It’s the All-Star break for the NHL, which means no real hockey for a week, and also time for one blogger’s hot takes about where the Bruins stand a bit more than half way through the season. Here. We. Go.
1. They’re making the playoffs. That’s something many in Bruins Nation were concerned with heading into the year. It’ll be a dogfight, with several teams fighting for the last two or three spots, but the Bruins should have enough to get in. This is mainly because a lot of other teams don’t. One concern is that the B’s have thrown away many points throughout the year, like last year, and that could come back to haunt them. But it says here it won’t.
2. They could last long. “Could” is the operative word here. A lot has to go right …. health, good goaltending, luck, etc. But tell me one team, aside from the Caps, that are exponentially better than the Bruins? A trade for a somewhat decent defenseman could tip the scales the Bruins’ way. Of course, if Carey Price gets healthy and they play Montreal in the 1st then all bets are off. But the Habs are now unbelievably 5 points out of a playoff spot so that might not be a worry.
3. Claude will continue to make head scratching decisions. This might be the most frustrating part of the season. Sure, Ryan Spooner has been really good after some time in Claude’s doghouse, but it continues to confound why Kevan Miller is still in the lineup, Colin Miller sits, David Pastrnak is in the Witness Protection Program, etc. Julien has had to mix and match more than in the last few years, and there have been times that he simply hasn’t given his team the best chance to win. But, on the other hand, they are in a playoff spot so he must be doing some things right, right?
4. Loui will get traded. OK, so this isn’t really a hot take but more academic at this point. Reports are starting to trickle out that the B’s and Eriksson are far apart in term, if not dollars, so the Bruins will likely part ways with Loui at the deadline. The concern is the return, as if the B’s really are a playoff team, the fans won’t be satisfied with a pick and a prospect, so it’s on Don Sweeney to get the D-Man the team really needs.
5. Sweeney won’t be a-scared. Former GM Peter Chiarelli famously said ‘trades are hard’ but so far that hasn’t been the case with Sweeney, pulling off the Dougie Hamilton trade and the Milan Lucic trade over the summer. So he won’t be nervous to make a deal, or barred from making a deal like Chiarelli was last year.
6. San Jose’s pick will be a good one. Right now the Sharks are 2nd in the Pacific, but their position is anything but secure. It says here SJ has their usual late season flop and the Bruins pick ends up in the lottery.
7. The Bruins will sign Steven Stamkos. How’s that for a hot take? I said it at the beginning of the year and I’ll say it again here.
Might as well close on that note. Enjoy the All-Star Game and the 2nd half of the season.