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Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Lines...




A weird combo at forward where Bochenski can be a winger with Bergy or Kessel will be the winger, and then Kessel could center the 3rd line if Boch is on the 2nd line. The 4th line consists of a strong checking line with Axy, Metropolit and a combo of one of the enforcers.

The defense is pretty much set and the goaltending is set as well.

Dany Markov

Many rumors are still out that Markov is close to signing to the Bruins, with the Devils making a late push. Markov is a solid defender and one rumor has him signing for 2-3 years. I still don't see the cap space unless another deal is in place. I'll try and find out some more on this.

Lucic, Krejci likely to make team

There are strong indications that after tomorrow's final cut, Milan Lucic and David Krejci will have made the team. Coming into the season, it was unclear if Krejci would make the team, based on the fact that his two-way game was not so strong, but after impressing in camp, he is certain to make the team and likely center the 3rd line. Milan Lucic is a prospect who the Bruins are very high of and played extremely well in the Canada-Russia superseries. Lucic is a lot like Cam Neely people say. I don't want to jump to conclusions.

Metropolit in the Fold

From the Globe,

Glen Metropolit hasn't signed a contract yet, but said he's hopefully in the middle of getting a deal completed.

This is a good deal for the B's. My guess is it is a 1-2 year deal worth anywhere from 500,000-700,000 per season. He will fit well on the 4th line and the PK unit.

Metropolit is a good forechecker who can score. He is a better Mark Mowers, who was traded to Anaheim this past week. Metropolit will likely centre Shawn Thornton, Jeremy Reich, and some combination of some low tier guys we have.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

1-0 Bruins after 1

Sturm scored from Kessel and Savard on the powerplay. The Bruins were on a powerplay and when Montreal was called for a delayed penalty making it a 6 on 4. The powerplay unit was Sturm-Krjeci-Kessel with Ference and Ward at the points. Savard was the extra attacker. Through 1 period Aaron Ward is leading the Bruins in ice time with 8:21. Milan Lucic has skated on the 4th line and only recorded 2:36 of ice time thus far, 2nd to last, only to Jeremy Reich. More detail later.

Bruins - Canadiens

Tonight's preseason game is available on Montreal's radio station. Here is the link, . The Bruins are not dressing Chara,Bochenski,Thornton,Hoggan, Nokelainen, or Thompson. Here are the rest of the lines:



Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why The Bruins WILL Make the Playoffs This Year

Given the fact that the Bruins have not won a playoff series since the '98-'99 season, it's obviously difficult to establish some semblance of optimism these days on Causeway Street. To make it worse, the Bruins have yet to establish a plus .500 record in the post-lockout era. Nevertheless, put your pessimism aside, for the Bruins will make the playoffs in '07-'08.

As any knowledgeable hockey fan should and does know, the success of any franchise, especially playoff time, begins between the pipes. With the acquisition of Manny Fernandez in the off season, Chiarelli has certainly improved upon this. Yes, Fernandez is not the legit top tier goalie that a contender should have, but he is certainly an improvement upon what was in the black and gold last season (Fernandez: 52 wins and a 2.42 GAA over the past two seasons). With the arrival of Fernandez, Tim Thomas will most likely be relegated to backup duty. Thomas, for all the effort and heart, is not a number one goaltender. However, he instantly becomes one of the top five backup goalies in the league. I dare you to find five better.

Number two: Claude Julien. For as confusing as his firing was in New Jersey, Julien has the experience of coaching a winning team (Side note: Remember the team that beat the Bruins in the horrific choke of a playoff series in 2004? Yeah, that was the Canadiens led by none other than our new head coach). Julien brings a knowledge of the game that will better suit the team than anything Dave Lewis could do. The defense will markedly improve with the player benefiting the most being the captain. Chara was overused last season on power plays, short handed situations, etc. A trim back in minutes will lead to better overall play from the man everyone expected to be a dominant force. Also, and as we have seen thus far in the preseason, the Bruins, under Julien, will be a tougher more physical team to play against.

Lastly, it's no secret that the offense struggled last year, just look at the plus/minus ratings. Browse the roster this year and try to say the Bruins subtracted anything substantial. On the contrary, they've only improved, namely the acquisition of Peter Shaefer, another year of healthy development for the closer himself, Phil Kessel, and finally two enforcers to protect the goal scorers in Thornton and Reich. Brandon Bochenski will also reap the benefits of playing a full season. He was a natural goal scorer last year and will only improve upon that. Also, for those that wanted to trade Bergeron, get a clue. Bergy possesses the most talent out of anyone on this team outside of Mark Savard and the upside of Kessel (nevermind the fact that he should be captain of this team).

Take a look at the details folks. Don't typecast me as a yahoo just yet because I'm not saying they will be first in the Eastern Conference and a Cup contender. What I AM saying is that they will be certainly better than last year and earn a 7th or 8th seed come April.

