Mumbles Therapy

Today is only Wednesday and it has already been one of the longest weeks I’ve ever experienced. ¬†The best therapy is for me to just rant about subject matter that I feel I know best: the world of sports. ¬†Beware here comes a slew of unorganized thoughts better classified as Mumbles.

*Chris Paul will be traded before Christmas 2011. ¬†New Orleans does not want to go through the “Melodrama” the Nuggets went through last year. ¬†With all the leaks about the Celtics wanting Paul, it would be in their best interest to acquire the best point guard in the league by any means necessary. ¬†The Celtics current point guard Rajon Rondo is very talented but is beyond emotionally fragile. ¬†He broke down last year when his BFF Kendrick Perkins was traded. ¬†He broke down when he was “dissed” by President Obama. ¬†Now the Celtics are reportedly (by every media outlet) pursuing Paul. ¬†If the Celtics fail at acquiring Paul, they will be in for a very long and very uncomfortable season with Rondo running the show. ¬†Get Paul now, worry about his contract status later.

*The Miami Marlins (have to get use to saying that) have been the biggest players in baseball free agency thus far.  They landed Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, and Mark Buehrle.  They are also in hot pursuit of Albert Pujols.  While this appears to be great news for South Florida, they have alienated their franchise player in Hanley Ramirez.  HanRam has reportedly asked for a trade because does not want to move to third base for Reyes.  If I am the Red Sox, I make a strong play at reacquiring the troubled shortstop.  He comes with baggage. There is no doubt about it.  But at the end of the day he is 27 years old coming off his worst season but entering his prime.  He is under contract until 2014 at a reasonable price (3 years $46 mil left).  He is a clear upgrade over Marco Scutaro or Jed Lowrie.  If I am Ben Cherrington, I offer Lowrie or Scutaro, Xander Bogaerts or Jose Iglesias, Ryan Kalish or Josh Reddick, and Matt Barnes or Anthony Ranuaudo.  Imagine this lineup:

Ellsbury, Crawford, Pedroia, Gonzalez, HRamirez, Youkilis, Ortiz, Saltalamacchia, Kalish/Reddick.

*The Boston Bruins benched Tyler Seguin last night during a 15 game unbeaten streak due to him missing a team breakfast in Winnipeg. ¬†Now, I may be in the minority but I love that they benched the 19 year old leading scorer. ¬†Nipping any antics that Seguin may be a part of in the bud is essential in his early development. ¬†It’s clear to me that his benching has a lot more to it then missing his team breakfast. ¬†His excuse will also go down as the worst excuse in sports history. ¬†“My clock was set on Boston time and not Winnipeg time.” Tyler may need a geography/time zone lesson to go along with that benching. ¬†What we all need to remember is that the kid is 19 and he hasn’t had a chance to experience the night life like we all did in college. ¬†I cut him some slack but at the same time applaud the management and coaching decision to discipline him.

* I once hated Tim Tebow with a unparraleled passion. ¬†I think that was because I was an ignorant Longhorns fan that would hear nothing other than Colt McCoy was the best there was. ¬†(In my defense he is the all time winningest quarterback in NCAA history). But after the last two months, how do you not love Tebow? Yes, the whole God squad thing can deter someone but as an athlete? The guy has “it.” Whatever “it” may be Tebow has it. ¬†He wins football games and is exciting to watch. ¬†Yes, I am all aboard the Tebow wagon!

*Unfortunately I don’t have any thoughts on the Patriots. ¬†To me they are the most vanilla franchise in Boston sports. ¬†It may be a reflection of the coach. ¬†They win ball games and move on to the next opponent. ¬†Until the playoffs, there is nothing I can really say about them.

