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03-08-2013, 06:49 AM
  #1
Alan Ryan
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Improving the Bruins defense

Thus far most of the focus on improving the Bruins has addressed the forwards, especially the difficulty the third line has had to date. The Bruins have ended the Bourque experiment, Soderberg might come to the rescue and GM Chiarelli says he still has his eye on the trade market. Iginla, Alfredsson, Clowe . . . the speculation continues and hopefully the Bruins will find the best solutions for the forward ranks.


Some folks here (including me) think the defense could benefit from adding a skilled top 4 into the rotation. I'd appreciate hearing everyone's thoughts about that and your view of the Bruins defense as it stands.

Should the Bruins target a top 4 defenseman? Would a depth defenseman do the job?

What skill sets would be best?

Which players are the best targets and will their teams be interested?

What will the Bruins have to give up to get them and would you be willing to do the deal?

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03-08-2013, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Ryan View Post
Thus far most of the focus on improving the Bruins has addressed the forwards, especially the difficulty the third line has had to date. The Bruins have ended the Bourque experiment, Soderberg might come to the rescue and GM Chiarelli says he still has his eye on the trade market. Iginla, Alfredsson, Clowe . . . the speculation continues and hopefully the Bruins will find the best solutions for the forward ranks.


Some folks here (including me) think the defense could benefit from adding a skilled top 4 into the rotation. I'd appreciate hearing everyone's thoughts about that and your view of the Bruins defense as it stands.

Should the Bruins target a top 4 defenseman? Would a depth defenseman do the job?

What skill sets would be best?

Which players are the best targets and will their teams be interested?

What will the Bruins have to give up to get them and would you be willing to do the deal?
Should the Bruins target a top 4 defenseman? Yes

Would a depth defenseman do the job? No

What skill sets would be best? They need an offensive oriented D-man who knows to evaluate the risk to pinch/attack the O zone without giving the odd man rush. Someone who can help the PP.

Which players are the best targets and will their teams be interested? Streit

What will the Bruins have to give up to get them and would you be willing to do the deal? Tough question to answer. The fact that the 3rd line is pretty much a train wreck, since the beginning of the season, might give Chiarelli a pause when it become to trade a young forward. I don't see the Bruins paying a premium to acquire help...

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03-08-2013, 07:13 AM
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don
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At this point I'd rather focus on improving the forwards. The D, as it stands with no injuries, is good enough. It could stand improvement but, IMO, is good enough. I one of those who realizes that you have to spend money to make money, therefore, most everyone is available for trade for the right return.

Also, I don't like rentals. If I'm making a trade to improve this team, I want it to help next year too.


Last edited by don: 03-08-2013 at 09:45 AM. Reason: add 2nd paragraph
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03-08-2013, 07:17 AM
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I havent been to Providence for a month or so but will be getting in a half dozen to 10 games from here on in and I like some of the guys they have down there

like Krug alot and he is very, very calm back there and makes the right decisions which is good if you want to play for Claude

I've seen to much of Ference over the years not to think he will be fine; I guess its down to me but I still think he's pretty good- very good third pair. He's pressing over this contract imo but one day soon and it may have happened because the last two games he graded well from me he'll just say **** it and think less and play better

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03-08-2013, 07:21 AM
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Latrappe
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Originally Posted by DKH View Post
I havent been to Providence for a month or so but will be getting in a half dozen to 10 games from here on in and I like some of the guys they have down there

like Krug alot and he is very, very calm back there and makes the right decisions which is good if you want to play for Claude

I've seen to much of Ference over the years not to think he will be fine; I guess its down to me but I still think he's pretty good- very good third pair. He's pressing over this contract imo but one day soon and it may have happened because the last two games he graded well from me he'll just say **** it and think less and play better
Two rookies playing on our D? That's a risky move. Might pay off but risky nonetheless.

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03-08-2013, 07:37 AM
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Should the Bruins target a top 4 defenseman?

Yes.

Would a depth defenseman do the job?

No.

What skill sets would be best?

Turn and retrieve. Skating.

Which players are the best targets and will their teams be interested?

I just don't know. I haven't kept up with pending UFAs.

