The Gang’s All Here

The infamous song of the post: Freaking Out by Flo Rida

This is my first post in quite some time. Nearly a year. I was busy with military training and then an awesome summer job so I drifted away from this lovely little blog. Here I am again, back in school and better than ever.

Since being away New England sports have had let down after let down. Which I’m neglecting to mention.

Today, a mere nine days to the Bruins 2014-2015 season, we look ahead.

466351393_slideKrug’s back.

Smith’s back.

The gang is all here. Something in the air tells me this team is hungry. This team is willing and ready to get our cup back. Tim Thomas may be gone but his logo is stamped on this team. Prove people wrong.

“This team is too slow, this team is too old fashioned, they can’t skate with the rest of the NHL.”

Yet they have the most talent depth defensive core in the NHL, they have a Vezina goalie, and two studs backing him up. They have a Norris trophy winner, and young puck moving defensemen to back the Mack Trucks of Boychuk, McQuaid and Kevan Miller. They have a center corps that is worthy of any NHL team, with Bergeron, a perennial Selke finalist as their 2nd line center. Two left-wingers are determined to bounce back from dismal postseasons. Not to mention the plethora of young talent fighting for their NHL career to take off.

The Bruins didn’t change much from last year aside from losing Thorty and  Jarome “30 Goals” Iginla, which as difficult as it may be to replace those two players I have full confidence that their production will be matched if not passed. If what these two players say is true, Marchand and Lucic are coming back into the season with a head full of steam and are ready to step up their game. Which should mean more scoring from them.

The player replacing Iginla missed significant time last year is Loui Eriksson, and he can score at least 20 goals in his sleep. And playing with a play-making center in Krejci, and a thumper in Lucic he should have plenty of space to snipe.

Reilly Smith is back and is also capable of scoring 20-25 goals, and with chemistry between his linemates already developed, they could be clicking pretty quickly.

The mysterious third line is going to be a work in progress all season. I think it could be beneficial though. I envision Soderberg-Kelly-Spooner as the interchangeable center. Winged by either Paille/Campbell and Fraser. Fraser has impressed me during preseason and might even push Smith for the 2-line RW position.

The fourth line will look quite a bit different from the Merlot line of years past. Campbell said a position change for him could be in effect, that meaning he may not be the center for that line. The fourth line may look like an AHL line of the past two years, bringing along a few of the kids whether it’s Khoklachev, or Caron/Florek may take up two of the positions on that fourth line.

The bottom six forwards will be mixed and matched until something clicks and that will be good, for competition and even production. 1297542845319_ORIGINAL

As for the defense; the top four are likely set in stone. Chara and Seidenberg for chokeholding the other team’s top line, then Boychuk and Hamilton for some  offensive spark and toughness.

The defense will be business as usual, and the bottom two spots may be open for anyone at camp. Although Torey Krug is our powerplay specialist, his spot is not given to him. The last two could be anyone from Krug, Bartkowski, McQuaid, Miller, Morrow or even Warsofsky.

The reigning President Trophy winners have 69 points to replace between a few players. They are hungry and ready to prove people wrong.

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Swing Game, Swedish House Merlot

Song of the post: Stockholm Syndrome by Muse

Game five is on tap, and so is Merlot. Daugavins has been dropped from the fourth line, and my guy, Carl Soderberg, the SWEDE is in his place!

Now he is not going to turn the game or series around but I feel he is going to put in serviceable minutes that he had a few times in the regular season. He’s 6’3″ and can fly. I hope he clicks with Peverley or Kelly. Maybe even get bumped up to the third line once Paille realizes he misses Thornton.

That’s all imaginary talk, now the game. Defense wins championships boys, but the legs feed the wolves. SO which is the more crucial, defense or speed?

brad-marchand-punching-sedin1I mean the Bruins proved to everyone that they can skate and score with the Blackhawks, and the Blackhawks proved anyone can score in overtime…. again.

So it’s more important for the Bruins to get back to the lockdown D that got them to this point. I think Tuukka will bounce back from his blunders in game four; but maybe he will prove me wrong. Chara and Seidenberg were not themselves so I expect they’ll bounce back to form. However I think the Blackhawks being at home might find it easier to force mistakes from the D-pairing.

It’s a must win and I am getting worried that the Bruins top line is not enough to keep the ship going, and can’t keep up with the Chicago first line. The speed, skill, defense and brute force of the trio is scary and something the Bruins will just have to contain to a simmer, and not let the other lines get involved. I think the Bruins certainly proved to everyone that you need three solid lines not just 2 like the Penguins.

