Friday, January 02, 2009

Merry Bruins-mas

It may seem like Hockey Santa Claus visited the Boston Bruins early this season, with this NHL best record and all. However, in the interest of being greedy, there are a few things Hockey Santa Claus could bring the Bruins as we wind down this holiday season:

Patrice Bergeron's health - As of Tuesday, Bergeron was still suffering headaches as an after effect of his December 20th concussion. After last season's devastating head injury, any hit to the head could potentially affect the rest of this 23 year old's NHL career. I know I join all Bruins fans in wishing that Bergeron gets better quickly.

Frequent traveler miles of some kind for Martin St. Pierre - St. Pierre was called up by the Bruins from Providence of the AHL on December 20th as a replacement for injured Petteri Nokelainen. He was sent back down to Providence on December 31st. On New Year's Day, St. Pierre was called back up because Nokelainen was not able to play against the Penguins. Poor St. Pierre must now be very used to either the Providence commuter rail or I-95 at this point.

A fun spinwheel to play wheel o' goalies with - The Bruins are blessed with two strong and experienced goalies in Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez. While many prefer Thomas, Fernandez has proved himself competent and excellent in many situations. As the season has progressed, substituting Fernandez for Thomas hasn't seemed as much as a gamble as it may have in October. You could even suggest that coach Claude Julien could consider just spinning a wheel to choose his nightly starter, because Thomas's quick response to situations, and Fernandez's size and ability to block the net provide great stability to the Bruins defense.

Not too many "pink hats" - Yes, the Pats are not in the playoffs and many Bostonians do not know what to do with themselves. They are jumping on the Bruins' bandwagon like it's filled with Dunkin' Donuts coffee. I hope that those jumping on the bandwagon take the time to educate themselves about the sport, its nuances and the players. And I hope that the number of pink jerseys, shirts and hats is small - yellow and black is classy, and the bear just doesn't translate well to Pepto-Bismol Pink.

The Special Ks to continue doing what they're doing - I heard Bruins' tv color commentator Andy Brickley refer to Phil Kessel and David Krejci as the "Special K's" on New Year's Day, and I love the nickname. They deserve a catchy nickname for the great season they are having. The combination has contributed 80 points to the Bruins so far this season (Krejci with 14 goals, 17 assists, and Kessel with 23 goals and 16 assists.) Krejci, 22, and Kessel, 21, have provided an energy and spark to the team, and Bruins fans have to hope they keep up their scoring and overall good play.

Pick Up a BU or BC player after the college season ends - This is purely a selfish wish, but there are some massively talented seniors on both Boston University and Boston College's hockey teams who are undrafted, like BU's Matt Gilroy. The Bruins also hold the rights to Hockey East scoring leader, BC's bionic armed Brock Bradford (he broke both of his arms last year, and to come back like he has is sorta remarkable.) I'm all for college hockey players finishing school, but if they are still in town with the Bruins, I am sure something could be worked out. So, come on, Bruins - let's sign some local college talent.

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