Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson and Brad Marchand wait their turn for line rushes during the first session. #nhlbruins #trainingcamp
I’m liking everything about this. Bergeron is ready to go, Soupy is cleared to practice. I think this could be a very special season.
Well, didn’t see this one coming…
Can’t say I don’t like it though. Loui Eriksson fits into the Bruins style of play and can bring it offensively. Add in three prospects with pretty high ceilings and cap space, looks like Chirelli has pulled off a trade with a win now mentality as well as stockpiling some young talent for the future. The Stars get a couple Centers to fill out their roster up the middle. The Bruins get 3 wingers to add to a team that is as deep as anyone down the middle. Thumbs up!
(photo from boston,cbslocal.com)
Nathan Horton will be testing Free Agency and I can’t say I’m shocked, but I was mildly surprised. He’s probably aware he won’t get the payday he feels he deserves from Boston, due to their cap contraints. Maybe he tests the waters and sees numbers that are similar to what Boston will throw at him and he stays or maybe someone in dire need of a top-6 winger gives him a big money, multi-year deal. I’m going to bet that it’s the latter of these two scenarios. There are 3 teams that come to mind, who fit the bill…
The Nashville Predators - This is a very strong defensive team (even more so with the addition of Seth Jones) with one of the top 10 goalies in the league (Pekka Rinne). Outside of Filip Forsberg, they really don’t have many names on offense that jump off the sheet. Adding Horton to the wing on the top line instantly gives them a power forward with a scoring touch to give Forsberg more room to work. They are also a fairly young team that could use Horton’s experience, both as a veteran in the league and as a playoff hero.
The New York Islanders - Another very young team (with a ton of cap space) in need of some scoring depth on the wing. The Islanders are already becoming a scary team in the East, with rising stars like John Tavares, Matt Moulson, Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo. They’ve already gone out and brought in Cal Clutterbuck to add some grit to their second or third line. Before Horton would sign with the Islanders I think they’d have to add some depth on their blueline, because I have a hard time believing he’ll go from a surefire contender to a team with a lot of potential.
The Ottawa Senators - They have a solid defensive system and a rising star in Erik Karlsson on the blueline. The Senators made it into the second round of the playoffs with a roster made up, mostly, of guys who were in the minors earlier in the year. One of the glaring weaknesses of this team was their scoring depth and with the 3rd most cap space of any team in the league, they can remedy that with a couple big Free Agent signings. I think Ottawa is the most likely landing spot for Horton. If he signs with them and they are able to aquire a playmaking center (maybe a Danny Briere or Mike Ribeiro), they instantly jump into the conversation as a dark horse contender out of the restructured “Northeast” division.
There it is, I think Horton has the best chance of going to the Ottawa Senators and if my gambling record is any indication, I’ll be way off.
(photo courtesy of Zimbio.com)
It may seem weird to start a hockey blog a couple days after the season ended, but I’ve never done much that makes sense. After the season ended in such dramatic fashion and after weeks of annoying my friends and family via texts and gchats, I figured I needed an outlet to put my thoughts on the team I love, into the world…without driving my friends and family insane. This way, it’s all recorded and they can take a look at it, at their own leisure (read: not at all).
Where to begin…this Boston Bruins team, from the jump, was a favorite for the Stanley Cup Final. They came out hot, winning on a pace that would have warranted major media attention had it not been for their eventual Stanley Cup dance partners even more impressive start. After a hot start, they cooled considerably, which, if you were following the season, you should have seen coming. During their hot streak, they were winning games, but never looked like the dominate team they were capable of being, they weren’t blowing away teams, as much as they were escaping games with points. They had numerous opportunities to clinch the division from Montreal and take the 2 seed heading into the playoffs, but chose to limp into the playoffs, backing into the 4 seed and a date with a hungry Toronto team.
The Toronto series was a microcosm of the Bruins season, they came out hot in game 1 and outclassed the Leafs from start to finish, only to look lost in game 2, take control of the series in games 3 and 4, then forget they were in the playoffs until the final 11 minutes of game 7. The OT series clincher by Bergeron was the catalyst that brought out the Bruins we’d been waiting for all year. They were hungry, they scored at will and they steamrolled 2 of the best teams in the league en route to the finals.
The Stanley Cup finals were all the NHL could have hoped for (well, a game 7 would have been nice). Two original 6 teams. Both teams coming in hot, the Blackhawks taking out the defending LA Kings and the Bruins sweeping the heavily favored Penguins. Star studded line-ups, team speed vs. team defense. And the 6 games they played were some of the most compelling hockey you’ll ever see. No fights, just hard-nosed, black and blue hockey. Sure, there was plenty of animosity, but there was more respect between these two teams than anything else. Guys were playing hurt, because that’s just what you do, and the speed of the game seemed like they were skating in mud by the end, but it was still the best way the NHL season could have ended (aside from a Bruins cup win, of course).
Now, onto the post-season…the Bruins had their team break-up earlier today and a lot of information was thrown out there by team officials and players. A few of the notables are, Patrice Bergeron playing with a broken rib, strained muscles, a separated shoulder and a small puncture in his lung, Ference, Jagr and Pandolfo were all notified that they would not be resigned due the new NHL CBA cap going into effect next season, and of course, talks of getting Rask under contract ASAP. The Ference news was expected, but it still stings. The guy has given us a lot and he genuinely seems to love the city of Boston and the guys he’s playing with. With that said, it’s all business and Chirelli has a great grasp on when to cut ties and when to leave emotion out of it. Ference would have been due for a raise and he just doesn’t fit with the cap shrinking next season. The Bruins have 3 young defenseman who have proven more than capable this postseason (Krug, Bartkowski and Hamilton) and I’m really looking forward to what these young guys can provide this team over a normal 82 game season.
Also, could you all please stop with the "Trade Chara" and “Trade Seguin” nonsense, you sound stupid.
(photo from boston.com)