2011 Stanley Cup Champs: Where Are They Now?

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With playoffs slowly approaching, one of the best memories that come to mind is the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Easily one of the best playoff series I have ever watched, it is the most recent year the B’s won it all.

It also has me thinking, where did the team end up?

And by that, I mean, Where are they now?

If you think about it, the cup win was almost 7 years ago, and it is not really that common to stay with one team for 7 seasons. Today I wanted to look back on the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Champs and see where they are today.

The good news for us Bruins fans is that six players on that Cup team still play for the Bruins, including Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Adam McQuaid, and Tuukka Rask.

Since then, Patrice Bergeron has won four Selke Trophies, two All-Star game appearances, a King Clancy Memorial Trophy, an Olympic Gold Medal, and appeared on the cover of NHL 15. That’s a lot of accomplishments in almost seven years for our Lord and Savior.

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Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Brad Marchand has since been that pest we all know and love. He is the Bruins active leader in Shorthanded goals (22), the Bruins all-time leader in overtime game-winning goals (11), and has had 332 points in his career since the 2011-12 season (not counting this season).

Tuukka Rask has taken over the position as the number one goaltender for the Boston Bruins, and has a shiny Vezina Trophy, an All-Star game appearance, and was named to the First NHL All-Star team in 2014. Like Bergeron, he also took home some hardware in the 2014 Olympics, a Bronze Medal.

Zdeno Chara is currently playing in the last season of his contract with the Bruins. He has since hit the 1,000 games played milestone, named a captain for the 2012 NHL All-Star game, called to both the NHL All-Star first and second teams, a Norris Trophy finalist in 2012 & 2014, and won the competition for the NHL hardest shot in 2012.

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Photo Credit: John Russell/Getty

As for both David Krejci and Adam McQuaid, they have both been mainstays in the Bruins lineup when healthy. McQuaid has recently just returned to the lineup after a broken fibula and has yet to play a full 82 game season in his career. Krejci is on pace to hit 60 points this season, for the 6th time in his career, and is currently thriving on a line with newcomer Rick Nash. At the end of last season, he sat at 339 points since the 2011 Cup win.

Now that we went through the players still on the Bruins Active Roster, there is a huge chunk that either plays with another team or has since retired.

After the Cup win, Gregory Campbell stayed with the Bruins until after the 2014-15 season and then signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets. After an 11 point, 82 game season with Columbus, Campbell was then placed on waivers and then retired after the 2016-17 season after unwilling to go to the AHL. After retirement, he then joined the Blue Jackets staff as a developmental coach.

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Photo Credit: Glenn James/Getty

As much as Bruins fans hate hearing his name anymore, Tyler Seguin is still doing his thing in the NHL. Seguin was traded to Dallas for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, and Joe Morrow during the 2013 offseason. Since that trade, Seguin has registered 370 points in Dallas in 373 games. He has also been named to four NHL All-Star games and was the 2014 Dallas Stars nominee for the King Clancy Trophy.

Chris Kelly probably isn’t a name you haven’t heard again since recently. Kelly signed with his former team, the Ottawa Senators, in the 2016-17 season, and was not resigned after that season. He spent a majority of the season with Team Canada in preparation for the 2018 Winter Olympics, where he was named Captain for Canada and won a Bronze Medal. After the Olympics, he signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks.

Included in the Tyler Seguin trade to Dallas, Rich Peverley was only able to play 62 games in Dallas before he collapsed on the team bench during a game and hasn’t played in professional hockey since. He has currently remained with the Dallas organization, taking on the role as Player Development Coordinator.

While only playing 25 games during the Stanley Cup season, Marc Savard has his name engraved on the cup as a member of the team. Savard still suffers from Post Concussion Syndrome and hasn’t played a professional hockey game since. He signed a 7-year contract in 2010, so his contract was traded from place to place. Savard formally announced his retirement in January 2018.

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Photo Credit: Rich Lam/Getty

Milan Lucic is one of the few players on this list still playing in the NHL. During the 2015 NHL Draft, Lucic was traded to the Kings for the last season of his contract, and then signed a 7-year, $42 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers. Even though he has decent production, fans consider this contact an “overpayment” and “horrible.”

