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2014-2015 NHL Expert Picks

By on October 8, 2014 at 8:27pm
Who will win the 2015 Stanley Cup? (http://www.thehockeynews.com/) Who will win the 2015 Stanley Cup? (http://www.thehockeynews.com/)

The NHL season is finally here. It’s the second season under the new divisional playoff format, and plenty of big moves happened in the offseason to make things interesting. Will Ryan Miller make Vancouver a contender? How about Jaroslav Halak and Johnny Boychuk for the Islanders? Or perhaps Jarome Iginla for the Avalanche?

In bringing you our picks for how the season will turn out, scoring is as follows:

  • Picking a team to make the playoffs is worth one point.
  • Picking the #1 team in each division exactly is worth three points, then two points for #2 and one point for #3.
  • Picking the first Wildcard from each conference exactly is worth two points, then one point for the second Wildcard.
  • Picking the best team in the league is worth two points.
  • In the event of a tie in the standings, we’ll also be selecting which team will wind up with the NHL’s worst record, then second worst, then third worst.

So with that out of the way, check below for everyone’s picks, and come back once the season is complete to see how everyone did. Continue reading 2014-2015 NHL Expert Picks »

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Dave Warsofsky (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Bruins lost to the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Tuesday night after they let a 3-1 lead slip through their fingers in the third period. They got goals from Milan Lucic and two from rookie Seth Griffith, but it wasn’t enough to stop an implosive collapse against a dogger Minnesota offense. It was a frustrating loss for the Black and Gold and really epitomized what could go wrong for them without captain Zdeno Chara in the lineup.

According to Weymouth, MA native and Wild forward Charlie Coyle, their game plan was to wear down the Bruins defense. And it worked. They dumped the puck in deep, forcing the Bruins defensemen to skate back and get it, take a hit, and make a decision. It’s exactly the strategy that teams need to execute against the curet B’s roster and other teams around the league are sure to take notice.

The loss was more than just a dip in the standings, however. The Bruins defense, already dwindling, just got a lot thinner. Torey Krug got slashed in the hand on his last shift of the game and will now miss 2-3 weeks while his finger heals. This is very bad news for the Bruins.

Continue reading Krug to Miss 2-3 Weeks, Bruins Defense in Shambles »

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The Boston Bruins have a long and storied history as New England’s premiere entry in the National Hockey League. From the glory years of the Bobby Orr era through the current cup-worthy group, the team has satisfied a puck hungry fan base with its brand of exciting, hard-nosed play.

Though their fans are extremely loyal, a drought of Stanley Cup wins running from 1972 into the early 2000s began to try their patience. The team had become mired in mediocrity, and no attempt to bring in fresh personnel or coaching staff seemed to help. Continue reading Boston Bruins: A History and Their Effect on Fans »

Right Wing Option for Bruins Top Line

October 29, 2014 at 1:56pm in Bruins, NHL
http://oilers.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=89251

Although Seth Griffith has done a decent job playing on the right side of David Krejci and Milan Lucic with an impressive game Tuesday night against Minnesota, it still feels that an upgrade at the positon is necessary if the Bruins wish to regain the production lost from 30-plus goal scorer Jarome Iginla last season. Their offence to this point has been adequate, but it is clear that the Bruins are lacking the type of consistent player that should be flourishing on the top line of one of the league’s best teams.

The trade deadline is still a while away, but it is necessary to start questioning what moves will be made in the Bruins organization to address the need of a right winger to play with Krejci and Lucic. They have other options in house like high-ceiling prospect David Pastrnak, Loui Eriksson, rusty veteran Simon Gagne, and they can always stick with Griffith if he can keep gelling with Krejci and Lucic.

Ultimately, there is one trade target the Bruins should seriously be considering if they want to remain a top-tier team with a feared number one forward grouping.

Continue reading Right Wing Option for Bruins Top Line »

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Zdeno Chara, Dougie Hamilton

The Bruins received some bad news earlier this week as future Hall of Fame defensemen and team captain Zdeno Chara was declared out for 4-6 weeks with a Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) injury in his left knee. Since signing with the Bruins in 2006, Chara has only missed 15 games and has proven himself to be one of the most important players in team history. He is one of the centerpieces around which the front office has built two Eastern Conference championship teams and a squad that raised the Stanley Cup in 2011. He is a leader both on and off the ice and has been the driving forces behind the resurgence of hockey in Boston.

Chara averages 25 minutes of ice time a game and is routinely tasked with playing against an opponent’s best line. He also logs time on the power play and penalty kill, the mark of a truly great player. His slap shot has set world records and his presence alone has made some of the most skilled players in the game skate the other way. No one can replace him and the Bruins are clearly worse off without him but if he can come back fully healthy, the six week break could help him and the Bruins in the long run.

