Monday, January 7, 2013

What To Expect

With that hellish embarrassment of a labor stoppage over, it's time to kick back and enjoy the greatest sport on its professional level. I'm here to break down the Bruins and show what you can expect from them.

The Bruins were surprisingly quiet this offseason as far as roster moves go. Picking up Christian Hanson, Garnet Exelby and Aaron Johnson from free agency, and acquiring Michael Ouellet from Tampa in the Pouliot deal, they hardly made any big splashes. I know before the lockout started, Phoenix and Boston were in talks to trade Krejci for Keith Yandle (In my opinion, that's a great deal, but I'll leave trade speculation for another day.)

So let's break down what you can expect this year:

Offense: Two words - Tyler Seguin. This team is at a point where the 20 year-old phenom could be tagged as the centerpiece of their offense. What's interesting to me is that the core of this teams offense, being Bergeron, Lucic, Seguin and Marchand, has not changed much since they won the Cup. This works because their offense isn't limping to the retirement home like some teams. Offense has never been an issue for the Bruins. Last year, the majority of the +/- leaders were Bruins, and dominantly so. I would look this year to see Seguin and the Selke winner Bergeron to have excellent seasons.

Defense: This is where things get a little dicey to me. Obviously Chara will be a crazy manbeast again, but the rest of the D will need to step up. Cue Dougie Hamilton. I've understood that the Bruins top prospect could see some time in the Garden this year, and I'm interested to see how he does. At 6' 5", Hamilton is a big dude and has been juggernaut for the OHL Niagara IceDogs, scoring 146 points in 181 games. That should raise interest in any Bruins fan. I'm not saying the Bruins defense is bad, but guys like Ference and Boychuk are going to need to step up.

Goalies: I'll get TT out of the way first. Long story short, Thomas isn't coming back anytime soon and in compliance with the new CBA rules, he could be the Bruins top candidate for a contract buyout. Now it's Rask's time to shine. Rask is a decent goalie, and in the last 3 seasons with Bruins played 97 games, posting a 0.926 save percentage. I think that he has a big opportunity in front of him here, but hes gotta stay healthy.  With him healthy in net and Khudobin as his backup, the Bruins could be set for awhile with goaltending.

Out of all the teams in the Northeast Division, the Bruins are the only real threat. The East is a hot conference this year, and the Bruins will do their best to turn up that heat.


  1. Luckily Ference has stayed sharp playing in the Czech league. If Hamilton is a threat to anyone's job, it's Boychuk. Realistically, he's their #4 defenseman.

    The Krejci trade rumors quieted down with the lockout, but it should be interesting to see what Chiarelli decides to do between now and the trade deadline in April. I wouldn't mind trading him for Yandle, who'd match the B's style of play nicely.

  2. I agree about Hamilton. Kid does have to watch his discipline though, that suspension earlier this year caught a lot of people's attention.

    As far as the Krejci-Yandle deal goes, I would not hesitate pulling the trigger on it. Krejci is a solid forward, but what you get from Phoenix is a D-man who is the same age as Krejci, and pretty damn good at what he does. In his last 3 seasons he's played in all 82 games and put up good numbers. Put him on the second D pairing and the Bruins D instantly boosts.

    I understand that he wants to come to Boston desperately. He's a local boy, played at Cushing. I know the rink guy at Cushing Academy, who is constant touch with their hockey alumni and Yandle is dying to come back to New England. He'd fit in nicely under the Garden lights.

  3. Also, bear in mind that the Phoenix front office is nothing short of brilliant and wouldn't try to screw over a team. They literally can't afford it.