*I love Ed Cooley. ¬†When Providence College first hired him, I was skeptical at best. ¬†My hatred of Keno Davis and his thug culture may have angered me to the point I was blind. ¬†But there truly was no better person to hire for this position then who they landed. ¬†Cooley has demonstrated a willingness to play defense (unthinkable during Keno’s time) and also to discipline players when needed. ¬†(Kadeem Batts is yet to play a game. ¬†Expected back for the URI game 12-23). ¬†I have gone to as many games as I’ve could and have appreciated the development of Bryce Cotton. ¬†I like that Vincent Council is playing under control. ¬†I like that Cooley has Coleman playing defense. ¬†I understand that the Friars may get smoked once the Big East schedule starts. ¬†But I expected that coming into the season. ¬†But because of Cooley, I now know they will play hard for 40 minutes every night.

*I can be followed on Twitter @ ScottieNTCF

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A Star is Born

The career was conceived on June 30, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  Gary Bettman announced to the world that with the number 2 pick in the 2010 NHL draft the Boston Bruins selected Tyler Seguin.  Since the Phil Kessel trade on September 19 2009, Bruin World had been anxiously awaiting the 2010 draft.  With the Edmonton Oilers selecting fellow phenom Taylor Hall, Seguin fell to the Bruins.  Fans had visions of greatness. Orr, Espositio, Neely, Borque, and now Seguin.

While the NHL career of Tyler Seguin was conceived on June 30, it would be born (almost true to form) 9 and a half months later, May 17, 2011 in Boston.  On that night Tyler Seguin skated circles around everyone on the ice finding the back of the net twice and assisting on two other goals, leading the Bruins to a Game 2 win in the Eastern Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The water broke a few days before, on May 14 when Tyler scored a goal and assisted on another, letting the world now he was about to arrive, in Game 1 of said series.

Continuing with the birth analogy, the nine months the Bruins were “pregnant” with Seguin there were good times and bad. ¬†There were times when critics were already to call Seguin a bust. ¬†There were times Seguin kicked back and showed brief flashes of what he was capable of. ¬†The 74 games he played out of a possible 82 truly define the development of the 18-year-old. ¬†He sat out the first 11 games of the playoffs and was likely to sit out more if Claude Giroux hadn’t laid out Patrice Bergeron. ¬†Some fans wanted Seguin to play in the playoffs and were upset that he was forced to watch the game from high a top whatever arena the game was being played. ¬†Other fans didn’t think Seguin was ready to contribute, the pressure of the playoffs could overcome and permanently scar the young man.

With the injury to Bergeron, Julien was forced to play Seguin.  In two games Seguin has provided a necessary spark to the Bruins offense and power play.  His speed, awareness, and fire are second to none and have Bruins fans beyond giddy for the first time in my lifetime.

With all that being said, people need to stop criticizing Claude Julien. ¬†I am looking at you Michael Felger. ¬†I am actually going to defend “Daddy” here. How does the emergence of Tyler Seguin correlate to firing Julien? The answer? It doesn’t. ¬†If anything Julien has helped nurture and develop Seguin to where he is at today. ¬†True, if Bergeron doesn’t go down Seguin wouldn’t play. ¬†But why can’t we just enjoy the fact that right now the momentum in this series is wholly on the Bruins side right now because of the phenom? He has the fresh legs no one else has right now. ¬†He has a skill set unlike any other player on the ice. ¬†Let’s just celebrate that and not get on Julien for nonsense.

Lastly in defense of Julien, it takes time for players to develop. ¬†Exhibit A: Dustin Pedroia. ¬†In 31 games in 2006 and was hitting as low as .172 to start the 2007 season. ¬†Fans were calling for Alex Cora to be the full-time second baseman. ¬†How did that turn out? ¬†Moral of the story: Good things take time! and Tyler Seguin? He’s a good thing. And he has arrived.

video acquired from colleague Gambo’s Facebook page

I can be followed on Twitter @ ScottieNTCF

Why?

This post is inspired by JadaKiss.

For the past week, when it came to sports, I found myself asking one question numerous times.  Why? Some of these questions I think I have answers to.  Others I am as baffled by them as I once was with Math.  (Once they started putting letters in it, it really screwed me up).  So here are a few things that have been driving me insane.  If you can answer any of these, please, I beg of you answer them!