While Peverley and Savard are stories of careers ending horribly, Nathan Horton is another player to add to that list. Horton proceeded to play two more seasons in Boston before signing a seven-year, $37.1 million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Unfortunately, the one season was the only season in Columbus for Horton, as he was diagnosed with a degenerative back injury in 2014 that ended his career. While not “officially” retired, Horton’s injury requires a surgery on his back that would end his career. His contract is currently with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

After he wasn’t resigned by the Bruins in 2015, Daniel Paille spent a season floating around the AHL and NHL before heading overseas, signing a contract with Brynäs IF. His first season was successful, with 17 goals and 18 assists in 65 games. However, this season he was a victim of a brutal, blindside hit by Thomas Larkin and has not returned to play. For reference, I thought I should link footage of the hit here.

Fan favorite Shawn Thornton was not resigned by the Bruins in 2014 and signed with the Florida Panthers, where he spent the last three seasons of this career. At the announcement of his retirement, he said that he would be taking a Business Position in the Panthers front office.

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Photo Credit: Peter Diana/Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The 2010-11 season was the last season for Mark Recchi, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017. Recchi currently works within the Penguins organization and was a member of both 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup Championship teams. He currently serves as an Assistant Coach for the Penguins.

After signing a two year, $7 million contract in Dallas, Michael Ryder bounced from Dallas to Montreal to New Jersey and hasn’t played a professional hockey game since. Ryder was only the second native of Newfoundland and Labrador to win a Stanley Cup.

Tomas Kaberle played more playoff games during the 2010-11 season than regular season games. He has since played for a wide variety of teams since the Cup win, going from Carolina, Montreal, HC Kladno, Hartford Wolf Pack, and then back to the Czech Republic to play for HC Kometa Brno before retiring in 2016.

One of the best leaders to come from the 2010-11 team, Andrew Ference, spent two more seasons with the Bruins before signing a four-year contract to head to Edmonton, where he was named Captain. He later relinquished his role as Captain in 2015 and retired in 2016.

Also known as the “German Hammer,” Dennis Seidenberg played five more seasons in Boston before being bought out and signing with the New York Islanders, where he still plays today. Seidenberg has played 95 games on Long Island, with five goals and 22 assists.

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Photo Credit: Alex Trautwig/Getty

Fan favorite Johnny Boychuk has also found his home in Long Island, after being traded there in the 2014 offseason. In 2015, Boychuk signed a seven-year, $42 million contract extension with the Islanders, which lasts until 2021-22. He has since played 255 games in New York, with 28 goals and 66 assists.

Lastly, one of the most entertaining players from 2010-11, Tim Thomas, took a break from hockey after the 2011-12 season (with the Bruins) and later joined the Panthers roster on a tryout, and proceeded to be traded to Dallas in 2014. Thomas started a controversy after not attending the Stanley Cup Champion White House Visit based on his political values and was the only active Bruin at the time to not attend. He has not played hockey since 2014.

2011 doesn’t sound like that long ago, and then you find out it was SEVEN years ago, and realize it’s time for another Bruins cup win.

As for the Boston Bruins organization itself, the team has since fired both the Head Coach and General Manager of the 2011 Cup team, and made it to another Cup Final in 2013, losing to the Blackhawks in the finals. The Bruins have also won a President’s Trophy in the 2013-14 season with a 54-19-9 record.

As always, fear the bear, and happy playoff push!

^AHC

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What do the current injuries really mean?: A Bruins Injury Report

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Credit: Jeffery T. Barnes, AP Photo

Not gonna lie, going on twitter and seeing all these injuries on the Bruins roster right now makes me sad.

The good news is that the Bruins record currently is better than the record at this time last year!

However, no playoff spot is safe until clinched, so we Bruins fans still have a good bit of time to find out if we will be yelling at our TV screens come mid-April.

At the beginning of the season, the Bruins weren’t in the talks for a Stanley Cup. Out of the first 17 games of the season, only 6 games were won. SIX GAMES. And now, the Bruins have exceeded expectations (like the Celtics have also).

The Bruins are flourishing, even with suspensions and injuries.

But bad news keeps on coming for the Bruins organization during our decent season.
This still has me wondering, how would the lineup be with Charlie McAvoy and Patrice Bergeron back in?

