With 30-goal scorer Jarome Iginla fresh out the door and the Bruins on an extended stint in the NHL Salary Cap Jail, it’s no surprise that much of the attention so far this offseason has been focused on how GM Peter Chiarelli will fill the gaps up front to ensure the black and gold remain contenders heading into the 2014-15 season. But while putting pucks in the net is a critical piece of the Stanley Cup puzzle, keeping them out of the net is just as important, and believe it or not Chiarelli and the B’s have another growing conundrum that requires some attention, and that’s who will man the team’s defensive blue line this year.
The Bruins currently have eight NHL-caliber defensemen – nine if you count the recently signed David Warsofsky – and probably seven spots to fill for the opening roster. Add to that the fact that one of those nine, budding star Torey Krug, still remains without a contract as a restricted free agent and you can see why Chiarelli has already said “I’ve got to do something” in regards to his current situation.
Anyone hoping (including myself) that Dennis Seidenberg’s injury suffered in the third period of last night’s game officially had their hopes dashed this afternoon, as the Bruins announced that the 32 year old defenseman will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL and MCL against Ottawa.
Zach Trotman was called up on an emergency basis from Providence, and either he or David Warsofsky (who was recalled yesterday) will be in the lineup tonight against the Senators in Seidenberg’s place.
Aside from a typical Bruins post-holiday slow start, pretty much everything else went the way the Black and Gold drew it up last night as they stomped the visiting Ottawa Senators by a 5-0 score. Reilly Smith kept up his hot streak by adding two more goals, while linemates Patrice Bergeron (2 assists) and Brad Marchand (1G, 1A) added two points a piece for the B’s. Goaltender Tuukka Rask earned his league best fourth shutout of the season turning aside all 33 Senator shots that he faced.
With the Boston Bruins’ current lineup it’s a little hard to ask for style points on top of just getting wins, so it’s not a total surprise that they had their hands full with a young Edmonton Oilers squad last night. Fortunately though the Bruins they were able to pick up right where they left off in Calgary two nights before, scoring three times in an eight minute stretch in the first period, which would be enough offense to get the job done as they were able to hold on for a 4-2 victory. Chad Johnson, in the Boston net for an ill Tuukka Rask, stopped 39 Edmonton shots for the victory, his sixth of the season.
Continuing our look at the best fantasy hockey choices on the Bruins for the upcoming 2013-14 season, we move on to the blueliners. Unlike the forward crew who were relatively easy to rate, the defensive possibilities for next season are still pretty unclear. There are a couple sure choices and then a large group of “could be’s” to consider on your draft day. Let’s take a look.