Overall Rating: 76
Home Arena: Boston Garden
Home Ice Advantage: High
Road Ice Disadvantage: Average
Power Play: Strong
Penalty Killing: Average
12 Adam Oates
8 Cam Neely
49 Joe Juneau
10 Dmitri Kvartalnov
19 Dave Poulin
38 Vladimir Ruzicka
21 Ted Donato
23 Steve Heinze
16 Peter Douris
27 Stephen Leach
13 Gregori Pantaleyev
17 Dave Reid
18 C.J. Young
42 Brent Hughes
29 Darin Kimble
32 Don Sweeney
26 Glen Wesley
28 Gord Murphy
6 Glen Featherstone
14 Gordie Roberts
34 David Shaw
36 Jim Wiemer
The following credit goes to AngryJay93, and is from this thread: Boston Bruins.
Team Overview: Despite having the top defenseman in the game, Boston suffers to a lesser extent the same problem that Pittsburgh has, a weight issue. After Cam Neely and Ray Bourque, the top end skill on the team thins out very quickly and all that is left is lightweights with mediocre skill. Thankfully though, Boston can play some pretty stout D, which should make a tight checking, low scoring game a priority.
Forwards: Boston can go 5-6 forwards deep, but with that said, none of them are top 25 material. After Neely there is a dearth of shooting ability, Oates is a premier passer, but his pass options get limited if Neely sits. Juneau and Donato are light weights, but aren't particularly gifted offensively; all of these issues make line building a chore.
Left Wing Lock:
Ted Donato: 4 weight, 3/4 skating, 3/3 shooting, 3 sth, 3 pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L
Over time, Donato has found himself a niche as a 3rd forward because of his ability to skate and check. Donato is great in on the fore check because he can manhandle most any defenseman with a stiff body check or quick poke check. He's also a solid back checker with his ability to quickly accelerate and run down forwards. On offense though, Donato is only a bit player, he doesn't have a great nose for the net, but his shot accuracy is a little better than his rating would imply. He can occasionally make a nice pass as well thus allowing him to carry the puck up the ice on a fairly regular basis.
Joe Juneau: 5 weight: 4/4 skating, 4/3 shooting, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L
Although not an ideal center, Juneau should be able to bring in some defensive intangibles to the middle of the ice while not crippling the offense. Along the same ilk of Donato, Juneau is great at pressuring the defense into turnovers and he has enough ability to capitalize on an opportunity when it presents itself. On offense, Juneau is more of a dangler than sniper because he is very hard to body off the puck. At the same time though he doesn't necessarily have the speed or shooting ability to take over a game which severely limits the amount of offense the Bruins can produce.
Adam Oates: 7 weight, 5/4 skating, 3/4 shooting, 5 sth, 6 pass, 6/5 aware, Shoots: R
Oates would be a great #2 guy if it weren't two things. First, Oates is primarily a set up man, but no one on this roster is a great sniper thus taking away Oates primary asset. Secondly, Oates is a middleweight, but his game is about drawing the opposition to him to set up people, thus any team filled with lightweights can really take advantage of him. Why put Oates in? He is the best skater on the team, he is defensively conscious, and he has puck skills that no one else on the team possesses. Oates has potential that no one else on the team has, its getting something out of him that can be difficult at times.
This line lacks legit goal scoring ability and a true speedster, but what they can do is press and try to hem teams deep in their own zone and turn the neutral zone into a turnover filled disaster area. Hopefully these turnovers will lead to easy scoring chances.
By putting Oates in the middle, the best one timer option is now available, the problem though is that Juneau and Donato aren't elite passers and Oates is only skilled at in close one timers. The second thing this line does is put Juneau on the right side, thus helping shield the heavier of the two Boston defenders. While this leaves Boston a little weaker in the middle defensively, the hope is that Juneau, Donato, or Sweeney can converge on any attacker in the middle.
Cam Neely: 10 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/5 shot, 4 sth & pass, 5/4 aware, Shoots: R
While adversely affected by the weight bug, Neely can still be a useful player in the proper role. With the most effective shot among the forwards, Neely is able to cash in on a lot of his chances from inside the blue line. At what cost though are you willing to pay for a guy who can finish? Neely is easily bodied off the puck, which severely limits his 1 on 1 ability. He is also a non-factor defensively with a complete inability to body the opposition off the puck and keep up with faster, lighter forwards.