But first, out of respect:

Why is Glen Davis getting the ball at the end of games?

Why is Glen Davis getting 10-15 shots a game, mostly jumpers at that?

Why did the Celtics trade for Jeff Green if they aren’t going to play him?

Why did the Red Sox sign The Underbite to a 5 year contract?

Why does Tom Brady have his hair in a pony tail?

Why does Louis Murphy need Viagra?

Why can’t the Celtics stay healthy?

Why did I underestimate Butler two years in a row?

Why is Krista married to The Underbite?

Why is Jared Sullinger staying in school?

Why am I confident the Spurs won’t get to the Western Conference Finals?

Why does ESPN think Blake Griffin is better than Kevin Durant?

Why are the Orioles undefeated?

Why are people paying $250 to see a Charlie Sheen stand up?

Why does Evan Longoria own an AK 47?

Why isn’t Tyler Seguin getting more ice time?

Why is Jarrod Saltalamachhia being blamed for the Red Sox pitching staff giving up 11 home runs to Texas in three games?

Why is Glen Davis playing 30 minutes a game?

Why did I like Glen Davis so much in the first half of the season?

 

Thank You Kessel

I apologize before hand if this post is an extremely obvious post. ¬†Faithful readers will understand what I am talking about. The Bruins aren’t exactly on my hierarchy of sports teams I am a fan of. ¬†They are behind the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, PC Friars, and Texas Longhorns in my book. ¬†I have recently gotten into the Bruins solely for the purpose of this blog to make it as well rounded as possible. ¬†Be gentle in your criticisms.

On September 19, 2009 the Boston Bruins traded Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2010 first round pick, 2010 second round pick, and a 2011 first round pick. ¬†The trade had been rumored for a long time before it actually it went down because Kessel was unhappy in Boston. ¬†At the time of the trade I remember being upset with the Bruins for not ponying up the money Kessel wanted. ¬†At the time I saw the Bruins trading away the only guy on the roster that could routinely light the lamp (He had 35 goals his last year in Boston). ¬†At the time, I freely admit I didn’t understand hockey.

The knock on Kessel while he was in Boston was that he wasn’t tough, couldn’t play hurt, and wouldn’t dare check anyone. ¬†It was widely reported that Kessel didn’t see eye to eye with head coach Claude Julien and his defense first approach. ¬†Kessel went off to Toronto and promptly signed a 5 year deal worth $27 million. ¬†A much better offer than Boston offered him at 4 years $16 million, a similar deal to what Jordan Staal signed at the time.

In 2009 Kessel scored 30 goals and had 25 assists for a Toronto team that finished with the second worst record in the NHL, giving the Bruins the 2nd highest shot at the number one pick in 2010. The Bruins eventually got the #2 overall pick in the draft that year and drafted 18 year old phenom Tyler Seguin, who has been labeled a can’t miss prospect. The Bruins took Jared Knight with the second round pick given to them by Toronto. Through 34 games in Juniors Knight has a 14-20-34 line. Seguin and Taylor Hall were the creme de la creme of the 2010 draft class and Boston had the chance at either one because of how bad the Leafs were.

Last year when the Bruins were struggling, some experts in the media were wondering if the Bruins would part with the pick to land Ilya Kovalchuk, the best goal scorer available at the time.  The Bruins held tight and now have another piece to add to their young, up and coming, roster.  This season Seguin has scored 6 goals and dished out 7 assists in 36 games. Not bad for a kid who turns 19 at the end of this month. (Hall has played in 37 games for Edmonton and scored 12 times with 10 assists).

Now fast forward to this season. ¬†History is repeating itself. ¬†I didn’t realize that the Bruins also have Toronto’s number pick this year as well. ¬†At the time of this writing the Leafs are the fourth worst team in the NHL, thus giving the Bruins the number 4 pick in the 2011 draft. ¬†Through 38 games Kessel has 14 goals and 11 assists helping the Leafs maintain their stay toward the basement of the NHL. It won’t be long before trade rumors start swirling about whether the Bruins will give up that pick or hold on to it, in order to keep building their franchise through the draft.

