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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bruins Resign Toivonen

The Bruins announced that they have resigned Hannu Toivonen to a 1 year, 532,000 dollar deal.

Matt's Take: I think it was a good signing, but it is still likely he will be dealt. This is an affordable deal for any team, including the Bruins, and he could stay in Providence to tune up his game as well. It is a lot better than not tendering him a letting him leave as a UFA.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Hemsky: Could of Been a Bruin

Ales Hemsky could have been a Boston Bruin. A no, not from a Brad Stuart deal to Edmonton or anything else. Back in the 2000 year, the Bruins trade Anson Carter, a first round pick (Hemsky), and another pick for Bill Guerin and a 1st round pick (Shoane Morrisonn). Just a thought.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Blues sign #1 pick

St. Louis Blues signed the number 1 pick of the 2006 draft Erik Johnson. Johnson will leave the University of Minnesota after his freshmen year. The 19 year old had 4 goals, 20 assists, in 41 games.

The Columbus Blue Jackets fire thier president/ general manager Doug MacLean. MacLean who has been with the Blue Jackets since 2000 and the main reason for being fired is no playoff aperances.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

IIHF World Championship

Phil Kessel, Brandon Bochenski and Andrew Alberts, as well as video coordinator Brant Berglund and athletic trainer Don DelNegro, on the Team USA squad set to compete in the IIHF's World Championships later this month. Also being named to the team is Marblehead resident and BC goalie Cory Schneider. Congrats to them and best of luck.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Area #2

The Bruins have plenty of guys who can dish the puck up front. They just are limited in guys who can FINISH! The Bruins need to go out and make a splash and sign a goal scoring forward. Much like the way they went out and got Marc Savard and Zdeno Chara last year. Glenn Murray is a proven goal scorer, yes but he's getting older and can't play in as many game. I don't know if the Bruins can deal him or if he's known as damaged goods. With Murray in the lineup they are better he is a threat to score. Without him they are in big trouble. If they can deal Murray even if it's for draft picks or future picks it frees up alot of cap room.

A guy I would love the Bruins to sign is Teemu Selanne who is a proven goal scorer. The problem is he will be 37 in July. Unless the Bruins can sign him to a 2 year deal it's not worth it. Selanne this season had 94 points, 48 goals, 46 assists. How great would he be on RW with Marc Savard in the middle?
A guy I like alot and would be alot cheaper than Selanne is Slava (Vyacheslav) Kozlov. Kozlov is very similar to Marc Savard, yes they were teammates in 05-06 with Atlanta and they both played with Hossa and Kovelchuck. But the vision of the ice and playmaking ability. They both can finish, Kozlov had 28, 52, for 80 points this season. Last season he put up 71 points. The problem is he will be 35 in May.
I would love the Bruins to get Brendan Shanahan, who the Bruins were close to signing last year but wouldn't give him a 3 year deal and look at the numbers he put up this year; 29 goals, 33 assist, 62 points. He also missed a bunch of games after he colioded at center ice with Mike Knuble. Shanahan has a home here in Mass with his wife who is from here. He is also one of the hardest working guys in the NHL, known for staying on the ice up to 3 hours after just shooting pucks. Something that could rub off on some of the Bruins. He is also a great leader and guy in the locker room. Shanny has also won 2 cups with the Red Wings.

Those are the older guys for 2 year deals I would like.

The two offensive players that are going to draw the most attention to are Buffalo Sabers Daniel Briere and Chris Drury. Drury will be 31 in August. Briere will be 31 next October. Briere had a breakout 95 point season. Briere is sometimes questioned about his toughness has only played the full season 3 out of 6 years. Briere is only 5'10'' 181 lbs. However the kid can fly and has great vision. He has 5 straight NHL years of 24 plus goals. He has played with Thomas Vanek all season who has put up 84 points. Chris Drury who I haven't hurd one bad thing about him, all positives. What can I say that hasn't been said about him? Since age 12 he's proven he was a winner every where he goes. He was the starting pitcher for Trumbull, CT that won the Little League World Series. He is the only BU player ever to win the Hobey Baker award. He won the Stanley Cup with Ray Bourque in Colorado. He might not put up numbers like everyone else but he finds a way to win for his team. He will do anything. He's great on the powerplay. The past two seasons only 67 and 69 points each, but he does all the little things right. The past two seasons 30 and 37 goals. Just what the Bruins need. If you're going to get one of these guys it will take a 4-6 year deal and alot of cash.

