Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bruins move to 5-2

The Bruins beat the Rangers 1-0 in a OT shootout. Manny Fernandez started in goal and got the win and the shutout. Kessel won the game with a top shelf wrister as the Bruins 3rd shooter of the shootout.

A close tough game. I really liked how the Bruins played for most of this. A lot of good, tough, physical hockey. They held a good offensive Ranger team to 26 shots and held them scoreless.

It wasn't a perfect game, the Bruins took too many penalties with six, including two for both Murray and Chara.

They did draw a good amount of penalites, 16 minutes worth. However they never scored on the powerplay and never really even threatened. They never were able to set up in the zone, and never really had continued puck control in the offensive zone on the man advantage.

The offense was weak again this game, mustering only 19 shots, even with the numerous powerplays. The Bruins are currently last in average shots per game with 23. This is a result of coach Julien's restrained offensive philosophy which puts emphasish on defensive and neatral zone play.

Usually I would bemoan this, and the lack of offense is of concern, but with the young defense its probably for the best. I hope that Julien will amp up the offense later in the season when the defense gains experience and confidence.

Some things I noticed:
Milan Luccic is going to become a fan favorite very quickly. He's a good power foward and definately brings the body. He absolutely crushed a Ranger against the boards with a good legal hipcheck. Hopefully he'll see some more playing time as he has a good scoring touch, netting 30 goals last year in the WHL.

Savard and Murray seem off. Savard's passes that try to set up Murray for one-timers seem to be just missing. Murray has always been streaky, so I'd expect them to turn it on soon.

Manny was solid in goal, which comes as a relief to me because I do not want Thomas to be considered the number one starter. A tandem is what's best for both goalies. They each have shown that they work best in that situation. Thomas with Toivonen and Raycroft in the AHL and Manny with Roloson in Minnesota.

The Bruin's are 5-2 and I'm getting more excited about this season than I thought I would get. This is a very promising start.

*Ari went to see the P-bruins in Philly tonight, so maybe he'll post about it later.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Some bits from Providence

The Providence Bruins got busy last night with a 2-1 win over Manchester... Here are some videos i was sent...

Rask 27/28

Nate Thompson dropped his gloves (see above)

Lashoff had an assist
Hoggan had an assist and was +1

Why Matt Lashoff is not in Boston right now is a big question I have. He is ready to go.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Ok. Maybe I went a bit too far in saying the team is a fucking mess. But they still seem to be spinning their wheels in a way. The trade for Schaefer doesn't seem to do much. It really doesn't make senseDonavan and Schaefer are pretty similar players. I don't see it so much as an upgrade than as a seemingly meaningless swap. Schaefer is more expensive to boot. But he did score twice as many goals, netting 12 to Donavon's six...but thats a small difference. My guess would be that Chirarelli wants one of his guys, which Schaefer obviously is as he is coming from the Sens.

My problem with the Hannu trade is I think Hannu had more value. I don't know. I feel like it could work out well, maybe this Soderberg kid will become a good player. But I don't know. Nobody does. I think we could have gotten a solid NHL scorer for him. A definate contributer.

The team is obviously banking on a kid from the monors to break onto the team score 20 or so goals. Otherwise there is no conciveable way the Bruins will score enough to win. Even with the upgrade in net and the improving defense. That's what happens when you finish 13th in the conference in goals scored and 14th goals allowed.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hannu Traded

Well there goes the logjam in net. Hannu has been traded to the Blues for Carl Soderburg.\

I can't find much on Soderberg other than this from the Blues GM Larry Pleau:

"I like him a lot," Pleau said. "When we traded to get Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight, we gave up some young forwards. We need skill players for our top two lines. Carl played very well on the Swedish world-junior team. I think about Christian Backman, another young Swede, who took three or four years before he came to North America. I see Soderberg taking some time and gaining success in their elite league before he tests the waters over here."

There is this too

He's also coming off a fairly serious eye injury.

