The Bruins collapse in the waning moments of Game 6 sent them from a date with destiny to a stunning defeat. But what are their chances for making another Stanley Cup run?
Swinging Johnson – FINAL NHL Record (15-12-1, +9.75units)
*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.
I shed two units off our bankroll in the final game of the NHL regular season but I’m not ashamed to say I lost. If you were fortunate enough to back either the Blackhawks and/or the Over 4 ½ in Game 6 then consider yourself lucky. It was certainly not the way you scripted it in your mind but a win is a win and you will take it.
However, I was not as fortunate. I have said these games are as close to a coin flip as a nickel on your thumb and giving me a little bit of juice to back the road dog was not enough to close my eyes and send it in as the proverbial value bet. Therefore, I decided to trust my instincts and make a small play on Under 4 ½ (+120) for two units. Well, it looked pretty sweet until the Hawks knotted the game at two with a minute to play.
I’m not pleased with the final score however I am pleased, though not euphoric, over the results of our 2013 NHL campaign. We wound up +9.75 units to the good and look forward to next season’s NHL picks with your old buddy Swingin’ Johnson.
The Bruins will attempt to keep their roster intact as much as possible. The core group is also a winning group as evidenced by the fact that 17 players from the 2011 Stanley Cup winning roster was on this year’s edition. However, keeping this team together may be a difficult trick for the Bruins brass with free agency looming and a salary cap that will test the mettle of Boston’s front office wizardry.
The B’s are currently five million dollars under the cap but that will be immediately swallowed whole by the big bump in pay that will be required to keep All-World goaltender Tuukka Rask in the fold. He will see his paycheck double from $3.5 million to $7 million which is the top of the pay scale for NHL goalies.
Backup goalie Anton Khudobin hits the free agent market come July 5th as well but unless he wants to take one for the team, he will likely search for greener pastures and perhaps a starting job in another city.
Jaromir Jagr exhibited his sharp instincts and nose for the puck but the wheels were spinning too slowly for the Bruins (and perhaps any other team) to commit any serious money to the future Hall-of-Famer.
Thirty-four-year-old Bruins defenseman and certified tree hugger Andrew Ference and his $2.25 million dollar salary are most likely out the door as well unless he wants to take a huge pay cut.
Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin are the two most vexing issues for the Bruins front office. Horton is making four million and chances are he will want to make just as much if not more next season. Tyler Seguin’s payroll impact will be to the tune of $5.75 million until the expiration of his contract in the 2018-2019 season. Someone’s got to go.
Boston is 9-2 to win the Eastern Conference and 9-1 to win the Stanley Cup in our NHL odds. But how does Patrice Bergeron bounce back from his multiple injuries and will the countless miles on Zdeno Chara’s big body finally take its toll? Can we expect Tuukka Rask to carry this team for an entire season as he did in the playoffs?
Personally, it appears to be a bit too much to ask. This team needs a speed merchant like Horton yet they also need to hold on to Tyler Seguin despite a less than impressive regular season and a virtually invisible postseason. I don’t see how both players will be able to stick on the roster with the salary cap constrictions unless GM Peter Chiarelli pulls a Houdini.My heart is telling me Boston but my wallet is screaming Pittsburgh.