Is this it for Claude Julien?

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This season, Claude has been getting hate as the sole reason for underperformance.

Not gonna lie, I kinda agree. The organization isn’t wanting to give the Bruins “time” to “figure things out”.

The clock is (pretty much) up.

To repeat the fans at the TD Garden, “WE WANT PLAYOFFS!

clap clap clapclapclap

The Bruins acquired some new talent in the free agency and offseason, and we still sit on the bubble of a playoff spot. Toronto (never thought I would say that) and Ottawa sit pretty close to the Bruins and are also fighting for a coveted spot in the playoffs.

Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are having great seasons, and Tuukka is also having a great season. The Bruins have league leading Corsi percentage. The team itself hasn’t given up, but the points and standings say otherwise.

For the past two seasons, the Bruins have had to wait until the last day of the season to determine if playoffs are happening. Both seasons, we lost on the last day (very bad, I might add) and we painfully watch as a team that came from behind enjoys the added publicity and extra hockey.

I’m not kidding, I yell at the TV the past two years on the last day of the season.

curse you Peter Chiarelli and your horrible contracts and drafting skills

Players (other than Brandon Carlo ugh) have not been in trade rumors often this year. The Bruins themselves are playing quite well, and show that they have the energy to make it into the playoffs if it ever does happen.

So, the only thing that we as fans can point to as factor of the losses is coaching and staff.

And one name that has been discussed has been our coach, and pride & joy, Claude Julien.

Not trying to drag CJ under the bus, he’s actually not the only coach that is on the hot seat. Lindy Ruff from Dallas has also been rumored that he’s gone if his team doesn’t make the playoffs.

So, here is what we are looking at here:

The 2014-15 season had a 41-27-14 record (96 points) and missed the playoffs sitting in 5th place in the Atlantic. They lost the wild-card spots to Ottawa (99 pts)  and Pittsburgh (98 pts). Because of no playoffs, Peter Chiarelli was fired (and then hired by Edmonton) and we lost free agents Jarome Iginla (a good winger for Looch and Krejci), Shawn Thornton (the definition of Bruin), and Chad Johnson (who hid his awesome goalie skills from us). We traded Milan Lucic, Dougie Hamilton, and Carl Soderberg for draft picks. To somehow replace them, we signed Jimmy Hayes (aka a massive headache) and Matt Beleskey.

The 2015-16 season had a similar record. The Bruins posted a 42-31-9 record, and totaled 93 points, good enough for 4th in the Atlantic. However, the one spot increase in the standings didn’t help, as the Metro division became a powerhouse. We lost the wildcard spots to New York Islanders (100) and Philadelphia (96). We also completely got rid of the final 2 members of the famous “Merlot Line” (Soupy and Paille). Lastly, Sweeney made the awful decision of signing Kevan Miller for more than he probably needs and deserves. Sweeney actually made progress during the free agency period, signing David Backes, Dominic Moore, Riley Nash, and Tim Schaller.

Even with all of this happening, the fans were always told that “Julien is safe, for now.”.

When does “for now” become “never”?

That time could be soon.

The Bruins have been a successful season for the past decade. Before missing the playoffs in 2014-15, the Bruins never missed the playoffs under Julien, and haven’t missed it since the 2006-07 season.

For a reminder, that was when Marc Savard was still playing (and leading the team in goals) and the goaltending tandem was Tim Thomas and Hannu Toivonen.

And who was that coach?

It was Dave Lewis, a coach who was newly hired for that season.

And, what happened to him?

Well, he was fired by Peter Chiarelli and hasn’t had an NHL head coaching job since.

And the coach for that no-playoff season before that? Mike Sullivan, the Stanley Cup winning coach for the Penguins last season. He was fired after that losing season.

What is all this trying to prove?

If we have no playoffs this year, the fan base should be prepared for a new coach next season. He’s already on thin ice, and another disappointing season will not help.

I’m just hoping Mike Milbury doesn’t find a way to coach the Bruins next year.

I would probably scream.

fear the bear

^AHC

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Bruins Game Preview: 1/31 vs Tampa Bay

bruins-game-preview

 

This is literally the first game I will watch in months because school and work have consumed my life and I have had no time to actually post anything.

