Scrolling Marquee with text links

Monday, October 30, 2006

Cullimore on the Block

According to the Chicago Daily Herald Times, Gagne's name has been floated around the league as possible trade bait, as Philadelphia tries to salvage its floundering season.

New GM Paul Holmgren is looking to make a blockbuster trade and it looks like nobody is safe from bsing traded.

It’s believed the Hawks have offered the Flyers defenseman Jassen Cullimore, who according to a report in the Ottawa Sun also has been shopped to the Boston Bruins.

Regarding the Rumors

Regarding Latrappe's post on the rumors, I wouldn't be surprised to see a "monster" deal get struck. The entire team is tradable except Bergeron, Chara, Kessel, and Boyes. I know Boyes name was mentioned, but for 1.5 per, he isn't going anywhere. Anaheim, San Jose, and Boston seem to be the teams being mentioned. How about a deal where we get Marleau and Giguere. Wouldn't that shake the team up? Not saying it's realistic, but a deal like that would definately improve the team. Basic needs: Goaltending and offense. Chiarelli is ready to pull the trigger and look for a splash to come. Names like Marleau, Nabakov, Giguere, even some other forwards on other teams to be mentioned.

*Sorry for the lack of updates, my computer has been funky lately and Blogger was erroring on me yesterday. My apologies, everything is back to normal now though.

Perreault Signs with Phoenix

The Phoenix Coyotes announced that they have signed former Preds C Yanic Perreault to a 1yr/700,000 dollar deal. Perreault scored 22 goals had 35 assists for a career-high 57 points in 69 games with the Nashville Predators last season.

Matt's Take: Good deal for the 'Yotes. Only 700,000, wish the B's got him.

Rumours, Rumours, Rumours...

According to spector's web site; the B's are very hot on the phone and they are in the middle of some interesting rumours. I give you the ingretal text from Spector.

" Mick Colageo reports on the numerous trade rumours swirling about the Boston Bruins. He write GM Peter Chiarelli may be willing to part with goaltender Hannu Toivonen since acquiring highly-touted prospect Tuukka Rask from the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer. He also cites the UFA status of the "San Jose guys" (Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau) acquired in last year's Thornton trade, noting Stuart's wife is from California and Sturm has said he intends to test the market. Colageo dismissed the rumour of PJ Axelsson being shipped to Ottawa but suggests Chiarelli's connection with his former club could result in another Senator coming to Boston. He suggests Anaheim and San Jose could be potential trade partners for a goaltending upgrade for the B's, and closes by suggesting that unless " there's something else under the radar screen, the Bruins could be on the verge of a multi-player, multi-team trade that could involve some other names fans don't want to hear, like Brad Boyes and Milan Jurcina."

Latrappe's take: If and there's a big " IF ", here, a multi-team trade is on the verge; Murray will be a goner. But, in order for a team to swallow his contract, the trade partner(s) will probably ask for a good young player/prospect to sweetened the deal. That's probably the only way( trading Murray ) the B's will be able to get a premium goaltender.No surprise to learn that Stuart, Strum and Primeau are aviable since they will be UFA at the end of the season. I'm a little bit surprise to see Toivonnen's name on the list but it seems that he's highly regarded by many teams and he could the best wildcard for Chiarelli.

Lashoff in Providence?

According to the Globe, Chiarelli and Lewis will have to decide about Lashoff's faith ( Beantown or Providence ). With Alberts returning Thursday in the lineup, all blueline spots are filled.

Latrappe's take: There's no way Lashoff should be send to Providence. In two games, he showed composure, speed and he played a smarter game then York or Dempsey. If there's anyone who have to be send in Providence, it should be one of those two.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Rumors Swirling

In today's Globe, reports are out that the Bruins are VERY interested in Evgeni Nabakov. I don't know if I'd want a 5+ million a year goaltender, but he could become back to his former self and be awesome. I am not sure yet if I'd like this deal.

Game Review: Ottawa 10/28/06

Great game by the Bruins. Did not let the 1st goal mess them up and great all around play by the team.

3 Stars:

1. Zdeno Chara
2. Tim Thomas
3. P.J. Axlesson

Axlesson had a great forecheking play which led to a goal. Chara came up with a timely rip from the point which gave them the late lead. Thomas had some great saves to keep them in the game.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ottawa 10/28/06

After suffering a tough loss against Montreal, the B's are looking to bounce back against Ottawa.

Game plan:

- Make the basic plays and keep the game simple.
- Stay away from the box.
- Better production from the PP unit.
- Pray for a solid goaltending performance.
- Shoot the puck.

This will be a tough game to win. Ottawa have crushed Toronto and outscored them 13 to 4. Not exactly the kind of team you want to face when you allow 4 goals per game. The defensive squad have to be smarter and clear the zone at any cost. The PP units will have to keep their strategy simple and avoid bad giveaways in the offensive zone. Sadly, i don't think the B's will win that one...

Bruins: 2
Ottawa: 5

Shopping for Goaltending?

After last night game, Lewis was clear : The way we lost . . .," mused Lewis, his Bruins 2-5-0-1 after last night's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens at the Garden, "I still think saves can be made ".

Update: Fluto Shinzawa report that Chirarelli is " moving closer to making a deal, but isn't close to pulling the trigger ".

Latrappe's take: Of course, that saves have to be made. I think that PC will probably take the phone, starting today to explore the possibilty to acquire a legitimate #1. When your coach is ringing the alarm bell; it's time to do something.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Post game analysis : Montreal 10/26

Another loss for the B's where, once again, the team was unable to do the little things right.

Call me Mr. Softie: Once again, for the second time, It was Mr.Hyde in the goal tonight where Thomas or should i call him Tim " Swiss cheese " Thomas was weak on the third goal and plainly dumb on the second. Do this guy knows something about the basic position and/ or the fact that he didn't have to be on the ice ALL THE TIME to make a save. With that kind of goaltending, this season will end very soon. PC take the phone right F*cking now...

Call me Mr.Fancy: Lots of powerplays, very few results. Why? Fancy plays. Basically this is a description of a B's powerplay: They pass, pass, pass again; pass, pass, pass, shoot the puck wide; pass and pass again. Those guys doesn't seems to undertsand that the basic plays in hockey will make you win. The better exemple was the goal of Chara. No fancy play, no unecessary passing; a pass, a shot and a goal. That's simple.

Call me Mr.Giveaway: Tonight honors will go to Savard who made a couple of back passes, on the PP, who simply leave the zone because he was not enable to see if a player was actually there to accept his pass. It's unbelievable to see how those guys turned over the puck in the three zones...

Call me Mr. Positive: At least, there is a positive: Lashoff. The kid did very good for a first game. He give away the puck only 2 or 3 times; he was calm and make the BASIC PLAYS. That's why he was successful. Maybe he should take some time with York and Dempsey to teach them a bit. Too bad that he take a penalty at the end of the game and that it was Thomas in the goal. Sadly for Lashoff, his goaltender didn't bail him out this time..

Conclusion: The lack of execution kill the team tonight. They still want to be fancy and remain ineffective on the PP. Thomas was weak on the second and the third goal and it's clear that, with that kind of goaltending, you will see lots of number in the " L " column.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Isles-Blue Jackets Trade

The Islanders have acquired forward Eric Boguniecki from the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Ryan Caldwell.

-Boguniecki will be sent to the Islanders' AHL team.

Montreal 10/26/06

This is going to be a tough game. Rival games are always important, and these are division points, which are epecially valuable. The Bruins are in need to gain some points in the division. This will be Lashoff's first NHL game, and hopefully he will produce. This is a must win, and with the injury bug going around, it is going to be a tough win.

Keys to winning:
-Support from cast. Guys like Donovan, Lashoff, Axlesson, and Toivonen need to step up their game.
-Offensive pressure. The Bruins haven't scored more than 3 goals this season.
-PK unit. The Bruins have been HORRIBLE this season at PK.


Chat Now

Luckily, I will actually be able to go into the chat earlier than expected, so I will be going now until 8:45 or so. Hope to see you in there.

Bruins Schedule

I happen to not like the Bruins schedule this season. It's unfair that you start on a 5 game road trip, 4 of them season home openers for other teams, then be the last team to play a home opener. Even with a nice 7 game homestand, is isn't like these are cupcake teams. Buffalo, Calgary, Montreal...etc. The schedule is weirdly placed so they basically play every Thursday and Saturday, which gives them no time to make a playing rythym. I know the team hasn't played up to expectations, but the schedule also has to a little to do with the struggle.

Chat Pushed Back

Chat will be at 9:15 tonight. Sorry for the inconvienence. Hope to see you all in there.

Samsonov Demoted

According to RDS and TSN, Montreal demote Sergei Samsonov to 4th line and he will likely start tomorrow's game on that line. Samsonov was absolutely furious and stated that ''It's frustrating when your team is down 3-0 in the third period and you end up sitting on the bench watching the game. If that's the case, then obviously I'm not needed here.''

Latrappe's take: Samsonov have no one to blame but himself. His defensive game was poor and his offensive production almost reduce to nothing. Samsonov was nowhere to be seen in a lot of games and Guy Carbonneau is not the kind of guy who will accept those kind of things. Samsonov have, in Montreal, exactly the same bad habit that he had in Beantown which mean that he always take the wrong decision around the net. Time will tell how it will played out...

Bruins Call Up Lashoff

The Bruins announced today that they have called up defenseman Matt Lashoff from the Providence Bruins.

Matt's Take: This is going to be fun to watch. We will see what our 1st round pick is made of, hopefully not Lars Jonsson. I have high hopes for this kid, and people have very high talent rating on this guy.

Around the League

- Ken hitchcock could return in the NHL very soon. Spector's web site report that Florida, Phoenix or Tampa Bay could be a destination for him. Jacques Martin could hire Hitchcock, as a coach, while he will concentrate his efforts on the GM duties.