Against heavier and/or slower teams, Neely is a viable option for some one-timers. Also, Oates should have a bit more space and time to work with and create those passing lanes to find Neely. Lastly, Donato can hopefully cause some havoc and provide some big timely hits to help spring the offense from inside the Bruins zone.
Dmitri Kvartalnov: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/3 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/2 aware, Shoots: L
Kvartalnov is the odd man out here despite having a nice skill set. It just isn't nice enough in any one area to warrant him starting. Donato is much better defensively, Juneau is slightly better defensively and has comparative offensive skills, and Oates is a far better set up man. If injuries arise or Donato becomes ineffective on offense, Kvartalnov can provide a nice option on the wing.
Defense: Boston is home to one the most mobile and offensively gifted set of defensemen in the league. While Ray Bourque, Glen Wesley, and Gord Murphy maybe a bit on the bulky side, they are suitable #2 D-men along side Don Sweeney, the best blue liner in the game bar none.
Don Sweeney: 4 weight., 4/4 skating, 4/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L
Look no further, this is the cream of the crop among NHL 94 defenseman. Sweeney is a slick skating, offensively gifted, hard hitting machine. Gord Hynes and Tom Pedersen are the only other 4 weight defenseman in the league, but the difference between them and Sweeney is obvious. Sweeney is a far superior skater, he can keep up with anyone in the game and more often than not, knock them on their butt. Sweeney is also dangerous with the puck because he can either send a quick pass up the ice to a streaking forward or become a rushing defenseman who can absorb a body check to make a nice deke or feed it to the open man for a scoring chance. Finding a balance with Sweeney is key though, it's tempting to carry the puck up the ice with him constantly, but doing so takes the best defender out of position.
Ray Bourque: 10 weight, 5/4 skating, 5/5 shot, 5 sth & pass, 4/6 aware, Shoots: L
At 99 overall, Bourque is by far the highest rated defender in the league, and its easy to see why, he has an elite rating in every category. Bourque can be a two-way force, no other defender comes close to matching his shot, he is a threat from anywhere inside the offensive zone, also his passing skills are top notch and he can quickly set up the counter attack. In cpu mode, Bourque is a killer, with 6 checking he has the tendency to knock over anyone in his path and is great at snuffing out passes. On the downside though, he can leave himself out of position with questionable rushes up the ice in CPU mode leaving the Bruins in an odd man situation defensively. Also, when controlled by the user, he loses all his checking power and turns into a big softie with or without the puck. Bourque is still widely considered to be a top 10-15 defenseman, but his weight can be a real issue at times.
Glen Wesley: 8 weight, 5/4 skating, 4/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L
Wesley is in the mode of Bourque light, he still has the elite 5/4 skating, but all the offensive skills take a considerable hit making less effective as a two way force. Wesley is a very solid #2 option, his skating can get a team out of sticky situations and it can also be used as a weapon to push the tempo from the backend. Body checking isn't Wesley's forte, but his great skating aids him in being able to deftly poke check the puck away and start looking for options on offense.
Gord Murphy: 8 weight, 5/4 skating, 4/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: R
Similarly skilled to Wesley, Murphy is another swift skating option for the Bruins blue line. If a natural right defenseman is desired for the #2 job, then Murphy is the guy for it with his right handed shot and not too much skill is lost in the Wesley-Murphy trade off. The one new issue that might be run into with Murphy is his low awareness rating. While he may net get lost on offense too often, his defense awareness leaves much to be desired and he can get lost in his own zone fairly easily leaving passing lanes wide open. If this turns out to be the case, use Wesley or Bourque, they have ample skating, passing, and shooting abilities to make up for playing on their opposite side.
Lastly, most of the offensive combos for Boston put their heaviest winger on the right, pair that with a heavy right D-man and things can get a little soft on that side. If facing a light, fast, highly skilled winger, don't be afraid to move Sweeney over to the right to help balance out the formation. While you may lose Bourque's blistering slapper, the defense gained might be enough to eek out a win.
Defense Rating: 8.5/10
Goalie Zone: Boston has one of the rare instances where both goalies have similar ratings, the thing to watch out for in this instance is the awareness ratings. John Blue has a 5/5, Andy Moog a 2/2, this artificially inflates Blue's ratings making him look better then he really is. Stick with Andy in this situation, with his 4/4 skating, 4 weight, and 4/3/4/3 save ratings, he is a great manual goalie to use and is also very solid in CPU mode, he typically performs very well leagues and has had a few seasons among the league leaders.