I don't like this trade at all. I think that the prospects might be an even match. But I think goalies are a more valuable (both to a the team and as trade bait) than forwards. I also think Hannu is closer to being a NHLer than Soderberg. I don't particular like trading for foreign players either (I'm aware that Hannu is Finnish, but he's been playing in NA for awhile). I'd be much more comfortable with someone coming up through the AHL and being used to the North American game. I just don't think this is going to work out for the Bruins.

Also, I think Hannu was worth more on the market than this. I think they could have gotten a solid NHLer for him. This is also confusing because it flies in the face of the Fernandez signing. A signing that it is move for the team to compete now. Acquiring Soderberg may benefit the team in the future. If they want to rebuild, fine. I can deal with that. But they can't burn the candle at both ends. Its not productive.

A team should always be looking to improve and turnover is a part of every offseason. But additions like Fernandez are for a team looking for a final piece of the puzzle. Additions like Soderberg are for teams trying to start a new puzzle. The Bruins have the final piece for a puzzle they don't have and have started a new puzzle at the same time.

Did I go to far with the metaphor?

OK, well to put it plainly: The team is a fucking mess

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Widemen Signed, Minor Deals I Missed

The Bruins signed Bobby Allen and Bryan Bitz. Allen will likely be on the botto of the B's depth chart, and may end up shuttling between Providence and Boston again. Bitz just finished his college career, expect him to be in Providence awhile.

The B's also sign Matt Hendricks and Jeremy Riech. Riech seems to have become a favorite among some fans because of his tough play. He'll probably be a familiar face on Boston's fourth or checking lines.

Matt Hendricks played in Hersey last season and is more than likely going to spend some time in Providence this year. He scored 18 goals and 44 points in 65 games last season, his 3rd in the AHL, his second in which he played more than a handful of games. He's not particularly young at 26, but he did play 4 years of college hockey. He's not a prospect, but maybe he could fill in on the 4th line in Boston. More than likely this is a signing for Providence.

Also, Brenden Shanahan has signed with the Rangers as expected.

Oh well, at least Providence has added some scoring...

UPDATE: The Bruins have also signed Dennis Widemen.

Widemen will return to the Bruins for a second season season after being aquirred in the much bemoaned Brad Boyes Trade. The young puck moving defensmen will likely take regular shifts as one of the Bruins top 4 d-men, as well as finding a home on the powerplay unit. Looking at the stats I see a marked inprovement with his defense. Last season he managed to be just a -10 in the 75 games he split between Boston and ST.Louis, compared to a -31 in 67 games for the Blues in 05-06.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Roenick Retires

Jeremy Roenick has hung up his skates. I know this isn't in anyway Bruins related, and this being a Bruin blog it's off topic. But Roenick has been one of my favorite players, in a world with too much boring rhetoric and too many player with no personality, Roenick was witty quote machine that often brought much needed mainstream media exposure to the often neglected NHL.

I loved watching national broadcasts of his games, because you know he'd always be miked up and he'd always have something to say.

Yeah, he may have been a distraction to his teams, and his final seasons showed he had very little left to give on the ice. But at least he knew when to leave and I now eagerly await his broadcasting career.

Oh yeah, anyone whose played NHL '94 knows that Roenick was a beast on the Blackhawks, unstoppable really.

Table Scraps for the Bruins

After the crazy signing frenzy of Sunday I'd like to take a breather and look at what's left on the market, and what players the Bruins may target. Or that I'd like them to target.

I think the Bruins really need to target a scoring forward, as the team already addressed its goaltending (Fernandez), and grit (Thornton) and while another defensemen would be nice, I think the Bruins would benefit from just letting the young guys grow.

Here are some forwards who haven't been signed yet, that would fit the bill of a top 6 scorer:

Peter Forsberg
Anson Carter
Peter Bondra
Martin Gelinas
Mike Comrie
Brendan Shanahan

That, in all honesty, is not a very attractive list of options. Of these players, only Mike Comrie is under 30 (26) and the next youngest is Anson Carter and Forsberg at 33. Shanahan is 38 and Bondra 39, while Gelinas is 37. All of them come with significant risks, except Comrie. So guess who I'd like the Bruins to sign most of all?

