The Bruins will not wear an alternate jersey in 2017-18. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins will not wear an alternate jersey in 2017-18. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Adidas is going to make their mark on the NHL as the league’s official outfitter beginning next fall (replacing Reebok after over 10 years), and the Bruins are among the dozen or so teams whose jerseys will get a makeover from the three-striped athletic apparel titan.

One could make the case that the Bruins are among those that probably need the fewest jersey tweaks (I, for the record, would certainly consider myself to be part of that group), and that this current set represents the most successful modern era of Bruins hockey.

But that’s not going to matter to Adidas.

So, as we sit and ponder just how badly this could get screwed up if they try too hard (watch Adidas just change the font on their jerseys or something equally trivial, rendering this entire thing moot), here are three ways that you could see them improve the B’s jerseys next season.

 

Make it a little more Boston

What the hell does that mean? Despite how it sounds, I don’t need the jersey to feature Mark Wahlberg and for it to sing a Dropkick Murphy’s song when you press the B. But a template for how this jersey could be tweaked with more local flavor can be found in the Predators’ current jerseys. Nashville is a city known for its music, so the numbers on their jersey feature six strings (like a guitar), the shoulder patch is a guitar pick with the Tennessee state flag, and the inside neck of the jersey features piano keys. I cannot tell you how straight-up cool this makes that jersey. It’s a local connection rarely seen in pro sports.

But Boston is not known for one singular thing, so directly matching what Nashville did with their sweaters would be borderline impossible and could get messy rather quickly. Still, the Bruins could find a way to add something to their jerseys.

One of the first ideas would be a simple one, but one that could effective, at least to the natives, with switching the font on their nameplates to that of the street signs found throughout Boston. It would be a clean, but still sharp look without going overboard.

And in a city with such a rich sports history, it feels foolish not to incorporate it into their jerseys in some manner, particularly in a subtle way that doesn’t also take away from the core elements of what makes this jersey an all-time classic.

This is where touches within the jerseys (much like what the Preds do with their piano keys) appeal to me. Given the yellow and white shoulder pads of the B’s jerseys, there’s seemingly room for an all black silhouette within the sweater. This is where a flying Bobby Orr, or perhaps the Boston skyline, featuring the Zakim Bridge just steps away from the Garden, becomes a potential fit. They could also go with something simple, like what the NBA does on the neck of their jerseys, and simple feature a signification of the six Stanley Cups that the Bruins have won, be it with the number or simply the years written out along the inside neck.

Those latter changes would do little for the outside of the jersey, I know, but I do believe it would feel a bit more Boston.

Switch to Gold for their road sweaters

I’m not sure if you know this, but the disastrous (my words, of course) third jerseys from the mid-90s through the mid-2000s — also known as the ‘Pooh Bear’ jersey — has a cult following among a contingency of B’s fans.

Why, I do not know, but they love it, and are craving for its return to glory.

So how about a compromise? And hear me out here — gold road jerseys.

A switch to gold would be similar to the jerseys worn in Orr’s rookie season. I also believe (and please, correct me if I’m wrong because I spent far too long thinking of this) this would make the B’s the only team to not wear white on the road. There are some complications with that, such as playing in Nashville, who wear gold as their primary home color, or against a team like Edmonton (they wear orange). In those games, the Bruins would probably have to wear their black jerseys, which is something they’ve done in the past when they’ve visited teams that wear throwbacks or Winter Classic sweaters. It would not be a big deal.

I think it would also be in line with what the NHL has trended towards of late, with several ‘color-rush’ sweaters.

Find a way to blend the alternate jersey and regular jersey into one primary sweater 

The Bruins have kinda-sorta stunk when they’ve worn their 2016 Winter Classic jerseys (a fitting result given how terrible that game truly was), but the jerseys themselves are beautiful. So simplistic, but without losing the overall feel that comes with a B’s jersey. So, if they could a find to blend that — think the simple stripes on the side, and the clean placement of the numbers — with the current Spoked-B logo (something that Adidas should absolutely leave alone), it would probably look absolutely perfect.

I maintain the belief that the best jerseys the Bruins have ever worn were the ones donned throughout the majority of the Ray Bourque and Cam Neely era. Its alternate title is the Happy Gilmore jersey, of course. What I think made this jerseys so great was the clean look up and through the shoulder patches, which featured a finely stitched bear (that looked high on speed).

