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Week Two Preview: Cautiously Optimistic

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Well, that first game went much more successfully than I expected. Anyone as surprised as I am? While the last few moments saw me clenching my butt cheeks so tight if you’d have put coal between them I’m sure I would have produced a thousand diamonds, the first game of the season ending in the first win of the season was a pleasant surprise. This upcoming week the Bruins face off against three different teams in four games and if the way two of these teams looked last season rings true for this season as well, this should be an easy week ahead. The Bruins have to be excited about what they accomplished given what they were facing. Having no Bergeron and no Krug seemed to be a recipe for disaster but as discussed in the recap of the game, the kids are definitely alright. David Krejci also appears to be alright as he managed to be an absolute delight out there.

This week it will be important to keep the good feels going with their play. The kids that stepped up in the last game need to keep their momentum going because this will be a big slog of garbage for them to wade through. I’d love to see DeBrusk continue to get goals and play well out there. I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for that kid given what he’s been through with the horrific injury he had early in his professional career (if you don’t know what I’m talking about just google “DeBrusk” and “testicle” and come back when you’re done reading and/or dry heaving) and all the questions about his ability to make an impact at the NHL level. I’ve already bought my ticket for the Jake DeBrusk Hype Train and I’ll ride it until the day I die. Or the day he disappoints me greatly. Either or.

Right now is an exciting time to watch the Bruins if new talent interests you. Bjork, DeBrusk, and McAvoy are so exciting to watch it’s easy to forget everyone who’s missing from action right now (if they aren’t named Patrice Bergeron that is). I complete forgot that David Backes is out, for example. He’s been diagnosed with diverticulitis which is pretty awful and really painful. Austin Czarnik has also been out with some form of unspecified death flu/plague/sars combination and missed opening night. I didn’t even notice and that’s a good thing to be honest. The team played well in game one. Let’s see how this goes for week two.

Let’s talk shit about the competition for a bit.

Colorado Avalanche (October 9 and 11)

The offseason for the Avalanche was colored by the potential trading of Matt Duchene and that’s all I can remember about them on this day of our lord October 8, 2017. Let’s rewind the clock a little bit and take a look at that nonsense, shall we? Over the course of the summer, Duchene trade chatter ran rampant and almost every team was attached to some rumor about him and the price of the trade and all that jazzy nonsense that goes along with these times. The Bruins were one of the teams that were involved in trade talks, at least as far as what was being reported on twitter. I, for one, am glad that this didn’t happen. The amount that the Bruins would have had to give up was ludicrous compared to the contract and ability of Duchene as a player at the time. Include Carlo in a trade for Duchene? Insanity. Sheer, unadulterated madness my friends. Luckily, that is not a thing that happened and Duchene stayed where he belongs: in the dumpster that is the Colorado Avalanche.

So far this season (and yeah, I know the Avalanche have played 2 games) they’ve managed to win one and lose one. Tyson Barrie and the aforementioned Duchene both have an assist and a goal to their names. Another dude named Carl Soderberg has a goal this season as well so far. Remember him? I used to think I missed Carl Soderberg as a Bruin, but then I saw the stellar career he’s building for himself in Colorado and realized that we’re probably better off with him being there instead of here.

In goal the Avalanche boasts a tandem of Semyon Varlamov and perpetual disappointment Jonathan Bernier. Varlamov is already sitting pretty with a .949 SV% for the season and a GAA of 2.00. That ain’t too shabby but honestly people, take a look at the sample size. The sample size being two games. I’d be surprised to see Bernier in goal as Varlamov is far far superior and I don’t necessarily believe they’d give him a chance against the Bruins but what do I know anyway. With the day of rest in between, I think we’re going to see Varlamov compete in both games.

Arizona Coyotes (October 14th)

I firmly believe that getting beaten by the Arizona Coyotes has got to feel like seaweed brushing your legs while swimming in the ocean at night: slightly wrong, spooky beyond all reason and all overly disgusting. If the Bruins somehow manage to shit all the beds in this game I will be disappointed and surprised.

The Coyotes current roster consists of the likes of Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Antti Raanta, Jason Demers and a bunch of names I’ve never even heard. I have no idea what this team actually is anymore. It’s like without Shane Doan, they lack a certain sense of recognition. We’ve been criticised about our views on Shane Doan in the past, take a look at the facebook page if you want to read the shitshow that ensued when we stated he was overrated, but now I have a chance to speak on some shit so here we go. Do I hate Shane Doan? Not a bit. Is he overrated? YEP. Overrated doesn’t mean bad and your misunderstanding of that term is where all you people got your knickers in a twist. Overrated simply means that he was what?

Exactly.

Moving on to the Coyotes of present, they boast such names as Max Domi who recently caused waves online after he made an incredibly tone deaf comment about terrorism. Oh and also they employ Zac Rinaldo who hasn’t managed to get suspended so far this season so that’s probably a huge accomplishment and we should be proud of him you guys. Remember when the Bruins talked about how good Rinaldo would be and how he would change and he said he was so excited for the future and cleaning up his image and all that flowery bullshit we were spoonfed? Remember also how he managed to get suspended in the NHL, sent down to the AHL and get suspended there within like a few days? Good times.

In goal the Coyotes have Louis Domingue (which is the FANCIEST name ever) and Antti Raanta. I have very little to say about them really other than the fact that the name Louis always reminds me of Luis Mendoza from The Mighty Ducks even though it isn’t spelled or pronounced the same and I’m going to be so pissed when I actually see his face and it isn’t him.

Also, until I saw that Antti Raanta was on the Coyotes roster I had no idea where he’d gone. That’s what playing in a desert does to you. You disappear from all memory and time itself.

