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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Back In The Saddle Again

It's been quite some time folks.  A long time since we've last chat.  A matter of fact, it's been about 5 months and I couldn't be more excited to get things going again.  I just read the Scott Burnside article talking about Patrice Bergeron and Manny Fernandez's respective comebacks from injuries.  Great insight into what the two really went through to get to the point they are at today.

From all account, Bergeron looks like he's 100%, and those were the same words from Claude Julien.  That'll certainly make some offensively starved fans, players, team officials happy to hear.  His goal and three assists against Montreal in the B's preseason opener was a nice sign of things to hopefully come for the young centerman.  

As for Fernandez, the man is a walking case of self-doubt.  He calls himself a rookie again?  Not the kind of talk you want to hear out of a player you're paying over 4 mill. to.  This guy is supposed to be the #1 or 1a right next to Thomas.  Expect the duo to split games like they were at the start of last season before Fernandez went down.

Season Outlook:
-Certainly a lot to be excited/more confident about this season when it comes to the 2008-2009 edition.  With the addition of Michael Ryder, Marc Savard has the perfect sniper to feed the puck to.  Ryder should regain his 30 goal form under the tutelage of Julien.  Having a line of Savard, Ryder, and Lucic is scary good.
-I love the fact that Bergeron and Marco Sturm will probably reunite once again.  They had such great chemistry over the past years.  Throw in a guy like Kessel or Kobasew and that's one hell of a line.
-Amazing how things balance out when you have healthy players.  I haven't even mentioned names like Krejci, Sobotka, Yelle, Chara, Axelsson, and the potential of Blake Wheeler

Prediction Time
-Look for the B's to be right in the thick of the Eastern Conference race this season.  They should and will be able to compete with any team on any given night.  I'm not saying they are going to dominate the competition because that is not the case.  The Bruins are certainly heading in the right direction franchise-wise and I love what Chiarelli has done lately.  I expect nothing less than a 6 seed at the worst in the playoffs.  The B's would have had that last season if they didn't go 0-7-1 against Montreal in the regular season.  Things will be different this year though.  I really think stretching Montreal to the brink last April in the opening round really gave this team confidence.  They are not scared of Montreal anymore nor are they concerned about playing on their turf.  I can't wait for this season to get under way and see what this team is made of, when healthy.

UPDATE:  As I write this, I see that Manny Fernandez left his start last night during warm-ups due to a bruised thumb.  This guy can't get a break, can he?


Blogger BruinsFan35 said...

I've been very optimistic about Fernandez from day 1, but this guy is a headcase. As a goalie you need to have a short memory in ways that you don't let your head mess up your game. A number "1a" goalie should ooze confidence but it seems like he will never be the same.

As far as Bergeron, he's ready to go. This is why this kid will lead this team someday, he's got a ton of heart.

Has anybody else taken notice of how Rask has played this preseason? I still think he should spend another year in Providence, but I see him evolving into something special and not another piece of Euro-trash

12:01 PM  
Anonymous habhater said...

The future of the B's lies with Rask in goal. I am certainly not a fan of Manny's and am still not sold on Thomas. Thomas had a fine year, but the proof for him is now - he has to back that up with a similar performance. Anything else will suck the life out of the B's. Personally, i would like to see Thomas be as good as he was last year & for Rask to be the backup. Psycho manny has to go!!

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomas proved , in the past 3 years, that he's not the solution. He can't sustain the workload of a #1 keeper and is inconsistent during a season. The Bruins have to hope that Fernandez will catch a break and that he will remain healthy enough to make a difference. Thomas was bad, very bad in the 2 games he played in, so far. Rask have to stay in Providence, no mather what simply for the fact that the Bruins can't harm their future for a season where they will not contend.

However, to see the old Bergy on the ice was something very, very encouraging and a very good news for the team. Wheeler is another guy who surprised me a lot. If he continue on his streak, he deserve to play in a couple of real NHL games. I like what this kid bring to the table...

11:00 AM  
Blogger Jefe77 said...

Actually, Thomas has proved one thing the last 3 seasons.

He is currently our best goalie.

Thats reality, and thats the situation we face.

If you are going to tell me he didnt have a good season last year with he is supporting cast; I am going to ask you how much Bruins hockey you actually watch.

Statistics dont tell all, especially when you over acheive and bring a team predicted to finish 13th in the conference to 7 games against the #1 seed, with chances to win the series.

Tim Thomas deserves credit for what he has done, and to bring the team to the stage its at now.

What he doesnt deserve, is to be kicked around based on 2 pre-season games.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Jefe77 said...

...and please...dont come back telling me our answer is starting Rask this season.

No one wants to F up our future by rushing him, and we DONT have the cap room for his ~3 million hit.

Take that reality, and pair it with the fact that we are not going to be dealing for a goaltender any time soon, and you will realize that Tim Thomas is who (if your a Bruins fan) you will be cheering for all season, with Manny playing ~20 games and winning 7-8.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

77... Thomas is way too inconsistent to put the Bruins over the top. Last year, he had a tremedous first half and then a very ordinary second half. You are fooling yourself if you think that Thomas can lead the Bruins to the cup. In that regard, The Bruins should have won the series against Montreal, last year, because they overplayed Monteal in 4 games. The reason why they lose was that Thomas was " ordinary " in that series. You can't go deep in the playoffs with " ordinary " goaltending.

The Bruins had problem for a decade because they had no reliable goaltender. Any so-so goaltender would have the same stats as Thomas since Julien's system is made to prevent shot from the slot and allow shot from the perimeter. Thomas always had flawed fundamentals and that's why he will never, ever help the Bruins to go deep in the playoffs,

6:55 PM  
Blogger Jefe77 said...

I dont think I am in total disagreance, but my main point is that Thomas is in fact our best option right now.

I think the B's have a good playoff run or two before we can start thinking Stanley, but Tim Thomas is an integral part of a growing team. I think its not to be taken for granted, as the work put in by players is what brings a team to the next level, and Timmy deserves credit for that.

I think Rask could come in at a perfect time in a season or two, then who knows...maybe my childhood dream will come true.

3:17 AM  

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