UPDATE: Marty Turco has officially joined the Boston Bruins after being claimed off of waivers. Minutes after the waiver deadline passed, Turco joined the team on the ice for practice, even staying an extra 30 minutes after the team was done to get some extra work in.
The Bruins barely held on to beat the Maple Leafs last night in Toronto. The Bruins had a two goal lead in the 3rd period thanks to young guns Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron who each netted two goals. However, Toronto pulled within one thanks a Mikhail Grabovski snap shot. In the waning seconds of the game, the Bruins were able to maintain the lead despite a 6 on 4 advantage for Leafs. The effort stopped the two game skid they were on and gave them a much needed win. Thomas had 25 saves on 29 shots, claiming he is on a little bit of a bad luck streak right now. He has definitely not had some bounces go his way; speaking like a Sox fan, let’s hope he gets his bad luck out of the way now, so it’s all good luck for the playoffs.
In other news, the Bruins and GM Peter Chiarelli are not overly optimistic that Marty Turco will join the club. Chiarelli put the odds at 50-50. The reason for this is because Turco has to clear waivers before the Bruins can sign him, and there are other teams out there who would benefit from Turco’s services during the stretch run. Any NHL team has until 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday to put in a claim for Turco. On Monday night, he signed a one-year contract with Boston for a pro-rated salary of $600,000 and had to be placed on the waiver wire because he had only played in Europe this season.
The Bruins got a huge 4-3 OT victory vs. a solid New Jersey Devils team at the garden last night. David Krejci has three of the four Bruins goals last night after only two goals in his previous thirteen games. The sudden spark might have been a result of a Julien lineup switch that returned Krejci back to his center position and paired with Tyler Seguin. I’d say that worked out well. Krejci comes up with a hat trick on five shots and Seguin buried the other goal with a snipe and also added an assist. If this new pairing can generate some much-needed offense for the Bruins it will be huge as the team gets ready for the stretch run.
Krejci has had an up and down, boom or bust type of year. He has been working hard, but sometimes he just doesn’t play with the confidence that should play with and it affects his performance on the ice. When plays with swag, he makes dazzling passes and his linemates always benefit from that. Krejci does seem to come up big in important moments (like the playoffs) so maybe now that we are starting to approach the end of season he will improve his consistency, which is going to help Seguin’s production (assuming they stay together) and help the Bruin’s skill players put more crooked numbers on the scoreboard.
Although Tyler Seguin, Zdeno Chara, and Tim Thomas get all the publicity (and All-Star recognition), it is, Patrice Bergeron who leads the Bruins in points through 47 games this season. In addition to his offensive prowess, Bergeron is consistently one of the best faceoff men in the NHL and strong defensive center. His willingness to do the little things that go unnoticed on the stats sheet is the reason why he is a permanent assistant captain on the team; a guy who leads by example. Bergeron has been instrumental in Seguin’s development into an All-Star, unfortunately only the latter was afforded the honor of making the trip to Ottawa this weekend. Bergeron has been underrated by the mainstream media throughout his career, but the diehard Bruins fans know that the two-way pivot is critical to the team’s success.
Bergeron has always been a player I have enjoyed watching since he came to Boston as the 45th pick overall in the 2003 NHL entry draft. He embodies the Bruin culture that Cam Neely and Peter Chiarelli have re-established here in Boston. I have nothing but respect for a selfless player who goes about his business in workman-like manner and has demonstrated the willingness to put team success before his own statistics. His resilience and determination were put on display when he came back from a serious concussion and broken nose suffered in 2007 and since then has battled through two more mild concussions. It’s obvious that each guy in the locker has nothing respect for Bergeron and the rest of the NHL needs to follow suit. Don’t say that to Patrice though, because he doesn’t care, he just wants to win another cup.
The NHL Power Rankings came out this morning on CBS, and to no surprise, the Bruins are posted up at the top of the ladder. With their incredibly successful month of November rolling over into the early days of December, the B’s moved from the No. 2 spot last week to No. 1 in Week 10 at 16-7-1, for 33 pts. The Bruins are currently ranked 1st in goals against, allowing a mere 2.1 goals against per game and 2nd in goals per game with an average of 3.4 pucks netted each time they hit the ice. Much of this success can be attributed to the depth of their team. I mean each line poses a threat. Going into tonight’s game vs. the Penguins, the B’s have four players in the top four spots for Plus/Minus Ratings. Yes, I said four in the top four, meaning the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th slots are occupied by Bruins. Atop the slate is the young stud Tyler Seguin. Following a competitive year where he struggled for playing time, the youngster spent the off season planning his coming out party. The early 2011-12 season is showing every sign of being his breakout year, as Seguin continues to establish a name for himself among the NHL’s best. Chara, Marchand, and Kelly polish off the other Plus/Minus spots, in that order as the B’s look to brush off Crosby and the Penguins tonight in Pitt in hopes of replicating November’s success.
A bottle of blue Gatorade and some Advil on the nightstand was all it took, as the B’s quickly cured their Cup hangover and are again thirsty for victory. The young Tyler Seguin has stepped up his play immensely this season, leading the team in both overall points and goals while claiming the NHL’s first Star of the Week today. Last season he ended the year with 11 goals and 11 assists. Not bad for a Rookie who also contributed to bringing home Lord Stanley’s most prized possession. This year, only 15 games in, he has already racked up 11 goals and 9 assists for 20 points, 1 figure more than his age. Begs the question: What am I doing with my life?