Bruins 2021 Season Thread

DourDoerr

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 15, 2004
2,385
Berkeley, CA
Oh yeah - the hockey. Great to see Pasta - and Pasta's laser - back in the lineup. What a huge missing piece.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,917
306, row 14
Some injury updates. DeBrusk and Grzelyck have been back on the ice in Boston. The mini-break from the PPD Sabres games should help them heal up and return against the Rangers next week.
 

TSC

SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2007
10,205
Between here and everywhere.
Nothing on Kase is...concerning.

I don't think it's too much to speculate that it was a concussion, and this isn't his first.

I hope for his sake he's evaluating his own health very carefully.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,917
306, row 14
Yeah, Kase is pretty obviously concussed. He suffered the injury 1/16 and the last update on his condition was on 1/20 when Cassidy said "I don't know when he'll be back on the ice." Cassidy and the team do the standard hockey upper body/lower body thing but have always been forthcoming with injury and rehab timelines. The only real injury where there's no timeline is a concussion.

My google skills are failing me, so I'm not sure how many prior concussions he's had. I believe he had one last year prior to the trade. He also missed tiime 2 years ago due to shoulder surgery so he's had other upper body issues in the past.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
48,086
deep inside Guido territory
When do we start giving credit to Sweeney for choosing to play the kids over Chara? This defensive group has been largely fantastic throughout the first 10 games. There's been a few bad periods, but that's everybody. I was very skeptical, but it seems to have worked out just fine so far.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
13,744
Tuukka's refugee camp
When do we start giving credit to Sweeney for choosing to play the kids over Chara? This defensive group has been largely fantastic throughout the first 10 games. There's been a few bad periods, but that's everybody. I was very skeptical, but it seems to have worked out just fine so far.
When it happened? I think most reasonable people realized it was the rational move at the time.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,917
306, row 14
Fluto pointed this out on twitter, but a kind of wild thing is the Bruins have been super unlucky this year. Their PDO is .964, 2nd lowest in the league. Shooting percentage is 2nd lowest, save percentage is 4th lowest. All that, plus playing 8 of 10 against the cream of the East and it hasn't mattered, 7-1-2. Their expected goals for is 56% but their actual goals for is 46%. Rask will start making saves at some point, and they should get some better puck luck on the offensive end.
 

LogansDad

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
19,420
Alamogordo
I thought the defense was going to be a mess for the first 1/3 of the season. Pleasantly surprised.

Haven't gotten to watch as much as I've wanted to being on the west coast, hoping to change that.
Exactly my thought, except replace "mess" with "tire fire".... instead, the kids stepped in and appear to be mostly ready to go, even after a short camp. It's a real credit to the organization.
 

jk333

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 26, 2009
2,891
Boston
I’m similar to others, haven’t watched as much as I’d like. How have Zboril and Lauzon been? I mean, obviously good, but is Zboril showing first pairing upside? Second pair?
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,917
306, row 14
Lauzon: 156 minutes, 45% Ozone start, 58% shots, 54% scoring chances, 57% xGF%, 29% actual GF% (on for 4 goals for 10 against)

I thought he struggled early on, but he's really come on recently. He gets the benefit of playing with McAvoy who is an absolute stud, but with that comes tougher zone starts and tougher opponents. Don't think he'll ever be a big offensive producer, but he's started to get more involved the past few games. On Monday he made the great play to carry the puck down from the right point and feed the cross ice back hand pass onto Smith's stick for the tying goal. Last night he had a sequence where he got the puck at the left point, wide open, walked down and ripped a shot high. Got the puck back in asimilar position a few seconds later and I think was spooked and tried a low percentage cross ice pass that got turned over. Those things will hopefully get cleaned up over time (putting the first shot on net; being more decisive and probably shooting the 2nd time). Miserable PDO impacting the actual goal results. Poor guy has .840 on ice save percentage behind him.

Zboril: 153 minutes, 71% oZone start, 61% shots, 51% scoring chances, 55% xGF, 44% actual goals (4 for 5 against).

Zboril gets the benefit of heavy oZone use. Between him and Lauzon, Zboril has the higher ceiling in terms of offense. He's getting some scraps on the 2nd PP with Grzelyck out and McAvoy playing on the top unit. He's big, physical and mobile. I'd like to see him jump up in the play more often. We should probably note that he's more of a baby than Lauzon. Last night was Zboril's 12th career NHL game, 2 of which came over 2 years ago. Lauzon has played 51 games so while still very young, he's probably a bit more settled in.