With the Bruins needing help on the blue line names like Adam Larsson and Ryan Murphy have been rumored to be in the Bruins sights. ¬†I won’t pretend to know anything about either prospect because I don’t. ¬†But it simply amazes me that this Phil Kessel trade has potentially netted the Bruins so much value.

Right now the Bruins would have the number 3 seed going into the Eastern Conference playoffs with a young team that has a very bright future. Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Tuukka Rask, are all under 25 years of age.  The Bruins have two first round picks next season as well.  The franchise is in a lot better shape than I previously thought.

Until last night, I had no idea the Bruins future was this bright. ¬†What the Bruins will do with their valuable draft picks is anyone’s guess. ¬†They are a great trade chip. ¬†The NHL Draft has proven to be a can’t miss avenue to strengthen the franchise as well. ¬†The last few years top 10 picks have all played prominent roles on their respective clubs. ¬†Now the Bruins are in a prime position to be very good for a very long period of time. ¬†This is mostly in part to the Kessel trade and how bad the Maple Leafs are.

Earlier in the season, in a game at the TD Garden, Tyler Seguin scored a goal against the Leafs giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead. ¬†The chant that erupted from the crowd was one of the more priceless ones in recent memory. ¬†A chant that would rival “Dar-yl”, or “Who’s you dealer?” ¬†It was (and is) “Thank You Kes-sel!”

I can be followed on Twitter at ScottieNTCF

The Bruins Choose Thomas as Number One

Tim Thomas

Admittedly, the title of this post was meant to be alluring, controversial, and completely satirical. I am, at this juncture in the season, choosing to satirize myself, due to the hole¬†the Bruins have dug in the world of Tim Thomas fandom. A Thomas campaign advocate from last year may theorize the following. Every game and every moment this season, will appear to me as the cusp of change, and in the wake of a more than stellar, outmatched performance by Tim Thomas in the second game of this season, as opposed to Rask’s¬†efforts in the first, Tiimmy¬†should be the B’s go to, number one, goaltender. A neutral, know-nothing fan, would ask for a platoon-ing¬†of goaltenders, which in all honesty and for viable comparison, is like saying¬†that in week 5, week 11 and week 15, let’s start Hoyer¬†over Brady. Not to say Thomas won’t get his backup starts in, however platoon-ing¬†is non-sensical in te NHL, when you are nursing a sophomore, Vezina¬†potential candidate, net minder. A real Bruins fan would say, “No satire, no call for Rask¬†to sit just because his GA is 5.00 and Thomas’ is 0.00, after two games. There are no grounds, yet, for such an argument to begin. Rask¬†MUST remain at number one.” This real Bruins fan quote brought to you by a Tim Thomas fan, and the president of the “Rask¬†must win me a Cup, before I will look at him as anything¬†other than¬†a 12-year-old¬†Slovakian volleyball player” club. Rask¬†performed well, however wins translate¬†from goalie-to-defense chemistry, and with the way the defense is skating, Rask¬†will continue to live and die by their performance, until he can settle in and finish out victories.

Let’s Make a Deal, Finally

Signing the captain to a seven-year deal and the should-be captain to a three-year deal, Chara and Bergeron respectively, was a phenomenal move, however was only enough to result in a split in Prague. The Bruins are finally realizing who to build the team around, and I can only hope Bergeron gets the offensive zone possession time he needs to make things happen, and Chara stays healthy.

Age Before Beauty, Unless He Can Score

Tyler Seguin getting his first goal, on the break away, in the third, a game sealer at that, is nothing to “Crosby stamp” him over, however it was very pretty, refreshing to watch as a Bruins fan, and an extremely hopeful and exciting foreshadowing of what could be a great career. Mr. Chiarelli, it would be nice to hold on to Seguin, instead of trading him to the Sharks. Thank you. P.S. I love his dynamic with Bergeron. They make a great couple.