Latrappe's take: Phoenix could be the next destination for Hitchcock. With a record of 2-8, Gretzky will not stay very long behind the bench and this team need an experienced coach to put things in order. Their goaltending is awful and that's an area where they will have to improve quickly...

- With the loss of Micheal Handzus,for the rest of the season, and with Havlat out for 3 to 4 weeks, the Hawks need help quickly. There's few legitimate options on the RFA market and with their good start, the team might will try to bolster their lineup. Spector's is reporting that Chicago have contacted centerman Yannick Perreault.

- Coyotes defenseman Nick Boynton have a slow start with his new team. He's -5 ( probably more after his team lost 6-1 to edmonton, last night ) with an abyssal 47 minutes of penalty. It seems that Boyton will have to adjust sooner then later to this new NHL.

- Once again, Flyers denied rumours regarding their interest on SJ goaltender Vesa Toskala.

Latrappe's take: Even if some rumours are kind of BS, there's no smoke without fire. I always believed that SJ would trade one of their keeper if the right offer come along. Also, the reason why Toskala's name is mentionned so many time is because of Nabokov's hefty salary.

- An NHL executive is reporting that trade talk had considerably heating up in the last 7 days. It seems that there's lots of teams, right now, who are not willing to wait and sink. Do the B's are in that category???

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Special Teams: Not so special for the B's

We talked about it before the season. This part of the game was so important last year and i though the team would catch the message. Well, looking at the numbers, they didn't catch anything but Influenza...

Today, the team is dead last on the PK and 24th in the PP unit. Important? Well, important enough to bailed out a team like Montreal who show an awful -13 at 5 on 5 but who find themselfs in the 5th spot in the conference. Coincidence? I don't think so. The Habs are in the top 5 on those two categories and it shows. When i look at the B's PP, i see a lots of bad things: Bad decisions, fancy plays, blind passes. All the ingredients to not produce and make the other team looks good. Looking at the past, the B's had some great powerplay units. Lewis should take the tapes from the Bourque and Iafrate era and show to his team how the point could be effective on the PP. This team have not enough finish, right now, around the net to play the fancy pants. Powerplay is not a complicated thing: Do the basic stuff: win the faceoffs, try to broke down the defensive box and shoot. There's too many players, on this team, who tried to do the perfect play. Instead of sending the puck to the point, they get stubborn and want to pass the puck in the crowded slot. The result is predictable: an offensive giveaway and the puck in your own end.

Do we really have to spend time on the PK? Each time this team is down 5 on 4, you can feel the wind of panic going through them. In that situation, the goaltending is an important piece of the puzzle and your goaltender have to bail you out at least, one time. If not, you're in deep trouble and will find yourself in the... 30th position? Of course, the goaltender is not the only factor. When you look at the numbers of giveways by the defense, you understand why they are dead last. Instead of doing the basic thing: Clear the zone by the board or the glass, they prefer to make dangerous passes and induce an offensive rush. Why? you're on the PK !!!. Even if you reach to other end, you will probably be cought deep in the offensive zone and put your team in trouble. Even the speedy Buffalo Sabres cannot apply this strategy without giving goals. The only difference here is that Buffalo have the skills and the speed to overcome those goals allowed on the PP. The B's.... well, they are not even there.

There's no place like the PK and the PP to see if a team execute the little things right. Right now, there's a lack of execution. Until the team understand the importance of doing the little things right, nothing will change. Now, that 2 of their top 4 defenseman are on the self, things won't be easier. In fact, it could turn into a nightmare. We only have to wish that those guys will work harder then ever and see the holy light....

Monday, October 23, 2006

Chiarelli not ready to pull the trigger... Yet.

According the the Boston Herald, Peter Chiarelli is not ready to pull the trigger yet. He believe that the team need some time to gelled but have concerns regarding the goaltending situation. He said that " If there are guys who need to develop and need some time, we’ll give them that time. But if there are areas that have to be fixed now, then they will be fixed ". So, if the goaltending is not improving after the week-end; you will probably see Chiarelli pull the trigger...

Hextall in Philadelphia?

Darren Dregen one of TSN's hockey insiders report that owner Ed Snider consider to bring back Ron Hextall in the organisation, even if he's working for the L.A Kings. He also stated that the search for a new general manager is not over since Paul Holmgren have the " interim " label on him.

Latrappe's Take: Snider is one of the most respected owner in this league and he was never afraid to take charge when things needed to be done. That said, i though that Snider would have looked at Boston's failure regarding the good'ol " from our organisation " strategy. It's good to have ancient players in your organisation but you cannot always go in that direction. The Flyers need a bowl of fresh air; new ideas. I'm not so sure that Hextall could be that bowl of fresh air. It will be interesting to see what kind of direction Snider will give to his team.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Message Board

Just wanted to remind you all, the Message Board on the site is a great way to have arguments and post any rumors, ideas or whatever. I encourage all of you to make an account on it and during the offseason it will be used a lot by me.

More on Muzzy/Nabokov

From HockeyBuzz

Interesting trade rumor that just came across my desk from two seperate soures. The Bruins Glenn Murray is looking as strong as he has in a while, and one source tells me that that he heard the the Bruins have inquired about Nabokov. The Sharks have two number 1 goalies, and I continue to hear that Toskala is their guy.

I just also heard that Dupont has speculated on this in today's Boston Globe, so I just called my source who said to me, "That may be more than speculation, because I know the names have been discussed."Here's what's interesting. These are two guys with salaries that many of us thought made them "untradeable." But if they get traded for one another...I will stay on it.

Rated as an e2 on Ek's rumor scale.

Leetch Return Soon?

From the Ottawa Sun.

UFA blueliner Brian Leetch has resumed skating in Boston and is expected to sign somewhere in the next couple of months. Boston, Toronto and the Rangers have all shown interest.

Axelsson Rumor

From TFP,

The Boston Bruins appear to be open to parting with winger P.J. Axelsson and the Senators could be a viable option, reports the Ottawa Sun.

The Sun claims the Senators had discussions with Boston about the possibility in the off-season and it's believed the Bruins would be interested in youngster Antoine Vermette.

Axelsson, 31, has notched just one goal in seven games with the Bruins so far this season.

Alfredsson and Axelsson are from the same hometown (Goteborg) and helped Team Sweden win gold at the Olympics in Turin last February.

Matt's Take: Another BS rumor. Axelsson is fairly cheap, and is a valuable checking line winger and penalty killer.

Stuart Out with Broken Pinky

Brad Stuart will be out for an extended period of time after breaking his pinky last night vs. the Sabres. A HUGE loss to the team. EVEN MORE speclation of a Leetch resigning.

Clean Slate in Philly

TSN is reporting that the Philadelphia Flyers have fired Bobby Clarke and Ken Hitchcock.

Latrappe's Take: No surprise there, especially after the owner made the statement that nobody was safe... For Clarke, that's a well deserve firing since he failed, for a decade, to deliver the goods.

Matt's take: Wow! This was a little extreme for me. Only 7 games or so in, fire your GM and Coach. I wonder how this effects the players.

Goaltending Change?

Look guys, come to reality. 6 goals vs Buffalo, 8 vs Florida, 2 goals in 2 min vs St. Louis. Where only 7 games in. This tandom of Thomas and Toivonen will not carry this team. Period. No I am not overreacting. We need to acquire Nabakov, Biron, or Giguere. Then are goalies can "steal a win" or 2. This team will not go anywhere this season, and I hate to say this, but you are wasting the prime of Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart, Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard and others. Unless Toivonen shapes up, look for Nabakov or someone to make his way over.

Bruins Get Smoked

Bruins-2 Sabres-6

I actually did not get a chance to watch the game. But, Brookbank had a very nice goal, and Kessel finally lit the lamp. From what I've read, Toivonen sucked and his puck handling was horendous. I don't really have much to say since I did not watch the game.

Goaltender Wanted

Ok. Before you all going Ballistic and fire at me, at will, let me adress a couple of things.

1- I don't put the fully blame on the goaltending for the team record.
2- Those goaltenders are put in a situation where they probably shouldn't be.
3- We all knew, at the beginning of the season, that our goaltending was suspect.

So, where do you go from here? Well, after last night, it become more and more evident that the B's need an upgrade between the pipes. The defensive play have to be polished; That's a fact. That said, there's too many soft goals allowed by Thomas and Toivonnen. Those softies are momentum killer and confidence crusher ( for them and the team ). The team won't be able to reach the playoffs with that kind of goaltending. Neb, a regular visitor of the blog, made a good point stating that, because the B's are on the re-building mode, we should wait a bit more and then take the proper actions. I think that's the dilemma Chiarelli will have to solve. Do we stick with Thomas and Toivonnen and suffer the consequences? Do we get a #1 goaltender to reach the playoffs and relieve pressure from Toivonnen?

I don't think the fans and the owner will be patient this time. In fact, when you read between the lines; missing the playoffs is not an option for Jacobs. Yesterday, in the globe or the Herald (I don't remember), Jacobs stated that the front office made the mistake to act late, too many times, and that , this year, it won't be the case. For a large part of the fans who are tired to wait and are eager to win; it's a refreshing speech. For the other bunch, the more patient ones, it could be the start of nightmare where the front office will shuffle the roster to the point that the team will have another mediocre year. There's no simple answers, right now, and i think we will have to wait and see (the B's have a 4 days rest) how Chiarelli will respond. In fact, that's probably his first real test regarding his capacity as a General Manager.