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03-08-2013, 07:45 AM
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Count me in on the Streit bandwagon, skilled guy who could really help our PP.

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03-08-2013, 08:28 AM
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Donnie Shulzhoffer
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Defense is the last thing I even think about. It is that PP that gets my wheels a turnin.

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03-08-2013, 10:02 AM
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Bill Ladd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Ryan View Post
Should the Bruins target a defenseman?
Yes, and here's why.

Right now, the bottom four is being buoyed by Seidenberg's presence in the second pair. When the playoffs roll around, Julien is probably going to do like he's always done, and lean on a Chara-Seidenberg pair. That creates two problems...

1) Ference-Boychuk. Ference isn't having a good season but even if you believe in Ference (which I do), that pair was under siege in the 2011 playoff run.

2) Hamilton-McQuaid. Two RH dmen who have never (at least in the NHL) played their 'off' side. We've seen Boychuk play on the left a couple times this year and he was a train wreck. It's scary to me to think that we're going to "try" this out at some point in the playoffs.

Quote:
What skill sets would be best? Top 4 or Depth Guy?
I think it depends on how they feel about Andy Ference.

Do they want a second pair of Ference-Boychuk again? If they do, then I think they'll look for a steady, defensive partner (and LH shot) for Hamilton in the 3rd pair.

If not, they could put Ference-Hamilton together in the 3rd pair, and look for a legitimate top-four defenseman to play with Boychuk, and if you want to balance that pair out, then the new guy needs to be able to skate and move the puck.

The second option appeals to me more because A) I'm not that confident in a Ference-Boychuk second pair and B) a PMD could also help with our other big problem: the PP.

Quote:
Which players are the best targets and will their teams be interested?
IMO, the best PMD target is Mark Streit. He's highly skilled but (unlike Kaberle) he also has some competitive fire. Look at the game against the B's. He dumped Lucic behind his his net, he tried to pick a fight with Kelly. I like that he has a little jam in his game.

Other options range from Visnovsky to Ryan Whitney but I think they all come with some baggage/doubts. Would Vis be just another Kaberle? Can Whitney still skate effectively enough to play top4 minutes?

A couple of defensive D targets that intrigue me are Robyn Regehr and Douglas Murray. I don't know if Buffalo would trade with Boston, but I think Chiarelli has tried to acquire Regehr before.

Quote:
What will the Bruins have to give up to get them and would you be willing to do the deal?
Streit (if he's even available) will be expensive. A 1st and 2nd (or prospect equivalent).
Visnovsky will probably just cost a 1st or an equivalent prospect.
Whitney should be cheap.

Defensive D tend to cost less than point producers but a guy like Regehr will still be highly coveted.

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03-08-2013, 10:10 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latrappe View Post
Should the Bruins target a top 4 defenseman? Yes

Would a depth defenseman do the job? No

What skill sets would be best? They need an offensive oriented D-man who knows to evaluate the risk to pinch/attack the O zone without giving the odd man rush. Someone who can help the PP.

Which players are the best targets and will their teams be interested? Streit

What will the Bruins have to give up to get them and would you be willing to do the deal? Tough question to answer. The fact that the 3rd line is pretty much a train wreck, since the beginning of the season, might give Chiarelli a pause when it become to trade a young forward. I don't see the Bruins paying a premium to acquire help...
QFT

Keep Ference around as your 7th

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03-08-2013, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Ladd View Post
Yes, and here's why.

Right now, the bottom four is being buoyed by Seidenberg's presence in the second pair. When the playoffs roll around, Julien is probably going to do like he's always done, and lean on a Chara-Seidenberg pair. That creates two problems...

1) Ference-Boychuk. Ference isn't having a good season but even if you believe in Ference (which I do), that pair was under siege in the 2011 playoff run.

2) Hamilton-McQuaid. Two RH dmen who have never (at least in the NHL) played their 'off' side. We've seen Boychuk play on the left a couple times this year and he was a train wreck. It's scary to me to think that we're going to "try" this out at some point in the playoffs.



I think it depends on how they feel about Andy Ference.

Do they want a second pair of Ference-Boychuk again? If they do, then I think they'll look for a steady, defensive partner (and LH shot) for Hamilton in the 3rd pair.

