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Despite dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to the Avalanche on Wednesday night, the Bruins head into the All-Star break playing some of their best hockey of the season. In their last eight games, they have won six and lost another in a shootout. They have registered points in nine of their last ten games overall.

A major reason for this is that the Bruins best players are consistently playing up to their capabilities. Tuukka Rask has been brilliant in net, posting a .946 save percentage in the month of January. Milan Lucic has had a fire lit under him and since the Bruins played Pittsburgh two weeks ago he is a plus five with three goals and four assists. He is playing with his trademark physicality and aggression which has been a cornerstone of the Bruins success. Patrice Bergeron has continued his excellent play and has been rewarded as the team’s only All-Star. Continue reading Bruins Head into All-Star Break Playing Well »

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David Pastrnak and Bruins Weekly Roundup

January 14, 2015 at 1:48pm in Boston, Bruins, NHL
David Pastrnak (pressherald.com)

Rookie Pastrnak shining

In an effort to spark some offense from his roster, coach Claude Julien mixed up the lines and now has David Krejci centered between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. It’s worked well, as Pastrnak scored the first two goals of his career this weekend against the Flyers and added two more last night against Tampa Bay. Both showed excellent hockey IQ and a knack for the net that bodes well for his future as a Boston Bruin.

Part of me is hesitant on getting excited about this young, talented winger who can score because I saw how the front office dealt with Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin. However, I believe he has the talent to play a more complete game than either of these two and has shown great energy so far. He’ll need to bulk up, but he has time. After all, he is the youngest player in the league. Hopefully, we’ll be watching this kid score in bunches for the Bruins for years to come.

Patrice Bergeron an All-Star

Is it really his first ever selection to the All-Star team? That baffles me. Well deserved, though. Patrice Bergeron has been a tremendous player for year and he excels in really every facet of the game. I honestly believe that if he went to another team with a run and gun offense and he didn’t have to worry about his two-way play (cough, Tyler Seguin in Dallas, cough,) he could put up 80+ points every year. He’s that good. Continue reading David Pastrnak and Bruins Weekly Roundup »

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In what can be summed up as a disappointing season for the Bruins so far, the team has showed little signs of being a serious Cup contender and are on the cusp of not making the playoffs at all. The media and fans are quick to point fingers in all directions, but most notably the blame is going toward the General Manager, Peter Chiarelli.

Chiarelli, who has been known as more of a passive GM, gets criticized as being too committed to his core group, which limits the Bruins ability to make big deals. While this may be fair, this is for a good reason. The Bruins core is the reason we don’t need to make big deals. Outside of Chara, the core of this team includes Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Dougie Hamilton. All under thirty years old. A lot of teams would kill for a core like that.

When people want to blame Chiarelli for every single thing that goes wrong with the Bruins, I want to cringe. He’s an excellent GM. Is her perfect? Of course not. But he’s put together a great team overt the years with a track record of success. He took a crumbling franchise back in 2007 and slowly, steadily, and patiently built it into the team that won a Stanley Cup and a President’s Trophy.

So I took the time to lay out three of the main criticisms of Chiarelli and thrown in counter-arguments. Truth be told, it seems silly to me that we even have to have this conversation but that that’s the way things go.

1. Chiarelli got lucky when the Bruins won the Cup

This one drives me crazy. It fits right in with the age-old theme that when things are going well, people praise the players, and when things are going poorly, people blame the GM. Did Tim Thomas stand on his head during that Cup run and play out of his mind for a month and a half? Absolutely. He was incredible. A performance for the generations. And who signed Thomas, despite the fact that he was 34 years old and we had a young superstar in Rask waiting in the wings? Peter Chiarelli. Continue reading In Defense of Chiarelli: Debunking 3 Myths about the Controversial GM »

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eriksson

After scoring just three goals in his first twenty seven games in the 2014-15 season, Loui Eriksson was beginning to feel the heat in Boston. Fans and media alike were clamoring for more production from the centerpiece of the Tyler Seguin trade all while comparing the two-way Swedish forward to the sharpshooting second overall pick. There have been rumors abound about Eriksson’s trade value both to Edmonton and St. Louis, with many feeling the “bust” needed a fresh start. A former 30 goal scorer in Dallas, Eriksson’s lack of production in Boston, especially this season, was mind boggling.

Eriksson has done his best to answer those questions over the past two weeks, scoring six goals in his last eight games including two goals against Nashville on Tuesday night. His defensive play has been solid all season and he is finally beginning to look like the offensive piece the Bruins thought they were getting from Dallas. Continue reading Loui Eriksson Finally Beginning to Score for Bruins »

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Bartkowski Hit (nbcsports.com)

In case you missed it, Matt Bartkowski laid a crushing hit on Buffalo’s Brian Gionta on Sunday night, earning him an ejection from the game. The NHL has reviewed the hit and will not pursue further punishment on Bartkowski. But was this the right move?

The NHL cited that this was not an intent to be malicious and the point of contact was shoulder to shoulder. Still, it was questionable. How would Bruins fans feel if this was Andrej Sekera laying a hit on David Krejci?

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TJ Oshie (frozennotes.com)

TJ Oshie trade rumors

Hockey fans fondly remember what “TJ Sochi” did in the Olympics last year, scoring on 4 goals in 6 shootout attempts against Sergei Bobrovsky and earning them the win over Russia. His heroic efforts made him a national hero and a reminder of how exciting and nail-biting shootouts can be.

His name has popped up in trade rumors recently and it’s believed that the Blues would be willing to deal this slick winger. He has scored just 12 points so far, well below his 21 goal, 60 point effort last season. Last week, Elliotte Friedman reported that he is available and that the Bruins and Blue have been discussing an Loui Eriksson/Oshie swap. I for one would be completely on board with that. Eriksson has just simply not been as advertised, and while Oshie is no superstar, he’s a skilled player and a good fit for a right handed winger on the top 2 lines. If the rumors are true, I’m biting on this one.

Craig Cunningham on first line

Craig Cunningham has been practicing on the team’s first line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic and will likely play there tonight against Nashville. This is a pretty decent jump after going from Providence to the fourth line and now the first. Personally, I’ve been a big fan of Cunningham and I like his game. Do I think he’s the answer for the first line? No. But I like his game; he just seems to make things happen out there. It will be interesting to see what he looks like with Krejci dishing him the puck and Lucic creating space for him.

Continue reading TJ Oshie and Bruins Weekly Roundup »

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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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