Whatever how the things will fallout; the B's need goaltending. This team is starting to gelled. Slowly, they seems to integrate the system and are more consistent with the effort. We cannot take last's night game as a barometer. Buffalo is too strong and they will, probably, kill 90% of NHL teams this year. We have to look further and wish that a legitmate #1 keeper will give the B's an well needed edge against others NHL teams. If pitching is the name of the game; goaltending is, in the is new NHL.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

New Murray Rumor

From hockeytraderumors and

Penguins have contacted the Bruins about the availability of Glen Murray. What makes this interesting is Shero came very close to landing center Brad Boyes this offseason in exchange for Ryan Malone and prospect Eric Christensen. The Bruins declined and countered that defenseman Noah Welch be included into the deal. Ray Shero declined but with Ryan Whitney developing into a #1 defenseman, play of young defenseman Kris Letang, it is believed that Shero may offer Malone (1.3 million) and Welch to land Murray. It makes sense for both teams. The Bruins save some cap money but add a future #2 defenseman and a 20-25 goal scorer and the Penguins obtain a top flight winger to play with Crosby and Malkin.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Glen Murray is on the trading block and the Bruins want a proven goal scorer and young prospect in return. The Buzzontheburgh has learned that Ray Shero did in fact come close to pulling off a deal for center iceman Brad Boyes this summer. When the Bruins signed Marc Savard in the early goings of free agency, Shero looked into the availability of Boyes. An offer of Ryan Malone and Eric Christensen was declined and the Bruins countered with Malone and Welch which was declined by Shero. What makes that proposed deal in the summer interesting, is an hockey insider was on the show of Espn radio WAMG-AM 890 of Boston yesterday afternoon and reported that Bruins have received a call from Pittsburgh regarding the availability of Glen Murray. It is believed the Penguins may counter with the same kind of offer and this time may include Welch to bring in the proven winger. Stay tuned

Matt's Take: BS. Sounds like an okay deal, but I doubt it happens.

Alberts Out 2-4 Weeks

Andrew Alberts will be out 2-4 weeks with a separated shoulder. A big loss to the defensive corp. He had been playing some real good hockey lately.

Matt's Take: This could add speculation to a Leetch return. I'd rather see Leetch than Dempsey. See what happens...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Flyers Waive 3

TSN reported that the Philadelphia Flyers placed forwards Petr Nedved and Niko Dimitrakos and defenceman Nolan Baumgartner on waivers.

Matt's Take: Dimitrakos and Baumgartner are not surprising, but Nedved has always been a player I like. I know his salary is little hefty, so it is most likely a cost cutting move. If the Bruins could pluck him on re-entry waivers I would like that. This, overall, is likely a cap relief move, and could spell a deal for a goaltender.

Chiarelli Denies Rumors

KPD reports that PC has denied any trade rumors regarding Muzzy. But he also states that anything is possible. Like I said, I doubt he gets moved, if at all, during the deadline.

Chats to Resume

Sorry for the 2 week absense for chats, no time to hold them. I apologize. Starting next Wednesday we will resume them. Hope to see you there.


Quick fact: Chara's stick is 6'2". WOW! That's big. Anyways on to the point. I just have to say, I love it when people try to mess with our players, and then Chara walks up and they just stop. Intimidating huh? Can't wait to see him drop the gloves. Phanuef and Chara almost went at it when he shot the puck while Toivonen had no helmet on. Chara is the real deal, and captain material. Any doubters should start to be proven wrong.

Buffalo 10/21/06

Buffalo will be a tough opponent. Undefeated this season with a strong balanced team. Look for a good game.

Key's to winning:

-Don't let Briere dive. This guy is a pussy and will dive all the time.
-^^^Stay out of the box.
-No soft goals in. Those take you out of the game.
-Protect lead, no late game letdowns.
-Score early and often, have them cathing up to you, not vice versa.

Bruins will keep on rolling on this homestand.


Brad Stuart

He has been catching my eye as he has been on the PP unit. He has seemed to step his game up this season, and I am really hoping the Bruins resign him long term. He is be one of the top coveted FA's this offseason. Stuart is been emerging as the 2nd defenseman along with Chara this season. A nice 4yr/12-16 million dollar deal wouldn't be so bad now would it?

Murray on the Block?

TSN, the Globe, and NESN (during last night's game) have all reported that Peter Chiarelli is possibly shopping around Glen Murray for a goaltender. As Latrappe said earlier it could be for Nabakov or Giguere. Personally, Murray has been playing great so far (4 goals) and I don't want to trade him now. But, saying that, he does have 3yr/12.5 or so left on his current deal, so the cap relief would be nice. Nabakov does have a hefty deal as well though, so the trade off is a wash. IMO, don't deal Murray. The offense would become weak, and the team won't be as dynamic.

Game Review: Calgary

Bruins won 3-2. The score is a misleading here. Bruins outplayed the Flames all game, and showed a lot of energy. Great overall win. Toivonen had some timely big saves and the offense played very well. Glen Murray is looking more like his former self every day. Team effort. Defense was solid. Great PP/PK job.

Latrappe's take: Finally, they put a 60 minutes effort and followed the game plan to the end. Hannu was solid and provided key saves when needed. The entire team was disciplined since they only took 4 minor penalties. The defensive squad only allowed 28 shots and the offense won a couple of key faceoffs. A very good overall performance and we will see Saturday what this team can do against a very powerful team like the Buffalo Sabres.

Matt's 3 Stars:

1. Glen Murray (2g)
2. Hannu Toivonen (26-28 shots stopped)
3. Jeff Hoggan (6 shots on net)


Hey, just wanted to apologize for not posting as much lately. As I have said before, I am extremely busy, but after next week I will have more free time.

Chiarelli Shopping for Goaltending?

According to Globe's KPD, Chiarelli is exploring trade options, regarding a goaltender, and is willing to include Glen Murray as a trade bait. Dupont believe that PC called SJ to know if Nabokov was avaible.

Latrappe's take: I don't know about this rumour but I'm pretty sure that PC is making call to know if there's any possibilities to acquire an experienced goaltender. I think, we all agree that, even if Hannu is good, we need more than Thomas to make this team win. PC may have no choice but to look in the Western Conference since no team would trade a premium goaltender to help someone in their own division to beat them. SJ or Anaheim could be trade partners.

Wind of Change in Philly?

Ed Snider said it all yesterday when he declared that he was not satisfied with the club performances and that he will analyse all aspects of hockey operations to find a solution. I was watching the Tampa bay-Philadelphia game, last night, on TSN and Philadelphia didn't respond at all to the owner speech. TSN's experts report that if nothing has changed after the week-end, you can expect major changes including the firing of GM Bobby Clark.

Latrappe's take: There's no surprise here since the team looks slow and played without passion. The defense is horrible; the offense struggle to score and Forsberg could be out for a long period of time. If you though that there was a crisis in Beantown; think twice. I think that Bobby Clark is the one who's on the edge right now. Clark had the ownership support for many years; even when he had teams who can won the big prize but failed to deliver the goods. He, also, failed to land the missing link in the form of a #1 goaltender. Clark refuse to acknowledge that simple fact and will probably die with it. Expect something huge in Philly if the team lose tonight against Florida. The team have a 5 days rest after tonight and it could be the good'ol it's " every men for himself".

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Calgary 10/19/06

After a 5 days rest, the team should be ready and excited as a young wife to play tonight's game.

Latrappe's key to win:

- Win faceoffs. The team is awful in that category and it's an important feature on PP/PK.
- Play good'ol defense in our own end (clear the zone by the board or the glass)
- Pack the front of the net during PP; Clear the whole thing during PK.
- Stay away from the box
- A 60 minutes commitment on the game plan.
- Stop being Fancy and pretty. Be effective !

Is your final result in OT/SO.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Philadelphia in Trouble?

After a disastrous 9-1 to defeat against Buffalo, it seems that something will start to move in Philadelphia. Ed Snider, the owner, made it clear at the beginning of the season: This season will not be the same as the last one, which means that everyone is on the edge, including Clarke. Well, last night and after being challenge by his coach to perform, Esche and his team, collapsed in a very fashionable way. Philadelphia's defense looked slow, the team was overskated by Buffalo and there's was not a bit of passion on the ice for Philadelphia. GM change? Coach change? Trade for a legitimate #1 goaltender? Keep an eye on the Flyers. Something could happen very soon.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Leetch Return?

According to HockeyBuzz, Brian Leetch has been working out for the Bruins, and they may sign him for PP time and to help out the young defense.


Don't take these seriously, but if things don't shape up, here are a few things that could fix the team.

-Sign Brian Leetch. He would help the PP for small money, and would help the mediocre defense out.

-Sign Jason Allison. Another PP guy. If he were to come for small money and play PP role.

-Trade Marco Sturm. Yes, you heard me. I say try to trade him and a pick for a top of the line winger.

-Trade for Nabokov, Giguere or Biron. Look, if Toivonen and Thomas keep letting late and soft goals in, this team will go nowhere.

Line Combinations

Just sitting around thinking. Last year Bergy, Boyes, and Sturm were a GREAT line, but this season so far, lines 1 and 2 have been mediocre. Why don't we slot Sturm back up to LW with the top line and move Kessel down. Sturm has been crap so far this year. Kessel has been good, but to his luck he hasn't scored on many oppurtunites. I feel it is a waste to have Sturm on the 2nd line.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

5 Days for Answers

Finally, this road trip is over. The B's are on their way to Beantown and they wish that it will be another case of "Home Sweet Home". So, where do we go from here? Well, they have 5 days to find answers.

5 days to look at tapes and find what went wrong. 5 days to find a way to believe in themself and to put 30 years of deception behind them. Not an easy task I confess. That said, there's a positive. The team know exactly what to avoid if they want to win on a daily base. Actually, in this road trip, everything who could goes wrong did go wrong. But the key word here is consistency. The team was not able to follow the game plan in 4 of their last 5 contests. Sometimes, it was power play; sometimes they filled up the penalty box faster then the box could handle it and sometimes they lost their concentration and gave away a point. The only time they executed the game plan was in Tampa Bay and guess what; they won.

