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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Mid Year Grades

Goaltending OVERALL (B+)

Tim Thomas (A)-With little expectations this season, Thomas has shown his doubters wrong. He has played number 1 goalie stuff after a rough start. He GAA is down to the high two's and his SV % is in the .900s. Thomas has an unusual way of stopping the puck, but who said how, its just to stop it. Thomas has bailed the team out of many plays and has only let a few softies in. Thomas is the real deal it seems and anyone who thinks otherwise, well hasn't watched enough of him.

Hannu Toivonen (C-)-He was supposed to be the future, and the real deal. I still think he is capable, but this year he has been horrid. Letting in almost 4 goals a game and a .800s SV % isn't getting it done. He had, almost to high, of expectations this season and has not been close to filling them. He has been sent up and down to Providence this season. Maybe next year.

Offense OVERALL (B+)

Brad Boyes (B)-Another guy with lofty expectations. He hasn't been bad, but not as dominent as last season. Boyes has seemed to not be involved in games as much as usual and hasn't scored nearly as much. Time for him to step it up.

Patrice Bergeron (A)-Has played some great hockey. After a rough start, like most of the team, Bergeron has been on fire. He is stepping up his game, but still has yet to take it to legend status. At only 22, Bergeron is one of the top young talent in the NHL. He has carried this team on offense along with Marc Savard. No signs of slowing down.

Phil Kessel (B)- Started off like a rookie, showed he does have some flash and does have a lot of talent. He is going to be a great player someday. Still recovering from Testicular Cancer, Kessel will be out for a few more days, maybe a week.

Glen Murray (A)- Goal, goal, and goal. He is leading the team in scoring and is only a few goals from passing his total from last season. Savard has relifted his career and is still a top scorer in the NHL. Murray has won the game for the Bruins more times than I can count. He is surpassed expectations this season and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Marco Sturm (B-)- Supposed to have a breakout year, Sturm has yet to put up huge numbers. After a bad start and an injury, Sturm has picked it back up. He has been very good on the PP and has been a good forechecker. His speed has been shown as valuable and knows how to put it in the back of the net. His 3 goal performance against Ottawa will not be forgotten. As an impending UFA, I would like to see him back.

Marc Savard (A+)- What did I tell you all? He is the real deal. With some lower expectations, Savard has proved everyone wrong. Anchoring the offense, Savard is on pace for over a 100 point season. Outscoring former Bruin Joe Thornton. Savard has anchored the PP and his passing skills are top in the NHL. At his 5 million a season, he is a relative bargain.

PJ Axelsson (B+)- Started off the season hot with some scoring after being moved up the top lines. But after he was hurt, he hasn't been the same. In his few games back, he looks lost, but that happens to everyone. Axy is key on the PK and has been great on the forecheck. His touch of offense has also been great. His is a top defensive forward and should get more recognition for the Selke.

Shean Donovan (C+)- With expectations of a 15 goal season, Donovan hasn't shown up. He did go on a hot streak about a month ago, but has seemed to cool off again. Donovan has shown his skill with his speed. He has been very good as a PK and even though he isn't on the score sheet, his play is helping the team.

Wayne Primeau (B+)- Bring out the Primeau bashers, he has put up a solid season for a 3rd line center. His PK has been great and the 3rd line has been shutting down most top lines in the NHL. Primeau has had the scoring touch and seems to contribute at key times. He is no Keith, but hey, I like this Primeau.

Stanislav Chistov (A-)- After a early season trade from Anaheim, Chistov has been a great addition. Once the 5th overall pick, he never panned out in Anaheim. His skill has been noticed here and his time on the PP has been noticed. He has shown great skill, especially in the goal where he deked the defenseman and roofed it.

Petr Tenkrat (B+)- Another guy expected to be in Providence most of the season. Tenkrat's play seems to go unnoticed, but it is there. His offensive skills have improved greatly since his days in Nashville. He also plays some PP and when is out on the ice, does everything well.

Mark Mowers (A-)- Hey what he has done wrong? As a 4th liner, he has put up some good numbers and he has surprising speed. He has been a great forechecker and has seem to do everything right.

Defense OVERALL (B+)

Zdeno Chara (A-)- The Big Z has been everything you could ask for this season. He has lead this team and has anchored the defense. He leads the league in ice time at over 30 minutes a game. He has made some bad plays, but that happens when your on the ice that much. He has played the point great on the PP and has been used a screen which has been effective.

Paul Mara (B-)- With expectations of a 17 goal scoring defenseman, Mara has not done that, but has still played well. He does have 14 points and could pick it up. He hasn't seen as much time as I would have thought on the PP, but is better than Nick Boynton, I will tell you that. Untimely penalties also don't help.

Brad Stuart (A+)- Hit me, this guy is a checking machine. He has offensive touch and is the best defensive defenseman the Bruins have. He has been more than you could have expected and has bailed the team out more than once. Improving his play almost every game it seems, Stuart has been great.

Andrew Alberts (A)- He is coming into himself it seems. Him and Chara provide a huge 1st line defensive pair and they have shut down almost everyone. His a great checker and doesn't play like a rookie. Some great years to come.

Jason York (C)- He hasn't done much on either side of the puck. Seems to float a lot, and on every goal scored, I swear I see him by the net. I don't know how much longer he will stay up.

Milan Jurcina (B)- Getting more playing time, he has been scoring again. He has a killer slapper and his defensive play is picking up. It seems the more time he gets, the better he plays.

OVERALL TEAM GRADE (A-): After a slow start, the team has been one of the best teams in the NHL.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey what team have you been i watch definitely isnt among the best in the dumb crack head

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

matt, you are way too generous on your rankings

1:13 AM  
Anonymous don't_drink_and_drive said...

I understand your enthousiasm regarding Thomas but i think you get excited too fast. He's doing a great job, lately, but he's not close to be tagged as an elite goaltender. I saw a poster , in another board, suggesting that Thomas was an elite goaltender before he's playing a FULL NHL season and showed that he can carry a team in the playoffs.

Brodeur is an elite goaltender and this guy is making very, very few mistakes when he's between the pipes. That's not the case of Thomas, right now. The game in Toronto is a good example of this. Those mistakes are lethal in the playoffs. Like i said, i give credit where it's due but i'm not ready, yet , to say that Thomas can bring the B's to the promise land.

York should be waive. He proved, once and for all, that he doesn't belong in the NHL anymore. Each time he's on the ice, the team is stuck in her own end. Lashoff or Stuart can do a better job then him... York cannot be rated higher then D.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Explain why any player doens't deserve his grade. The grades aren't necessarily point based, by expectation based. Also, record wise, the Bruins have had one of the top records in the NHL after their slow start and have a great division record as well.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure how you can give a team sitting just outside the 8th playoff spot an A-. At 19-15-3, that's just above .500 hockey. I'd go with a C+. If you're doing "mid-year" grades, you can't just throw out their poor start to the season.

Also I don't consider Thomas anything above a B or B+ goaltender right now. He's been solid, but not consistently great. Again, you need to include all of his starts, not just the ones after his "rough start", otherwise you might as well call them "Grades Since Mid-October".

6:51 PM  

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