Sunday, April 7, 2013

B's lose, 2-1

Last night the B's could not overcome a few goofy bounces/deflections in Montreal and lost, 2-1
  • First off, my vote for 7th player award is Daniel Paille.  Every other player has been as advertised in this shortened season, but Paille has been playing above his typical level, jumping from 4th to 1st linen on occasion.  Easily the fastest guy on the team, still unable to finish about 80% of the time, yet I feel he's the one deserving of the award.  The masses will probably opt for Dougie Hamilton (probably next year's winner), but I'm telling you, Paille deserves it this year.
  • The Pandolfo era has to end, and may end soon with the return of Chris Kelly in a few days.  He's just too slow out there, he is calcified.
  • Has Peverley lost it, or just bad luck/bad linemates?  Him & Kells were stuck with the Chris Bourque Experience for the first 15-18 games of the season and it's really put both of them far behind where they should be.  Heard in the stands the other day, calling him "Neverley" as in, never gonna score.  See, I'm convinced that half the team is just waiting around for the playoffs before they really start playing.  So we're seeing average play from Ference, Seidenberg, Peverley, Lootch, Horton, Kelly for now, but I really hope they wake up in the playoffs.
  • That John Scott fight Thornton lost a few months ago seems to have really affected his game.  I suspect he's come to realize that maybe it's just not worth it anymore...more selective in his opponents, not banging anymore.
  • Anyone else notice about 10% more jam to Krejci's game the past few weeks?  Did someone steal his lunch from the fridge during morning skate?
  • Yep, you notice a huge dropoff in hockey acumen and overall writing skills between what is generally posted here and our twitter account.  I don't run the twitter account, that's why the Vf311 tweets are a helluva lot better than the posts here on this blog.
  • It's gonna take a little bit of time to adjust to Jagr being on the ice for the Bruins. I just remember him torching us when he was with the Penguins in the early 90s.  Who else from the early 90s Penguins can we get to help with our Cup run?  First Recchi, now Jagr...
  • Lootch's counter-hit on Emelin's run at him was just classic.
  • Seriously, this Bruins team hasn't even peaked yet, and that's the best hope I have for the playoffs.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

History Speaks: Projecting Chia's 2013

So here's the cap situation for this year. Chia could trade for $12M in salary tomorrow and still be under the cap without giving up any current assets (or using LTIR status on Savvy). In other words the cap is not an issue for this year. The real issue comes next year. The Bruins have all key players signed except for Horton, Ference, Tuukka, and Khudobin, but they only have a little more than $11M to fill these gaps including the LTIR for Savvy.

So judging by this and judging by Chia's history of wanting to keep the team together, he will not want to trade for any pieces with commitments beyond this season. So here's a list of some players with expiring contracts on teams that may find themselves out of it:
-Jarome Iginla (CGY) - production is down so far, but he would help in so many ways
-Michael Ryder (DAL) - re-unite him with Kelly/Pevs for the occasional glove save at a key point
-Lubomir Visnovsky (NYI) - want nothing to do with him
-Mike Ribeiro (WAS) - charter member of Les Habitantes diving squad in early 2000's
-Jaromir Jagr (DAL) - mulletude
-Milan Hejduk (COL) - still got some skills in those old legs and is veteran of cup team
-Ron Hainsey (WPG) - solid player
-Nik Antropov (WPG) - lotta unknowns with this guy
-Robyn Regehr (BUF) - great guy for a playoff run
-Derek Roy (DAL) - too soft for my liking
-Ryan Whitney (EDM) - healthy scratch lately and enough is enough bringing local folks back

Guys with expiring contracts on teams that probably won't sell:
-Ryane Clowe (SJS) - San Jose has been awful ever since Scotty Gomez showed up, would be a nice fit
-Rob Scuderi (LAK) - LA off to horrible start, if it continues what better rental is there on the blueline?
-Alex Semin (CAR) - Carolina looks like they will contend so I doubt he's available
-Steve Sullivan (PHX) - Could play Recchi role in 2013 I put Clowe in there just so I could take a shot at Scott Gomez.

