Bruins-Oilers 3 up 3 down

October 31, 2009

UP

1. Vladimir Sobotka. A great overall game from Sobotka.  He was generating scoring chances all night long and is starting to show some chemistry with Blake Wheeler. Consistency is Sobotka’s main problem, so lets hope he can move forward with games like this.

2. Blake Wheeler. Wheeler has  been invisible this season up until the past three games. Used his speed to back off defenders and drove to the net at the right times. His third man high approach will really please Claude Julien. 

3. Tuukka Rask. Played well all night long. Controlled his rebounds well and played square to the puck. The Oilers were trying to go glove side high but Rask did a great job of proving the scouting report wrong.

Down

1. Bruins offense in generating powerplays.  This has been an issue all season long and today they only got two powerplays, one which came as a result of too many men. 

2. Bruins forecheck. Can go hand in hand with the previous down.  Too often the Bruins dumped and changed which resulted in an easy breakout opportunity for the Oilers.  The forecheck must improve which will then result in them drawing more penalties.  As you may tell it’s hard to find too many “downs” in a 2-0 victory.

3.  Naoka Funayama. Since Naoko brings nothing to the Bruins broadcast, the Bruins put Andy Brickley in between the benches.  Isn’t Naoko the ice reporter? Shouldn’t she be there? I like the idea of a reporter at ice level between the benches but would much rather see Brickley in the booth with a different personality at ice level. Rob Simpson would have been great to see in that role.

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Evaluating the call ups

October 30, 2009

When Marc Savard and Milan Lucic went down with injuries the Bruins turned internally and brought up Brad Marchand and Vladimir Sobotka.  Both players had excellent training camps and carried that over into the beginning of the AHL season. Now that both players are in the NHL, they must prove they are worthy of NHL ice time. Through the past few games, they are both showing flashes of being solid contributors to a playoff team. However, the consistency is not there and to make it in this league they must bring a consistent effort every night. Marchand is thought of to have more upside and to be a potential top six for the Bruins in years to come. While Sobotka’s ceiling may not be as high he does have more NHL experience and the versatility to play both wing and center.  When Savard and Lucic return from injury it is safe to assume that unless their overall game starts to improve and show that consistency that the Bruins are looking for, both players will be back in the minors this season.


Why Isn’t Zach Hamill Up?

October 24, 2009

Aside from Vlad Sobotka sitting in favor of Trent Whitfield, I am puzzled to as why their top prospect, Zach Hamill, a former top 10 pick, isn’t up replacing Marc Savard.  Hamill is their best playmaker in Providence and was very good during the preseason.

I don’t see how Trent Whitfield helps this club.  Is a borderline NHLer and isn’t a top 9 player.  With Whitfield in the lineup, you basically only have two scoring lines and Blake Wheeler is without Krejci which doesn’t help either.  I’d like to see a lineup like this:

Recchi-Bergeron-Ryder
Sturm-Krejci-Wheeler
Paille-Hamill-Marchand/Sobotka
Thornton-Begin-Bitz


Projected lineup for tonight

October 24, 2009

According to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, if Shawn Thornton is ready to go, Vladimir Sobotka will be a healthy scratch. Here is the rest of the lineup:

Brad Marchand
Patrice Bergeron
Michael Ryder
Marco Sturm
David Krejci
Mark Recchi
Daniel Paille
Trent Whitfield
Blake Wheeler
Shawn Thornton
Steve Begin
Byron Bitz

While Whitfield is a natural center and better on faceoffs, taking Sobotka out of the lineup for a career AHLer is a mistake. Sobotka has skated the previous two games on a line with Whitfield and Wheeler. Although he has not looked good, he still has had better performances than both of his linemates.  Sobotka should be in this lineup and given an opportunity to show he is ready for the NHL. Benching him after two games where he played with terrible linemates will only continue to hurt his confidence.


The Boston Sports Blog Launched

October 24, 2009

Just spent some time working on my other blog, The Boston Sports Blog.  It’s Bruins, Celtics, Sox and Pats, check it out.  It won’t affect this blog, posts will come with same frequency. The Boston Sports Blog.


Guillaume Lefebvre recalled

October 22, 2009

Guillaume Lefebvre has  been recalled from Providence and will join the team for the two game round trip. Lefebvre may see action tonight because his size may be an asset against a physical Flyers team.  Shawn Thornton is still out with an undisclosed injury but did make the trip with the team so expect Lefebvre’s second stint with the club to be a short one.


Savard placed on LTI with broken foot

October 21, 2009

The Bruins have placed leading scorer Marc Savard on LTI with a broken left foot. According to NESN and 98.5 the Sports Hub, Savard is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. This is another huge blow for the Bruins who are already without Milan Lucic. The Bruins will rely heavily on Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci to fill in while Savard is out. In addition to placing Savard on LTI, they have recalled forward Trent Whitfield from Providence on an emergency basis. Since it is an emergency basis, Whitfield may be here in chance Shawn Thornton is unable to play tonight. Thornton has missed the past two practices with a minor injury and is questionable for tonight’s game. Here is a possible projected lineup:

Sturm-Bergeron-Ryder

Recchi-Krejci-Wheeler

Paille-Sobotka-Marchand

Thornton-Begin-Bitz