Why The Bruins Need To Restructure Their Defense For The 2018/19 Season

In, a span of three years, Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney has guided the team back into a serious playoff contender. Since the firing of longtime time coach Claude Julien, the Bruins have started drafting more skilled players. The organization has seemed to change its philosophy from physical to focusing on attributes such as players with more of a skill set.  In this post,  we’ll review three areas why the Bruins need to restructure the defensive department for the upcoming NHL season.

Why The Bruins Need To Restructure Their Defense For The 2018/19 Season

Redefine Chara’s Role;

At, forty years old the team continues to get excellent production from captain Zdeno Chara. But in, the playoffs particularly against Tampa Bay, Chara showed signs of fatigue. Throughout the course of the season, Chara averaged 23 minutes per game. Not too bad for a  player neither young nor old.  As the season progressed, Chara has paired with the teams  2016 number one draft pick, Charlie McAvoy. In, McAvoy the organization has one of the top young defensemen in the NHL. After the Tampa Bay series, many fans and media people feel that the club needs to cut down on his playing time and pair him with another partner.

Make A Decision On Adam McQuaid;

Veteran defenseman Adam McQuaid is in his last year of a four_year contract  At 31 years old many fans feel that the organization needs to get quicker on defense. In 2017/18 McQuaid missed several games. Considering his  3,000,000 dollar salary it may be time to think about dealing Mcquaid.

As the team continues to draft more skilful players, they can maintain their status as an elite NHL team. .McQuaid has a history of being injury prone by trading him the club can add another younger defenceman.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Help In Providence;

Since General Manager Don Sweeney took over three years ago, the club has qualified for the playoffs two_ years in a row.   If the team wants to resume its quest to win another Stanley Cup, then the defense needs continue to get better. Goaltender Tuukka Rask has improved his playoff performance due to resting more during the regular season.

As it stands now, the Bruins have a young group of six or seven defensemen who are legitimate NHL players. Veteran Torey Krug had a spectacular collecting 14 goals and 45 assists for 69 points. Kevan Miller continues to make progress. Young Matt Grzelcyk who split time with Providence is only getting better. Third _year player Brandon Carlo who suffered an injury at the end of the season be ready at the start of training camp.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In,  Providence, two Bruins who could be prepared for full _time duty are defensemen Jeremy Lauzon and 2015  number one pick Jakub Zboril. Out, of the two Lauzon is the one most likely one to make the squad. As for Zboril,  he needs to continue to work on his game.

Is 2018 The Year Tuukka Rask Leads The Bruins To A Stanley Cup?

In hockey, there’s a saying that the team with the hot goaltender usually takes his team to the Stanley Cup. So far this season all signs are pointing to a Bruins team to go deep in the playoffs. The question is can, Tuukka Rask leads the Bruins to a Stanley Cup. In this post, we’ll examine three attributes Rask and the Bruins have going for them.                       Is 2018 The Year Tuukka Rask Leads The Bruins to A Stanley Cup?                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Skilled players;                                                                                                                                        Since the days of the Big Bad Bruins, the team has had a reputation of grinders.  Basically, a team that dumps the puck in the opposite end and wins the battle along the boards and out fighting the other team. This was the formula that was very successful for the Bruins but produced no Stanley Cups,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             It’s been seven years since the Bruins won their last Cup. That roster consisted of players such as Tim Thomas, Nathan Horton, Dennis Seidenberg and thirty goal scorer Milan Lucic.  This years group consist of skilled players such as Charlie Mc Avoy, Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, and ex _Olympian Ryan Donato. Donato _the son of ex _Bruin Ted Donato. Donato had an impressive opening night scoring a goal and two assists despite a losing effort to  Columbus .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Good mixture of Youth and Veterans;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   After a long dry spell of not winning in the playoffs, the Bruins are playing like a team on a mission. Veteran goaltender Tuukka Rask is having an impressive season.  With three shutouts to his credit, 2018 could be the year. Boston has solid veterans in David Krejci, Adam McQuaid, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and  Brad Marchand. Marchand has elevated his game to be one of the top five players in hockey despite dirty reputation.                                                                                                                                                                      Coaching;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Since taking over for the fired Claude Julien head coach Bruce Cassidy has transformed the team into one of the most exciting teams in hockey. Cassidy who spent eight years as  head coach in Providence. One of the reasons for Cassidy’s success this year has been rotating his goalies Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin. If Rask can stay fresh, then a trip to the Stanley Cup is possible.