Area #1 to address for the Bruins

First of all the Bruins need to target a goalie. You can't expect Tim Thomas to play every game. The games he played you knew the team didn't have a chance to win. There are only a couple of goalies that can play 65 plus games in the NHL and not be burn out. One of them being Martin Brodeur and there is no way the Devils will deal him. I expect the Bruins to go after a goalie. The prized goalie this offseason will be JS Giguere, however he will be asking for a ton of money. He comes with plenty of experence including the MVP of the playoffs, he also put up a 2.26 GAA and a .918 SP with 36-10-8 and 4 SO's this year. After Giguere there is a huge drop in talent which I expect less money to be through at them. A goalie such as Niklas Backstrom who has taken over the reigns in net for Minnesota. Remeber last year it was the great play of Manny Frenandez made DeWayne Roloson expendable. Backstorm this year 23-8-6 with a 1.97 GAA and a .929 SP and 5 SO's. The 29 year olds numbers might be scewed because of the tight defensive style of the Wild. Fallowing Backstorm is a guy who played the majority of the games with the Habs is David Aebischer. The Swiss goalie was splitting time with Cristobal Huet before getting hurt. Aebischer is also 29 went 13-12-3 with a 3.17 GAA and a .900 SP. With the strong play of Huet and Jaroslav Halak; Aebischer will be looking for a new home. Wade Dubielewicz who some of you may not know was going to be Ricky D's backup on Long Island before Garth Snow retired and gave the backup job to his college roomate Mike Dunham. Dubielewicz spent most of the season playing in Bridgeport, Ct for the Soundcats of the AHL this season, going 22-12-5 with 2.69 GAA and .923 SP and 2 SO's. Only getting called up due to DiPietro's concussion. Dubielewicz ended up putting the Islanders on his back and into the playoffs going 4-1 down the strech 2.06 GAA and .934 SP. Dubielewicz also played game one against the Sabers, look for him to have a new address next year; with Ricky D's long contact and Dunham still on the books. LA Kings young goalie Mathieu Garon could be finding a new home. The 29 year old went 13-10-6 with a 2.66 GAA, .907 SP, and 2 SO's. Garon lost alot of ice time with the Kings bringing in Danny Cloutier 24 games and Sean Burke 23 games (also a UFA). Garon went from playing 63 games in the 05-06 season to almost half in 06-07 with 32. Garon also becomes expendable with the great play from the Manchester Monarchs goalie Jason Labarbera who went 39-20-1 with 2.21 GAA, .933 SP, and 7 So's. There are also a handful of veteran goalies out their Sean Burke who may have seen the last of his days. Eddie Belfour who later this week will be 42. Belfour did put up some decent numbers this year 27-17-10, 2.77 GAA, .902 SP. Could help a team out playing limited games (could be ideal for the Bruins if they can't get anyone above). Belfour would also be alot cheaper if the Bruins were to get 2 good forwards. Curtis Joseph better know as Cujo is around I don't expect him to be picked up until training camp or even after that. Jocelyn Thibault will be a UFA but I don't see him leaving Pittsburgh in an ideal situation for him. Good young talent and tutor young goaltender Flurey. Then thier is Kevin Weeks who only played 14 games this season. I'm almost positive the Rangers will let him go and bring in one of their younger goalies to backup Ludquist. Such as Steve Valiquette or Al Montoya. Don't forget the Rangers used it's 6th overall pick in 2004 to take Montoya.

Source: Hockeydb

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Where Does the Team Go?

