunningham and Michael Hutchinson. 4 of those were 1st rounders, 2 top 10 picks. I wouldn't expect them to hit on every pick, especially since they've been good and drafting near the bottom, but they haven't been able to find talent in the draft. They shook it up and have Keith Gretzky running the draft now, and the early return on the 2014 draft is promising, but they can and need to do a lot better in the draft.

Edit: I somehow forgot about Seth Griffith. So 7 guys, 3 on the active roster.
I don't know, this seems pretty good to me. What is the average for teams, generally?
 
One player from each draft seems like a win to me.
 
EDIT: Also, I'll add that the Bruins have generally been ranked in the top half of the league for their prospect pool.
 

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And just last season we were praising the depth of the organization with guys like Krug, Bartkowski, Miller, Spooner, Koko, Subban, Svedberg, Warsofsky, Morrow, Fraser, Griffith. We're dealing with prospects and the volatile nature of these guys, the system can look good to bad from year to year, but that's the nature of the beast.
 
Anyone dumping on the lack of talent/development in the system is missing the forest for the trees. The Bruins may not have the best player development system in the leauge (hello Detroit and Chicago), but they are consistently in the top half, if not the top 10.
 

TFP

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The drafting has been spotty overall, but I'd argue that they have two prospects that should be playing in the NHL right now in Spooner and Khokhlachev that are being blocked by veteran bottom six forwards like Campbell and Paille. There needs to be real competition for ice time on this team, and right now I don't see it. Spooner made the team out of camp, and the coach played him 5-7 minutes for a few games, slammed him in the media, and the GM responded by sending to Providence to make room for this year's Steve Begin or Trent Whitfield, AKA Simon Gagne. 
 
This is objectively false. Spooner played 10:50/g over 5 games and was absolutely atrocious. Like, not NHL level ready at all and tough to watch. He also played 23 games last year at 12:48/g and didn't score a single goal. That's over a third a season in the NHL without a goal for their first or second best offensive prospect, and he's at about .39 p/g. 
 
He will likely get more opportunities (and should), but the idea that he's this NHL ready player is just false. That leads me to believe that the criticism should be on the development program and the player himself for not being ready for the NHL.
 
I'd love to see Koko get another shot though. I don't think he's gotten a fair shake yet.
 

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And this whole mentality that we can't develop prospects seems to be unique to Boston and it's annoying. It happens with the Red Sox, the Patriots and the Bruins. We get hyperfocused on our own prospects and want them to succeed so badly to say that he's "our" guy, but we ignore all of the other good that the team has done.
 
Whoever upthread that said that Chiarelli sucks (I'm not even going back to see who it was, it was so stupid) is flat out wrong. Go back and look at the level of success this team has had since he got here and then look back at the prior 10-15 years before that. He hasn't missed a single playoff, brought the first cup to Boston in forever and has a team consistently vying for the top team in the East. Has he made mistakes? Sure, but what team hasn't. Revisionist history is fun, but it's meaningless.
 

TFP

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Chiarelli missed the playoffs his first season here, thanks to Dave Lewis. But that roster he inherited might have been the worst Bruins roster...ever? Certainly in the last 50+ years.
 
Otherwise I completely agree with your post.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The Four Peters said:
 
This is objectively false. Spooner played 10:50/g over 5 games and was absolutely atrocious. Like, not NHL level ready at all and tough to watch. He also played 23 games last year at 12:48/g and didn't score a single goal. That's over a third a season in the NHL without a goal for their first or second best offensive prospect, and he's at about .39 p/g. 
 
He will likely get more opportunities (and should), but the idea that he's this NHL ready player is just false. That leads me to believe that the criticism should be on the development program and the player himself for not being ready for the NHL.
 
I'd love to see Koko get another shot though. I don't think he's gotten a fair shake yet.
Spooner was OK during his stint last year. No goals, but he had something like 10 assists, didn't he? A damned sight better than Marchand's production in 2008-09.

I don't think the recent Bruins have been very good at getting players over the hump from, say, where Spooner was last year to being productive regulars. They seem to be able to do it with defensemen, but not with forwards.
 

cshea

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I don't think Chiarelli is a bad GM. In fact I'd say he is top 5 in the league. I just think the drafts dried up for a period and now it's catching up to them. Early on the Bruins were bringing up guys like Krejci, Lucic and Marchand on a yearly basis. Since Marchand they haven't had anyone that's been good enough to stay. Maybe they hit on some combo or all of Cunningham, Griffith, Spooner and Koko but the jury is out on those guys being viable NHL contributors.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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cshea said:
I don't think Chiarelli is a bad GM. In fact I'd say he is top 5 in the league. I just think the drafts dried up for a period and now it's catching up to them. Early on the Bruins were bringing up guys like Krejci, Lucic and Marchand on a yearly basis. Since Marchand they haven't had anyone that's been good enough to stay. Maybe they hit on some combo or all of Cunningham, Griffith, Spooner and Koko but the jury is out on those guys being viable NHL contributors.
 