When you’re talking about an Original Six franchise, less if often more, and a blend of these two home jerseys could give the Bruins that clean look from 30 years ago, while also acknowledging both the past and present of the franchise.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

Adidas is apparently going to mess with a good thing.

The Bruins have had the same jersey design since 2007. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins have had the same jersey design since 2007. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Adidas is apparently going to mess with a good thing.

According to Sportslogos.net, the Bruins will be one of 12 teams whose jerseys will be redesigned by Adidas, who will take for Reebok as the league’s official outfitter, for the 2017-18 season.

An Original Six franchise, the Bruins returned to their classic, three-striped look in 2007 after what was a rather bland look, including one heinous alternate jersey featuring the most timid bear in the world, from the mid-90s through the mid-2000s. The change has been a success for the club, too, as their jersey set remains one of the best looking in the entire NHL.

The Bruins have also worked in two alternate jerseys over that span, the first of which featuring the club’s third logo (worn on the shoulder of both their home and away jerseys) from 2008 to 2016, and then the newest one, which is the club’s throwback jersey worn at the 2016 Winter Classic.

It’s unknown exactly what tweaks Adidas is expected to make to the B’s jerseys, but Sportslogos.net’s Chris Creamer speculates — or as he says, hopes — that it’s something simple like a switch to the name or number font, as the Bruins do not need a full jersey makeover. He does, however, mention the possibility of the Bruins possibly wearing gold instead of white as their road jersey.

The Bruins have had 26 different jersey sets in their franchise’s 93-year history.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
Jimmy Hayes had two goals and five points in 58 games this season. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Hayes had two goals in 58 games this season. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports)

To say that Jimmy Hayes lost his footing in what was his worst NHL season to date — two goals and just five points in 58 games for the Bruins this season — would suggest that he’s ever had it since landing with the Bruins in a July 2015 trade with Florida. Which, by the way, he most definitely has not.

But 2016-17 was beyond rough for the 6-foot-5 winger.

“It was obviously a rough season for me just from a production standpoint,” Hayes, under contract for one more season at $2.3 million, said. “It was a struggle all year for me to find my game and I’ve got to take responsibility for that. It’s just something – you have to go back to the drawing board and figure it out; figure out a way to start producing again in this league.”

It’s rather remarkable how that production seemingly left the 27-year-old the second that he came to the Bruins, too. Acquired on the heels of a 19-goal, 35-point campaign in 72 games with the Panthers, Hayes has since scored just 15 goals and totaled 34 points in two seasons (133 games, to be exact) with the B’s.

“When you’re not producing and you expect yourself to produce at a high level and you’re not doing that, it becomes very frustrating and you lose confidence,” Hayes, a Dorchester native and a cousin of Bruins prospect Ryan Fitzgerald, admitted. “It’s just something you’ve got to find a way out and it was kind of just one of those years for me. It was a struggle.”

For Hayes, the production came in spurts, but it was never quite consistent enough.

Hayes snapped a nearly 40-game goal drought in November, and scored his second and final goal of the season just eight games later. He added an assist in the game that followed his second goal. Hayes also made an immediate impact when the B’s made the switch from Claude Julien to Bruce Cassidy, too, with two assists in his first four games under Cassidy. The production also came with a move out of a fourth-line role and into a third-line wing spot with Ryan Spooner and Frank Vatrano. But, as has often been the case through two forgettable seasons in Boston, the production faded, and in turn, so did Hayes’ chances.

And then they were put to bed with another deadline acquisition for scoring help on the wings.

“When I first took over, [Hayes] was a minus-12 and got himself back to even. He might not have had the offensive numbers, but I think he contributed on that line,” Cassidy said. “Then we brought in Drew Stafford and he bumped around the lineup and obviously, [Hayes] wasn’t in and that was a decision I made to go with more of a forechecking presence into the playoffs.”

Out of action when the stakes were at their highest for the second season in a row, Hayes is more than familiar with this situation.

“It’s something you never want to go through again and you never want to feel like that,” the Boston College alum said.

“You feel like it’s a long way to the top and you’re struggling every day, it’s just very frustrating.”

