Haggerty: Halak signing shows B s like Cup chances beyond 2020 - NBCSports.com
|NBCSports.com 02 May 2020 at 16:20|
That was evident on Friday when they announced they had to a one-year, $2.25 million contract for the 2020-21 season. With a very reachable bonus, Halak could end up making $3.5 million for the Bs next season and will have the Bruins shelling out more than $10 million for a goaltending duo thats been the best in the NHL the past two seasons.
Thats not insignificant given the lack of a true salary cap picture for next season in light of the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, and given that the Bruins have Torey Krug, Jake DeBrusk, Matt Grzelcyk and Zdeno Chara, among others, that they are hoping to sign following this season. Its also an interesting situation because Rask and Halak will be lame-duck goaltenders without contracts beyond that season.
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Behind Rask and Halakthe Bruins have still-developing young goalies Daniel Vladar, Jeremy Swayman and Kyle Keyser and they will have no idea if any of those young whippersnappers are NHL material as long as both Halak and Rask are locked down. For the 2020-21 season, theres an argument to be made that all three young goalies would benefit from more development time in the minors, but thats going to leave the Bruins without a readymade answer between the pipes if both the 34-year-old Rask and the 35-year-old Halak move on after the 2020-21 season.
Those are all questions for another day, though.
Halak is 40-17-10 in two seasons with the Bruins with save percentages of .922 and .919 and, even more important, has allowed the Bruins to limit Rasks workload to the ideal 50-game range. At the time of this season being paused, the Bruins goaltenders were leading the NHL with a 2.39 goals-against average and .921 save percentageon their way to winning the Jennings Trophy as the leagues best goaltending duo.
It was clearly a strength for the Bruins this season after the shared workload allowed Rask to be at his best in the postseason, so that part of it is a no-brainer to continue for the Black and Gold for at least another season.
Certainly, the Bruins feel like they are still in a very competitive place after making it all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final last season and leading the NHL with 100 points this season at the time when the regular season was shut down.
They all realize that their careers are ticking down, said Bruins President Cam Neely last week in a virtual town hall with season-ticket holders. They have played more years than they have in front of them and they see the opportunity in front of them. My guess is because of the group we have, the opportunity we have in front of us and how many years they might have left to compete, they will be ready to go [when the season resumes].
It will be interesting to see what happens beyond next year when the aging NHL core in Boston will really be getting into the twilight of their careers. Will that be the time specifically for a change in goaltending or will the Bruins simply be making moves for a hockey team thats no longer realistically in their competitive window to raise a Stanley Cup?
It could be all the above, but inking Halak for one more seasonindicates they feel like there will be at least one more hurrah with an aging group for a Stanley Cup bid next year regardless of what happens this season.
The Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup run was magical, but it probably never would ve happened if the Black and Gold didn t have the services of David Krejci.
Krejci andlinemates Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic were probably the best forwards throughout thatpostseason.
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As many Boston sports fans know, the Bruins defeated the Montreal Canadiens in seven games to move on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Philadelphia Flyers, and that s where the magic really began.In Game 1 against the Flyers, Krejci tallied two goals in a 7-3 win over the Flyers, but Game 2 was where he truly became a playoff hero for the B s.
One of Krejci s most memorable performances from 2011 came on this date, May 2, when he scored 14 minutes into overtime to propel the B s past theFlyers. This goal caused some confusion on the ice, and the referee behind the net actually said there was no goal scored, but upon further review, Krejci s goal was deemed good and the B s won, 3-2.
As we all know, the Bruins went on to sweep the Flyers and move on to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning.Krejci ended up tallying four goals in those four games against Philadelphia, and ended the playoffs with 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) in 25 games. Krejci led the entire playoffs in goals, game-winning goals (four) and points.