Goalie Rating: 7.5/10
Bottom Line: Make no mistake about it, Boston is not an offensive dynamo, they are a hard working, hard hitting, defensive minded team. A quick hit offense and a suffocating defense will help rack up the wins no matter what team they are up against.
Ted Donato: Nothing changes about Donato's play style as he is still a gritty forward attempting to disrupt the opponents attack. Never much of an offensive weapon, his new found vulnerability of the CB check shouldn't really deter him from his main goals...which isn't goals, it's to stop them.
Joe Juneau: Boston has always been devoid of a true center and with Neely's emergence, Juneau should be able to move to the wing where is skills are better suited anyways. Neely is far from a great option and Juneau may have to be forced into Center duty regardless. His 1 on 1 game has been downgraded and he is also now susceptible to back checkers as Juneau's skating ratings are far from elite.
Adam Oates: At 7 weight, Oates doesn't change a whole lot and unfortunately still doesn't feel like he really belongs in Boston as their style does not suit his skill set at all. It's still impossible to bench Oates as he is the best skater and puck distributor but he will continue to frustrate.
Cam Neely: Neely may be the most overrated high end sniping slug in the game and he still has issues aplenty. He's still a poor choice as a puck carrier as his non-elite skating and high susceptibility to weight bug checking make him a turnover machine. Neely does have a good shot but he doesn't seem incredibly adept at finding the high scoring spots on the ice and he seems to pump fake on a lot of his one-timer attempts. His defense has improved greatly as he can flatten most of the forwards that come his way but his offense and the Bruins play style on offense do not make for an easy time.
Dmitri Kvartalnov: Remaining on the outside looking in, Kvartalnov is a fine sub off the bench but he remains strictly a perimeter play maker on offense.
Vladimir Ruzicka: 10 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/3 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L
No other forward for Boston comes close to offering the CB package off the bench that Ruzicka possesses and allows the Bruins to make adjustments if needed. Ruzicka is essentially the Evgeny Davydov of CB options, decent skater, ok shot, but leaves much to be desired in play making and awareness.
New Line: Ruzicka-Neely-Oates
Built in the same mold of Pittsburgh, the Bruins can run out a CB lineup with a justifiable amount of skill. With Sweeney in the back, he can take over any weight bug checking duties while the front line takes care of the CB side. It's going to take some creative and patient offensive tactics to advance the puck up the ice with this unit, much less run up the scoreboard.
Don Sweeney: Much like Donato, Sweeney maintains his weight bug defensive ways and could possibly even benefit from teams icing more of their heavier players trying to find the skill needed to score consistently. It has always been tempting to work Sweeney on the offensive side of the ice but perhaps those feelings should be tempered a bit as now he is a CB target to the majority of players.
Ray Bourque: Forwards around the league should check their underwear as Bourque has had his monstrous checking ability restored with CB tech. Has Bourque ascended to the top of the '94 defensive heap? The jury is still out on that one as he is still too easy to bring down with the puck. If used appropriately, Bourque does have the ability to be a game changing force in all areas of the ice.
Glen Wesley and Gord Murphy: Tis shame the Bruins can only ice two defenseman as they have four viable #1 options available to them. Murphy and Wesley are a happy medium between Sweeney and Bourque and provide a bit more balance than the extremes of their two counterparts. No shame should be felt in icing either of these fantastic options.
Glen Feathrston: 11 weight, 3/3 speed, 2/3 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: L
Most teams can't go three or four deep on their blue line depth chart and ice acceptable options, the Bruins can go as low as the fifth spot and still ice a passable CB checking force. Glen's fellow Bruins, especially in the back can easily carry him in the skill department and allow him to shine on defense where he can use his average skating to throw his big body around and deter opponents from entering the Bruins slot. If Bourque goes down and a CB option is desired, Feathrston can fill in admirably.
Boston isn't much more than an upgraded Penguins lineup and it really hurts them in matchups with the upper echelon of teams. The offense is a random mish-mash of forwards who don't do much of anything at the elite level and if they do then it doesn't mesh with their own play style much less their teammates. It is probably best to devise a forward unit that compliments Boston's defensive posture and doesn't cause a tire fire on offense.
On the other hand, Boston's defense is arguably tops in the game with four legitimate #1 options available to them . They skate, hit, pass, shoot and feed off each other with aplomb. It has become even more crucial for Boston to frustrate their opponent to make mistakes which they can then take advantage of.