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.
-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
-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?