B’s Players Ready to Breakout

by: Tyler Murry: Majority Writer: Hockey (Boston Bruins)

With very few losses during the offseason, the Bruin’s retained most of their Stanley Cup winning NHL team but are there players that are ready to have a breakout year?  The answer is yes.  Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin, and Rich Peverley are all ready for a larger role in the Bruin’s lineup.

Nathan Horton finished last year with 53 points in 80 games but could very well get 70 next year.  This is because, Horton was moved to the first line mid-year and after that began to hit the scoresheet much more.  With a year in the Bruin’s system already under his belt, look for Horton to score 30-35 goals next year along with 70 points while playing alongside David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

The next player ready for a breakout season is Tyler Seguin.  Seguin netted just 22 points in his rookie year last year with the B’s and now could see a lot more ice time while playing on the second line.  Seguin has a lot of talent and appeared much more relaxed and controlled during the playoffs.  Look for Seguin to get roughly around the same stats as Horton is predicted with around 70 points.

Last, Rich Peverley will have a much better year next year for the black & gold.  Peverley struggled during the regular season with just 7 points in 23 games for the B’s.  However, in the playoffs, Peverley was able to thrive on the ice and should be able to do more of the same next season.

B’s Renew Affiliation with Reading Royals

by: Tyler Murry: Majority Writer: Hockey (Boston Bruins)
Today the Boston Bruins organization renewed their partnership with their East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) affiliate the Reading Royals.  The Royals currently develop many Bruins prospects including the B’s third round pick in 2008 goaltender Michael Hutchinson,  goaltender Adam Courchaine, and forward Yannick Riendeau.

Last year, the Royals won their division with a 44 wins 23 losses and 5 overtime/shootout losses for a total of 93 points.  Led by a stingy defense and star forward Andrew Sarauer, the Royals had success throughout the entire season. Sarauer finished with 25 goals and 67 points to lead the Royals to a division title.

Next Year will mark the third year that the Royals will serve as the Bruin’s ECHL affiliate. 


Keep Tuukka Rask in Black & Gold

by: Tyler Murry: Majority Writer: Hockey (Boston Bruins)

Arguably the best goalie currently riding the bench in the NHL, Tuukka Rask has had his name appear in numerous trade rumors.  Two seasons ago Rask was the starting goalie for one of the strongest teams in the NHL but lost his job in Prague during the second game of the season against Pheonix to Tim Thomas.  We all know how that turned out as Thomas went on to have a record setting year by breaking Dominic Hasek’s save percentage record and taking home his second Vezina trophy in three years.  

Now with Thomas firmly in place as the B’s number one goalie, questions surround Tuukka Rask.  His value is high with many teams desperate to find a starting goalie.  Teams like Tampa Bay, Florida, and Philadelphia showed interest but all potential deals fell through once each of those teams signed goalies earlier this July.  Let there be no questions, there is interest in Tuukka and he is likely worth a first round pick along with a second-third round pick.  Although his value his high, the black & gold should keep him in a Bruins uniform for many reasons.

For instance, Tim Thomas is 37 years old and nearing the end of his career. He has had injury problems with a hip problem in the 09-10 season that sidelined the net-minder for awhile and affected his play for the rest of the season.  As a hockey player myself, those can be nagging injuries and can come back to haunt you especially as a goalie.  That being said, that injury did not seem to slow him up this year at all, but I worry that this injury could arise in years to come.  Therefore keeping Rask is essential if Thomas were to go down with an injury or if his play were to drop off drastically due to his age. 

In addition, Rask is a solid goalie that can’t be replaced within our own system.    Last year Rask posted just 11 wins in 29 games along with a goals against average of 2.67 and a save percentage of .918.  Certainly not Rask-like numbers but the year before he had a record of 22 wins and 12 losses with a goals against average of 1.97 and a save percentage of .931.  If he can play like that in the future, the Bruins will not have any goalie problems for about 10 years.  If Rask were to be traded, the Bruins would have to look internally for their next backup.  The only option would be recent acquisition Anton Khudobin. Khudobin has just 2 game of experience in the NHL for the Minnesota Wild and will need more development if he is to be the backup in Boston.  Tuukka Rask’s value may be high but he ultimately is essential to the Bruins future between the pipes. 

Why the Bruins Are a Better Hockey Team and Can Repeat

by Tyler Murry: Majority Writer: Hockey (Boston Bruins)

“Get the Duck Boats ready” were the final words of Boston’s own Dave Goucher as he announced the game on the radio last June, as the Bruins knocked off the Vancouver Canucks in seven games.  The B’s first cup win since 1972. The real question is, how can the Bruins win it all again? 

