If you looked at the Boston Bruins week before they actually played, you probably would have given them a 4-0-0, 3-1-0, or something like a 3-0-1 record. The initial shock of the Bruins losing to the Colorado Avalanche wears off when you realize that the Avs are sitting second in the Western Conference.
It’s really hard to figure out who this Bruins team is. When you look at how they played against the Avalanche, the second team in the Western Conference as of writing this preview, the Bruins look like a team that deserves to be sitting 12th in the Eastern Conference.
When they play the worst team in the NHL, they look like world beaters. The question is what happens when they play someone of their ilk? The answer could come as soon as Sunday night when the Bruins roll into Vegas.
As I write this narrative for the weekly preview, the game hasn’t occurred. Anything I can hypothesize about this game is pulled directly from my butthole. The one thing that could save Boston is Malcolm Subban being between the pipes.
Player of Last Week
Get ready to see this name alot because Brad Marchand is probably going to have his name etched into my Google Drive document. Marchand had 5 points and 2 goals over the four games last week – doing most of his damage against Colorado and Arizona on the road.
During those two games he also shot a combined 40% and is once against showing that despite the Bruins playing like a bag of smashed corkscrew duck dicks (look it up), he’s still eite.
Marchand’s week: 4 games, 2 goals, 2 assists, 6 shots and 1 power play point.
Have Your Cake and Walk With It Too
If you thought last week was going to be easy, this week should be a fucking cake walk. The Bruins have two games this week and they’re both against bottom of the barrel hockey teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Arizona-type of games against the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks. Both teams, as I write this, are 1-6-2 in a combined 9 games. Looking at them individually, the Sabres are easily the worst out of both teams on the schedule.
Buffalo was thought of as being a playoff bubble team, and while that could still happen, the Sabres have yet to win a hockey game on this young season. 5 games in and the Sabres have the worst goal differential despite not being one of the worst goal scoring teams in the NHL.
The issue with the Sabres is that their defense is absolutely abysmal. Their goaltending isn’t anything special behind Lehner and (Hi My Name Is Chad) Johnson, but their biggest issue is keeping people out their offensive zone.
Buffalo’s corsi for% is 44.67 means that 55% of the time, the opponent is putting pucks towards Buffalo’s net. That is good news for the Bruins that is such a feast or famine goal scoring team thus far.
Vancouver isn’t as bad, but this isn’t your 2011 Vancouver Canucks. Through 4 games, the Canucks are 1-2-1, but unlike Buffalo hasn’t cracked double digit goals scored this season. They’re scoring at a less-than-2-goals-per-game clip.
These two games could be a real confidence boost for the Bruins and allow guys like McAvoy to continue to progress. It’s good to have a game against the shit-bums sometimes because it allows you to play your game.
Now, really, the problem we will have is if the Bruins lose these games. These are winnable games and while I am of the mindset that “Game 3 is just Game 3 so don’t freak out,” winnable games in October are just as important and mean as many points as winnable games in March, April and May.
For Your Information
The Fantasy Implication
The Bruins only have 2 games this week: Thursday against the Canucks and Saturday against the Sabres. Neither team is exactly the darling of their division and their goaltending isn’t exactly lights out.
Bergeron coming back (still questionable at the time of writing) will improve almost everyone on this team. With him back, other players can slide into their usual roles and even if Bergeron doesn’t light it up immediatly players like Marchand and Pastrnak will benefit from not being centered by Riley fucking Nash (though for Marchand, it doesn’t really seem to matter). This is a good week to start Bruins players with confidence. The biggest thing holding them back is the lack of games, but getting some rest after a 4 game week could do them good.
As for the teams facing the Bruins, I’m going to assume you don’t have many players from Vancouver. Bo Horvat has value in some deeper leagues, but overall that well is drier than a priest’s ballsack.
Buffalo, on the other hand has some talent. Eichel is an obvious one, but Evander Kane has been an absolute beast early on with 7 points in his first 5 games. If you’re into daily fantasy sports, he could be a better value than more expensive wingers.
You may notice that I’ve avoided talk about goaltending. Rask SHOULD be a no brainer start this week. However, if you need to plug in a goalie for a game, you never know when the Bruins are going to shit themselves offensively and/or defensively, so Markstrom and Lehner could be solid, if risky, options.
My top 5 starts for this week:
5. Ristolainen (Especially for peripheral stats, just to have some D represented)