1. David Krejci. After two mediocre games Krejci was back at his peak. He was back to playing his crafty, patient and well rounded game. When Krejci plays games like this, he shows why the Bruins consider him a number one center.
2. Tyler Seguin. Earlier this week Seguin was informed that he will be with the Bruins for the duration of the season. That news may have contributed to Seguin’s game tonight. He looked much more relaxed and comfortable on the ice, with and without the puck. He added a powerplay goal with a beautiful pass from Mark Recchi.
3. The fourth line. This line continues to impress with the energy they bring. Marchand really adds an element that was seriously lacking on that line in the past.
Obviously Tim Thomas. Wow is he on fire. Third shutout of the year.
1. The refs. Horrible calls again tonight. Campbell and Wheeler receive the only penalties when clearly there should have been matching calls, to say the least. Chris Neil attacking Seidenberg at the of the game and only receives an extra roughing call. A blow out and an enforcer goes after a guy obviously not looking for a fight, should have been an instigator.
2. Jason Spezza. Pretty invisible in his return tonight.
3. Hunwick/Seidenberg clearing attempts. Obviously not much negative for the Bruins tonight. However, both had a few bad breakout passes/clearing attempts which resulted in immediate chances for the sens.
Tim Thomas is expected to start tonight for the Bruins against the Toronto Maple Leafs. This is the first meeting of the season between the division rivals and fan favorite Phil Kessel makes another return to the garden. Kessel is still goal-less against the Bruins as a member of the Maple Leafs. With Johnny Boychuk out, Adam McQuaid will get his first look of the season, most likely paired with Matt Hunwick as the third pairing. Also in Boychuk’s absence, Andrew Ference is expected to join Chara on the top defensive pairing. The Bruins depth on defense is now questionable, especially since Boychuk regularly receives top pairing minutes. The forward lines are expected to remain the same and expect the powerplay to continue to utilize Bergeron and Recchi at the points.
Sorry for the lack of posts, I have been on vacation in Texas for the past week. It was 85 and sunny everyday. Sorry to rub it in.
1. Patrice Bergeron. Great all around game from Bergeron, who collected his first points of the season. Bergeron was arguably the best forward on the ice tonight, and made two great passes which resulted in goals.
2. Tim Thomas. Thomas was unbelievable in net tonight. Washington was throwing everything at him and Thomas showed why he is a former Vezina winner.
3. Jordan Caron. Caron plays like a veteran in this league with the poise he plays with. He made great decisions with the puck, especially on the penalty kill. Caron was also rewarded with his second goal of the year because of a beautiful pass from Bergeron. Hard to see Paille getting back in the lineup at Caron’s expense.
1. Tim Thomas’ passing/clearly attempts. A bad pass resulted in an easy open net goal for the Capitals. Thomas has always been shaky with the puck but other than that he has looked unbelievable in net.
2. Blake Wheeler. Is it just me or down Wheeler look scared/nervous when ever he has the puck? A fast paced, uptempo kind of game really exposes Wheeler’s weaknesses handling the puck. However, he should get credit for trying to shoot more.
3. The defensemen. The defense had a lot of mental lapses and bad turnovers in the defensive zone. They can thank Thomas for baling them out on multiple occassions. Ference and Hunwick lead the list but Seidenberg played great, threw his body around, and is starting to find his game.
According to Naoko Funayama of NESN, Tim Thomas was the first goaltender off the ice this morning, indicating he will start for the third straight game. Tuukka Rask has not started since the first game of the season.
According to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, Peter Chiarelli has confirmed that Marc Savard has passed his exertion test. Savard failed his last exertion test less than a month a ago. Savard also skated today and is expected to amp up his workouts in the coming days.
Savard will still miss a minimum of 10 games and 24 days, however this is good news and may be an indication that Savard’s return may come in early December.
According to Joe Haggerty of CSN, Tim Thomas will be starting in net today. Claude Julien does not usually like to play a goaltender on back-to-back days, so the 4 goals allowed yesterday by Rask (none his fault) are not the reason for the switch. Also Haggerty tweets that Jordan Caron will be in the lineup. Here is the rest of the lineup
With Caron inserted into the lineup, Daniel Paille will be the healthy scratch. Paille played a horrible game yesterday and single-handedly allowed the third goal- allowing Upshall a clean breakaway from the Bruins blue line. Hopefully Julien continues to hold players accountable for their actions as the season continues. Now is the time to give the young players the opportunity to show their skill, especially at the expense of underperforming, overpaid wingers (also see Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler).
UPDATE: According to the Boston Globe, Andrew Ference is already nursing an injury. Ference is being paid as a top 4 defenseman on this team, and granted, he could be. However, the guy is never healthy and would have never received that much money or that many years on the open market. Just another questionable move in Chiarelli’s recent contract history.
According to NESN, Zdeno Chara has re-signed with the Bruins for 7 more years worth a total of $45.5 million. His annual cap hit will be $6.5 million per season. The contract will end when Chara is 41 years old.
Re-signing Chara was obviously a priority of Chiarelli’s list, however the length of the contract may make this deal a bad one in the long run. Chara is the leader of this defense but will he really be able to preform at the same level when he’s 39, 40, or 41 years old? Probably not. Only time will tell if this deal works out in favor of the Bruins. Right now, starting next season is $6.5 million a bargain for Chara? Absolutely. However, as the league brings in younger and faster players over the years will Chara still be that top notch shutdown defenseman? His skating isn’t the greatest to begin with, in seven years there’s obviously going to be more of a drop off.
UPDATE: According to capgeek, here is a breakdown of Chara’s salary and cap hits.