The Bruins for the most part have kept the team intact. Some notable losses include wingers Mark Recchi and Michael Ryder along with defenseman Tomas Kaberle.  Recchi the 43 year-old veteran announced during the year that he would retire if the Black and Gold could take home the cup, and surely his leadership and defensive presence will be missed. Not to mention his 14 goals and 35 assists as well.  He is not a guy on the ice that you can replace but the B’s have a strong core of young prospects and role players that can step up and fill his minutes.  Someone like Tyler Seguin or Rich Peverley are ready for a larger role in the Bruin’s lineup, and this can be their opportunity.  

As for the 31 year-old sniper Michael Ryder, he is a fairly big loss but can be replace.  Michael Ryder was signed to a 2 year deal worth $7 million with the Dallas Stars earlier this July (NHL.com).  Ryder did put up 41 points in the regular season and was a big time contributor offensively in the playoffs but he was at times soft in the defensive zone.  Head coach Claude Julien is known to emphasize a physical style of play where defense comes first.  Thats not Ryder’s game and although my be missed on the offensive side of the ice, he will not be missed in the defensive zone.  He will do well in Dallas but his exit from Boston has been overdue and will be replaced by the surplus of youth in the Bruin’s system such as 2009 1st round pick Jordan Caron.    Caron put up just 7 points in 23 games this year but showed glimpses of greatness and is ready for a spot on the Bruin’s lineup.

The next notable loss for the Bruins was defenseman Tomas Kaberle who signed a 3 year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes worth over $12 million this offseason (NHL.com).  Kaberle was a rental player whom was acquired at last years trade deadline.  To say he underachieved was an understatement.  He made mistake after mistake in the Bruin’s end and was responsivle for numerous goals.  Therefore the Bruins knew they needed to upgrade the defense and did just that by adding Joe Corvo.  Corvo will help the Bruins offensively and will be a rock-solid defenseman in their own zone.

Overall, the Bruins have not made any big splashes this offseason but with the strong core of youth such as Steven Kampfer, Matt Bartkowski, Jordan Caron,  and Zach Hamill, they will not only be contenders but favorites to win it all again.  The Bruins kept the core of the team intact while making small and affordable acquisitions to help strengthen the team. The addition of Corvo makes the defensive core stronger and mix that with a strong offensive lineup and the best goalie tandem in the league and you’ve got yourself a threat to win and once again parade on the duck boats in Boston next June.  

by Kevin L. 
NHL free agency opened July 1st. The Bruins have made no major signings yet, but they have made some signings, which I listed below (according to ESPN.com):
Re-Signed by Boston:
Trent Whitfield- Center. Whitfield was an anchor for Providence’s top line this year (I witnessed his skills in person at a P-Bruins game) and may be a fourth-liner for Boston next year. Expect him to compete for a roster spot, because at age 34 it is now or never for Whitfield. Boston, however, sees otherwise and signed him to a two-year deal.
Anton Khudobin- Goalie. Khudobin has been the goalie for the P-Bruins this year (I witnessed his skills in person as well) and has a major roadblock ahead of him in the name of Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask. If Rask is traded, which the Bruins hopefully are considering, then Khudobin could be the leading backup goalie candidate heading into the 2012 campaign. He was re-signed to a two-year deal.
Left the Bruins:
Tomas Kaberle- Defense. New team- Carolina. The Hurricanes signed Kaberle, our infamous trade deadline acquisition of last season who failed to quarterback the powerplay effectively. Carolina signed him to a 3 year, 12 million dollar contract.
Michael Ryder-Right Wing. New team- Dallas. Ryder is the arguably best free agent the Bruins have, and he was lost to Dallas. Dallas signed him to a 2-year deal worth 7 million dollars.

Boris Valabik- Defense. New Team- Pittsburgh. The 25-year-old Valabik will join the Penguins for one year and 550K. Valabik is not expected to make Pittsburgh’s top six D-men. 

Unrestricted Free Agents still available for the Bruins (or other teams) to sign:
Mark Recchi- Left Wing. Recchi is 43 and will retire. His Cup experience was useful for the B’s this year.
Shane Hnidy- Defense. I watched Hnidy at a P-Bruins game, and the 35-year-old D-man has no 2012 team yet. 
Others- David Laliberte, RW, Kirk McDonald, RW, Jeremy Reich, LW, Nolan Schaefer, G.
Restricted Free Agents still available for the Bruins (or other teams) to sign:
What’s the difference between restricted and unrestricted free agents?
Brad Marchand- Left Wing. The 23-year-old Marchand was an integral part of the Bruins’ charge to the Stanley Cup and needs to be re-signed.
Others- Stefan Chaput, Center, Cody Wild, Defense, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Defense, and Matt Dalton, Goalie.