I ask this as a legit question. Where does the team go from here? They have the 8th pick in this years draft, do we trade it? The team has a lot of 2nd, 3rd tier talent. Do we ship some of it out? Do we trade Muzzy? Who is going to be the top forward? Who is going to play goalie? Many questions, but no answers. All I know is that this will be an interesting offseason.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Hedberg to get the nod in game 2

According to Johan Hedberg will start on Saturday for Game 2. Kari Lehtoneon made 38 saves and gave up 4 goals in game one against the NY Rangers.

Tim Connolly who has played only two game in the regular season, the last two games of the year. He will be a big addition to the club, after his 55 points last year. He is also a great addition to the clubs powerful powerplay and will probally be on the second unit. Connolly has missed most of the season with post-concussionsyndrome, after taking a hit last year in the playoffs. He had one goal in his 2 games this year, he also put up 5 goals 6 assists for 11 points in the 8 playoff games last year. He already has one assist this series.

Sorry to all about the lack of posts from me. I went away for a couple of weeks and started a new job and haven't had time.

Douglas Flynn Grades the Defense
Bruins 2006-07 Report Card
Part I: The Defense

The 2006-07 season is in the books, which means it’s time for the Bruins Insider to take a look back at what went wrong, and a look forward to what is in store for the club next season. Over the next few days, I’ll look at each section of the club – defense, forwards, goaltending and coaching/management – by breaking down each individual player’s performance this past year, assessing the unit’s overall execution and looking ahead to the outlook for next year. First up is the defense.

Individual Grades:

Aaron Ward; 6-2, 215. Age: 34
2006-07 stats: 80 games, 4-12-16, 75 PIMs, minus-11; 20 games, 1-2-3, 16 PIMs, minus-8 with Boston
2007-08 status: Signed for $2.75 million
Veteran stay-at-home defenseman was added at the deadline to help shore up Boston’s play in its own zone. Ward helped, but that proved a task beyond the abilities of any one man. Still, Ward provided some steady play (188 blocked shots), a physical presence (200 hits) and some much-needed leadership both on and off the ice. Those leadership abilities should become even more prominent next year when Ward is with the club for a full season.
Grade: B+

Mark Stuart; 6-1, 209. Age: 23
2006-07 stats: 15 games, 0-1-1, 14 PIMs, plus-7
2007-08 status: Signed for $942,000 (plus rookie bunuses)
It was a limited sample size, but an impressive performance from the 2003 first-round draft pick who split time between Boston and Providence for the second straight year. Stuart didn’t get a lot of chances to show what he could do with the big club, but he made the most of his opportunities. He finished with the best plus-minus on the team at plus-7 in three stints in Boston. He was a plus-2 in three straight games in his second call-up, and was even or plus in all four games of his final recall despite the Bruins being outscored 13-6 in that span. He had 22 hits and 16 blocked shots and committed just three giveaways in his 15 games with the big club.
Grade: B+

Andrew Ference; 5-10, 189. Age: 28
2006-07 stats: 70 games, 3-12-15, 97 PIMs, plus-5; 26 games, 1-2-3, 29 PIMs, minus-2 with Boston
2007-08 status: Signed for $1.235 million
Another late addition added some needed grit and energy to the blue line. Ference isn’t the biggest guy on the ice, but he plays bigger than his 5-foot-10, 189-pound frame, as evidenced by his 114 hits, 85 blocked shots and 97 penalty minutes (which included three fighting majors). He won’t provide a ton of offense or be a top pairing guy, but he’ll stand up for his teammates and make sound decisions in his own zone.
Grade: B

Bobby Allen; 6-1, 215. Age: 28
2006-06 stats: 31 games, 0-3-3, 10 PIMs, minus-1
2007-08 status: Unrestricted free agent
There weren’t many feel-good stories in this dreary Bruins season, but seeing this Hull native finally make it up to the NHL for regular duty after five years in the minors was certainly a highlight. Allen proved he belonged too. He’s not flashy, but he played a smart positional game and made the most of his time on the ice, averaging more than a hit and a blocked shot per game, collecting 32 hits and 34 blocks in his 31 games.
Grade: B