Sweeney’s revamping Starting To Prove Dividends

Since Don Sweeney replaced former General Manager Peter Chiarelli three years ago, the Bruins find themselves as serious Stanley Cup Contenders. The 37-15-8 and Bruins are in second place of the NHL Eastern Conference. Only five points separate the team from the first place Tampa Bay Lightning. In this article, we’ll cover three areas that are paying dividends for this year’s Black and Gold.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roster Overhaul;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Since the teams successful Presidential Cup year in 2012 the Bruins have not gotten by the first round of the playoffs in three tries. With consecutive losses to Montreal and an early exit at the hands of Ottawa last season the Bruins now seem to have found an identity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The first order of business three years ago was to dismiss General Manager Peter Chiarelli. Since Chiarelli’s dismissal in 2015 Sweeney has completely turned the team around. Midway through last season, the club fired longtime coach Claude Julian.  Julian was replaced by longtime Providence coach Bruce Cassidy. Cassidy responded by guiding the team back into the playoffs for the first time in two years. Despite a first_ round loss to the Senators. Despite an early exit, Bruin fans found a reason for optimism.                                                                                                                                                                                            A  Mixture Of Youth And Veterans;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Since Sweeney’s arrival, three year’s ago Bruins fans have seen the likes of Milan Lucic, Dougie Hamilton, Jerome Iginla, Chad Johnson and Reily Smith all depart. Enter Charlie McAvoy, Danton Heinen, Jake De Brusk, Anders Bjork, and Sean Kuraly. All have bought into Bruce Cassidy’s style of play and it shows on the ice every night. Only Tampa Bay, Nashville, Washington and Las Vegas have more points.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The new faces seem to click with veterans David Krejci Patrice Bergeron, Adam McQuaid, David Pastrnak, and Tuukka Rask. If the chemistry and good coaching continue the Bruins may have an excellent chance of getting to the finals.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Rotating Goalies;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         One of the biggest differences in this year’s success is the rotating of goaltenders.  Veteran Tuukka Rask is having a great season 24-18 and a 2.21 GAA in 40 games while backup Anton Khudobin is 13-4- in 23 games with an impressive 2.41 GAA .Keeping both goaltenders fresh and sharp may play a big factor come playoff time.                                                                                                                                                                                                          No matter what the end result is hockey is fun again on Causeway Street. The Bruins have their old swagger back. The Bruins are playing like the Black and Gold team fans are used to seeing. After a flurry of activity the past week Sweeney has acquired Rick Nash, Nick Holden, and Black Hawks forward Tom Wingel. If the chemistry continues then the dividends hopefully will be another Stanley Cup.

Mid_ Season NHL Rookie Of The Year Candidates Mid Season Report

With the NHL All-Starr game officially in the books, it’s time to take a close look at who are the leading candidates for this year’s top honor for Nhl rookies. This year’s class is like no other. From top to bottom, this year’s class is loaded with talent lets take a look at some mid_season candidates.                                                                                                                                                  Mid_ Season NHL Candidates Mid Season Report                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Charlie Mc Avoy Bruins; After a handful of games in 2017 mostly in the playoffs McAvoy has lived up to his billing. The Bruns number one pick in2016 has exceeded all expectation. McAvoy can score, play solid defense and bring a physical presence to a fragile group. Mcavoy has also contributed to a game -goal in a shootout last month. Presently McAvoy is injured due to heart palpations. If he can pick up where he left off he could be a strong finalist for the award.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           2 Alex Dibrincat Chicago; After forty plus games Di Brincat brings some youth to an aging team. DiBricat has shown consistency to a struggling Hawks team. His 17 goals and 15 assists and a plus_ minus the ratio of_7. Playing on a sub_ par team could hinder his chances.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         3. Yanni Gourde Tampa; Gourde is on a first_ place team which helps him immensely.Gourde has a great scoring touch netting 17 goals and 16 assists.One of the fastest skaters on the team looks for Gourde to be a strong finalist at voting time.                                                                                                                                                                                     4. Brock Boeser Canucks; Boeser was the MVP in this year’s All_ star game and it shows why. Boeser brings respect for a non- competitive team loaded with issues. After 46 games Boeser is probably the best scorer of the group 24 goals  19 assists 43  points. If he keeps going at the same pace he could reach 40 goals and 50 assists. At this stage, he’s a front_ runner for Rookie of the year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     5. Kyle Connor Winnipeg;  The Jets have a special player in Connor. In 40 NHL games, Connor is one of the leagues swiftest skaters. Connor has 15 goals and 14 assists. At the voting time, he should be right in the mix.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  After 40 plus games hopefully, this article will be fairly accurate a voting time. Othe names that deserve honorable mention are Danton Heinen Bruins, Jake De BruskBruins, Will Butcher New Jersey, Mark Jankowksi Calgary, Sonny Milano Columbus, Pierre Luc DuBois Columbus, and Clayton Kelleher Arizona, Matthew Barzal Islanders, The two front_ runners are McAvoy or Yanni Gourde.