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Credit: John Wilcox, Boston Herald

Charlie McAvoy has been out since the injury he sustained during the March 3rd game versus the Montreal Canadiens. According to the team, he is out for around 4 weeks because of a sprained MCL in his knee. The injury was courtesy of Brandon Gallagher causing McAvoy to trip on his stick awkwardly. He only played 37 seconds of the game.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, Patrice Bergeron broke his foot at the end of February. He will (luckily) be re-evaluated next week. At the time of Bergy’s injury, he was the team’s leading goal scorer with 27 goals, and an average TOI of 19:24.

If I wrote this any earlier, I would have to add Bruins Goaltender Tuukka Rask, but he is currently playing in the Boston/Philadelphia game (that I am now watching). Having one less injury on the roster makes me very delighted.

Now, time to figure out what these injuries really mean:

With McAvoy out, Brandon Carlo was slotted in a pair with Zdeno Chara. This pair worked well last year (as Chara tends to work well with a young, new player on his pair). However, the pair struggled vs. Detroit. Chara led the team in ice time that night but did not register a hit or a blocked shot. Carlo was on the ice for all three Detroit goals that night.

If McAvoy were back in, McAvoy would be paired again with Chara, and Carlo would be (in my honest opinion) on the second pairing with Torey Krug. This season, McAvoy has put up a veteran amount of minutes in his rookie season, with 22:07 TOI/game, 7 goals, 25 assists, and a +26 average. McAvoy averages 0.54 points per game. McAvoy’s has a Corsi percentage of 55.6, and his relative Corsi is a 4.3 (for these stats I use Hockey Reference to find the necessary info, and then “plug n’ chug” in the magically Corsi equation).

BUT if all goes well, McAvoy hopes to be back in game action for the playoffs next month.

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Credit: Michael Dwyer, AP Photo

As for Bergeron, he is expected to be out for at least two weeks. His center spot on the first line with Pastrnak and Marchand is being filled by Riley Nash, who is having a good season. While Bergeron has played on the PP and PK units, those spots on those units are not expected to be filled by Nash. But, it hurts to say that no one player in the lineup can replace Bergeron’s all-star production. However, David Backes took Bergeron’s spot at the Bruin 8-4 win vs. Pittsburgh. Backes is currently serving a three-game suspension for a hit on Frans Nielsen of Detroit.

I think we all know where Bergeron would be in the lineup if he weren’t injured, on a line with Marchand and Pastrnak. Like mentioned before, Bergeron was the team’s leading goal scorer at the time of his injury (Brad Marchand has now taken that spot), was second in forwards for TOI/game with 19:24 and lead the forwards with the amount of shift per game with 24.6 shifts (on average).

 

As much as a fan hates seeing their favorite player injured, it hurts to say that it is part of the playoff push. But having a deep lineup, an excellent coaching staff, and the best fanbase in all of hockey allows for teams (like the Bruins) to make that final push towards the cup.

As always, fear the bear (and happy playoff push!)

^AHC

Why the Nash/Spooner Trade makes Sense

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Photo Credit: Jeffery Barnes, AP Photo

Just the other day, I was wondering when this season would start picking up.

Trade Deadline is BY FAR my favorite day of the season. It’s the one day a year when I can watch other teams make bad mistakes, because the Bruins are, for the most part, underwhelming.

Except for today.

Today, the Bruins traded a 2018 first round draft pick, a 7th round pick in 2019, Matt Beleskey (finally), Ryan Lindgren, and Ryan Spooner for New York Rangers Forward Rick Nash.

My favorite part of learning about this trade was reading the Instagram and Facebook comments of fans saying that this was a “stupid trade” and “Fire Sweeney.”

I am here to tell you that this trade was a decent trade and made the Bruins a better team for the upcoming Playoff run.

Let’s go over what we had to get rid of:

Ryan Spooner. I liked Spooner just as much as the next fan, but in my opinion, Spooner didn’t really have much of a spot in the lineup. The third line of Heinen-Nash-Backes is working too well to separate, and his play doesn’t fit well with the fourth line. It was so hard to find a spot for him.

Comparing Spooner and Nash, a good thing to think about is RFA vs. UFA. Nash is a UFA at the end of this season, and Spooner is an RFA. Spooner probably wasn’t looking at signing in Boston during the offseason, so it is good to trade him now so we could get something in return.

Looking at regarding fancy analytics, Spooner’s point production that he has (9 goals, 16 points in 39 games) is mainly because of his pure good luck. Spooner is riding a vast PDO (or SPSV%, if you’re the NHL) is 1.046, and Spooner also starts in the offensive zone about 62% of the time. While Spooner was hyped to be the next big thing for Bruins as a prospect, his time in Boston isn’t really all that he used to be.

