Monday, December 29, 2008

Bruins' First Semester Grades

Holiday over... blogging starts again today.

While I was gone:
- The Winter Classic was so popular, my in-laws watched it.
- Crosby had the second-most embarrassing fight of the weekend. So far.
- The Bruins discovered you can't win 'em all, though you can certainly come close.
- Americans celebrated the annual "remember that the NHL still exists and think about watching a game this season" holiday weekend.

In honor of all the kids enjoying their winter break, it's the Bruins' report card through the New Year:

Kessel: A+
Suddenly, the best wrist-shot in the league.

Savard: A+
Still waiting for recognition as a contemporary Adam Oates.

Thomas: A+
Is it possible that this guy won't even be on the roster next season? Stay tuned.

Fernandez: A
A bigger surprise than Thomas. The perfect backup early on, now he's the perfect 1B.

Krejci: A
The NHL's most improved player?

Wideman: B+
Remember when we were willing to trade a promising young forward for a reliable #2 blueliner? Me neither.

Wheeler: B+
Not all Calder candidates pan out in the long run. Wheeler will.

Ryder: B
A frustrating start, but he's justified the contract so far.

Lucic: B
A great season statistically, and full of highlight hits... but still a sense of untapped potential.

Chara: B
His B-game might be awesome, but it's not good enough for the captain of a contender.

Hunwick: B-
After a startlingly strong debut, he's back down to earth as a struggling rookie.

Yelle: B-
As long as he wins key faceoffs, we can overlook his 10-goal pace.

Sturm: C+
Another year of waiting for him to blossom -- unless he turns it up this month, consider him late-season trade bait.

Kobasew: C
Not to hold his injury against him, but Kobie's taken a big step backward this season.

Ward: C-
No goals and three assists in 29 games? Really?

Axelsson: C-
Even a defensive specialist has got to pose some offensive threat to justify a roster spot.

Stuart: D+
See: Alberts, Andrew

Nokelainen: D+
Even before the shoulder injury, he'd done little to secure a permanent callup.

Hnidy: D
The most waiver-worthy player on the team, except that his contagious toughness is hard to replace.

Thornton: Alligator
The guy you'd want in your foxhole.

Bergeron: I
The big question: how soon is too soon?

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