If not, they could put Ference-Hamilton together in the 3rd pair, and look for a legitimate top-four defenseman to play with Boychuk, and if you want to balance that pair out, then the new guy needs to be able to skate and move the puck.

The second option appeals to me more because A) I'm not that confident in a Ference-Boychuk second pair and B) a PMD could also help with our other big problem: the PP.



IMO, the best PMD target is Mark Streit. He's highly skilled but (unlike Kaberle) he also has some competitive fire. Look at the game against the B's. He dumped Lucic behind his his net, he tried to pick a fight with Kelly. I like that he has a little jam in his game.

Other options range from Visnovsky to Ryan Whitney but I think they all come with some baggage/doubts. Would Vis be just another Kaberle? Can Whitney still skate effectively enough to play top4 minutes?

A couple of defensive D targets that intrigue me are Robyn Regehr and Douglas Murray. I don't know if Buffalo would trade with Boston, but I think Chiarelli has tried to acquire Regehr before.



Streit (if he's even available) will be expensive. A 1st and 2nd (or prospect equivalent).
Visnovsky will probably just cost a 1st or an equivalent prospect.
Whitney should be cheap.

Defensive D tend to cost less than point producers but a guy like Regehr will still be highly coveted.
Regehr is not mobile and is way overrated. Murray I would go for.

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03-08-2013, 10:43 AM
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Regehr is not mobile and is way overrated. Murray I would go for.


Murray is Hal Gill-esque in terms of his foot speed and mobility. Worse than Regehr IMHO.

That said, you wouldn't be getting either one for their mobility. You'd be getting them because they're tough, experienced, sound defensive defensemen who could pair with Hamilton (who's plenty mobile) and be a calming influence on the kid in his first playoff experience.

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03-08-2013, 10:57 AM
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Unless you can get Streit @ a decent price (2np + a second tier prospect), I would experiment with Johnson and Krug (replacimg Ference - please do not make the case that Ference is a mobile puck mover so we have to replace him with one he's just a turnover machine).

If we have to give up hard assets to address the 3rd line issue, I think we have to use Providence to try to fix the D.

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03-08-2013, 11:28 AM
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Hate to look at match-ups this early in the process. I feel we have to tighten up our defense in order to beat Pittsburgh. We're getting fore-checked pretty easily. Many teams don't have the skill to finish. Pittsburgh does. I'd be more inclined to trade for a non-rental. Expands our possibilities. But, we'd have to give up more. A Seidenberg-type lock down 3-4 defenseman. I'd give up McQuaid, a pick and a prospect(Prob koko...tough for a lone Russian to break into our lineup. On and off the ice.) I doubt Khudobin sticks arounds.

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03-08-2013, 07:48 PM
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Honestly, I'm content with the Bruins D right now outside of some additional depth (Johnson is fine to step in as the 7th guy, but I'm not crazy about the idea of Exelby or Krug being the next in line).

As far as the top 6 goes, I'm perfectly content. Hamilton has filled that top 4 role that's been missing for a while very well. Chara and Seids are the perfect guys to have as the top 2, and Boychuk has been very stellar as a number 3 guy. McQuaid's fine as a bottom pairing guy. While Ference has left a lot to be desired, he's still fine to have as a bottom pairing guy at his worst, and can be a serviceable number 4 if/when he regains his usual form.

The only spot on the roster that needs to be addressed is the 3rd line wing spot, and Chia knows that. I would never turn down adding a top 4 defensman at the right price, but I really don't see it as a need right now.

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03-08-2013, 08:10 PM
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I think a top 4 D is just as crucial if not more than a 3rd line LW. All due respect to Dougie Hamilton as the future of the franchise, but I think he may need the Tyler Seguin rookie year treatment in the playoffs. I don't want to see him on the ice in Game 7 overtime of any series. Streit would be a huge pickup.

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03-08-2013, 08:22 PM
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Alan Ryan
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Thanks to everyone for replying.

At the moment the playoff rotation probably looks like this if they follow precedent and pair Chara and Seidenberg:

Chara - Seidenberg
Ference - Boychuk
Johnson - Hamilton
McQuaid

When the Bruins pair Chara and Seidenberg for the playoffs, and if they use Ference and Boychuk on the second pair, who would be a good LH safety net for Hamilton? What about Aaron Johnson? He hasn't cracked the line-up much but is already in place.