But now the question for the Bruins becomes whether or not Hayes gets a third chance at redeeming himself in town.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has not been afraid to be a bit more aggressive than his predecessors when it comes to cutting bait with the unproductive. That’s how the Bruins landed Hayes in the first place, as he was the return of the Reilly Smith trade after Smith’s moribund sleepwalk of a 13-goal season in 2015. He also bought out the remaining two years of veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg’s contract last summer, and also failed to qualify restricted free agent Brett Connolly, instead allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent that the Bruins simply walked away from.

At the same time, you could make the case that all of those decisions came back to bite Sweeney. Smith’s first season in Florida was everything the Bruins wish they got out of the hot-and-cold winger, with 25 goals and 50 points. Seidenberg rebounded, earned a contract (and then another one) with the Islanders, and was recently named the best defenseman of the 2017 World Championships. And Connolly, signed to an $850,000 contract, scored a career-high 15 goals for the Caps this past season.

History says that Hayes would probably find a way to do the same.

But still, what are their options?

The Bruins would likely be unable to move his contract without eating some money, which they could seemingly afford to do for just one year, but it would things awfully tight for the club to make any ‘upgrades’ to their roster via free agency, especially with David Pastrnak expected to get paid. They could bury his contract in the minors and free up a little more than a million dollars.

Or they could use a buyout on Hayes, which would count for over half a million dollars against the club’s 2017-18 salary cap and then almost $900,000 the following season. A Hayes buyout should be the last-ditch effort for the Bruins (I would even go as far to say that it shouldn’t be an option at all), as it would give the B’s over $2.7 million of dead money on their cap this season, and over $2 million of it the next season, thus really extending the misery that’s come with Hayes’ lack of production in Boston. It would also put the Bruins in the situation where they’re actually paying for one less body, which is not always a good thing, as a rash of defensive injuries in the club’s first-round series loss to the Senators told you in regards to the Seidenberg buyout.

“It’s always a tool,” Sweeney said of any potential buyout opportunities this summer. “We went down that path last year. I haven’t made a firm decision on that. There’s cap implications and things you look at, lack of depth as a result of it. I think we’ve got to be pretty aware of all the residual associated with just throwing out the buyout term. For me, it went right down to the wire in that decision making last year and I’ll take all the time necessary to make the right one this time.”

But until then, or perhaps regardless, Hayes’ second straight subpar season has sent him back to the drawing board.

“It’s just something that I’m going to have to work on this summer and get my game back to the level it should be,” Hayes said.

Be it in Boston or somewhere else.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
Charlie McAvoy made his debut in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports)

Charlie McAvoy made his debut in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports)

A beyond busy, five-team season of hockey that took him all over the globe is finally over for Bruins prospect Charlie McAvoy, as Team USA has been bounced from the 2017 World Championships by virtue of their 2-0 loss to Finland in today’s quarterfinals showdown.

In what was a staunch change from the top-pairing minutes he logged for Boston University, the U.S. team at the 2017 World Juniors Championship, P-Bruins, and even the Big B’s in the playoffs, McAvoy skated in more of a supporting role for Jeff Blashill’s USA squad.

It was there that McAvoy’s tournament comes to a close with the 19-year-old having put up one assist, a plus-5 rating, five shots on goal, and six minutes in penalties in eight games played.

So, in total, and between five different clubs, McAvoy’s final stat line on his 2016-17 season will read seven goals, 31 assists, 38 points, and a plus-21 rating over the course of 63 games played.

McAvoy was not the only B’s prospect skating for the U.S., by the way, as forward Anders Bjork also skated, but was used sparingly and served as the club’s extra forward most nights, with zero points and three shots on goal in five games. And with that dip into the international game over for Bjork, it’s expected that he and the Bruins will meet to discuss whether or not he’ll sign his entry-level contract or go back to Notre Dame for his senior season with the Fighting Irish.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
Zane McIntyre has backstopped the P-Bruins to the AHL Eastern Conference Finals. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

Zane McIntyre has backstopped the P-Bruins to the AHL Eastern Conference Finals. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

By way of their 4-2 victory over the Hershey Bears in Game 7 on Wednesday, the Providence Bruins decided that the Celtics aren’t going to be the only New England team skating in a conference final.

In yet another road elimination game, the P-Bruins were guided to victory behind two goals from Jordan Szwarz, three points from Wayne Simpson, the empty-net dagger from 2015 first-round pick Jake DeBrusk, and stops from goaltender Zane McIntyre on 15-of-17 shots.