Moving cross country is hard, guys.

BUT I FINALLY HAVE NESN! Benefits of living in New England now. 🙂

This game today will be pitting two Atlantic Division rivals, the Bruins, and the Lightning, as they are both fighting for a playoff spot. Boston is currently in 3rd place in the Atlantic, with 56 points, which is one point ahead of Toronto (I never thought I would say that?). Tampa has hit the injury bug this season and sits in 6th place in the division with 50 points.

This game also marks the first Lightning game since the trade with Nikita Nestorov. He was traded to the Canadiens before the all-star break, for Jonathan Racine and a 6th round draft pick.

Last time the Bruins played the Lightning, David Pastrnak scored the final goal and Tuukka Rask had a .968 save percentage and 29 saves to secure a 4-1 win. That game was played on November 27th.

Here are your projected lineups!

Boston Bruins:

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano-David Krejci-David Backes

Matt Beleskey-Riley Nash-Tim Schaller

Ryan Spooner-Dominic Moore-Jimmy Hayes

Zdeno Chara-Kevan Miller

Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

John Michael Liles-Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask

Zane McIntyre

Scratched: Joe Morrow, Austin Czarnik

Injuries: Brandon Carlo (possible ankle sprain)

Interesting Notes: This is the Bruins’ first game back since the ASG break. Rask and Marchand participated in their first career ASG.

Brandon Carlo fell awkwardly in the Pittsburgh game and had trouble skating off. He did not return to that game.

The Bruins are league leading in Corsi%, but are still underachieving.

David Pastrnak has 5 points (1G, 4A) in his last 3 games. Brad Marchand has 4 goals in his last 2 games.

Tampa Bay Lightning:
Ondrej Palat-Vladimir Namestnikov-Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn-Tyler Johnson-JT Brown

Bryan Boyle-Valtteri Filppula-Jonathan Drouin

Erik Condra-Cedric Paquette-Gabriel Dumont

Victor Hedman-Jake Dotchin

Braydon Coburn-Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison-Andrej Sustr

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Injuries: Steven Stamkos (overall broken), Ryan Callahan (LB), Brayden Point (UB)
Scratches: Luke Witkowski, Michael Bournival

Interesting Notes: Nikita Kucherov is also in his first game back from his first career ASG.
No active interesting point streaks. Actually, Dobber Hockey has a majority of TB labeled as Cold. Even more interesting is that Stamkos is “hot” even though he hasn’t played lately.

So, they’re just not too good right now.

fear the bear
^AHC

Repeat of my first game (Boston vs Carolina Preview)

I haven’t been updating in a while, but I have a big reason for that.

COLLEGE.

Luckily, my semester is starting to come to a close, allowing me to post more!

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Not gonna lie, this game brings back some big memories for me. This is the exact match up I watched at my very first Bruins home game last season. Because we lost in a shootout that time, we need this win, not just for my sanity, but for the standings.

The Atlantic Division is looking more and more tough the closer we get to the middle of the season.

The Bruins are coming off of a 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers tuesday night. Shayne Gostisbehere was credited with the winning goal in the shootout, and the Bruins scored 2 goals in the third to bring it into OT. Brad Marchand and David Krejci were credited with the two goals for the B’s.

Defenseman John-Michael Liles was recently announced as being out indefinitely with a concussion. The concussion was caused by crashing into the boards after colliding with a stick during the November 27th game vs Tampa Bay. There is no timetable for his return. Zdeno Chara is also out day to day with a lower body injury, and could return as early as this week.

The Carolina Hurricanes are coming off of a 3-2 loss at the hands of the New York Rangers tuesday night as well. They are currently 9-9-4 on the season, and 7th in the Metropolitan Division.

Here are your projected lineups!

BOSTON BRUINS:

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Matt Beleskey-David Krejci-David Backes
Tim Schaller-Riley Nash-Austin Czarnik
Ryan Spooner-Dominic Moore-Jimmy Hayes

Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller-Brandon Carlo
Joe Morrow-Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Injuries: Frank Vatrano (Foot) Zdeno Chara (Lower Body), Noel Acciari(Lower Body) and John-Michael Liles (Concussion)

Interesting Notes: Zdeno Chara skated on his own before the game against Tampa Bay, but has still been day-to-day. It is not known if he is slated to return to the game vs Carolina.