For those who feel an upgrade is warranted I'm hearing that a top 4 LH defenseman who can move the puck is preferred. A player like Mark Streit, who would likely displace Ference and play on the second pair with Boychuk. Ference would drop down to play with Hamilton. If McQuaid or Johnson are not traded they would be the spares for the playoffs.

In general I'm not in favor of renting players for the playoffs. If the Bruins make a move I like it when they target a longer term solution. That seems to be their approach (Kelly, Peverly, etc.). Although it didn't work to keep Kaberle they acquired him with the intent of keeping him also.

I also prefer adding players who are younger and will fit with the Bruins young core for a long time. The idea of getting a guy like Carlson or Yandle seems best to me. Has all talk around them died?

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03-09-2013, 01:42 AM
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More Aaron Johnson, I'd like to see him get a longer look before the team makes any defensive moves.

If it's deemed we need to move for a defenceman:

Mark Streit

Lubomir Visnovsky

and a sleeper pick

Jason Demers

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03-09-2013, 02:21 AM
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There is always Mark Streit, kills two birds with one stone Can play wing and D

I know I've said it a million times but seriously its a good idea

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03-09-2013, 08:35 AM
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Should the Bruins target a top 4 defenseman?

Yes. Defense wins Championships and we are still needing help. Time to move Ference and look ahead to the future.

Would a depth defenseman do the job?

Absolutely Not.

What skill sets would be best?

Puck mover and a PP specialist.

Which players are the best targets and will their teams be interested?

Chia needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat here. If Soderberg is the forward he is bringing in, that leave some big cash left to bring in a player like Campbell, Bowmeister, Striet, Carlson, etc.

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03-09-2013, 09:10 AM
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I think Lubo Visnovsky is more realistic than Streit. Vis is a pp specialist and if you go by the +/- stat, better in his own zone than Streit. Streit would cost an arm & a leg, Vis cost NY a 2nd rounder when Anaheim traded him there. Don't think his price would go up especially since everyone knows he doesn't want to be here next year. Despite his grudge, I think he is a pro and would give it all and try to win the cup. At best he becomes our #3 Dman and solves our pp woes, at worst he is Kaberle and we win the Cup anyways. Chia's kinda a guy, low risk/high reward. Throw in something else, and maybe we can get Boyes as well.

Just get it done Chia!!

Visnovsky, Soderberg and Boyes would be pretty good depth for the playoffs.

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03-09-2013, 09:37 AM
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I think that the Bruins have to hope for better play from Ference and Boychuk.

Unless they are willing to give up a roster player like Peverley for example to get a decent defenseman, it will cost an arm and a leg in futures to bring in a quality player.

Of course if you move Peverley it's like robbing Peter to pay Paul because he's a Top 6 forward on a lot of teams in the league and if there's an injury he's the guy that should get a crack at the top two lines. Plus if Horton leaves as a free agent, the Bruins could go from being very strong at RW to just having Seguin and nothing else.

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03-09-2013, 09:42 AM
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Depth on D for the playoffs? Without a doubt. Improving the d.... sure if you can.

But a lateral move is not an improvement.

I also think that with the struggles our 3rd and 4th lines have had... our bottom pairing D have had to work harder. Fix the forwards and the D wont look as bad.

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03-09-2013, 10:57 AM
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I think were pretty fortunate for our Top 4.

Chara Boychuk
Seids Hamilton??

who gets pushed out of that top 4 that doesnt cost a whole lot?

I would be all for replacing a bottom 2 guy.. I still doubt we see that until next year though.

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03-09-2013, 10:59 AM
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[QUOTE=bb_fan;61299547]Depth on D for the playoffs? Without a doubt. Improving the d.... sure if you can.

But a lateral move is not an improvement.

I also think that with the struggles our 3rd and 4th lines have had... our bottom pairing D have had to work harder. Fix the forwards and the D wont look as bad.[/QUOTE]

Good point, but there's no denying Ference has taken a step backwards (which has hurt McQuaid). The guy can't pass.

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