Ramblings: Tampa Bay Evens the Series; Roster Outlooks for the Bruins, Bolts & Sharks (Jun 8)

Alexander MacLean

2022-06-08

The Lightning evened the series at two games apiece, after an early goal from Patrick Maroon who is looking for his fourth-straight Stanley Cup, and then two more from the big guns in Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. Ondrej Palat (more on him later) notched the empty netter, for his third point of the night and 13th point of the post-season. The Rangers got one late goal, and head back home to last change needing to worry about Andrei Vasilevskiy regaining his form. With many of their top players labouring in the series, many of them game time decisions every day, the margin for error is thinning.

*

For some off-day reading on Vasilevskiy (and a couple other fantasy relevant goaltenders) check out Rick Roos’ annual dive into the goaltending world with his Goldipucks and the three netminders column here.

*

I wanted to take some time to take an early look into a few lineups for next year. Perusing at the Capfriendly pages, there are three teams that have 19 or more NHL players signed for the 2022-23 season.

Boston Bruins – 12 forwards, eight defencemen, and two goalies under contract for 2022-23

The Bruins look to have their lineup fairly set, as they can run back the same group, call up one contract from the minors, and have a full 23-man roster. That would leave them with around $1.5 million in cap space. It all sounds simple, but the issue is that Patrice Bergeron does not have a contract for the 2022-23 season, and it's unlikely that he would return just on a new deal with a cap hit of $2.5 million. That means, either Bergeron will indeed retire as some have speculated, or the Bruins will need to move out some money in order to fit Bergeron in. At least that would be the case, but to muddy the waters even further, Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, and Matt Grzelcyk will be starting the season on the IR, possibly pushing the Bruins into a campaign spent entirely in the LTIR space.

On defence, the Bruins have their top six signed at cap hits of at least $3 million each. No efficient NHL team wants to be paying their bottom pairing on defence a combined $6 million. That means at least one of that group would be the spot to look at cutting. Mike Reilly, a healthy scratch on and off since the acquisition of