NHL coaches On The Hot Seat Going Into 2018

With the new year upon us, it’s time for NHL fans to get back to keeping a close eye on which teams are serious and which teams will be looking for new coaches at the end of the year. With most teams approaching the halfway point this article will look at which teams will be in the market for a new coach.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Vancouver Canucks;  It must be tough being a Vancouver Canucks fan. They haven’t won a playoff round or qualified for one since their game seven loss to the Bruins in 2011. Head coach Travis Green could be a victim of circumstances if the Canucks can’t get past round one of the playoffs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The only problem is the 16-19-5 Canucks haven’t been playing that badly. They sit in seventh place in the Pacific division, and fans are thirsty for a competitive playoff team. The Canucks also have a goaltending issue. The Canucks are getting solid play from both Jacob Markstrom and Tom Nilsson. Markstrom has an impressive 2.79 GAA while Nilsson has been respectable in 14games.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The season could be determined in a couple of weeks as the Canucks have a tough five= game stretch against Montreal, Toronto, Minnesota Columbus and the Rangers. The Canucks need to play sixty minutes of hockey and find an identity soon or Travis Green may be out.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Arizona Coyotes; Like any team that’s been at the bottom the Coyotes are a team searching for answers. First-year head coach Rick Tocchet brings a defensive style of play to a 9-27-5 team who has had its share of losing seasons. The team has made it known for quite some time, that veteran Anthony DuClair is available. The question is who do they get in return? At this point, the Coyotes will get a high lottery pick. Number one pick Dylan  Strome has been a bright spot but is a victim of growing pains. The other bright spot has been goalie Antii Raanta. Ranta has an impressive5-10-2 record. If the Coyotes want to climb back in then Raanta needs to be their star player. Only time will tell.                                                                                                                                                                                3. Buffalo Sabres;  The Sabres are another team that has been cellar dwellers for quite a while. Head coach Phil Housley is trying to guide the 10-20-9 team to respectability. In order to do this, the Sabres need solid production from Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, and Evander Kane. Eichel  got off to a slow start but recently has elevated his game.                                                                                                                                                                                       Goaltender Robin Lehner is 4-7-5 in his last twelve starts. Lehner and the Sabres have been victims of the overtime curse. The Sabres are a 1-0-2 in their last three overtime wins. If Housley is to hold onto his job, then the Eichel line and team need to play a full sixty minutes of hockey, for the rest of the season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Like any team trying to win at a high level,s it ‘s going to take some time. Drafting lottery players is a great place to begin, but successful teams find ways to win. Two ways to win are, one play sixty minutes a game. And two is to play smart. All three coaches mentioned are good coaches but fans are waiting patiently for a winning team.

