Bruins Draft Day Live Blog

Happy NHL Draft Day everyone! The Boston Bruins saw no action in the first round of the draft. They had the 60th, 90th, 120th, 150th, 180th, and 210th picks in all other rounds. And here are the newest members of the Boston Bruins organization!

Happy Draft Day! (Credit NHL Bruins Twitter)

(Updates will follow as they come)

Round 2, 60th pick overall:
Linus Arnesson (@ArnessonLinus)
Position: Defense
From: Stolkholm Sweden
Last team: Djurgarden IF Stockholm of the Swedish Elite League
The Big Picture: Arnesson is an 18-year-old defensive defenseman. Though you won’t see him shooting many goals, Arnesson is a solid passer and is able to easily shut down the opposition. In 31 games last season, he had one assist, a minus-3 rating and eight penalty minutes. Most recently, Arnesson played on the silver medal-winning Sweden of the 2013 World Juniors Team.

Round 3, 90th pick overall:
Peter Cehlarik
Position: Left Wing
From: Slovakia
Last team: Lulea Jr
The Big Picture: Cehlarik is a 17-year-old two way forward. Like Arnesson, he comes from the Swedish Elite League. Unlike Arnesson, he has his own facebook fan page which you can check out here. In the draft prospect ratings, he came in at number 28 for International skaters after a great performance at the U18 World Championship. In 6 games, he had 2 goals and 5 assists for team Slovakia.

Round 4, 120th pick overall:
Ryan Fitzgerald (@RTF_17)
Position: Center
From: North Reading, Massachusetts
Last team: EJHL Valley Jr. Warriors
The Big Picture: Son of former Bruin Tom Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald is a Mass native currently committed to playing for Hockey East’s Boston College Eagles for the fall. Fitzgerald was named Eastern Junior Hockey League Rookie of the Year in 2012-13 after tallying 30 points (14-16–30) in 26 games for the Warriors. Before that he played for Malden Catholic High helping them win back-to-back Division 1A championships. Though small, 18-year-old Fitzgerald is fast and judging by his stats can score. It’s nice to see a local boy joining the organization!

Round 5, 150th pick overall:
Wiley Sherman
Position: Defense
From: Greenwich, Connecticut
Last team: Hotchkiss High
The Big Picture: After round three, it looks like Chiarelli started looking towards local kids because like Fitzgerald, Sherman is from the New England area. Sherman is committed to playing at Harvard University for next fall. The 6’6″ defenseman is clearly at a huge size advantage and the B’s are familiar with big d-men! He’s a good skater and could provide the B’s with some well needed strength in future seasons.

Round 6, 180th pick overall:
Anton Blidh (@Bliddan)
Position: Left Wing
From: Sweden
Last Team: Froluda Junior Swedish Junior League
The Big Picture: Blidh notched 27 points (17 goals, 10 assists) and 80 penalty minutes for Froluda Junior in the Swedish Jr League this year aka he can score and he’s not afraid to give a hit. Blidh is known for being a good penalty killer and since the Bruins are known for their solid PK, he’ll be considered an asset.

Round 7, 210 pick overall:
Mitchell Dempsey (@Demper11)
Position: Left Wing
From: Cambridge, Ontario.
Last team:  Sault Ste. Marie of the OHL
The Big Picture: Dempsey, a 6-foot-3, 204-pound left wing, had one goal and four assists for five points in 36 games for Sault Ste. Marie last season. He’s the only player from the OHL that the B’s drafted this year but previous OHL draft picks for Boston have been Tyler Seguin and Malcolm Subban. Dempsey is an aggressive forward that plays a physical game and he’s only 18. Also what was nice to see in my opinion was that upon searching his name several listings for hockey fights came up. A forward that doesn’t mean getting into a fight..that’s what I like to see!

And with that the 2013-2014 draft has come to an end! Though the Bruins aren’t the clear winners of the draft, they’ve picked up a lot of young potential. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of these guys as the seasons progress.