Matt Beleskey. I feel like this is a long time coming for Bruins fans. Waived earlier in the season, Beleskey has been sitting in the AHL since then, producing 6 points in 21 games in Providence.

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Beleskey v Andreoff. (Source: Maddie Meyer, Getty Images)

More good news that comes out of the trade: While the Bruins take 50% of Beleskey’s contract, that space will provide some flexibility in the offseason, as some of the RFA’s that need to be signed (in 2019) include Charlie McAvoy and Danton Heinen, who will probably get a good amount of moo-la.

Prospect Ryan Lindgren. Prospects are kinda interesting because their full potential hasn’t been shown yet. Lindgren was the Bruins 2nd rounder in 2016 and currently plays at the University of Minnesota, where he has scored 14 points as a Defenseman. Lindgren is a left-hand shot, which is where this trade proves to be good. The B’s are loaded (and by loaded, I mean LOADED) which left-handed defenseman, like Chara, McAvoy, and Matt Grzelcyk, and incoming prospects like the names of Jakub Zboril. Lindgren was just one name on the list of so many.

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Draft Photos are always the Cringiest. (Source: Jeffery Barnes, Getty Photo)

And for all of that, we got…

Rick Nash. 

The Bruins were rumored to be at the top of Nash’s “ok” list of teams to be traded to.

In 1,049 games, Nash has produced 434 goals and 365 assists, with a -7 rating in his career.

One thing I like about Nash is that he is an upgrade to the right wing position, in comparison to Spooner. While the scoring rates of Spooner and Nash are fairly similar, the good luck that Spooner had, Nash doesn’t have. Compared to Spooner, Nash has a PDO of .977, which basically means that his luck wasn’t as present as it was for Ryan Spooner.

Nash is also more flexible than Spooner has well, regarding lines. Nash can fit on either the first or second line. He probably fits better on Krejci’s line though, if I had to be honest.

While some fans might have been happier with Ryan McDonagh than Rick Nash, the trade sounds better than you might think. It is important to know that it is the playoffs, and some teams are going all-in, to make a run for the Stanley Cup that the Bruins won almost 7 years ago.

The upgrade is worth the assets Sweeney traded if you put things into consideration. Nash may be a rental for us, but Spooner may also be a rental for New York.

The Trade Deadline ends tomorrow February 25th, at 3pm eastern. If the Bruins decide to make more trades, a Deadline round-up will be posted tomorrow night.

Fear the Bear, and Happy Trade Deadline!

^AHC

The Halfway Point: Where do the B’s Stand?

The Midway Point_

The Bruins are officially 42 games into the 2017-18 season.
And what a whirlwind it has been.
I can easily remember the early bit of the season. The Bruins were struggling a little, facebook fans were all like “fire Sweeney” or “trade Rask,” and putting Malcolm Subban on waivers was starting to look like a bad idea.
Now, Rask has found his stride, lines are starting to gel together, and the Boston Subreddit is having a good old time making shot glass bets.
It goes without saying that this season has been kind to the Boston Bruins.
Even though the B’s lost 6-2 to the Arizona Coyotes in one of the first few games of the season, the Bruins now sit comfortably in second place in the Atlantic with a 24-10-8 record.
Now, what are some surprises for this season?
The Atlantic Division: May not be Bruins related, but the strength of the Atlantic Division is helping the Bruins regarding standings. While Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning are having the season to remember, teams like Montreal and Ottawa are both on the outside looking in, with losing records. Montreal currently has an 18-20-6 record with a goal differential of -23. Is the Carey Price era over for Montreal?
Rookie Studs: When I watched Charlie McAvoy last year when he played for BU, I knew he was going to be good, but I never expected him to be so good, so fast. With a 0.57 PPG and top pairing minutes, the future is looking bright for the Boston Bruins. Danton Heinen, a fourth-round pick from 2014, is also turning some heads in his rookie year.Heinen is currently fourth iScreen Shot 2018-01-16 at 7.00.27 PMn team scoring with ten goals and 21 assists. Not bad for a rookie in the bottom six. The three first rounders from 2015 are starting to make their way into the NHL, with Jake DeBrusk enjoying his first NHL season with a decent 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists).

Boston has a good deal of rookies this season including McAvoy, Heinen, DeBrusk, Matt Grzelcyk, and Sean Kuraly. The Bruins are young again, folks.