Andrew Alberts; 6-4, 219. Age: 25
2006-07 stats: 76 games, 0-10-10, 124 PIMs, minus-15
2007-08 status: Restricted free agent (2006-07 salary of $661,000)
One of the few physical players on the Boston roster from the start of the season, Alberts racked up 156 hits, 112 blocked shots and a team-high 124 penalty minutes. That last figure included five fighting majors, as Alberts was one few Bruins willing to shed the gloves when necessary. The results weren’t always pretty when he did, but the effort was appreciated. The rest of his game suffered through some peaks and valleys, which isn’t unusual for a young defenseman in just his second pro season. He’ll never be a big offensive producer, but he has to stay more consistent in his own zone and avoid costly stretches like the 21-game span in Jan. and Feb. when he went a minus-15.
Grade: C+

Dennis Wideman; 6-0, 200. Age: 24
2006-07 stats: 75 games, 6-19-25, 71 PIMs, minus-10; 20 games, 1-2-3, 27 PIMs, minus-3 with Boston
2007-08 status: Restricted free agent (2006-07 salary of $473,000)
At just 24, this second-year NHLer was put in a tough position when he was forced to learn a new system on the fly in Boston after coming over from St. Louis at the trade deadline. Wideman has ability and offensive upside, but right now is a work in progress prone to youthful mistakes. Three points in 20 games wasn’t enough to offset the defensive lapses.
Grade: C-

Jason York; 6-2, 202. Age: 36
2006-07 stats: 49 games, 1-7-8, 32 PIMs, minus-14
2007-08 status: Unrestricted free agent
A solid veteran whose presence in the locker room was important, York is a capable depth defenseman at this stage of his career, but was asked to do too much at times this year. No player is ever going to turn down playing time, so the fault lies more with the coaching staff, but York should not have been playing ahead of youngsters like Milan Jurcina and Mark Stuart for much of the season.
Grade: C-

Zdeno Chara; 6-9, 260. Age: 30
2006-07 stats: 80 games, 11-32-43, 100 PIMs, minus-21
2007-08 status: Signed for $7.5 million
First the positive – Chara led the entire league in ice-time with an average of 27:57 a game and set a career-high in points with 43. Unfortunately, he was being paid big bucks to be a defensive stopper and an intimidating physical presence, and failed to deliver either attribute on most nights. He was tied for 838th out of 858 players in the league this year with a woeful plus-minus of minus-21 and led the Bruins by a wide margin with 94 giveaways. He also led the team with 203 hits and had 134 blocked shots, but did not record a single fighting major all season despite ample opportunities to come to his teammates’ aid or set a tone for his club. He may have felt pressure to stay on the ice instead of in the penalty box, but he still managed to reach the century mark in PIMs with 45 minors and a misconduct. Could a couple of five-minute stints in the sin bin really have hurt the team that much? Even his offense evaporated as the club fell out of the race down the stretch, with just two goals and six assists in his final 31 games. The ice-time and early-season offensive production could have boosted the grade up a notch, but did Chara really show he deserved a C this year?
Grade: D+

Incompletes: Matt Lashoff (12 games, 0-2-2, 12 PIMs, minus-6); Jonathan Sigalet (1 game, 0-0-0, 4 PIMs, minus-2); Nathan Dempsey (17 games, 0-1-1, 6 PIMs, minus-2, UFA in 07-08)

Gone but not forgotten: Brad Stuart (48 games, 7-10-17, 26 PIMs, minus-22, traded to Calgary on Feb. 10); Paul Mara (59 games, 3-15-18, 95 PIMs, minus-22, traded to NY Rangers on Feb. 27); Milan Jurcina (40 games, 2-1-3, 20 PIMs, minus-5, traded to Washington on Feb. 3)

Unit Evaluation:

The Bruins allowed 289 goals this season. Only Philadelphia surrendered more in the entire league. The goalies and forwards certainly share in the blame for that, as does the coaching staff for the system they implemented and the front office who put this roster together. But any discussion of a team’s defensive deficiencies inevitably has to center on the blueliners, and collectively this group simply didn’t get the job done. They also didn’t contribute much in the offensive zone. Other than Chara, the rest of the defensive corps that finished the season in Boston combined for a total of four goals as Bruins this year. Just for comparison’s sake, Hal Gill, offensive juggernaut that he is, had six goals by himself this year in Toronto. While there were individual positives, Boston’s defense this year is proof that the sum is not always greater than its parts.
Grade: D+

Outlook for 2007-08:

With little space left under the salary cap and the top five defensemen either already signed or under control as restricted free agents, plus Stuart likely ready to make the leap to full-time duty in the NHL, don’t expect the Bruins’ defense to look radically different next year. That’s not to say there can’t be improvement. Having a training camp and full season together should greatly increase the chemistry and cohesion which suffered with the addition of three new defensemen in late-season trades. Youngsters Alberts, Wideman and Stuart should also benefit from the experience gained from having another pro season under their belts, while Chara will hopefully regain some of the edge he played with in Ottawa. Lashoff and Sigalet will have a chance to compete for a spot in camp, but both may be best served with another year of seasoning in the AHL, especially with so much youth already on the blue line. York will likely move on, but Allen could be a perfect fit as a seventh defenseman capable of filling in when needed. Having Allen on hand would keep the club from stunting the development of a youngster by sitting him in press box, and he should come at a cap-friendly rate.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Jim asked if I could do a rundown on the trades PC made and the stats the players put up vs. the players we acquired, so here it goes.

(GP, G, A, PTS, +/-)

Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew.

Brad Stuart:
w/ Bos- 48 gp, 7-10=17, -22
w/ Cal- 27 gp, 0-5=5, +12

Wayne Primeau:
w/ Bos- 51 gp, 7-8=15, -15
w/ Cal- 27 gp, 3-4=7, -2

Chuck Kobasew:
w/ Cal- 40 gp, 4-13=17, +7
w/ Bos- 10 gp, 1-1=2, -6

Andrew Ference:
w/ Cal- 54 gp, 2-10=12, +7
w/ Bos- 26 gp, 1-2=3, -2

Milan Jurcina for a 4th round pick.

Milan Jurcina:
w/ Bos- 40 gp, 2-1=3, -5
w/ Was- 30 gp, 2-7=9, +5

Brad Boyes for Dennis Wideman.

Brad Boyes:
w/ Bos- 62 gp, 13-21=34, -17
w/ Stl- 19 gp, 4-8=12, 0

Dennis Wideman:
w/ Stl- 55 gp, 5-17=22, -7
w/ Bos- 20 gp, 1-2=3, -3

Bruins Report Card

Stephen Harris of the Herald has his grades for this season. Here are some notables.

Jeremy Reich B (plus)

One of the pleasant surprises of a dreary season. Led the B’s with nine fights in just 32 games and had 36 hits. Never quit or stopped playing with toughness and courage - even as many around him did.

Marco Sturm C (plus)

Like so many Bruins [team stats], faded badly toward the end, with 3-0-3 in last 12 games. But overcame slow start (5-6-11 in his first 25) to post decent 27-17-44 totals. Is that production and his minus-24 worthy of the four-year, $14 million extension he got? No. But he is a valuable piece of the puzzle.

P.J. Axelsson C

Was used in a role (first-line left winger) for which he was not well-suited. Managed 11-16-27 and a minus-10. Not as effective defensively as usual, nor as good a penalty-killer.

Shean Donovan C (minus)

Fans hoped for a high-speed grinder with skill and Terry O’Reilly-like tendencies; we saw plenty of speed, little skill and nary a glimpse of O’Reilly’s toughness and grit. Donovan was credited with only 42 hits in 76 games and had just two fights. In 14:09 average ice time, produced only 6-11-17.