Do or Die: Bruins Game Six

Tonight the Boston Bruins either force a Game Seven against the Chicago Blackhawks or the season is over. Bruins fans we’ve been in this spot before and it’s not fun. But it’s not one to completely panic over. Under the goaltending of Tuukka Rask the B’s have a chance to tie it up again. But they’re going to have to work for it. The Blackhawks are prepared to end this series at six games and bring the cup back to Chicago with them.

(Credit: Flickr/ Slidingsideways)

Bergeron Could Play:
When Patrice Bergeron was taken out of Game Five, I’m pretty sure my heart stopped. Bergeron is one of most well-rounded players on the team and him not being able to play in the remainder of the game is definitely influential on the loss. The good news that came out of the Bruins camp yesterday was that Bergeron traveled back to Boston with the team and is now listed as “day t0 day”. Boston is optimistic that he will play and frankly I think he’s necessary to the B’s success. However if he doesn’t play than this means others will have to step up as this is the most important game the boys will play all season.

B’s Losing Streak:
The Bruins are on a two game losing streak right now against the Blackhawks. The last time they were in this situation in the post season was round one against the Toronto Maple Leafs and we all know how that series ended. The B’s are used to this backs against the wall predicament. When they won the cup in 2011, they had to win both a Game Six and a Game Seven. Plain and simple the B’s will be playing with desperation and will be putting it all on the line.

Yesterday this is what Brad Marchand had to say about Game Six:

“We obviously want to make it to Game 7 and have that opportunity to fight for the Cup. To do that, we have to make sure we lay everything on the line tomorrow and we got to be prepared to do that.” (Via NHL Bruins )

Chicago With or Without Captain?
Saturday night Chicago captain Jonathan Toews took a few too many hits and missed the entire third period of Game Five. Like Bergeron, his team is optimistic for his playing tonight. They know that tonight the Cup will be in the TD Garden and that they will have the chance to bring it back to Chicago. However they also know that Boston will not be making it easy and with the crowd behind the B’s, they’ll have a challenge.

The puck drops tonight at 8 and you can check it out on NBC!
BELIEVE IN BOSTON!

Jagr: The Right Move

Jaromir Jagr skates during a Bruins practice during the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals.

Jaromir Jagr skates during a Bruins practice during the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals.

During the Eastern Conference Finals the question was who was the better pick up at the trade deadline; Jarome Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins, or the Jaromir Jagr to the Boston Bruins. And though it seemed that the Penguins fared better with Iginla who had 4 goals and 8 assists going into the series, Jagr has proved to be a great fit in Boston. He has 10 assists in the playoffs and though he hasn’t netted any goals, the future hall-of-famer has proven through his play that he fits well with the team he’s on as he continues to play well through the Stanley Cup Finals, something Iginla isn’t doing with the Penguins.

But as we all know Boston fans aren’t too keen on big name players not producing on any team. So, even though he’s getting the assists and putting in a lot of work, people now comment on some of his abilities, like his lightning fast speed (cough, cough) and some of his decision making. Some even comment on his lack of physicality. So, the new question in some fans’ minds is, was Jagr worth it? The answer is simple, yes, but the explanation takes a little more time. 

Having a guy like Jaromir Jagr, an NHL legend, in the locker room is a real treat for a lot of the young guys on the team. David Krejci gets the opportunity to play with his childhood idol and fellow countryman, who sings high praises of the Hulk Line formed by Krejci, Nathan Horton, and Milan Lucic. It’s a type of verteranship that really helps young players get a hold of their game as well as give them some confidence. When Jaromir Jagr tells you you’re doing things right, you’re doing things right.
Not only does his words of encouragement and wisdom give the guys more confidence, his work ethic is something everyone can learn from. Jagr is on the ice every night, on nights off or after games, with a weighted vest and a weight on his stick. He’s always working to improve his game. Even at his age he realizes that things can always be perfected. And that’s something that guys really can feed off of.

Let’s go back the good ol’ days for the 41 year old winger. Jagr came into the league in 1990-1991 and scored 27 goals and got 30 assists through 80 regular season games as the 5th overall pick in the draft. In the playoffs he scored 3 goals and got 10 assists that same year. Since then he’s had 8 seasons in the NHL with 30+ goals, three seasons with 40+ goals, two seasons with 50+ goals, and one season where he scored 62 goals and got 87 assists along with them. This makes his career totals pretty impressive. He’s played in 1,391 regular season games, netting 681 goals and 1,007 assists. He’s played in 199 playoff games, getting 78 goals an 119 assists. Pretty impressive if you asked me.

