Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday Morning Miscellany

Because "miscellany" is one of the best words out there.

Bruins love, Pt. 1: Of TSN's Top 10 Plays of the first half, three involve the Bruins -- the Lucic glass-shattering hit, Thomas' save against the Devils, and Wheeler's sick 1-on-5 goal.

Death Watch Update: Down Goes Brown is waving the white flag on the Maple Leafs' season. He makes a strong case, given their most unseemly implosion over the past ten games, for moving them to the "Dead" portion of our Death Watch. Toronto is now nine points out of a playoff berth (38 points), trailing Pittsburgh (46), Florida (46), Carolina and Buffalo (47). Before the end of January, they play the Pens, the Bruins, the Thrashers, and the Canes twice (plus a couple of interconference games). This makes a playoff run unlikely, but not out of the realm of possibility.

Ultimatum -- Toronto must win at least four of these games or be moved to "Dead" status.

Bruins love, Pt. 2: Puck Daddy gives out three stars each day. After last night's game, the Bruins took stars #1 AND #2. Jumbo Joe got #3, making it a sort-of-but-not-really trifecta despite several other important games going on.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?: Blueland Outsider came up with this nifty little conversation-starter, which is probably more engaging when nearly every member of your franchise is on the "go" list. Never afraid to steal someone else's idea, I offer this sample of Bruins conundrums:

Sturm - Go. Everyone loves Das German, but let's be real. $3.5m for 25 or fewer goals a season is wasted cap space. It's harsh, but... if he wasn't having injury problems it might be different. With so many RFAs coming up this summer, it's salary-dump time.

Bergeron - Stay. At least long enough to see whether he's still got it.

More to come.

Bruins love, Pt. 3: Last night's game is the front-page story on,'s NHL section, and a double-item on Puck Daddy. Habs fans continue to whine about a three-minute power play that "decided the game" in the second period, which pretty much proves we're in their heads. Sweet.

Drinking Game: View From The Cheap Seats has a nice little Caps/Pens drinking game. If the Pens get their shit together and make the playoffs, they'll almost certainly be somewhere in the 6-8 seed range -- if they draw the Caps, there's a possibility you could have 7 drinking games in a two-week period! There MUST be an equivalent to this for Bruins/Habs.

A little perspective: At this point we've got a nice cushion for the #1 seed in the East -- but the season's only half over. Ask Ottawa what half a season of good hockey gets you.

Starting yesterday, we began the single most important part of our season schedule. In our next 13 games, we face four powder-puff opponents: the Isles on Thursday, the Blues and Leafs next week, and Ottawa on 2/5.

The other nine opponents are, in order: Caps, Caps, Devils, Rangers, Habs, Flyers, Flyers, Sharks, Devils. That would be all five teams chasing us in the standings and all significant Eastern playoff contenders, plus the Western favorite. Our record against this group will decide whether we need to defend our playoff positioning in March, and send a very loud signal to the rest of the league as to whether we're prepared to actually win a round this spring.

And we get to do it all without Kessel.

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aaron said...

Hey, not everyone on the team needs to go...

...I got the equipment manager as a stay....

Anonymous said...

The Bergeron comment is kind of perplexing - how COULD he go? He has a huge salary, he's had next to no production this year (considering what he's paid) and he is a huge injury liability. Now, I love the kid and believe in him and all of that holly-jolly, but the fact remains that I don't think you could find another team in the NHL that would really want him right now. Never mind the fact that the Bruins have been using him as a cornerstone of the organization right now, and a trade would be met with some...ah...resistance. Especially considering that we would get next to nothing for him besides cap relief. I just don't see that one happening.

Tom said...

Bergeron's got enough upside left that we could get something from someone, though not enough to make it a square trade. A team like the Isles or Lightning has nothing to lose by swapping a 4th or 5th round pick for the rights to Bergeron. Lafontaine's trade to the Rangers was made under very similar circumstances.

In the event that he finally suffers that "one too many" injury, a more likely option would be to buy out his contract or, to try and avoid the cap penalty, assign him to the minors and see if anyone takes him off waivers.

This is all speculation, but we should probably be thinking this way in the long-term. We want to avoid the Wild-like mistake of sticking with a guy until he's completely unable to play.

aaron said...

Given the teams success without him (and while resembling a triage unit), Tom's idea sounds pretty good... I want to avoid the dreaded Lindros comparison, but...