Jesus Christ I think I have a huge boner right now.
And now with that, I feel like I should tell the people to temper their expectations for tonight's game. I've seen some people saying Jagr is scoring a hat trick tonight and then is going to pull out a missile and blow up the CEC and then restore faith in North Korea, so let's take it one game at a time. If he doesn't score tonight - it's not the end of the world and if he does score tonight, don't think it's going to happen every game.
That's the funny thing with Boston fans. It's always one extreme or the other. Jagr looks like shit tonight and people will be screaming at Chiarelli for making the trade because suddenly Lane MacDermid and some kid on the CHL are world beaters. I like Lane MacDermid and I thought he would've been Shawn Thornton's heir apparent but oh well. You move an AHLer and some guy you never heard of for a future Hall of Fame player that will boost your offense. It's a fucking no brainer.
Then you have people complaining about Chiarelli getting Wade Redden. Yes, Wade Redden. Honestly, I'll be shocked if Wade Redden plays for the Bruins. With Bartkowski playing a lot better lately, I think Wade will be the healthy scratch and rotated throughout the season to give guys rest. Look, I'm probably the harshest Boston critic you'll find. I'm your stereotypical negative Boston fan 90% of the time, but I think Chiarelli did what he could do at the trade deadline. What do you want him to do?
Is defense a problem? Yup, but it's not like there was much out there to acquire in terms of defensemen. Douglas Murray? Is Douglas Murray - nature's vending machine - going to solve the problems here? No and he's not worth the two second round picks Pittsburgh gave up for him. Robyn Regehr is probably the only real name that moved defensively and he cost two second round picks - so if you got him you're definitely giving Dallas a 1st round pick for Jagr. It's not like Keith Yandle was moved. Hell, Edmonton didn't even trade Ryan Whitney and the management there seems to hate his fucking guts.
So yeah - to the game tonight. I expect this to be the usual close game vs New Jersey. The only caveat is that Ilya Kovalchuk is out and because of it - Hew Jersey's offensive production has taken a huge dip. New Jersey is currently 25th in the NHl in goals per game at 2.42 and their power play is weaker, sitting at 18th with a 17% success rate. Defensively New Jersey is average sitting at 15th overall allowing 2.61 goals per game and have killed 79% of their penalties - good for 20th in the league.
Basically you're looking at a team that's free falling. They're barely hanging onto 8th place in the Eastern Conference (tied with the Islanders with 39 points) and while the Islanders seem to be surging (won their last 2 games), New Jersey is sinking. I guess that's what happens when you lose your best player - the one who plays about a minute PER SHIFT for your team. He leads the team with 25 minutes of ice time per game (and hasn't played in how long now?). Most teams you're looking at a few defensemen leading TOI/G before you see a forward's name.
New Jersey isn't a deep team, they have an aging goaltender and they lost their best overall player for a few more weeks.
But then again, so did Boston.
After the jump the rest of the preview...
Jesus Christ, with the addition of Jagr and the subtraction of Bergeron this lineup has the potential to be a mess. So I'm just going to throw darts at the dartboard here:
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Jaromir Jagr
Brad Marchand - Rich Peverley - Tyler Seguin
Jordan Caron - Kaspars Daugavins - Nathan Horton
Shawn Thornton - Greg Campbell - Dan Paille
Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg - Matt Bartkowksi
Andrew Ference - Johnny Boychuk
Game Day Video/Image
Thanks to The Score for this.