The fourth line was being juggled around during the game at Philadelphia. Ryan Spooner played a little with the two Davids during the game, but I still expect him to be on the fourth line tomorrow night.

Out of the fourth line, Jimmy Hayes saw a team low 6:26 TOI. For comparison, the next lowest TOI was Dominic Moore, who almost saw twice as much, at 11:48.

Ouch.

No major point streaks, but Torey Krug had two assists to start a 2 game point streak, and David Krejci had a goal last night to start a 2 game point streak as well.

CAROLINA HURRICANES:

Jeff Skinner-Victor Rask-Elias Lindholm
Sebastian Aho-Teuvo Teravainen-Lee Stempniak
Phil De Giuseppe-Derek Ryan-Andrej Nestrasil
Joakim Nordstrom-Jay McClement-Viktor Stalberg

Ron Hainsey-Justin Faulk
Jaccob Slavin-Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin-Matt Tennyson

Cam Ward
Michael Leighton

Injuries: Jordan Staal (Concussion), Eddie Lack (Concussion), Bryan Bickell (Multiple Sclerosis) and Brock McGinn (Upper Body)

Interesting Notes: Viktor Stalberg is currently on a two game goal streak, scoring 2 goals in the game against the Rangers. In the past two games, Viktor has 3 goals with no assists.

Jordan Staal was announced two days ago as out with a concussion. In his place, the Hurricanes called up Phil DeGiuseppe from the Charlotte Checkers (AHL).

To be honest with you, I kinda forgot that Lee Stempniak signed with the Hurricanes. Mr. 19-games-with-the-Bruins has 4 goals and 6 assists on the season.

Regardless of the team, I love seeing AHLers being called up. It just shows that the AHL is doing something right when it comes to development. It must also make the players themselves feel good as well.

In the last meeting with the Hurricanes, the 2-1 shootout was won by the hurricanes with a GWG by Boston College product Noah Hanifin.

Boston Bruins 2016-17 Season Preview

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It’s September, and we are finally starting to approach the one month mark until NHL action begins.

The Bruins have their first home game on October 13th, playing the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

So, get ready to take those nights off work and clear those schedules!

(I already know that I will be off work haha)

This past offseason, GM Don Sweeney raised some eyebrows (mine included) regarding how he used our cap space and did nothing to really benefit our team for the upcoming season.

If you start to really look at the offseason transactions, they really aren’t that bad.

Yes, we didn’t gain any defense, but they still aren’t that bad.

First, the biggest signing was forward (and pig lover) David Backes from the Saint Louis Blues. Backes was fourth on the team in scoring and lead the Blues in penalty minutes (83). In 79 games played, he had 21 goals and 24 assists, totaling 45 points.

Fun Fact: Zac Rinaldo (ugh) had 83 penalty minutes also, but played only 52 games!

we already won there!

Here is what I like: While Sweeney didn’t acquire any defense this offseason, he gained a defensive forward in Backes. He plays a similar style to Bergeron (Bergeron is better, though), but I consider this an upgrade. He doesn’t replace Loui Eriksson, but he does fill that hole we needed to fill.

Backes is also a very versatile player because he can play multiple positions. This is kinda what I liked Chris Kelly for, but Backes is obviously a better version of Kelly. Backes can play both center and right wing, and could fit as a third line center, or as a winger on the Bergeron-Marchand line. The line of Marchand-Bergeron-Backes could prove to be a great line for the B’s, as that line has been missing a piece since losing Seguin via trade in 2013.

Backes is no Seguin either, but could be the missing piece on that line.

Here is what I (DON)’t like:

you like the pun, don’t you?

I don’t agree with the contract length. This is something kinda small to argue, but it is really long for his age. We don’t have him till he’s 40 (Chara) but we have him for 5 years until he is 37. The way he plays can prove to make his play decline rapidly, which kinda  scares me.

 

Also this offseason, we signed Riley Nash from Carolina and Anton Khudobin from Anaheim. I enjoy the fact that we are going to have depth in the goal, but is it really necessary?