Here's a refresher on what Chia did back in 2011:
1. Chris Kelly for a 2nd round pick (Kelly had one year remaining at a cheap $2.125M cap hit which added to his value)
2. Tomas Kaberle for a 1st, Conditional 2nd, and Joe Colborne
3. Peverley and Valabik were acquired for Wheeler and Stuart

If you remember, all three of these deals were completed well in advance of the trading deadline.

Last year he only acquired depth and all on deadline day and the team fizzled out in the first round. Rolston, Mottau, and Zanon were acquired for the sum of Kampfer, Riendeau, and Cantin. No picks were dealt.

So what's he going to do this year? Emulate 2011 or 2012? I'd say it'd be closer to 2011. The trouble with the lockout is about the only team you can rule out of the playoffs at this point is Columbus so teams aren't chomping at the bit to sell off pieces.

Of the guys listed above, here's how I'd rank them weighted towards teams more likely to be sellers:
1. Iginla
2. Regehr
3. Ryder
4. Hejduk
5. Hainsey

Section 311 is boldly projecting two of these players and a third depth acquisition for Chia in 2013. Hejduk or Ryder would be the Chris Bourque replacement for the 3rd line/2nd PP or an injury replacement if one of the other top 8 guys goes down. Iginla would create some competition in the top 6 which would be healthy. Regehr or Hainsey would be solid depth to replace an inevitable injury to one of the top 6 on the blueline and would also create healthy competition when all 7 were healthy.

What will these guys cost? First, highly doubtful Chia trades anyone from the roster (To assclown talk-show callers out there: no, we would not receive anything for Chris Bourque. They got him for Zach Hamill which is only slightly more than a bag of pucks and his performance on the ice so far doesn't have pro scouts drooling. You'll just have to trust me on this). Only roster player scenario I see would be Khudobin and this assumes that he puts up great numbers in fill-in duty and that the transaction was completed on deadline day itself (with the team comfortably in playoff position) because Rask needs to be escorted along to the playoffs with days off. If Khudobin performs well this season, Chia will have difficulty affording to bring both he and Rask back for next year and he has Sveddy Balls and PK Jr. in the system.

So, using history as a guide, Ryder/Hejduk would be similar to the Kelly deal. Iginla would be similar to the Kaberle deal (Kaberle had a lot higher stock back then remember). Regehr/Hainsey is likely somewhere in between because demand will be higher for blueliners and bidding wars are more likely.

Another Chia favorite is the old man transaction. Recchi and Pandolfo for example. I don't think "all-the-way Jay**" is projected for playoff minutes. Hejduk fits that mold as would Stevie Sullivan or even Jaromir Jagr. Don't think Chia would want Jagr's personality in the mix though.

So there's your 2013 Chiarelli predictions. We'll see how they pan out, but there is no reason not to mortgage the future with picks and prospects to make a run at it this year. The only thing that should derail a spending spree a la 2011 would be a catastrophic injury: Chara, Bergy, or Rask.

**Name we gave Jay Pandolfo on NHL '99 when EA Sports blessed him with some good video game speed.

Friday, February 1, 2013

B's get smoked, 7-4

The Bruins got stampeded last night by Buffalo, 7-4
  • Yeah, that "fight" between Scott & Thornton was kind of hard to watch.  Scott's got some 6 inches on Thornton,  I was a little surprised - I thought McQuaid would take him on, but Scott's such a massive goon, I think he ended up skating 7 shifts for a total of about 4 minutes.  He even had a breakaway, couldn't remember how to shoot it and Rask made the save.
  • Vanek just owns us.  What makes me rage against Vanek is that he is Blake Wheeler's favorite player.  Wheels models his game after Vanek, apparently.  So the rage I feel for Wheels gets transferred to Vanek.
  • The great Zach Hamill was just traded from the Caps to the Panthers for a jar of salsa and some stale chips
  • I think my guess that Chris Bourque wouldn't last more than 5 games nearly came true.  I'm not anti-Chris Bourque, I just think he was a bad fit for that line, no chemistry there.  He's too small for 4th line duty.  The fans would love him to succeed, which makes watching him not do well make you wince a bit when he's out of position or coughs up the puck or whiffs on an empty-netter.
  • Wouldn't it be something though if Chara got his rage on during the Feb 10th game vs. Buffalo and turned Scott's face into a dish of lo mein?
  • What about Lindy Ruff there, calling time out with 13 seconds left.  What a dick move.
  • Instead of showing goofy people dancing to songs on the jumbotron, how about showing the above video of Sabres coach Lindy Ruff getting bitched by Bruins president Cam Neely?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bruins win, 3-1 over the Rangers last night.