Zdeno Chara C (plus)

We remember Chara, the biggest NHLer ever, playing with a mean streak and simply intimidating the hell out of opponents. But we saw little of that this season, as Chara had zero fights and just 203 hits in 80 games, ranking 13th in the NHL. In fairness, he played an NHL-leading 27:57 per game and likely tried to save energy by playing less physically. Did a decent job at the top of the B’s power play (9-17-26 production) and matched his career-best with 43 points (11-32). Shirked one responsibility of captaincy by avoiding talking to the press more often than not.

Dennis Wideman D

A big disappointment after the Bruins [team stats] dealt away Brad Boyes to get him. Billed as a talented, puck-moving blueliner, had just 1-2-3 in 20 B’s games and did not impress as a particularly adept passer or shooter. Struggled defensively.

Coach Dave Lewis C

It may be that Lewis was the perfect assistant to the intimidating Scotty Bowman in Detroit, but is simply too nice a guy to be a head coach himself. The job almost demands a bit of a psycho streak, and Lewis nearly always seemed calm and good-natured. Not until March 26 in Ottawa, with the playoffs all but lost, did he run the team through a good old-fashioned bag skate.

There were problems with his use of personnel, notably playing Axelsson on the top line and refusing to give Milan Jurcina minutes. Lewis also wasted Paul Mara’s main skill by giving him little power-play time. Lewis’ umbrella power-play set-up, used all year with almost no variation, led to a NHL-high 18 shorthanded goals against.
There were problems with bench management: A failure to use timeouts as leads slipped away, a dozen too-many-men minors and other sloppy and costly changes on the fly.

Worst of all, the team lacked the focus or discipline to close games, getting outscored an unbelievable 108-59 in the third period.

GM Peter Chiarelli C (minus)

Chiarelli got dealt a tough hand and was under constant pressure from Jeremy and/or Charlie Jacobs. But he did make mistakes. The biggest one? Letting Lewis essentially force the ill-advised trades of Jurcina and, some insiders believe, Boyes - two deals that will haunt the B’s. A more experienced GM might have told his coach, “These guys are part of your team. Play them.”

While assistant Jeff Gorton did a good job signing free agents Chara and Savard last summer, Chiarelli gets mostly so-so reviews for his deal-making during the season. Some NHL scouts say the B’s could have gotten more for Brad Stuart than Kobasew and Ference - and Chiarelli certainly could have gotten more for Boyes than Wideman.

Chistov for a third-rounder didn’t work out, but it was worth a shot; Ward for Mara helped a little; Bochenski for Kris Versteeg was an OK move, as was MacDonald on waivers. He overpaid for Sturm, but at least he is a proven commodity. The B’s better hope the mishandled Toivonen can bounce back.

In the final analysis, it sure seems more could have been squeezed out of this team - by the coach, the GM and the players. Could the Bruins [team stats] have gone for the Stanley Cup? No. But there was no excuse for them to look, at times, like minor leaguers.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Season Over

The Bruins wrapped up the season on Saturday, falling to the Sens 6-3. I will be updating the site for the offseason over the next week. Send us an email for any suggestions.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How Much?

Just out of curiosity, how much would you as the GM pay for a certain players, cap regardless, what do YOU think is their value on the open market. I'll name 20 players or so, see what you have to say and what you'd pay. The figure is the max amount I'd pay.

J.S. Giguere----------5,200,000
Sheldon Souray-----6,100,000
Todd Bertuzzi-------3,100,000
Paul Kariya----------4,850,000
Teemu Selanne-----5,400,000
Jason Blake---------3,900,000
Sergei Samsonov--1,100,000
Bill Guerin----------2,050,000
Keith Tkachuk------3,250,000
Brad Stuart---------5,000,000
Chris Drury---------4,300,000
Daniel Briere-------4,800,000
Chris Phillips-------3,300,000
Ray Whitney-------2,900,000
Joe Sakic-----------5,500,000
Pavel Datsyuk-----5,000,000
Robert Lang-------4,100,000
Mathieu Schneider--3,600,000
Dominek Hasek----1,000,000 + incentives
Ryan Smith--------4,750,000
Scott Gomez-------5,500,000
Peter Forsberg----4,000,000 + incentives
Brendan Shanahan-4,150,000
Mike Comrie------3,200,000
Ladislav Nagy----4,300,000
Eric Brewer------2,900,000

