BOSTON It seems like the same old, sad story all over again.
The Bruins had their chances on the power play in their playoff run, but it was filed under the team liability category rather than considered anything close to something the hockey club could gather strength from. The Bruins finished 0-for-3 on the power play in the 2-1 overtime loss in Game 7 to the Capitals at TD Garden, and finished the best-of-seven series in a 2-for-23 funk that once again exposed a pathetic man advantage.Thats altogether too familiar after the Bruins went a hapless 0-for-21 in the man advantage against the Montreal Canadiens last season. They were able to move forward with some Game 7 heroics against the Habs in that series, but the reigning Stanley Cup champs werent quite so lucky this time around.
Boston managed only four shots during the three power play chances against the Capitals in Game 7, and the many wasted man advantage opportunities loom a little larger in a series where each of the seven games was decided by a single goal in the margin of victory.Its obvious that we had to be better on the power play and we didnt do that -- at least create some momentum out of it, said Patrice Bergeron, in a lament thats become standard for the Bruins during the playoffs over the last two years. I dont think we did that tonight. But, more than that I think its about especially Game 7, you have to find ways.Part of Bostons issue is the lack of legitimate goal-scoring snipers on the power play, but the Bruins need to keep their special teams from becoming a liability. A struggling team can sometimes derive energy from a dangerous power play, and thats seemingly not an option for a group of players that seem to be waiting around for a big Zdeno Chara shot from the point way too often.
The best part: the Bruins at least started making the kind of adjustments youd hope to see enacted as the series moved along with Tyler Seguin registering the second-most power play ice time in Game 7 after two strong games. Only Rich Peverley had more power play ice among the Bs forwards, but it didnt help matters any as assistant coachBs power play architect Geoff Ward and the Bruins couldnt get the man advantage angle churning during the postseason series. It appears one of the big area needs improvement check mark boxes now that the Bs season is over.
The Celtics will likely guarantee the second year of Amir Johnson’s two-year, $24 million deal he signed last season, the Boston Globe reported.
Johnson, 29, a 6-9 forward, signed as a free agent last summer, averaged 7.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 79 regular season games for the Celtics and 8.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in the six-game, first-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
With the salary room created by buying out the final two years of veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg contract, the Bruins signed restricted free agent Torey Krug to a four-year, $21 million contract ($5.25 million cap hit) through the 2019-20 season.
The negotiations between Krug and the Bruins had been fairly quiet with GM Don Sweeney consistently stating that something would get it done and it seemed the writing was on the wall when Sami Vatanen signed a four year, $19.9 million extension with the Anaheim Ducks. The two are comparable players in size, offensive production, NHL experience and both also served in top-four roles last season while projecting to stay at that level of performance over the next four years.
The Bruins couldn’t afford to let Krug, 25, hit the open market, where another team could potentially poach Boston’s only true puck-moving D-man with an offer sheet. After signing a one-year bridge deal, Krug played in a career-high 81 games, with four goals and 44 points. His 40 assists were ninth among D-men in the NHL last season and it’s clear that Krug plays a vital role as a puck mover and power-play specialist.
Krug also stepped up in minutes last season, finishing only behind Zdeno Chara with a career-high 21:36 average of ice time and essentially serving as the B’s de facto No. 2 defenseman. The diminutive (5-foot-9) D-man did pay the price for playing such heavy minutes by undergoing shoulder surgery following the season, but Krug was expected to make a full recovery and be ready to jump into the lineup at some point during the month of October.
The signing of Krug is a big piece for Sweeney and the Bruins, who must prepare for what awaits them Friday, once the free agent market opens, and later in the month when they begin efforts to re-sign Brad Marchand to an extension.
The Bruins placed veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg on waivers on Thursday for the purposes of buying the veteran defenseman out of the final two years of his contract.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Seidenberg, who turns 35 July 18, still had two years remaining on a deal that would have paid him $4 million in each of the seasons. The move will save the Black and Gold roughly $4.6 million in cap space over the next two years.
Seidenberg confirmed the contract buyout to CSNNE.com and confirmed one other thing: "I going to miss it."
The extra space should theoretically allow the Bruins to spend big money on Friday when free agency opens, but the Bruins really haven’t been the lead suitors for any of the major available players to this point.
With the way buyouts work, however, the spread over four years means that the Bruins will still be including $1.16 million cap hits from 2018-2020, and are now down another experienced D-man who was a stalwart warrior for them over the years. Seidenberg clearly lost a step after blowing out his knee in the 2013-14 season and was a minus player for the first time in Boston last season with one goal and 12 points in 61 games.
The skating speed was noticeably slower and Seidenberg had trouble keeping up with the pace even as he continued to block shots and throw opponents around in the defensive zone. Seidenberg finishes his seven seasons in Boston with 23 goals and 117 points in 401 games as a rugged top-four defenseman. He will always be cherished in Boston for his marvelous stretch en route to the Stanley Cup in 2011.
Claude Julien pairing Seidenberg with Zdeno Chara midway through their first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens changed the tide of that playoff matchup and was the combo used by the B’s for the playoffs when they again made it to the Cup Final in 2013 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The German-born defenseman was a respected and tough veteran leader in the B’s dressing room and will be missed for his toughness and accountability whether it was good times or bad in the room.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie was the first to report that Seidenberg was being placed on waivers for the purpose of being bought out of his contract.