New Faces Dominate 2021 Bruins Roster

The NHL season is around the corner, new faces dominate the 2021 Bruins roster. Familiar faces Tuukka Rask and David Krejci will not be on it. Krejci opted to move back to his native Czechoslovakia. while Tuukka Rask awaits surgery on his hip. With the additional cap space, Boston has revamped its roster. In this post, will review three reasons why the Bruins are still contenders in the NHL East.

Much Needed Size Added

The Bruins used their cap money to get bigger. They also added Nick Foligno, LW, and Erik Haula Size and physicality have lacked the past two seasons. The team was pushed around by the St Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup finals. Meanwhile Tampa bay just seems to have their number in the postseason.

For the first time in fifteen years, the Bruins need to fill the second _line center position. Top candidates are Charlie Coyle and Jack Studnicka. Studnicka struggled last year and bounced between Boston and Providence. Rookie Cameron Hughes signed a two_way contract and could be a longshot. acquired Thomas Nosek brings size and muscle. But he projects to be a fourth_ line center.

Newly signed Thomas Nosek brings size and muscle. Nosek appeared in38 games for Las Vegas last season scoring 8 goals and 18 assists. The obvious candidate is Charlie Coyle. Inconsistency hurt him last season. Coyle doesn’t come close to the skill set that Krejci has. His strong points are his puck control, which will help Taylor Hall and Craig Smith.

Defense Revamped

The Bruins have one of the game’s top young defensemen in Charlie McAvoy. In six seasons, McAvoy has appeared in 235 games, scoring 24 goals and 98 assists and a plus _minus of 22. He averages 22 minutes per game and continues to be the heart and soul of the blue line. The organization has the task of getting a long_ term deal done for the young superstar.

Boston came to terms with Brandon Carlo and free agent Derek Forbort. Veteran Kevan Miller has retired, leaving openings for Jakub Zboril, and Urho Vakananien. The team also resigned Mike Reilly. Fan_ favorite Matt Grzelcyk continues to get better. The club lost highly regarded prospect Jeremy Lauzon to Seattle in expansion.

Goaltending Changes

General Manager Don Sweeney replaced Rask with LinusUllmark from Buffalo. Ullmark is young and has lots of upsides Rookie Jeremy Swayman will see most of the action. Swayman won over the confidence of the fans with his athletic style.

Conclusion

With, all the offseason transactions, the team still has one of the best rosters in the NHL. The question is, can this new group get by Tampa Bay if it gets that far? Only time will tell.

Quiet Bruins Off Season Resulting In Little Improvement

The Boston Bruins are enjoying a quiet offseason, after claiming their third Eastern Conference championship banner in nine years. Thus far the only Bruins signings have been winger Brett Ritchie from Dallas, Danton Heinen, and Steven Kampfer. General manager Don Sweeney still has a lot of work to due this summer. The Bruins need to come to terms with Defenseman Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy, and Brandon Carlo. In this post, we will review three reasons why the Bruins have not improved from last season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Overpaying For Danton Heinen  Mistake, number one was overpaying for Danton Heinen. Heinen, the third_ year wingers production dipped considerably in 2018.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In 2011 Heinen’s 11 goals and 13 assists and a plus_ minus ratio of 11 one more than the previous season. In  2017  he netted 16 goals and 31 assists. This past summer the,organization awarded him a 2.8 million dollar salary which ends in 2023.                                                                                                                                                           Granted, Heinen is a gritty third_ line player, but not worth the figure he signed  With only three years of service time, he adds a strong physical presence on the team’s third line. Only time will tell if he is worthy of the contract.                          

  No Major Free Agent Signing’s  The good news is the Bruins  are well under the NHL cap space this summer. The bad news is they have to come to terms with  Tory Krug, Charlie McAvoy,and Brandon Carlo. The team cannot sign all three                                                                                                                                                                Torey Krug had one his most productive seasons as a Bruin. Krug is a valuable member of the power play and sparkled in the playoffs. Krug has one more year left on a four_ year  $21,000,000 deal. Expect Krug to average 9 or 10 million per year on the open market. Signing him will  be a major hurdle losing him will be worse.

Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo are the nuts and bolts of the defensive corp. Mcavoy is at the end of his rookie contract. Carlo had his best season as a Bruin. When Zdeno Chara retires, Carlo will be the club’s number one or two defenseman.

