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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Goaltending: Issue Number 1

Just think of this.

When the Bruins got past the first round in '99, they had an elite goalie at the time Byron Dafoe. When they were first in the East before the lockout, who did they have? Calder winner Andrew Raycroft. Who did they have when they DNQ the past two years? Tim Thomas, Hannu Toivonen, Joey MacDonald and a horrid Andrew Raycroft.

I am a huge Tim Thomas fan, and we can all say he is worn down at this point, so I can't blame him for losing too much. But he is a backup goalie. He IS NOT a cup caliber winning goaltender. Thomas would be a GREAT backup, and if the Bruins goalie got hurt, I wouldn't be worried at all. At 1.1 million, he is a rather expensive backup, but hey, I'd rather be sure I can go to my backup and win than have a (fill in the blank) goaltender go out.

Now here is the solution. The only elite goaltender on the market is Anaheim's JS Giguere. He is all but done in Anaheim, welcome to the Bryzgalov era. Philadelphia resigned Martin Biron. How many teams really need a goalie now? Phoenix, Boston, Detroit possibly if Hasek is done (why would he leave, great season again), and that's it. I may be missing a few teams. But not too many. There isn't a huge bidding war right now. Rask won't be ready for 2-3 years.

Offer J.S. Giguere a 3 year deal worth 4.75 million a year, almost a 750,000 increase over this years salary for him. This still gives you enought flexibility to sign a top forward.

Goaltending is a huge issue, no one can deny that, even the TT fans.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly can deny it! Your opinions are not shared by everyone. The only goaltending problem the Bruins have is their defense.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous BosBrn77 said...

I agree with Matt that the biggest problem with the team (on ice) is goaltending. Thomas has played his butt off this year, and I'd also like to see him stay with the club. Problem is, the Bruins can not afford to sign Giguere without trading someone else away. (Murray) Thomas can not withstand a full season as a starter. He would be a great backup or could also platoon with another goalie. Backstrom, out of Minnesota, has emerged and could turn into a great starter. Thibault is also available. Either of the two could platoon with Thomas. How about, Dunham, Weekes, Belfour, Joseph, or Aebischer? Bring us back to the days of Moog and Lemelin, Beezer and Healy, and Broduer and Terreri to name a few tandems.
As for anonymous saying the defense is the problem, I disagree. I think it is the entire team play. Not enough back checking. Nobody standing up and being a leader. Not enough chemistry cause nobody plays together long enough. And many other thing. Boston has a solid core of defensemen. Chara and Ward bring plenty of experience. While Alberts, Ference, Wideman, Stuart, and Allen all contribute well.
But too many forwards are not back checking enough. Too many stupid penalties are being taken. And we don't have enough true grit and toughness. How many times did Kessel charge into the corner for the puck and get thrown down like a first grader against the Devils? We needed a guy like Laraque. Some honest toughness.... Neely-like toughness!
This whole team is in shambles because of one reason..... Lewis! Listen to what the guys who were traded said! Brad Stuart said he didn't want to stay in Boston. Mara said he is glad to be gone since he couldn't play his game. Boyes said he feels comfortable now, and has regained his scoring touch. And look at Jurcina! We get a fourth round pick for a guy who we were playing 5 minutes a game. And since he has been in Washington, he has lead the team in minutes played.... EVERY game!
Bottomline... Lewis has to go for this team to succeed! We give up so many shots a game because we are not rushing the other zone enough. The players are sitting back on their heels hoping not to screw up. Think of what Kessel, Kalus, and Bochenski could do if they were allowed to play the game!
Yes.... Giguere would look great in black and gold! Yes... Thomas is NOT a #1 starter! And YES... Lewis is the problem with this team. Unfortunately, Chirelli may let his pride get in the way of doing the right thing.
Sorry for the rant, but I have been holding alot in for a while. This team will not go anywhere with Lewis at the helm!

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bosbrn77 we got 7-10 million in cap space with no major UFA's to sign, this is including RFA's. So to sign Giguere is not an issue, it's if you want another forward after that, which is necessary. Murray dealt would be nice, but you would still need more scoring forwards. Dumping guys like Kobasew for cap space is also an option.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:27 PM  
Blogger Latrappe said...

Until Lewis is gone, nothing will change. Too many indicators showed that this coach is the most clueless guy in this league. As 77 mentionned; every player who leave the Bruis are playing better. It's not a coincidence. Instead of acknowledging the problem, lewis said Yesterday that his team have to know on how to play defense.. What a sorry *censored*.

