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.

Why The Bruins Need To Restructure Their Defense For The 2018/19 Season

In, a span of three years, Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney has guided the team back into a serious playoff contender. Since the firing of longtime time coach Claude Julien, the Bruins have started drafting more skilled players. The organization has seemed to change its philosophy from physical to focusing on attributes such as players with more of a skill set.  In this post,  we’ll review three areas why the Bruins need to restructure the defensive department for the upcoming NHL season.

Why The Bruins Need To Restructure Their Defense For The 2018/19 Season

Redefine Chara’s Role;

At, forty years old the team continues to get excellent production from captain Zdeno Chara. But in, the playoffs particularly against Tampa Bay, Chara showed  signs of fatigue. Throughout the course of the season, Chara averaged 23 minutes per game. Not too bad for a  player neither young nor old.  As the  season progressed, Chara has paired with the teams  2016 number one draft pick, Charlie McAvoy. In, McAvoy the organization has one of the top young defensemen in the NHL. After the Tampa Bay series, many fans and media people feel that the club needs to cut down on his playing time and pair him with another partner.

Make A Decision On Adam McQuaid;

Veteran defenseman Adam McQuaid is in his last year of a four_year contract  At 31 years old many fans feel that the organization needs to get quicker on defense. In 2017/18 McQuaid missed several games. Considering his  3,000,000 dollar salary it may be time to think about dealing Mcquaid.

As the team continues to draft more skilful players, they can maintain their status as an elite NHL team. .McQuaid has a history of being injury prone by trading him the club can add another younger defenceman.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Help In Providence;

Since General Manager Don Sweeney took over three years ago, the club has qualified for the playoffs two_ years in a row.   If the team wants to resume its quest to win another Stanley Cup, then the defense needs continue to get better. Goaltender Tuukka Rask has improved his playoff performance due to resting more during the regular season.

As it stands now, the Bruins have a young group of six or seven defensemen who are legitimate NHL players. Veteran Torey Krug had a spectacular collecting 14 goals and 45 assists for 69 points. Kevan Miller continues to make progress. Young Matt Grzelcyk who split time with Providence is only getting better. Third _year player Brandon Carlo who suffered an injury at the end of the season be ready at the start of training camp.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In,  Providence, two Bruins who could be prepared for full _time duty are defensemen Jeremy Lauzon and 2015  number one pick Jakub Zboril. Out, of the two Lauzon is the one most likely one to make the squad. As for Zboril,  he needs to continue to work on his game.

Is It Still To early To Trust Tuukka Rask Only Time Will Tell ?

So far the 2018 NHL playoffs have been pretty impressive for Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. With a game seven win under his belt over Toronto, Rask is enjoying early success over the Eastern Conference leaders Tampa Bay Lightning. In this post, we’ll discuss three areas the Bruins and Rask need to focus on in order to advance to the next round.

 Is It Still To early To Trust Tuukka Rask Only Time Will Tell?
                                                                                                                                                                            Previous  Playoff Experience;
 If history is any indicator of how players or teams are then Bruins have time against them. Bruins fans share painful memories of the 2010 collapse against Philadelphia. The sad part of that series was that the Bruins were up 3-0 only to have Rask give up fifteen goals in four periods for an 839 save percentage.
  And who could forget the 2012 catastrophe against Chicago? The Bruins were up 3-2 only to lose to the Black Hawks in seven. in that series, Rask was responsible for six goals in the last two games. Considering Rask had a fairly good game five the end was in Chicago’s favour.
                                                                                                                                                                                              In 2013 against the Canadiens Rask did not fare any better. Boston had a 3-2 series lead where Rask let in four goals on thirteen shots simply to send the Bruins home for a lengthy vacation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The succeeding season had the Bruins facing the Canadiens for the second _season in a row. With an experienced Rask in the net, the result was a triumph for Montreal in game seven at Boston.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rotating Goalies;
                                                                                                                                                                             Early in the 2017/18 season, 1st _year coach Bruce Cassidy decided to rotate Rask with backup goalie Anton Khudobin.  Khudobin filled in brilliantly when called upon with a 16-6 record and 2.47 Goals Against. The only drawback on Khudobin is he only has one playoff game under his belt and no record to show for it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This method seemed to work for the Bruins as Cassidy pulled Rask in game five against Toronto and the Bruins collecting their first playoff series win since their Stanley Cup year in 2011.
                                                                                                                                                             Boston vs. Tampa Bay;

                                                                                                                                                                             Bruce Cassidy’s system of rotating goalies has so far worked in the Bruins favour, The question is how will Khudobin respond to pressure cookers as the playoffs go deeper and deeper. Many Bruins fans feel that Cassidy is pressing the right buttons and continue rotating the two netminders. The difference between this year and previous years is Rask is well rested not So far the 2018 NHL playoffs have been pretty impressive for Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. With a game seven win under his belt over Toronto, Rask is enjoying early success over the Eastern Conference leaders Tampa Bay Lightning.

 If the Bruins and captain Zdeno Chara Expect to carry the Stanley Cup around the TD Garden ice then Rask and teammates will have to learn how to win under playoff pressure.

 

Bruins Hoping For Deep Playoff Run After A Flurry Of Activity

 With, fifteen games remaining the Bruins are hoping for a deep playoff run. At the trade deadline, the Bruins welcomed Brian Gionta, Nick Holden, Tommy Wingels, and Rick Nash. So far all four have contributed to Bruin victories.          Bruins Hope For Deep Playoff Run after A Flurry Of Activity                                                     Injury Woes;

The new faces could not have come at a better time as injuries continue to mount for the Bruins.  Injuries to Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, Charlie McAvoy,  and Brad Marchand have kept the Bruins at bay.  Out of the four McAvoy’s is the most serious. Despite injuries, the team has remained competitive trailing Tampa Bay with 98 points                                                                                                                                                        So far the moves are making General manager Don Sweeney look brilliant considering he didn’t have to give up that much.  This season is a big difference from last year has the Bruins made only one deal at the deadline That player turned out to be Drew Stafford who is no longer with the Bruins.
Solid Goaltending;                                                                                                                                                             Aside from getting quality play from the veterans the Rask is having one of his most clubs has gotten excellent goaltending from Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin. Rask is having one of his best years as a  Bruin with a 29-11-and a 2.31 Goals against. Backup Anton Khudobin is also contributing with a 15-5  record and a  2.48 Goals against average.
By resting Rask the Bruins have been one of the best teams in the NHL this season. The past two seasons Rask has been a victim of being overused. By the time playoff time comes around Rask has been burned out which results in an early Bruin exit from the playoffs.
           Playoff Experience;
With 94 points the Bruins should be in excellent shape for the playoffs. There are however two factors against the Bruins. One is getting to the Washington Capitals. Two is having Tuukka Rask getting some playoff series victories under his belt.   Since their last Stanley Cup in 2011 Rask has not won a playoff round. Hopefully, if McAvoy can return healthy, the results may be different this year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Head coach Bruce Cassidy has the Bruins believing in themselves.  Since the trade deadline, the team has gone 7-1. If the Bruins expect to get by Washington then it will have to be a total team effort. Playing smart and not getting foolish penalties is just one area it takes to beat the Capitals.   The other area is playing good in transition. Beating the Capitals will be no easy task but keeping Rak rested maybe the Bruins best strategy.