Please re-direct to http://www.bleedblackgold.com
Trade deadline #1 has come and gone with no movement from the Bruins. Another, more well known blogger, said that the past few weeks acted as a “dress rehearsal” to what will occur once the trade freeze lifts at midnight on the 28th of February — a good deal of posturing and market testing. The sellers didn’t like the offering price, so we’ll have to wait until March for something to go down.
Rumor has it that the Bruins are pushing very hard for the services of Ray Whitey from the Carolina Hurricanes — Carolina is reportedly looking for a roster player and 1st round pick in return.
Sure, the Bruins have won 3 in a row and are starting to find some real chemistry, but they’re still much closer to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings then they are to the top. That’s not a good place to be in February. The five goal outburst in the first 25 minutes of last night’s game in Tampa surely appears to be an abberation. Still dead last in scoring, the Bruins have scored 5+ goals just six times (or 10% of their games) this season; compare that to a whopping 16 times (or 37% of their games) at this point last season. Clearly, the Bruins need scoring, and need it badly.
Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli has been very tight lipped with the media all season regarding potential trades/player movement, so I wont begin to openly speculate about whom they might acquire.
That being said, there have certainly been some positive things happening with this club lately — leading me to believe that a quality acquisition could propel the Bruins into at least a 2nd round match-up.
Here a few players that are catching my eye:
At times since Lucic’s return on Jan 7th, he seemed unwilling or unable to take the body. Combine that with his modest offensive skills, and you’ve got a player who isn’t doing much more than taking up space.In the past handful of games he has returned to his body banging ways and even had a bout of fisticuffs with Adam Mair of the Buffalo Sabres. As I’ve been saying all season, Lucic’s physical game opens up tremendous amounts of ice for playmaker Marc Savard. Quite simply, he’s a beast — he’s a game-changer. One of his thunderous hits or ferocious bouts can change the complexion of an entire contest. As much as the Bruins have struggled to score goals, the physical play of Milan Lucic is something the Bruins cannot live without.
Like Lucic, Marc Savard’s season has been marred by injury. He appears to be back to full health now with 9 points (all assists — as they should be) in his eight games since returning from a knee injury sustained in that same Jan 7th game against Chicago. Having a healthy and productive Savard on this team seems to have raised the confidence level across all four lines. He is just so calm on the puck. While other Bruins players seem to be squeezing the stick, or feel that the puck is bouncing just out of their reach, the Sultan of the Saucer Pass allows the game, and opposing defenders to come to him — where he picks them both apart.
“Two U’s, Two K’s, Two points.” Seems like I hear Jack Edwards (the Bruins play-by-play announcer) utter this phrase a few times a week now. The young Finnish goaltender has been nothing short of SPECTACULAR this year. Still a rookie, Rask is 3rd in the league in save percentage (.928) and 2nd goals against average (2.09). In a year when reigning Vezina Trophy winner has found himself richer both in salary and goals allowed, Rask has been incredibly solid. In fact, last night’s 5-4 win in Tampa Bay was Rask’s 5th start in a row (3-2, 2.20 g.a.a.).
One more game before the Olympic break. The Bruins will try to make it four in-a-row when they take on the Panthers in Sunrise, FL on Saturday.
Bruins fans — I’ll leave you with a clip I found of the best (or worst) Jack Edwards moments!!
Still struggling to find the net with any regularity this season, the Bruins caught lightning in a bottle on Sunday afternoon at Centre’ Bell en route to a 3-0 victory over Montreal which saw Boston’s longest losing streak in 85 years come to an end.
Two of Boston’s three goals went in off of Montreal sticks, and for the first time in a long time, the Bruins were getting all the breaks. Adam McQuaid scored his first NHL goal, Marco Sturm added two of his own and Tuukka Rask looked like the clear-cut No. 1 goalie.
Yesterday’s win was great, but I hope it doesn’t distract the front office from the glaring defects in this team. First and foremost, goal scoring has been DEPLORABLE. The Bruins have been dead last in the NHL for a good part of the year and the margin only continues to grow. The Bruins have averaged 40+ shots in 3 of the last 4 games and I believe that adding one more piece (a 25 goal guy; Whitney, Ponikarovsky — who WILL be a 25+ goal guy) would translate into AT LEAST one more goal per game. Michael Ryder (13-9=22) has DISAPPEARED this season. I have trouble remembering whether or not he actually played each night.
The penalty kill has been superb this year, but 5 on 5 defense has been lackluster at best. I point to Dennis Wideman. He is simply not good enough to be a no. 2 defenseman; it required too much ice time/responsibility. He needs to go. Now. I could go on and on about the failings of Dennis Wideman, but chances are, you already know about them. God, he’s awful.
The issue that had fans most upset during this losing streak was the egregious increase in ticket prices for this season. Last season, I had a 10 game package and was sitting in the Loge (lower bowl) for an average cost of $66/per seat. This season, I’m in the balcony (sec. 318) for the same price. My old seats are now more than $120 per seat. The Bruins ownership simply jumped the gun here. The only way to for the Bruins to save face re: the ticket increase is if the Bruins can pull off a cinderal
Much like the hapless alcoholic who continues to defy the hopes and dreams of friends and family by constantly letting them down despite enormous promise and potential, the Bruins, as presently constituted, appear to be lost — for good.
Boy, I really thought they were gonna get it done last night after they took an early 1-0 lead and were pummeling the Washington net, drawing penalties and looking inspired. Rather than re-hash the brutal details of last night’s game — where Matt Hunwick looked lost and cost the Bruins at least one goal, and the Bruins once again couldn’t score more than one goal despite 20+ scoring chances, i’ll speak in broader terms about the plight of our (once) beloved Black and Gold.
As I have been saying for some time now, if Boston’s front office still wants to take a run at the playoffs this year, they NEED to make a trade. TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting that Boston is shopping Michael Ryder around, but that’s not likely to bring the Bruins anything valuable in return. Most Bruins fans are of the opinion that Boston needs to pick up Ilya Kovalchuk this season and that anything less would be unacceptable. The Bruins obviously need to make SOME kind of move, but I’m not sure that Boston’s front office is willing to pull the trigger for fear of making the wrong move, when the worst thing they could do would be to stand pat.
I’m not convinced of that at all. First off, it’s been widely rumored that Atlanta wants Tuukka Rask. That right there should be enough to stop any potential deal — it’s not worth giving up the future for a 4 month rental like Kovalchuk. Players I would like Boston to look at are; Martin St. Louis ( RW 17-43=60), Aaron Ward (D 0-9=9 BUT he’s a beast), Ray Whitney (LW 16-25=41) Mike Modano (C 13-11=24), or Alex Tanguay (LW 8-21=29)…there’s plenty more I could list. Point being, I would be SHOCKED if Boston grabbed Kovalchuk given what it’s likely to cost.
Next up, a home match-up with the hated Montreal Canadiens tomorrow night. I’d love to see a couple new names dressed in Black and Gold, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen anytime soon.