The problem is that the drafts dried up just about the same time things got really tight under the salary cap and when the team could really have used contributions from younger drafted players who weren't making all that much money. Bad time for a draft slump.
 

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Regarding recent drafting, someone to keep an eye on in the future is d-man Wiley Sherman. Kid plays for the Harvard Crimson, a team which has overnight gone from terrible to top five in the country thanks to solid team play. The Bruins were smart and took him in the 2013 draft class in the 5th round but projects as a physical force on the blue line as he has tremendous size and reach. If he wasn't in college I'd say he could even be here in the next couple years, but longterm he might be a great 3/4 option for the defense corps.
 

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I have been working on a looonog post about Chia's drafting of forwards.
 
let's just say I think everything they do in drafting and development is bad.  If you go back and look at guys they drafted and traded away, they simply aren't finding NHL level talent.
 
What is so hard to know without a really in depth evaluation is this:
1-  are they drafting a specific type of forward, with an eye towards developing them into the Bruins "system"
2- or are they taking the best talent according to their evaluation, and not able to develop the guys?
 
I reject that you can't develop players at the NHL level and win a Stanley Cup.  Every recent winner has done that.
 

behindthepen

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sorry for the table formatting.  This looked great when I originally pasted from Word ...
 
I started working on this in October, but kind of forgot about if until recently.  So apologies if parts of it sound rushed, it's still a little of a rough draft.  But here is a detailed look at the Bruins drafting of Forwards:
 
Is it a cap problem?  An offense problem?  Whereever you point the finger, the Bruins have not drafted and developed a  NHL forward in 8 years.   The current roster has 7 forwards that were drafted by the Bruins:  Bergeron, Krejci, Lucic , Marchand and Griffith, Caron, and Cunningham.  4 of them (the only ones that really matter) were drafted in 2006 or before.
 
That 2006 draft was legendary -- Kessel, Lucic and Marchand all in the first 3 rounds.  Hard to beat that.   Unfortunately, the 2007 draft was an epic disaster, with none of the players drafted getting any meaningful time anywhere.  Plus the missed opportunities continue to haunt B’s fans.  (more on the year by year drafts below).  Keep in mind Chiarelli was hired in May 2006.
 
So let’s take a look at the forwards the drafted since the KLM draft (this table is from early in the season, so the NHL GP stat is out of date):
 
FORWARDS DRAFTED BY THE BRUINS UNDER PETER CHIARELLI:
 
Year
Round
Overall
Player
NHL GP
2014
1
25
David Pastrnak
 
2014
2
56
Ryan Donato
 
2014
4
116
Danton Heinen
 
2014
5
146
Anders Bjork
 
2013
3
90
Peter Cehlarik
 
2013
4
120
Ryan Fitzgerald
 
2013
6
180
Anton Blidh
 
2013
7
210
Mitchell Dempsey
 
2012
5
131
Seth Griffith
3
2012
5
145
Cody Payne
 
2012
7
205
Colton Hargrove
 
2011
2
40
Alexander Khokhlachev
1
2011
3
81
Anthony Camara
 
2011
4
121
Brian Ferlin
 
2011
6
181
Lars Volden
 
2010
1
2
Tyler Seguin
288
2010
2
32
Jared Knight
 
2010
2
45
Ryan Spooner
32
2010
4
97
Craig Cunningham
5
2010
5
135
Justin Florek
4
2009
1
25
Jordan Caron
124
2009
4
112
Lane MacDermid
21
2009
6
176
Tyler Randell
 
2009
7
206
Ben Sexton
 
2008
1
16
Joe Colborne
103
2008
2
47
Max Sauve
1
2008
4
97
Jamie Arniel
1
2008
6
173
Nick Tremblay
 
2008
7
197
Mark Goggin
 
2007
1
8
Zach Hamill
20
2007
7
189
Jordan Knackstedt
 
Source:   http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/BOS/draft.html
 
It’s not that hard to find the 3 guys that are currently playing in the NHL.  One is currently leading the league in golas, one has actually been playing on the Bruins top line, and yes, Joe Colborne is good enough to play for the Flames.  There’s a pretty good chance that Colborne will be the only Forward drafted by the Bruins from 2007 to 2009 to have any NHL impact at all.
 