In the system, we have Tuukka (who obviously is the starting goaltender), Dobby, Malcolm Subban (who Don seems to forget about), and Zane McIntyre. We also have a young prospect in Daniel Valdar.

Subban has been in the system for a while now, when is it his chance to shine?

While we did see him in action against the Blues in 2015, we haven’t seen much from him after that. Last season in the AHL, he posted a 14-8-5 record, with a .911 SV% and 2.46 GAA. This isn’t that bad, as I consider the AHL to be a high shooting league, and I attend games in Texas on the regular.

Anton Khodobin spent time in the AHL last season as well (I saw him play with the Gulls) and he posted similar numbers to Subban. He posted a 19-8-3 record, with 2.46 GAA and .921 SV%. The Gulls lost in the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs and beat the Texas Stars (cries) in the first round. The Providence Bruins also made the playoffs (and lost in the first round), but Subban did not take part in playoffs, as he was still recovering from his larynx injury. Jeremy Smith and McIntyre took care of the Baby B’s during playoff time.

Goalies take a while to develop to be NHL caliber, but leaving one in the AHL long enough can stunt development and growth (see: Jack Campbell). But, I would love to see him have a game or two of NHL action this season to see what he has been working on and for him to know what needs to be worked on.

Lastly, I want to discuss the last signing from the offseason, and that one is the signing of former New York Ranger Dominic Moore. This signing was later in the offseason, and because of that, it caught me by surprise.

This is a low impact deal. Moore will be receiving $900,000 for the next year. This is a pretty decent deal for a veteran presence on the fourth line that has been a mixed bag since the departures of Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille, and Greg Campbell.

The Bruins brought a good ol Harvard boy home!

Anyway, Moore played 80 games last season, and scored 6 goals and totaled 9 assists. He’s not the savior we were looking for (like Vesey lol), but he could prove to be a good fourth liner, and the Bruins really need that line consistent again. That hurt them last season, especially with the Kelly injury that had him out all last season. Moore could be a great replacement for Kelly, centering on the fourth.

With all the new additions rounded up, let’s discuss lines!

FORWARD:

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As for the first line, Bergy and Marchy gotta stay together. The Bruins need that chemistry in order to have a successful first line. Backes would be great on the right wing, and can compliment Bergeron’s defensive play.

For the second line, Krejci needs a physical winger. He has always had Lucic on his wing, until the Kings trade. Beleskey is the perfect fit, and they showed great chemistry together last season. Having Pasta and Krejci together is great too, and they also showed great chemistry. Krejci also acts as a veteran to Pastrnak, as he is still kinda new to the NHL.

The third line is something I may see, but Claude may not. While CJ may play the vets on this line, I want to use this line to showcase our up and coming players that are ready for the NHL and show our future as a team. Frank Vatrano had a fantastic rookie season last year and has shown that he can be ready for a full-time job in the NHL this season. Griffith has shown tremendous growth in the AHL, and through various NHL stints, he has shown that he can compete for a job in the NHL next season.

The fourth line is meant for grit and physicality, not showing prospects and giving them a chance to grow. Dominic Moore has the stats and the veteran presence to work on the fourth line. Jimmy Hayes brings that little bit of scoring to that line but is also very physical. Riley Nash is someone I don’t know much about. Nash is a very reliable, and not flashy, but he plays the offensive game well.

DEFENSE:

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The first pairing of Chara and Chiller is kinda similar to the pairing last season with Chara and Trotman. Chara is our best complete defenseman, and as a veteran, he needs that young gun to mentor. Colin Miller is that young gun. Last season, Colin Miller wasn’t used properly, and often sat in the press box or played bottom pairing minutes. WithZach Trotman and Dennis Seidenberg gone, this can be his time to shine and claim a full-time NHL job.

Torey Krug has to have a bigger, physical defenseman on his pairing due to his sparks of offense and size. This pairing of Krug and McQuaid was used a lot last season, mostly because it was the one pairing that actually kind of worked.

While Liles isn’t a flashy player, he does work his butt off on the ice when needed. This is needed when you are going to be paired with Kevan Miller. While Kevan Miller has proven to be a physical player (by breaking Joe Vitale’s face), he has had multiple mistakes on the ice that could have cost a team the game. Killer makes the mistakes and Liles is going to be there to try to correct them. It’s a win win (I hope).