Signing Brett Richie  The only major splash this summer has been Brett Ritchie. The team lost free agent  Marcus Johansen and center Noel Acciari. Ritchie has 33 goals and 21 assists n five_year’s as A Dallas Star.  He is not the   skill player that Johansen is, but fits the Bruins style of play.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Bruins have major decisions to make on McAvoy and Carlo. Krug could be the odd man out. Mc Avoy and Carlo are the future of the Bruins Compared to last season the team has not gotten any better and will struggle to reach the finals.

What Separates Tuukka Rask From Other Elite NHL Goaltenders

The Boston Bruins are enjoying a very sweet 2019 playoff run in a quest for their second Stanley Cup of the millennial. One of the reasons behind the successful run is the play of netminder Tuukka Rask. Rask has guided the Bruins past victories over Toronto, Columbus, and two wins over Carolina with game three Tuesday night. In this post, we will examine three reasons, why Rask has been so successful and where he stands amongst recent Stanley Cup goalies.

  What Separates Tuukka Rask From Other Elite NHL Goaltenders?

Young Defensive Group Outside of Charlie McAvoy the team has an extremely young group of talented defensemen.  Starting with Charlie McAvoy the team is a well_ balanced unit with Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Connor Clifton, and Torey Krug.

   The young group has been a significant reason that has contributed to Rask’s success this season. Krug, in particular, has been a vital force on the team’s power play.
 If the Bruins expect to get past Carolina, then the defense will have to keep the Hurricane forwards at bay. The Bruins defense was one of the best in the NHL in 2018/19
Penalty Killing another reason for Rask’s success this postseason has been the play of the penalty killing unit. During the season, the penalty killing ranked near the bottom. During the playoffs, however, the penalty killing has been the out of the four playoff teams remaining. Currently, the team is riding a five_ game unbeaten streak.
 One of the reasons for this year’s playoff success is the play of the penalty killing unit. The group have prevented the opposition from scoring. Currently, the club is enjoying a five _game postseason unbeaten streak thanks to the penalty killing. If the team can get past Carolina, the play of the penalty killing unit is vital.
 Rask Versus Recent Stanley Cup Goalies; The past three seasons the Stanley Cup Champions have been The Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins twice and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Compared to Stanley Cup goalies, Rask statistics rank with the best. Corey Crawford of Chicago is 244-142 career as a Blackhawk. In, the Playoffs his record is 48-37. Another example, Matt Murray of Pittsburgh compiled a 29-14 overall record this year, with 2.60 GAA and a 919 save percentage. Murray had a dismal playoff record in 2019 at 0-4 record.
 Rask’s numbers, on the other hand, were far better than both in 2019.  27-19 298 GAA and a 912 save percentage. Career _wise   Rask is 265 150 228GAA and a 921 save percentage. The most wins by any Bruins goaltender in the clubs history.

Post Season Success It wasn’t too long ago that Tuukka Rask was getting criticized for his lack of victories in postseason. With consecutive losses to Ottawa and Tampa Bay, it’s safe to say that Tuukka Rask has finally arrived as an elite NHL goaltender.

Why Defense Is A Key Factor For A Successful Bruins Post Season Run

Experienced Group; With three- quarters of the NHL season over, the team’s defence ranks second in the league in goals allowed. As the third-year coach, Bruce Cassidy rotates goalies Tuukka Rask, and Jaraslov Halak the Bruins have held onto fourth place in the NHL East.

The defensive group of Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon,  Carlo, John Moore Kevan Miller, Steven Kampfer, and Torey Rug.. have remained fairly healthy. Early season injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara the Bruins defence has been one of the best in hockey.

Except for John Moore and Steven Kampfer, the group has been together for five years or longer. At 42 years old Zdeno Chara is a valuable member of the clubs power play. Veteran Torey Krug is having a solid season by logging 44 games played and 5 goals and 33 assists. Krug is also an essential member of the Bruins power play.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sixty Minutes Of Hockey; One area the team needs to focus on is consistency. Saturday’s 5-4 win over the LA Kings the Bruins fell apart in the third period. Future Hall Of Fame winger Patrice Bergeron netted the game _winning goal in overtime to beat the Kings. It was also Bergeron’s 1,000 point as a Bruin.

