The Boston Bruins Post-Mortem: Part III

Well, we’re back. Good to see you again. This was meant to start out as a quick post about the Bruins and their roster. Then it morphed into a summation and theoretical exercise in what the Bruins may do in the off-season. Then it grew bigger and harder (that’s what she said), then originally planned. Apparently I’m a grower, not a shower in the writing department too.

As I said in Part I and then again in Part II, this is all my opinion. This is not open to interpretation, it’s what I think (and hope) may happen. No one knows what Patrice Bergeron is going to do, and how dare anyone pressure Señor Perfecto to rush his decision. So while you’re hate-watching the remaining teams, (I mean seriously, how does anyone root for St. Louis or Tampa Bay? If that is the Stanley Cup Final I will be in search of a local bridge to jump off of), and your jonesing for a shot of that Black and Gold pure junk? Don’t worry baby, you know I always got the good shit. You came to the right place, I got you.

Without further adieu.. let’s get into it.

Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith – Trent Frederic

Coyle and Smith developed great chemistry in their first stint together and then they were separated. Once they were reunited, it took a bit to develop that feel again; but to their credit they got it going and were one of the more consistent lines on the team, especially when Frederic was put with them. Then the playoffs hit and they were, how you say? Not good. Coyle was the bright spot putting up 2-4-6 in 7GP but was also a -7. Smith had horrible production going 0-0-0 in 7GP and was a -5, and Frederic went 0-0-0 and was a -2 in 4GP. When people talk about lack of scoring depth? This is what we’re talking about. Freddie got scratched for 3 games (Butchie’s dog house must be like Alcatraz, cause Freddie wasn’t getting out) and was replaced by the Mayor of Walpole Chris Wagner. In 3GP Wags also went 0-0-0 but at least he was even? Just looking for a bright spot. I like this line (before the playoffs), as Coyle is a possession beast and is great all 200ft. of the rink. Smith has an unbelievable motor and never quits on a play and while Freddie is still growing his game, he’s fearless and adds an element the team needs (outside of the untimely penalties, see: Foligno, Nick). At the end of the day, the team needs better production out of their 3rd line in the playoffs. Before we move on, let me direct some ire towards the Coyle-haters out there. You fucking morons. Charlie Coyle is a bona-fide stud. He’s a one man cycle, with a big body in front of the net and along the wall. He takes crucial face-offs and continuously bails out less experienced players (Freddie during 5 on 5 play and DeBrusk on the PK), and has the trust of the coaching staff in every situation. Is it his fault the Bruins offered him the deal that he signed? Tell you what, next time the night manager at Wendy’s offers you a raise, tell them you want less money and that you’re giving them a “home town discount” to man the fry station. How stupid are you? GTFOH.

Conclusion: Coyle and Smith stay together next year (maybe with Haula on the other wing?), while Freddie’s going to have to fight for ice time under Cassidy. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Freddie has to work his way up from the 4th line.

Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk

Ladies and Gentlemen now that Tuukka has retired, say hello to your new whipping boys. Carlo’s soft and Grzelcyk is undersized. Neither can skate, both suck and they are afraid of contact. I had one moron tell me that Carlo is “a pussy cause he didn’t play through his concussions” Seriously, these mouth breathers walk amongst us. Grz as we now know, was playing with a dislocated shoulder towards the end of the regular season and into the playoffs. Carlo logged big shutdown minutes during 5 on 5 play and was at the top of the D-corp with shorthanded TOI all the while with a rotating cast of partners as Grz was out. Maybe they’re better served not playing together? I’m not sure, but it’s worth exploring. Carlo is signed for another 5 years at $4.1M and Grz for another 2 years at $3.7M. Those are both attractive contracts for the type of players they are and I’m sure teams will be calling about them, but I ask you this Chumley: What are you going to get back? Do you not remember the years that the Bruins only needed “a puck-moving defenseman” to get over the hump? Well, these are both puck moving defensemen. Different players evolve at different rates and maybe the offensive flashes we’ve seen from them will continue and even become more frequent?

Conclusion: One of them may get packaged in a blockbuster deal if Sweeney gets aggressive in the off-season. If they’re both here, maybe look to split them up. I know you read my posts Butchie, just give it a try.

So there you have it Dear Reader. This entire off-season will come down to what Bergeron decides. Once that decision is made, Sweeney will have his marching orders and the team will know it’s direction. Will the Bruins go out and land a rugged defenseman? How about taking a page out of the NYR playbook and getting a heavyweight for the boys? Maybe a true top tier winger to ride with Bergy and Marchy? Will Sweeney look to fill the cupboards with draft picks and young (read: cheap) bottom 6 players? What will the NCAA undrafted free agents turn into? When will Fabian-mania erupt here in Boston? All of these questions will eventually be answered. In the meantime we’ll be putting out the podcast for the rest of the season and all summer with interviews, the latest hockey news (on and off the ice), our own ridiculous takes and tangents, and of course what by now has become our trademark fuckery.

Once again we turn our eyes and hearts to you The Hockey Gods, and we wish nothing but success for our Boston Bruins here in the Hub of Hockey. We hope for deep playoff runs on clean sheets with no offsides; we long to hear the echo of clappers ringing bar down on Causeway Street. Outside the barn, the air is electric with the smell of sausages mixing with the sound of revelry coming from Sully’s Tap. We genuflect at the statue of Robert Gordon as we make our way up the escalators into the cathedral of the Black and Gold Faithful. With our eyes on the banners above we all pray together…

We walk through the concourse and we pause for fist bumps with the beer vendors. We tip a wink and a smile to the attendants who help us into our pews seats. The 50/50 tickets are bought and paid for like an offering to the Gallery Gods. The organ is primed and the light from the Jumbotron bathes us all in it’s benevolent glow. All of our senses are engaged. The smell of the fresh ice, the clatter of the pucks during warmies, the vision of our Bruins behind the glass. The feel of the handles of our seats as we jump to our feet when the B’s put one past the visiting ‘tendy. We all join hands and look to Saint Derek to lead us. In the name of Ray Bourque, Patrice Bergeron and Bobby Orr. Amen.

As always, find me on socials @abrow28

Author: Brownie

A legacy that was born on the frozen rivers in Northern Saskatchewan then later forged on the ponds of New England. Playing with the heart of a warrior and the soul of a poet; always living by the credo handed down by generations of beer-league beauties that came before him. Skate Hard - Quick Changes - Win the Parking Lot.

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