Jagr and Bergeron celebrate one of the three goals they have shared during the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Jagr and Bergeron celebrate one of the three goals they have shared during the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Jagr is currently playing on the second line with center Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on left wing.  He started on the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverly, but the second line needed some offensive help and Julien thought Jagr could be the answer. Since then Bergeron and Jagr have meshed extremely well, as Jagr has a hand in the last three goals scored by number 37 in the Stanley Cup Finals. Through his ability to maintain puck control in the offensive zone, he allows his linemates to elevate their game, as well as the entire Bruins powerplay. Jagr’s ability to see the ice and create offensive chances has become a huge help on the man advantage, something the Bruins haven’t been able to get going in a very long time. The powerplay still isn’t incredible, but they manged to score 2 PP goals in last night’s Game Four. Along with his vision of the ice, he also has some of the best hands in the NHL and is constantly showing his ability through perfectly placed passes for teammates to pick up for scoring chances.

In an interview after one of the Stanley Cup Finals games, reporters asked Jagr how he felt about his scoring drought. He came back with the fact that he’s scored plenty of goals in his career and he’s just happy to contribute in any way he can. He’s just happy to be a part of this team. And it shows. Jagr’s game has never been one of speed or physicality. He plays a flashy and finesse game with quick, soft hands and a scoring touch to match. However, since he’s been in Boston, you can really see how he’s managed to transform his game to do the little things Claude Julien expects from everyone. Of course he still tries to let his 20 year old self shine through, but it’s not about him scoring goals, it’s about the team winning games and being the number one priority. He goes in the corners to battle for pucks. He’ll take a hit to make a play and he’ll get in the middle of an argument to be there for his teammates without batting an eyelash. And that’s what being a Boston Bruin is all about.

So no,  Jagr may not be the fastest guy for the Bruins or the one scoring all the goals, but he’s in Boston now and he’s proven that he’ll be a Bruin until the end, (of the 2013 season anyways) win or lose. Jaromir Jagr was the right move for the Boston Bruins and still has a lot to give and I couldn’t be happier as a Bruins fan to see him finally wear the right black and gold.

(But really Jagr, can I have a salute in a Bruins uniform, pretty please?)

Home Ice Advantage: Bruins/Blackhawks Game Four

The Boston Bruins didn’t just win on Monday night against the Chicago Blackhawks, they shut them out. Tuukka Rask was clutch in net and everyone on the team worked hard to keep a 2 to nothing lead. Now the Bruins lead the Blackhawks two games to one and tonight they look to get one step closer to the Stanley Cup.

YIPPEE PAILLE! (Credit: Slidingsideways/ Flickr)

To the B’s advantage they’ll be playing Game Four at home in the TD Garden. So far in postseason playing, the B’ have only lost twice at home and both times were in the Eastern Conference Quaterfinals. Tonight they’ll look to make it 2-0 at home against the Blackhawks and then ideally make Saturday in Chicago the clinching game. The Bruins take it one game at a time so although Lord Stanley’s cup is in the back of their minds, they’re focused on getting through Game Four.

Faceoff Factor:
Monday’s game the Bruins won 40 of 56 draws in the faceoff circle largely in part to Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron won 24 of 28 of his faceoff matchups and contributed a power play goal to the shutout victory. A big part of the Bruins dominance stems from the faceoff circle. If the B’s can maintain their cool and continue to win the draws then it’ll lessen Chicago’s chances of having the puck anywhere near Rask.

Power Play Less Blackhawks:
Chicago is now 0-11 in power play opportunities, five of which that came from Game Three. Sure the Bruins impressive penalty kill has something to do with it, but the bigger issue is the fact that the Blackhawks can’t seem to make it to the offensive zone when having the extra man. With over 8 minutes with the extra man in Game Three, Chicago only managed four shots against Rask. If the Blackhawks want a chance to reclaim the lead in this series, they’re going to have to figure out whats wrong with their power play.

