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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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Why Taylor Hall Won’t be a Bruin

December 17, 2014 at 9:37am in Boston, Bruins, NHL, Rumors
Taylor Hall (edmontonjournal.com)

Earlier this week, TSN Analyst Darren Dreger reported that Edmonton’s Taylor Hall would be in play on the trade market as the Oilers train wreck of a franchise continues. The Bruins, who have been struggling just to land a playoff berth this season and seem to be lacking an identity, have been in the eye of a hurricane of media buzz. Could Taylor Hall be the trade target they’re looking for?

It’s funny how these things come full circle. Back in 2010, the Bruins held the second overall pick while the Oilers held the first. It was clear that the B’s preferred Hall, a gritty scoring winger, but they “settled” for Tyler Seguin and his dazzling skill set. Now, they may possibly have the chance to trade for him. But they won’t.

First take a look at the Oilers. Years of being a basement dwelling team amassed them with a wealth of young talent that included three first round picks in four years and six top ten picks in a row. They built a core with names like Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Darnell Nurse and the newly drafted Leon Draisaitl. The hockey world had a general consensus of, “Okay, they’re bad now, but when this young core grows and develops together then Edmonton will be a force to be reckoned with.”

But it never happened. Continue reading Why Taylor Hall Won’t be a Bruin »

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Bruins Weekly Roundup

December 9, 2014 at 9:00am in Bruins, NHL, Opinion, Rumors
Jordan Eberle (oilers.nhl.com)

Jordan Eberle Trade Target

There’s been a lot of buzz lately on the Bruins and Edmonton talking trades, specifically with Jordan Eberle being a target the B’s would love. This makes sense to some degree– the Bruins are hurting for a scoring winger and the Oilers are just desperate to shake things up. However, I really don’t see any package that gets this deal done that makes sense for both teams. People love to throw out the old, Kelly+Spooner+pick but truthfully that doesn’t even come close to being a good offer. Ryan Spooner just doesn’t have the value of being a top prospect anymore. Truth hurts.

There was also a rumor today of Bruins/Oilers discussing Nail Yakupov, with Krug+ being thrown the other way. I just don’t see this happening either. The Oilers have a similar player in Justin Schultz and I sincerely doubt that Julien and Chiarelli would deal away Kessel and Seguin but would be comfortable being patient with Yakupov. Ain’t happening.

Tyler Seguin Flourishing

This is a conversation we’ll probably be having for a long time. The two sides have become, “We gave up on him too soon, he’s a star, maybe he didn’t fit in our scheme but at some point we have to adapt our scheme to fit in superstars like him,” or the counter, “Seguin refused to play defense, he was a problem off the ice, he’s not a team player. The value we got him was much better than what he would give us.” Continue reading Bruins Weekly Roundup »

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rask coyotes

The Bruins played four road games in six nights this week, all on the west coast. They went   in the four games. The trip began with back to back games in Anaheim and Los Angeles against the Ducks and Kings, respectively. The Bruins lost a hard fought game to the Ducks, 3-2, and 2-0 to the Kings in another hard fought affair. Then, on Thursday, the Bruins traveled to San Jose and played one of their poorer defensive games of the year, losing 7-4 to the Sharks. The trip concluded with a 5-2 against the Arizona Coyotes, which saw the Bruins play a strong game wire to wire.

In the first game of the trip, the Bruins came out strong early on. Their first period was highlighted by two penalty kills that saw them generate several short-handed chances including a near goal by Daniel Paille. They got on the board early in the second period when Brad Marchand netted a power play goal. Their lead was short lived however, with the Ducks scoring less than a minute later to tie the game. The Ducks then added another goal to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. Anaheim then scored in the third to make it 3-1. The Bruins did have a surge in the third period and were able to make it a 3-2 game on Simon Gagne’s second goal of the year. The Bruins were not able to come all the way back and fell 3-2 in disappointing fashion. Coach Claude Julien summed it up best after the game saying, “”I’m certainly not going to criticize the effort.  I thought we played hard and I really feel like we should have won that game.” Continue reading Bruins End Disappointing West Coast Trip on Positive Note »

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Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron

When Zdeno Chara was hurt it was assumed that the Bruins would have a tough time without him. They started off strong in his absence winning six out of seven games including a five game winning streak. However, the past two nights have been lackluster performances on the road against Toronto (6-1 loss) and Montreal (5-1) loss. The total goal differential in those two games of -9 is one of the worst two game stretches the team has had since Claude Julien became head coach.

