Tomas Hertl (wcbsports.com)

In fantasy hockey, offense is really the bread and butter of your team. They’re really the ones who will contribute in all categories and be the most valuable players in the fantasy hockey world. At least 7 or 8 of the first 10 draft picks will be forwards, and this is with good reason.

When drafting forwards, as with any position, its vital to know your league details. How do penalty minutes factor in? Do you get points for hits? Faceoff wins? People tend to draft purely on offensive skill and forget that some of the other categories are just as valuable. If face-offs count, Patrice Bergeron’s value goes up. If hits count, then someone like Hartnell or Lucic becomes more attractive. You get the point.

So when you’re drafting, don’t forget to fill out all categories. For example:

Player A: 76 points, 32 PIM, 19 PPP, 122 SOG
Player B: 60 points, 106 PIM, 24 PPP, 209 SOG

Which player would you rather have? Player A has much more points, but he’s not too stellar in the other categories, whereas player B has less points but contributes great numbers across the board.

Continue reading Fantasy Hockey Draft Primer: Offense »

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Krug and Smith Sign 1-Year Contract Extensions

September 29, 2014 at 11:49am in Bruins, NHL
Smith and Krug (rantsports.com)

The Bruins announced this morning that they have resigned both Torey Krug and Reilly Smith to contract extensions for one year at $1.4 million. Krug and Smith are already skating with the team again and will be expected to be ready for the rest of the preseason.

These are obviously bridge contracts for these two, which really makes sense. Both showed great things last season and surpassed expectations, and this contract offers them a chance to prove to the team that they’re worthy of long term teams for a bit more money.

Financially, for this year, this is great news for GM Peter Chiarelli who can now fit them under the cap. These deals absolutely help both the players as well as the team. There is a big list of players whose contracts will expire next year, but for now we are right back in the hunt with a healthy roster loaded with options.

There are still cuts to be made and, most likely, trades to be completed in order to get the team cap compliant with the best possible roster. But realistically, signing Smith and Krug was the last thing left on our “to-do” list and now we’re in good shape to get the season started. Great deals and great news for Bruins fans.

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Ryan Spooner preseason goal  (Jean-Yves Ahern/USA Today)

The Bruins lost their first preseason game against the Montreal Canadiens in the Bell Centre last night 3-2, with goals from Matt Fraser and Ryan Spooner. The B’s put forth a lineup mixed with veterans as well as rookies and played well, losing only after the Canadiens snuck in a goal with less than a minute left.

We won’t put too much stake into this game, but it is good to see Fraser and Spooner get on the board. These are obviously guys that we’re high on coming into this season to grab an NHL roster spot and them scoring is a good indication that they really want to make this team.

Malcom Subban and Niklas Svedberg split time between the pipes and did pretty well all things considered. Subban stopped 9 of 10 in the first period and Svedberg stopped 16 of 18 over the next two periods. Subban still will most likely be in Providence this season, but it’s good to see him doing well. He’s going to be a #1 NHL goalie in a few more years.

Continue reading Bruins Lose Preseason Opener and Other Thoughts »

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2014-2015 Bruins Preview: Defense

September 23, 2014 at 8:34am in Bruins, NHL, Uncategorized
Hamilton and Chara (John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)

Any good coach will tell you that “defense wins championships” and that certainly strikes true in today’s NHL. All of the recent Stanley Cup winners have had very strong defensive cores and count on their guys to chip in in all three zones for their team to succeed. The Bruins under GM Peter Chiarelli have put themselves in a very good position with the crew they’ve acquired and will look for that to translate to postseason success.

Under veteran captain Zdeno Chara‘s leadership, the B’s defense has been among the league’s leader for the past several seasons. We’ve seen some old faces go and new faces come in, but the system of defense first has been forthright with tremendous success.

It’s no secret that Chara is getting up there in age, and his years of being a Norris trophy finalist are likely behind him. He may take a step back this year, but he is still a very good defenseman. For his size, range, and shot power alone he will be a powerful presence in all three zones. Continue reading 2014-2015 Bruins Preview: Defense »

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Torey Krug and Reilly Smith (Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins have officially announced their 2014 camp roster, which includes tryout invitees Simon Gagne and Ville Leino. Missing from that list however, are unsigned RFAs Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. Krug and Smith have both yet to sign a contract, and reports indicate that both are pretty far apart from what the Bruins are prepared to offer them.

The good news, however, is that both players are entry-level free agents, which means they cannot receive offers from any team but the Bruins. In Krug, the B’s have a mobile defenseman with very high offensive skill who can run the powerplay and chip in with some points. Smith was a revelation last season, garnering 51 points on Patrice Bergeron‘s line with his smart possession play and good positioning. Both will likely sign with the team, but it’s possible they could miss camp and even the pre-season.

See the full list below:

BOSTON BRUINS TRAINING CAMP ROSTER:

Continue reading Bruins Announce Training Camp Roster, Krug and Smith to Hold Out »

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David Pastrnak (FILE/JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF)

The 2014 NHL Rookie Tournament is underway and the Bruins’ team lost to the Florida Panthers 2-0 in Game 1. I’m personally not going to read too much into this game; it’s just fun tournament to display some of the exciting young talent in the league.

What I will read into, however, is how the organization views some of these players and what their expectations are in them. What struck me in Game 1 was that they had 2014 First Round draft pick David Pastrnak play first line center. Pastrnak impressed everyone in Development Camp with his stick skills and skating abilities and has a solid chance to make the NHL roster as an 18-year old.

However, Pastrnak was drafted as a right winger. Why would they move him out of his natural position when that position is exactly what the Bruins need? The B’s already have extensive depth at center in Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Carl Soderberg, Chris Kelly, Gregory Campell and Ryan Spooner.

What we don’t have depth in is skilled wingers. After a gaping hole in the offense left by Jarome Iginla‘s departure, the Bruins are a little thin in that category. Furthermore, the only right handed forwards on the Bruins’ roster right now are centers Bergeron and Krejci. That’s insane.

So why the Bruins’ development coaches would opt to move a super talented young prospect from a position they need to a position they have great depth in beyond me. Could they possibly be moving a center like Kelly or Spooner and want to see if Pastrnak can excel in that position? Or maybe there’s an undisclosed injury we don’t know about.

Maybe I am reading a bit too much into this… it’s just one game in a rookie tournament. However, it just doesn’t make sense to me and if this continues going forward it is definitely something to watch.

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"Pro Wrestling," NES

The Stanley Cup Finals are over, and the Kings are the World Champions for the second time in three seasons. And what better way to clinch it than with a double overtime comeback? And that made three overtime games of five in the Finals, two of which were double overtime. Justin Williams skated off with the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoffs MVP, after getting nine goals and sixteen assists through all four rounds.

With many of experts picking the Kings to win, there wasn’t much room for improvement. But it was close, with four possible winners coming into the round. So what did it all mean for our contest? Without further ado, the winner of the 2014 NHL Playoffs Pick ‘Em is… Continue reading 2014 NHL Playoffs Expert Picks: Stanley Cup Results »

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