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Game #42 – Bruins vs. Hawks Q&A: The Mighty Marshall DOY

Days Of Y’Orr was once a great hockey site. But like anything that burns so brightly, it can’t last forever. Out of the rubble though we still have Marshall. You can follow him on Twitter @MarshallDOY. 

Three quarters of the B’s roster caught the plague this season at some point, or so it seems. So how does Bruce Cassidy keep it afloat?

The short answer is that Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are just really, really good. Even without Patrice Bergeron for a massive stretch, the Bruins managed to go 9-6-1 thanks to the play of the two wingers. It helps that people forget how good David Krejci is. He’s been perpetually saddled by mediocre linemates since Jarome Iginla‘s departure, but while filling in for Bergeron, he managed 14 points in 16 games.

Despite using 12 different defensemen this year, including John Moore and Steven Kampfer, the Bruins have actually allowed the fewest even strength goals in the league. It defies logic. They are getting above-average goaltending, but let’s discuss that.

Jaro Halak seems to have at least earned a splitting of starts with Duke Tuuke’m, if not the #1 job overall. Do you expect that to continue or will he return to being Jaro Halak soon?
 
Right now, Halak gives the Bruins the best chance to win games. Tuukka Rask, however, will always give them the best chance to win a championship. Rask has always been a feast or famine goalie; he’ll drop some major turds, but then look like a Vezina contender for months at a time. What’s worrying me this year is that he hasn’t gotten enough of a chance to get into a rhythm in favor of riding the hot hand. It’s a great short-term plan, but Halak hasn’t won a playoff series in about a decade. If Rask can’t re-gain his crease soon, it does not bode well for the team’s postseason hopes.
Is Charlie McAvoy good? Other than being a moon-faced mouth-breather, we know the offense is there but every time we look up he seems to be in the trail position defensively.
I don’t know if we have enough of a sample size to accurately judge McAvoy’s season yet. He missed half of October and all of November with a concussion. When he has been on the ice, he’s been giving up a lot of shots, but not a lot of goals. I can live with that out of a 21-year-old defenseman who makes the kind of offensive contribution he does. Like I mentioned earlier, the blue line has been a rotating cast of warm bodies this year, so once that settles down, a little stability will do wonders for Charlie.
Is this Zdeno Chara‘s last season?
 
No. Shut up. Zdeno Chara will play until he’s 80 and he’ll still be in better shape than all of us.
When fully healthy can the Bruins throw a scare or more into the Leafs or Lightning in the spring? Are they more than just the best all around line in hockey plus?
 
This is a team that will win a first round series and then get bounced. Apart from the top line, they are pretty average in every way. There was a lot of hope that the Bruins could build on the progress they made last year, but with so many injuries, younger players have been forced to play above their development level to skate big minutes. When everyone is healthy and in the right slot, they can get a chance to learn and improve, but that just hasn’t happened yet this year. Rather than taking a step forward they have stood still while Tampa and Toronto have continued to blossom. But man is that Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak line fun to watch though.

 

Game #42 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

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