Neely named VP

Boston Bruins Executive Vice President Charlie Jacobs announced Tuesday that Bruins legend Cam Neely has joined the front office as Vice President of the Boston Bruins. In this capacity, Neely will advise General Manager Peter Chiarelli on the hockey operations of the Bruins, as well as counsel Jacobs on club matters.

Matt's take: Great for Cam and Bruins fans. We now have a guy who knows what he is doing and will help the team. I really think Cam can make a difference in the team.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bruins acquire 2 for Mowers

To many fans delight, the Bruins acquired D Brett Skinner and D Nathan Saunders from the Anaheim Ducks for C Mark Mowers. Both Saunders and Skinner have been assigned to Providence (AHL).

Originally drafted by the Ducks in the fourth round (119th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Saunders split time between the August Lynx (ECHL) and Portland Pirates (AHL) last season. He appeared in 59 games for the Lynx where he tallied one goal and 13 assists and played 16 games for Portland recording three assists. He saw action in 261 games for the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL from 2001-2005 and registered 14-73-87 totals with 794 penalty minutes while with Moncton.

The 22-year-old Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island native made his professional debut with the Portland Pirates in the 2005-2006 season.24-year-old Brett Skinner was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the third round (68th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft before being dealt to Anaheim on March 9, 2006. He played for three different teams in 2006-2007, including the Portland Pirates (AHL), Augusta Lynx (ECHL) and Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights (AHL). Skinner won back-to-back National Championships with the University of Denver in 2004 and 2005. His first professional experience came with the Manitoba Moose during the 2005-2006 season where he recorded 4-21-25 totals in 65 games.

Mowers established career highs in games played (78), goals (5) and assists (12) as a member of the Bruins last season. For his NHL career, Mowers has played in 261 games between Nashville, Detroit and Boston and has notched 17 goals and 44 assists. Mowers was signed by the Bruins as a free agent on July 6, 2006.

Matt's Take: So long Mark. Many fans hated him for some reason. I always thought he was a decent 4th liner. But to get two prospects for him is great. Hopefully one day these guys will crack the roster. This clears about 500,000 of cap space. Also, this opens up a roster spot for a guy like Lucic, Krejci and Thompson.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Random Thoughts

Late at night (for me atleast). Some random thoughts I have.

-Watching the classic game on NESN vs. the Habs in the 03 playoffs. Wow, we had Lapointe, Rolston, Knuble, Thornton, Gonchar, Nylander, Samsonov, Boynton, Razor, O'Donnell, and McGillis. We also had a nice 3-1 series lead. How the hell did we lose that. I was at game 5. Awful.

-And if I have to listen to Jack "I suck" Edwards all year, I might just kill myself. I was pissed when Kluzak left, and now that Dale is gone, this sucks. Dale was my favorite announcer. I used to hate away games because Arnold didn't cover them, now I might hate all of them.

-But I can't wait for the season to start, only a week away!!

-Spygate that. The Chargers still suck. LT is real classy. Watching Brady to Moss is insane. That guy catches everything. 3-0 Pats, could be 16-0 with a SB easily. Can't wait to pone Indy.

-I've worn my Moss jersey 3 games and that equals a 3-0 record, 10 TD passes for Brady, and 5 TD for my boy Randy Moss. Yeah, he was washed up.

-NHL 08 is amazing. I've been playing the game on pro and I'll win 5-0 then lose 3-0 the next game. (It is also nice having Olli Jokinen as your 2nd center).

-Who really cares about the Sox right now? The Pats are the big thing. Bruins start in a week and the Celtics are playoff bound. The Sox may have clinched a playoff birth, and have a nice 1.5 game lead that was a 14 game lead. The pitching sucks. And I think Canada should stick to hockey, Gagne (aka Gag me) sucks more than one could imagine. Until October comes, I don't care about the Sox.

-A-Rod owning the Cubs. Wtf?

-I hate Johnny Damon.

-The Celtics are going to be good. I can't wait to see Pierce, Garnett and Allen.

-If the Celtics are good, and the Bruins pull it together, the Garden will be the old.

-Speaking of the Garden, can the Bruins gets more than 12,000 per night in the arena. I really hope so. I hate seeing the place empty. In Montreal, I always feel the team has a chance because of the fan support. It's like Fenway Park hockey version.

I know this is a hockey blog by the way...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Realisitc Look on the Season

I have been sitting around pondering what this season really means and a realisitc goal. Do I think the team can win a Stanley Cup? No. As much as I want them to, I just don't see it happening.

Realistically, I can see the team slipping anywhere from 5th-10th in the conference. The Northeast division sucks besides Ottawa. Montreal is a wreck, Buffalo lost half its team. Toronto is old and have a whole bunch of issues.

Now, I am excited to see Schaefer, Fernandez, and hopefully young guys like Krejci and Lucic. Now, if Savard can have a season like last year, if Bergeron can take his game up, and if Sturm and Schaefer score along with Muzzy, then the team will be in better shape. The team needs an offensive boost. They definately improved.

Goaltending. I am SO excited to see Fernandez. I hope he will be a number 1 guy, let's see how the knee is. I want to see what Stuart and Lashoff can do.