Sidenote: Recchi¬†looks older. Get him off the first line, and give him to Seguin. Seguin is young, and quick, and needs as much veteran guidance as he can fit into his small head. Recchi’s¬†very slow this year, and as a matter of fact, everyone that has been playing the offensive blue line must have dull skates. Four breakaways¬†in game¬†one? Condition better, or get me some smarter defensemen. Maybe then I won’t have to bash Rask every week, because contrary to popular belief I don’t want too.

Also,

Brad Marchand is the best thing to come out of the P-Bruins organization this year, and with the farm equivalent filled with defensive talent, it will be easy for him to remain, shine, and become what so many before him have failed to succeed in becoming; an NHL hockey player. I say keep him, and when Ryder slumps, and Wheeler flops, as they look like they will continue to do, look for Marchand to see a third line reward in his future.

In Horton We Trust

The Lucic-Krejci-Horton line is going to remain great throughout a line shifting may-lay that will be the B’s offense. Top line in the NHL anyone? Answer: YES.

I Miss Marc Savard

A struggling powerplay only symbolizes the internal struggles I feel in my heart. Get Well Soon Savvy. Their powerplay will not get any better. I predict middle of the pack rankings, no difference making abilities, and Krejci and Bergeron side possession highlighted only by a Recchi and/or Horton net rush, to be the only offensive threats. 

Seidenberg РWeek One Bust Out (Negative Connotation)

Seidenberg¬†reminds me too much of Dennis Wideman. Comparison translation – I don’t think I like him. He plays too much like an offensive minded defenseman, which does not, has not and will not fit into the B’s scheme. Get physical, sir, and make an effort to protect Rask; he is sensitive.

Next Game

Game Three is Saturday, 10/16. Rask¬†WILL start versus the Devils, or should. I predict the B’s to win, only because the Devils can’t find it yet. The B’s, with that second line, and a boosted Seguin ego, may have found offense for the first time in 6 years. We’ll see…

The Bruins Begin 2010 in Prague; Disassociation Before Anticipation

The Boston Bruins open their 2010/11 season in Prague on Saturday afternoon, versus the Phoenix Coyotes. If all of Czechoslovakia had been covered blindly by Icelandic ash during what in my humble opinion is the greatest professional sports collapse of my generation, Prague would have still heard the cries, saw the tears and felt the heart-break. I do not feel as if a second pick overall, a proven right-wing, an all in chips bet on a prime year for their goaltender, an emancipation from the worst player in the NHL and a trip to Prague can wash away the tainted toothbrush taste in my subconscious, but it tapes the puzzle box closed, and slaps a price tag on it.¬†They have¬†yet, however, and will not do so for some time, to show me the pieces. Building something out of nothing using mere strategy was a philosophy even I felt would shake up the Bruins enough, to make Boston a hockey town yet again. I was naive to think heart could be brought to players by way of a coach, or a midseason highlight overtime victory on a stage paved over with Boston championship and pride. I was a fool to think that heart could be taught. Heart has to be earned, and if you were to ask me if I was disappointed in last year’s outcome, looking forward to this year, happy with the off-season moves, or any other variation of anticipation I would look at you and rudely quote Gene Hackman from The Replacements because he is much smarter than anyone who thinks that until the Cup is raised in Boston, it is still alright to address the Bruins with any such hope. “Heart. Miles and miles of heart.” I urge the Bruins to win back my respect. With that said, and for the sake of no longer ranting and for the sake of thinking outside of this hard, scorned exterior, I will address some of the aspects of what the Bruins are putting together, that I look forward to writing about, and watching succeed, this season.

Tyler Seguin was not my first choice, nor was it the Bruins’ nor was it the NHL’s, but his slip behind Taylor Hall in the draft did not prevent this former OHL phenom from making an impact in Boston. I expect a 2008/09 David Krejci “esque” season out of this rookie, who is already being compared to the great Joe Sakic for his effortless skating ability, smart puck handling, finishing and two-way play. With two healthy, emphasis on healthy, David Krejci’s, and Patrice Bergeron at the helm, Savard, dizzy Savard or no Savard, the Bruins will have, yet again, a strong central core.

