The Top 6

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from misterpaulo. Show misterpaulo's posts

    The Top 6

    I've read the TT/Savy trade rumor debates, the Wideman for Horton and Campbell trade analysis, the cap issues, etc, etc but one thing stands out to me as this teams most glaring flaw going in to this season.  Sure the team struggled to score and the addition of Horton and Seguin should help there.  If we can stay relatively healthy up front there should be enough talent there to score some goals.  Forget stats and the teams good GAA average for a second as it is understood these stats can be skewed if a team plays a defensive type system.  The B's seem to play a 5 man collapsing system with shot blocking being the major theme.  Playing this way can cover up your D-man's deficiencies but you can't block them all and there are times when your D need to out muscle and win battles against top players.  I see 2 guys that I have zero worries about.  2 others that a very capable but with some question marks and then 2 more that are IMO liabilities.  Let's take a looksy at the 6 dman that will be considered our top 6 D.

    pair #1: Chara-Seids
    pair #2: Boychuk-Stuart
    Pair #3: Hunwick-Ference

    Pair #1 is set and doesn't need to be questioned.  Close to being as good as any shut down pair in the game so lets move on.

    Pair #2 has some question marks but also some nice upside.  Are they really a 3-4 tandem on a team that expects to do some damage?  Not sold....yet.  But I also thought Boychuk was nothing more than a #7/AHL guy.  Was wrong on that one.

    Pair #3 worries me.  Both guys are OK at best.  Neither is strong enough to push big forwards around.  If paired with a better D man they can get by and are easier to hide in your lineup.  But pairing these two together is a recipe for disaster.  If you shake the pairings up and don't play them together you are just making your other pairs weaker.

    So what to does everyone think?  Is the D fine and I'm just paranoid?  The top 6 is pretty good but looking at the teams that went far in the playoffs (aside from Montreal) are they good enough?

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Not-A-Shot. Show Not-A-Shot's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    You can't have all-stars in all six pairs of defenseman skates.

    I'm happy with the defense.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hockguy0818. Show Hockguy0818's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    The #1 pairing is a given. But, I think the #2 and #3 pairs will be interesting. Certainly, our #3 pairing (Hunwick and Ference) will be the weakest. But, it might be wise to strengthen our #3 pairing by putting say, Boychuk/Ference as the #2 and Stuart/Hunwick with the #3, or Stuart/Ference at #2 and Boychuk/Hunwick as the #3.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from dc-bruins-fan. Show dc-bruins-fan's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    I actually agree with a lot of what you say. Against good teams, you need a solid top 4 and a competent bottom pairing. We have an excellent top 2, a questionable 3-4, and a potentially competent 5-6.

     I am with you about the Chara-Seidenberg combo.

    Ference and Hunwick together scares me. Ference, when healthy, is the definition of competent...nothing more, nothing less. Who knows what Hunwick is going to do on any given night? It is really only a playable pairing if Hunwick takes a significant step forward in his development and can effectively fill Wideman's puck moving role.  McQuaid should get plenty of games and hopefully he can fill the void on the bottom pairing.

    The Stuart-Boychuk pairing is what makes things truly interesting. The Bruins could be either well balanced, tough, and stingy or be undone by a lack of depth. It all depends on how well this pairing performs. I think Stuart is a solid player, won't be pushed around, will have better decision-making this year, and is close to entering his prime (he's only 26). I thought Boychuck was great in the last quarter and playoffs last season, but you have to be concerned that it was a flash in the plan for a guy battling for an NHL contract. I don't think it was, but if I am wrong about that, there is a significant hole in the D. I am not confident that Ference or Hunwick would do a better job in this spot.

    I think the B's need to add a number 3 or 4 d-man somehow. Not an easy task, and I am not a fan of Kaberle, but I think there are enough GMs who would take a chance on Hunwick and a prospect/pick. I'd prefer dealing Ference, but he's probably immovable. The ideal return would be a puck mover (for what we're giving up, don't expect Rafalski-esque breakouts) who is not a liability in his own zone. Hunwick, in my opinion, will have a decent NHL career, and in a few years will be exactly the type of player the B's need now, but he's not where the team needs him to be in terms of development to make a run this season.  
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    Chara and Boychuk should be kept together they played well together after Seidenberg got hurt. Boychuk needs to be with Z more than  Sides for a 26 year olds development.