The team has won and lost several close games this season because of a defensive breakdown.  In a recent win over Washington, goalie Tuukka Rask kept the Capitals scoreless for three periods and earned his 253 wins as the organizations winningest goalie.

Staying Healthy; Despite early season injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara, the Bruins have one of the top five defensive units in the NHL.  Outside of the Bruins Anaheim, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Minnesota have better defensive units.

Zdeno Chara continues to pile up the minutes every night. If the rest of the defence can stay healthy, the team will be a serious contender going forward.

Looking Ahead; Head coach Bruce Cassidy continues to mix up his lines regularly. Keeping goalies Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak fresh will be another factor for a successful Stanley Cup run

Why Goaltending will take the Bruins To the Promised Land in 2018/19

With the 2018/19 NHL season set to get underway this week, Bruins fans are optimistic about the upcoming season. With Tampa Bay and Toronto, the teams to beat in the East hopes are high for a successful Bruins season. In this post, we will cover three reasons why goaltending will be the key ingredients for the Bruins to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Why Goaltending Will Take The Bruins To The Promise Land In 2018/19

Upgrade In Goaltending; Although Toronto signed John Tavares the Bruins did some moves of their own this offseason. One important move was signing free agent goalie Jaroslav Halak.

In 54 games with the Islanders, last season Halak compiled a 20_-26 record  908 save percentage. As for the playoffs Halak has played in 30 career playoff games while posting a 13-15 record and a 908 save percentage. Halak is is a huge upgrade over last year’s backup Anton Khudobin. Halak’s playoff experience should be a huge help for Tuukka Rask.

Defensive Improvements;  Last season the Bruins had one of the best defenses in the NHL. With the trading of veteran Adam McQuaid, the Bruins added former Devils defenseman, John Moore. Moore who has played in a total of 446 career games has 32 career goals and 67 assists.  Moore who is noted for his speed and puck handling skills will be a definite upgrade on the power play.  Also, his leadership will be a big plus in the locker room.

One other trade in the defensive department was acquiring Stephen Kampfer from the Rangers. Kampfer was part of the Adam McQuaid deal with the Rangers midway through training camp.

Youth Movement; Along with the offseason moves the Bruins continue to grow their roster with younger and quicker players. Last seasons number one draft pick Axel Andersson is competing for a full _time roster spot. With youngsters, Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk, Sean Kuraly, Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen already on the roster look for the Bruins to make life difficult for opposing teams this season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Looking ahead; Last season head coach Bruce Cassidy guided the Bruins to a 50-20- record for 112 points in the Eastern Conference. With Former Islander John Tavares signing with Toronto goalie Tuukka Rask has a huge task ahead of him along with the rest of the organization.

The Bruins survived Toronto last season in round one of the playoffs, only losing to Tampa Bay in round two. If the Bruins have any hopes of reaching the finals boils down to a balanced scoring attack, solid defense and a well _rested Tuukka Rask.

Best Available Free Agents Left That THe Bruins Should Target

With NHL training camps just around the corner. There are still some quality free agents available that could be an attractive bargain that the Bruins Should target. In this article, we’ll  three areas that the Bruins need to shore up on before tha start of the 2018/19 hockey season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Playoff Aspirations;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         For the first time in three years the Bruins qualified for the 2017/18 playoffs. With a nice mixture of youth and veterans, General Manager has the Bruins going in the right direction. Despite a first_ round exit at the hands of the Ottawa  Senators postseason has returned to Causeway Street.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Improved Defense;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Boston has a nice group of veteran defenseman and youth too work with. Ageless wonder Zdeno Chara continues to pile up the minutes.  Injury prone Adam McQuaid is still productive when healthy. Youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo bring energy with every shift.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Re-sign Pastrnak;                                                                                                                             The Bruins are coming off a very quiet offseason.  First and foremost the team needs to re-sign forward David Pastrnak. Pastrnak a third _yeaplayer has put up _put up big numbers in his three short years. If the Bruins hope to go deep in the playoffs then re-signing Pastrnak would send a positive message.                                                                                                                                                                                             Available Free Agents;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   With the big name free agents already committed to other teams, there are still some quality free agents available.  One name that would be a good fit in Boston , is  Roman Polak. The 31 -year old defenseman  Polak would provide depth for the defense.  Two more names that could help the  Bruins would be Sabres blueliner, Cody Franson. Franson a thirty_seven year _old veteran would be a character player for a team on the rise.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lastly, first_year coach Bruce Cassidy needs to practice patience. This is a young team seeking an identity.  With a  veteran core group and young  players this is a team to take seriously.  If Cassidy can keep goalies Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin fresh then the Bruins could make things interesting.  Other than Pastrnak spending money on big name free agents has never been the Bruins style.                                                                                        ,                                                                       ,