Yes, the B's need to fix the golatending since this position killed the team for too many years. Thomas is a backup and this team need a #1 to ciment the defense...

7:22 AM  
Anonymous number21neb said...

Giguere had one lucky run in the playoffs and is considered elite. He is not half the goalie Thomas is right now. Put Giguere in nets for The Bruins this year and they would have 60 or less points!
The B's problem this year was defense - no goalie in the league would have made the post season with Chara and these other useless bums in front of them. Thomas was a blessing this season and kept the damage as minimal as possible.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Jimbox said...

neb, you finally made a good point. the defense is terrible, because of the system lewis plays. ward is very very overrated as is chara. the rest of the bunch are 5th or 6th defensemen on every NHL team... except for the Bruins.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous BosBrn77 said...

The Bruins need to resign Alberts and Bochenski. That right there will eat up at least 3 million. Not to mention if they decide to re-sign Allen, MacDonald, and Hannu.
Boston needs more offense. But to get more offense, we need a coach who will allow it. True, the Bruins defense is not as good as some other teams. And for that, Lewis can not try and play the Devils style of game. We need to allow players to make rushes. Ward and Chara are far from over-rated! And if i'm not mistaken, Ward is the ONLY player on the Bruins with a Stanley Cup ring. Alberts is young, second year, and is playing better then we could expect. Wideman and Ference have not been here long enough to judge, but so far, we haven't complained about them.
As for Giguere, he is an elite goalie. He has a career GAA of 2.48 and a save % of .914. He makes big saves. And this is his first year with TWO great defensemen in front of him. And to say that Thomas is better then Giguere..... that is insane! I'm a huge Thomas fan, and I agree we would be worse if we didn't have him.... but no way he is in the same caliber of goalie as Giguere.
Boston needs help in net.... bottomline. But I would rather see them sign Belfour, Thibault, or even Aebischer to platton with Thomas and see what Rask can bring to the table when he is ready. Rather then sign Giguere to big money, and stall Rask, when we could use a third line center for Kobasew and Chistov. Another thing we are lacking in is face off wins, so why not go after Perreault for the 3rd line job? He would not cost much, but would be very effective in both faceoffs and experience.
And it is pretty bad that New Jersey fires their coach when they are first in the Atlantic, and we are sticking with Lewis when we are drowning in the basement!
I'll say it again.... this team is going nowhere with Lewis at the helm!!

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Belfour, I'll pass. Toivonen is likely gone, and MacDonald won't be resigned. Bochenski will be tendered a one year deal worth 550,00 or so, and Alberts will receive 700,000+ or a long term deal. Thats 1.5 million AT most.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Pekese said...

Ward is a steady, stay-at-home, defenseman but not a number one or two man ( like Lewis is using him). On some of his cup teams he did not log much playoff time. For Detroit he barely played at all(he was actually a healthy scratch a few times), but for Carolina he was probably second or third logging minutes or a very untalented group of defensemen. I personally like him, but not on a D-pairing with Chara, especially since Chara is much better on the right side. I'd much rather see him getting 15-20 minutes a game, rather than 20-25 minutes a game.

The defense is already set for next season so that Bruins will not address that position, unless they trade one of their younger players(Stuart, Lashoff, Alberts), although it seems unlikely.

The offense is the serious issue here, as they are very inconsistent(Sturm, Bergeron) and just seemed to disappear late in the season. The dump and chase style does not help either. I hope they get another scorer and get a good backup to Thomas and wait for Rask to hopefully be ready the season to follow next.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous BosBrn77 said...

If PC can get both Bochenski and Alberts for 1.5 AT MOST... he is a better GM then any of us think. Alberts got the one year qualifying offer last year for 660k. He has earned a substantial raise with his play this year. Bochenski has been one of the better forwards on the ice, with limited ice time, he will also get more the 550k! And considering PC is high on him, he will get a multi year deal.
As for Belfour, as a platoon with Thomas... i'd do it for cheap. He played well in Florida this year. Hannu may be gone, depends on the return. And as for MacDonald, read the papers!! He has played solid and could get a contract from Boston.
As for Ward. Being scratched on Detroit is not a hard thing. Every defenseman we have except Chara would be a healthy scratch at times on the Wings. Ward has experience, which would be better used with a player like wideman, Ference, or Alberts. I agree Chara needs to play on the left side, where he is better suited. But why would Lewis do that? He has not played ANYONE where they are better suited all year!!
And the offense disappeared the whole season. Well except for when Boyes went to the Blues! Hmmm... could there be a trend?

8:25 PM  

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