The NHL’s Disappointing Teams Thus Far In ThE 2017/18 Season

After a quarter of the 2017 NHL season completed this post we’ll cover the NHL’s disappointing teams thus far. Although records and standings do not show everything this article is based on teams that went out and overpaid for players and still teams are struggling.                                                                                                                                                           1  Edmonton Despite having one of the highest paid players in Connor Mc David and Leon Draisaitl the Oilers haven’t improved that much from last year. At Christmas time the Oilers find themselves at the bottom of the Pacific division with a record of 11-14. The Oilers do have two quality goalies in Laurent Brossoit and Cam Talbot. If the Oilers are to make any kind of have any hope at all rotating the goalies may not be a bad idea.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Ottawa. Even though it’s still early the Senators have to be one of the leagues biggest disappointments so far. The Senators find themselves in 7th place in the Atlantic  Division. Considering they have one of the games best defenseman it was Ottawa who eliminated the Bruins last year in round one of the playoffs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Chicago; This is a team loaded with talent and find themselves in 6th place in the Western Division. They have one of the games most explosive players in  Johnathan Toews. The Hawks have been getting solid contributions from 5’7” Alex Debrincat. Debrincat is one of the teams fastest and slickest puck handlers. Overall the Hawks rank 10th in the league in goals scored,5th in the league in goals against and a dismal 29th ranking on the power play.  Considering they’re one of the leagues richest teams at 1.5 billion they should be playing better than 6th place.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. New York Rangers, This argument can go either way. Currently, the Rangers are in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. Also, the Rangers have one of the top three goalies in the game in Henrik Lundqvist. Not to mention overpaying for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk this past summer. But so far Shattenkirk has lived up to his billing scoring 5 goals and 15 assists in 27 games. Another problem the Rangers had has  Lundqvist started fourteen straight games before coming down with an illness. Backup Ondrej Pavelec had the biggest game of his career making 41 saves in a recent 4-3 win. Despite being 4 points out of first look for the Rangers to play more consistent as the season goes on.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Even though the season is still young anything can happen. The teams who can stay healthy and enough depth will be the ones who go deep in the playoffs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

NHL Rookies Making An Early Statement So Far In 2017/18

With a quarter of the NHL season over there are several rookies turning some heads around the league. Different players bring something to the table each night. Some players bring a physical presence, others bring blazing speed which separates hockey from the other sports In this post we’ll examine several rookies who are out to make a name for themselves.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In Boston, the struggling Bruins have two bright spots thus far this season. Boston University product Charlie Mc Avoy has come as advertised. At 20 years old he plays like a veteran finishing off his checks, and moves the puck very well. Teammates are amazed at his maturity and self_ confidence. Teammate Anders Bjork has been one of the teams scoring leaders so far with six points. Bjork the former Notre Dame product is also one of the fastest players on the team.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Defenseman Clayton Keller of Arizona has been one of the most exciting players in the league thus far. After fifteen games Keller accounts for 1/3 of the Coyotes offense with six goals. If he stays healthy and keeps the same pace up he could finish the season with 30 plus goals and in line for NHL rookie of the year. Despite a struggling Coyote team,  Keller gives Arizona a ray of hope.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Columbus defenseman Sonny Milano has Blue Jacket fans raving about his moves. His five goals make one him of the most potent scorers for the Blue Jackets. If there is one flaw Milano has it’s his cockiness and immaturity. Head coach John Tortorella cut back on Milanos minutes due to his cocky behavior. Hockey fans know from experience that Tortorella doesn’t tolerate such behavior. Tortorella instead likes a player with character and leadership.   This is one of the growing pains being a rookie.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Goaltender Malcolm Subban of Las Vegas has made a considerable impression after filling in for injured goalie Marc Andre Fleury. Subban the ex _Bruin_ castoff has started the last five games for the Golden Knights and has kept the Knights competitive.Subban has more playing time in two weeks than he did in his four years up and down with the Bruins.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Other notables that deserve recognition are Devils defenseman  Will Butcher and Teammate   Jasper Bratt. Out of all of the NHL’s rookies, Butcher is the top scorer but has gone pointless in his last two games. Bratt, on the other hand, is a 19 _year old Swede who has been very effective on the penalty kill.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Surviving in the NHL takes dedication and character. Whether these rookies turn out to be Sydney Crosby or Brad Marchand only time will tell. If they can all stay fairly healthy and productive then following their career should be a lot of fun.

Why The NHL Does Not Need Any More Expansion

The beauty of being an NHL hockey fan is that you have so many great players to choose from. Players like Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Lumquist, Tyler Seguin, Johnathon Quick and Jamie Benn just to name a few. But in reality, the NHL has enough teams to entertain the whole country.  In this article, we’ll examine some key points why the NHL will not benefit from any more expansion cities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reason number one, of course, is the price. The average price for an average seat in the arena is anywhere between 80.00 and 100.00 dollars. Depending on the size of the group it becomes a pretty expensive night out. But some people can afford it and in that case, it becomes a nice night out. Most cities run specials,  for example, college students and military. Also, teams have a family price where they can enjoy quality entertainment for a reasonable price.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Example number two is quality a lot of expansion teams have taken quite a long time to develop players and make a serious run at the Stanley Cup. The same can be said for the original six teams of the NHL.In Florida for instance, the Panthers have never won a  cup. Their counterpart  The Tampa Bay Lightning have won only one cup since their existence. On the flip side, the Lighting rank fourth in the league averaging slightly over 19,000 per game. This brings us to the desert teams the Coyotes of Phoenix,, and the new Vegas Knights. So far after ten games, the Knights are off to an impressive  8-2 record with the most updated arena in all of the sports.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The last example is saturation. The average fan is too busy keeping up with work and family With the league at already 31 teams the average worker does,t have the time to keep up with. It’s virtually impossible to keep up with the daily transactions of your favorite teams unless you’re a serious fantasy player.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Make no mistake about it hockey is one of the greatest sports of all time.The beauty of being a fan is that it’s relaxing but more importantly entertaining. The NHL will always be the NHL.