Fun Fact: The Boston Bruins are currently on the younger side of the spectrum in the NHL, with an average age of 26.9.
Consistency at Goal: While the Bruins have Tuukka Rask, it is important to know that the B’s can’t play him every night. The Bruins have been inconsistent at the Backup Goal Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 7.03.17 PMposition, going through Chad Johnson, Niklas Svedberg, Jonas Gustavsson, and now Anton Khudobin. During Rask’s 3-5-2 stretch in the earlier parts of the season, Khudobin helped the B’s in the standings, including four straight wins for Anton in mid-November. The games for the Goaltenders are shared more evenly, with Rask having 27 starts this season and Khudobin having 15 starts this season.

 

The NHL has been full of surprises this season, from Edmonton’s downfall to the rise of the Vegas Golden Knights, is has been a rollercoaster for practically everyone who is a hockey fan. CBS Sports may have put the B’s out of a playoff spot in the preseason, we (the fans) can’t help but laugh at the article while the Bruins are standing at sixth in the league.

fear the bear.

^AHC

Pastrnak is finally signed for six years

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I always feel like a nice contract signing starts the season off well.

It has been a long offseason, with the draft and addition of a new team among other things, we have something more important to worry about.

And that’s the upcoming Boston Bruins season.

This blog is significantly more active and updated during the season with game previews and roundups, news reports, and more. Much more entertaining than the offseason, that’s for sure.

In today’s news, David Pastrnak has finally signed the long awaited contract that has made Bruins subreddit be on their toes.

Six years. $6.66 million per year.

I guess he isn’t a superstitious guy, is he?

This contract comes at a steal for the Bruins; the B’s have 3 of the best forwards in hockey signed at less than 7 million. Pasta’s contact was speculated to be comparable to Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers, who signed an eight year, $68 million contract this offseason.

Pasta recorded 34 goals and 36 assists in 75 games this past season for the Bruins. While this total is 7 points lower than Draisaitl, Pasta also played in 7 fewer games. He spent most of the last season on a line with Marchand and Bergeron, forming one of the NHL’s most productive and compelling lines. Last season, he showed that he is the future of the organization and proved that he has the potential to be a franchise star player.
Little fun fact: Pasta is SECOND (behind Leon Draisaitl) in points by players drafted in 2014, and first in goals scored.

What a stud for being a late first round draft pick in 2014.

I know I’m ready for the upcoming season, I’ve been counting down the days since last season ended.

fear the bear.

^AHC

Boston Bruins 2017-18 preview

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It’s already August, and we are finally starting to approach the one month mark until NHL preseason action begins.

The Bruins have their first preseason game on September 18th, with a good ol’ fashioned original six matchup, against the Habs at Videotron Centre in Quebec City.

So, get ready to take those nights off work and clear those schedules!

This past offseason, GM Don Sweeney raised some eyebrows (mine included) regarding how he used our cap space and did nothing to benefit our team for the upcoming season.

If you start to look at the offseason transactions, they aren’t that bad.

Yes, we didn’t gain much of anything, but it still isn’t too bad.

First, the biggest loss (in my opinion) was probably Dominic Moore, who signed a one year, one million dollar contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Moore was probably one of my favorite pick ups of the last off season and proved to be very valuable to the Bruins’ fourth line this season. I haven’t seen the fourth line this decent and consistent since the “Merlot Line” of Paille, Campbell, and Thornton. Moore played in all 82 games this season, finishing with 11 goals and 14 points.

Here is what I like:

While Sweeney didn’t acquire much of anything this season, the team showed flashes of a playoff contending team last season. The lines that were once inconsistent are now starting to gel, and David Backes and Riley Nash (2 of last off-season’s pickups) are starting to be very valuable. The Bruins also have a good amount of prospects in Providence (like Gabrielle and Kuraly) who can benefit by doing some time in the NHL this upcoming season.

I also kind of like the contract for Ryan Spooner, the one-year, 2.85 million one. Spooner wasn’t super impactful this past season, but he is someone I still enjoy having on this team. The one year contact is a “show off” contract, and hopefully, that can be what he needs to motivate himself to score more and work harder hopefully. He finished with 11 goals and 39 points this season in 78 games.