There's something to worry about when a team cannot display a 60 minute effort. Looking back, it seems that the team is falling into last's year bad habits: 50-55 minutes effort, 3rd period collapse, lack of discipline. The more puzzling factor is that they're supposed to be better, well, at least on paper. In fact, they are more talented then last year. That's why, at this time, there's no point to start pointing at individuals. There's a team problem and all the players are in the same boat. When you look at the schedule, it will be tough. The team will face Calgary in their opener, Ottawa and Buffalo (2). In the worst case scenario, the team could drop to 1-8-1 after 10 games. And most of those games are against conference rivals. In order to reach the playoffs, this team have to find a way to win those important conference matchups. The competition is stiff and they have to find solutions quickly before digging a hole so deep that they won't see the day of light till the end of the season.

Many posters though that I pulled the trigger too fast and they might be right. Maybe I was lacking of patience but I guess this is what happend when you are passionned, as I am, for hockey. I really wish that the next 5 days will be their most productive ones. Because the last thing this team needs is their "Home Sweet Home" become bitter sweet...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Game Note

Dave Lewis has announced that Nathan Dempsey will be in the lineup in favor of Milan Jurcina.

Matt's take: Bad choice. Jurcina is better than Dempsey, but we'll see what happens. May be a reason we don't know.

Islanders 10/14/06

Tonight it is a big game. It is a must win for the Bruins. They should win since NYI sucks, but hey, so does St. Louis.

Keys to winning:

-60 minute game. Have to play the FULL 60 minutes.
-PP unit. They changed it up, and they need to convert to be successful.
-No turnovers in defensive end.
-Scoring from lines 1 and 2.



NYI defense is weak, and many are starting to doubt the B's. Look for the offense to explode. I may be a bit optimistic here.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Game Reaction

Unlike Latrappe, I am not about to jump of the Toban Bridge. Look it is 4 games into the season, we are 1-2-1, which is not bad considering the 5 game road trip. If we, which we should, beat the Isles on Saturday, it will be a good trip. It is the beginning of the season, and we will have a nice long home streak.

Now, the PP unit was horrible. They were 0 for 5 or somewhere along those lines. Unacceptable. If you want to be a consistant team, and make it far into the playoffs you need ATLEAST a 20% sucession rate.

The defense. Well Dempsey we know sucks, but York don't be so quick to judge. York is a good defenseman, but will likely get tossed out of the lineup when Mark Stuart comes back. The only issue with the defense is the lack of ability to clear the puck. If they can work on being able to clear the puck better, they will be fine. I would also like to see them more involved in the offensive play.

No blame goes to Tim Thomas. He played an excellent game, and it was the defense's fault on the 2 goals.

Shootout, we need to learn to score on those. Last year, and this shootout, we seem to have trouble scoring. Something Lewis needs to work on.

Ok now to the main point to the game. YOU CANNOT BLOW 2 GOAL LEADS LATE IN THE THIRD. Look, this is typical Bruins. You need to play A FULL 60 MINUTES to win. Period. When the Bruins learn this, they will be successful. It is a matter of time and disapline.

A Bad Taste In the Mouth

So, after 55 minutes of hockey 101, they collapse. Another glimpse from the past. Another deceiving result; another frustrating moment for the fans.

After seeing St. Louis owner guarantee a win, the B's were not gutsy enough to deliver the goods and spoil the party. What's the problem then? Leadership? Anxiety? Lack of finish? Panic?. There's no easy solutions here but last game showed that this team is a long way to go from his goal which is a playoff spot. When you think about it, the team was fine during most of the game until St. Louis's first goal. Then, they suddenly look like a deer stuck in the middle of road: they were terrified. Thomas, who was possess by Luongo spirit most of the game, start to get on his knees faster then a pilgrim eager to pray. At his discharge, Thomas who made the first save, on the last goal, didn't have any help from Paul "the tourist" Mara. The defensive squad started to play dumb and was unable to clear their own end. Everything in those 5 last minutes was too fast. So, I guess we can, already, make some asssumptions:

1- York and Dempsey (he didn't play yesterday) are NOT a part of the solution.
2- The power play unit is a complete failure.
3- The defensive squad , except for Chara and Alberts, are a bunch of pussies who refuse to clear the front of the net.
4- The line changes made by Lewis didn't produce as expected.

I know, it's early in the season and there's no signs that this team will collapse all season long. I'm not anxious; I'm tired. Tired to see those talented guys waste opportunities to be better. I'm tired of clichés (we have to learn from this), excuses (learning the system is a process) or any kind of bullshit (we don't know each others well) who will be said in today's newspaper regarding team's last performance. After 30 years of mediocrity, I ant results. Not in 3 years, not in 3 months; NOW.

Last night's game reminds me how it was painful to watch the B's last year. It reminded how, since 30 years, this team is living on expectations without getting the job done. Last night, they simply push their luck too far. This team has no margin of error and until they proved us that they can be good an they should be. Until they proved us wrong, they will be tagged as a bunch of sorry losers.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Jurcina to Play

Quick note. Milan Jurcina WILL be in the lineup tonight, as will Yan Stastny. Jurcina will be a big boost to the defense. Tim Thomas will also get the start.

St. Louis 10/12/06

Tonight should be a Bruins win. St. Louis is an up and coming team, but their talent in over the hill. Guerin, Weight, Tkachuk, etc. I expect solid goaltending from Thomas, and better defensive play.

Keys to winning:
- Play better without the puck and avoid turn over in the neutral zone.
- Better Power Play. Scoring one time on eight occassion is not enough.
- 60 minute effort. They did it in Tampa so there's no excuse to not do it in St-Louis.
- Play harder in front of our net and crash opponent's net to get some rebounds.
- Scoring from 1st and 2nd line.
- No defensive turnovers, keep puck out of own end.
- No soft goals allowed.
-Score early and keep momentum, take St. Louis out of the game quick.



Game Aftermath

This 4-1 loss was disappointing since the team had three days to be prepared. The second period was brutal and lethal. The team seems to understand the importance to stay out of the box but have tough time to quit their second's guilty pleasure: turn over. The B's played bad in all three zones and Toivonnen had an ok performance but was a bit weak on the last goal.

Last night's hero: Chara. This guy delivers all the time.

Last's night zero: Dempsey. What the heck you were trying to do on the last goal? Diving the puck? Play the man for god's shake.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Points Overrated

Don't judge by the title. All I have been hearing lately is how, points on October are crucial...etc. Well of course they are. Every point counts the same. Why does it matter if you get it in April or October? If you suck in October, and are good in March, it is the same as sucking in March and being good in October. It is the same with the MLB. People always say, we can waste a game in April, but not in August. How so? If you lose the division by 1 game, that game in April is just as important as in August. A game doesn't magically earn you more points or a win than another.

Around the NHL

Update: TSN is reporting that Toronto's defenseman Andy Wozniewski will be out 4 months because of a major injury. It might force Ferguson Jr to make a trade or go on the free agent market...

- According to TSN, Pavel Kubina will be sidelined for 4 to 6 weeks due to an MCL strain.

- Spector's web site report that name like Dan McGillis or Steve Montador could be considered as options to replace him.

Latrappe's take: This is a huge lost for Toronto since we all know that points in October and November are crucial for any teams. It remains to be seen if the team will be able to fill the void. I don't think that McGillis or Montador would be the answer. There's few teams who can have the luxary to have more then one Hall Gill at the blueline. Their offense isn't that great and I doubt that they can cover for their defensive mistakes. Just think that Hal Gill will have to play more minutes. Ouch!

- Dallas activateed, Matt's guilty pleasure (Patrick Stefan), from the IL. Time will tell what kind of impact Stefan will have on his team. Don't expect anything spectacular here.

Atlanta 10/11/06

This is going to be a tough game. Atlanta always causes trouble for the Bruins, and I don't see that changing. Expect a HUGE game from Marc Savard, who last season played in Atlanta. Jurcina will be out of the lineup, but could return next week. Toivonen will get the start. Look for a close and interesting game.

Keys to the game:

-Shut down Hossa and Kovalchuk early and often.
-Test Lehtonen, get one in the first 8 minutes.
-Defensive neutral zone pressure.
-Work the PP and the PK.
-Stay out of the box.
-Stick to game plan.

Prediction: A nailbiter, but Atlanta comes out on top.

Bruins 3
Atlanta 4 OT/SO

Raycroft Marginalised in Boston?

I was watching a TSN sports show and they talked about the Raycroft/Rask deal. They said that it was a 50/50 % chance of a success because Raycroft won the Calder and because he was marginalised in Boston. So, basically, those guys said that Raycroft problems was related to the organization. Easy, too easy. Here's 3 reasons why I strongly disagree with that "conspiracy" theory.

- Call me Mr. Holdout: One year hiatus, the new NHL is under way but you have no contract. Of course, you won the Calder and try to cash this award, which is ok, and you ask 2.5 per. The team said no and the negociation is tougher then expected. Then, you decide to follow your agent's silly advice and run into a holdout. One year without any hockey and the shape who come with it and you decide to start later then the others. Good job ! Of course, all the entire roster was out of shape but still, it was a bad and stupid decision. I undertsand that it's always frustrating to see your team refuse to acknowledge your trophy (I think the B's offered him a 1.35 per while he made in 2004 550,000) That said, the attitude of Raycroft changed and he had a shaky motivation at the beginning of the season.

- Out of shape: Of course, getting late on the gym and on the ice will not help you after a year without hockey. Raycroft was clearly out of shape. Slow to get on his pads, slow to get in his basic position; slow from right to left and left to right. He was slow. When you hold a key position like goaltending, you have to be in a very good shape. All premium goaltenders have fitness programs to help them. Brodeur and Luongo are an example of this. Raycroft was too worried about his contract and not enough worried about his shape.

- Lackluster performances: Raycroft like Toivonnen didn't have any defense in front of him last year. Still, he allowed too many soft goals who were related to his slowlyness between the pipes. I think Raycroft won, if my memory serves, 2 out of 14. So, what the coach should do? Leave Raycroft there and let him sunk. Of course, not. He decide to go with Thomas and we know the rest of the story. The only mistake was to not let play Raycroft at the end of last year when everything was set and done.

