A Good Ol’ Shake-Up

Song of the Post- The Hockey Song

Happy New Year to you! And a not so happy New Year in the TD Garden. Tanking and underperforming teams are a constant as of late.

The underperforming team is the most confusing and perpetuating case that I mention. The Bruins were really effected by that Montreal series, it seems to have shaken the entire franchise to it’s core. They went from being feared and being in the top tier of the NHL to out of the wild card at this point in the season.

Nearly halfway through the ’14-15 campaign and the Bruins have more questions than the start of the season, which is concerning. What is this team to do? CRV5tvm

What are Julien and Chiarelli to do with the current cast of characters in the clubhouse?

The Bruins have gotten complacent and are contempt with their roles. They, and their coach, are set in their ways and know they have job security. Player like, Lucic, Marchand and others have their contracts, feel that their 1-2 seasons of success mean that they are firmly rooted in Bruins history. The Bruins brass needs to make a move that will fetch them either immediate returns or a haul like the Kessel trade.

We as fans deserve better than what has been put on the ice and as the Habs did when they lost to the Bruins in ’11, they rebuilt. They identified their core and upgraded around them. Unfortunately the Bruins were overconfident in their system as well as the players on the roster.

In my opinion, which most assuredly will not be taken into consideration as this team moves forward with the season, the team should sell off some key players this season; mend the ailing players and reload in the offseason. That meaning the B’s should ID some stars they can build on and ones they can lose. That will mean getting younger and getting some weight off the team.

Lucic, Marchand, Kelly, Campbell, Chara, McQuaid and Bartkowski are on my chopping block. Trade these players in bunches and in packages, attempting to obtain some younger talent and picks.

Kelly and Chara to Edmonton for Yakupov or some future picks would be fine by me, that team needs veteran leadership and defensive depth, those players would help solidify the Oilers on almost all fronts.

Lucic, McQuaid/Bartkowski to the Blues for TJ Oshie, as I alluded to in a previous post would help the B’s out on offense and help the Blues with their cap situation.

Marchand, and Campbell to the Blue Jackets or the Hurricanes for picks and/or some prospects in their systems. The Blue Jackets, although they annihilated the Bruins after Christmas, have few offensive options and while Campbell isn’t known for his offense, he can slot somewhere to help them and Marchand can further their edge that they play with. The Hurricanes are slipping and sliding and are thought to be shopping Eric Staal, I think they should do the opposite and add Marchand to his weapons.

Clearly the Bruins aren’t going anywhere, and their system is loaded with young top-4 defensemen, which is why I focused solely on adding forwards. They need a shake up and now is the time to fix it.

-Lomonte

+Pastrnak should not be moved.

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If the Penguins are The Heat, the Blackhawks are The Thunder

Song of the post: Fade into Darkness by Avicii

It’s finally here! The Stanley Cup Finals start tonight!

Now for the picks we all are thinking about: Who will win? In how many games? Who will win the Conn Smythe?

The first two come in one package and unfortunately I am picking against the Bruins. I think the Blackhawks will win the Cup in 6 games.

The Bruins won’t be able to shut down two of the best offenses and beat two goalies in 3 separate rounds. The Bruins took care of King Henrik Lundqvist and moved onto a juggernaut in the Penguins offense; they beat two of the best on each side of the puck and won’t be able to continue their ways against a more balanced Blackhawks team.

The Blackhawks have a great offense who is coming unto their own after being down 3-1 to the Red Wings. Then to make things more dangerous for them, Kane got on a hot streak with the last two games. They are going to come out furiously after the Bruins “D-to-D” passes in the Chicago offensive zone. They have done that to the Kings and will roll onto the Bruins like so. Their defense is quick and can score, and a few of them can hit hard, Oduya and Seabrook will hit hard and shoot harder creating rebounds for their potent offense. ku-xlarge

Their goalie is nothing to thumb your nose at. He’s no Reimer, or Voukoun or Fluerry. He beat the best goalie in the world, head to head. Crawford has been great and beat Ray Emery, who had a great season, for the starting job. He had to take on a lot of big bodies at LA last series.* He had no trouble with them at all. It will be a battle for goals in the first 30 seconds.

The Conn Smythe trophy winner will be the soon to be Selke trophy winner, Johnathan Toews. He will take on Kerjci, Bergeron, Chara, and Seidenberg with ease. He has hands like butter and passes on a rope, with lasers for shots. He will have no issue trying and succeeding against the Boston Bruins. He will change the series and be the MVP. He will haul up the Stanley Cup with the Conn Smythe in tow. He will slingshot past Chara as the best Captain in the league.

I’m rooting for the Bruins, but the ‘Hawks will win. In six. “Well they’re a lock.”

Lager

+If the Bruins throw the sink at them like in the Ranger series Crawford won’t stop anything.