The NCAA talent we have coming this coming season is super exciting. We were able to see Charlie McAvoy do his thing in the playoffs, and see JFK in a game last season also. We are also super lucky that Anders Bjork concludes his college career and sign with the Bruins. The Bruins are starting to go younger like the league is, and it is something we have been waiting for.

Here is what I (DON)’t like:

you like the pun, don’t you?

Also, we still have Anton Khudobin on the roster for one more year. While I enjoy the fact that we are going to have depth in the goal but is it really necessary?

In the system, we have Tuukka (who obviously is the starting goaltender), Dobby, Malcolm Subban (who kind of needs to develop a lil more), and Zane McIntyre. We also have a young prospect in Daniel Valdar. Both Subban and McIntyre signed contracts this offseason, both 2-year, 1.3 million.

Subban has been in the system for a while now, when is it his chance to shine?

Goalies take a while to develop to be NHL caliber, but leaving one in the AHL long enough can stunt development and growth (see: Jack Campbell). Subban did play a game in the NHL this season, but McIntyre could prove to be the next future backup after playing in 8 games with a better GAA and SV% than Subban. But, I would love to see Subban maybe play a game or two of NHL action this season to see what he has been working on and for him to know what needs to be worked on. Also, it would allow other teams to look at him in the NHL scene if he was ever to be used for trade bait.

Not gonna lie, next year’s free agent list looks pretty awesome.

With all the Bruins chatter rounded up, let’s discuss the line predictions for the upcoming season!

FORWARDS:

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As for the first line, Bergy and Marchy gotta stay together. The Bruins need that chemistry to have a successful first line. Bjork would be great on the right wing and can compliment Bergeron’s defensive play. We could also see Pasta and Bjork switch places throughout the season, as the lines with them switched could work perfectly as well. Bjork might need to be eased into the NHL with a top line with Bergeron and Marchand.

For the second line, Krejci needs consistency. However. I believe that Beleskey gonna have a bounce back year after showing inconsistency last year. Many people forgot that both Krejci and Beleskey were either hurt or recovering from injury last season.  Having Pasta and Krejci together is great too, and they also showed great chemistry. As I said, Krejci needs consistency to stay consistent himself. Pastrnak has played with Krejci multiple times, and they have shown great chemistry.

The third line is always a mixed bag. Spooner and Vatrano are still trying to prove themselves into the lineup, and Backes is trying to show that he is worth his massive contract. I like Backes with Spooner because he provides that defensive support that Spooner may need, and can take defensive zone face-offs if needed.

The fourth line is meant for grit and physicality, not showing prospects and giving them a chance to grow. But, last season proved that the fourth line could have a good amount of chemistry and offensive play. This line played together last season, and it was shown to work. Nash is a very reliable, and not flashy, but he plays the offensive game well. Acciari is somewhat new to the NHL game and was injured for a good chunk of the season. Schaller is a great center that can bring it together like he did last season. I hope to keep this line consistent for not just the season, but next season also.

DEFENSE:

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The first pairing of Chara and McAvoy is very similar to the Chara-Carlo pairing last season. Chara is the best veteran defenseman, and as a veteran, he needs that young gun to mentor. Charlie McAvoy is that young gun. McAvoy proved to be good in the games he played in the NHL last season and has shown that he is ready for the NHL.

Torey Krug has to have a bigger, physical defenseman on his pairing due to his sparks of offense and size. This pairing of Krug and Carlo can prove to work for the team. Carlo is a defenseman that, along with McAvoy, is showing the fans a glimpse of what the future can look like for the Bruins.

Kind of like the fourth line, we have that 3rd pairing which is useful, but also made with more grit and physicality than the other two. Kevan Miller and Adam McQuaid fit the bill and prove to be deadly together.

The goalies are rather easy and common sense.

Tuukka is going to be number one, with Anton Khudobin as the backup.

We could see the Backup goalies rotating, like this past season. As I mentioned before, it would be good to see more of McIntyre and Subban, just to see a sneak peek of what the future can look like. Khudobin’s contract expires after this year, and I honestly don’t see him being re-signed in Boston.

That is the preview for the 2017-18 preview!

Making lines is kinda like Tetris, you want to have the players in places that make sense, while also utilizing their skills properly.

I’m pretty stoked for this season; the past season looked promising, and the offseason kind of went by fast, which is good.

See you next month!

^AHC

NHL and the 2018 Olympics, will it happen?