-Your Bruins Writer 

SPOTLIGHT ON: Bruins #1 Pick Dougie Hamilton
by Kevin 
The Boston Bruins drafted defenseman Dougie Hamilton 9th overall in the NHL Entry Draft last week. Hamilton is an athletic defenseman and has played well in the OHL for the Niagara IceDogs. This selection may be an attempt to find a replacement for Tomas Kaberle, due to Kaberle’s inability to quarterback the powerplay in their Stanley Cup run. For more on Hamilton, watch this video:



by Kevin L. (June 22, 2011) 


Your Bruins writer here with the first NHL team profile, of your Boston Bruins. I will write two profiles each THURSDAY, so stay tuned until we have reached all 30 teams. I will try to go in the order of Bruins first, then divisional opponents, then conference opponents, then the Western Conference. I will touch on their star players, success and final placement and playoff success, if any, this past season.
Last Season: Won Stanley Cup 4-3 over Canucks
My Prediction for this season: Loss in Cup Finals
The Boston Bruins are symbolized around the league by their 6’ 9’’ defenseman, Zdeno Chara. He is regularly paired with Dennis Seidenberg on blue line pairing #1.
Other stars are David Krejci #46, Brad Marchand #63, Mark Recchi, Marc Savard #91, and Tim Thomas in net.
What the Bruins need: Not much. This club won the Cup, and the only thing I can think of that they need is a display case for that Cup and money to sign these guys so they keep winning.
NHL draft choice: #9. They will likely choose the best player available here, with no clear need.
Last Season: Lost to the Bruins in the first round of the playoffs
My Prediction: Third place Northeast Division, and a first round playoff exit in a loss to Philadelphia.

The Canadiens are hated enemies of our Bruins and play in Montreal. They are, sadly, the winningest NHL franchise ever.
Stars: Montreal has little in terms of superstars but has a lot of talented, scrappy players who can come up with clutch goals. They rally behind goaltender Carey Price.
What Montreal needs: A superstar. To make a title run, the Canadiens need a Rick Nash-type star. 
NHL draft choice: 17. 
-Your Bruins Writer


by Kevin L. (June 21, 2011)
It’s the Boston Hot Spot’s Bruins and NHL correspondent here with my first post. I will be commentating as often as I can about the Bruins and the NHL. You can expect half or so of my posts to be Bruins-related, and half or so to be about the NHL. The Bruins are one of my favorite hockey teams, along with the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators, so expect some good coverage.
Enough about myself. On to the first post.
The NHL entry awards ceremony is Wednesday, June 22 and the NHL world is pumped up. This past season was incredible, with the hometown Bruins triumphing over the Vancouver Canucks in the seven game Stanley Cup finals. Bruins representatives are bolded in my rundown of the important awards.
The Hart Memorial Trophy- awarded to league’s best player
My Prediction: Daniel Sedin, LW, Van
I am a Canucks fan, and he had a phenomenal season with 104 points.
The Vezina Trophy- awarded to the league’s best goaltender
My Prediction: Tim Thomas, G, BOS
Tim Thomas was amazing in net for the Bruins in the playoffs, and is the indisputable Vezina trophy winner. I can’t imagine Roberto Luongo or Pekka Rinne of Vancouver and Nashville, respectively, winning this award.
The Norris Trophy- awarded to league’s best defenseman
My Prediction- Nicklas Lidstrom, D, DET
Lidstrom had a great year for a forty year old player, and I hate to pick against the Beantown’s Zdeno Chara, but Lidstrom is deserving. Watch out as Chara may win this award.
The only other Bruin nominated for a trophy is Zdeno Chara, nominated for the Bridgestone Messier Leadership Award. Chara will win this award, in my opinion.

More to be coming in future posts.
Have a great day.
Your Bruins Writer 

 Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton are expected to have breakout years in 2011-12. (picture courtesy of Associated Press)

Recently, the Bruins agreed to continue being a parent affiliate to the ECHL's Reading Royals. (picture courtesy of Reading Royals) 

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is the subject of multiple trade rumors across the NHL. (picture courtesy of Your Sports Memorabilia)  

David Krejci hoists the Stanley Cup, and the Bruins hope to the same feat this year. (picture courtesy of Boston Sports Then and Now) 


Bruins 1st round pick Dougie Hamilton. (picture courtesy of CBS Boston). 


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