Don't get me wrong here. I didn't want to start a "let's bash Raycroft =" trend here. Raycroft is a good goaltender and he will rebound in Toronto. So far, his game is starting to get to together and the Leafs got a legitimate #1 in their hand. My point is to say that, in the case of Raycroft, the team could not be responsible (can be held for the poor roster for sure) for his bad season last year. Raycroft didn't do his homework and that's the main reason why everything fall apart. He received bad advices from his agent and his attitude wasn't the best. Sure, Jacobs is a @#$$# and a @#%?&?%$ and probably a $%?&?%$. But, this time, the team cannot be help responsible for that mess.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Good Joke

I was looking at B's web site this morning and spilled my coffee off when I saw that line on Bish's blog, "Both guys looked sharp between the pipes in practice and I'm not sure how much it matters who plays what game."

I don't know where this guy was last friday or where he was Saturday. Who cares who looked sharp in pratice. Thomas was shaky Friday and Hannu deserves to start with his last performance. Thomas will have his turn but I just found out this comment funny since I doubt that coach chose their goaltending because of their performance in practice.

The Depth Issue

I was looking at the season preview this week and hockey's sports writers were very high on a specific point: depth. I wonder why. I though that it was evident that, in a cap system depth would be the great equaliser between teams.

When you look closely, the depth issue to justify a ranking is ridiculous. I looked at the eastern conference and almost every team had a depth issue. It's only a question of degree. Think about it; Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Florida, Washington, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Tampa Bay have all depth issues. That's a lots of peeps there. So, is the lack of depth could be a "the factor" to explain the success or the failure of a team? I don't think so. Because, let's face it, when a team loses a key player, they will not be able to replace him with an effective one; not in this cap era, where good players command huge money. Those players sells tickets but will hit you on the cap. So there's a lots of team, right now, who stand between 41 and 43 million. Do you think those teams will be able to bring an impact player to replace an injured star player?.

This cap era force teams to make decisions and lack of depth is the equaliser around the league. Look at Ottawa and Carolina. Two teams who lost good players and, because of injuries, had a poor first week. It doesn't mean that they will collapse all season long. My point here is that when there was no cap, teams could spend whatever they want to fill those depth issues. The time were Detroit had a third line with a guy like Luc Robitaille is over. That lack of depth simply permits to a weaker team to get some points from a stronger one. Those points could be the difference between a playoff spot or an early exit. That's what depth issue is all about.

As far for the ranking; i think that depth could be a factor in the old NHL where teams could spend a ton of money. Now, with the cap limitation, depth could not be retain as " the factor " to evaluate the performance of a team. Everyone, in this league, have depth issues. Talent, good managing and vision will be the important factors to consider when evaluating a team.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Tenkrat to Providence

Petr Tenkrat has cleared waivers, and has been sent to Providence today. Tenkrat could be called up if any forwards get injured during the season.

Flyers Interested in Leetch

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Flyers are looking to bring in Brian Leetch.

Pahlsson Signs Extension

The Anaheim Ducks have signed Samuel Pahlsson to a 2 year contract extension. He had 11 goals and 10 assists for the Ducks last season. He was acquired from the Bruins in 2000 for Andrei Nazarov and Patrick Traverse.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Calder Trophy: a New Player

Remember the year before the lockout? There's was a draft and the L.A Kings selected Anze Kopitar as the first selection. This guy showed speed and skills and could be the "hidden card" of the Kings this year. If he performs all season like did earlier this week, Malkin will not be a lock for the Calder trophy. Keep an eye on this guy. He can be, with Crosby and Oveschkin, among the top players in the league.

Learning to Win

After an ugly performance friday night, the B's respond with a good 60 minute effort to win 3-2. The win was important, but the way they did it was the most important thing.

After all, who didn't have the bad feeling that some thing would happend when Bergy gave us the lead with 15:00 to play in the 3rd. Please, raise your hand (my hand is raised). Yes, we were all waiting to see the worst to happen but no, the worst didn't happen. This team is starting to learn an important lessons in order to be a playoff team. Win the close game. It could be a very silly statement but basically, that's what killed the B's last year. Those points lost due to a lack of finish or a ton of bad turnovers in their own end. They are 1-1 with 2 points in bank. Last year, it would have been 2 losses.

Last night, lead by Chara, the B's did the job right. They didn't panic, stuck with the plan and worked hard. Of course, this year is different. The team has a professionnal coaching staff who has answers. The addition of Chara stabilizes the defense and prevents any wind of panic throught the whole team and finally, those guys started to believe in themself. Looking back, that defeat in Florida was good. The team have no choice but to look in the mirror and there's some players who probably said, "not again". No, it will not be the same as last year since, now, there's some leadership in the lockeroom. You can feel it, Friday night, that the guys were pissed off. Last year, they were indifferent to the result and there was no one who can rattle the cage. Chara is the leader and right now, no one seems eager to mess with him. They are more eager to follow him which is a very good news.

This team have showed, last night, character and hard work; something that we didn't see last year. This only question now is whether or not they can repeat this effort game after game. The bets are open.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Game Recap

Matt's take:

-Offense was very good. They made plays and found the passing lanes. There was little dump and run play, and they created plays in the neutral zone. Also, they creates turnovers on the offensive end, something they haven't done in a while.

-The checking line played great, and IMO won the game for us with the defensive play and offensive touch in Primeau.

-Defense played great. They shut down the Lightning's top line, and protected Hannu. Some timely big hits, and Chara showed us why he is captain.

-PK unit was outstanding. Rarely let TB set up the PP causing a lot of trouble in the neutral zone for them. Did not allow one goal, and held them to few shots.

-Hannu Toivonen played like a number one goalie. Had a little rust on his game, let out some uneccessary rebounds, but overall great. Timely big saves, St. Louis breakway in 1st. Did let one goal in he probably wanted back, the 1st one.

-Only negative is the two goals they scored, where due to defensive turnovers in own end, something the Bruins have stuggled with the last few years.

Latrappe's take:

- Good job of the penalty killing unit who killed all of them. A welcome change after the horrible result last night.

- Hannu made key saves at crucial moments. That's exactly what you need from your goaltender. Good job Hannu!

- The team, finally, secured a lead in the 3rd period. They played 15:00 with the lead and didn't collapse at the end. Do the presence of Chara make a difference?

- The team was able to do the little things right. This game is about details and when you pay attention to them, you will be able to win on a regular base.

- Still, the team will have to find a way to stay out of the penalty box. Penalty killing is an exhausting exercise . When your best players are not on the ice because they have killed lots of penalty, you're in trouble.

Bounce Back Night

Tonight, the Bruins need a big win. After a dissapointing season opener, 8-3 loss vs. the Panthers, look for a strong game tonight vs. the Lightning.

Keys to winning:
-Shut down top line of Lecalvier, Richards, and St. Louis.
-Test Denis early.
-Stay out of the box.
-No turnovers in own end.

Toivonen gets the start tonight, announced by Dave Lewis.



Note: Petr Tenkrat has cleared waivers.

Bruins Interested in Therien

According to HockeyBuzz, the Bruins are interested in former Flyer's defenseman Chris Therien. Therien is a solid number 4-5 defenseman, and like I said, the Bruins need more veteren presence on the blueline. Nashville and New Jersey are also interested.

Friday, October 06, 2006

B's Crushed in by Panthers

Latrappe's take:

After a very busy offseason and a complete front office overhaul, the fans expected the best from their team. Tonight's game was a nightmare and the result was UGLY. 8-3 Panthers. Let's look at some highlights.

- I though that the B's would have learned from last year regarding the penalty box. Well, after 10 min, the team was in penalty trouble and gave a 5 on 3. Let's face it, guilty pleasures are tough to quit and that's why they gave 5, yes, you read it right, 5 powerplay goals.

- Before this season, we all knew that Thomas could be Dr.J ekyll or Mr.Hyde. Well, tonight, it was Mr.Hyde. Thomas was shaky on a couple of goals and was complaining to the offical instead of concentrate to keep the puck out of his net. In fact, he let 7 pucks go through before taking the gate. Wake up Tim, the season is under way!

- The defensive play was ugly. Too many mistakes in all three zones and D-man were way too soft in front of their net. Florida's forwards had a lot of fun, all night long. A night to forget. The team got in penalty trouble early, the goaltending was shaky and the overall performance poor. Let's forget this one and start again tomorrow.

PS: Here's a clue: Thomas won't start tomorrow.

Matt's take:

To sum it all up, they sucked. The offense was not great, but that did not really have time to get into a rythm all game. There was WAY to many penalties, is this the Bruins of last year? The PK unit failed to shut down Florida's PP. 5 PP goals allowed, I thought Lewish worked on special teams. The defense was HORRIBLE, and gave up way to many pucks in their own end. That was a key to winning.

Tim Thomas...sucked! What hot streak in the preseason? MOC great extension. Expect Toivonen tomorrow.

I have said this before, I am not sold on this defense. Obviously it is better than last years, but I don't think it will hold up. Jurcina and M Stuart are out, who are both key members of this defense. You have Chara, Mara, and Stuart, but we still need one more solid guy to take this defense to the next level. You are still going into the year with 3 unprovens. Alberts, Stuart, and Jurcina. How do we know that all of them can play a full season, and be able to perform? This looks like the problem last year. It would not surprise me to see them sign Leetch or trade a draft pick for a defenseman on the block.

But that said, it is the first game of the season, lets not kill the season after one game. 81 to go...

Game Night

Well, today has finally arrived. Season opener tonight vs. the Florida Panthers. Expect a good game.

Keys to winning:

-Keep the puck out of the defensive end.
-Take advantage of Belfour's old age.
-No turnovers in own end.
-Effective PP.