Who’s Hot:
In two games, Daniel Paille has scored two goals. Both of those just happen to be game winners. Needless to say Claude Julien won’t be switching up the Paille, Tyler Seguin, Chris Kelly line anytime soon. Also Rask for the B’s hasn’t allowed a goal since Game Two first period from Patrick Sharp.

Puck drops tonight at 8 and you can check out all the action on NBC! That’s right the Bruins have made primetime hockey!

Even in the Bean: Game Three Preview

Tonight the Boston Bruins return home to take on the Chicago Blackhawks in a two-game homestand at the TD Garden. Each team has a win under their belt, and tonight will put someone in the lead in the quest for the Stanley Cup. Two games, and both have gone to overtime. Which leads me to ask how’s everyone doing?

(Credit: Flickr/ Slidingsideways)

With Tuukka Rask and Corey Crawford remaining solid in net for both teams, it’s coming down to who’s offense can keep up with the fast pace. Both games have been decided by one goal and I have a feeling the rest of the series will produce similiar results.

Good Call Claude:
After coming back from a not-so-swell first period, Coach Claude Julien decided to switch up his lines in order to get on the board. The result ended up being the OT game winner. Julien put Daniel Paille onto the third line with Tyler Seguin, and Chris Kelly and that line would get credit for both goals the Bruins scored that night. Turns out something going off of a hunch is a good idea. I expect to see this line remain together tonight to try and make the magic happen two games in a row.

Blackhawks Back Off:
After winning Game One and going strong the first twenty minutes of Game Two, the Blackhawks seemed to lose steam. They scored in the first, but never again and let a slow starting Bruins team skate all over them. Turnovers led to goals and players that were supposed to keep pressure on the B’s weren’t putting in the 100%. If Chicago wants to regain momentum they’re going to have to do everything they didn’t do in the final 40 minutes of Saturday’s game.

Who’s Hot?
Kelly of the Bruins scored his first postseason goal of the year, ending a 17 game drought. It took him 19 shots but finally one made it into the net. Patrick Sharp scored the lone goal for the Blackhawks making his post season goal tally nine. He’s now tied with David Krejci for League lead.

Puck drops tonight at 8pm on NBCSN!
BELIEVE IN BOSTON!

Can the Bruins Bounce Back? Game Two Preview

To Boston Bruins fans today is a special day as June 15th two years ago was the day that the Bruins back the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup. Today they will try to even out the series against the Chicago Blackhawks as they try for Lord Stanley’s Cup once again. This battle like the one against Vancouver is proving to be a challenge but it’s one that the Bruins can get past.

(Credit: Flickr/ Slidingsideways)

If  Game One was ANY indication of what we’re in for Bruins and Blackhawk fans alike, then it’s going to be a long and emotional series. And yes Chicago ended up getting the win in triple overtime, but it’s only Game One. I know Bruins fan would have liked to have started the series on a high note, but there’s plenty more hockey to be played.

Bruins Top Line…Enough Said:
Milan Lucic, David Krejci, and Nathan Horton should never be split up like ever. The top line produced two goals in Game One with Looch getting both. Unfortunately Horton left the game in the third and never returned due to a shoulder injury. However he was out on the ice practicing with the team so Coach Claude Julien says that he’s “day-to-day”. Horty is the type of player that’ll play through injury so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him back in action tonight. Tyler Seguin took the place of Horton during the OT periods and it seemed to be just the spark the 21-year-old needed so if Horton isn’t in the lineup, I expect to see Seguin on the top line with Krejci and Lucic.

No Panic for Chicago:
They’ve been down in scoring before but it hasn’t stopped them from winning. The Blackhawks key to success is lack of desperation. They stay calm, cool, and collected while behind and it shows in their comeback. It was the second straight overtime win for Chicago showing that they have the stamina needed to hoist the Stanley Cup once again. Chicago is good on home ice and they look to continue that tonight with a win giving them 2-0 over Boston. They have won six straight at home as of now.

Who’s Hot: 
Krejci leads the NHL with nine goals and 14 assists in the postseason for 23 points, while Looch recorded his first multi-goal postseason game for the Bruins. Both goalies are hot right now with Corey Crawford stopping 51-of-54 shots and Tuukka Rask stopping 59-of-63. Dave Bolland of the Blackhawks scored his first postseason goal and picked up an assist on the gamewinning Triple OT goal.

