Morning Free Association: Happy New Year (Part Two)

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Happy New Year!

In 364 days, the Bruins will be in South Bend, Indiana taking on the Chicago Blackhawks in their third Winter Classic, the first one away from home. Even though it’s a year away, some members of the Bruins, WC veterans and uninitiated alike, are excited about it.

The Bruins were packing for the team’s trip to Brooklyn, N.Y. to face the New York Islanders on Tuesday at Barclays Center, but some of the focus was on the annual outdoor game because one year from today the Bruins will face the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium.

Before signing as a free agent in Boston prior to the 2016-17 season, Bruins alternate captain David Backes spent his entire career with the St. Louis Blues. He missed out on the 2017 Winter Classic between his former team and the Blackhawks at Busch Stadium in St. Louis last New Year’s Day.

So, he’s looking forward to Jan. 1, 2019.

“Only 365 days until next year’s Winter Classic, I guess Happy Gilmore would say,” Backes said with a laugh. “I missed one in St. Louis by a year. It’ll be a pretty exciting opportunity for all the guys in the room to be part of a spectacle like that; some of the guys in here played in a couple, but for the most part, from my reports from guys that have played in them, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you really need to soak up and enjoy and it’s pretty fun, so I’m looking forward to it. But, we’ve got a lot of hockey to play between now and then.”

Tuukka Rask is technically a two-time player in this game, even if he only suited up in the first one.

“It’s great,” Rask said. “It’s an interesting event. It breaks the norm a little bit. You’re used to the grind, going from hotel to the rink and it’s the same routine every day, but (Winter Classic) is different. It feels like a special event; media around it is much bigger. It creates an extra buzz for the players too and it’s the midseason point, so it’s good to have that break from the norm and go outside and have playing some fun playing outside.”

As for the aforementioned Backes, did you know that he was the NHL’s Third Star of the Week last week?

He had a good stretch of 3 goals and 3 assists in 3 games last week. That third line of Danton Heinen, Riley Nash, and Backes is on fire. And David is contributing on the power play as well. Of course, Backes knows that it’s not all him and wants to give credit where it’s due.

Keep up the good work, David. Score some more tonight in Brooklyn.

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Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

I just had some fantasy team GM angst this morning. Didn’t mean to start so much craziness. Sorry/ not sorry. So many fun!

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

I need to bag skate my fantasy team. And probably fire the owner.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

He he, bossman never paid his oil bill and just ran out. I can’t help but laugh – even though it means my bonus check will probably bounce. So glad I hitched my star to his wagon. Yes, that’s exactly how I feel.

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

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That must be so frustrating.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Can be, can be. We do have a great place to live……. I just keep telling myself that.

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Back at work. Boo. A wonderful 21 below zero this morning. “Warmed up” to a balmy 16 below. I feel bad for SatanDad. SatanDog gives no fucks about temperature. Any weather is perfect weather for going out for all the walks.

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

DogVegas is pretty hardy, but after walking around a few minutes in low-single digit temps, will start limping a touch, favoring her right-rear paw. It’s really frustrating because she’s been cooped up in the house and really wants to have some outside time, but the best local waking areas have nasty ice-pack that is not reasonable for stoopid hoomanz to traverse.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

A wonderful 21 below zero this morning.

#1 in reasons we won’t winter in Monroe Bridge much!!!!!

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

Oh no. SatanDad be like
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Satan81
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Satan81

Brrr.

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Splash, splash!

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Hi folks,

Happy New Year to you all. I’m back in work today, Little Bear is back to school tomorrow and then everything will be back to normal!

There was an inspirational start to the sporting year last night when the World Darts Championship was won by a guy who, 18 months ago, was playing pub league. He thrashed a 16-times world champion in the final and took the £400,000 first prize!
If he can do that then the Bruin cubs can surely win the Cup can’t they?

I was wondering yesterday whether the Bs will look to add some experience before the trade deadline. When they catch up their games in hand, there’s a good chance Bs could be second in the East and with high hopes of a deep playoff run. Anything’s possible!

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

I was wondering yesterday whether the Bs will look to add some experience before the trade deadline.

They may want to make a move, yes. I’m wondering if Krug’s recent slump, coupled with the success of Chuck, Grizz, and Carlo, means he’s the guy on the block. I’d hate to give up one of the kids, even with the pipeline of newbies flowing sweetly.

Satan81
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Satan81

Do we need to add more experience? We already have Cup-winning veterans in Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci, Chara, McQuaid, and Tuukka. This doesn’t feel like a loading up for a Cup run kind of year, despite how well we’ve been playing lately. I’d rather we just keep the development of the younger players going.