Bruins 3
Panthers 1

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thomas to Start

Dave Lewis has announced that Tim Thomas will start in tomorrow's season opener.

Tenkrat Waived

The Bruins have announced today that they have placed winger Petr Tenkrat on waivers.

Matt's take: I never was a fan of Tenkrat, and thought of him as a minor leaguer. Not a bad move, not a good move. Don't really care.

Kalus Sent Down

As all of you know probably, Petr Kalus was sent down yesterday by the Bruins. He will benefit from more playing time on the top lines with the Baby B's. We will likely see Kalus come up if Hoggan or Stastny fails to fit the 4th line role.

NHL's Opening Night

It was the NHL's opening night, yesterday, and I was able to see two games featuring: Toronto-Ottawa and Dallas-Colorado. I'll give you my first impression on what I saw last night.

Ottawa: They were lost, all game, in their own end, making mistakes after mistakes. Gerber was solid and he saved the day for Ottawa in the first period. Their offense was fine and was sparked by Spezza, Heatley and Fisher. It was the first game but playing without big "Z" will not be easy as Muckler said on TV. Still, they will be a tough client to handle.

Toronto: They looked and played like expected: this is not a playoff team. The offense will have tough time to put the puck in the net and it will be harder when they will face premium goaltending. Their powerplay was not good at all (I know it's the first game). Raycroft had a 50-50 performance where, in the first half of the game, it was the Raycroft of last year. In the second half, it was the solid Raycroft of his rookie year. Good'ol Hal looked SLOW and he was outskated by Chris Neil and it lead to Neil's highlight reel goal. After one game, the fans and the media are all over Gill. In fact, he didn't played a single game but the whole city was, already, all over him. It will be a very, very long year for Gill.

Dallas: I must admit that they surprised me. Their speed and their offensive punch was very good and they outshooted Colorado something like 19-4 in the 3rd period. Turco was excellent in the first period, even, if though the Av's scored two goals on the PP. They were in trouble in OT with an early penalty but Turco make a nifty pass to Sidor (his penalty was over) at center ice and he scored on the breakaway. A very good and exciting play.

Colorado: Their offense will be good this year but the Av's will have trouble in defense. Last night, in the 3rd period, they were overwhelmed by Dallas and Theodore was exceptional to keep them alive. In fact, it was the So, if the Av's want have a chance to play this spring, Theodore will have to perform at this level all season long.

A very good impression for the first night and the referees are still calling the game as last year. But the big difference is the adjustement the players made. There was only 3 powerplays for Ottawa mid second period. But still, obstruction and hooking are cracked down very fast by the officials. Can't wait to see our team perform Friday.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bruins Preview From TFP

Got this preview from thefourthperiod. Here is the link.

Chat Tonight

I will be holding a chat tonight, but I pushed it back until 8:45, so I'll see you all in there. Again, 8:45 tonight.

I am in the chat now. Come on in.

Bruins Most Improved Team in the NHL

TSN's season preview stated that all 30 NHL GM's voted for the Bruins as the most improved team in the NHL. This is great to hear, and I am glad people have recognized this. All those so called experts were saying the Bruins overpaid, and are going to fail this season, well that's not what the GM's thought.

Chasing the Playoffs

"I think it is very important [to get a good start]. You never know when you are are going to be missing those points. [They] could come in the first game or the second game in a season. And you might find you are missing those [lost] points in April. I think every game is very crucial and it doesn't matter if you start out on the road or at home. I you have to…try and win those games."

Those words of wisdom are coming from the captain, big "Z". Yes, those games will come to haunt you, one way or the other. Fans will remember last year's schedule when, in the first two months, the B's had an astronomical amount of games against their own conference. The result was desastrous and basically, the B's ended their season last November. It was do or die and boy, do they died! They blew the whole thing up and within two months, it was set and done. That said, winning against the conference is big, but the bigger issue is consistancy.

I remember, last year, when the B's had a lead in the 3rd period, the only thing who comes in my mind over and over was, "Do they will collapse and give a late goal to lose it or send it in OT?" Most of the time, the prediction was right and the B's lost about 15 points due to their sloppiness and lack of finish. It was clear, at the time, that there was a "coaching" problem behind all of this. Sadly for the team, Sullivan had no solutions and was overwelmed by the situation. The "dump and chase the puck" strategy became the "dumb and lose the puck" strategy. Let's face it, last year, the B's had no clue on Earth how to play without the puck and 75% of the time, they didn't have it. Sullivan never adjust to the new rules and the team didn't had the profile to play the chasing game. The B' were outskated night in, night out and quite frankly, didn't have the muscle to pressurise opponnent's defense.

This year will be different. I liked the line of TSN's Pierre McGuire regarging the B's, "Boston will be better because they will become professionnal". Yes, they will be better because for the first time in a decade, Beantown has a profesionnal coaching staff. No more "let's look in our backyard" strategy or "the cheaper, the better". They have a coaching team who knows exactly what they want to do. They have a plan and they will sell it to the players. Of course, having a guy like Chara will help. It will help because there's no substitute for leadership. The good'ol "leading by the example" was long gone last year and the result was pathetic, desastrous, frustrating, and embarassing.

The B's are ranked 7th by TSN and KDP. But, in order to make the playoffs, they will have to:

1- win against the conference
2- play a full and intense 60 minutes. There's no way to evaluate those two factors because that's they were at the center of last year's collapse. But we can be excited by what's happening in Beantown. Yes, the B's will be in the playoffs because they have improve all around. Finally, this organization had a plan, they stuck with it and maybe, this time, the result will follow.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

More on Captains

I am glad Chara was named captain. He is the highest paid Bruin ever, and he is already showing that. He provides great leadership, and a sense of winning. He will be the leader on and off the ice. Great pick by the Bruins organization. I also like the picks of the assistant captains. Bergeron was a great choice because he is too young to be the C, but this will give him a small sense of leadership, and show that he needs to be a leader of this team. Murray was also a great pick. A Bruin for a long time (2 stints), he will prove that he deserves the A. When scoring 24 goals is considering a down year, look for Muzzy to pot 35 this year. I wish that Axy could have gotten the A, but I like the picks Chiarelli and the Bruins made.

Devil Signings Galore

The Devils have signed Brian Gionta to a 3-year, $12 million contract. They also signed back up netminder Scott Clemmensen to a one-year, $450,000 contract, David Hale to a one-year $550,000 contract, Paul Martin to a one-year $2 million contract, and Erik Rasmussen to a one-year $450,000 contract.

Matt's take: That is a fair deal for Gionta. Everyone was talking about this 6 year, 3.8 million a season deal. The other contracts seem fair to for the players. I still think this is all a crock of shit that he can sign these players since he should be over his head in cap problems. That aside, good signings.

Solid Bruins Preview

Thanks to Latrappe for showing me this one. Great analysis of the Bruins. Check it out. Here's the link.

McKenzie: GM's not happy with Lamoriello

A Great article from Bob McKenzie. Hmm, I told you all it was illegal. GM's know this to.

From TSN,

Bob McKenzie

Suffice to say, the natives are restless.

The natives, in this case, are NHL general managers who aren't happy with how New Jersey Devils' GM Lou Lamoriello has apparently extricated himself from a salary cap conundrum that, at one point, looked as though it might cause him to gut his team.

Now, though, with two moves over the last few days, Lamoriello looks as though he has deftly gotten cap relief to the tune of $7.1 million. That isn't to say he isn't going to be tight against the cap when the season opens and that all his problems are behind him, but he should at least be able to sign some of the players – Brian Gionta, Paul Martin and David Hale, for example – that he previously couldn't sign because of financial limitations. And it doesn't look as though the Devils will have to engage in a cap-induced fire sale to come in under the $44 million cap figure.

Did we mention a lot of his brethren aren't happy.

''This opens up a real can of worms for the league,'' said one GM, who requested anonymity. ''This is going to get ugly.''

This GM's unhappiness, or outrage if you will, is focused on what will unfold today when the Devils submit their final 23-man roster with the league. It is fully expected forward Alexander Mogilny will be listed as a Long-Term Injury, which if approved by the league will allow the Devils to spend over the $44 million salary cap by the amount of Mogilny's contract ($3.5 million) for as long as he remains on LTI.

Which, no doubt, will be the entire season.

And sources tell TSN that is precisely what will happen – Mogilny will be designated as an LTI and the league will approve it because he's legitimately injured.

In effect, as long as Mogilny remains on LTI, the Devils' salary cap is $47.5 million, which of course includes Mogilny's $3.5 million.

Many in the NHL community are shocked by the way this is unfolding because it was thought that there was no way for a team to get out from under the financial burden of a multi-year contract to a player who is 35 or over.

The new CBA included a clause that basically said any 35 and over player who signs a multi-year contract will count against the team's salary cap even if he retires or plays in the minors. It is why the Tampa Bay Lightning have to account for retired Dave Andreychuk's salary. Ditto for the New York Islanders with retired goalie cum GM Garth Snow and the Toronto Maple Leafs with the retired Tie Domi.
Why would Mogilny be any different?

That's the question a lot of GMs want answered.

There are a number of issues here.

The first is whether a 35 and over player is eligible for LTI status. The CBA clearly spells out that a 35 and over player has to count against the cap even if he's retired, playing in the minors or on injured reserve, but it doesn't specifically say anything about Long-Term Injury status. Conversely, the CBA clause on Long-Term Injury doesn't say anything about precluding 35 and over players from getting LTI.

It is that interpretation that sources say will get the Devils' their relief on Mogilny.

The other GMs who aren't happy about this turn of events will threaten to do the same with their over 35 players who are no longer useful or contributing to the team.

''You're going to see a lot of teams do this with their older players,'' a GM said. ''Why would you have a player retire when you can get him on LTI and his dollars don't count against the cap?''

