Sunday, January 31, 2010

One Point Away…

One point away… I have a feeling we’ll be hearing that phrase quite a few times over the next few weeks with regards to this current Bruins team.  Saturday night we got one, very important, point in the 3-2 shootout loss to the Kings, moving us up to 9th place in the Eastern Conference.  However the Flyers won their game moving them up to 6th and the Canadiens got one point in an OT loss, to the still-on-fire Senators, keeping the Habs just ahead of the Bruins in 8th. 

But since I’m in a “keeping it positive” kind of mood, let’s reflect on some of the good things that came out of this game…

The Bruins are getting more healthy players back each passing day.  This is huge in terms of the team’s consistency.  It’s very hard to develop any kind of rhythm or chemistry with your line mates when the deck keeps getting shuffled due to somebody else getting injured and having to sit for an extended period of time.  So getting back Marco Sturm and Steve Begin is a big check in the plus column.  Both players were two of the hardest skaters on the ice Saturday.  Sturm’s goal was not only a display of his great offensive intelligence but also an amazing amount of patience as he drew the defenseman out of position, picked his spot, and fired a wrister past King’s goaltender Jonathan Quick.

The players’ intensity seemed higher then I’ve seen in a number of weeks.  The majority of them were more aggressive in the physical game then they’d been and appeared to be skating with a purpose, creating more up ice rushes. 

So, again the question of the day is, what will it take for the Bruins to start putting a few wins up?  Goals.  It’s as simple as that, they need to put the biscuit in the basket… and more then once or twice a game.  The team does need to make a deal for a quality goal scorer, but they also have a number of players that need to start pulling their own weight.  So unless some huge shake up comes before Tuesday’s game against the Capitals, who are coming into Boston on a 10-game winning streak, we’re going to need some of that weight to be pulled very quickly.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Marc Savard & the 800 Pound Gorilla

The Bruins will be getting Marc Savard back tonight against the Sabres, after missing 8 games due to a partial MCL tear in his right knee.  This is a huge step back in the right direction for the struggling B’s, who are on a season-high 5-game losing streak right now.  From the looks of practice this week Marc will be centering the line with Milan Lucic and Miroslav Satan on the wings.  But Savvy isn’t the only Bruin on the verge of returning.  Steve Begin, Marco Sturm, Byron Bitz, and Andrew Ference were all on the ice Thursday for the team’s final practice before heading up to Buffalo.

So is getting the injured players back going to miraculously make everything better?  No…  But it is a good start.  The team on a whole needs to come out on fire and stay that way for the entire 60 minutes.  Be mean, be aggressive, be angry, and use it to win.  Like Reg Dunlop said, “Get that [expletive] stick in their side. Let 'em know you're there!”  This team has the potential, with a full and healthy line up, to once again be a serious threat.  Remember we’re heading into tonight’s game in Buffalo only 1 point out of being back in the playoff picture.

Of course there’s the 800 pound gorilla in the room… All the trade rumors that have been the focus of every Bruins related discussion as of late.  Personally I think we will definitely be seeing a new face wearing the Spoked B very soon (the Olympic trade freeze is from Feb. 12th through Feb. 28th and the NHL trade deadline is on March 3rd), and if Peter Chiarelli can play the right cards to secure a bona fide goal scorer we could see the Bruins with a another legitimate shot at the Stanley Cup.

Other games I’ll be keeping an eye on tonight…

Toronto @ New Jersey – Obviously every Maple Leafs loss will make our draft picks all the more valuable.

Florida @ Washington – We need the Panthers to stay where they are so we can leapfrog them in the standings… and with them facing a Capitals team on a 8-game winning streak, I don’t think that will be a problem.

Anaheim @ Tampa Bay – The Lightning are right alongside us with 54 points in the East. So we could use a little bit of help from the Ducks tonight.