Sunday, October 10, 2010

Prague Random Thoughts

So we've had two regular season games on at the time I'm usually watching the English Premier League.  Actually worked out well since the EPL had the weekend off for an international break.  Some random thoughts based on the weekend's action...

Enough already with starting the season overseas:
This can't be helping the NHL.  They can't even sell out the rinks and they have to be spending a lot of money to have 6 teams over there.  The only positive I can see in it is it would be a great excuse for a European vacation if I was independently wealthy.  Since I'm not, I just think it blows.  It takes away a home game for us season ticket holders and it has to be tough on our Bruins.  It's also dumb that we don't see the Bruins play again until Saturday.

Would have been nice to visit and take in a couple games

Comcast sucks:
I'm stuck with Comcast where I now live.  I had DirecTV for years.  Comcast's NHL Center Ice has maybe one game per night in HD and they charge more than DirecTV does for everything.

Nathan Horton is on the 2nd PP Unit:
This boggles my mind and will likely change.  I also don't like seeing Matt Hunwick on PP1.  The PP definitely needs some work.  The Bruins are actually fortunate Phoenix didn't score 3 or 4 shorties in the two games.

The Bruins D has me tempering expectations for this season:
From 1 thru 6, the Bruins D just does not stack up with many of the so-called contenders.  Multiple guys will have to step up their games this year for everything to come together.  Don't be surprised if there is a trade after Ference's groin gives way.

It's nice to have a healthy Chara and Lucic:
Remember last year when Chara was taking little wristers from the point because of his hand injury?  Remember how Lucic never looked like himself after the high ankle sprain?  They both look like more like the 2009 version now.  Chara was also flattening people and getting involved in the offense.  When Marchand found him with a brilliant pass in the 1st period on Sunday, I had to laugh at how he had no idea what to do against Bryzgalov though - that's alright, that's not his game.

It's going to take time for Tyler:
Steven Stamkos looks poised to join Crosby and Ovechkin as an elite superstar in the NHL.  Remember what he did in the first half of his first year?  Next to nothing.  Stamkos turned it up in the 2nd half of his rookie season and that's what we need to hope for from Tyler.  Let's be honest with ourselves, he was nearly invisible this weekend until Michael "Vick" Ryder found him on the post pattern for the breakaway.

Nice debut for the new guys

Horton will lead the team in goals:
Going out on a limb here.  His hands are so good.  Man it's nice to have a sniper again isn't it?  As the Mayor pointed out, he's on pace for 120.  After watching him this weekend, 40 to 50 certainly isn't out of the question.  We'll see if his propensity to take nights off shows up this year or not.  At least he doesn't have a propensity to take seasons off like Mr. Ryder.  Horton has figured in 4 of the 5 goals on the season with his assist on Lucic's goal.  You can't beat that start.

Attaboy Timmy:
Looked good.  Had one of his floppy moments in the 2nd period, but made all the saves and his team certainly played better in front of him.  It will be interesting to see how the playing time shakes out this season.  This blogger projects neither goalie will exceed 50 starts barring injury to the other.

Blake Wheeler is still awful:
I hope this changes because we need the guy to be better, but he is horrible and he's bringing Bergy down with him by being on his line.  He was even bringing Jordan Caron down on Sunday.

Jack made a great point late in Sunday's broadcast:
...when talking about bringing Caron in for Paille today - making players accountable for a poor performance.  Remember last year when Claude kept sending the same bums out night after night even though the effort wasn't there?

Way to go Peter:
Chara and Bergy's combined cap hit this year: $12.25M
Chara and Bergy's combined cap hit the next three years: $11.5M
You have to like locking up these core players and reducing their combined cap hit.  I was actually hoping they could reduce Chara's numbers on the back end of his contract to reduce it further.  According to capgeek, the final two years are $5M and $4M respectively.  Seeing as how he'll be 40 then, I would have thought they could have reduced that some - not Lou Lamoriello/Ilya Kovalchuk style, but some to bring the cap number down further.

I'll take the 2 points after Saturday's debacle.  Good start to the season.  Horton looks awesome, Seguin gets his first, and Chara and Bergy are locked up.

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