Bruins Postseason Preview: Their Biggest Enemy May Be Themselves
I feel good about this Bruins team, I feel very good. I know they have flaws (Rask, Halak) but they have been clicking since the trade deadline. I refuse to let myself get to Timmy Amara like overhyped about this team however, why? Because the Bruins greatest challenge will be overcoming themselves. It seems pretty clear and evident Cassidy is going with Rask and Halak in net. A giant colossal mistake by the way. We know what we have in Rask. A turtle of a man that turtles at the first site of danger. Danger in this case being the Stanley Cup playoffs. So when he does, who do you put back there? Halak who I am sorry has just been awful this year. Sure he was hurt, got COVID, but he shouldn't be playing in the playoffs, as we saw last season, it just isn't for him. The Bruins should and need to start Swayman, they won't but they should, I would. Swayman has by far the best stats out of those 3 goalies. We've seen it before in the NHL, a young goalie gets hot and takes his team all the way home. Perhaps because they are too young to actually realize the gravity of the moment but it happens a ton in this league. Very simple formula here, Start Rask/Halak and you know how it ends. Start Sway and maybe something crazy happens and you end up raising the cup. The chances of this happening aren't great, but if you do the same thing over and over again and keep ending up with the same result then you are the idiot, sir.
On the defensive front you never know what you are getting. Injuries have cursed these D-men all year. The addition of Reilly was good, some guys are starting to get healthier, but if any fans in the garden breath too hard (not a COVID joke, more of a 3 Little Pigs joke) some of these guys will be injured again. The D isn't shutting down star players like they have in the past, but they are making up for it in pure speed. They got rid of slower than molasses in Alaska Chara and got sick of Torey Krug a born forward but somehow still playing D. Seriously Krug only helped on the PP, he stunk on the back end for years. The Bruins have been better without these two guys but boy are they soft now. The injuries are ridiculous, look at Kevan Miller, he has has more muscles than that Aquaman dude and more injuries than Evel Knievel, RIP. The D like the goalie is a big question mark. They may start 8-9 defensemen in the first round, that isn't a good thing.
On the forward front. Marchy-Cap-Pasta line is the best in hockey hands down, that douchebag Jack Edwards calls that line by a different name is which I refuse to do, it is such an incredibly dumb name. The addition of Taylor Hall has been outstanding. Guy has never played for a contender, has always wanted to play in Boston, going back to the year he was drafted #1, and he has fit in perfectly with a lava hot Krejci (contract year), and Craig Smith. No one shows out more during a contract year then Krejci. Smart on his part because he'll likely get PAID again but infuriating if you are a fan watching him. If he gets 7-8 mill this offseason he'll be in full shut down mode next season. The 3rd line has been below average outside of Ritchie. He looked like he didn't know how to skate last season, now he's scoring like he's a perfect 10 in a bar full of 3s. Coyle, as long as he's healthy, is steading eddie and usually turns up when it becomes playoff time,. Kuraly has been playing 3rd line center and that just hasn't been great. He isn't a 3rd line guy, 4th on his very best day, but most likely should be sitting on the 9th floor. The fourth line has steadied off a bit since acquiring Curtis Lazar. Good 4th line center that can go on the kill. Frederic and Wagner are the most likely pairing with him. A big physical bunch that can grind down some guys over the course of the series. Jake DeBrusk might get in for a game or two. He has been completely and utterly horrible this season. No effort, doesn't skate or back check, can't provide anything on special teams. Just a guy that was a bad resigning by Sweeney at just over 3.5 per year. He's a waste and could be difficult to trade this offseason. Speaking of offseason, as many of you know I consider myself to the greatest General Manager in the history of General Managing and boy do I have some plans for a future blog when the Bruins inevitable get bounced in the 2nd round.
But speaking of Sweeney, I was down on this guy for a while, could still teeter totter on either side of him right now. But I would be remorse if I didn't mention just how good the deals were at the deadline this year. He was able to get Hall former #1 pick and Hart Trophy (MVP timmy), Lazar solid 4th line center and signed next year for almost zero dollars, and Reilly good puck moving defenseman that will shoot the puck. For a 2nd round pick, a 3rd, and Bjork. Holy hell what an incredible deadline. It gives off shades of the 2010-2011 season when the Bruins traded for Horton, Greg Campbell, Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley, & Tomas Kaberle, and then won the Cup because of those deals. Well all except maybe Kaberle.
Before you get too excited I don't think the 2021 team is the 2011 team, they won't start the right goalie and thus will lose. But those types of moves move the needle for me. I am excited for the Bruins run but I say proceed with caution, there are some Bobby De Niro monsters waiting for them. Teams that scare me the most start with the defending champs Lightning, Caps, Sidney Crosby, Islanders, Leafs, Connor McDavid, Vegas and Colorado. The Bruins will have to play against one of these teams and they won't beat them. Let me rephrase, Tuukka Turtle Rask won't beat them. I see the Bruins losing in the 2nd round of the playoffs depending whom they matchup with. I will give an update once the spots are set. But boy let me tell you I cannot wait, there's nothing quite like playoff hockey. Start growing them beards!!