Trading Krug is crazy talk.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Trading Krug may be crazy, but no one ever accused me of NOT being crazy! smile

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Krug has definitely been the most error-prone recently.

The way I was thinking was that the other GMs will be well aware of Bs talent pool and wouldn’t be willing to give anything up for less than one of the top prospects, so Sweeney would be pretty much forced to stick with his hand, despite maybe wanting to add pieces. Maybe?

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

Well, one can always trade for middling pieces, but high-end players might be hard to come by. Still, Sweenius seems like he’s not a rube to get easily fleeced in trade. He can probably find a competitive deal somewhere if he sees a player that can actually add.

I always feel like the trade deadline is a sellers game, and playoff-bound teams screw themselves over & should just stay out of it (unless they’re truly top contenders)

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Yeah, Chicago seemed to make it work a couple of times but in general it does seem like most teams end up giving away something for nothing.

Satan81
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Satan81

And wow has Chicago dropped off this season.

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Wow is right – that had totally passed me by!

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

Yeah, it’s really nice to see them competing (if you could call it that) for the wildcard.

MadScientist72
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MadScientist72

And wow has Chicago dropped off this season.

But, at 42 points so far this season, they’re still doing better than 5/8 of the Atlantic division. In fact, the ATL’s #4 team’s (the FancyCats) 39 points would make them cellar-dwellers in the Central or Metro divisions and 5 points out of a playoff spot in the Pacific (which would be an improvement on their actual 9 points out in the ATL) .

Satan81
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Satan81

Completely agreed on the trade deadline being a sellers game.

We’re all set in net. On defense, we’ll be “adding” McQuaid when we take him off of IR, and I think Postma will clear waivers. And then cue up the discussion of whether McQuaid takes Grizz’s spot on the roster.

We could use some middle-six depth to solidify things there, but I don’t like the idea of paying trade deadline prices for a 2nd-line rental.

As for who we’d give up in a trade, McQuaid is an interesting candidate. We’ll probably want to keep him for this year’s playoff run, but he has that combination of size, grit, and “Cup veteran” that GMs can’t help but trade for. It’d also be nice to get that last year of his contract off of our roster. Given Grizz’s rise and given the defensemen in the pipeline, I can see moving McQuaid. But then we’d an injury replacement d-man…Maybe McQuaid for another team’s expiring-contract defenseman plus a draft pick?

phonymahoney
Editor
phonymahoney

Maybe McQuaid for another team’s expiring-contract defenseman plus a draft pick?

I’m phonymahoney and I approve this message.

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

I always feel like the trade deadline is a sellers game, and playoff-bound teams screw themselves over & should just stay out of it (unless they’re truly top contenders)

Unless you have a legit chance to win and a specific need you can fill without mortgaging the future, you sit on your hands.

phonymahoney
Editor
phonymahoney

I don’t know.

When the team is bad, we say they’re desperate and Sweeney is at a disadvantage. When the team is good, we say the prospects are working out too well and will cause issues for Sweeney trying to make trades.

I guess the answer is don’t trade anyone at all, ever!

Spoiler
except McQuaid and Beleskey

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

Was listening to Billy Jaffe this morning — he was suggesting that the right wing would be a position the B’s would want to add depth first, then perhaps a D (though I’d think they’d be able to pull from depth — Postma, Grizz & Quaider all seem like good depth there.)

I don’t see Krug as being in the crosshairs of a trade scenario. LD is not their deepest side, Krug’s value is probably down a bit. Carlo has also been making mistakes, but he’s so cheap, and has good upside, I think you keep riding him too.

The B’s most tradeable assets right seem to be Chara, prospects, & probably Spooner.

The London Bear
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The London Bear

The B’s most tradeable assets right seem to be Chara

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IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

Search your feelings. You know it to be true.
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MadScientist72
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MadScientist72

I think the fact that Quaider hasn’t been rushed back into service is an indicator that Sweeney has a lot of confidence in our current blueline. So, I doubt we’ll see any deadline activity there. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sweeney just decides to make as deep a playoff run as he can with the team as-is & continues developing for the future.

phonymahoney
Editor
phonymahoney

I was about to say, “There’s no way they keep Quaider on the 9th floor with the money he’s making”, but then I thought about it: Sweeney was allowed to waive Beleskey. Our long awaited benching of Quaider is no longer out of the question.