Three Teams That Will Challenge Pittsburgh For The Stanley Cup

With NHL training camps officially undeway it’s time for hockey fans to start making their predictions.With a new expansion team hockey should be better than ever tis year. Welcome hockeys newest team the Las Vegas Knights. Lets examine three teams that will give the Penguins a run for their money.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         A team to keep a close eye on is Edmonton. General manager Peter Chairelli has developed the Oilers into a contender in just three years. He has two of the games elite Stars. Forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisiaitl  are two of the games best.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Both signed long term deals over the summer. McDavids deal is for eight years,one of the largest in team history. Defensively the Oilers are solid with veterans Kris Russell and Matt Benning protecting goalie Cam Talbot.The team also added winger Ryan Strome from the Islanders. Strome is regarded as a depth move and brings a physical presence to the roster.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Dallas is a team that was very busy this past off season. The First order of business was the firing of head coach Lindy Ruff. Ruff was replaced by long time veteran Ken Hitchcock. Hitchcock previously coached the Stars ten years ago before moving on to  St.Louis.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               The  also added veteran goalie Ben Bishop. Bishop signed a six year deal thatshould bring depth to the goalie department Last years goalie Kari Lehtonen struggled through most of the season. Defensively Dallas acquired Mark Methot from Las Vegas.Plus the team signed Martin Hanzal and Tyler Pitlick.                                                                                                                                                                                                                The new additions plus Hitchcock as coach should mix in well with star players Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Within time the Stars  should be serious contenders.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             This leads us to the Bruins. With a new head coach and a nice mix of veterans and rookies the Bruins could be the surprise of the league. Veteran goalie Tuukka Rask is only thirty, and still  has plenty of upside.Look for youngsters Charlie Mc Avoy and Brandon Carlo to be elite defenseman.Look for the Bruins to challenge in the Stanley Cup finals.

Despite a Young Roster Goal tending Still the Main Concern for 20/17 Bruins

Now that the Bruins have officially namede Bruce Cassidy head coach it’s time for the 2017 Bruins to go forward. With one of the youngest rosters in the NHL goaltending is still the main area of concern for this years Bruins club.                                                                                                                                                                          The Bruins finally qualified for the playoffs after a two year absence. Development comes within time. Adding youth and veterans together the Bruins should be serious playoff contenders.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Goal tender  Tukka Rask is entering his eight NHL season  as Boston’s goalie. He finished last year with a 37-20 record and a 2.64 goals against average. Not to mention eight shutouts and five ties.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            According to Sports Iluustrated Rask is ranke fouteeth among NHL starting goalies. Not bad company. But since the Bruins 2012 Stanley Cup loss to the Blackhwaks Rask has not won a post season round.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This could be the result of various reasons. The main reason I feel is Rask plays to many games. Sixty five games plus the playoffs takes it’s toll on you. Personally I think Bruce Cassidy needs to rotate his goalies. Fifty five games and the playoffs would help mentally and physically.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Depth wise the Bruins have Anton Khudobin and Zane Mcintyre in Providece. Khudobin is in his second season as Boston’s backup. Last year he had a 2.35 goals against average and a record of 8-6. Mcintyre only saw limited duty  with only two apperances.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rotation is the key I feel to the Bruins success this year. If the Bruins can get steady backup play from Mcintyre and Khudobin then the Bruins should be OK.                                                                                                                                                                                         One thing the Bruins did learn from last year was expierience. Experience is your greatest teacher. With youngsters, McAvoy, Jakub Zboril,Brandon Carlo ,and Rob O’Gara fighting for a defensive pairing the defense should be solid.                                                                                                                                                                            With veterans Dave Krejci,Adam McQuaid, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand leading the way the Bruins should make a strong bid for the Stanley Cup. Mistakes come with youth. Veterans also make mistakes. Mix the two factors together and you’ve got a pretty good team. Goaltending is still the Bruins main concern in 2017/18.

