NHL Season Recap – Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

2016-17 season: 44-31-7, 95 points

Lost to Ottawa 4-2 in the

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

Head Coach: Bruce Cassidy (2017)
3rd Place Atlantic Division General Manager: Don Sweeney (2015)
7th Place Eastern Conference AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins

ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators

Draft Position: Will have the 18th pick in the draft

Top Forwards

POS Age Name GP Points Goals Assists +/- CF%
LW 28 Brad Marchand 80 85 39 46 18 60.7
RW 20 David Pastrnak 75 70 34 36 11 57.8
C 30 David Krejci 82 54 23 31 -12 54.2
C 31 Patrice Bergeron 79 53 21 32 12 61.8
C 25 Ryan Spooner 78 39 11 28 -8 54.5
RW 32 David Backes 74 38 17 21 2 56.4
C 36 Dominic Moore 82 25 11 14 2 47.8
C 22 Frank Vatrano 44 18 10 8 -3 57.4
C 27 Riley Nash 81 17 7 10 -1 51.8
C 26 Tim Schaller 59 14 7 7 -6 49.5

Top Defensemen

POS Age Name GP Points Goals Assists +/- CF%
D 25 Torey Krug 81 51 8 43 -10 58.0
D 39 Zdeno Chara 75 29 10 19 18 52.4
D 20 Brandon Carlo 82 16 6 10 9 52.0
D 24 Colin Miller 61 13 6 7 0 60.3
D 29 Kevan Miller 58 13 3 10 1 53.6

Top Goaltenders

POS Age Name Games Started W/L Record Shutouts GAA Save %
G 29 Tuukka Rask 63 37-20-5 8 2.23 .915
G 30 Anton Khudobin 14 7-6-1 0 2.64 .904
G 24 Zane McIntyre 3 0-4-1 0 3.96 .858
G 23 Malcolm Subban 1 0-1-0 0 5.81 .813

Trades Made During the Season

What They Acquired Team They Traded With In Exchange For
LW Drew Stafford Winnipeg Jets Conditional 2018 6th RD Pick

Impending Free Agents

POS Age Name 2016-17 Cap Hit
LW 31 Drew Stafford $4,350,000
D 36 John-Michael Liles $2,000,000
C 36 Dominic Moore $900,000
LW 26 Zac Rinaldo $850,000
D 25 Chris Casto $650,000
D 27 Tommy Cross $600,000
D 28 Alex Grant $600,000
RW 25 Tyler Randell $600,000

Draft Needs

  • The Bruins have just six picks in the upcoming draft but luckily they appear to have a good core at both the NHL level and in the minors.  I think that they should spend their first round pick on a defenseman since their NHL defensemen are going to undergo a turnover in the next couple of seasons as Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid move on or retire.  Luckily for the Bruins they do have replacements available right now in the way of Charlie McAvoy, Jakub Zboril, and Ryan Lindgren and that doesn’t even include Brandon Carlo, who has already emerged as a solid NHL defenseman.  The future call ups of these prospects means that the Bruins will need to replace these prospects in order to continue turning over their NHL roster.

What I Said About Them Before the Season

  • Last offseason when writing the Bruins’ season preview, I hated the moves the front office made.  They brought in veteran David Backes by signing him to a five-year deal with an average cap hit of $6 million.  There is no way that he will be able to live up to that contract in the final years of the deal.  I also questioned how effective Zdeno Chara would be this season considering his size and the fact that he had lost quite a bit of footspeed in recent seasons.  I wrote about Tuukka Rask and how he is the Bruins best chance to have success this season and that the team would be competing for a playoff spot all season long but was uncertain if they would make them.

Success/Failure

  • Failure – I know that the Bruins made the playoffs this season after missing them two years in a row, but this is a franchise that needs to win series in the playoffs to be successful.  They have a payroll that shows the team is striving to win a Stanley Cup and anything short of reaching the conference finals is a failure.  They were the second best puck possession team this season and arguably the strongest puck possession line in hockey of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak.  I’m not certain how much this was a result of Claude Julien’s coaching but I have to think that the had a role in it.  Regardless of whatever impact Julien had, the team’s record cost him his job.  I have to think that this was the result of the team’s struggles in other areas, especially in shooting and save percentages and, therefore, PDO.  There were one of the worst teams in the league in all three of these areas, despite Tuukka Rask having a very good season in net for the Bruins.  They were a very good powerplay and penalty killing team and rode a hot powerplay to success this season.  Their lack of offense ended up costing them in the playoffs as they never scored more than three goals in any game of their series against the Senators.  They did have a couple of bright spots this season, however, as Marchand and Pastrnak have continued to prove that they are two of the best offensive talents in the league. The Bruins also got great play out of defense prospects Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy and both appear to be future franchise defensemen.

Offseason Needs

  • The Bruins have just $10 million to spent this offseason and need to use some of that to re-sign David Pastrnak.  Boston has to do whatever is needed in order to ensure that Pastrnak is on the Bruins’ roster for the long-term.  His contract will probably be north of $6 million per season and that will make a substantial dent into the team’s cap space.  I think that there is a chance that the Bruins lose Adam McQuaid or Kevan Miller in the Expansion Draft and that would help the team free up some cap space.  They will also have to figure out what they are going to do with Ryan Spooner who has had a tumultuous relationship with the team this season, whether it was Julien or Cassidy behind the bench.  He has shown the ability to produce offensively but it often comes with the price of lackluster defensive play.  Hopefully they’ll have the space available after re-signing their RFAs to bring in some forward depth in order to help produce more goals. They struggled offensively all season long and need to find some players who have better shooting percentages.  The Bruins have now gotten back to the playoffs but will certainly need to do some work this offseason in order to return next season.  One bright area for this franchise is that they have done a masterful job at turning over their roster from the veteran group that won a Stanley Cup to a younger core with even more prospects waiting to get called up to the NHL.  It looked as though the Bruins would be in the same situation as Chicago or Los Angeles but instead they have been able to draft and develop well and they shouldn’t find themselves in a salary cap struggle going forward.

*All stats and information came from hockey-reference.com, rosterresource.com, spotrac.com, NHL.com, hockeydb.com, capfriendly.com, tsn.ca, and eliteprospects.com*

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