Why The Youth Movement Will Be A Key Factor Towards Bruins Success In 2017/18

After six games, into the young season, Bruins fans do not have much to cheer about. Just six games into the 2017/18 season the Bruins find themselves at the bottom of their division at 3-3,  and only seven points. On the bright side, however many of the young players have been key contributors in the games they won.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             This leads fans to believe that there is a bright side to the season. The Bruins have eight new faces on this year’s roster. They also completed a deal for star forward David PastrnakThe message is clear the Bruins are committed to winning

                                                                                                                                                        Growing pains is the biggest issue facing any young team college, or pro.  Time will tell which players can stay in the NHL or be role players, players to be going back and forth to Providence. Experience is an athlete’ s greatest teacher.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Bruin players who have made a considerable impression so far on the young season are defenseman Charlie Mc Avoy. McAvoy was the Bruins number one pick in the 2016 NHL draft.  So far Mc Avoy comes as advertised playing a tough physical game/ Mc Avoy is also creative on the power play. Left winger Jake De Brusk son of former NHL player Louis  DeBrusk has scored two goals and brings a physical presence to the lineup every nite.                                                                                                                                                                            Other Bruin players who have been eye_catching so far have been second _year players Tim Schaller and Noel Accari. Both spent considerable time on the roster last year and are only getting better. Second_ year defenseman Brandon Carlo has also shown signs of promise. Carlo has been one of the teams most consistent defenseman night in and night out.  Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin has been solid taking over for injured goalie Tuukka Rask, Rask has d the past three games due to a concussion. Khudobin has won two games, not to mention making 37 saves in a tie with Buffalo over the weekend.                                                                                                                                                                                It could be along season for Bruins fans. But there is the reason for optimism here with a new coach and a young roster.If the Bruins defense can play solid in front of Rask then the Bruins season should be a success.

Five Players That Could Be NHL Stars

The beauty of being a professional sports fan is choosing what sport,teams, or players one wishes to follow. Some fans like a teams physicalty,some fans are attracted to a players speed,or some fans just enjoy the athletes personality. In this article we will examine five young NHL rookies that could turn into future stars.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     One player to watch is Torontos’ Auston Mathews. Mathews is one of the brightest young players in the game. Mathews was the Leafs  first round pick two years ago. Last year he scored 40 goals and 29assists for 69 points. Only nineteen years old Mathews has the ability to achieve greatness. If he can stay healthy, he could be a very exciting player to watch for years to come .                                                                                                                                                                                Buffalo has one, of the leagues best young defenseman in Jack Eichel. Eichel was a 2015 lottery pick out of Boston University. In his first year Eichel netted 24 goals,and 33assists, for 57 points. Eichel brings, a strong physical presence to the Sabre defense. Eichel made the NHLs’ All Rookie team in 2016/17. Could very well be the face of the franchise for years to come.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Winger David Pastrnak of the Bruins was recently awarded a six year contract. Pastrnak came into his own in 2016/17 scoring 34 goals,and adding 36 assist for 70 points. The question is can he do it year after year?Playing with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron can only help.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Florida has a gifted young center in Alexander Barkov.. Last year Barkov scored 21 goals, and 31 assist for 57 points,in only 61 games. The year before he scored 28 goals,  along with 31 assist for 50  points. If Barkov can stay healthy he could be one of the leagues top centers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Like his teammate Alexander Barkov, the Panthers Vincent Trocheck is an up and coming young center. In two years Trocheck has only missed one game while scoring 28 goals and 23 repectively. Trocheck is also one of the teams fastest skaters. If he can stay healthy he could be could be one of the games top scorers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 It’s virtually impossible which players will become stars.But so far this group has made a big impact on their teams. Aside from injury only time can measure how how great a player is.