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

Is That a Goat? No It’s Tyler Seguin.

Song of the post: Take a Little Ride by Jason Aldean

Half a heart attack later here we are. Blackhawks up 1-0.

That game belonged to the Bruins. The Blackhawks are friggin lucky that they are winning in the series. A rookie mistake and two lucky bounces won them that game. Not to mention that our best winger was injured and out for four periods.

Nathan Horton got hurt on a powerplay in regulation time and the Bruins didn’t look the same. Nathan Horton can’t always be the rallying point for the team to win behind. He can’t keep getting hurt in the playoffs. I mean injuries aren’t his fault. I wonder if this will effect his free agency at all.

However, the other problem that the Bruins had was in overtime the only player that could do anything was Daugavins and he was fumbling and bumbling all over the ice. He still had fresh legs but he JUST. COULDN’T. PULL. THE. TRIGGER. It was painful to watch them struggle so much. It was even more painful to watch Lucic lug up and down the ice.

He played like a monster in regulation; netting 2 goals and getting great chances. Once overtime started he was out of gas and energy really his legs turned to concrete and couldn’t skate faster than Tim Thomas in a victory lap. Lucic gets a mulligan because he played his ass off and got the Bruins a two goal lead.

One player that doesn’t get a mulligan is YOU:tyler-seguin-nhl-icon

MISSING PERSON: Tyler Paul Seguin, age 21, last seen wearing number 19 for the Boston Bruins. If seen please return to Boston clubhouse his teammates and city need him.

Kid, now is your time to shine! If you want to erase the Kessel critics, beat your pal Patrick Kane, and get drunker than Brad Marchand you need to have a gigantic series.

No pressure.

Seguin has failed to amuse me the entire cup run. He couldn’t quite get going in the Leafs series, then was pushed down a line and still couldn’t get going. Maybe this new line he’ll be thrust onto will finally break him out of this funk. On more than one occasion he had a chance to beat Crawford, but he went glove side. Everyone and their grandmother knows to go to Crawford’s blocker side. Gotta bury the puck.

He’s being paired with the hottest center in the game who always gets tape to tape passes no matter the stress. Seguin will need to step up big if he wants to continue to roam the streets of Boston on pub crawls and picking up chicks; he could soon be the goat in this city.

Then in his absent place on the third line who will replace him? I’ve been calling for this since early in the playoffs, and maybe now it’s time; BRING ON THE SWEDE!!!!! Carl Soderberg may actually see ice time!

But wait, Julien might go with Caron. The past three years we’ve given Caron big league ice time and he can’t stick around! Great idea, let’s just play him in the Finals against the only team hotter than you. No, absolutely not. You need the Swede, you acquired his rights for a reason. It’s time for him and we might need another center.

Krug had some mistakes and may be benched next game for an equally offensive minded rookie Matt Bartkowski, but Bart is more talented on defense. With what we saw on Wednesday night it may be a necessity to have Bart lace ’em up instead. He’s a shade bigger and more mature. If Krug didn’t go off on the Rangers Bartkowski might’ve stuck around as it is.

The Bruins are in a tough spot but I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; the Bruins don’t go down without a fight; and they don’t win without drama.

Lager

+Wasn’t impressed with Crawford at all.

+Seguin plays with Legos.

There’s No Crying in Hockey

Song of the Post:  Warriors’ Code by Dropkick Murphys

Yes this is a little out of date, but this isn’t just speaking of last night’s Bruins/Penguins game. This is about hockey, the warrior’s sport.

To start it off, the Bruins played their most competitive game all year, the one that tested them on all parts of the ice. It was a different test than that a feww weeks ago against the Maple Leafs.

This game tested the forwards to beat a relentless defense and a formidable goalie. The defense and Rask had to stop the coveted offense we were expecting the first two games. Then every player on both teams battled fatigue in playing an extra 36 minutes of hockey. Hockey is for men.