The past two playoff runs have showed Chara battle minor injuries and fatigue and not be the same force he usually is during the regular season and during previous post seasons. In the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against Chicago, Chara was a -5 rating including a -1 rating in the crushing series ending loss in game six. In the 2014 second round against Montreal he was a +4. However, that positive rating was inflated as he was a +1 in game one and a +5 in game two of the series. In the final five games, he was an even rating three times and a -1 on two occasions. Continue reading Why Six Weeks Off For Zdeno Chara Could Help the Bruins in the Long Haul »

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Seth Griffith Proving Worth for Bruins

October 27, 2014 at 9:00am in Boston, Bruins
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Entering the 2014-15 season, one of the biggest question marks on the Bruins roster was who would play right wing on the Milan Lucic/ David Krejci line. Loui Eriksson and Matt Fraser were early candidates but through two weeks another player has emerged to fill that role: Seth Griffith. The 21 year old is five games into his first NHL season and has one goal and one assist with an even rating thus far.

When asked about his adjustment to the NHL Griffith noted, “We’re starting to gain a little chemistry going, so that’s good to see. But, you know, it’s not too hard playing with two great players.”

Griffith is attempting to fill big shoes playing in a spot in which Jarome Iginla scored 30 goals last season. The Bruins are hoping that Griffith is the answer and he can present a different match up than Iginla. He is not as physical as Iginla at 5’9” and 192 pounds but he brings a speed element on the wing that was not a part of Boston’s top line last season. He is adept at moving the puck and has shown good instincts in the defensive end. Griffith also has not allowed playing with two stars to affect his game or make him timid, which is something that can be common among young players. Lucic and Krejci are both just getting back to full speed after injuries affect their early season availability and play. As they get more comfortable playing and being on a line with Griffith, the top line could become a formidable one. Lucic and Krejci are both on multi-game point streaks and Griffith recorded his first NHL goal against San Jose on October 21.

The Bruins still have some other potential options whether it is in house (Eriksson, Fraser) or through a trade. There have been reports that Boston has interest in young Edmonton Oilers star Jordan Eberle to play as a top six right wing. Boston will likely make a decision on what direction to go at right wing in the next few weeks. In the meantime, Griffith is making his case to be the answer for the Bruins.

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Injury Fallout: Chara to miss 4-6 weeks

October 24, 2014 at 8:42am in Boston, Bruins, NHL
Zdeno Chara ( Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports)

The Bruins lost to the New York Islanders 3-2 on Thursday night but it turns out they may have a lost a lot more than that. Zdeno Chara, the team’s captain and anchor on the blue line,  suffered a knee injury and did not return to the game. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, maybe more.

This is a huge blow to the team because in Chara they have their leader as well as the most important part of their defense.

“You see your captain go down, and probably your most important player go down. It’s definitely not a great sight to see,” B’s winger Milan Lucic said after the game. “He’s irreplaceable.”

The situation goes from bad to worse when it seems as though Chara may need surgery on top of that. For someone his size, at his age, this is not a good thing to hear. Chara has been a rock for the Bruins in his 9 seasons here, missing only 20 games during that span. Needless to say, his loss will be a very difficult one to replace.

Injury Fallout

So what options to the Bruins have in the wake of his injury? For starters, each of the members of the defense has to step up. This is especially true for Dougie Hamilton and Dennis Seidenberg, who will be called on to log the most minutes on the team’s top pairing. Adam McQuaid will have to up his physical presence, and Torey Krug will have to be the B’s top weapon on the blue line.

Continue reading Injury Fallout: Chara to miss 4-6 weeks »

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Jonathan Drouin (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Your first weekly matchup of fantasy hockey likely wrapped up over the weekend and hopefully you managed to get out of it with a win. If not, don’t sweat it. It’s a long season and there’s still plenty of hockey to be played. At this point, we don’t really put too much stock into hot starts or cold starts with the players in the league.

However, this doesn’t mean that we should ignore the players’ performances thus far, either. Every year, we see players get off to hot starts. Some cool down, whereas others just don’t let up all season and it’s the managers who snagged them early that reap the benefits.

Here’s a list of players worth taking a look at if you need some help on your roster. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t?

Add now:

TJ Brodie – D - Calgary

There’s a reason Brodie just signed a 5 year extension with his team. He’s been in the league for years, but is now starting to put up points at an elite level. He’s quickly surpassing Giordano and Wideman as the best offensive threat on Calgary’s blue-line. With 7 points already, 3 of them on the power play, go ahead and see if he’s still on your waiver wire. He should’t be.

Sami Vatanen – D - Anaheim

We all thought Cam Fowler would be the one to blossom into an offensive weapon, but Vatanen has taken on that role run with it. He had a fantastic Olympics last in 2012 and is becoming a star in southern California. He’s got 5 points already and will keep it up as long as he’s got weapons like Getzlaf and Perry in front of him. Continue reading Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Adds; Weekly Mailbag »

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