The next ten games for the Bruins will be a severe test of what they are capable of doing without their captain. I wrote previously that four to six weeks off for Chara could end up being a good thing as long as the Bruins stayed in playoff position with him out. The next three weeks will tell us a lot about their mental toughness as well as their ability to stay in playoff position. Continue reading Bruins Face Trying Times During Next Three Weeks »

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Bruins Prospect Report

November 13, 2014 at 11:28am in Bruins, NHL
David Pastrnak (bruins.NHL.com)

Will all of the core players locked up for multi-year contracts, we know that the future of the Bruins is in good hands. Guys like Bergeron, Krejci, Lucic, Rask, Marchand, and Chara are all under contract for the next few seasons at least. Quite simply, this team will be good for a long time.

One small downside (if you can call it that) with having such a perennially good team is that it makes it hard for prospects to break into the NHL lineup. Sometimes it’s exciting to see the talented rookies that you drafted perform at the highest level, but the Bruins typically only see one or two a season.

However, in a year like this, injuries happen, trades happen, and you never know when the next guy could be called up from Providence. Let’s take a look at the latest numbers from the Bruins system and see how they’re performing so far this season.

Ryan Spooner – C – AHL

Spooner, who many Bruins fans were hoping would make the Bruins in training camp, showed that although he had flashes of brilliance, he ultimately was not yet ready for the NHL. He has fared pretty well so far down in Providence, putting up 6 points in 8 games. He only has 1 goal so far though. Spooner has been playing strictly the Left Wing lately, in hopes that he can develop some scoring there because the center position at the NHL level is just so deep.

David Pastrnak – RW – AHL

The prized possession of the Bruins farm system, Pastrnak has dazzled since day one of Development camp. He has put up a stellar 13 points in 12 games with a +12 rating– excellent numbers for an 18 year old! Best of all, he is a right-handed shot winger, which the Bruins are in need of. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get called up with the big club at some point this season. Continue reading Bruins Prospect Report »

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Steve Downie ( Jay LaPrete/Associated Press)

We’re already wrapping up our fourth fantasy hockey week if you can believe it. Hopefully by this time, you’ve thrown together some wins and haven’t been bitten by the injury bug too much. Personally, I’m already dealing with Taylor Hall being placed on the IR who I had big hopes for this season. I picked up Filip Forsberg as his replacement, who’s already got 15 points and is a stellar +15. What’s best about him is that he has eligibility in C/LW/RW. Multiple-eligibility players like that become key in a long fantasy season when the injury bug hits. They bring some great production and flexibility to your roster.

If you’re looking for some injury replacements or are ready to drop someone who’s just not performing, here are some speculative adds:

Tanner Pearson – LW

I said in my last fantasy post that I’m not a big fan of Pearson, but he continues to prove me wrong. He already has 7 goals and ten points and was the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for October. What’s really fantastic is his +13, which indicates that he’s really been productive and not just fluky. He’s here to stay.

Brock Nelson – C

The #2 Center for the emerging Islanders team already has 14 points, 7 of which came on the powerplay. The team as a whole is benefiting from having legit threats on the blue line in Boychuk and Leddy, so Nelson is a good look if you’re hurting at center.

Steve Downie – LW/RW

A guy we love to hate, Downie is one of the more effective pests in the league and it’s carrying over into fantasy. He already has 54 PIM, with 7 points and LW/RW eligbility to boot. Your league most likely scores penalty minutes, and he’s one of the best players in the league in that category.

Continue reading Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Adds; Weekly Mailbag »

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Injury Bug lingers but Bruins keep Rolling

November 7, 2014 at 2:58pm in Bruins, NHL
David Warsofsky (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Bruins put together a great character win Thursday night, coming back from behind to defeat the Oilers 5-2. Though it was against lowly Edmonton, it was good to see the team rally and finish strong. The Bergeron-Smith-Marchand line kept rolling, putting up another 4 points and the team is starting to click.

It wasn’t all positive, however. Reports came out Friday that defenseman David Warsofsky is going to miss some time due to injury. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but when the club is already playing without Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, and Kevan Miller, this one hurts.

Chara also addressed the media on Thursday for the first time since his injury. He seemed to be a bit more uncertain about his timetable and the need for surgery than the team originally purported two weeks ago. As I said before, with someone his age and his size, a knee injury is a very fickle thing. The team, however, is 5-1 without their captain.

The shattered and battered defensive corps for the Bruins now looks like this: Continue reading Injury Bug lingers but Bruins keep Rolling »

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