Puck drops tonight at 8 and you can check out the action on NBCSN!
BELIEVE IN BOSTON!

 

 

Tyler Seguin: First Round Dud?

Tyler Seguin, left, and Nathan Horton, right, celebrate a goal.

Tyler Seguin, left, and Nathan Horton, right, celebrate a goal.

Well, if you stayed up until Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals ended, in triple OT, you suffered along with the rest of us. But after the game was over and done with, I heard many looking for a scapegoat and there have been quite a few names that have come up. Dennis Seidenberg, for reaching down to pick up his glove in the third 20 minute overtime period or Kaspers Daugavins, for not shooting the puck when he had Crawford down and out of position, among a few others. But along with those murmurs there has been some disgruntled fans about a one Tyler Seguin, the second overall pick in the 201o NHL draft.
“He’s not physical.” “He shies away from real contact.” “He can’t finish.” “He just doesn’t have ‘it’.” The “it” they’re referring to, I’m presuming, is the ability to produce and get on the score sheets. And my personal favorite, “trade him for someone who can get the job done.” Now I’m not going to make excuses for him, just give those who think these things some food for thought.

And I’ll start with this. For a lot of the regular season I could see the obvious struggles in his game like anyone. Through 48 games Seguin had 16 goals and 16 assists, giving him 32 points. He was ranked 9th in the NHL in shots on goal, with 161, but only managed to bury 9.9% of them. Those are frustrating numbers for anyone, especially when he is supposed to be a superstar. And especially when he scored 25 goals and got 15 assists in 29 games for the EHC Biel during the lockout early this season.

But let me bring you back to 2011-2012. Tyler Seguin had 29 goals and 38 assists, leaving him with 67 points in the regular season. That was enough to lead the team in points and goals. He was a +34 and was ranked number 2 in the NHL, behind linemate Patrice Bergeron. But he had some minor struggles in the postseason, playing 7 games and only netting two goals and an assist. The first goal was in OT of Game Six against the Washington Capitals, and the second in Game Seven, but the Bruins were not able to advance. Seguin showed then and there he could work in Claude Julien‘s system, so the argument of him not fitting into it is obviously wrong. It’s true Julien hasn’t exactly helped him excel but he’s been able to work in it.

Back to the present, the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Seguin has played 17 games and only has one goal and four assists to show for it. He is ranked 4th in

(photo credit: Steph Phillips)

(photo credit: Steph Phillips)

the league in shots on goal, with 62, but again can’t bury his chances. These numbers may be a result of his linemates, Rich Peverly and Chris Kelly and only averaging 16 minutes of ice time a game. Peverly has 0 points in 14 games and Kelly 0 points in 21 games. I see him still creating chances and playing good every game. In Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals he made a beautiful pass to Patrice Bergeron and would get the assist on the powerplay goal. With Nathan Horton day-to-day with an upper body injury,and if Seguin stays on the top line, we may see him finally burying the chances he gets.

My least favorite argument anyone makes against Tyler Seguin may be the comparison to Taylor Hall, who went right before him, number one overall, in the 2010 NHL draft. The Edmonton Oilers drafted Hall and he has been playing excellent in the system he’s in so far. This year Hall played three less games than Seguin and had 16 goals and 34 assists. But he’s also playing with number one overall picks in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nial Yukapov. Along with Sam Gagner, Jordon Eberle, and Ales Hemsky. Not to mention the Oilers organization has worked on building an offensive system for the past 4 or 5 years. But even with that offensive power, Hall has never seen playoff action. No one can compare these two in the playoffs because no one knows how Taylor Hall will play. Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall are two different types of players, playing in two different types of systems.

As of right now, Tyler Seguin isn’t where I wanted or where I expected him to be either. But it takes quite a while to develop a player into what you want him to be and into an NHL star. So right now, I don’t think Tyler Seguin is at his peak, but I don’t think he’s as awful as everyone is making him seem. Give him some time and linemates that can help him produce, and you may see some decent numbers.