That’s right, we’re back. For those of you who’ve been living in exile with no interwebs or happened to be locked in a sensory deprivation chamber: your Boston Bruins were eliminated in the first round by the
Ghosts of the Hartford Whalers Carolina Hurricanes. Noted hockey minds across the globe were relishing this first round matchup as they thought it favored the Bruins. Okay maybe not exactly “noted hockey minds”, maybe just some dumbass with a blog and a podcast, but hey, like I said last time we convened, this is my blog and I make the rules.
And for those that missed the first part of this post-mortem (you can find it in full here) or didn’t hear my ground rules: here they are again:
The beauty of this space (my safe-space?) is that I can share my opinions and thoughts. These are not facts, and if you don’t agree with them that’s okay too. That’s what’s nice about opinions, we can differ and both be right (or both be wrong). No matter how much you want it to be true Skippy, your opinion is not a fact. If wishes came true we’d all live in a beautiful world and I’d own the Bruins and be married to Salma Hayek. For those of you that have doubted my previous relationship with Salma (I used to call her Salsa), here’s an old pic from the red carpet. It’s a good photo of me, and she looks okay too.
Unfortunately that’s not the case today. Salma (Salsa) and I went our separate ways and I’m now here with you. But to continue on the thought of opinions vs. facts: Just because you believe it to be true, that doesn’t make it truth. In today’s society, we’ve seen that a lot of people can’t make that important distinction. They really really believe it, and they are going to scream at you until you believe it too. Not here dipshit. Save that noise for your Facebook group. In here it’s opinions (mine) and if you don’t like them, click that big X in the upper right and happy trails to your dumb ass. So with all that settled, let’s get it going already. Since this blog turned into another opus from me, (and I crashed the site multiple times trying to get it to post) Captain Ked
demanded insisted suggested breaking it into multiple posts. Since, I always follow directions, here we go.
The things that plague the Bruins are what have plagued them for years: secondary scoring and physicality. That’s what’s needed to win in the playoffs in today’s NHL. I’m not here to lay blame at the feet of anyone, as the Bruins are a team and they win and lose together as such. What I am going to do is lay out what I think should/could happen at each spot and maybe sprinkle in
some okay, a lot of wishful thinking.
Erik Haula – Taylor Hall – David Pastrnak
This was “the line waiting for Krejci” that never got their center. Hall and Pastrnak’s games line up so well with Krejci that everyone (yours truly included) was just waiting for Krejci to come waltzing in the door in time for playoffs. Obviously it didn’t happen and the wingers had Haula in the middle. What did he do you ask? He had his statistically best year since 2017-18 with Vegas and ended up playing 78 games with 18-26-44 with 47PIM and ended the regular season as a +19 (2nd amongst forwards behind Bergeron, not a big deal). To say Haula was a pleasant surprise is an understatement. He should have been the 7th player award winner and was outstanding down the stretch for the team. Can he be the 2nd line center going forward? Above my pay grade, but the line was clicking once it was put together in January. He’s signed through next season and has the ability to play wing too, so he adds value. Hall is signed through 2024-2025 and Pasta is on the books for another year. I’d like to see Pasta add some defensive awareness to his game (36 takeaways vs. 77 giveaways this season), but when you’re that talented offensively it feels as if it’s nitpicking. Also when you add in what Pastrnak went through in his personal life this year, it’s amazing to me that he even showed up to the rink. Just to add more fuel to the “David Krejci is coming back” fire: Don Sweeney made mention the other day that the door remains open for Krejci to come back. Consider that a definite bat signal. Also, it looks like the dynamic duo haven’t missed a beat since #46 left.
Conclusion: I would think that Haula plays wing on diff line next year and that Hall/Pastrnak remain together with a true top tier center (Scheifele if Krejci isn’t back maybe?)
Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm
This is the top pair for the next 8 years as both players are signed through 2029-2030. This might be the top pair in the league before their contracts run out. I have no notes, no complaints, and no advice except to maybe keep your heads up coming around the net.
Conclusion: Don Sweeney deserves credit for locking up Lindholm and extending McAvoy
Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark
For me, this is the easiest category of the entire blog. The Bruins have 2 legitimate #1 goalies (maybe 1A and 1B?) and both can be trusted in the big moment. If you’re going to blame any of the playoff games on the goaltending then you should stop watching hockey. Ullmark got off to a slow start this season as he was adjusting to a new team/system (and possibly the pressure of a big ticket?) and it took him a bit to get his feet under him. Swayman far exceeded his expectations coming in and showed down the stretch he’s the goalie of the future. Ullmark is on the books for another 3 years with a NMC and Swayman is on his ELC so this is your goaltending tandem for the foreseeable future. Also nice that they have developed what seems like a good relationship. It looks like a true collaboration and hopefully they support each other. Makes everything easier when the goalies are working together.
Conclusion: Both goalies will be back and they should compete for the Jennings Trophy
So that’s it for now Dear Reader. Once again I crashed the site trying to make this into 2 parts. Apparently WordPress wants me to make this 3 posts (much like the NHL makes playoff series go 7 games). So the next post… I promise… will be the end of the post-mortem. Until then, as always, let me know your thoughts on socials @abrow28. Until then, enjoy CGY/EDM and think happy thoughts of Johnny Gaudreau skating with Bergy and Marchand.