10 Thoughts – 2/7/12

1. Good win on Sunday by the Bruins. The Capitals have struggled as a team this season but they’re still a phenomenally talented group of individuals and Ovechkin seemed to be back to form. Hopefully this will give them some momentum going forward. Funny though, a couple of weeks ago the Capitals beat the Bruins 5-3 without Ovechkin. Ovechkin comes back and the Bruins win 4-1.

2. Claude Julien is tricky tricky tricky! Caught me completely by surprise starting Thomas a second straight day, but you know what? It was the right call to make. Tim Thomas talked about his two consecutive starts, saying that it was kind of just like picking up where he left off the day before. Thomas played well against the Pens. He allowed 2 goals on 28 shots, but neither goal was his fault. When Timmy’s on a roll he’s on a roll.

3. Timmy also plays well when people boo him/doubt him. Claude gives him the start in Washington for the first time since “the incident”, gets booed when he hits the ice… Timmy plays out of his mind for 60 minutes. That’s Tim Thomas for you.

4. How ’bout that assist from Rich Peverley on Milan Lucic’s goal? What a pass.

5. Speaking of Rich Peverley, he’s on his way to setting new career highs in assists and points. All this while battling a “nagging” “undisclosed injury”. When his new contract extension was first announced, some Bruins fans felt he was grossly overpaid (top 6 money for, ostensibly, a bottom 6 forward). I think that’s pretty shortsighted. He’s a more than competent faceoff guy–as a winger (!) he’s taken 282 faceoffs (5th most on the team, behind all 4 centers) and won 62% of them. He’s also on pace for 60 points, which is 2 fewer points than David Krejci finished last season with. Peverley has proved that he can be effective on a top 6 line.

6. And speaking of Lucic, he’s on pace for his second straight 30 goal season after fans and media alike called it a fluke last season, though to be fair his numbers were inflated last season due to 5 empty net goals. By February 6th last season he had 21 goals, 4 of which were empty net goals (so let’s just say he had 17 goals). On February 6th this season he has 19 goals, none of which are empty net goals. Still a fluke? I don’t really think so. Lucic is young, his own skills are improving and the quality of his teammates has improved as well. Just needs to work on consistency.

7. 20 goals for Tyler Seguin, who has already doubled his point totals from last season. Brad Marchand is 2 goals and 1 assist away from matching his totals from last season, and Patrice Bergeron is on pace for his first 70+ point season since losing nearly an entire season to a concussion. The 3 combine for 54 goals, 74 assists, and 128 points. They’re responsible for 30% of the Bruins’ goals this season. Easily one of the best lines in the NHL.

8. Nathan Horton is skating again, which is excellent news. Still no time-table for his return, and Claude Julien has stated that he doesn’t want to be asked about Horton’s progress every day. I think that’s kind of lame. Horton’s a big piece of the Bruins’ offense, and he’s tied for the team lead in power play goals. On a personal note, he’s my favorite player, so I want these kinds of updates. I want to know how he’s progressing. We need him back.

9. Zach Hamill on waivers made me chuckle but honestly it kind of surprised me. I think I just figured that they were going to hold on to him as a trade chip, just in case somebody tried to pick him up (though I’m not sure why anybody would–his shortcomings should be pretty clear to everybody). I also sincerely doubt he spends much more time in a Bruins uniform (big Bs or baby Bs).

10. Former Bruin Marco Sturm (good ol’ Sturmface) is expected to miss 3-4 weeks while rehabbing knee surgery. For those keeping track, that’s 3 knee surgeries in 4 years. He’s played 69 regular season games for 5 different teams in the past 18 months (7-7–14) . Time to hang ’em up?

That’s all I got boys and girls. Bruins versus Sabres tomorrow. Pre-game on its way.

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