  • Had some static in the section last night as some waif was standing too much and started to sass us when we told her it was okay to sit down.
  • I give Chris Bourque 4 or 5 more games before he's a healthy scratch.  I'm sure he has some sort of skill, but he's a bit small.  I dunno, he's Marchand-size but I don't see him cracking the lineup every night.  He missed an empty-netter at the end.  Also, a quiet night for Hamilton, I guess that means he didn't screw up, he put a few shots on.
  • Lootch was gassed by the end of the anthem.  He had to've put on, what, 15 lbs of whale blubber during the off-season?  But Horton & Krejci looked good, timing was a half-second off for everyone, legs of concrete for at least the first period, but things just started to click by the end.
  • Back-to-back fights, a la the Stars game, Rupp vs. Thornton and Bickel vs. Soupy.  Soupy throws his punches so hard he ends up twisting himself into the rink with his own momentum.  Rupp vs. Thornton was a pretty even match despite Rupp having 3 or 4 inches on Thornton.  Thornton compensated with several jersey-jabs, two of which connected.
  • Boychuk goal on Bergy screen, don't think Lundqvist saw it.
  • Brandon Prust plays for MTL now, should be good, as MTL struggles to toughen up their team, yet they're so bad they even lost to TOR last night.  MTL is sad these days.  Not complaining here.
  • Paille had a good game last night, had a burr in his saddle or something, I dunno.  Skating with speed and purpose.  Too bad he can't finish.
  • Torts & Schoenfeld as Rangers coaches, I wonder which one shouts louder and more often?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Back in Business

Okay kids we're about 30 minutes away from the sold-out scrimmage at the Gahden.  Most of 311 won't make it, something about the game being sold out before I could even log on.  The folks, they love the free shit.  New composition interface here at blogger to write substandard posts.  Things will look better while having the same horrible content.
  • Before the hockey content, lemme just say that the following things must come to an end:
    • Anything to do with zombies
    • Anything to do with vampires
    • Anything that suggests that nerds are cool
      • People who laugh at the "jokes" on The Big Bang Theory.  If you're laughing at anything having to do with quantum anything, you're a shithead.
    • "having said that" and "that being said"
    • Gresh and Zo.  How much coke does Zo do before each show/game?  he's the real reason why Gil Santos is retiring.
    • Fred Toucher trying to talk anything about sports.  And fer chrissake, how about a caged death match between Toucher and Wallach?  It's pretty obvious they hate each other.  Ratings gold right there.
  • On with the show.  seriously, what's the deal with Tim Thomas?  He's been playing hockey all his life, apparently loves the game, then decides to take a year off in the prime of his career?  Ship him off to the Avs where he can work on his Doomsday Prepper water filtration devices.
  • Bruins aren't mailing us season ticket holders any tickets or packages that play "zombie nation" when we open the box.  We have to print out our tickets from online.  I should get a credit for that, yah?
  • So yeah, I'm getting 3% APR on my balance along with a frozen ticket price for next season (worth bucks there, esp. if they're good this year).
  • This post sucks but stay tuned for later this week where I offer my terrible predictions/projections for the season.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

MA hates the Pens

Milbury. Laviolette. Tortorella. What do they have in common? All Massachusetts boys who had to suffer thru - either by personal experience (Milbury) or by being a spectator - the destruction of Cam Neely's career via the arrogant, dirty ways ("Professor of Goonism") of the Penguins organization. So it's no surprise that these 3 guys have recently called out the Pens regarding Crosby et al. whining and cheap-shotting and all that noise. They were raised on the 70s and 80s Bruins - teams that hung 7 goals on you, then beat you up. That is the blueprint (with Neely as the culmination of this design) from which hockey should be played.

If we play Ottawa, I hope they show replays over and over of Neely's spin-o-rama goal from back when Ottawa was a first-year expansion team. Just to stick it to them. "We owned you then, and we own you now".