In net for all 12 of the Baby B’s wins throughout this run, McIntyre now boasts a .921 save percentage (the sixth-best in the AHL) and 2.11 goals against average (the fourth-best among goaltenders).

With two assists in the victory, forward Danton Heinen’s playoff line now reads five goals (fourth-most among AHL postseason skaters) and 12 points in 12 contests. Only San Jose’s Ryan Carpenter, with 13 points, has more points through the first two rounds of postseason play. Heinen, in just his first pro season since making the jump from the college ranks in 2015-16, had zero points and seven shots in eight NHL games this season.

As a team, the P-Bruins made AHL history with the win, too, as it was their fourth road elimination victory of this run, which is a number that no other team has ever matched in the league’s 81-year history.

So it’s off to the third round for the P-Bruins, where they will meet the Syracuse Crunch beginning in Providence this Friday.

This will be Providence’s first trip to the third round since 2009’s five-game loss to the Bears.

The P-Bruins won their only Calder Cup appearance in franchise history, which came against the Rochester Americans in 1999.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
Peter Chiarelli is among the three finalists for 2017 NHL GM of the Year. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports)

Peter Chiarelli is among the three finalists for 2017 NHL GM of the Year. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports)

Former Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has more than landed on his feet since being fired by the B’s back in 2015.

The NHL has recognized that, too, as Chiarelli has been named as one of the three finalists for the the league’s GM of the Year Award.

It’s proof that, well, good things can happen to your career when you have the No. 1 pick in a draft year featuring a generational talent.

There’s no sense in denying the obvious luck Chiarelli backed into when he was able to nab the game’s best player in Connor McDavid with that aforementioned No. 1 pick  in 2015, and it only improved once No. 97 suited up for the Oilers.

But beyond that…

Chiarelli made his biggest free agent splashes to date when he added both Milan Lucic and Andrej Sekera on long-term deals. Sekera has delivered as a viable top-four defenseman for an Oilers team that has been a disaster defensively throughout their laborious rebuild, but Lucic has been utterly terrible at five-on-five play, and is under contract at $6 million per season until he’s 35. Chiarelli also pulled the trigger on one of the more unusual one-for-one player swaps in recent league history (and probably became the only GM in league history to trade both the No. 1 and No. 2 draft picks from one year’s draft class, I’d have to imagine), with Taylor Hall sent to the Devils in exchange for defenseman Adam Larsson last summer.

At the same time, Chiarelli has done a solid job of turning projects like Zack Kassian, Patrick Maroon, and defenseman Kris Russell into positive additions for the club, and for that he deserves a definite pat on the back. That is of course until he inevitably decides to overextend them, win a bidding war against himself, and sign them each to paydays they’ll never justify.

Nashville’s David Poile and Senators GM Pierre Dorion were named the other finalists.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson

Bruins center Ryan Spooner had a year to forget.

Bounced between the wing and his natural center position throughout the year, the 25-year-old tallied 11 goals and 39 points in 78 games during the regular season, and was scratched for the final two games of the B’s first round series loss to the Senators.

And it would appear that his woes have extended into the offseason.

No word if Spooner was using Expedia to check out the potential cities that the B’s have tried shopping him to this offseason.

 

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
Malcolm Subban is still looking for his NHL breakthrough. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Malcolm Subban is still looking for his NHL breakthrough. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Drafted with the 24th overall pick in 2012, it doesn’t feel as if Bruins netminder Malcolm Subban is any closer to the NHL as he was then.

Even if the 23-year-old Subban has skated in two NHL games.

“My two outings weren’t very good — they were terrible, to be honest,” Subban, currently the No. 4 goalie on the B’s depth chart, admitted to the Boston Globe. “I am trying to prove to everyone here that I can play, that I deserve to play, and that I want to play in the NHL.”

It’s been two games, and two early exits for Subban.

His first NHL chance came back on Feb. 20, 2015, where Subban was lifted after he allowed three goals on six shots in a 31-minute loss to the Blues. Subban had to stew in the AHL for another season plus before his next shot came, on Oct. 25, 2016 against the Wild. That one didn’t go much better, and Subban was once again lifted early, this time after he allowed three goals on 16 shots thrown his way in 30:36 of action.

And when Anton Khudobin was waived, it was Zane McIntyre, not Subban, that was given the chance at the B’s backup job.