Yeah, Mike Comrie. He made 3 million last season, and I think he is worth that most, and maybe should command 2 million at least. He has shown he can score in the past, and I''d prefer to sign someone who isn't old enough to have been through then past two NHL lockouts.

Last season in 65 games between Phoenix and Ottawa he put up a line of 20-25-45. He's young enough to improve that line and his career high from 05-06 of 30 goals and 30 assists would be wonderful addition. He also may benefit by not playing in Phoenix.

According to the Bruins are 5.7 million under the cap, with 18 players signed. This doesn't include Shawn Thornton, which would reduce the space to about 5.3 million. Take another million to fill out the roster and that whittles it down to 4.3 million. If we sign Comrie to a 3 million/yr contract we would only be 1.3 under the cap. That leaves little wiggle room for midseason acquisitions. However, the bruins could clear 1.2 million in cap space by moving Thomas. So I think this move is possible under the cap.

As for the other players:

Forsberg is just too injury prone, and likely to expensive for the Bruins. The only way I'd like the Bruins signing him is if its a one year deal at way below market value, say 1.5million-2. I don't see that happening, if he does get a contract h likes, he'll probably just go home to Sweden.

Carter didn't show himself to be a top six forward last season, but the yer before in Vancouver he scored 30 goals. He would be an interesting investment at a mid range contract 1.5-2, however it takes quite a leap of faith to think he'll put up those Vancouver numbers again. Also, would he even consider coming back to Boston, new GM yes, but same owner...

Bondra is like Forsberg, though no where near as complete a player, or as expensive. He's 39 and I don't think he has much left in tank.

Gelinas isn't really a top six winger, more like a very good 3rd liner. Think of PJ that scores 15-20 goals instead of 10. I'd be pretty happy with getting him, as he is a very good two way player, and that's a great commodity to have. He'd probably be my second choice, and is probably a more likely signing.

Shanahan is a great goal scorer, he had 29 goals in 67 games last season with the Rangers. But, again, how much does he have left at 39? He does spend his offseasons in Boston with his family, at his age a move closer to home may appeal to him. He made 4 million last season, which is probably just a bit too much for the Bruins, but if they can knock it down to 3-3.5 it could work. Home town discount maybe? Again, another guy who should get a one year deal because of his age, Shanny could get two, given his proven production (He hasn't slowed much), but he's at the age where after every season he has to consider hanging them up. So he might want a one year deal as well.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Bruins Trade for Manny Fernandez, sign Shawn Thornton

I really like this move. It makes the Bruins instantly better and fills the whole in net. Manny is a much better goalie than Thomas and has a proven record to back that up. He has a career GAA of 2.47 and a S% of .913. Last year he posted numbers of 2.55 and .911 in 44 games.

Hopefully he will be given the chance to carry the load as the number one starter, as that is what he wanted in leaving Minnesota. I think that he wants to prove that he is a clear number 1 goalie and that may take his play to new heights in Boston.

This move seems to mean that either Tim Thomas or Hannu Toivonen will be traded. I hope Thomas is traded because his salary is higher than Hannu's and I still believe Hannu has a bright future.

However, Hannu has more trade value and would not be served well by sitting on the bench as Manny's backup. I would not be against a trade involving Hannu if we were to get a top line forward in return. The team desperately needs some scoring. Also, trading Hannu doesn't hurt the future of the team because of the presence of Rask, who by nearly all accounts, is the best goalie prospect around.

The Bruins signed only one free agent on this crazy Sunday, Shawn Thornton. Thornton is a big winger who will likely make his home on the checking line. This isn't a very big signing, but the Boston Herald is reporting that Thornton will make 500k, close to the league minimum of 475k. Its a multi year deal, I can't seem to find the length anywhere. If I were to venture a guess I would say 3 years.

Also, while not Bruins related, Buffalo lost both Briere and Drury, any weakening of our division helps us, so that's a good thing to see.