This game should be a win. It already feels like they’ve won. Let’s move on to the real excitement of the week and leave Arizona behind us shall we?

Vegas Golden Knights (October 15)

Finally the Bruins play the Golden Knights for the first time ever. I have watched exactly zero of the Golden Knights games so far this season because between real life, Bruins games and DOY commitments I have zero time, so I’m pretty excited for this one. All I know about them really is that whoever is running their twitter account deserves all the praise. He/She/They are so good at their job it’s bonkers but I suppose I should try to talk about the team a bit hey?

The Golden Knights have played 2 games and they’ve won 2 games with a roster made up of other team’s sloppy seconds, waiver pick ups and children. If any team appears to pose a real challenge for the Bruins this week, it should be the Golden Knights. Vegas as a whole is an unknown entity to the Bruins. Sure they’ve played against and/or with these players before but never as a whole group and that’s pretty exciting.

I know it’s not likely to happen, but the Golden Knights picked Malcolm Subban off waivers and I’d love to see him play against the Bruins just for funsies. It’s almost definitely going to be a re-energized Marc-Andre Fleury in net for the Knights this game. How much happier does he look as the uncontested #1 goalie and basically the face of the team? Fleury is blossoming right now and I love every minute of it and I don’t really care if you don’t like him. He’s got two wins so far under his belt and is boasting a .973 SV% and a GAA of 0.98. I know it’s only been two games, but let the guy have his moment because it’s been a while.

Other than the interesting goalie situation, VGK also has another Bruins alum in the form of Colin Miller. Him being exposed during the expansion draft was and still is a point of contention for Bruins fans and I’m firmly in the “I don’t really care” camp. Because I really don’t. So there.

As stated above, this should be a relatively bigger challenge for the Bruins compared to the Colorado Avalanche and the Arizona Coyotes and is the only game this week I’m actually looking forward to because I’m hoping for something exciting and fast paced. I still predict a win because I think they know Fleury enough to figure out how to get the puck past him, but I see it being slightly more difficult.

Is it bad luck to be to optimistic about this team? I feel like I’ve drank the Bruins Kool-Aid this season. What’s wrong with me?

via GIPHY

by Bree


For Your Information

By Marshall


The Fantasy Implication

It’s been one game and you may be dashing to your waiver wire to pick up Anders Bjork, Charlie McAvoy and Jake Debrusk. If you’re in a 12 or 14 team league, it may be okay to do that because your waiver wires are probably thinner than someone on a coke bender. If you’re in a standard league with less than 12 teams, I would wait to see what happens with these kids.

The first game was promising for a few guys.

Player Spotlight

David Krejci posted three assists, had shots on goal and registered a hit. If you league counts powerplay assists/points (or both) – you’re in luck. Krejci also had a powerplay assist.

If Krejci is available in your league, you’re going to want to grab him as long as Bergeron is out. With Ryan Spooner manning the first line, Krejci could see a bump in minutes. Krejci had a total of 21:29 TOI with 3:33 PP TOI and 2:36 SH TOI. Those are some real fucking numbers.

To put his TOI into context, it was the second highest among forwards for that game, trailing Brad Marchand by about 20 seconds.

Let’s Look Ahead

10/9 at home vs Colorado
10/11 at Colorado
10/14 at Arizona
10/15 at Vegas

Forwards

Brad Marchand:

Career vs Colorado: 9 games, 3 goals, 3 assists, 8 PIM, 24 shots, 12.5% shooting.

Career vs Arizona: 11 games, 6 goals, 5 assists, 8 PIM, 33 shots, 18.2% shooting.

Patrice Bergeron:
It’s unknown if Patrice Bergeron will play as I write this (Saturday, 10/7/17). I am going to prepare this like he’s playing and if he’s playing, this is what his career splits look like:

Career vs Colorado: 15 games, 2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points, +5, 6 PIM, 53 shots, 3.8% shooting. (Ouch).
Career vs Arizona: 16 games, 6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points, +6, 2 PIM, 40 shots, 15% shooting.

David Krejci:
Career vs Colorado: 12 games, 3 goals, 7 assists, 10 points, +3, 4 PIM, 20 shots, 15.0% shooting.
Career vs Arizona: 12 games, 4 goals, 9 assists, 13 points, +8, 4 PIM, 20 shots, 20.0% shooting.

David Pastrnak

Career vs Colorado: 4 games, 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points, +3, 12 PIM, 7 shots, 28.6% shooting.
Career vs Arizona: 5 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, +2, 0 PIM, 11 shots, 9.1% shooting.

Defense

Zdeno Chara

Career vs Colorado: 23 games, 1 goal, 6 assists, 7 points, +4, 25 PIM, 36 shots, 2.8 shooting.
Career vs Arizona: 24 games, 4 goals, 9 assists, 13 points, +9, 26 PIM, 51 shots, 7.8 shooting.

Goaltender

Tuukka Rask
Career vs Colorado: 6 games, 1-4-1, 1.83 GAA, .931 SV%, 1 shutout.
Career vs Arizona: 10 games, 9-1-0, 1.60 GAA, .941 SV%, 1 shutout.

Final Advice: Start your Bruins this week, especially against Arizona. Arizona continues to be a hockey dumpster fire. None of the teams the Bruins face this week seem to be a powerhouse and while Colorado and Vegas have wins on the board, none of them came easy.

I would venture to play Charlie McAvoy if you have a defensive slot open. He’s going to get a lot of chances on the PP. Every team the Bruins play this week has taken more than 4 penalties in their opening games. Colorado took 6 and the Rangers converted on two of those powerplays.

By Greg


Parting Thoughts

via GIPHY