Morning Free Association: Long Sigh

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By now you know that the Bruins will not be advancing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs because they were eliminated by the Hurricanes in Game 7 on Saturday. The Bruins looked lifeless at times, like they just didn’t have it, and when they finally showed some life and scored the last minute goal, they could have used another 5 minutes to get the job done. They should have decided that 5 minutes before.

As for myself, it’s not that the Bruins are out of the playoffs that has me feeling blue, it’s just the uncertainty of the future, namely of one player: Patrice Bergeron. There have been a lot of signs pointing to Patrice hanging up the skates.

Amalie brings up a very valid point in response to someone in her tweet thread: if the team were in position for a serious cup run next season, Patrice would likely come back. But, as the team stands right now, that is not likely the case. Thankfully, he has won the cup before so he isn’t chasing a late career win.

Eighteen years is a long career in the NHL. To be playing still at a high standard is remarkable. This season saw two of his fellow 2003 draftees retire: Ryan Getzlaf and Dustin Brown.

We’ll find out tomorrow that he will be nominated for the Selke for the 11th year in a row. His defensive play has been head and shoulders above his peers so barring some stupidity he should finally win his 5th Selke this season.

I have a lot of thoughts on this that I still have to organize. Hopefully I can sort them out from word salad and share them throughout this week.


I’ll be taking a couple weeks off from writing to just decompress. I’ll get us through this week and the fallout from breakup day.

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the german hammer

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IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

Well, Saturday’s game sucked. But at least the Bruins made a series out of the worst possible matchup they could have drawn. I figured that they’d go down in 5 games. As it turned out, they were a goal (technically two) away from winning the series.
Once the penalties started happening, I was thinking “I’m gonna need a drink to get through this one”, so I whipped up a big margarita. It only helped a little. And my stomach later decided it was angry with me. As in keep me up at night, triple dose of antacid and a prilosec angry. That’s right, this team has literally given me an ulcer lol

I do take some solace from seeing the Leafs blow it in the first round yet again. Was rooting for the Penguins over the Rangers though.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Serves the Pens right for ditching Louie!

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Just watching Canada v Slovakia. Claude Julien is head coach for the Canadians.

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Heading back home this afternoon. It was a lovely weekend. Had fun at the Polish Fest then my brother and I went to Harvard Square for a drink. Man, Harvard Square has changed a lot. Been a long time since I’d been there.

And thank you again, GH, for the ride down. Really enjoyed the conversation.

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Morning folks,

A disappointing end to the season, but those Hurricanes are a top team who weren’t a good matchup for the Bruins. We did well to push them so hard. Incidentally, that was the third hockey game I watched on Saturday and in all three the team I wanted to win were beaten (Slovakia and GB both having lost earlier in the day).

And the Leafs blew it again! Although I hear this time they were screwed over the refs rather than imploding by themselves. I expect the first year they get through the first round they’ll go and win the cup …

VA – belated happy birthday for last week! Did you do anything special? How was Polish fest?

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

We ended up missing Polish fest. VA had a screaming headache she couldn’t rein in, and my stomach was super sensitive, so I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to enjoy any beer or much of the food. It was super disappointing, but I think we both needed an afternoon off.

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Oh, sorry to hear that. Hope everyone is feeling better now.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Good morning,
Feeling blue, numb even. We went out to watch game 7. I felt that the Canes were better in game 7. Oh well.
I do get the feeling that Bergy is done. I hope not, but as GH has pointed out, the Bs do not look like serious contenders next year. I don’t think the 1,000 point thing will be enough to bring him back. The man has nothing to prove, we all know that.
Still great hockey to look forward to… the battle of Florida should be awesome!

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Yeah, that Florida series should be a great battle.

I think there are a few reasons to think he’ll be back for one more year.

1) He’s at the top of his game. It’s not like Krejci going off to finish his career in front of his family. It would be no more hockey and surely he loves it too much.

2) It would screw over the Bruins. There’s no one can come close to replacing him, either within the organisation or from trade/free agency. If Bergy retires, the Bs would probably be forced into a full long-term rebuild. If he says “one more year” it’ll at least give the Bruins a chance to come up with a plan (assuming he hasn’t already told them he’s leaving).

As you say, he has nothing to prove and doesn’t owe anyone anything. We’ll see.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

. If Bergy retires, the Bs would probably be forced into a full long-term rebuild

Long term rebuild… maybe a rebuild of the front office, as well. Bergy’s retirement will be a defining moment in the future of this team. There is a difference in philosophy between Sweenius and Neely. Who knows how that goes.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

So, what direction does the Boston brass take when the inevitable does happen? DeBrusk still wants to depart. Could there be a draft day deal? I think the most pressing needs are up front. The traditionally strong up the middle Bs are suddenly …. not.
So many questions

The London Bear
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The London Bear

DeBrusk could be key, couldn’t he? I don’t think the Bs are very well off for picks IIRC, so a draft day deal could be big, if any other teams are willing to play ball.

The D are strong, and still plenty young enough. Swayman is surely only going to get better.

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

The Swayman/Ullmark tandem is pretty solid, and if Swayman can improve his rebound control, he has the makings of a franchise goaltender. The defense is solid – McAvoy and Lindholm are a great top D pair.
But the center is not great. Coyle & Nosek are excellent bottom-6 centers, but the team never replaced Krejci. Haula is a chemistry fit, but barely fits the role he’s in. If his wings shift around, the line loses it’s impact. Bergeron would leave a screaming hole. I’m not sure how they fill it. Studnicka is good, but not a game-breaking talent, and a trade for a #1c doesn’t seem likely, or affordable.
Do they have a shot at landing Girouix? My gut says no, but shit happens. Is there anyone else out there?

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Malkin apparently might become available. No idea if he’s as good as he was but both him and Giroux are well at the veteran stage now.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

I like Malkin, but he has had some injury issues. Going to have to see who’s available free agentwise. I don’t think Giroux likes Boston. Agree that Studnicka is not ready.