There very many big names left on the market so I wouldn't be surprised if the Bruins didn't make anymore moves. Some of the worst contracts are given to the mid level guys out of desperation and those mistakes are the hardest to get out from under (well those and the Islanders 10 yr contract to Yashin an 15 yr deal for DiPietro). I'd look towards a trade unless the Bruins shed some salary, most likely in the form of Glenn Murray.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Bruins Choose Zach Hamill With 8th Overall Pick

The Bruins have picked Zach Hamill with their first round pick. TSN has him seen as a bit of a reach, ranking him 16th of thier top 60 prospects. Though Central scouting had him ranked number 9 among North American skaters.

From TSN's Top 60 Prospects:
In the post-lockout NHL, there is obviously room for the smaller, skilled player
and Everett Silvertips' forward Zach Hamill certainly fits the bill. After all,
he was the WHL regular season scoring champion this season, playing on a team
which went into every game hoping to win 1-0 or 2-1.
From this Central Scouting:
A playmaking forward with good stick-handling ability... very good on special
teams, especially effective on the power-play... sees the ice well and sets up
his linemates with his good passing abilities... needs to work on his
acceleration and breakaway speed... sometimes needs better puck pursuit

At 5'11, 190, he doesn't seem to be too undersized, 93 pts in 69 games in the WHL show him to have a scoring touch. He also won a Gold for Canada in the Under-18 Juinor Cup.

Here are two videos of Hamill from youtube:
A nice between the legs shootout goal:
A higlight package of goals set to shitty music:
I'm not any sort of prospect maven, so I can't really make a judgement call on this.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

New Uniforms

The Bruins are getting new jerseys to go wth their new coach. I think they are quite good looking, very subtle changes that make it look almost vintge, like the 70's uniforms. I suppose if you can't put a championship team on the ice you culd at least dress them like a chamionship team.

Apparently these are the new Reebok jerseys that are supposed to be sleeker with a tighter fit. I suppose you wowuldn't be able to tell unless they were actually on a player, but the fit doesn;t seem as drastic as originally rumored. In fact, I had original wrote something about how the new uniform might have meant the Reebok uniforms had been scrapped. I'm glad they toned down the drastic changes.

All 30 teams will be getting new uniforms and I can't wait to see the other 29.

Its Official: Julien Will Coach the B's

"Julien, a 47 year-old native of Kanata, Ontario, will be formally introduced to
the Boston media today at a 10:30 a.m. ET press conference to be held at the TD
Banknorth Garden.Julien has four years of National Hockey League (NHL) head
coaching experience and most recently served as the Head Coach of the New Jersey
Devils. In his lone season with New Jersey, he held a record of 47-24-8 before
being replaced on April 2, 2007 with three games remaining in the 2006-2007
regular season. At the time he was replaced by the Devils, Julien's club was in
first place in the Atlantic Division."

I'm not sure what to make of his hiring. I would have prefered the Bruins to just promote Scott Gordon from Peovidence, he seems to work well with the young guys and Beregeron gave him a ringing endorsement a week or so ago.

He is the Bruins' 17th coach in 30 years.

A good note from this TSN article:
Julien said he wants to establish a more physical style of
play in Boston, ''not with a few players but will the whole group.''
want to be gritty in all areas,'' he said.
Also the Bruins owner, Jeremy Jacobs, has been named chairman of the NHL Board of Governers.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Well This Was NEEDED

Boston Bruins Press Release

"Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has relieved Head Coach Dave Lewis and Associate Coach Marc Habscheid of their coaching duties, and will reassign them to other positions within the club.

"Since the season has ended I have completed a thorough review of the team and the coaching staff, and I have determined that Dave Lewis and Marc Habscheid are not the proper fit for the Bruins at this time," said Chiarelli. "I have a short list of candidates in mind, and I hope to have a new Head Coach in place in the near future.""

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bruins Want To Get Giggy With It?

Oh god. I'm so sorry for headline. I hope that's a phrase that will die out soon.

But this is from the latest John Buccigross article on ESPN:

"The Bruins' roster is still a mess. As a result, quality goaltending is a must. The chances of getting Giguere are as good as anyone if Anaheim doesn't sign him before July 1. He has to wait because you never know what kind of offer you'll get. With Giguere's style and age, I would be very aggressive if I were the Bruins. I'd offer him an eight-year deal for $50 million. That's where I would start."

