As you all probably know by now, the Bruins lost another OT playoff game, 3-2 to the excruciatingly mediocre Senators, losing their first round series 4-2 and robbing us hockey fans of more playoff hockey. Seriously, I had forgotten how many years off your life playoff hockey takes. Now what are we supposed to do?
In my house it was a debate over which team to now root for. And it took every ounce of will power I had to say ‘fucking no one, I hope they all bite it.’
At any rate, this series will always have a big WHAT IF attached to it. WHAT IF Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo, and David Krejci were healthy? WHAT IF the refs didn’t absolutely, 100% suck during the entirety of the series? I mean, did you catch that they finally called a knee-on-knee trip yesterday, on the Bruins of course, after two from Ottawa leads to Colin Miller and Krejci getting hurt? WHAT IF Ottawa didn’t suck the life out of any and every game with their 1-3-1 trap, also known as the “we scored one goal, we’re good now” defense.
Well, I’m here to tell you that if healthy, the Bruins win this series, and rather handily. Ottawa stinks, folks. They needed OT in game 6 to beat a Bruins team with Sean Kuraly, Tim Schaller, etc. playing meaningful minutes. They blew a 3-0 lead in game 3 (albeit to win on another shit call in OT) and a 2-0 lead in game 5. To that Bruins team. I mean, they’re gonna get pistol whipped by the Rangers.
So the Bruins now head into the offseason with some hope for the future, but still a lot of work to do. The defense, thanks to the emergence of Charlie McAvoy, should be pretty good. It’s the forward group that needs some work, and quite possibly a lot of work. Right now you have 3 guys you can count on to score. And if they don’t, like in this series (looking at you, Marchand), the Bs are in trouble. They need more, plain and simple. And there ain’t much in the UFA market, unless guys like Martin Hanzal or Patrick Marleau float your boat. NOTE: They do not.
Also, with only about $9M in cap space, the Bs don’t have a hell of a lot to work with, as you have to figure a new deal for Pasta will eat up most of that. They have to hope that Las Vegas takes Hayes, or Beleskey, or McQuaid, to help a bit there. Any deal for those guys might mean you have to eat money, which isn’t preferable.
One has to hope that some of the recent picks are ready to make more of an impact, or that there is a trade out there that makes sense. After all, the Bs have some pieces that when combined could bring a decent return. What could a Ryan Spooner/Colin Miller package bring, for example? But even if you look at the RFA market, which is much more attractive, there might not be much there as there aren’t many teams with assets plus a lack of cap room where a deal might make sense. Maybe Detroit with Tomas Tatar, or something along those lines.
One would think that Bruce Cassidy will get the gig, so the Bs need to find players that will fit his system. So that means adding more speed and more finish around the net. Which ain’t gonna be easy. Cassidy knows the Providence guys well, and has more confidence in them than Claude ever would, so short of a trade the Bs may have to count on that rather than a free agent or trade.
Speaking of Claude, how about playing the 4th line with 2 minutes left and down a goal in game 4? HAHAAHAAHAHA that’s the Claude we know best. But I digress.
Happy summer everyone, should be an interesting off season, as always.