Has the dust settled on the Bruins roster for next season?

According to Peter Charelli and Cam Neely the answer is yes. So everyone can stop pushing the rumor of Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand making the next move. Not happening.

The team has faced major changes in the last month. Starting with letting go of Bruins defender Andrew Ference. Number 21 was told that we didn’t have the money to fund his stay in Boston, and with the talent we found in Krug and Bartkowski it was decided to let him go. I think the Bruins lost out on a huge part of their locker room. Ference is the one behind the Rangers jacket this post season, and the lock and chain last post season, and the 80’s jacket during the Stanley Cup winning run in 2011. Ference is also a big face in the Boston community, and a huge advocate for going green. Ference has signed with the Edmonton Oilers, his hometown team for four years. Fear not, the former Bruin would like to return to Boston after his playing career.

The first of many shocking moves came when Nathan Horton told the Bruins he wasn’t interested in returning next year and wanted to explore the market. Evidently this worked out for him, he signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets for a 7 years and $37.1 million contract.

On Thursday July fourth, it wasn’t fireworks you were hearing, but the millions of Seguinista hearts breaking as Seguin was traded with Rich Peverley to the Dallas Stars. Seguin had a nearly invisible post season, after a mediocre half season, and Charelli thought it was time to give up on Seguin’s shiny potential. Seguin was playing scared, letting go of pucks that he should have battled down the boards for and was too afraid of getting hit to really commit to the Bruins style of play. The Western Conference is known for playing more finesse hockey, so if Seguin was going to shine, here is his opportunity to play his game. It worked out well for Michael Ryder, who went to the Stars in 2011 and doubled the number of goals he had the previous season with Boston. (Ryder was also a free agent this summer, and Boston had interest but the winger signed with the NJD)

Tuukka Rask inked an 8-year contract extension with the Bruins, valued at $56 million. Rask has been with the Bruins since he was drafted in 2007 and admitted that he would like to be a Bruin “forever”. His save percentage for this season and last season were both 0.929, this season he played in 36 games with a goals against average of 2, and in 2011-2012 he played 36 games with a goals against average of 2.05.

Patrice Bergeron also signed an extension as well, eight years for $52 million. He would love to spend his entire career in Boston, and when he spoke to the media on the 2nd he said,

“That’s the goal since the beginning. It’s the team that believed in me when I was 18 and I was coming up. Now, it’s my home. I feel like it is. I love the city. I love the people. I definitely love the organization. It would mean a lot to me. Hopefully we can work something out” (Boston Globe).

As far as adding to the team, Charelli acquired Loui Erikkson along with three prospects from Dallas. The prospects are Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, and Joe Morrow, two right wingers and a defender. Charelli noted that “It’s been well-documented, we’ve got to rebuild our right side so [Eriksson]’s the first piece. We are going to have a couple younger guys challenging him. We may go out and get another guy, too” (ESPN.com)

And get another guy they did. Jerome Iginla will be putting on a spoked B’s jersey next season. For anyone who could forget, Iginla was all set to come to Boston this season, but instead at the last second he opted for the Pittsburgh Penguins. A factor that may have fueled the Bruins in their sweep of the Penguins in their run for the cup this year.

It is going to be exciting to see the Bruins experiment with three new altered lines, the Merlot line being the only one still standing. Along with the decision the team faces when it comes to defense with the valiant efforts of Krug and Bartkowski in the playoffs, and with Dougie Hamilton also available.

Lets Go B’s!



The Series is TIED! Yippeeee Paille!

The Bruins are bringing the series back to Boston all tied up! These two games could have easily put either team up two, as both had to be determined in overtime. However, some things to point out…

In game one, the two Blackhawks goals that it took to tie up the game in the third were not anything to be super proud of. The first one from an ugly turnover by Mr. Torey Krug, and the tying goal bouncing off of Andrew Ference’s left skate. I’m not saying that the Blackhawks were handed the two goals, I’m just saying they had a little help.

I can give Andrew Shaw credit for his overtime goal, it was a nice goal. Granted the Bruins were playing down two forwards, Horton with his injury, and Thornton because Claude sees him as more of a liability. When really, Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley are just as big liabilities, if not more, the former was on the ice for three of the Chicago goals in game one, and Peverley has been invisible all season with only one goal in the playoffs.