Overall no complaints, really for everyone on defense. Miller was similar to Lauzon, struggled early but has picked it up recently. Clifton has been a bit wobbly but I think that's the nature of Cliffy hockey and as a fill in, 7th D playing his off side, he's been fine.
 

Lupe Whalewatch

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
2,912
Worlds End
Fluto pointed this out on twitter, but a kind of wild thing is the Bruins have been super unlucky this year. Their PDO is .964, 2nd lowest in the league. Shooting percentage is 2nd lowest, save percentage is 4th lowest. All that, plus playing 8 of 10 against the cream of the East and it hasn't mattered, 7-1-2. Their expected goals for is 56% but their actual goals for is 46%. Rask will start making saves at some point, and they should get some better puck luck on the offensive end.
I wonder if maybe there could be some correlation between better team defense and a lower save percentage? Like, they are giving up roughly the same amount of goals as usual, just allowing fewer overall shots. I would guess that someone like Brodeur, during the peak NJ years, would have been victim of this...he'd allow his typical 2 goals a night on like 12 shots.
 

jk333

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 26, 2009
2,891
Boston
Thanks @cshea always appreciate your Bruins updates.

I look forward to watching more of the games in coming months. This past year has been so messed up. You’d think with work from home there would be more time for sports but for me it has been the opposite.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,917
306, row 14
I wonder if maybe there could be some correlation between better team defense and a lower save percentage? Like, they are giving up roughly the same amount of goals as usual, just allowing fewer overall shots. I would guess that someone like Brodeur, during the peak NJ years, would have been victim of this...he'd allow his typical 2 goals a night on like 12 shots.
That's some of it, but I also think Rask is just off to a sluggish stat. .888 in 6 games thus far. Last year he was .952 through 6 appearances, .902 the year before and .898 3 years ago. So it's not totally unusual for him. He's had a few pinball in on him which has sagged his save percentage, but he's also not making as many high danger saves as he usually does. He's at .742 so far this year (31/43), last season he was .876.
 

jercra

No longer respects DeChambeau
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
2,698
Arvada, Co
Fluto pointed this out on twitter, but a kind of wild thing is the Bruins have been super unlucky this year. Their PDO is .964, 2nd lowest in the league. Shooting percentage is 2nd lowest, save percentage is 4th lowest. All that, plus playing 8 of 10 against the cream of the East and it hasn't mattered, 7-1-2. Their expected goals for is 56% but their actual goals for is 46%. Rask will start making saves at some point, and they should get some better puck luck on the offensive end.
I admit to being completely ignorant when it comes to advanced hockey stats, but does their shooting percentage being super-low indicate that they've been unlucky more than it indicates that they don't have many finishers and/or the absence of Pasta for the first 2 weeks of the season? In other words, are they unlucky or do they just lack scoring touch beyond the first line?
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,917
306, row 14
I admit to being completely ignorant when it comes to advanced hockey stats, but does their shooting percentage being super-low indicate that they've been unlucky more than it indicates that they don't have many finishers and/or the absence of Pasta for the first 2 weeks of the season? In other words, are they unlucky or do they just lack scoring touch beyond the first line?
It's a bit of both, I'd say. With shooting percentage, sometimes you make the perfect play and take the perfect shot but the goalie robs you. Other times a floater bounces off two legs and and as and goes into the net. They are currently 5.9% at even strength, it should move towards 8%ish.

That said, I think they've been more unlucky on the defensive end with the save percentage. At 5x5 they have scored 15 goals this season. Their expected goals for is 16.24. Expected goals is determined by assigning a value for every shot taken based on a variety of factors such as shot location. They are only 1 goal below their xGF so they aren't significantly under performing. On the defensive end, they've allowed 17 goals against at ES against an expected goals against of 12.54. So they've allowed almost 5 more goals against than expected based on the quality of shots against. That should improve significantly.

