Morning Free Association: It’s Playoff Time

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Last night was the final game of the Boston Bruins regular season. A retiring Rene Rancourt sang the anthem for the last time in a regular season then came out to center ice to perform the ceremonial puck drop with Zdeno Chara and Milton-born Keith Yandle.

Oof! That game last night was not a pretty or great way to end the season. Even though they had nothing to play for other than pride, the Florida Panthers chipped away at the Bruins all night, once allowing them within one and then taking that away, winning 4-2.

So, that means that the Bruins finish in second in the Atlantic and take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs starting on Thursday at 7pm.

I think the boys could use a little time to rest and regroup. Rick and Riley Nash, aka Two Nashty, will be back in the lineup by then, stabilizing the second and third lines. Bruce Cassidy is going to have to figure out which defensive pairings will be most effective, whether Nick Holden or Adam McQuaid is better suited to play. With Rick Nash drawing back in after recovering from his concussion, one forward will have to sit along with Brian Gionta and Tommy Wingels. My bet is that it’s Sean Kuraly, who is back skating after his own head injury.

Who do you sit on defense and on offense?

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the german hammer

About the german hammer

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Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Great time on the water today! Tariffville provides!!

Who to sit? Really tough choices! It seems like Heinen has regained his touch lately. I feel like he should stay third line. Donato to Krejci’s line, Debrusk to fourth line. Zone entry is not a problem for DeBrusk!

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

Hey hockey pals!

  • I’m really fucking annoyed about that game last night. It’s not about the matchup for me because I don’t think Toronto or NJ are great or terrible for us – the Bruins can beat whomever they want to… if they want to. I am mad about home ice, though.
  • This website keeps logging me out. Very annoying. Kim Jong Un’s internet works beautifully. Sad!
  • Why is my second bullet point all Trumpy? I think I need to be committed.
  • So, this tale is very typical… last year, Mamma Mahoney had surgery to fix a blockage in her leg (her calf was aching if she walked more than like 50 yards – this is from smoking, which she quit cold turkey in 1982). So, they went in, scraped her out, put a couple stents in, and she has felt fucking fabulous since. In the end of February she had her hernia surgery (on a hiatal hernia she has had since the 70s) and they told her that for a week leading up to the surgery, she needed to come off the blood thinners the leg surgeon put her on. Surgery goes great. Then she notices her leg feels like it felt before they fixed it last year. Turns out going off the blood thinners kind of reversed what they did to fix her leg, soooooo this morning she’s having another procedure which should hopefully be quick, where they go in through her groin and spray some meds in there to try and clear it up. If that doesn’t work, then they have to actually do surgery again. Either way, she has to stay overnight tonight. Here’s hoping it’s a quickie. Jeez!
  • Also, I’m NESN famous.
  • https://instagram.com/p/BhVZ9uQAqpC/

    The London Bear
    Member
    The London Bear

    That’s brilliant that you saw that in the bar!

    Quick recovery to Mama M

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Yikes! The alternative and the surgery both give me the willies! Hope it all goes easy for Mamma Mahoney!

    Satan 81's Sister
    Editor
    Satan 81's Sister

    Morning all. Still pretty damn impressive what the Bruins did this season. Bring on the post season!

    The London Bear
    Member
    The London Bear

    Hi folks,

    I planned to watch the game this morning, but accidentally saw the score so that saved me a couple of hours! My hunch that Florida might roll over rather than do Tampa a favour proved as unfounded as my hunches usually are.
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    It’s a shame they couldn’t finish the season strongly but that schedule was brutal towards the end. What’ve they got now? Three? Four days off? That’ll feel like a much-needed holiday. They can recupe and regroup, all good.

    Tampa and the Leafs also lost two of their last four games. Really UI’ve got no expectations for the playoffs. There’s a chance they could go all the way. There’s a chance they could fall in round one. How do you guys see it?

    one forward will have to sit along with Brian Gionta and Tommy Wingels. My bet is that it’s Sean Kuraly

    Who are you skating on the fourth line then? Heinen? Donato? It’s tough one. I’m a fan of Kuraly and of that 50s/Ska* line (delete as appropriate). But I wouldn’t want to sit Heinen or Donato in their current form either. A good problem to have!

    phonymahoney
    Guest
    phonymahoney

    So I have a number of thoughts about the playoffs and am probably going to reply 40 times because I will keep remembering new points I’d like to make.

    1. They played like 500 games in March and they haven’t had three consecutive days off since February, I believe. A few days’ rest should do them some good.
    2. Missing a top six forward and a super versatile top nine forward definitely hasn’t helped the last few games.
    2a. Riley Nash has been everything this team has needed, when they’ve needed it. Having him out has been hard. He can play anywhere in the lineup.
    3. Kuraly coming back from injury and us not knowing what to do with him is a great problem to have. The fourth line is very, very good, but I think if you have the choice between Heinen and Kuraly, you pick Heinen 9 out of 10 times.
    4. I would say Heinen on the fourth line, Donato on the third, Nash on the 2nd.
    5. I’m really pissed at them for last night but like I said, the matchups could go a number of ways.
    6. I was looking at teams’ records against each other while doing my bracket and I just don’t know.
    7. Not sure about Vegas. Being a team of inexperienced whatevers up against a team that has gone deep in the playoffs and won it all a couple times is tough. They’ve been good all year and could get pretty far… or they could fall on their faces.
    8. TB vs NJD – Devils are 3-0 against TB this year. Weird, huh?
    9. PIT-PHI – Pens won the season series 3-0, I believe, but this rivalry is fierce and hilarious, so I truly believe it goes seven games. Pit probably wins but I’m pulling for big orange. How can you not like Claude Giroux?

    IntentionallyWidenberg
    Admin
    IntentionallyWidenberg

    The fourth line is very, very good, but I think if you have the choice between Heinen and Kuraly, you pick Heinen 9 out of 10 times.
    4. I would say Heinen on the fourth line, Donato on the third, Nash on the 2nd.

    Disagree strongly. Kuraly is a zone entry machine – something the Bruins have been inconsistent at during his recent absence. SKA line has chemistry. While he may be a ‘better player’ with more upside than Kuraly, Heinen has limited chemistry with anyone except Backes, and outside of a few games has shown a lack of finish.
    The gap between the two – as they stand today – is not so great that it would be worth throwing away the benefits of a role player that fits so well with what the 4th line needs to do.

    phonymahoney
    Guest
    phonymahoney

    I don’t know. Limited chemistry, but with how much playing time? I mean, how much has he played with Schaller and Acciari? Sometimes you have to go best player available. That said, I’m not against moving someone else to the fourth line and leaving Heinen on the third. But who?

    The London Bear
    Member
    The London Bear

    As I see it – and I might be getting all narrative-y here – is that the fourth line has a specific job to do. Not score goals (though if they do, great) but to keep the status quo, run the clock and get on the opposition’s nerves.

    SKA do that brilliantly. Wingels and Gionta have done a decent job of it, filling in, but I’m not convinced Heinen is that kind of player.

    I’ve got a lot of time for Heinen, though, and I’d be happy for him to prove me wrong!

    phonymahoney
    Guest
    phonymahoney

    Yeah, I get you – but I think Heinen is very capable of that, and since he’s a more talented player in general, I think he’s be a good fit there (better on the third line but you can’t win ’em all). Why not toss a scorer in the fold if hr’d one who isn’t going to get beat up in the process. Heinen on the fourth line is a lot different from Spooner on the fourth line.

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Hey Pals!
    Bruins need three third periods every night!
    Heading out to Tariffville gorge….. fun fun, fun!!!