MadScientist72
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MadScientist72

It’s not unrealistic to think that one of the other D-men (Satan81 mentioned Postma) will get sent down & Quaider will go on nacho duty as our #7 D-man. If Sweeney were to waive Quaider, someone would definitely scoop him up before he could get to PVD.

phonymahoney
Editor
phonymahoney

Holy crap, what a victory! That’s awesome.

I kind of hope they don’t add experience, unless it’s a piece we need and not just a rental for the sake of renting.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

There was an inspirational start to the sporting year last night when the World Darts Championship was won by a guy who, 18 months ago, was playing pub league. He thrashed a 16-times world champion in the final and took the £400,000 first prize!

I expect to hear about you winning the Championship in 18 months! No pressure. grin

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Mrs Bear said something similar but she wasn’t too keen on my suggestion I start putting in eight hours’ practice every day wink

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Mentioned yesterday, I had the pleasure of Reffing both Coyne and Bellamy in their prep school days. Both of them have disgusting skills. Dirty, dirty, dirty.
Jo and I have been off work about 12 days – just hanging together. Awesome!
Yesterday, we played 12 holes of disc golf. Fun, but 12 was enough. We decided against paddling, although some friends ran the Winnipasaukee, or however you spell it ( I spelled it “too cold” yesterday).
Coffee, tea, something hot!!!!!

phonymahoney
Editor
phonymahoney

Morning, pals!

  • Happy new year! I hope everyone had a good time!
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  • Good weekend. Too short. Tuesday got me like
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  • Ryan Donato made the Olympic team. Blah blah blah, nepotism, blah blah… what say you now, hockey twitter?
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  • Bruins Network says Beleskey has not been impressive in Providence, either. That stinks. Them’s the breaks, I guess.
  • At least we will no longer have to listen to everyone open their Beleskey benching / trading suggestions with, “I don’t hate Beleskey the person, he’s a good guy, but…”. Yeah, we know it’s not personal, chill out. He sucks and needs to go.
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  • Clearly I am a genuinely unpleasant person because I feel like I could have every post be grinch-themed and have them all be accurate.
  • Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Why the long face? Bruins are winning!!!!

    Satan 81's Sister
    Editor
    Satan 81's Sister

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    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    I am dragging but am generally in a good place. Just tired of people – you know how it goes.

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    It’s light deprivation!!! The days are getting longer!!!

    The London Bear
    Member
    The London Bear

    Ryan Donato made the Olympic team

    As someone who assesses the chances of things happening in sporting events for a living, I’m finding it hard to form an opinion on the Olympic hockey. No NHL and also no KHL players (most probably would be banned anyway!) gives the tourny a whole different shape.

    The Finnish and Swedish leagues are probably the strongest in Europe, but I wonder how those players stack up against US and Canadian college players? Hmmm. Interesting.

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    It’s a good question – I’ve been wondering about it, myself. College AND AHL players can play, so I think they gave Scandanavia and Eastern Europe a run for their money.

    MadScientist72
    Member
    MadScientist72

    No NHL and also no KHL players (most probably would be banned anyway!) gives the tourny a whole different shape.

    It’ll make it the “best amateur players” contest it was originally intended to be. I never liked the idea of allowing pros to compete.

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    Yup.

    IntentionallyWidenberg
    Admin
    IntentionallyWidenberg

    Bruins Network says Beleskey has not been impressive in Providence, either. That stinks. Them’s the breaks, I guess.

    Really? He’s put up a couple o goals. Not sure how many pts/gm.

    I really worry that he gets viewed through the tinted glasses of expectations, rather than actual performance. But damn – he was supposed to be a 2nd-line winger in the NHL. And in spite of anemic scoring stats, he looked really good away from the puck his first year with the B’s. Not sure what went wrong there.

    Satan 81's Sister
    Editor
    Satan 81's Sister

    FWIW, Bruins Network has been keeping an eye on him in Providence:
    https://twitter.com/BruinsNetwork/status/947917426880122880

    IntentionallyWidenberg
    Admin
    IntentionallyWidenberg

    Well, that’s disappointing.
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    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    Two goals, one was a Seidenberg special that the goalie bungled.

    While I agree that his contract — like Backes — makes people hate him, he hasn’t performed well for the NHL Bruins this year and totally should be in the AHL. I liked him a lot his first year on the Bruins.

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    HNY my friends!
    Backed, Heinen, and Nash are hotter than Hogan’s goat right now!!!
    Back on the ice tonight.
    Catch yas late, I’m makin’ a potata
    for Jo

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    I am REALLY enjoying the third line! What kind of potato??

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Eggs, leeks and taters all home fried up, English muffin

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    yum!