I don't think the Bruins depth stinks at scoring. Some of it is the system. The Bruins are elite at suppressing quality chances against. They're always at the top of allowing the fewest shots, scoring chances and high danger chances against. As a result, they pay for it offensively. They are always middle of the pack to below average in generating their own scoring and high danger chances. They play a very tight and structured system at ES. The forwards are disciplined and chip in defensively before worrying about offense.They grind you to death at even strength and usually come out on top. Add in the best power play in the league for 3-4 years now and it's a tough combination for other teams to beat.
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member


NHL Public Relations
@PR_NHL


David Pastrnak is climbing this list in a hurry. Just 393 games into his career,
@pastrnak96
is tied for the sixth-most hat tricks among active NHL players – playing between 418 and 857 games fewer than every other active player with at least nine to their credit. #NHLStats
Where does he one on most goals scored from one knee?
He’s like the Adrian Beltre of goal scorers.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
26,791
Hingham, MA
It's a bit of both, I'd say. With shooting percentage, sometimes you make the perfect play and take the perfect shot but the goalie robs you. Other times a floater bounces off two legs and and as and goes into the net. They are currently 5.9% at even strength, it should move towards 8%ish.

That said, I think they've been more unlucky on the defensive end with the save percentage. At 5x5 they have scored 15 goals this season. Their expected goals for is 16.24. Expected goals is determined by assigning a value for every shot taken based on a variety of factors such as shot location. They are only 1 goal below their xGF so they aren't significantly under performing. On the defensive end, they've allowed 17 goals against at ES against an expected goals against of 12.54. So they've allowed almost 5 more goals against than expected based on the quality of shots against. That should improve significantly.

I don't think the Bruins depth stinks at scoring. Some of it is the system. The Bruins are elite at suppressing quality chances against. They're always at the top of allowing the fewest shots, scoring chances and high danger chances against. As a result, they pay for it offensively. They are always middle of the pack to below average in generating their own scoring and high danger chances. They play a very tight and structured system at ES. The forwards are disciplined and chip in defensively before worrying about offense.They grind you to death at even strength and usually come out on top. Add in the best power play in the league for 3-4 years now and it's a tough combination for other teams to beat.
So is hockey shooting % somewhat akin to BABIP, in that it normalizes over a larger sample?
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,917
306, row 14
So is hockey shooting % somewhat akin to BABIP, in that it normalizes over a larger sample?
PDO is probably a more analogous. PDO is shooting percentage plus save percentage. The stats guys have figured out that over time it should normalize to around 1000. If you're over, you're probably due for some regression. If you're under, you're probably due for better results.

For shooting percentage, average Is usually around 8% or so. There's luck involved with shooting percentage, but there's also skill, talent and system The elite scoring teams will lead the way but it's not a huge spread between top and bottom. Over the last 3 seasons, Washington leads the way at 9.8%. Dallas brings up the rear at 6.89%. The Bruins sit 24th at 7.4%. As I said above, some of the low shooting percentage is system. They do not allow many scoring chances against. They also do not generate a ton on their own. Over the same time frame, the Bruins are 25th in scoring chances for but they've allowed the 2nd fewest scoring chances against. They are 9th in shots for, 2nd in shots against. So a good number of their shots are empty calorie, low danger attempts. I think if they loosened up the defensive structure they would score more, but they'd also give up more.

I know I harp on it a lot, but really what you want to do is out attempt, out shoot, and out chance your opponent.When you do that consistently you'll come out on top more often than not.It doesn't always work in a single game. You can outshoot a team 50-15 and lose 4-1. Shit happens. But do that consistently and you'll pile up the wins in a hurry. The Bruins are excellent at this, even if they play "low event" hockey where neither team generates many chances.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
19,825
That said, I think they've been more unlucky on the defensive end with the save percentage. At 5x5 they have scored 15 goals this season. Their expected goals for is 16.24. Expected goals is determined by assigning a value for every shot taken based on a variety of factors such as shot location. They are only 1 goal below their xGF so they aren't significantly under performing. On the defensive end, they've allowed 17 goals against at ES against an expected goals against of 12.54. So they've allowed almost 5 more goals against than expected based on the quality of shots against. That should improve significantly.
I would assume that some of those 5 are the odd-bounce variety and some are softies that "should" have been stopped? Is that broken out anywhere, or is the sample too small at this point?
 

burstnbloom

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
1,969
So is hockey shooting % somewhat akin to BABIP, in that it normalizes over a larger sample?
Kind of. There isn't really a standard that applies to all players as a whole like BABIP but you can look at a player's performance and see fluctuations and a return to their averages are fairly predictive. If you look at a guy like Mike Zibanejad, he's seeing some wild fluctuations the last season plus. Some of his season last year was probably an advancement of skill and playing on a PP with Panarin, but he's traditionally shot around 12 ish % and last year he shot 19.7%. The result was 41 goals in 57 games. Had he shot at his career average, he would have scored 37 goals over and 81 game pace. That feels more like his true talent level. This year the NYR press is wondering if Covid is having an effect on him and all sorts of stuff like that but the truth is he's only shooting 3%. If he shoots at his career average given the shot volume, he's on a 33 goal pace.

