Thursday, October 1, 2009

Opening Night - Jitters, Thoughts, Kid's Names

I've decided to spare you all the 200 page novel of a season preview I've been dreaming about writing. Thank me later. This is my version of a cut to the chase, season opening post. Man, I'm more jittery and nervous than a paparazzi taking photo's of a Brady/Bundchen dinner party.

The Bruins kick off the 2009-10 season tonight against the hated, but very talented, Washington Capitals and the most entertaining player in hockey, Ovie. A few questions have been running through B's fans head's these last few weeks, so let me give you some answers while you stir about your office trying to look busy until pregame. Just try not to think about the fact that you named your newborn son Kessel.


How do we assess the team and its moves...?

1. Kessel Trade - look, this was inevitable. You need to look no further than the descrepancy between Krecji's contract and Kessel's deal in Toronto to understand the overwhelming fact in this case: Peter Chiarelli knows what he's doing. I'm starting to develop a Scott Pioli/Bill Belichek type trust for his business decision making (don't get me started on Derek Morris though, he's the Joey Galloway of the Bruins until proven otherwise). Straight up, i'm dissappointed that i'll have to re-thread my Kessel jersey, but the guy had to go and they got a very good return considering the economic condition of the league.

2. The Goal Scoring - the Bruins didn't do much to bolster their front line scoring potential. I know what you're thinking, "Bonesaw, come on, maybe Steve Begin will be this year's Michael Ryder". If that's your thought process, go ahead and take that last step off the Tobin and rid us all of your bullshit. Fact is, the Bruins didn't need to bolster this. There, i said it. Between the return of Sturm (the team's leading goal scorer in 07-08) and the eventual re-emergence of Bergeron we'll be well on the way to making up for that production lost in the Kessel trade. I haven't even mentioned the growth of guys like Wheeler (totally fell off in the second half after hitting the rookie wall around game 50 last year) and Krejci. Plus, we don't need to score as much. Why?

3. Defense/Goaltending - Funny you should ask. Few teams can win both the Jennings and Vezina trophies in a season and actually have BETTER goaltending the following season. But, the Bruins will have exactly that. Now, i'm not guaranteeing both trophies show up again, but Rask is the real deal. I watched him shutout the Rangers 1-0 last year while turning back 41 shots and he is hands down a better keeper than Fernandez. Consider that along with the fact that he's in a contract year and knows that the starting job for 2011 and beyond is his to lose (Timmy has one year left and will be 36 next season), Rask will prove himself and will make Timmy better at the same time.
As for defense, we lost a slow old man in Aaron Ward and replaced him with a slow middle aged guy, in Derek Morris. Otherwise, we get better with age because the combination of Wideman, Hunwick and Stuart all project to improve on solid seasons last year.

I think that's enough food for though for one day. We're all gonna have to wait and see how things like Sturm/Lucic/Savard and the D-pairings play out, but rest assured, this team is going to continue to step in the right direction. We don't need 116 point season to get better this year. We need to solidify the experience they've acquired in the last two post-seasons, win the Northeast handily and be healthy come playoff time. Game 1 of 82, at a minimum is tonight. Let's drop the fucking puck already.

7 comments:

  1. Now the big key (without being facetious at all), is getting offensive production from the defensemen. Will Z put up 50 points again? Will Mark Stuart ever score a goal? I think it's the D guys who hold a ton of responsibility for putting up points to help offset the loss in Kessel's alleged production.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You can re-thread a jersey? Who are you... Martha Washington?

    Also, Kessel is an idiot. He may be getting 5 mil for the next three but when his numbers drop off cause he's on a crap team that no one will bother to watch (including scouts and GMs of other teams) he won't hit another jackpot unless it involves a pizza hut piece of shit pizza.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jim Brewer Pizza Hut references, ftw.

    Where is everyone watching the game? I was going to be at home but invites have started coming in for a beers on Causeway.

    ReplyDelete
  4. my brother is apparently gonna be on causeway with a bunch of people. i have a 10pm game in watertown, so i'll have to leave after the second period, but i could head down for a beer or 3.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just one question about the Goaltending situation...didn't Tim Thomas just sign a 4 year $20mil extension? I think that keeps Rask wearing the backup baseball cap on the bench until at least 2012.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Timmy did just sign a deal that takes him through 2013 but it is very front loaded. In my not so humble opinion, Chiarelli sees him moving to a split time situation by the start of 2011-12 if not sooner (thus the $5 mil and $3 mil per year tags on Timmy in the last two years). He actually will make $6 mil in this year and next year.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would have liked to see the 200 page preview. That would have required a double trip to Anna's and 30 minutes on the throne.

    Anyhow, good points all around but I have to disagree about Ward. Moving from Ward to Morris made the team more offensive but it moved away from the Big Bad Bruins image that helped them so much last year. The fact is that Hunwick and potentially Boychuck are your young d-men with offensive potential. Morris can move with the puck and hopefully becomes his former self now that he is back in more of a hockey spotlight. Unless Stuart mucks it up (he had the perfect chance as Ovechkin ran Thomas with under 2 minutes left but just stood there), hope for Chiarelli to make a move for a gritty 3rd pair d-man ala Aaron Ward.

    ReplyDelete