Nathan Horton is what the Bruins have been missing for some time. He is a taller Vladimir Sobotka whose talents the Bruins up and down game between Providence didn’t dilute. He is strong, smart, and will get you 25 to 30 goals consistently for a team who said goodbye to Phil Kessel, (the leading goal scorer in the pre-season, which for all intents and purposes means nothing), and who were forced to call Sturm and Ryder their main goal scorers. Horton has been lining up opposite to Lucic which pushes an extremely strong, shot oriented, and young line to the crease, and with Krejci dishing it out, will score some serious early and late game deciding goals.

Wideman is gone. I do not believe that in the NHL there is a player worse than Dennis Wideman. Leading the Bruins in points last post season means nothing because that playoff ride was a Twilight Zone horror show, a topsy-turvy trapeze act, or an all but a moment ago hangover and Wideman was the fat chick I slept with. She looked like Kim Kardashian, screwed like Jenna Jameson, however in the morning she was a fat Dennis Wideman whose pink sheets very well gave my scabies. She, I mean he, was a disgrace to any defensive system, and he may not be the reason for the collapse, but he encompassed the “why”. Needless to say, expect a smarter, more physical defense, filled with a lot more offensive step ups. I expect Boychuck to absolutely shine this season. A Dion Phaneuf type player, he will become.

Tuuka Rask will have a great season. He is no Andrew Raycroft, however he is also no Tim Thomas. I would like to see Tim Thomas play, and I want Rask to improve and contend for the Vezina. He was great in Providence, and he is a now an NHL goaltender a Stanley Cup can be won around. He will not be a gating factor in any team collapse, and by Midseason, he will be the talk of the town that is the NHL. A Niklas Backstrom type, under the radar starting goaltender, 2010/11 second pick Eastern All-Star. Thomas’ glory days, though very short are numbered, and instead his years here will be praised, looked back upon, this season, giving him his underdog status we all know he thrives so well under. Thomas, if healthy, will be the second fist to a one two punch that I still believe to be the strongest core in the NHL.

I guess Claude Julien will have to remain the Bruins head coach for one more year. I really have to hand it to Chiarelli for avoiding my pleas to clean house. I expect no difference in tone or locker room words to the press. They will remain sharp, poised, extremely vague, and optimistic, which is in fact warranted. There are no sophomore slumps in the NHL, so surprisingly this season can be called a comeback season for the B’s, and should encompass the ups and downs of last year, with perhaps more gaols and wins, like the year before.

Call this post a slow exploration in the potential realization that there is a lot behind us as Bruins fans, and a lot to look ahead too, even if the road ahead looks surprisingly like last years road, only after a weekend Habit for Humanity romp through the forest with cartoon blue birds and giant trash forks. Do not be blinded Bruins fans, stay pessimistic, but watch every game. Cheer for the Bruins as they try to disassociate themselves from their own past, and as I, like so many other, try to disassociate myself from my own let down in B’s fandom…this weekend, in Prague.

Post Script: Patrice Bergeron should be wearing the “C”, not the “A”, and this is no knock to Chara, it is a testament to Bergeron’s leadership. Chara is not a leader, he is a tool, a hammer, a machine to be wielded by the captains, the centers and the coaches. Bergeron is a better carpenter. I expect him to continue to step it up.

An Early Look at the 2010-2011 Bruins

In an effort to broaden my horizons, I intend on paying attention to the Boston Bruins this season. ¬†I have been a casual fan of the B’s for the last 3 three years. This season I hope to follow them a little more closely than I have in years past. ¬†Now I must preface my new found motivation to “cover” the Bruins with this: ¬†My experience in hockey is limited to going to support my high school and college teams, going to Providence Bruins games, working as the Chuck-a-Puck guy for the Manchester Monarchs, and watching playoff hockey. ¬†Yes, I will provide no actual insight to the game because I do not understand hockey strategy. ¬†I just know that the team that “lights the lamp” the most will win the game. ¬†So here we go.