Marchand needs to step up, he’s been nearly invisible the whole series and we could use a little smirk from him or a little bite to our pest. He has tried to play like Seguin and Jagr at the same time, just play you Brad.

Talk shit, score; that’s what Marchand does!

Lager

You Don’t Poke the Bear

Song of the post: Wagon Wheel – Mumford and Sons edition

Well how about that game 7? Wait, that was game 1, I apologize for the confusion, but that last game had some major intensity to it; game 7 desperation intensity. The Bruins beat the Penguins in Pittsburgh Saturday night and it was certainly worth every second of game time, every inch of ice and every drip of sweat that was spent by the two teams.

The Bruins won 3-0 against the best and most prolific offense since the 90’s Oilers. They have stars up and down the roster, except in goal. Which is how the Bruins won it; getting to Voukoun early and letting him make the mistakes.

It’s not how the goals look but if they are scored at all, which Sid the Kid and Malkin (Who I guess people call Geno) did not do. What they did was very much play sloppy, dirty, grungy hockey that’d you’d expect from a much lesser team. Or one with no character whatsoever.

8468287The Penguins are supposed to be the unstoppable offensive wrecking crew that is all business on the ice. Well, that’s not at all what was on display Saturday night. You had Matt Cooke looking to kill, uneducated fans , Malkin fighting and Crosby being a turtle-like hockey player.

Crosby is quite frankly, a bitch.

He is the most talented player on the ice in a given night, but how he uses his skills and his mouth are what distract him from being that much more great. It’s the Lebron syndrome*, thinking you should get a call because you are the best and then throwing a tantrum about it. (*Formerly known as PeytonManningitis)

He was begging for calls all night and then for sweet justice was caught twice penalizing someone. He even tried the old “you ran into me” move with Tuukka Rask, then thought he was walking tall because Tuukka smartly skated away. From there Sid thought it’d be a great idea to get in Chara’s face. Only to hide behind the ref like the wuss he is.

——

Game 2 will hopefully bring the same interest as game 1. And I hope that the Bruins realize they need to strangle the Penguins and punish Matt Cooke, Malkin and Crosby for their tough act. The one thing that I think might happen though is the Bruins could lose their cool if the Pens have their way offensively. Tuukka will need to be huge again for Boston.

I’d like to see Krejci put up those numbers again, but the Bruins need more production. Especially from the friggin’ third line, Seguin has been the best player on that line. That is saying something too, he has like 3 points all postseason. I want Claude to put the Swede in for Peverly. Soderberg-Kelly-Seguin, has a nice ring to it.

The Bergeron-Crosby matchup will continue to develop and will hopefully prosper more for the Bruins. Jagr is going to need to score tonight to really add to the fire. Iginla will need to be shut down still.

Realistically thinking; and because I still have nightmares of Lebron in game 6 in Boston last year, I think the Penguins will bear down and pull out a decisive win.

The Bruins don’t go down without a fight; and they don’t win without drama.

Lager

+Ference in the lineup was a disappointment to me, I wanted to see Bartkowski light it up in his hometown

The One Where the Bruins Looked Good When They Were Good.

Hey,

Anyone watch the Bruins/Capitals game Saturday? 

Well if you did, and you follow the Bruins than you saw all of their problems rise up in one game.

First off the forwards were slow, and the top line of Lucic-Krejci-Seguin can’t keep up their insane play as of the last 4 games. The third line, the one centered by Kelly is definitely the one that is missing Peverley, Horton, and Pouliot. They need scoring, and their scorers are all injured. I mean, Rolston has a nice shot, but he looks lost out there. 

The defense looks good at the top end, with Chara, Boychuk and Seidenberg, but after that, they look kind of conservative and confused. Joe Corvo needs to be dropped down to the last defensive line, he shouldn’t be out there as long as he is. And Zanon should be on that third line with him, they both aren’t very good in the Bruins’ scheme. 

Claude Julien needs to sit Thomas for more than a few games before the Playoffs. If he gets injured, then we will have a AHL goalie starting in the Stanley Cup Playoffs; because Turco is ineligible for the Playoffs. The Bruins time to get rolling is shortening and they need to, fast.

I hope Julien knows what he’s doing because I’d love to see them win back to back Cups. Right now though it doesn’t look like they’ll get past the first round. 

Thanks

-Lomonte