Here is Killer breaking faces like a boss:

 

The goalies are kinda easy and common sense.

Tuukka is going to be number one, with Anton Khudobin as the backup.

Duh.

That is the preview for the 2016-17 preview!

Making lines is kinda like a puzzle, you want to have the players in places that make sense, while also utilizing their skills properly.

I’m pretty stoked for this season, and the offseason kinda went by fast, which is good.

See ya next month!

^AHC

 

Bruins World Cup Preview: Who’s Who

1

It’s finally September!

One more month till NHL and AHL action, and we are also a few weeks from the World Cup of Hockey.

and also one more month till I can post relevant content for once

It’s been 12 years since the last WCOH, and I don’t remember the last one, since I was 7, and I didn’t really know hockey.

So, today, I decided to discuss the Bruins playing in the World Cup. Basically discuss potential linemates, previous stats, and fun facts!

LETS GET STARTED.

  • TEAM MAPLE SYRUP (aka Canada)

On this team, the marvelous duo of Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand will use their wicked awesome skills to defeat the evil that is Alex Ovechkin (and Russia).

I *probably* over exaggerated, but that’s beside the point.

Last season, Bergeron and Marchand combined for 69 goals and 59 assists, for a total of 128 points. They were both first and fourth on the team for overall points, respectively. Bergy played 80 games last season, while Marchand played 77.

They had more points than Zac Rinaldo had penalty minutes, so that must mean something! woah

I’m not gonna lie, Canada has some pretty dope looking uniforms, the logo looks kinda better than the USA one, but I probably shouldn’t say that cause I don’t wanna get shamed for not being patriotic enough.

My dream line for Bergeron and Marchand (cause they kinda should play together) is:

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler “party boi” Seguin

You gotta reunite the great line of 2011, am I right?

But… according to practice lines, I think it’s probably gonna kinda look like this:

Brad Marchand-Sidney Crosby-Patrice Bergeron

Why? Because twitter said so and I kinda believe what twitter writes?

lol

Seriously, though, this line will dominate the world cup. We have Crosby, who kinda needs an underdog in the tournament to actually succeed (see: Kunitz and Crosby). You have the amazing two-way play in Bergeron, and you have the playmaking pest in Marchand.

BOOM.

  • TEAM FREEDOM (aka USA)

This year, we actually have someone on Team USA. YAY!

Representing the country of Fried Mac and Cheese and “proper” football is newcomer David Backes.

Who I really haven’t looked at yet, tbh

What I do know (other than the roar bacon pig thing) is pretty cool:

Last season for Saint Louis, Backes played 79 games, scoring 21 goals and 24 assists while doing so. Plus, he is a great two-way player, who has a physical image and can play multiple positions. So, like a way better Chris Kelly.

But, on Team USA, he will probably fit on the fourth line.

I’m thinking:

Brandon Dubinsky-David Backes-Blake Wheeler

they all have B’s in their name, but they could be solid A’s!

  • TEAM CHEX MIX (aka Czech Republic)

The Bruins were gonna have the two Davids play for CZE, but one is still broken, so I guess one David will have to do.

For Team CZE, the Bruins have David Pastrnak representing.

For this WCOH, I kinda consider the Czechs to have a mixed bag when it comes to the roster, as I have no idea how they are going to win with that defense, tbh.

But, in all honesty, I will watch this team because not only do I love me some Pasta (both the person and the food),

I also love Radek Faksa. (Dallas does have a pretty awesome prospect pool)

In Pastrnak’s second season with the Bruins, he played 51 games, with 15 goals and 11 assists. He also played 3 games for Providence of the AHL and registered 1 goal and 3 assists during that time frame. I’m kinda surprised (and happy) he has developed as an NHL player this early, and players like Nick Ritchie (ANA 10th) and Michael Dal Colle (NYI 5th)  from the same draft have only done little to no NHL action so far. I really enjoy watching Pasta and his fast feet and gifted hands.

He’s the Angel Child of the Boston Bruins.