Lucic, Marchand and Campbell will be looked at and evaluated in this entry:???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Milan Lucic has been a shadow of Cam Neely and himself in the regular season, but this postseason he has stepped it up. He hasn’t been afraid to throw that giant body of his around, and hasn’t cared for the opposition, crashing the net, dropping gloves and bodies all over the ice. When he has the puck he is a force to be reckoned with, the only time you get it off him is when he pushes it too far ahead of himself or he is passing to his hot handed linemates. Almost everytime he passes the puck he’s charging the net making noise and a shadow over the goaltender. He has been great the whole postseason. He is showing what it takes and what it means to be a Boston Bruin. I personally think he should wear the “A” next year and years to come seeing as Ference and Kelly could be leaving after this cup run.

Lucic has put fear in the Penguins “tough” guys. Both Engellund and Cooke have turned away from him when he gets his mean face on. In game 1 he buried Engellund in the corner then he got up and looked tough expecting it to be a Bruin, but not Lucic and then the dog’s tail was between his legs and he was calling for a ref. Lucic called him out and the Bruins won 3-0. In game three during a post-save scrum in the Bruins end, Lucic shoved Cooke aside and eventually planted him on the ice. The fake tough guy turtled and Lucic pounced on him strangling him to be a man and fight him back. Cooke did not, he hid in his cowardly shell. Lucic has been a Bruin through and through and it is showing in this Cup run.

——

Marchand has been the Bruins pest, he has been their scorer and he has been their speed. He has been a hero as of game three. He set Patrice Bergeron up for the game winner in double OT. However, he commited a penalty that was dirty. He knew it was dirty, the Penguins knew it was dirty, Ulf Samuelsson knew it, Cam Neely knew it and Bobby Orr knows the consequences of a hit like that. Marchand was throwing the brakes on at the goalline and stuck his leg out a bit further than necessary and hit a Penguin player right in the knee. The player retaliated and whacked Marchand with his stick. Marchand was at fault and deserved the whack. He committed one of the most gruesome hits in hockey history. That type of hit has a past with the Bruins; not just the Bruins but the Penguins as well. Ulf Samuelsson went knee to knee with Cam Neely in the 90s  and got him out of the series. Before him their were countless others.

??????????????????????????????And then there’s the greatest. Number four, Bobby Orr was always attacked in this fashion. It cost him his career. He was so good and so fast that the only way players could stop him, or slow him down was to stick their leg out in his way and go knee to knee. It was affective for the opposition but not for Bobby. Orr has no cartilage in his knees, he can’t skate without extreme pain and it is difficult for him to walk. Orr effectively doesn’t have knees. All due to hits like that. Just like the Matt Cooke on Savard kind of hits are awful, so are the knee to knee blows.

——

Soupy. Greg Campbell, a Boston Strong hockey player. Takes a slapper from the blue line, slides down to block it and breaks his leg. That in and of itself is a hockey play. But its what followed that wowed the crowd and amped the team. He stayed on the ice. His fibula was shattered and he couldn’t use it to push off to skate. He stayed on for his shift. He didn’t crawl into a Crosby, I mean a ball and wait for the whistle. He slowly got to his feet and contributed on the penalty kill. He helped the Bruins finish off the sniping Penguins powerplay by staying on and doing his best. Then the team couldn’t clear it, not once, not twice, and finally about 30 seconds after the break and the penalty expired he glided painfully off and down the tunnel.

He was trending on Twitter, the least of his worries. The crowd showed their appreciation in a standing ovation and a “Camp-bell! Camp-bell!” chant. And to cap it off his team won it for him.

Gregory Campbell showed us that there’s no crying in hockey.

Lager

If all goes According to plan

Suggested song- Bingo Players – Rattle

If all goes according to plan the Bruins will lose to the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals.

Why do I want them to lose you might ask.

And I would point straight to Gary Bettman, the leader of the lockout.

I don’t want the Bruins to win it all in a shortened season, yes a cup would be nice but it wouldn’t be the same.

Plan B is different:

We win the Cup behind three solid lines each centered by Seguin, Krejci, and Bergeron; not to mention the 4th line wrecking crew.

If all goes according to plan, Bergeron comes back healthy and able to lead us to where we belong. Also Seguin becomes a dominant center with Marchand and Jagr as his wings. Khudobin turns into the second coming of Tim Thomas and we are all invited to the Bruins after party and can drink from the $3,000 dollar champagne.

If all goes according to plan. We’ll find out tonight how they look with their additions.

-Lomonte