Another New England summer is grinding itself down to a bittersweet end. Heralded in by the steady dissipation of homicidal thoughts swirling around my head while driving south on route 3 on a Friday afternoon, the arrival of Sam Adams "Octoberfest" (Really, Jim? August? Really?), and my father cursing at Tom Brady in the kitchen; Autumn has arrived. But, for yours truly, I won't be able to stop adding smiley-face stickers and pressed flowers in my summer 2013 scrapbook until 7:00 post meridiem, eastern-standard time, October 3. That very evening Zdeno Chara and Bruins of Boston, Massachusetts will begin the 2013-2014 season against Martin St. Louis and the Lightning of Tampa Bay, Florida.
Following some pretty substantial off-season moves, here are my line projections for opening night:
#17 Milan Lucic --- #46 David Krecji --- #12 Jarome Iginla
#63 Brad Marchand --- #37 Patrice Bergeron --- #21 Loui Eriksson
#34 Carl Soderberg --- #23 Chris Kelly --- #38 Jordan Caron
#20 Daniel Paille --- #11 Greg Campbell --- #22 Shawn Thornton
#33 Zdeno Chara --- #27 Dougie Hamilton
#44 Dennis Seidenberg --- #55 Johnny Boychuk
#47 Torey Krug --- #54 Adam McQuaid
#40 Tuukka Rask
#71 Niklas Svedberg
The departure of Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and Andrew Ference, left some question marks in the Boston Bruins lineup after their Stanley Cup loss. The arrival of Jarome "I Think I Have A Better Chance With The Pittsburgh Penguins" Iginla and Loui "Yeah, I Heard He Was Pretty Good" Eriksson cleared at least a couple of those questions up.
Loui Eriksson... Really, I'm not going to pretend to know what to expect from this guy. The only real memory I have of the Dallas Stars in the recent past is the 3 fights in 4 seconds game they got into with the Bruins. Considering the Dallas Stars are one of a couple graveyards in the NHL (Looking at you, Tyler) there really isn't many playoff stats to read into. Every time the Stars fall short of a playoff birth, from 2008 to 2012, Eriksson has an average of 7 points per year with his native land of Sweden. The scouting report on him says, simply, he is a great two-way winger and seemingly the polar opposite of Tyler "Fuck Bitches, Get Money" Seguin.
The right wing position on the third line is a toss-up. I would not say Jordan Caron has earned his way, in any shape or form, into the big league. I'm thinking the Boston Bruins are hoping this guy plays up to his scouting report to eventually dangle him as trade bait. Not to rag on the guy but he really has not shown anything to differentiate himself from Rich Peverley. I'm really preparing myself for another season of frustration induced head-trauma due to Boston's third line. I'm really hoping the One-Eyed-Yeti can pull the third line out of the shitter this year. Soderberg came into a rough situation last season, played like garbage, and no one blames him for it. This year is another story though.
I'm leaving the fourth line as is; Paille, Campbell, and Thornton are the backbone of this team and if Claude touches it, I'm jumping off the fucking Zakim.
As for the defense, I'm torn. I'm thinking Claude puts Hamilton with Chara for a majority of the regular season. Dougie had a very decent debut last year during the regular season. If I am Julien, I would make Hamilton move-in with Chara. I would have the kid pour Chara's Cheerios in the morning and help put on his enormous footy pajamas at night. If he is any kind of coach, Julien should want Dougie Hamilton to start thinking in a Slovakian accent before training camp is up. The Seidenberg/Chara line is a secret weapon; a finishing move. Save that stuff for the playoffs. Please, Claude, give Dougie a chance to play and learn with the biggest, baddest mother in the National Hockey League today.
On a lighter note, I'm thrilled to have another season with BruinsLife.com and to get the opportunity to talk about the greatest game in the world with all you maniacs. I'm also really looking forward to making up more scarcastic, excessively long, nicknames for every single player on this team.
LET'S GO B'S!!
So, let's discuss...