When you come as close to winning a Stanley Cup as the Bruins did this past season and overhaul the roster, it’s going to lead to questions how the new players will fit in. When those new guys are veterans like Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla, it feels like a major upgrade.
That’s what the Bruins are contending with this season.
Bringing in a pair of guys who have piled up goals through their career to replace Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin seems like a move that would play out seamlessly but it comes with some potential pitfalls. A couple questions have to be asked.
What does Iginla have left?
Before last season’s lockout-shortened year, Iginla rattled off 11 straight seasons of 30+ goals. Now as he heads into his 17th NHL season and at 36 years-old it’s appropriate to ask if he can produce at that level again.
Iginla wants to stay in Boston past this season and scoring goals at the pace he did last year (28 goals over 82 games possible) would help that. Consider this if you think that’s not enough: Horton’s best season in Boston (2010-11) he had 26 goals.
Did they give up on Seguin too soon?
That might not even be the right question. The Bruins’ concern with him centered more on him not having grown up yet, but when you look at the raw numbers, the answer is probably yes.
Seguin saw his numbers improve each season and he was on pace to break 30 goals last season if not for that darn lockout. After scoring 29 two seasons ago, it’s not a stretch to think his stock is only climbing. Eriksson, by comparison, has been steady for 60-70 points in his last four full seasons.
Giving up a possible superstar for consistently great output only means fans will debate their trade for the next 10 years.
There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.
So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.
Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.
(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.
After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:
Record at the end of October: 5-5-2
Record at the end of November: 11-11-3
As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.
The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?
Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.
They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.
The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?
Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.
Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.
That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.
Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.
OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.
Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.
For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.
You can watch all three goals in the video above.
It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.