So you can apply it inexactly to players who are slumping or on fire and see if its sustainable or indicative of their true talent level. Usually if you cant identify some kind of wrist or shoulder issue, its just bad luck.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
26,791
Hingham, MA
Thanks. I think the comparison to BABIP in a way rings true because better hitters will hit the ball harder (more line drives, better exit velocity, etc.), and therefore will have better BABIP. Worse hitters will hit it more softly, etc. Similarly, good shooters will shoot harder, more accurately, etc. and will have higher shooting %. But there's probably a much wider range in hockey than baseball (no one has a BABIP of .200 or .400 over the long haul).
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
40,811
Where do we think Vaakanainen fits in? We have long-term control of the 3 current LD starters, and Clifton too. Nice to have the depth but at a certain point we're going to want to see what he's got.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,917
306, row 14
Where do we think Vaakanainen fits in? We have long-term control of the 3 current LD starters, and Clifton too. Nice to have the depth but at a certain point we're going to want to see what he's got.
They could lose one of Zboril or Lauzon to Seattle. Vaakanainen is exempt from the expansion draft. As I see it, if they don't make any side deals, the most likely losses for the expansion draft are Kase or Ritchie depending on who they choose to protect, or Lauzon or Zboril.
 

burstnbloom

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
1,969
If Zboril continues his pretty good play throughout the year, I think he's gone to seattle. He's a young, cost controlled D with a pedigree and a tool box you can dream on. He's playing sheltered but very good minutes this year. I'm worried they will lose him. I'd much rather lose one of the other three, though I see value in all of them. Even Ritchie, who has been very good and will make me eat crow.
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 16, 2011
506
If Zboril continues his pretty good play throughout the year, I think he's gone to seattle. He's a young, cost controlled D with a pedigree and a tool box you can dream on. He's playing sheltered but very good minutes this year. I'm worried they will lose him. I'd much rather lose one of the other three, though I see value in all of them. Even Ritchie, who has been very good and will make me eat crow.
The Bruins will end up exposing three of Kase, Ritchie, Frederick and Bjork, and three of Grzelcyk, Lauzon, Zboril, and Clifton.

One possibility is to expose Gryz and Kase and see if Seattle would pass given their recent injury track records. The team could protect either Lauzon or Zboril in that scenario.

I’d hate to lose any of Grzelcyk, Zboril, or Lauzon but such is life.

In any case it’ll be fun to watch the young D improve over the season.
 

jk333

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 26, 2009
2,891
Boston
From reading here, and with Carlo already on the team, isn’t Lauzon’s skillset replaceable? Zboril would have the rarer skillset. Still, I guess I can watch him and see over the whole season.

On the other hand, maybe you offer someone like Carlo to Seattle for a draft pick? If I recall, Las Vegas worked out trades with some teams rather than choosing their players. It would seem, not ideal to lose a cost controlled 1st or second pairing dman to an expansion team.
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 16, 2011
506
This tracks - part of the reason that the D can change its style this year (going below the line to hound players, quick transition, jumping in on O) is that the forwards play with strong structure and the centers are so experienced and aware:

View: https://twitter.com/MarkDivver/status/1357843719366574083


” Talking to a pro scout in Marlboro today, he noted what an advantage it is for rookies Zboril & Lauzon to have support in D zone from veteran centers like Bergeron, Krejci, Coyle.”
 

TSC

SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2007
10,205
Between here and everywhere.
Who's their starting goaltender?

I'm not sold on Washington this year. Outside of C they have very little depth, and their record was better than their actual play last year. They could easily be on the outside looking in this year if Samsonov isn't great.
Following up on this -

WAS has allowed 45G this season, 5th worst in the NHL.

Their goaltending has been...not good.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,917
306, row 14
DeBrusk and Grz are full goes at practice today. They should be returning on Wednesday. Studnicka is on ice as well but non-contact. I think he heads to Providence when cleared. We'll see if Cassidy has any updates on Kase today. On Saturday, Cassidy said he believed Kase was back on the bike and doing off ice stuff so that would seem to be a step forward.