    Coaches on the road will key on Ference-Hunwick with last change that concerns me. Those 2 need to be split up and put with less mobile Bruins Dmen so there's a good mix of speed n mobility with a stay at home Dman. Matt and Andrew are too small to remain together.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from misterpaulo. Show misterpaulo's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    NAS - After watching this team play last year and knowing the history of some of these guys, being "happy" with this defense is a stunning comment.

    Not looking for 6 all stars just 6 NHL guys that are capable of being part of a cup winning team.  I can't say these 6 are good enough to do that so "happy" I can not be. 
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from anthonyalbani89. Show anthonyalbani89's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    In Response to The Top 6:
    I've read the TT/Savy trade rumor debates, the Wideman for Horton and Campbell trade analysis, the cap issues, etc, etc but one thing stands out to me as this teams most glaring flaw going in to this season.  Sure the team struggled to score and the addition of Horton and Seguin should help there.  If we can stay relatively healthy up front there should be enough talent there to score some goals.  Forget stats and the teams good GAA average for a second as it is understood these stats can be skewed if a team plays a defensive type system.  The B's seem to play a 5 man collapsing system with shot blocking being the major theme.  Playing this way can cover up your D-man's deficiencies but you can't block them all and there are times when your D need to out muscle and win battles against top players.  I see 2 guys that I have zero worries about.  2 others that a very capable but with some question marks and then 2 more that are IMO liabilities.  Let's take a looksy at the 6 dman that will be considered our top 6 D. pair #1: Chara-Seids pair #2: Boychuk-Stuart Pair #3: Hunwick-Ference Pair #1 is set and doesn't need to be questioned.  Close to being as good as any shut down pair in the game so lets move on. Pair #2 has some question marks but also some nice upside.  Are they really a 3-4 tandem on a team that expects to do some damage?  Not sold....yet.  But I also thought Boychuk was nothing more than a #7/AHL guy.  Was wrong on that one. Pair #3 worries me.  Both guys are OK at best.  Neither is strong enough to push big forwards around.  If paired with a better D man they can get by and are easier to hide in your lineup.  But pairing these two together is a recipe for disaster.  If you shake the pairings up and don't play them together you are just making your other pairs weaker. So what to does everyone think?  Is the D fine and I'm just paranoid?  The top 6 is pretty good but looking at the teams that went far in the playoffs (aside from Montreal) are they good enough?  
    Posted by misterpaulo


    Good post, I would agree on your input and pairing insight. There has to be some trade offs, you can't put two of the same types of player on the ice together and Hunwick and Ferance are similar in style. My concern is that Ferrance get hurt and they put someone with little or no experience with Hunwick, he played well with Boychuck. C has to step up his game as well, I really don't care that he logs 30 + minutes but if he is hurt or his head is not in the game he is not helping the team. If he is going to wear the "C" then he needs to step it up.


     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Not-A-Shot. Show Not-A-Shot's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    In Response to Re: The Top 6:
    NAS - After watching this team play last year and knowing the history of some of these guys, being "happy" with this defense is a stunning comment. Not looking for 6 all stars just 6 NHL guys that are capable of being part of a cup winning team.  I can't say these 6 are good enough to do that so "happy" I can not be. 
    Posted by misterpaulo


    The B's gave up the second fewest goals in the league last season.  How can you complain?
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from KrayzieJoe. Show KrayzieJoe's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    Chara-Boychuk
    Seidenberg-Stuart
    Ference-Hunwick

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Drewski5. Show Drewski5's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    Size is a quality in a defenseman that is becoming less and less important.

    I view the following pairings:
    Chara , Seids
    Ference, Boychuck
    Stuart, Hunwick

    Big hitting is just not as important as hockey IQ/reliability (to not make costly turnovers)/positioning.

    Ference is a good defenseman.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Drewski5. Show Drewski5's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    Hunwick and Ference are not even close to the same player.  Are we just assuming that all non-bonecrushing defenders are the same?

    Hunwick is a forward in disguise and Ference is a puck mover with a high hockey IQ.