+Quoted- Peter Chairelli on the Penguins being a favorite for the cup after the Iginla trade.

Complete Preview Stanley Cup

Song of the post: Keys to the City by Ministry – & – Good Ole Hockey Game

One day away from the Stanley Cup Finals and it is time to preview the teams.

This post will be featuring the forwards of the two teams.

The Bruins, who I always talk about are a dangerous team when they are scoring. The Blackhawks are very much the same.

Patrick+Kane+Stanley+Cup+Finals+Chicago+Blackhawks+b4Bkn6YXpdlxThe Blackhawks three most dangerous forwards between Toews, Kane and Hossa. Then their second tier players Bickell, Sharp, Saad, Stahlberg and the bunch are also forces and have come alive this postseason.

The Bruins have been rolling their lines and been successful with three of their four. The Krejci line has been phenomenal this playoffs, legendary even. Their next trio of Bergeron, Jagr and Marchand has stepped it up for a more even keeled attack. Their other two lines are the big questions in this series.

The question for the coaches is what forward line will play against the Toews and Kane line. If its Krejci and Horton going against their top line it’ll be interesting to see Bickell and Lucic trade heavy hits and see who is the bigger player. If the Toews line goes against the Bergeron line it’ll be a huge mismatch for Chicago, if they win the faceoff. Kane can outskate Jagr and dangle past Marchand; while Bickell will power past Jagr and potentially injure Marchand.

If I am Claude Julien I am matching up the Bergeron line with the Hossa-Sharp line, Marchand can get under their skins while Jagr can handle Hossa and his dangling.

The big question will be how the third lines will matchup. The “triple S” line of the Blackhawks, Saad, Stahlberg and Shaw have magically clicked and torn it up this postseason. Their counterparts on the other hand are not producing as much as we would like. However the new combination of Daugavins and Seguin will be quick and can pick the blocker side of Crawford.

The fourth lines of these two teams are the most talented in the league and will be tested by each other. The Bruins will miss Campbell but will hope to see Kelly produce similar numbers or even more. The Blackhawks are going to be tested by the merlot line, however the line led by Handzus will do it’s best to corrall the bunch and keep them from getting their chances. 116730365_crop_650x440

The defenses of these two team will be up to the test. The Bruins haven’t exactly faced this much of a team seeing as Pittsburgh gifted them by putting up 2 goals all series. The Blackhawks have faced a forechecking team like the Bruins before, they just beat the Kings who play a similar style of game.

The Bruins will have to face 3 lines that can really score and put the pressure on whenever they are on the ice. The Blackhawks will have the same test.

It’s going to come down to who has the better lower defensemen. For the Bruins it is Krug and McQuaid who have been awesome this postseason. The Blackhawks are at a clear disadvantage in this department because after Oduya their power is lesser.

Chara and Seidenberg will be put to the test no matter what line they are put up against. In fact each and every line is going to be a test for the D-pairs. Krug and McQuaid will have to stop Kane and Toews at least once on a two on two battle. It’ll be important for the forwards to cover the points in this series. If not Tuukka will have a tougher test ahead of him.

Speaking of Tuukka. Bot teams have lights out goalies who have just started playing their best hockey. Rask is a wall from the waist down, and Crawford is a quick side to side goalie who will frustrate the Bruins to no avail. The offenses will be put to the test and who ever is most patient will finally crack the scoresheet, and potentially the series.

The Coaches are two of the best in the league and each will be pinned against the wall in this series.

Lager

+I won’t make my prediction until tomorrow so check back in before puck drop.

 

After the Cup

Song of the Post: Beat This Summer by Brad Paisley

We haven’t even dropped the puck on the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals between the Boston Bruin and Chicago Blackhawks; but we can sort of look forward to the offseason.

Not looking forward as in one team will have the cup and one team won’t; but more with the offseason moves that the Bruins will have to make to continue their success.

Jaromir Jagr, Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly and Kaspars Daugavins are all free agents as well as Andrew Ference and Tuukka Rask. The Bruins will need to sign Rask to the full tender, 8 years and however many millions he deserves. The Bruins will be hard pressed against the cap and won’t be able to save the entire team this year. Nathan Horton after his phenomenal post season. He will also be paid big, hopefully for the Bruins.  images

They can let Ference, Peverley, Kelly and Jagr all walk, they are talented and useful but the Bruins will see them as expendable. Jagr is a rental, we knew that. Ference has some competition with Bartkowski, and Krug making some noise this cup run. They are almost carbon copies of him size wise, with a more offensive explosion possibility. He may not be in his beloved Boston too much longer.

Kelly, Daugavins and Peverley are making up the 3rd line or splitting time around there, and they all shouldn’t be resigned. Yes, Kelly wears the “A” and yes he is a centerman which are coveted in the league but he hasn’t put up his numbers that we want. Daugavins is a quick sniper that is just reaching his potential. Peverley can walk because he has been useless with the team since 2011.

