Author Topic: Bruins playoff rematch  (Read 187 times)

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Offline slapshot

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Bruins playoff rematch
« on: August 02, 2019, 09:03:46 AM »
Here why I think the Leafs will finally clear this hurdle. This assumes they will meet up again and they go into the playoffs relatively healthy, without missing key pieces.

1. Upgrade on defence. I think overall the Leafs defence will be considerably better. Muzzin will have a full year in the Leafs system, and he was very good last year. Barrie is a huge add, a right shot, an upgrade on Gardiner, actually a huge upgrade on the injured Gardiner of last year. Dermott should also be healthier.

2. Additions of Kerfoot and Spezza. Unlike Naz, who I really liked, Kerfoot should actually play a full playoff round against the Bruins. Spezza's experience and skill alone is a big upgrade on the Goat. Also, I think Spezza is going to work really hard at coming to camp in great shape. He's got to know his kicks at the can are running out and this is a legit opportunity for him to be part of something huge as a hometown kid. I'm sure he's going to want to be in tip top shape for potentially a long playoff run. I think he may not be as slow as people are expecting, even though speed admittedly was never really his greatest asset.

3. Beefing up the fourth line. I think you'll see guys like Marchment and/or Engvall be parts of the 4th line sometime this season. Babs wants size and I think Dubas will concur as these guys also bring some skill with it. They had a couple of years of progression at the AHL level and I think they'll get the opportunity to make the jump this season. Engvall is pretty flexible, so maybe he could play right side, or maybe centre, with Spezza sliding over. I think they continue experimenting with Engvall at centre at the AHL level if he doesn't make the team out of camp. After size and weight of that line: Marchment-Spezza-Engvall would be 6'4" 210 pounds. That would be some substantial leaning on an opposition defence for a 4th line.

4. Maturing of young players. True the Bruins have some young star players as well, Pasternak, McAvoy, Carlo, but I think the Leafs have a lot more of them. Plus big part of Bruins is cruising through their 30s (40s for Chara), Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci, Rask, Backus (if they can't unload him). It's got to start taking a toll on them at some point, and I think the long playoff run without a cup had to be wearing.

5. Home ice advantage. They Leafs would have probably had this last year if they'd kept Mac and cut Sparks loose, but I think Neuvirth will be an upgrade there as well.

6. Trade deadline options. If Bracco has another big year at in the AHL (and if he's healthy no reason to suspect he won't), he could be a nice trade chip at the deadline; or they keep him and trade someone else to strengthen the lineup even further.

There are some assumptions here of course, but I really think the Leafs will surpass the Bruins this season on several fronts. In addition, the Bruins are starting to run into cap issues of their own.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 10:16:16 AM by slapshot »

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Bruins playoff rematch
« on: August 02, 2019, 09:03:46 AM »

Offline Bender

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Re: Bruins playoff rematch
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2019, 02:49:50 PM »
Here why I think the Leafs will finally clear this hurdle. This assumes they will meet up again and they go into the playoffs relatively healthy, without missing key pieces.

1. Upgrade on defence. I think overall the Leafs defence will be considerably better. Muzzin will have a full year in the Leafs system, and he was very good last year. Barrie is a huge add, a right shot, an upgrade on Gardiner, actually a huge upgrade on the injured Gardiner of last year. Dermott should also be healthier.

2. Additions of Kerfoot and Spezza. Unlike Naz, who I really liked, Kerfoot should actually play a full playoff round against the Bruins. Spezza's experience and skill alone is a big upgrade on the Goat. Also, I think Spezza is going to work really hard at coming to camp in great shape. He's got to know his kicks at the can are running out and this is a legit opportunity for him to be part of something huge as a hometown kid. I'm sure he's going to want to be in tip top shape for potentially a long playoff run. I think he may not be as slow as people are expecting, even though speed admittedly was never really his greatest asset.

3. Beefing up the fourth line. I think you'll see guys like Marchment and/or Engvall be parts of the 4th line sometime this season. Babs wants size and I think Dubas will concur as these guys also bring some skill with it. They had a couple of years of progression at the AHL level and I think they'll get the opportunity to make the jump this season. Engvall is pretty flexible, so maybe he could play right side, or maybe centre, with Spezza sliding over. I think they continue experimenting with Engvall at centre at the AHL level if he doesn't make the team out of camp. After size and weight of that line: Marchment-Spezza-Engvall would be 6'4" 210 pounds. That would be some substantial leaning on an opposition defence for a 4th line.

4. Maturing of young players. True the Bruins have some young star players as well, Pasternak, McAvoy, Carlo, but I think the Leafs have a lot more of them. Plus big part of Bruins is cruising through their 30s (40s for Chara), Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci, Rask, Backus (if they can't unload him). It's got to start taking a toll on them at some point, and I think the long playoff run without a cup had to be wearing.

5. Home ice advantage. They Leafs would have probably had this last year if they'd kept Mac and cut Sparks loose, but I think Neuvirth will be an upgrade there as well.

6. Trade deadline options. If Bracco has another big year at in the AHL (and if he's healthy no reason to suspect he won't), he could be a nice trade chip at the deadline; or they keep him and trade someone else to strengthen the lineup even further.

There are some assumptions here of course, but I really think the Leafs will surpass the Bruins this season on several fronts. In addition, the Bruins are starting to run into cap issues of their own.

I really thought the Bs had a good addition with Marcus Johansson and he's gone. The older players are going to get older. While I think the B's first line is deadly I still think they're mostly a one line team with Bergeron and Marchand getting older. The B's really made it as far as they did on the back of Tuukka Rask, and I really don't see him taking the team back to the final again with those kind of numbers. Their D corps is pretty good with McAvoy & Carlo but none of the others wow me. And to top it off they have Par Lindholm on the roster.

I really don't know how they're such a great team with the lineup they have, it really doesn't wow me.

The Leafs really have to hope they can figure out something on D though. It's still a bad D core, even though just about anyone would be an upgrade over Hainsey/Zaitsev. Losing Gards and replacing him with Barrie is kind of a wash, except we'll have a less exposed right side.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 02:52:27 PM by Bender »
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Offline Highlander

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Re: Bruins playoff rematch
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2019, 05:30:20 PM »
I shall miss Jakes getting caught in the headlights look.  It never ended well.
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Re: Bruins playoff rematch
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2019, 05:30:20 PM »