    Size is so overrated.  Its like the third most important quality in a defenseman in the new school NHL.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from bruinsfan084evr. Show bruinsfan084evr's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    Andrew Bodnarchuk, Adam McQuaid (lonewolf) will be lurking in the weeds,,   
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from rolerhoky19. Show rolerhoky19's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    Drew,
    I think you underestimate the value of size.. there is a reason Byfuglien was as dominate as  he was in the playoffs.. Similarly there is a reason like players ference size have an inablity to stay healthy.. Having big slow defensemen to battle in front of the net is not as important as in years past.. But you still want guys who can win battles and do more then throw a poke check..  You need to be postionally sound, and have solid skating ability.. But in that same time rarely does a guy come in and bury a goal if you have finished your check on him at the end of possession.  Not to mention there is a reason Lucic gets to so many pucks down low and that is simply guys don't want to get to the puck first if it means taking that hit.

    And for every regard on hunwick as a "forward" keep in mind that is the same train of thought that colorado had with boychuk.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Not-A-Shot. Show Not-A-Shot's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    In Response to Re: The Top 6:
    Drew, I think you underestimate the value of size.. there is a reason Byfuglien was as dominate as  he was in the playoffs.. Similarly there is a reason like players ference size have an inablity to stay healthy.. Having big slow defensemen to battle in front of the net is not as important as in years past.. But you still want guys who can win battles and do more then throw a poke check..  You need to be postionally sound, and have solid skating ability.. But in that same time rarely does a guy come in and bury a goal if you have finished your check on him at the end of possession.  Not to mention there is a reason Lucic gets to so many pucks down low and that is simply guys don't want to get to the puck first if it means taking that hit. And for every regard on hunwick as a "forward" keep in mind that is the same train of thought that colorado had with boychuk.
    Posted by rolerhoky19


    Byfuglien put up those stats because his linemates were all-stars.  He had the same size during the regular season.


     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from rolerhoky19. Show rolerhoky19's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    Regular season is also a completely different game/style of play then the play offs.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Drewski5. Show Drewski5's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    Good pts roller....

    I still dont think Ference is as bad as he is made out to be on this thread.  While , there is still a role for the M.Stuart's, as you point out, that doesnt mean that guys like Ference are useless.  I dont see the pairings the way the OP does.

    I see:
    Chara Seids
    Ference Boychuck
    Stuart Hunwick

    And im absolutely fine w/ them. 
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from TryToBearIt. Show TryToBearIt's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    Agree that Chara/Seidenberg is a no-brainer for the #1 pairing.

    I would most definitely split up Hunwick/Ference because they are too small to be paired together, but I see great potential in having Boychuck go instead with Hunwick, making them a kind of "offensive" defense pairing b/c Boychuck has that great shot and some size/meanness to his game and that will make up for Hunwick's lack of muscle in the defensive end. The potential for Hunwick to use his speed (his greatest asset) and have him passing to Boychuk for some big one-timers could produce some offense they were lacking from the blue line last year.

    Then, I would consider Stuart/Ference to be the "stay at home" fairly solid defensive corps. I think Stuart is only going to get better and he is one mean Mofo--he can seriously hit. Ference isn't big but is scrappier than people think. He'll battle, and yes, make his share of mistakes, but he does have veteran experience, and I'd like to see what he can do for a full season rather than the off-again-on-again nature of his seasons which were inconsistent mostly due to his multiple injuries.

    All told, it's not a bad 6, and with Claude's system and a hot goalie they could jave another strong season for keeping goals against low (I hope).
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Drewski5. Show Drewski5's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    While I agree that we dont have the best six in the league, and that the GAA stat is skewed by Julien's style.  But the fact remains that we had the BEST GAA in the league.  Because of the faults in the stat, we may not have the best defensive corps, but its still a pretty damn good one.  Otherwise , we wouldnt have had the lowest GAA in the league.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from misterpaulo. Show misterpaulo's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    NAS - Because I am not in love with GAA stats when all 6 guys on the ice are trying to stop pucks and forwards rarely leave the zone until the puck is out.  This is how they play over an 82 game season.  This system inflates (or deflates depending on perspective) the GAA and IMO doesn't tell the true story.  In the playoffs the B's were 7th out of 16 in GAA.  Not as good and maybe just maybe that has something to do with playing better talent night in night out.  I still have memories during the playoffs of our D running around for over a minute at a time in the d zone not able to win a battle or get the puck out.  I am not interested in a Vezina or a Jennings or any other trophy that is not the Cup.