Still, Subban wants to make his mark with the Bruins.

“Boston is the team that drafted me, and obviously it’s the team I want to play for,” Subban said. “When a team uses a first-round pick on you, it’s a pretty big deal in terms of an investment. I feel I kind of owe it to them and to the fans to show what I can do.”

But is there room for Subban with the Bruins?

A restricted free agent this summer, and with Tuukka Rask the obvious pick for expansion draft protection by the Bruins, Subban will be exposed to the Vegas Golden Knights, and it’s possible (although a bit unlikely given what else is at their disposal) that Vegas views Subban as a high-ceiling goalie worthy of the designation as the organization’s third goaltender. And if he’s retained by the Bruins, either with a contract or with Vegas picking somebody else, Subban will get his chance in training camp.

“Anton is firmly in the mix — you look at what he did down the stretch, and how could he not be? But that’s the goalie we need,” Sweeney, whose team is set to enter their fourth year of trying to find rest for Rask, who played in 65 games last season, said. “I can’t have any doubts or reservations, so we’re going to meet as a group and make sure that we’re making the right decision.

“If somebody passes Anton, be it Zane or Malcolm, then we move in that direction as well. But we’ve been patient from the development standpoint of trying to look internally, and it’s a position that we’ve sort of been chasing our tail a little bit for a couple of seasons now and very aware of it, do not run from it, and I’d like it to be resolved.”

Despite his forgettable NHL dips, Subban successfully rebounded from a terrible start and recorded 11 wins and a .917 save percentage in 32 games this year, and has recorded 56 wins and a .918 save percentage in 127 AHL contests.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson
P.K. Subban's Predators are still in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today Sports)

P.K. Subban’s Predators are still in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today Sports)

And then there were four.

In what’s been a pretty fast-moving Stanley Cup Playoffs (there’s been just two Game 7 meetings through the first 12 series), the third-round showdowns have been set. In the West, it’s the Predators against the Ducks. And in the East, it’s that same Senators that knocked the Bruins out in the first round against the defending champion Penguins.

It’s a rather different field for the NHL, you’d have to admit.

It doesn’t have the big television market of a Chicago, New York, or Boston, which is something that the league has consistently hoped for or banked on over the years given the successes of those clubs. It’s also not loaded with starpower, either, aside from the Penguins of course (these other teams have star players, sure, but it’s not that of an Ovechkin, McDavid, Matthews, etc.). But what this final four lacks in mass appeal is helped by the fact that it’s anyone’s run.

You could conceivably see any of these four teams lifting Lord Stanley by this time next month.

So, who are you rooting for?

Let’s start in the East.

I have to say that it’s probably impossible for most Bruins fans to root for either one of these teams. Still, let me try.

The Senators

Last time they won Stanley Cup: Never (not this version of the Sens, anyways, which came to the NHL in 1992).

Last time they’ve been to Stanley Cup Final: 2007, in one of the worst Stanley Cup Finals of this era.

Old friends: Chris Kelly, traded from the Sens to the Bruins to help the B’s win the Cup in 2011, returned to the Senators this past season. Kelly has played in just one playoff game this spring, and it was that 3-2 double-overtime loss to the B’s in round one. Little known fact: The Bruins actually had Craig Anderson at one point, too. It was back in 2006 that they claimed him off waivers from the Blackhawks. But Anderson never played a game for the Bruins, and was claimed by the Blues just a few weeks later.

Why you can root for them: They’re a massive underdog. Then there’s the story of Anderson, whose wife, Nicholle, has been battling cancer this season. She was at Game 6 in Boston when the Sens eliminated the Bruins, and she was the first person the Ottawa netminder went to when the game and series went final. It’s rather incredible to think that Anderson has played with all of that on his mind. Erik Karlsson is also just an incredible defenseman, so to see him on the game’s biggest stage would be a treat.

Why you can’t root for them: The Senators are the team that knocked you out in the first round, and it was quite a contentious series. You had the 6-foot-2, 209-pound Bobby Ryan flailing all over the ice to draw calls. You had knee-on-knee hits. You had more than enough ammo to walk away from this series and say that you just straight-up do not care for the Senators. And if you’re of the selfish type, the Bruins were the last team from their division to win the Stanley Cup. Also, their style is beyond boring, and they could lead the NHL to record-low ratings if they were to play ‘their game’ in round four.