Team CZE needs Jesus if they want to win, and Pasta is pretty much Jesus

As for a potential line for Pasta, I’m looking at this:

Ondrej Palat (who?) -Tomas Plekanec (the turtleneck dude) -David Pastrnak (Jesus)

As much as I hate pairing a Bruin with Hab, this line would look super cool in the top 6. There has already been some confirmation on twitter with pairing Plekanec and Pasta, but I added Palat because I think that Palat’s Clutch ability would pair well.

  • TEAM MILK CRATE (aka Finland)

For the Finns, the Bruins have everyone’s favorite milk crate throwing goalie,

Tuukka Rask.

Now, I can’t give a line idea for Tuukka, as he is a goaltender and he doesn’t have a specific line. He is, however, competing for the number one goalie spot with Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne.

I believe Tuukka will win the number one spot over Rinne, as Rask is the more consistent and reliable goaltender. The other goaltender for Finland is Mikko Koskinen, a former Islanders draft pick who currently plays for SKA St. Petersburg.

The Finn’s goaltending tandem is gonna be something along these lines:

1: Tuukka Rask

2: Pekka Rinne

3: Mikko Koskinen

Tuukka’s stats last season in 64 games included:

Record of 31-22-8, with 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage. Out of 31 wins, 4 of those wins were in a shutout.

Pekka Rinne had a record of 41-17-6, with 2.48 goals against average and .908 save percentage. 4 of the 41 wins were in a shutout.

According to the stats found, Rinne gets less SOG (shocking cause Nashville defense is popping), but Tuukka will show to be the better decision in the  shoot first games, has he has the high SV%, with more shots than Pekka.

  • TEAM MIXED BAG (aka Europe)

The Bruins technically have one player playing on team Europe, but there is still two Bruins on our payroll for the next season.

The two oldest players on last year’s roster will be representing their homeland in the WCOH.

Defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg.

I love Chara like the next Bruins fan, but he isn’t making our defense look any younger. Sweeney ain’t helping either.

The former all-star played 79 games last season, scoring 9 goals and registering 28 assists. Chara has slowed down due to recent knee problems, which didn’t require surgery in the 2014-15 season. His contract expires in 2018.

I see Chara pairing well with the young and upcoming Roman Josi (Switzerland, NSH).

Dennis Seidenberg played 61 games, scoring 1 lone goals and registering 11 assists. He has slowed down ever since the 2013-14 season, due to an ACL and MCL injury that required surgery. He was bought out by the Bruins this past season and remains on the books until the end of the 2019-20 season.

So, he is technically still a Bruin.

I see Seids on the bottom pairing, with Andrej Sekera (Slovakia, EDM) or Mark Streit (Switzerland, PHI). He could also end up on the second pairing, due to the lack of depth that Europe has on the right.

every day we go through is one day closer to hockey!

It’s even closer this season thanks to the WCOH.

see ya in october

^AHC

Is David Backes really the answer?

 

david pig

David Backes and a pig. (photo credit)

 

The Boston Bruins were pretty active this free agency period.

Don Sweeney didn’t get any defense (which we really needed) but was able to get some forwards to add on to our already exciting lineup for the next season.

One of our main additions to the B’s was former Blues captain David Backes, a right winger and 2012 Selke trophy finalist.

That’s right, he was nominated for the same trophy that Bergy, his new teammate, WON.

With that addition, we lost Loui Eriksson and Chris Kelly (who I kinda forgot about), so we also have that little hole to fill when it comes to the forward core.

Is David Backes gonna really fill that hole?

Last season for Saint Louis, Backes played 79 games, scoring 21 goals and 24 assists while doing so. Loui Eriksson played 82 games (the only Bruin to do so) and had 30 goals and 33 assists.

So, no, Backes doesn’t fully fill that hole point wise. But, he seems to fill up the hole in everything else. Here’s why:

The two-way style of play.

Not only does David Backes have that Selke nomination, but he shows two-way play, which is something the Bruins should welcome. The defense core isn’t gonna get better (I think), so having this should help. I love Eriksson (even though he is now a Canuck, ew) but he wasn’t really that defensive offenseman that we kinda needed. Marchand is starting to prove his worth as a high-scoring forward. With Backes, we have a forward with a career plus-minus of +65. That, I really like seeing.