Fortunately Kelly turned his game around for game two. The line of Kelly centering Paille and Seguin did WORK in game two. Just like in game three against the Rangers when the fourth line came out and won it for us, the Bruins are proving once again that all of their lines are dangerous. Common denominator being one Daniel Paille (Go Merlot!).

Now, to be clear I’m not whining about Chicago winning game one. The Bruins let go of their lead in the third like they had done a handful of times during the regular season. I am just pointing out that the Bruins could be up 2-0, and why I think so.

I mean Kaspars Daugaviņš could have just PUT THE PUCK IN THE NET instead of trying to be fancy and the Bruins could have taken game one in OT too. It was only game one, just unfortunate that Chicago won.

Looking at this from the other side, they could be up 2-0 as well. Every miss the Bruins made in their impressive game two OT could have easily lead to a Chicago goal.

This series is going to be tight, and exhausting if they keep this overtime pattern strong. Marc Savard picked the Bruins to win in six. While he was almost psychic with his predictions last season, he’s been a little off his guessing game this year. I picked the Bruins in five, so fingers crossed!

On another note, the pronunciations of the Bruins’ names by the NBC announcers is driving me nuts. For anyone who doesn’t know how they are pronounced, here is a funny video to help. Since it is the finals you would think they could learn 38 names. Especially the big names. Chair-a? Say-gan? No.

I think the Bruins will win the next two games. If they just play the whole 60minutes instead of giving up early (game one) and showing up late (game two). Actually make it 60+ minutes with all this OT stress. Come on boys you can bring it home again!

Go B’s!

Third Line in Trouble, Bourque Placed on Waivers

The Bruins are playing okay hockey. They’re doing great, don’t get me wrong, standing 14-3-3 so far. But it’s not satisfying play. Case and point being Tuesday’s game where they were up three after the first period and managed to lose in overtime against the Capitals. The Washington Capitals, who are tied for last in the conference. Really Bruins?

If I’m being honest I wasn’t surprised we lost. The Bruins have this nasty habit of taking on the worst teams in the league and then losing. It’s not a new thing.

What is surprising however, is the lack of results being pushed out by the Bruins third line. Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley, and Chris Bourque make up the line that is currently holding the worst +/- stats of the whole team.

Peverley has a devastating -8, Kelly with a -7, both with only one goal apiece in 20 games. These two players came up huge in the cup run with Michael Ryder on their wing in 2011, and in the 11-12 season with Benoit Pouliot they were able to find the net. Kelly was on the ice Tuesday night for all three of the Capital’s goals, finishing -3, Pevs and Bourque not much better, both -2 at the end of that game.

Chris Bourque is doing the best of the trio with a -6 so far this season (the next is Thornton’s -4), who has only netted a single goal as well. Three goals in total with a combined -21 for a line that is supposed to be defense minded? Something had to give.

Over the last few games we’ve seen Claude Julien playing around with this line, throwing Daniel Paille up into the mix, and sitting Bourque a game. Both moves showed minimal effect, and it’s clear that the Bruins want to make a change. The Bruins need to find a player that can click on this third line, and play solid two-way hockey.

Unfortunately they don’t think Chris Bourque is going to be that player. Bourque was placed on waivers this afternoon, with the intention of returning him to the AHL.

“[Bourque] was stepping in for a guy [in Benoit Pouliot] that had 17 goals last season… Sometimes chemistry doesn’t start off the hop. We just have to keep working hard. I feel bad for [Bourque]. He’s coming into a tough spot and we haven’t played well. And his linemates haven’t played well. It’s [expletive] the way it is. That’s the way it’s going right now.”Rich Peverley.

The Coach expects to change the lines around again tonight, in search of a good fit for the third line. Hopefully after having the day off yesterday the Bruins will come back hungry to win and get over this unfortunate patch.

The game tonight is against the Toronto Maple Leafs who are 15-9-0 with a three game win streak, looking for a forth. The Leafs are always fun to ply with familiar face Phil Kessel returning to the Garden. Peverley has a good record against the Leafs, maybe we’ll see him step up tonight, and if Bourque plays maybe he will step up as he was the only one to net a goal in the 1-0 win back at the beginning of February. A more in depth game preview can be found here.

Go Bruins!