The Penguins

Last time they won Stanley Cup: 2016.

Last time they’ve been to Stanley Cup Final: 2016, obviously, where they defeated the Sharks in six games. The Penguins have been to the Finals three times during the Crosby era, with the first trip coming back in a 2008 loss to the Red Wings, and then the middle time coming with 2009’s win over the Red Wings.

Old friends: On the ice, it’s Phil Kessel. Phil the Thrill played the first three years of his pro career with the Bruins, and ultimately left after contract disputes (accelerated by issues with then-coach Claude Julien) sent him to the Maple Leafs in a trade that paid off tenfold (at the time) for the Bruins. David Warsofsky is also among Pittsburgh’s ‘black aces’ practicing with the team. Including Warsofsky, the Penguins have five New England natives on their roster. Behind the bench, Mike Sullivan is their coach. Sullivan played one season with the B’s back in the 90s and coached the Bruins from 2003 to 2006.

Why you can root for them: Can you? I think this is probably the biggest question mark when it comes to rooting interests this spring, even larger than the Sens conundrum you may find yourself in. Aside from maybe the local connections, it just feels as if there’s years and years of bad blood when it comes to the Bruins and Penguins, so maybe your rooting interest for them would be to simply get the dry toast Senators out of the mix.

Why you can’t root for them: If you’re a Bruins fan, I think this one is obvious. But hey, just in case you needed some more reasons. Here’s one. And another. There’s a third. And how about a fourth? It’d also be nice to get a different champion.

Out in the West, your potential rooting interest paths get a whole lot easier.

The Predators

Last time they won Stanley Cup: Never.

Last time they’ve been to Stanley Cup Final: This is actually the first time that the Preds have made it beyond the second round of postseason play, so it goes without saying that they have never been to the elusive fourth round.

Old friends: Matt Irwin had a cup of coffee with the Bruins in 2015 before he was banished to the minors. You may remember him as the guy that audibly screamed ‘F— off’ after a turnover. Behind the bench, Peter Laviolette coaches the Preds. A Franklin, Mass. native, Laviolette led the P-Bruins to a Calder Cup win in 1999, and was an assistant coach for the Big B’s in 2000-01.

Why you can root for them: It’s Nashville, man. This is one of those cities where hockey has absolutely worked, and the atmosphere around that team is just something else. Every game at Bridgestone has an electric atmosphere, and these playoffs have brought that out and really taken it to another level. It would also be pretty incredible to see the P.K. Subban trade immediately bite the Canadiens in the ass and see Subban, who was dragged through the Montreal mud on his way out the door, lift hockey’s greatest trophy in his first year with the Preds while the Habs exited in the first round of the playoffs.

Why you can’t root for them: Maybe you’re in the camp that still hates Subban from his Canadiens days. That would probably be the only possible reason that you could root against this Preds team. Or maybe you just hate fun and it’s too much for you.

The Ducks

Last time they won Stanley Cup: 2007.

Last time they’ve been to Stanley Cup Final: 2007, in that aforementioned boring ass-kicking of the Senators.

Old friends: The Ducks are really short on connections to the Bruins, actually. The 32-year-old Nate Thompson was a sixth-round draft pick of the B’s back in 2003, and while he skated in a bunch of games for the P-Bruins, Thompson skated in just four games with the Big B’s before he embarked on what’s become a 550-game NHL career.

Why you can root for them: This sounds a little weird, but an Anaheim win would seemingly validate the idea that you still need size and physicality to win it all. That would be a plus for the Bruins — a team with David Backes, Matt Beleskey signed and expected to play big roles up front, and Zdeno Chara and Brandon Carlo as their one-two on the backend — after what’s felt like a two-year trend of skill and speed getting the job done. Now, that wouldn’t mean that the Bruins need to further load up on size and heaviness, but it would show you that a balanced roster in that regard can still get the job done for your team.

Why you can’t root for them: This is a team that’s pretty loaded with players you love to hate. Corey Perry, while often entertaining, is considered one of the most despised players in the NHL. Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa are two players that Bruins fans are more than familiar with from their time with the Canucks, and they’re still the same players they were then.

..And while we’re at it, I’ll take the Predators in seven games and the Penguins in five games.

Blog Author: 
Ty Anderson