Online ClassRegistration-3

 

When you think of the Winter Olympics every four years, one of the first sports you may think of maybe Olympic Ice Hockey. Ice hockey is a big sport in many countries, like Canada and Russia.

It’s a wonderful sport, isn’t it? It is.

Recently, news broke out that the current NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman said that the NHL wouldn’t be sending their players to the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Today, I want to discuss why players need to go to the Olympics,

for the better of the sport of hockey.

 

Players want to go and represent their countries.

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Here is a handy graph showing NHL nationalities, as of 2014. (Source)

Since the recent announcement from Bettman, big name players like Alex Ovechkin, have gone against Bettman’s decision, and have publicly stated that “So, I don’t know, somebody (is) going to tell me ‘don’t go,’ I don’t care, I just go.”, as reported by ESPN reporter Pierre LeBrun.

Other players, like Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Henrik Lundqvist, have stated through social media, mostly Twitter, that they do not agree with the decision either and that a “huge opportunity to market the game on the biggest stage (in the world) is wasted.”

Even the NHLPA (National Hockey League Player’s Association) has gone out and have stated that “The players are extraordinarily disappointed and adamantly disagree with the NHL’s shortsighted decision to not continue our participation in the Olympics”.

The Olympics are the one way that a player can have the opportunity to represent their country in a huge event like this, and a lot of players have a great deal of pride for the countries that they represent.

The four-year gap between each Olympics can also make this the last chance that some players can represent their countries.

The decision could cause a drift between the League and the NHLPA, and the decision could prove even to cause players (mostly from Russia, and others) to move to another league temporarily (like the KHL) just to have the opportunity to represent their country on the Olympic stage.

 

Not being there could cause issues regarding Marketing.

The idea of watching a given country is better from a fan’s standpoint, as fans may be more interested in looking at a 2 to 3-week Olympic tourney than looking at a long, 82 game, 31 weeks long NHL regular season.

As stated before, the Olympics are considered the biggest stage in the world for sports and gives the NHL the best opportunity to advertise to new fans. The NHL is not as globally recognized of a league compared to the NBA, at least in revenue, according to Cork Gaines of Business Insider. The NBA makes $152 million, compared to the NHL’s $88 million.

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 6.43.02 PM

Here’s how the NHL compares to other leagues. (Source)

The Olympics brings out the best in hockey, and often shows people what hockey is all about, all skill and fast paced, an image that the NHL is trying to lean towards.

The NHL is a league that is focused on growing the game, and not taking the opportunity to grow hockey in a country with little hockey could prove to be a problem. According to the NHL website and their social media outlets, The NHL has taken strides to gain exposure in China (example: Boston Bruins sending two players to the country for marketing purposes), including an upcoming preseason game featuring the Canucks and Kings in Beijing, to prepare for the 2022 Olympics.

 

The Olympics in a new area isn’t new.

Since 1998, the Olympics have had professional hockey players in the hockey tournament of the Olympics. Before then, it was played by amateur athletes, often from college or minor leagues.

To show how different hockey was before 1998, Canada won the gold medal at the 1952 Winter Olympics and didn’t win again for 50 years, in 2002. Amateur players played most of those tournaments. In 1998, Olympic Hockey was also played in a small market, taking place in Nagano, Japan, and Gary Bettman was very instrumental in bringing pro hockey to said Olympics.

Like mentioned before, the NHL is wanting to grow the sport internationally, and they are already taking strides in China, the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics. The fact they aren’t taking the opportunity to show not only South Korea, but the World, about the sport of hockey, is crazy.

Why can’t he do it again?

 

Last, but not least, this could cause a lockout that no one wants.

Because the NHL, NHLPA, and the IIHF cannot agree on one thing, this could potentially be the perfect mix to cause a lockout before the Olympics begin. The union even believes that they will even take the owner’s of the team’s rights away that allow them to send their players to the Olympics themselves. Some owners (like the Capitals’ Ted Leonsis) have discussed sending their players to the Olympics regardless of the decision made by Gary Bettman, according to ESPN.

While the Olympics are an exciting event in general, Men’s Ice Hockey is a vital part of the games. Having no big names in hockey could cause issues regarding fanbases and viewership, and also create drifts between players.

I watch the Olympics every time they happen, and imagining an Olympics without NHL players is something I can’t imagine. It hasn’t even happened in my lifetime.

Yes, I am that young.

fear the bear

^AHC