The Bruins have many players in the minors between Caron, Spooner, Knight, Borque and Khoklachev all able to be an effective 3rd line player. They can make up the future third line while the top six are all accounted for.

I feel the Bruins have a bright future ahead of them as well as coming up soon Wednesday night. We want the Cup for years to come.

Lager

+Felger and Mazz have said Kelly and Peverley are up for contracts.

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

Bring out the Best

Today’s post will be accompanied by City of Dreams by Alesso

Game three of the Bruins/Rangers series is tonight. That’s a fact. My opinion is that if Tyler Seguin doesn’t show up in the game, the Bruins will lose. Mr. Seguin has been missing since puck drop of game 1 of the Toronto series. I know that Claude Julien bumped him down to the third line. Which hasn’t done much except spark Marchand and Bergeron to elevate their play. Yet again the third line is nearly invisible. Perhaps it was just the Toronto defense paired with the Bergeron line that halted their success. Who knows?

One thing that in my mind needs to change, especially if the Bruins are to move forward is to bench Jagr.

I said it, we were all just thinking it. Jagr is four steps slow and two strides behind everyone. It’s hard to tell if we’re watching the live game or a replay when the future Hall of Famer has the puck.

Claude needs to open up his eyes and bring in the Swede.

Chris Kelly, Carl SoderbergCarl Soderberg. [Pictured left]

Since coming over the pond Soderberg has rarely played. Now I know this is the Stanley Cup Playoffs but I think, from what we saw in those few games he did play, could certainly help the Bruins.

He is big, he is fast and he is another center. I think he’d be perfect to play on that third line. There are already two centermen playing there, three if you include Seguin.

The lines would be matched up relatively perfectly. The top line would stay together and dominate the playoffs as they have been. The Bergeron line would reunite and be joined by Seguin, sparking the 22 year old. The third line would feature 3 centers each of which are fast and strong. The fourth “merlot” line would do the dirty work and always be a force.

Claude, it’s time to bench Jagr.

—-

As for defense, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Keep the rookies in there until they lose a game. As of now the Bruins are up 2-0, if they win tonight, keep them in. If they lose, look for the next healthy veteran to step up. Certainly if the Bruins move on (as early as Thursday) we will need Seidenberg back to play against the Penguins.

That’s looking ahead though. For now, keep the kids in and let them do what they’ve done best.

-Lomonte

+ Say goodbye to Andrew Ference until he retires. The veteran loves Boston but we have 3 of his prototypes in the system, Bartkowski, Krug and Gryzlek

+ So far it looks like Rask should’ve been a Vezina finalist

 

 

Wake and Rake

Suggested listening- #ThatPower by will.i.am.
I heard this and although it has JB in it, the beats are fast and the bass is down low.

How ’bout those Sox? A few more wins and they will have more this April than the last two. More importantly, especially after today, how about Will Middlebrooks?

willie_middlebrooks_2012_05_26

He killed it with three homeruns, he nearly hit four. He looks like the stud that he is. He has 5 tools, and he’s been honing them the past few days. Middlebrooks is well on his way to having a great second year, yes its early.

Knock on wood, but remember what Pedroia did in his second year in the bigs?

That’s right, MVP.

It is very soon, 6 games in and all. Look at the guy though, he’s a f*cking stud. I think he’s the prototype thirdbaseman, you draw up when you are making a fantasy team. Tall, good fielding, can hit, not slow, frigging all five tools.

He’s 24 now, and he’s the first of many prospects who have come up through the Sox system. He’s going to be a team leader in  few years, if not by the end of this one. I have faith in the kid.

I also have had my faith in the team rekindled, yes it is early, and yes I have made some bad judgments on teams; example the past 2 years, but this year they are exciting.

Between Middlbrooks, JBJ, and Iglesias, plus the veterans, we have a mix of players that might mesh well together. I’m not saying they’re going to win it all; and I’m not calling that until at least July.

They’ll make some noise though, and come August, Boston will be buzzing with playoff excitement. They will break team’s hearts, I know that. I’ll be waiting for it too.

I do have a few criticisms of the team still. First, John Lackey, no explanation needed. Secondly, Stephen Drew, um, why did we get him? He’s more washed up than JD Drew. Come on Cherrington, you’re better than that. Also Elsbury needs to be traded while he still has worth. He’s 29, and doesn’t look a day over 19, but his body gives way like a 58 year old. They need to trade him for a real first baseman or Joe Mauer. (Mauer deal [Els, Salty, and a prospect] would make sense, and we need a real catcher.)

Lastly, and most annoying is Johnny Gomes’ number. The only person who should wear 5 is Nomar, that’s more important than who our 5th starter is. Nomar is a Greek god.

You shoulda shot A-Rod!

-Lomonte