The physical image.

Back in the day, the “Big Bad Bruins” were not a team to be messed with. That image has kinda gone away with time, but it is slowly making a comeback. Eriksson was a player that didn’t play physically. He hasn’t been in any major fights or penalties and was even nominated for the Lady Byng trophy, which is the trophy for the player with essentially the least penalties in a given season. Eriksson is always at the low end of the spectrum for penalty minutes. The Bruins got rid of the passive Eriksson, for the physical and in your face Backes. The B’s are trying to get more and more physical, ever since the addition of Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes in 2015. This signing allows us to get closer to that goal. Backes is more of a Bruins type player than Eriksson and gives fans the physicality and intensiveness that they want to see.

Not just a center.

While the center is the natural position for David Backes, he also has experience playing on the right wing. With the Bruins stacked on center with Krejci, Bergeron, and now, Backes, it is good to look at all the options. There have been multiple ideas to how we can utilize Backes. There was the Krejci for Shattenkirk rumors, to open up a top 6 centerman spot. There is also the talk of putting him on the right wing, and slotting him with Bergeron and Marchand. Hearing all of these options is a good thing. Backes has even said that “If you want to call me third line, I completely respect that,” , which shows that trading Krejci doesn’t have to happen to make Backes actually work with the lineup.

I’m not gonna lie, I was surprised when I heard about this trade. Even though the length and salary isn’t something to boast about, Backes is a player that could reasonably fit into the B’s system.

For those who don’t know Backes’ contract is a five-year, $30 million. He is 32 years old and the contract is set to expire when he is 37 (which isn’t that bad).

What is really funny is seeing all the people who got upset about how the B’s should have signed Eriksson because “he is younger”.

The contract Eriksson got was a 6 year, $36 million one. He is 31.

So, Vancouver has Eriksson for a longer term than we have Backes. Eriksson one more year, but he is also one year younger than Backes.

So, it looks like both Vancouver and Boston are stuck with 37-year-olds. Eriksson’s contract  is kinda the same as Backes, just one extra year (which will probably bite VAN in the butt).

I’m also not gonna lie when I say that I like this contract.

Does anyone know if the “Roar Bacon” pig was included in the contract?

I’m asking for a friend

 

see you in October!

^AHC

From Texas to Boston: My First Time

margaret is turning-2

 

Hey guys!

This has been a long offseason, with not much really happening.

I have been awfully busy with the extra work hours and summer college courses and such, that I forgot to post something!

Today,

I shall discuss my first Bruins home game!

yas

Let me do a little throwback to February, I was supposed to go to the Dallas vs Boston game that month and then something happened, and I couldn’t go.

I was sad (more because I sold my lower bowl tickets for $90), who wouldn’t be?

That night when I confirmed that I couldn’t go to the game for sure, I saw the tweet for the JetBlue contest the Bruins do, where they send a lucky out of state bruins fan, to a Bruins game IN BOSTON for free, all expenses paid.

Even though I knew I don’t ever win *anything*, I decided to enter in on a whim, literally, the night entries were due.

I submitted my entry and then forgot about it.

Fast Forward a month later, I was getting ready for work, and I got an email from a rep from the Bruins (I at first thought it was blog related) and he wanted to know a good time to call. I told him now was a good time and he called a few minutes later.

This is when it happens.

I was told I won the JetBlue contest that I thought I wouldn’t win.

I was going to the GAHDEN.

After I got off the phone with the rep, I came in my house (in tears) and ran to my dad and said,

“We are going to Boston!”

My dad was the one going with me, no questions asked.

I, unfortunately, had to work that day, but I told everyone who would listen about what happened earlier that day. I couldn’t hold my excitement. One of my dreams was coming true, and I am still in shock that I actually WON something. I always lose at anything (which is the main reason I don’t play fantasy sports).

Once I got my game confirmation and my flight confirmations, a countdown was on.

April 5th, 2016. Boston Bruins vs Carolina Hurricanes.

THE FINAL PLAYOFF PUSH.

The day finally comes, and I woke up at 3:30 to catch my flight to New York at 6, to catch the connecting flight to Boston.