That's a crazy contract for anyone. 8 years? Besides, I don't think that Giguere would be the best solution. He wouldn't make the Bruin's an instant contender. Remember, despite his two brilliant playoff performences, he has been somewhat inconsistent in the regular season-struggling and even losing his starting job to Ilya Bryzgalov just a year ago. He might end up being a waste of money for whoever does get him.

Given that the Bruins are still rebuilding with youth, and have 2 quality goalie prospects, I don't think its a great idea to lock up a veteren goalie for 8 years and saddle the team with a huge contract.

I think the Bruins need an upgrade in goal, I'm not comfortable going in with Thomas as the starter, especially if that results in Toivonen sitting on the bench. If Hannu doesn't play consistently, he can't develop. I'd be happier and think the Bruins would be better off with a shorter term sloution. Perhaps signing Manny Fernandez or Curtis Joeseph to a one or two year deal?

More breaking news

Nate Dempsey signed with European team SC Bern-Swiss National League

Just around the corner

The Bruins, with the No. 8 pick in the upcoming amateur draft, this weekend summoned to town five top prospects, including Angelo Esposito, touted the last couple of years as a surefire top three (if not No. 1) pick. However, the Central Scouting Bureau's rankings had the Montreal-born center slotted No. 8 among North American skaters. Factoring in Europeans and goalies, he could end up going in the middle of Round 1. Why the fall from grace? "He didn't have as good a year as the year before," noted Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli,

Alberts Re-Signed

Nothing about the money or lenght in the official site's press release.
Since its an extension, does that mean he gets the same money as he did before? I would think so, and that would put his salary at 610,000. Prety cheap for a big, young defensemen who is likely to improve.
He should develop into a nice guy to have around. He won't put up many points but he can hit and can shut down some opponents. Hopefully he will get the minutes needed for him to grow into his role and won't be buried on the depth chart, behind the rotting corpses of Jason York and Bobby Allen.
York is old and was probably toasted before the lockout, and Allen is just a journeyman minor leaguer. Alberts is probably better than Widemen too, especialy defensively, although I like Wideman for the powerplay.
Bruins top 6 D-men:
Not great, but probably (hopefully) servicable. Three young guys and three more experienced guys, a nice even blend that should be reflected in the pairings. Hopefully it'll be three pairs of: Youth-Experience

Andrew Alberts will earn a total of $2.5 million over the next two seasons, with an annual cap hit of $1.25 million.

Alberts will be paid $1.1 million in 2007-08, then make $1.4 million in 2008-09.

Alberts earned $661,300 this past season. The defenseman will turn 26 later this month.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Do the Bruins resign this RFA?

Bish's Blog sucks

But I'm taking all of the important parts of it and sharing it with you!

-"Former Bruins coach Mike Sullivan is now an assistant with Tampa Bay."

HAHAHAHAH! Poor Bay of Hockey.

-"USA Today reported recently that Boston GM Peter Chiarelli has gotten inquires from other clubs about some of the B's core group, but said, "I tell them all pretty much the same thing…They're our core guys and I'm not inclined to do anything.""

If it's anything like MOC not trading Tim Thomas for a first round pick or Bergeron for Drury (with a contract), I'm not too sure ill be surprised, but its likely Alberts and Bochenski, Murray, Bergeron. It doesnt really matter.

-"On another note, that of making NHL nets bigger, the B's GM surmised, "It's not a dead issue. The goals have gone down during the playoffs, which is part of the reason it's come up again…But at the same time, I think the games have been exciting, so…it's the same discussion, should we make the nets bigger or maybe look at making the goalie equipment smaller.""

Please make equipment smaller. They can fit a wide screen TV under their pads. Do not change the net size. This league is going to hell. In 10 years I expect all players to be replaced by monkeys because it worked in that Disney movie and everyone loves Disney movies. (Maybe changing the ducks back to "The Mighty Ducks" will get people to come to more games... DUURRR no!)

