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

Yippie Paille!

Song of the post- Drink in My Hand by Eric Church

Well we got the win….

The Bruins came out of the gate slow and sloppy much like… ah– well I’ll keep it PG. hqdefault

They came out slow, sloppy and stumbling over the puck. Their counterparts however were skating crisply passing crispier and flying in the Madhouse on Madison. They scored quick and it looked like us Bruins fans were in for a dreadful night.

Nathan Horton was able to play and it certainly helped. Sure, the hottest line in the league didn’t score in the game but they had good looks. The man we all thought was going to replace him however, “Taylor Seguin” was playing like he was on the top line, not the third.

He had two assists and looked like the player we wanted in the all important second away game. He flew all over the ice, once he got his legs under him, tried to throw his body around, got to the dirty areas and made the game winning assist.

He was aligned with underachieving away assistant captain, Chris Kelly and speedster Dan Paille. Something clicked with them and they were off. Speed of Seguin and Paille, the defensive zone presence from Kelly and Paille and the will to win it before it got to yet another OT.

This line will hopefully gain momentum and add to the Bruins potential and further put worry into the Blackhawks dressing room. They got lucky in game one, came out swinging in game two missing on all but one; and now in game three they will be put to the test against the Bruins and the seventh man, the Big, Bad, Bostonian, Bruins fans!

What’s in the away dressing room? Oh a seed of doubt.

Lager

+Seguin to Marchand, you’ll get it.

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.

Just Krugging Along

Song of the post: I Believe in a Thing Called Love by the Darkness— Second song: New York, New York by Frank Sinatra
— Third Song: Chelsea Dagger by the Fratellis

What a game! The Bruins win and move on to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the dangerously good Pittsburgh Penguins team.

The Rangers did start off their scoring on a powerplay goal that shouldn’t have gotten through, and the Bruins penalty kill must be better. Then they responded in the 2nd period off the stick of the rookie defensemen, Torey Krug.

BLKAYDjCIAImhnUThen Gregory Campbell notched 2 more; one being an empty netter.

So now we look forward to the Penguins. Led by Sidney Crosby, backed by Evgeni Malkin, and enforced by Matt Cooke. The Bruins have quite the handful coming at them.

Looking at each of their lines, and the defensemen as a whole, plus the goalies, I’ll break down the teams and who has the edge.

Offense line one: Edge- Penguins
They have Crosby and that’s enough to make the Panthers’ line one have an edge. Although the Krejci-Lucic-Horton line can make some noise, they’ll need to bring it ALL.

Offense line two: Edge-Penguins
Malkin, versus Bergeron, will be the match-up to watch as the centers will battle for every inch. The storyline here is how can Jagr break out against his ex-team? He’s been begging for a goal and nothing would be sweeter than for it to come in this series.

Offense line three: Push
The Bruins have Seguin, who is on the verge of breaking out the past few games. He has yet to really gel with his linemates. However, on the otherside of the puck, the Penguins have Matt Cooke, who we all know. And he is very dirty and will probably injure one of these three early on.

Offense line four: Edge- Bruins
Well, because clearly, our fourth line is better than your fourth line.

Defense: Edge- Bruins
They have more depth here. If I were Julien, I’m not breaking up the pairing of Chara and Seidenberg and shutting Crosby down as much as possible, not to mention the sweet taste we can get if Iginla doesn’t score. However, that is relying heavily on the other four Bruins D-men to shut down Neal, Malkin, and the lot of them. If Krug continues his pace he might be a Norris trophy candidate.

Goalies: Edge- Bruins
Tuukka is not going to be a fan of seeing the horse-face of Crosby smile every time they score. He has had scrutiny and let up a joke goal. He is not going to want to do that again. Vokoun is a joke of a goalie, he has 1.9 goals against because the Penguins played against Ottowa who’s only offense is Daniel Alfredsson. Fluerry is no match for a Krug one timer. Khudobin can keep the bench warm, but if he comes off it expect heart-attack-Tim Thomas saves.

I want the Bruins to win in 6 at home; but something’s telling me Penguins in 7.

Lager

+ My review shifted pro-Bruins a little while in. + The first song is honorarily called I believe in a thing call KRUG

That Stung a Little Bit

Song of the post: Two Step by Dave Matthews Band

Well, the Rangers certainly surprised everyone didn’t they?

They beat the Bruins in the elimination game in overtime. After the Bruins out worked them they ended up getting nothing in return. It was a full 60 minute effort, which is what the team struggles with. They were the better team the whole game and got more snake-bitten than Tyler Seguin through the first 10 games of the playoffs this year.

New York Rangers v Boston Bruins - Game OneThe Bruins had a commanding 2-0 lead in the 2nd and then Tuukka Rask showed how graceful goalies can be. He tripped and a deflected puck from 20 feet away slid gently into the goal.

The crowd didn’t go nuts, but they were turned on like a switch had been flipped. NBC went to commercial break and when they came back it was as if we were watching a completely different game. The crowd was buzzing which fed the legs of the Rangers. From then every inch of ice was contested.

The majority of the Bruins played their game, except Tuukka. After that goal he seemed out of sorts and uncharacteristic. He was still thinking of how he fell down and the puck meandered its way past the goalline.

Then to make things worse Chara and Hamilton had a miscommunication and the Rangers scored a wraparound goal to further get in Tuukka’s head. It was a battle knotted at 2 apiece.

Seguin broke out of his slump with strong play and a goal. Look for him to continue in game 5. Also look for Hamilton to be benched if any of the veterans can come back. He has been the weakest link (Jagr aside) since he has been put under the spotlight. If Seidenberg can return then Dougie will likely be benched. We will need Seidenberg’s presence if the Rangers have found themselves.

The energetic play of Bartkowski and Krug have been a huge reason that the Bruins are buzzing against the best goalie in the world. They are also the reason that the P-Bruins lost a 3-0 series lead to Wilkes-Scranton in the AHL Playoffs. They are the future and have shown why we can be excited for puck moving defensemen again. (See Ray Bourque, Bobby Orr)

If this series goes to 7 games I don’t expect Tuukka to be a Bruin much longer. Unless he wins us the Cup like one Mr. Tim Thomas did in ’11.

-Lomonte

+ I want a Krug Life shirt from Barstoolsports.

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