Take out Tyler Seguin, and even 2010 is on the verge of becoming a bust.  Yes, take out Seguin.  While Chia should get tons of credit for his ability to create value through trades, picking anyone but Seguin at #2 would have been a jailable offense.
 
Comparing to the rest of the League:
Before we take a year by year look at Chia’s results, lets look at the draft overall.  This is very subjective, but I wanted to have some kind of baseline.  Looking at the first 2 rounds of the draft by year, I made a call on each player and whether or not they have “made the NHL”.  For most of the years, I decided that if a player played ½ of the games in one season at the NHL level, or had played a game this season, they “made it”.  Here’s the results by draft:
 
Made the NHL
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
Top 1st Rd
13
11
14
11
14
12
Bottom 1st Rd
7
8
12
10
5
4
2nd Rd
5
11
7
10
7
2
 
So picking in the top 15, you have about an 80% chance of getting an NHL player.  In the next 15, the chance goes to 1/3 to 2/3.  In the 2nd round, 1/6 to 1/3. 
 
So let’s see how the Bruins did starting with 2007:
Chia drafted Zach Hamill with the 9th pick.  As we all know, Hamill never made it.   Neither did a single other player out of the draft.  But that’s not the worst part.  Right after Hamill, the B’s watch the following players go in the draft:  Logan Couture, Brandon Sutter, Ryan McDonough, Lars Eller, Kevin Shattenkirk.   A pretty good draft for everyone else.  Oh and in the 2nd round, just a few picks after D Tommy Cross, Montreal picked a guy named PK. 
 
2008:
Colborne and Sauve.   Sauve was a bust, let’s leave it at that.  Colborne, as mentioned above, is currently on the Flames and played the whole 2014 season with them.  Let’s not forget that Colborne was traded for Tomas Kaberle, along with a 1st (2011) and a 2nd  (2012) rounder.  The 2011 pick went to the Ducks who took Rickard Rackell, and Dallas took Mike Winther in 2012.  Neither of those drafts were particularly good, so while that was almost certainly an overpay for Kaberle, we probably didn’t miss anything trading those picks.
 
2009:
The outstanding question is, can Jordan Caron become a regular NHL’er?  It won’t be with the Bruins, which also means they probably can’t get anything for him. Although technically Caron has played enough games to qualify as an actual NHL’er, no one else from that  Bruins draft is still playing.  But it was a pretty deep draft, so it has to be considered a huge bust.
 
2010:
Again, Seguin was a layup.  Can’t give them too much credit for that pick.  Like 2009, this draft was pretty deep, with 10 2nd rounders playing in the NHL today.  That includes Spooner, for now.  If Spooner actually makes it somewhere, then we can upgrade this draft.  Instead of taking Knight, they could have taken guys like Justin Faulk, Devante Smith-Pelly, Tyler Toffoli.
 
I will just allow that a player drafted in 2011 or after shouldn’t be reasonably expected to be an NHL player today. So the first and second round draft performance for the Bruins from 2007-2010:  6 Forwards drafted, ex-Seguin.  The “NHL-ers”:  Caron and Colborne.
 
 
http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/BOS/draft.html
http://bruins.nhl.com/club/draftstats.htm?year=All&round=All&team=BOS&supl=N
 
Just for second-guessing fun:
Players picked after Bruins 1st and 2nd picks:
2007 – 1st:  Logan Couture, Brandon Suter, Ryan McDonough, Lars Eller, Kevin Shattenkirk  2nd:  PK Subban
 
2008 – 1st: Jake Gardiner, Michael Del Zotto, Jordan Eberle  2nd:  Derek Stepan, Travis Hamonic
 
2009 – Kyle Palmieri, Ryan O’Reilly, Kyle Clifford, (no 2nd pick)
 
2010 – (Seguin’s year, 2nd round picks)  2nd: Instead of taking Knight, they could have taken guys like Justin Faulk, Devante Smith-Pelly, Tyler Toffoli.
 
2011 – (Hamilton’s year)  2nd: Brandon Saad, Matthew Nieto,
 
2012 – 1st:  Tanner Pearson (no 2nd rounder)
 
 
Related articles:
http://thehockeywriters.com/bruins-gm-peter-chiarellis-draft-history-an-analysis/  (June 2011)
http://www.stanleycupofchowder.com/2013/5/29/4376050/the-architect-in-praise-of-peter-chiarelli (May 2013)
http://www.stanleycupofchowder.com/bruins-top-25-under-25/2014/10/7/6074981/whos-the-lone-wolf-of-our-top-25-under-25-voting (Aug 2014)
 

FL4WL3SS

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All you've really told me is that drafting is an inexact science. Listing the guys that the Bruins could have taken instead, after years of evaluation, is meaningless. There are also 31 other teams that could play the same game, so this isn't like it's unique to Boston.
 