    So if you really think these 6 are good enough to bring the B's a cup, I'll respectfully disagree and move on to another topic.   
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from KrayzieJoe. Show KrayzieJoe's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    Ference is a good defenseman?

    Maybe compared to Hunwick or Wideman (thank God he's gone)...
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from bhanlon156. Show bhanlon156's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    Chara - Boychuk
    Good tandem that played well in the playoffs.  Allows enough margin of error for Boychuk to make the occasional mental error because Chara is so solid behind him.
    Seidenberg - Ference
    Good puck moving pair, solid in their own zone.
    Stuart - Hunwick 
    Stuart lends stability to Hunwick's game. 
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Not-A-Shot. Show Not-A-Shot's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    In Response to Re: The Top 6:
    NAS - Because I am not in love with GAA stats when all 6 guys on the ice are trying to stop pucks and forwards rarely leave the zone until the puck is out.  This is how they play over an 82 game season.  This system inflates (or deflates depending on perspective) the GAA and IMO doesn't tell the true story.  In the playoffs the B's were 7th out of 16 in GAA.  Not as good and maybe just maybe that has something to do with playing better talent night in night out.  I still have memories during the playoffs of our D running around for over a minute at a time in the d zone not able to win a battle or get the puck out.  I am not interested in a Vezina or a Jennings or any other trophy that is not the Cup. So if you really think these 6 are good enough to bring the B's a cup, I'll respectfully disagree and move on to another topic.   
    Posted by misterpaulo


    I am not talking about goals against average.  I'm talking about the fact that over the course of 82 games, the B's let in the second fewest. 

    If they can return a similar crew, I'm happy.  Maybe Seidenberg and Boychuk are upgrades over Wideman and Morris.  If they are, we can expect even better defense this season.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from bhanlon156. Show bhanlon156's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    In Response to Re: The Top 6:
     Name five teams that have a better six.
    Posted by jenken14


    More importantly, name six teams that have a better five.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    What is this, Name that Tune?  Is Jim Perry lurking?

    The problem with a Boychuk/Hunwick pairing would be that neither of them could read a Large Print copy of Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat, though Boychuk could probably hit it into next week.

    The Bruins have three veteran D - Chara, Seidenberg, Ference. (Stuart is sort of a veteran, but not really, because he still gets credit for "potential" as in "he has offensive potential that hasn't been tapped yet".)  Chara is a first-pairing vet.  Seidenberg is a second pairing vet.  Ference is a third-pairing vet.

    The Bruins have three developing D - Stuart, Boychuk, Hunwick.  Unlike the vets, you don't know what line these three should end up on yet - that's part of the point.  Stuart is the most polished and still could be a top shutdown guy.  Boychuk has the best tool physically, but...toolbox?  Hunwick has shown signs that he's more than what he usually seems, but not as often as you'd want.  The trick is to pair these guys off to get the most out of them because the vets should slot based on track record.  That means I wouldn't put Seidenberg with Chara on a regular basis.

    Ultimately, I can live with this D, but the key for me is Stuart.  If he plays like a top 3/4 D, the group is fine.  If he plays like a 4/5, there could be trouble.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: The Top 6

    5 teams that have a better "six":
    Philly: Pronger, Timmonen, Carle, Coburn, Mezaros, O'Donnell/Walker
    Chicago: Keith, Seabrook, Campbell, Hjalmarsson, Scott, Boynton
    Calgary: Bouwmeister, Regher, Giordano, White, Sarich, Pardy
    Detroit: Lidstrom, Rafalski, Stuart, Ericsson, Kronwall, Kindl
    Vancouver: Hamhuis, Ballard, Edler, Ehrhoff, Bieksa, Salo

    Not exhaustive by any means.  Fewer question marks about each of these groups, though, with the possible exception of Calgary.
     
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