Now, one thing makes me optomistic that the team can be a contender. No Dave Lewis. More scoring chances, we can see what Zdeno Chara really is. Setting the screen, fighting. We also have guys like Reich and Thornton.

I hope I am wrong and the team wins it all, but going into the season, I am hoping for a new style of play, an identity for the team, more toughness and improved goaltending. I also want to see our young guns. I've been hearing about other teams guys like Penner, Getzlaf, Michaelek, Clowe, Vanek, Parise. Time to see guys like Lucic and Krejci there.

Bruins 3, Islanders 1

Jeff Hoggan had 2 goals, 1 shorthanded and 1 even strength. Kobasew had a PP goal. 4 fights, which is great. Chara, and Thornton got into a scrum. Great to see the B's have some grit. I didn't get to watch the game because the video on wasn't working for me. Thomas did not allow a goal for 1 and a half periods.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Metropolit at Camp

The Bruins offered a tryout to Glen Metropolit and he was at camp today. Last season he played with Atlanta before being traded to St. Louis. He recorded 14 goals and 19 assists in 77 games for the two teams combined. For his NHL career, he has played in 180 games and has recorded 24 goals and 56 assists as well as a +17 rating. Fluto Shinzawa of the Globe, suggested Metropolit could be looked at as a checking line center. He will wear number 13 for the Bruins, previously worn by Stanislav Chistov.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hopefully less ice time for Ward

From today's Herald:

The weak point?” asked Chiarelli. “Well, I feel our goaltending and our coaching will help our defense. Granted, we don’t have a pure No. 2. People can argue we don’t have a pure No. 3 and No. 4, either, but Albie is going to be better because of the coaching. All the young guys will benefit. Lashoff is going to get a good chance to play on this team. Stuart, too. There are spots for young defensemen on this team. We’re going to look at them very closely in camp.”

Hopefully this means the Bruins will not rely on Aaron Ward to be there #2 defenseman, as they did the last 15-20 games on last season. Clearly he is a number 5 or 6 on this team, which lacks good defenseman. Even going by Chiarelli's quote -- he is saying that no defenseman on this team is good enough to be a number 2, 3, or 4. Ward may have experience and leadership but his on ice performances have been terrible the past two seasons. The less ice time he receives the better the Bruins may be. Handing over his ice time to players like Alberts, Stuart, and Lashoff may be risky, but the risk must be taken for the rewards could be much more beneficial than what Ward would contribute.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Minor Deal Complete: Walter traded

From Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe:

The Bruins have traded forward Ben Walter to the Islanders for former first-round pick, Petteri Nokelainen, a Finnish winger/center who has battled knee woes from the time he was drafted three years ago.

The Islanders also will receive a conditional draft ;pick from the Bruins, based on how many games Nokelainen might play with Boston.

Nokelainen, only 21 years old, originally was drafted by the Islanders in the first round (No. 16 overall) of the 2004 draft. The Bruins that year were without a first-round pick, and didn't make their first choice until the third round when they acquired David Krejci No. 63 overall.

As an 18-year-old, playing in Finland's top pro league, he connected for 15 goals in 52 games with SaiPa Lappeenranta. His only NHL experience came with the Islanders in 2005-'06, and he put up an unremarkable 1-1--2 in 15 games. Nokelainen spent all of last season in Bridgeport, the Islanders top AHL affiliate, and he again collected a modest 6-10--16.

Nokelainen, a righthanded shot, can play both center and right wing. He is 6-feet-1, 205 pounds.

As I reported last night the Bruins have completed a minor deal. Walter projects to be a checking line center, if he makes it to the NHL. Nokelainen is a few years younger, but has not put up impressive numbers in the minors and he has battled knee problems. This is another deal from Chiarelli that probably won't benefit either side.

Fantasy Hockey

Still have a few spots left for anyone interested.

Draft is tonight at 8:45 EST.

Bruins Make a Deal

According to Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, the Bruins have made a deal and will announce it sometime Tuesday morning. KPD has reported that a minor deal has been completed but he is unaware of the players or teams involved. Eklund has also reported rumors involving the Bruins. Check back tomorrow afternoon for details.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bruins Tickets

There is a special promotion running today on for B's tickets this upcoming season. Go to the Bruins page on and click on one of the advertisements for exactly this. Enter the promo code "boston" on the ticketmaster webpage.

As an aside, I do not see the Bruins making any big trades before the start of camp. I think they have a nice solid base to work with and will address any needs later on in the season when things start to play out.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Bruins closing in on deal?

According to HockeyBuzz,

the Bruins are closing in on a trade. It could be with NJ involving Paul Martin and Glen Murray according to Eklund.

Matt's take: I'll wait and see if a trade actually happens.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fantasy Hockey!

For anyone interested in a Fantasy Hockey league, I created one on Yahoo.

It will be 12 teams, and a live draft next Tuesday, at 8:45. I can change it though.

Send an email to and I will give you the League ID and password.
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