Good question, but that goes to the second issue of importance. That is, the legitimacy of the injury.
It's all well and good for an NHL team, like the Devils, to say they have a 35 and over player who should be on LTI, but the league isn't going to take any team's word at face value on that.

That's why Mogilny had to receive an ''independent'' medical examination above and beyond any medical diagnosis from the team physicians. Sources tell TSN that ''independent'' medical assessment showed beyond any doubt that Mogilny, who has a chronic and degenerative hip condition, is physically unfit to play in the NHL.

If other teams want to get LTI status for their 35 and over players, and get an allowable overage on the cap, they will have to submit the player to the ''independent'' medical evaluation. If that player is deemed unfit to play, or legitimately long-term injured, then that team will get the same cap relief the Devils are about to receive.

There are some in the NHL community who, all rules and their interpretation aside, feel as though Lamoriello is getting a favorable ruling because he's one of the most powerful and influential executives in the game. He was front and centre in the CBA negotiations. But the league will argue that any team is entitled to do what Lamoriello has done and that the CBA is being upheld.

Which brings us to Lamoriello's other move that ruffled feathers.

On Sunday, Lamoriello traded veteran defenceman Vladimir Malakhov and a first-round pick to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Igor Korolyuk and defenceman Jim Fahey.

This was an ingenious bit of work. Malakhov is no longer playing – he's unofficially retired, though he hasn't filed any retirement papers -- but because he's an over 35 player on a multi-year contract his $3.6 million salary this season has to count against the cap. So Lamoriello simply traded him to a team, the Sharks, that has plenty of salary cap room and can absorb the cap hit without any problem. Sharks' GM Doug Wilson was rewarded for his largesse with a first-round pick from the Devils. As for the players going to New Jersey, Korolyuk is playing in Russia and has no intention at this point of playing in the NHL and Fahey is low-priced depth defenceman.

A first-round pick is a nice return for Fahey. Very nice.

''It doesn't break any rules,'' a rival GM said of the Devils-Shark transaction, ''but it still has a smell to it. It stinks.''

Nevertheless, this one was a no brainer for the league. Unofficially retired players, like Malakhov, or players playing in Europe, like Korolyuk, have had their rights traded in the past. And it's not for the league to decide whether a first-round pick is too heavy a price to pay for a player of Fahey's stature.

It was clear from the get go what this transaction was all about. Lamoriello was paying a price (a first-round pick), a fairly stiff one, to open up cap room. It's not the first time it's been done with the new CBA and it certainly won't be the last one.

Philosophically, it is not much different than the move the Philadelphia Flyers made in the summer of 2005, when they traded Jeremy Roenick and his $5.5 million worth of cap-applicable salary, and an additional third-round pick, to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for future considerations. The Flyers were effectively giving Roenick away to make room to sign Peter Forsberg to a free-agent contract. In fact, the Flyers had to do more than give Roenick away, they had to throw in a third-round pick to entice the Kings to take the player and his salary. The only difference is that Roenick actually played for L.A. while Malakhov is not ever going to play for San Jose (although if he showed up on the Sharks' doorstep ready to play, they would have to start paying him).

But in each case, the rules of the CBA were followed to the letter of the law.

Teams may not like it, but they could do the same if they so desire.

What we're seeing here is the natural evolution of the new CBA. There are many nooks and crannies to be explored. Over time, sharp GMs, or desperate ones, are going to find loopholes and areas open to interpretation. It's their job to exploit those to their own advantage.

And that, much to the chagrin of others, is precisely what Lamoriello has done.

There is a temptation to laud Lamoriello for these shrewd cap-world maneuverings, to brand him as the genius GM. But if that were the case, he wouldn't have gotten himself in such deep cap trouble in the first place with players such as Malakhov and Mogilny.

But the bottom line is the bottom line and New Jersey's previously-troubled cap situation is improved. Much improved.

"Z" to be the "C"

The Boston Globe reports that, as expected, Zdeno Chara was named Captain of the team, this morning, by the organization. Bergy and Murray were, also, named alternate captains. Peter Chiarelli explained the choice of Chara by these words: "Zdeno's leadership qualities have been apparent from the time he joined players for their informal skates prior to training camp...He leads by example, both on and off the ice, and he has earned the respect of everyone in the dressing room.''

Mogilny: Too Hurt to Play

According to TSN, an independent medical expertise revealed that Alexander Mogilny cannot play for the Devils due to an hip injury. So, the Devils will save 7.1 million in two days and now, there cap problems are long gone. Looks like Sweet Lou find a way to avoid penalties regarding the cap.

Latrappe's take: Let's not talk about conspiracy here but this is a very odd situation. Hockey writers are wondering about the Malakhov deal and I'm sure, behind the scene, that some GM's are absolutly furious about the way Sweet Lou got away with it. For sure, in the future, the Devils will be a target regarding offer sheet. For those who think that Wilson is a genius because he got a first rounder, think twice. 3.6 million for a first rounder is a very steep price to pay. Especially when there's no guarantee that this guy will ever skate on an NHL ice.

Matt's take: I am confused. According to the CBA, if a player is 35 or over when he signs a deal, his contract will always count against the cap even if it is due to injury or early retirement. Mogiliny was 35 when he signed the deal, so it makes no sense. If anyone can clarify this, that would be awesome. Also, for those who say, "You did the same with Zhamnov as the Devils did with Mogiliny." Incorret. Zhamnov was 34 when he signed, so if he gets hurt it is covered by the NHL, and his cap value is erased. Mogiliny was 35, so his cap value should stay.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Bruins 12th in Power Rankings

TSN ranks the Bruins 12th overall in the power rankings. Not bad picturing we were the 5th worst team last year. I agree mostly with those rankings. Nice to see the Bruins get some respect.

No team made the big splash additions like the Bruins -- Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, Phil Kessel are pretty glamourous names as the hockey world goes, but the bottom line is that they simply give the Bruins a deeper talent pool.

Ducks Overrated?

Ok, don't get me wrong. I think they have a great team, and will make it far into the playoffs, but saying that, they are overrated. Almost every major magazine and website has them picked to win it all or atleast make it to the finals. The Ducks do have 2 of the top best defensemen in the league with Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger. But after that, are they that great.

Goaltending-Their goaltending is ok. It is very shakey with the likes of Ilya Bryzgalov and J.S. Giguere. Can Giguere rebound after a poor season? Can Bryzgalov take over as number 1? Many questions regarding them. They have the talent, but will it show?

Forwards-There offensive corp is nothing to brag about. They got lucky with Teemu Selanne (40 goals) last season, but expect similar numbers from him this season. Any MacDonald finally found himself, but after their first line, the offense is weak and lacks depth. They also lost Joffrey Lupul.

Defense-Arguably the strongest in the league, but after Pronger and Nieds, there isn't much. They traded Vitaly Vishnevski, and lost Ruslan Salei to free agency (Panthers). Sean O'Donnell is also nowhere near his former self like he was with the Bruins, Devils and Wild. Obviously, Prongs and Nieds will take up most of the ice time though.

Projected Lines:


Moran-St. Jacques


Obviously, the offense is one of the weaker ones in the league, and the defense is VERY thin. If one of the two top guys go down, Anaheim is in trouble. People's expectations this season are too high for them.

Penguins Sign Staal

(AP) The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed center Jordan Staal to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Staal, 18, recorded 28 goals, 40 assists and 69 penalty minutes in 68 games with Peterborough (OHL) during the 2005-06 season.

Staal appeared in six pre-season games with the Penguins, recording one assist and six penalty minutes.

The 6-foot-4 and 215-pound native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, was the second overall selection in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft

KPD Answers a Question

Latrappe asked if KPD knows something about the retirement provision. Here is what he said.

I am not aware of the retirement provision that you have mentioned. I am not saying you are wrong...I simply haven't heard that before in regard to the current CBA. Now, that for fraudulent....not the way I see order to unload him, the Devs essentially are paying the Sharks with a first-round pick.....and they are taking back two players, along with their salaries, who I assume will never see the light of day in NJ. Seems kosher to me. And a first-round pick is a high price for the Devs to make for making a bad biz decision last summer. Now they have to hope they can dismiss Mogilny via long-term injury exemption.

Saskin and Linden in Court?

According to TSN, Ted Saskin and Trevor Linden will have to go in court to defend their positions regarding a couple of issues. Chris Chelios and Dwayne Roloson are among players who will "ask the court to remove Saskin as executive director because they alledge he has repeatedly violated the Association's Constitution along with Linden and other union members, "thus infringing upon the democratic rights of the players that the union represents," according to a release from the rebel group. They say Saskin was improperly elected, he misrepresented salary figures during negotiations, and he illegally diverted tens of millions of dollars in union funds for his own benefit."

Latrappe's take: I don't know about the "illegally inverted" money thing but that's a serious allegation. I wish the players had something to back them up regarding that case. That said, some players were absolutely furious about the new CBA and that's, probably, the consequence of it.

Matt's take: I don't really have much to say on this, since I am not familiar with all this. But, as Latrappe said, these are serious allegations, and things could turn out ugly.

Goalie Rumors

-There are various reports out in newspapers saying that Penguins future franchise goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will be demoted to the AHL this season, or shopped for already proven goaltending.

-The Toronto Star reports that Mikael Tellqvist could be placed on waivers as soon as today after losing the backup job to J.S. Aubin.

Islander Sign Park

The New York Islanders have signed UFA Richard Park to a 2 year/1 million dollar contract.

A Sad Day For the NHL

Yes, he did it. Without getting burned by his mistakes, Sweet Lou sucessfully unload Vladimir Malakhov from his salary cap. Suddenly, everything fall into place (like Matt wrote) and it seems that the Devils were able to re-sign all their players without making any moves.

