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The Bruins brass have a long summer ahead to assess and to plan

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Time to don the thinking caps!
Time to don the thinking caps!
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Will the Bruins shift gears back to 'Big, Bad' for the next season?

  • Pushback or pushovers? Don Sweeney has a loooong postseason to be the punching bag for this season's shortcomings.[TheBostonGlobe]

  • Zdeno Chara took a monetary gamble coming to Boston and was a key to winning the Stanley Cup. He is no longer the same player, but still brings a lot to the table.[WEEI]

  • This long read touches on the Maple Leafs rebuild, the Bruins' backup goaltender situation, and why Claude Julien will have to pipe down and accept the undisputed fact that the Bruins have eked out merely the very least to the third fewest power play oportunities in the league for THREE years now.[TheBostonGlobe]

  • Here's one more upvote for keeping Claude Julien, and another hope that video should be a helpful tool to avoid grievous mistakes without micromanaging the officiating.[TSN]

  • Kirk Luedeke calls out the boo birds who pick and choose facts that only support their assertion that Claude Julien "stifles the kids." He moves on to his observations of the Finland v. Czech Republic (popular with NHL scouts) and USA v. Russia games at the U-18 Worlds.[ScoutingPost]

  • On Saturday, the Providence Bruins popped the Wilkes-Barre Penguins to earn second place in the AHL Atlantic Division.[ABC6] The AHL first round playoff schedule is here.[TheAHL]

  • The PBruins then closed out their season Sunday by trouncing the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 6-1.[ProvidenceJournal]

  • Bruins prospect Jeremy Lauzon is on the mend after taking a frightful slice to the neck Friday during a QMJHL game. (With video, which is safe for the squeamish.)[WEEI]

  • A trio of off-ice officials were pressed into service in a playoff game after a kerfuffle between the host Devils and the scheduled officials back in 1988. Take a look back at the 'Yellow Sunday' tilt between the Bruins and Devils.[DailyFreeman]

Elsewhere around the rink:

  • Having deep reserves in the net has mattered this year, as teams have had to call on goalies two and three levels deep in the team's system.[NationalPost]

  • Another Latvian goaltender nicknamed "Mittens" has emerged as a story at the IIHF World Under-18 tournament (remember Kristers Gudlevskis at Sochi?) and it took a late game Alex Nylander snipe to steal the win for Sweden. Canada beat the sluggish Danes.[ScoutingPost]

  • How about this suggested playoff format- just take the top 16 teams as of the end of the regular season (hmm... wouldn't the Bruins have made it in under this structure?)[TSN]

  • Meanwhile, in playoff action, the magic number was one- across the league, firsts were the theme.[Sportsnet]

  • The Bettman's machiavellian push for parity is finally clipping the Blackhawks ' wings.[TheGlobeAndMail]

  • How many times has that dud become a stud when facing his old team? Poaching employees from the competition also works well in business, a lesson businesses learned in part from the NHL.[NationalPost]

  • It was a Boston hometown takedown as Kathryn Tappan finally asked Mike Milbury the question that so many have wanted to ask. (With video)[PuckDaddy]

  • The LA Kings ' mascot, Bailey, took a moment to offer a bit of assistance to a referee.[BarDown]

  • You may recognize #18 for the Sound Tigers in this AHL brawl fest against the Albany Devils resulting in 248 PIMs and the ejection of both coaches... Hello, former Bruin Justin Florek! (With video)[PuckDaddy]