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Boston Bruins Have A Ton Of Work To Do This Off-Season

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Who Should Stay, Who Should Go?

After a more or less disappointing season the Bruins have quite a bit of work in front of them. The Bruins have nine players who are free agents both restricted and Unrestricted.

Restricted

David Pastrnak, Noel Acciari, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner, and Joe Morrow as of June 1.

Unrestricted

Dominic Moore, Drew Stafford, and John-Michael Liles.

Don Sweeney‘s comments

During the season end press conference Sweeney touched on this a bit saying:

“We didn’t make any of that – we went through exit interviews and really just tried to go through the whole season with guys and where they were at and then we’ll sit down as a group and make some decisions,” said Sweeney. “We haven’t made any hard or fast decisions on any one individual as of right now.”

Who To Re-Sign

David Pastrnak for sure. This is a no brainer. He was finally able to get a complete season under his belt. He only missed 7 games with an elbow injury unlike previous years. This season he put up 70 points which is more than I though he would. I had him pegged more around the 60 mark with 25 goals not 34. He should be the first to get an extension.

Then I would try to keep Drew Stafford. I think he played very well in the few games he played as a Bruins. He had 8 points over 18 games. He whole season was a down season as he spent most of it on the fourth line in Winnipeg. Stafford is a four-time 20 goals scorer. He also reached the 30 mark in the 2010-11 season with Buffalo.  He would make a great third line winger.

Then I would say Dominic Moore or Noel Acciari. I like both but there is just not enough room for both guys. I really like how well Moore played this season he is a great fourth line center who has the ability to play third line if needed. Acciari is a kid who has some upside to him but he is always going up and down between here and Providence. I would rather keep Moore for the veteran status and try to move Acciari.

Do Not Re-sign

Spooner, he has not produced like we want him to. Some people blame Claude Julien for that but I say it is time for him to go. He is a good player and I think he will do really well just not here. Also if he leaves this allows David Backes to move back to center as he would take over the third line.

Schaller is another guy who is a good player there is just not enough room on the team for him. I think he needs to go to make room for a guy like Jakob Forsbacka Kalsson. Liles played well when he was called upon but there is no need for him to stay. Especially with the emergence of Charlie McAvoy’s play.

Lastly would be Joe Morrow, the last remnant of the Tyler Seguin trade. He is a good defenseman it is just that he is 7th defenseman good. I guess that puts him in column three, the maybe column. If he comes cheap and there is room on the roster then yes, if not then no.

Quotes from the players

Pasta:

“Obviously I love it here,” said Pastrnak. “This is where I started and where I get the opportunity to play NHL, you know. Obviously this is not something I was focusing on all season, so I’m not going to think about it now.”

Acciari:

“It was a good feeling,” said Acciari, of getting back up with the big club. “It was unfortunate at this point ending as a team, obviously, we wanted to go further than we did, but for myself it was good to see. I gained some confidence in the last games that I was playing, and felt a lot more comfortable out there, and realized that I can play out here.”

Schaller:

“I’d love to stick around,” said Schaller. “But that’s talks to be had soon here, so we’ll see.”

Spooner:

“I’ve been here since I’ve been 18, so it’s been a long time and I just want to help out,” said Spooner.

Spooner knows he can play better and hopes to prove it next season.

“I just need to be better than the last little bit of the season,” said Spooner.

Stafford:

“Absolutely,” said Stafford, of hoping to come back to Boston for the 2017-18 season. “If there’s any kind of a chance, that’s something that I’m definitely into. I know my wife wasn’t able to make it out, but we had talked about it a little bit as a possibility and that’s something that obviously Sweens and my agent, if they feel like moving forward, it could be a good fit, then we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Moore:

“So it was an honor to be a part of that and we’ll see what happens going forward, but I enjoyed my time for sure and we’ll see what happens,” said Moore.

Liles:

“We’ll see. I’ve kind of taken it a year at a time. I’m not going to get too concerned with what’s going to happen here in the next few months,” said Liles. “It was great to get back into the playoffs.

Justin is a Computer Networking student at Wentworth Institute of Technology and joined the Trifecta Network as an Editor in February of 2016 and is a guest on Down to the WIRE Sports Talk.

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins Should Stick With The Hot Hand Of Anton Khudobin

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Dobby may have stolen the Starting Gig From Tuukka Rask

The Boston Bruins have been under a ton of scrutiny since the beginning of the season. One of the issues was, are the kids going to be any good, the other is what is the goaltending situation going to look like. That question has become easier in the past couple of games.