Let me set the record straight: Sweet Lou is not a genius here. He simply used the CBA at his full extent to trade a player who didn't sign his retirement papers to get some cap relief. When you look at it, the price for Lamoriello's management mistakes was a first round pick. Of course, some people will consider that #1 pick as a steep price to get ride of Malakhov's contract but think twice here. New Jersey locked up the best goaltender in the league for a couple of years and they will be able to re-sign Gionta, Hale and Martin. Do you really think that Sweet Lou cares about that #1 pick since, with the roster he will have, he will finish high in the ranking; leaving SJ with a #1 draft pick selection at a very high position (2o and up)? Laughable. This is a way to avoid the consequences of a bad management. Lou was painted in the corner but SJ come to his rescue. Do they have another hidden agenda regarding something else? Will the Devils come to the rescue SJ in one or two years? This trade is bad; bad because it sends a clear signal: You can escape cap penalties by trading a #1 pick. It is the start of a new trend where team who have cap room will get a #1 draft pick in exchange for cap relief for the richer teams? It is a way to strip the balance of power from other teams? Look closely, because that's exactly what it is.

This trade is very dangerous for the league. This is a way to remove the possibilty to see talents being sprend around the league. The NHL was knocking on that sale button to promote the cap system around the league and among the fans. Now, with that fake trade,Lou have simply removed that possibility for other teams. The fans, around NHL will have to accept that trade and say, "Well, we will have our turn". There's someting very wrong here but I doubt that the league will have the balls to step up because we all know that Lou had probably signed those players and waited until he had cap room to announce those signing. It's a sad day for the NHL where we are able to see a well respected GM using a bogus strategy because he didn't want to face the consequences of his mistakes. Sorry Sweet Lou, I'm not impressed and guess what; I'm sure that, around the league, they are not impressed too.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

SI Bruins Preview


Boston Bruins

LAST SEASON: 29-37-16, 13th in East
KEY ADDITIONS: G.M. Peter Chiarelli, Coach Dave Lewis, D Zdeno Chara, D Paul Mara, Marc Savard
KEY LOSSES: Coach Mike Sullivan, D Hal Gill, D Brian Leetch, C Alexei Zhamnov

The biggest changes for the Bruins occurred in the front office, not on the ice. Gone are longtime club president Harry Sinden (who'd had a hand in running the team since 1966), general manager Mike O'Connell and coach Mike Sullivan. In are first-year G.M. Peter Chiarelli, who was an assistant G.M. with the Senators, and coach Dave Lewis, who led the Red Wings to the NHL's best record in 2003-04. In addition to improving on the Bruins' meek 74-point performance of last season, the new regime will be looking to instill team chemistry and focus on defense.

To help them achieve their goal of an improved blue line, the Bruins signed free-agent All-Star defenseman Zdeno Chara to a five-year, $37.5 million contract; a fitness fanatic, he could play 30 minutes a game. Boston also acquired sharpshooting defenseman Paul Mara, who scored 15 goals last year.

If only the Bruins could have similarly increased their firepower at the forward positions. The pressure will be on young center Patrice Bergeron, a second-round pick in the 2003 draft, to build on his team-leading totals of 31 goals and 73 points in '05-06 -- especially after getting a five-year, $23.75 million contract over the summer. "The changes in Boston were more radical than most teams'," says Lewis. "Everything is a real plus-plus for us right now. The competitive balance has changed."

Damn Devils

This topic really pisses me off. The New Jersey Devils. How do the Devils go from 7 million over the cap, still needing to resign Gionta, Martin, and Hale and magically go under the cap with signing them? Let me tell you.

First of all, regarding this Malakhov deal, that is complete bullshit. How can you trade a guy who is retired? There is zero logic behind that. If he retires while he is playing under your team, shit out of luck son, your stuck with his cap count. Hmm, in that case, I think I'll trade Alexei Zhamnov and a 1st round pick to Washinginton for a 7th round pick (if his money did count against the cap). Soon teams will be trading cap space with eachother. Good job NHL! Not. New Jsersey should be screwed with that money. 3 million NJ, here you go.

Alexander Mogiliny, another one. Guy is 35 when he signs, so his money counts against the cap if he retires, or an injury occurs. Well, that happens. He is sent down to the AHL, and he gets injured there! Because he was sent down he was hurt! So, that money should count against the cap. Nope. New Jersey gets special privlages, so his money get cut off the cap. Smells like BS to me. So thats another 3.5 million. Total is now 6.5 million.

Richard Matvichuk. injury occurs in the perfect timing. I am not saying these guys are not injured, but what happens when they come back? Another 1.3 million for NJ. A total of 7.8 million.

Jason Weimer. See Matvichuk. Another 1 million to NJ. A whopping total of 8.8 million. Add McGillis (2.2) thats 11 million dollars!

Somehow, New Jersey gets rid of ALL THAT MONEY, and resigns Gionta, Hale and Martin, adding Jim Dowd along the way. If I were another NHL team, I'd honestly launch an investigation, because this somehow has to violate the CBA. No way in hell Lou gets out of this all without trading Gomez, Gionta or anyone. This seems unfair. If it were another GM, I highly doubt they'd be this flexable with the cap situation. Lou is "special" because he has been in the league for a long time. All the other 29 teams should be outraged and question the CBA rules.

Devils Deal Malakhov

The New Jersey Devils acquired left wing Alexander Korolyuk and defenceman Jim Fahey from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenseman Vladimir Malakhov, and a conditional first-round pick in the NHL Entry Draft. More to come...

Projected Lines

Bruins projected lines this season.


Alberts-M Stuart


Nothing Bruin With Leetch

From Kukla's Korner,

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was on Hockey This Morning on Home Ice XM 204 and told Scott Laughlin and Cam Stewart the Bruins have had talks regarding Leetch but there is nothing going on.

Matt's take: Nothing surprising here, and it looks like Leetch will retire. If he were to play again, you'd think he would have signed with another team by now.

NHL 07 Review

It is October and officially hockey season! I bought my copy of NHL 07 yesterday, just started playing today. Only 30 bucks, so if you have an Xbox, ps2, or GameCube, definately worth your buy. If you have a Xbox 360, this game is amazing. The graphics for the 360 are out of this world. I am waiting for my ps3 in November, so no 360 for me. I have a ps2. The game has some new features in it, including on ice support, and a more interactive passing game. You can chose between a wrist or slap shot. The graphics are improved, and the music isn't as annoying or repetative as 06. They also do some cool shots of the crowd. The scoring is more realistic, and players no longer have the option to make those deke plays that would 90% score in 06. The new game has a salary cap, and dynasty mode has some new features. The only negatives I have about the game are ratings, trades, free agency, and salaries. The ratings in this game are a little weird. They seem to be to leanient on players in the 80's ranking. Some how Dan McGillis is an 80 even though he was sent to Providence. Ian Moran is an 81. How so? The rosters are sort of weird to. Brian Leetch, Josh Langfield, and Mariusz Czerkawski are still on the Bruins roster. The salaries are way off on the most part. Zdeno Chara has 2 years at 3.2 million or so with the Bruins. Way off. Others notables are Marc Savard he is at 2.7 million and Martin Havlat at I think around 2.5 million. Other high priced guys go as the same. But others like Keith Thakchuk and Jaromir Jagr are at 7.6 million. Very weird. The trading is also kind of cheesy. It is to rating based, with no logic involved. I traded Alexei Zhamnov and a 2nd round pick for Martin Havlat. I also traded Brian Leetch and a 3rd, 4th round pick for Kim Johnsson. Who would ever do that? The free agency also craps a little due to players profound amount of money. Brian Leetch asked for 4.23 in the open market, and Tie Domi wanted 1.23. Sean Hill wants 2.3, etc. These players in the real NHL would only get 1,000,000 and under. The game needs to put that into view. I believe NHL 08 will be amazing in the new PS3 and the Xbox 360. Still a lot of work to go for EA Sports.

Note: I just traded Tim Thomas (87 rating) and a 1st round pick for Miikka Kiprosuff (94 rating). Brilliant huh? Why doesn't Chiarelli try it? lol.

Have the Bruins Learned?

I was reading Boston's papers this morning and there was an interesting article regarding Bergeron. After reading it, a red light started to pop in my mind. The article main focus was on the fact that Bergeron will have the pressure to produce. So, do we have another JT case in proccess?

We all agree as fans and Peter Chiarelli agreed to that too, Bergy is a work in progress which means that Bergy is on a progression. This word is really important because he is supposed to be productive but not as a Sakic or a Modano. I think Boston's media should take a long deep breath and learned form the JT mistake. Lead by Dupont, the media and the front office were all over JT because, in their mind, he didn't reach the expectations. Expectations that media and the front office had tough time to display. They traded JT and suddenly he pulled it off. This time, we have to be careful. We have a gem in our own backyard. We have an excellent two way center with a smart sense of hockey who will developp into a franchise player. There's no doubt about it and there's a concensus around the league regarding that fact. I don't care if Bergeron turns into a 90-95 points player. The role of centerman his way much larger then putting the puck in the net.

We have to focus on the progression of Bergy more then his point production. Of course, we expect some improvements from him but we have to avoid to set the bar higher then it should be and ruin Bergy's confidence. I wish that the media and the front office had learned. Learned that talent cannot be rushed. Talent will reach its full potential with confidence, experience and support. Experience cannot be bought and only ice time will do the trick. Bergy will have more support, this year, with a guy like Chara in the lockeroom and the fact that there's a second centerman to relieve pressure on him.

In a different order of ideas, Peter Chiarelli was asked about contract extension regarding Sturm, Primeau and Stuart. Chiarelli respond that he will have to see those players at work before taking any decisions regarding extension. A smart answer who can be interpreted that way: We have a cap and we will have to take a decision regarding who we will be able to keep. I would suggest to PC to put his focus on Brad Stuart. Even if we all know that we will have depth at the blue line, there's no substitute for experience and Stuart will reach his full potential, probably, next year. Like I said before, you never have too much depth at the blue line.
Free Website Counter