Tag Archives: Kovalchuk

Bruins lose 8th straight — What now?

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.

Marco Sturm embodies the Bruins current state.

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.


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Postgame: Will a Bruins goal scorer please stand up?

Before the game, I said that it wasn’t going to be enough for the Bruins to merely compete; they needed to win.

They competed, and in many cases, OUT-competed the Buffalo Sabres in most aspects of the game. Boston was physical, caused turnovers, was pretty responsible defensively and showed tremendous effort. BUT – They can’t score. At all.  31 shots, including a 12 shot third period were not enough.

I was looking for Milan Lucic to bring his physical game – I’ll give him a B minus. He was there, but he looked more concerned with playing the puck (weakness) than doling out some back-alley justice (strength). His goal was great, but Boston can’t rely on their enforcer to fill the net. Of particular concern was the amount of rough stuff by Buffalo after the whistle that went largely unanswered; 3 first period penalties will have that effect on a team.

Marc Savard looked good given his eight game layoff – he flubbed a few passes, and hesitated a few times, but overall looked to have his wits (and more importantly his legs) about him.

Tuukka Rask looked pretty shaky all night – he was fighting the puck and had shoddy rebound control. He was able to pull himself together enough to keep Boston in the game, but is certainly capable of better play.

CLEARLY, the Bruins need a bona fide scorer (hmm, I think I said this last week….). Boston should get rid of Ryder, Wideman, and their own 1st round pick, which is currently 9th overall. This should fetch them something. Landing Kovalchuk, it appears, will cost at least that 9th pick, and someone like Bergeron or Krejci. I’m willing to part with Krejci if it brings Kovalchuk to Boston. It’s time for the front office to show that they care about the team, the town, and the fans. It’s time for a BIG move.

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A couple quick thoughts while I’m in the car — Just finished watching the game on my last day in Arizona. Even through the  14″ screen on my laptop, the Bruins showed a total lack of heart and seemed genuinely disinterested in fighting for their playoff lives.

I’m really worried about the future of this team. Yes, I know they’ve had a ton of injuries but that’s no excuse for not showing effort. The Olympic break cannot come soon enough.

Now having lost 4 game in a row, the Bruins must understand the need for a big trade in the next few weeks. Getting Kovalchuk would require sending Rask to ATL and God help Peter Chiarelli if he makes that move. I’d like to revive the Tomas Kaberle sweepstakes to get some help for the awful Dennis Wideman.

The practical fan now knows that this team, if they make the playoffs, will struggle to make it out of the 1st round.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Can the Bruins grab Kovalchuk?

Ilya Kovalchuk could be on the move

The Bruins could really struggle to play .500 hockey for the rest of the year unless they can make a serious trade, and obviously I’m talking about Ilya Kovalchuk.

The loss of Marc Savard to a torn MCL could force Boston to use one of their valuable draft picks they received in the Kessel trade far earlier than they imagined. In fact, as bad as Toronto is playing, the Bruins may not want to part with those picks at all.The dilemma they face is that by doing nothing right now, I see no way that they can make a serious run in the playoffs, but they will most likely have one of the top 5 draft picks next year. Or, they could put together a package of players and picks to snap up Kovalchuk while Boston still has time to right the ship this season.

As it stands right now, the Bruins have two 1st’s and three 2nd’s in the 2010 draft with the lowest of those picks being 46th overall(thanks to Kirk Luedeke for the info).  In a perfect world, I would package two second round picks, and some combination of Michael Ryder (10-7=17), Blake Wheeler (11-15=26) and the God-awful (IMHO) Dennis Wideman (3-11=14) for Kovalchuck (25-22=47). Ryder is due $4M per season, Wideman 3.8M and Wheeler 2.8M. By moving two of those players, Boston will have between $6.6M-$7.8M to put towards a contract for the talented Russian.

Kovalchuck currently makes $6.3M this season and will most likely ask for upwards of $10M for the rest of his career. I’m no salary cap guru, so I’m not one to say what options are viable and which ones are not, but it does not appear that $10-12M is out of reach for Boston, especially if they want to be considered serious Cup contenders.

It’s nice to speculate about the ins and outs of potential trades, but the fact remains that the Bruins will need to find a way to remain competitive, with or without Kovalchuk, until the walking wounded come back to health. Incredibly, as of January 8th, the Bruins had lost only 77 man games to injury (4th FEWEST in the league), but boy, have they been costly. Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Marc Savard, Andrew Ference, etc… Too many key players at key positions are getting hurt, one of top of the other.

That’s not to say that the Bruins are done by any means.

During their last game against the Rangers, I saw a Bruins team that was very hungry for the puck, showed great tenacity and gave a full 60 minute effort. Unfortunately, the talent is simply not there and they were bested by a mediocre New York squad. The biggest problem facing the Bruins right now is the inconsistency of personnel on the squad; too many times has Boston been forced to dip into its farm system down in Providence in order to field a full roster. Currently, Trent Whitfield is centering the 4th line and Adam Mcquaid is part of the No. 2 defensive pairing, not to mention Miroslav Satan playing the 1st line even though he was sitting on his couch eating Borscht at this time last week.   There’s no way to expect any team to be able to have consistent performances under these conditions. The effort looks as though it will be there, but the lack of familiarity with the NHL level of play will invariably lead to mistakes, turnovers, and goals against.

The next month or so will be a struggle, but Bergeron comes back in two weeks and Savard won’t need surgery. Until then, the Bruins effort will need to be high and the goaltending will need to be top-notch. We’ll see how it all shakes out. That’s it for now!

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