Before I start everything, this will probably be known as the longest I have gone without sleeping.

We land at Boston Logan, and we are instantly greeted off the plane by (two?) of the Ice Girls and Blades. I seriously was so excited, yet so tired, that all of this went by so quickly. I remember walking to the car, and everyone was looking at my Dad and me, cause we were with Blades. I took a picture with the Ice Girls and Blades, and then we were escorted to our car to take us to the hotel.

One thing I want to mention is the weather. Texas in April is 70 to 80 degrees (imagine a Boston summer, but hotter). Shorts and sandals are the attire, and jackets and boots are already packed away. However, when we went to Boston, we landed in 30-degree weather, with some snow and ice on the ground.

Not gonna lie, I was excited for some snow, which I haven’t seen since I lived in Virginia.

But, I had to buy winter boots the day I left. They are actually still in my closet since I have had no need to wear them since.

My dad and I spent the rest of our day getting some Mike’s Pastry (for some awesome Cannolis) and Halftime Pizza for some huge pizza slices (thanks, reddit).

After pizza, we made our trek to the Garden, went to look at the Pro Shop (I wanted everything), and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for the best night of our lives.

Our first time at the Gahden.

We got there right when the doors opened, went to the pro shop (again) and then walked into the garden itself. I remember looking around in awe, at the Cup banners, retired numbers, and the black and gold seats all over the arena.

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It looks like it does on the TV, but bigger and more magical.

A dream had come true.

The closer we got to puck drop, the more excited we got. The lower bowl started to get full, and the atmosphere was super awesome. The people who say that Bruin fans are rude are wrong, I actually think that the crowd was better than Dallas tbh.

The players finally started skating out for warm-ups. My heart was beating so fast and I was so excited that I was shaking a little. I look back at some of the videos I took that night, and some of them were a little shaky. I guess seeing all the players skate against the glass in front of you can be a little terrifying.

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One of Bergy’s faceoffs

Even though Carolina scored that first goal, the atmosphere when Loui scored the first goal was amazing.

Goal lights on. Zombie Nation on. Wooing and clapping everywhere.

This was seriously, one of the highlights of my night.

We high fived the people around us, and then like everyone else, concentrated on the game we need to win, because playoffs.

Another highlight of my night was about to happen.

I got to go on Garden ice. Something not everyone gets to do.

This is kinda funny actually.

I was doing shoot the puck on the ice. This is actually something I organize at work. I am the one who give the participants the puck and stick. I was on the other side of that.

They announced all the prizes I had a chance at getting.

Tuukka signed puck and a team signed jersey were among the prizes.

I went on the ice with my Bergeron jersey and attempted to shoot the best that I could.

I didn’t win anything, but I was pretty close to the farthest shot, which would have won me ALL the prizes.

I still went home with a Bruins official puck! (Which is in the cabinet in the living room)

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I went back to my seat with the people around me high fiving me and saying I did pretty good. That was kinda nice, but I thought I did pretty bad. I watched the rest of the game from my seat.

I will say, I got to go to the most exciting game.

I went to a sudden death SHOOTOUT!

ehid

Shootouts are the best, but the worst games to go to.

More hockey for your buck, but I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

My heart was pounding and I was sweating until the very end.

Even though the Bruins lost 2-1 that night, this is the best night I have ever had with my dad.

We were able to take our hockey bond to the next level, and we couldn’t have asked for anything more (except for maybe a win).

We got back to our hotel that night and went straight to bed, cause we had to be at Logan the next morning to catch a flight back to good ol Texas.

I didn’t want to come home (or go to class that next day) but I am already looking at going to Boston again for Bruins and Stars (but in BOSTON this time!).

This is not an ad BUT

thank you to JetBlue and the Boston Bruins for sending this Bruins obsessed girl (and her dad) to Boston to live out one of her dreams.

Thank you to the Bruins fans in general. The B’s seriously have the best fans in the world and didn’t make me feel bad when I missed the dang net!

and thanks to Blades for giving the best bear hug I will probably ever get.

 

Consider this post as a return to more blogging. More and more hockey news is coming the closer we get to the season, meaning more things to post.

see ya in October!

^AHC