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bruins should target Bertuzzi

Todd Bertuzzi missed 66 games this season with a herniated disk, but he is still a force on the ice. He is 6-3, 245 pounds, and drives to the net with authority. This is something the Bruins desperately need, a force in the offensive zone. He is also a left-handed shot, something the Bruins lack. Bertuzzi has great talent as well, and with his injury this season, he may not command as much money on the free agent market as he could. If the Bruins could get him at 4-5 million a year then it would be a steal. This is where they need to spend their money is on offense. Although goaltending is a major issue, with equal concern, I believe the Bruins should address the forward position. With Bertuzzi this is what the team could look like:


The top three lines can be interchangeable. This gives the Bruins three lines of above-average speed plus a pure goal scorer on each line(Murray, Bertuzzi,Bochenski). And yes, I forgot Axelsson. I would be glad to see him traded, but obviously it will never happen. The way Lewis uses him is ridiculous and only hurts this team and him as a player. He's a great defensive player, but he really does not fit in well on this team. Reich has to be here for his toughness. Mowers is the only 4th line center. This leaves Kalus, Kobasew, and Donovan. Kalus should be on this team, playing with skilled forwards. Kobasew is still unproven, but has scored 20 goals in a season. That leaves Donovan and Axelsson. I take Donovan over Axelsson, because Axelsson would command more in trade value. Plus Axelsson is injury prone. The past 4 NHL seasons, he has missed between 15-27 games each season.

Koivu Overrated?

Yes, this guy has gone through a lot over his career, cancer, adversity and playing in one of the more hostel hockey enviorments in the league. But, is he really that great.

Career high in goals, guess.
21. Yes that is 21 goals as a career high.

Career high in points, 71.

How many players do that on a consistant basis, a lot. His teammate Sheldon Souray has 61 points, and 25 goals, breaking Koivu's record. Koivu is a 1st line center, Souray, a defenseman.

Yes Koivu is a great leader, but the way they talk about him in Montreal like he is a 50 goal scorer.

To start the game

Dave Lewis changed up his defensive pairings for the game. Heres how they look right now


Chara continues to be used on the left side, although he is much better and looks more comfortable on the right. Putting the two best offensive minded defenseman on the same pairing is questionable as well.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Goaltending: Issue Number 1

Just think of this.

When the Bruins got past the first round in '99, they had an elite goalie at the time Byron Dafoe. When they were first in the East before the lockout, who did they have? Calder winner Andrew Raycroft. Who did they have when they DNQ the past two years? Tim Thomas, Hannu Toivonen, Joey MacDonald and a horrid Andrew Raycroft.

I am a huge Tim Thomas fan, and we can all say he is worn down at this point, so I can't blame him for losing too much. But he is a backup goalie. He IS NOT a cup caliber winning goaltender. Thomas would be a GREAT backup, and if the Bruins goalie got hurt, I wouldn't be worried at all. At 1.1 million, he is a rather expensive backup, but hey, I'd rather be sure I can go to my backup and win than have a (fill in the blank) goaltender go out.

Now here is the solution. The only elite goaltender on the market is Anaheim's JS Giguere. He is all but done in Anaheim, welcome to the Bryzgalov era. Philadelphia resigned Martin Biron. How many teams really need a goalie now? Phoenix, Boston, Detroit possibly if Hasek is done (why would he leave, great season again), and that's it. I may be missing a few teams. But not too many. There isn't a huge bidding war right now. Rask won't be ready for 2-3 years.

Offer J.S. Giguere a 3 year deal worth 4.75 million a year, almost a 750,000 increase over this years salary for him. This still gives you enought flexibility to sign a top forward.

Goaltending is a huge issue, no one can deny that, even the TT fans.
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