Looks like DeBrusk is going in on the 3rd line with Coyle and Bjork.

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
Ritchie - Krejci - Smith
DeBrusk - Coyle - Bjork
Frederic - Kuraly - Wagner

Lauzon - McAvoy
Grzelyck - Carlo
Zboril - Miller

Rask
Halak

Frederic has been useless of late, but I would've left the 4th line of Bjork - Kuraly - Wagner alone. The Kuraly-Bjork combo has produced the 2nd most 5x5 goals on the team thus far.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,917
306, row 14
2/15 game against New Jersey PPD. Devils are having Covid issues.

View: https://twitter.com/JoeyMacHockey/status/1358887208690868239?s=20


The league seems to have really fucked this situation up. I'm not sure of all the specifics, but last Sunday, there was a game between New Jersey and Buffalo where I believe the Devils were in the beginning of an outbreak. The league plowed on and played the game (against the Sabres wishes from my understanding) and now both teams are deep into an outbreak. At last check, the Devils had 17 players on the Covid list,

Edit: Also- the league low key added points percentage to their official standings. I don't see how they end up making up all the games that have been missed, so points percentage is going to be how they figure out the playoffs and seeding.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,917
306, row 14
Even with Kase out, I don't see much need for Virtanen or another forward. I don't think he's a significant upgrade on Bjork/Wagner as the bottom 6 RW right now, plus I'd probably prefer Studnicka over him. If they did ever get fully healthy, I have no idea where he'd play. re.

Maybe he can be some kind of reclamation/change of scenery and they can get more out of him than Vancouver has, but I just don't see a great fit at the moment.

Also, Covid protocols could impact trading this season. Players going from the US to Canada have to quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to join the team. Dubois still hasn't played for Winnipeg as a result. It's not quite as long for a player coming from Canada to the US or US to US but just something to note. If Vancouver is just looking for futures then it doesn't really matter but if they're trying to make some sort of hockey trade to jolt their struggling team then maybe they end up wheeling him to a Canadian team if any are interested (Friedman also mentioned Ottawa).
 

Dummy Hoy

Angry Pissbum
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2006
6,962
Falmouth
Read a really good deep dive on Virtanen by an ex-scout/video guy...conclusion was his brain is too far behind his skills.

No thanks
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
27,917
306, row 14
Studnicka to Providence. Not much room for him in Boston with the Bruins at close to full strength.

He'll be back.Needs more consistency, he flashes for a game or a few shifts and then disappears. Part of the learning curve.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
48,086
deep inside Guido territory
Looks like for now Bruce is moving DeBrusk up to the #1 line and putting Pasta down on Krejci's right side.

"On Feb. 10, after missing five games because of a lower-body injury, Jake DeBrusk returned with a thunderclap. DeBrusk let loose with 14 pucks, seven of which struck the net. On Jan. 30, David Krejci assisted on Nick Ritchie’s power-play goal and recorded six shots of his own.

To Bruce Cassidy’s eye, these have been isolated spikes more than game-over-game consistency.

So in Monday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena, the Bruins coach went to his break-glass-in-case-of-emergency maneuver: He busted up his No. 1 line.

DeBrusk moved to right wing next to Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. David Pastrnak moved down to the No. 2 line with Krejci and Nick Ritchie. The moves, Cassidy hopes, will nudge DeBrusk off his zero-goal output and express a more robust 5-on-5 presence out of Krejci.

“They tend to push whoever’s with them,” Cassidy said of Marchand and Bergeron. “So it could be a good arrangement. Krech has played before with Pasta. So it’s just a little bit of a different look. We’ve talked about doing it in the past. I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes.”

https://theathletic.com/2389965/2021/02/15/boston-bruins-top-line-debrusk-krejci/
Lines would be
Marchand-Bergeron-DeBrusk
Ritchie-Krejci-Pastrnak
Bjork-Coyle-Smith
Frederic-Kuraly-Wagner
 

RetractableRoof

tolerates intolerance
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2003
3,473
Quincy, MA
I know the game was PPD, so it is moot, but I don't get the bottom 2 lines... I thought Frederic was playing well with Coyle-Smith and Bjork was playing well with Kuraly, which leads to simply swapping Bjork and Frederic. Am I missing something?
 

Ferm Sheller

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2007
10,510
It's too bad that he never got to visit the old Garden. It was the dump of all dumps, but it was such a special place.