Sweeney And Bruins Need A Productive And Creative Off Season

With the 2017 NHL free agency season moving right along the Boston Bruins have one main priority to take care of. That priority is to sign rising star David Pastrnak to a long term deal. Currently Pastrnak is under team control for three years.                                                                                                                                                     Pastrnak the Bruins number one draft pick in2014 had a breakout season netting 34 goals and 36 assist and is rapidly becoming one of the dominant players in the NHL.                                                                                                                                                                 Negotiations are moving a long slowly but hopefully in the right direction.Pastrnak is currently earning  $ 2,275,000 dollars   with a yearly salary of $ 925,000. One option the Bruins could take would be a bridge contract. With a bridge contract this would give the Bruins some flexibility especially with it’s young group of players coming up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Keep in mind however this is a common problem in the NHL. Two players  in similar situations are Capitals forward TJ Oshie and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov. Oshie recently signed a long term deal with the Capitals earlier this summer.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Oshie’s deal is a $ 46,000,000  with a  $20,000,000 signing bonus.   In two years Oshie has been one of the most productive players in the league.Last season he scored 33 goals and 33 assist and the year before 26 goals and 25 assists.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kucherov on the other hand has put together two solid back to back seasons. In 2017 he scored 40goals and 45 assists for a total of 85 points. The year before 2014/15 he netted 30 goals and 36 assists.  If you look at Pastrnaks numbers he’s right in the middle of both players.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   When it’s all said and done look for the Bruins to offer Pastrnak a long term deal worth  $14,000,000 or $15,000,000 per season with a handsome signing bonus.                                                                                                                                                                                          Overall this summer the Bruins have been realitively quiet One small move was signing Winnipeg’s Paul Postma. Postma a seven year veteran had 1 goal and 13 assists in 65 games last year for the Jets. Also the Bruins inked winger Noel Accari to a two year contract.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The Bruins had a solid campaign in 2017. The team ranked  eighth in the NHL in defense. If they want to go deeper inthe playoffs goalie Tukka Rask needs to be protected. The B’s have two young defeseman on the rise Brandon Carlo and 2016 number one pick Charlie McAvoy. If the Bruins are to go forward signing Pastrnak would be a positive step and send the right message to the team.

Time For The Bruins To Think About Moving Tukka Rask

So what direction will the Bruins go in this summer? A gutsy move would be to replace net minder Tukka Rask. Rask hasbeen heavily criticized for his poor post season performance the past four years.                                                                                                                                                                                                        The only issue is Rask is in the third year of an eight year contract about a 7,000,000, million dollar cap hit. But who out their is better. Playoff wise Rask has made 53 appearances and winning 23. Since the Stanley Cup the B’s have suffered painful exits to the Blackhawks and Canadiens twice. And two years without any trip to post season.                                                                                                                                                                                                           Barring any trades a interesting free agent is Kings goaltender Ben Bishop. Bishop 30 years old was dealt to the Kings mid way through last year. A playoff record of 21-13 GAA2.09.  Bishop has a cap hit 5,590,000 a little cheaper than Rask. But roughly the same age most likely will be overpaid by some team. Not a good Bruins fit.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Mike McKenna of the Lighting is another veteran available. McKenna is a well traveled player.  However he’s only played in 27NHL games and at 34 is on the last leg of his career. Would not be a good fit for the Bruins.                                                                                                                                                                                                             An intriguing player available is BlackHawk backup goalie Scott Darling. Darling has a Stanley Cup ring and had an ecellent teacher in Corey Crawford. Only 28 Darling is in the prime of his career. Jf theBs were to make a move  d be their best fit He would be long term and cheap. A career record of 17-9 238 GAA.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The last player available is Flyer backup Steve Mason. Mason 29 years old. Mason has played in 58 NHL games has a 26-21 record 2.66 GAA. In the playoffs he’s 2-9 with a 3.35 GAA. Maybe a good fit for Providence and Boston. But at best a backup.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No matter what direction they go in the Bruins need to make deep post season runs at in the playoffs. Tukka Rask  has had sveral years to do it but keeps coming up short. Bruin fans are waiting patiently for another Cup. If they come up short another year moving him and his 7,000,000 dollar contract might be their best logical choice.