After the Bruins made history for all the wrong reasons in last year’s playoffs, GM Peter Chiarelli and Cam Neely were silent. ¬†What happened in the quarterfinals against the Philadelphia Flyers is unspeakable and the Bruins will forever be associated with failure after losing 4 games in a row to a team that was using its backup goalies. ¬†Now that the past is off my chest and I feel better after that rant, we can look forward to the future of this team.

The Bruins landed the number 2 pick in the draft after trading Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs for their 2010 pick. ¬†With that pick the Bruins selected Tyler Seguin, an 18 year old prodigy out of Canada. ¬†With that pick Bruins fans will have a short memory of the 2010 playoff debacle. ¬†Seguin will be relied upon to contribute to the Bruins feeble offense. ¬†Last year in the OHL Seguin tallied 106 points (48 goals, 58 assists). ¬†Seguin has been labeled as a can’t miss prospect and he will be in select company being a number 2 pick. ¬†Bobby Ryan, Drew Doughty, and Jordan Staal have been among the last few years number two picks. ¬†In the preseason head coach Claude Julien has put Seguin on the same line with Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron. ¬†Some have coined it the PPF line. Past, present, and future. ¬†All indications out of Boston are that they have been very impressive.

Another big acquisition for the Bruins this off season was trading for Nathan Horton, the number 3 pick of the Florida Panthers in 2003.  Horton had 57 points last year (20 goals and 37 assists) on a weak line in Florida.  In 3 seasons in the NHL Horton has scored 27, 22, and 20 goals.  With him on the same line as a David Krejci, Marc Savard (if healthy), or Tyler Seguin it is entirely possible Horton can hit the back of the net 35 times or more.  The aforementioned players are very good at creating for others and Horton has never had the benefit of playing with someone of that caliber or possessing those abilities.  The offense was atrocious last year and that pressured goalies Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas to stand on their heads night in and night out.  Horton will alleviate that pressure.

Speaking of goalies, this season Tuukka Rask will be expected to shoulder the load with Thomas spelling him. ¬†Many will fear a sophomore slump from Rask. ¬†He did seem to tire in the playoffs last season. ¬†Keeping Thomas will be important to the Bruins chances of staying competitive all season. Some people will be calling for Thomas to be traded. ¬†Because of his hefty contract, Thomas is virtually untradeable therefore the Bruins should embrace him. ¬†I look for them to start a new trend, much like what is going on in the NFL with running backs right now. ¬†Let the Bruins goalie situation be a “2 headed monster.” ¬†Let Rask and Thomas play in 40 games each. ¬†If one gets outrageously hot, ride them for that streak. ¬†Other than that balance the work load and stay healthy. ¬†When it comes playoff time go with who has given you the most confidence during the season.

Other things to watch for during the upcoming season:

Marc Savard’s health. ¬†A few outlets have reported he may be out for the season with post concussion syndrome. ¬†I find this to be a rather bold report. ¬†I personally would have like to see the Bruins deal him during the off season and keep Vlady Sobotka. ¬†But that wasn’t the case. ¬†If he is healthy, then the Bruins will have depth at center. ¬†If he isn’t then the Bruins will have an uphill battle this season.

Zdeno Chara’s contract situation. Chara enters the last season of his contract. ¬†Talks have started on an extension but they are yet to get serious. ¬†Chara is a game changer. ¬†He isn’t flashy. ¬†He just gets the job done and he is the best at what he does. ¬†The Bruins need to bring him back especially with a weak defense around him. ¬†If he leaves town, it spells trouble for the future of the organization.

How will Dennis Seidenberg, Milan Lucic, and David Krejci look after coming back from injuries that hampered (Lucic) or even took them out completely (Seidenberg, Krejci) of the playoffs last season?

With this being my first foray into the hockey world any comments or feedback would be appreciated!