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Spooner was decent last year even though he didn't score. He got 6 assists on the PP in 41 minutes, which is a better rate than any of the PP regulars in a small sample. At even strength he had positive possession numbers and his P/60 were better than Campbell and about equal to Kelly. He also had 32 shots by himself at even strength (4th best shot rate on the team) so it was pretty bad luck that he didn't get a goal or two at least (he's not a sniper, but he had a 8% or so SH% in the AHL).
 
Nothing earth-shattering but enough to get a longer look given his age and the Bruins' need for offense. He hasn't played particularly well in Providence this year but I believe he was hurt for a bit and I know they have shifted him to wing and now, back to center.
 
He's exactly the kind of guy who should get a long look given it's the last year of his ELC.
 

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I think the main issue is that the Bruins are absolutely terrible at breaking the puck out of their own defensive end and therefore almost never get easy goals off of transition or odd man rushes. Some of that is on the general lack of skill from the forwards, but I think that much of it stems from the fact that many of the defensemen who have gotten time this season aren't quite NHL ready and that three of the veterans have been a combination of terrible, injured, and old.

Without the benefit of a transition game, everything becomes a slog and it puts more emphasis on a set up or slow entry offense that gets too many shots and passes blocked that lead to easy transition for the other team's offense.
 

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Myt1 said:
I think the main issue is that the Bruins are absolutely terrible at breaking the puck out of their own defensive end and therefore almost never get easy goals off of transition or odd man rushes. Some of that is on the general lack of skill from the forwards, but I think that much of it stems from the fact that many of the defensemen who have gotten time this season aren't quite NHL ready and that three of the veterans have been a combination of terrible, injured, and old.

Without the benefit of a transition game, everything becomes a slog and it puts more emphasis on a set up or slow entry offense that gets too many shots and passes blocked that lead to easy transition for the other team's offense.
I was actually just thinking this same thing this morning. The transition game has been terrible. Lucic may be the worst transition player in the NHL.
 

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FL4WL3SS said:
I was actually just thinking this same thing this morning. The transition game has been terrible. Lucic may be the worst transition player in the NHL.
He is also a turnover machine in his own end if he gets the puck.
 

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30,982
South Boston
FL4WL3SS said:
I was actually just thinking this same thing this morning. The transition game has been terrible. Lucic may be the worst transition player in the NHL.
From a dead stop, he's probably pretty close. On the other hand, on the rare occasions where he can actually catch a puck in stride from a defender (sometimes they set him up for this with an indirect pass off the boards)or Krecji after a curl, he's pretty terrifying breaking down the wing.

I think he's particularly poorly suited to be playing a lower defensive zone wing for the breakout than most. He just doesn't have the sudden acceleration without a couple of long strides (he actually resembles old, still somewhat gimpy Seidenberg in this). Unfortunately, it seems that the Bruins need that level of help in their own end.
 

veritas

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2009
3,032
Somerville, MA
Everyone talking about the break out and transition game, I couldn't agree with you more. I think the Lucic-Krejci-Iginla line really got exposed by Montreal last year in the playoffs. Montreal didn't respect their ability to break the puck out of their own end (in large part because Iginla and Lucic have no quickness or acceleration) and seemed to do a lot of pinching vs that line. Teams have been doing a lot of the same thing this year vs Lucic which is a bigger part of why he has looked terrible at times rather than anything about him actually changing. One part of Lucic's game that I've been disappointed he hasn't been able to develop is being able to use his body to protect the puck, especially in his own end. It's something you'd think he'd be able to do well, and it's not a lack of effort, he just doesn't seem to have great spatial awareness of where opponents are and how he can prevent them from getting the puck. The lack of quickness doesn't help either.
 
The transition game is exactly the reason why I think it's crazy to talk about Marchand being traded (haven't heard much of that here, not trying to throw out a straw man). Marchand is the one guy who does things very well that most of the forwards don't. He's great with the puck in the neutral zone, easily the best Bruin forward at entering the offensive zone with possession. Plus he can can create his own offense, and while he's not a 40 goal scorer, he's the closest thing the Bruins have to a sniper.
 
It's kind of unfortunate that they're both LWs, they're skillsets are complete opposites and probably would compliment each other very well.