This season we have seen Tuukka Rask Struggle. Many are now questioning if he is an elite goalie still. The only problem with that is that he was never an elite goalie. During his time of success here he had a phenomenal defense in front of him. Now not so much except it seems that backup Anton Khudobin has not had a problem with the defense. Khudobin not only has the wins to deserve the starting role, he has the numbers as well.

In the month of November Tuukka Rask has played in 6 games. In those six games, his save percentage is a .898 and a save percentage of a 2.86.  On the season he has a 2.89 total save percentage in 12 games. The league leader among starters is Sergei Bobrovsky with a 2.02. Then we look at Dobby’s past 3 games in November where he has posted a .949 save percentage and 1.66 GAA.

Dobby has shown that he is still a viable back-up and right now he may even be the starter. Las game against the sharks he only allowed one goal and after being bombarded by 18 shots. In three of his last five games, Khudobin has allowed one goal.

Bostons next game on Wednesday against the red-hot Devils who currently sit in the first place if the Metropolitan division. Bruce Cassidy mat indeed elects Khudobin to be the starter but he as eluded that Tukkaa Rask will get the start. This would be a bad play. The starter should always go to the guy ho is hot not the guy that is supposed to be a top 10 goaltender.

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Boston Bruins Season Is Falling Apart Faster Than It Is Coming Together

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(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Boston Bruins Stricken With Injuries As More Added To List

Boston Bruins are a team that has nothing positive going for them at the moment. Injury after injury has left the team scratching their head questioning what to do next. Bruce Cassidy has announced that both Anders Bjork and Brad Marchand will not travel with the team.

David Krejci will travel with the team on the upcoming road trip. This brings a small amount of light to a team with much darkness.

This is probably the biggest loss yet as Brad Marchand has 15 points in 14 games. Then Bjork a rookie who cemented his spot on the top line in training camp has 9 points already. Boston has already dug into the reserves in Providence with Danton Heinen and Jordan Swarz.

Now, these guys have played well since getting the call-up but a guy like Marchand is not replaceable. Hopefully, Providence is able to spare a couple more players or there might be a trade looming near. Providence is a team chalk full of young talent lucky for Boston except the well is starting to run dry. The Baby Bruins will soon run into the problem of not being able to field a team of their own.

Most Likely Call-Up Candidates

Zach Senyshyn. Senyshyn has 5 points in 12 games so far in Providence. He was on the bubble of making the roster during camp. Both Bjork and Debrusk took that spot. This could be his chance.

Kenny Agostino. Agostino who already has a couple NHL games this season and has been lighting up the AHL with 9 points in 8 games. Another bubble guy that lost out on a roster spot as he went down in the preseason with an injury.

Anton Blidh. Blidh who also has NHL experience would bring a bit more grit to a speedy team.

Peter Cehlarik. Another guy that is a bit more of a grinder than a goal scorer but that might be just what Boston needs.

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Boston Bruins Rob O’Gara Has His Shot To Make The Big Club

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Rob O'Gara

Rob O’Gara To Get His Shot

All season long the Boston Bruins have been dealing with injuries and other roster question marks. Additionally, Brad Marchand is now out with an upper-body injury. David Krejci has been placed on the IR. Rob O’Gara has been called up from Providence.

O’Gara now has his shot to earn himself a roster spot just as some of his former Providence team members have done, as with Danton Heinen. Alike Heinen O’Gara will have to make this chance count as Heinen did by scoring two goals in his debut. Though the expectations for O’Gara are a bit different seeing that he is a defenseman. Also, the expectation for him is to make a limited amount of mistakes. Plus contributing to the offense if/when possible.

Right now the Bruins are struggling in their own end, as most of their defenseman is a minus on the plus-minus chart. In contrast, O’Gara in 7 games for Providence is a plus-four. Hopefully, he can bring some much-needed defense, with the exception of Zdeno Chara to a team with many offensive minded d-man.

Similarly, the league has evolved to one where offensive defensemen are more sought. This leads to holes in the defense as we have seen with Boston so far during the first 12 games. Boston is looking for that spark on defense and O’Gara may be it.

Roster Position

The most likely spot for O’Gara to end up is the third pairing. Now that may seem bad, however, the Bruins run three d-pairs more than other teams. O’Gara gains the much-needed NHL experience from his ice time. Hopefully, he is not just here for one game as that would be useless. It would not help him in any way possible. In fact, it would most likely hurt him mostly his confidence. O’Gara should be a better fit than the newly acquired Paul Postma. Not only does O’Gara seem to have a bit more overall skill, he has more upside.

O’Gara a 24-year-old selected by the Bruins in the fifth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Tonights Game

Boston will face the Minnesota Wild at home. The game will be aired on NESN and broadcast on 98.5 the sports hub.

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