- "The New England Hockey Journal reported that Bruins 2006 draft pick Andrew Bodnarchuk was named co-MVP of the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads."


- "The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel reported that former Bruin Al Sims was named the head coach of the Fort Wayne Komets."


Now, in no way will I ever show a picture of myself being attacked my a stuffed animal. In no way will Justin or I post crap about our trips to places you cant afford unless it has to do with hockey, and not rather the lack of it. Its officialy on. BostonBruinsRock blog is challenging Bish's blog. Now, we might not get the insides that he gets, but we can sure as hell come up with better topics and stay on topic and not go into great detail about the gum we licked off of Dave Lewis' shoe.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Goalies

The old saying in baseball is that you can never have enough pitching. Its the same for goaltending in the NHL. There no such thing as too many.

Unless you have a workhorse like Martin Broduer, your "backup" goalie is likely going to play in a significant number of games.

So it seems a good thing that Bruins appear to have a fairly deep reserve of goalies in
Tim Thomas, Hannu Toivonen, and Tuukka Rask as well as Joey McDonald, and Jordan Sigalet.

Unfortunately those four are questionalble in terms of quality, experience and durability.

As far as quality goes the, Tim Thomas has been average, or just slightly above it in his two years in the NHL. A 2.77 GAA and a .917 S% in 38 games in 05-06 and a 3.13GAA and .905S% in 66 games last year. These aren't bad numbers, but are not good enough for him to be the number one goalie on any contending team. And he certainly won't be leading this team to sucess anytime soon. Despite only two years in the NHL, Timmy is not an up and comer, he's 34, he is not going to get better and is only poised to decline with age.

However, I believe, given his hot streaks, he could be decent trade bait and would definately be worth keeping around as a nice backup.

Also, despite his aforemention limited NHL experience, he actually is the most seasoned goalie here.

Toivenen has the next most experience, with just 38 games under his belt in two years, partly due to injuries. Hannu was superb in the AHL, playing in 90 games in two years, compiling save percentages of .921 and .932 and goals against averages of 2.30 and 2.05. He continued his great play in 20 NHL games in 05-06, getting a .914 S% and 2.63 GAA. He struggled the following year before going down with a knee injury and eventually being left to sort out his difficulties in Providence.

Given his youth (23 yrs old), history (AHL stats above) and pedigree (1st round pick) I have no doubts in his ability to recover and become the franchise goalie that everyone had envisioned.

Tukka Rask is by far the least experienced. He has never played an NHL game. Or an AHL game. In fact, I'm not sure he's ever even set foot in North America. In fact, the only professional experience he has comes from 34 games in the Finnish Elite League, where he did excell, with a GAA of 2.09 and S% of .926. Given his inexperience, no one should expect him to be anywhere but Providence this season. But he is consider by many to be the best goaltending prospect in the game, so the future looks bright.

McDonald and Sigalet don't have as much as experience as Hannu or Timmy, but they have more than Rask. McDonald has been around the AHL enough to be considered at least a minor league vet and Sigalet has been in Providence for about a season in addition to his college experience. Neither one of these guys are as good as Thomas or Toivonen, and may not be better than Rask right now. Niether one seems to have much in the way upside, but both could maybe sneek in as a backup goalie somewhere. But they would be a true a backup and can only be trusted for a handful games.

So, it appears that the Bruins would go into camp with Thomas and Hannu battling it out. Unless of course the Bruins sign a free agent goaltender...which is a topic for another time


Dave lewis is horrible. Too many times has he messed up. Has anyone seen what his son looks like? I have.

Now, in no way am I about to start a rumor here. It's an idea. A thought. Because rumors are garbage. waste of time 98% are wrong anyways.

Bryan Murray, coach of the Senators,has yet to be resigned. As of July 1st, he is a free man. Now, Chiarelli might want to take up this chance. I beleive that Dave Lewis will be gone if not half way through this season, then the start of next season. Chiarelli seems to love his guys back in Ottawa. Is this on his mind? IT GOD DAMN BETTER BE!