Tonight the Bruins play the Washington Capitals at the TD Bank Garden at 7:00PM.
Prior to the team pre-skate today, David Krejci and Greg Campbell did some skating which would indicate that neither will play tonight and possibly that both are within 1-3 games of being ready to play. But if I had to guess, I'd say Krejci for Wednesday against Detroit or Thursday against Montreal and Campbell not before Saturday against Buffalo. Just a gut feeling.
The Bruins in the last week have had some crazy roster announcements with players assigned to the roster and going back down without playing or practicing. Why?, I think the Bruins have been moving around salaries under the cap possibly because of trade talk with other organizations. Securing the cap sort of speak, should someone be moved in trade. While there is a cap ceiling, there is also a cap floor. The easy math is taking the cap and dividing it over 82 games. The actual math is taking the cap and dividing it over 186 days of the regular season. While the cap ceiling over 82 games is $841,464, the hit over 186 days is $370,968. The cap floor at $54 million is over 82 games, $658,537 and over 186 days is $290,323. This matters as you consider that the cap fluctuates by the players listed on your roster. If you make a trade, for it to be valid, the new player when added to your cap has to fit into your cap or the trade is disallowed by the NHL. As every day and game goes by, the cap squeeze is a little tighter because players have earned their money and teams have paid money for those services. It's complicated Capology talk for geeks like me.
Let's talk about the Bruins, who has looked good over two games. I have 5 names, Bergeron, Marchand, Chara, Smith and Rask. Who has looked bad, Lucic, Hamilton, Eriksson, Seidenberg and Spooner. Players doing their jobs have been Soderberg, Paille, Kelly, McQuaid, Miller and Fraser. Players that have been OK, but need something better from are Cunningham, Robins and Krug. Faces that haven't been seen yet but may play today are Bartkowski, Svedberg and Caron.
The Bruins play 12 games in 22 days in October and have one more set of back to back games this month. I'm not going to be surprised if they are right around 6 and 6 for the month. Traditionally, the Bruins have surged in recent seasons between November 1st and December 15th to cement the squad and their Eastern Conference spot. So be patient as Coach Julien and staff shake the team out and GM Chiarelli adjusts the team to help the Coach.
Right now, with Krejci hurt and his return unknown, There is a good opportunity for the Coaching staff to experiment with the power play and penalty kill units. Don't be surprised by unusual combos of players you don't expect to play together. After two back to back games and this being the third in four games, I think you may see Niklas Svedberg get the start today or Monday with the compressed October schedule, especially as the two games are home games. Monday might be the better choice as there are back to back games next week in Detroit and Montreal.
The Providence Bruins kicked off their season with a win in OT last night over the St. John's Ice Caps 2-1. Joe Morrow and Seth Griffith had the goals and David Pastrnak had two assists with the win going to Malcolm Subban.
I feel this season will develop with lots of behind the scenes moves and issues this year. The Boychuk trade talk doesn't seem to be ebbing very quickly and wasn't helped by Johnny Rocket's first game for the Islanders with a power play goal and two assists. Believe me Bruins fans, this was a move that was needed to ice a team with a full roster. If we still had Boychuk and Krejci did get injured, we would barely be able to have a roster of 20 players and we'd find ourselves in big trouble with the salary cap. Those of you who want to know what will happen over the course of the season and with regard to player moves; start looking at teams that start slowly with wins and look at who plays on those teams as right handed shots on defense and wing. I expect these players to be looked at and targeted by the Bruins.
Until Next time !