It's in the air man. After the quickest offseason that felt like years, the NHL has returned to Boston. Two days after most teams (sorry New Jersey, not you) have returned to the ice, our beloved Bruins will kick off the regular season tonight at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Before I get all up in the Bruins business, there has been a lot of changes in Tampa.
First, Guy Boucher and his wonderful scar are gone. I'm not surprised the guy got fired, given that he went from an Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2010-2011 to 10th in 2011-2012 and 14th in 2012-2013. I guess the steady decline (and not the fact that Tampa went from a good goaltender in Roloson to an average/below average goalie in [young] Anders Lindback) wins and standings is why they made the move. In the wake of Mr. 1-3-1 comes John Cooper, the Syracuse Crunch Head Coach last season.
Also Vinny Lecavsdgvewelier is now wasting away in Filthadelphia so Tampa Bay did midgets everywhere a solid and named Martin St. Louis as captain of the Lightning. Even if you live small, you can still dream big - and also play for a shitty hockey team.
Much like everyone else, I don't expect Tampa to contend for the Flortheast Division. They're just not a good hockey team outside of Steven Stamkos scoring 1,000 goals again. They're just another Florida hockey team.
But who gives a shit about them, really? We're here because the Bruins open their season up. Unfortunately it may be without David Krejci and will definitely be without Carl Söderberg, but we'll get more into that with the upcoming lines. Tonight we finally get to see the regular season debut of Jarome Iginla, which may be the biggest storyline in Boston hockey.
Yeah, I know what happened last year and guess what - I don't care. It's over and done with in my eyes, but I'm sure you'll have dumb dumbs calling up on the radio and saying that Iginla shouldn't be on this team. Look, I talked about it a few times on DOY Live that Iginla is an upgrade over Nathan Horton. Yes, he's older but he's also more durable. While Horton is in Columbus on the IR, Iginla hasn't missed a game since the 2006-2007 season (minus being scratched the day he was traded). That's pretty amazing.
I think both Lucic and Krejci will benefit from this guy playing on their line, but we also need to temper some expectations. He's not the 2007-2008 50 goal scorer anymore and given the type of team this is, that's okay.
Also new to the club is Loui Eriksson. He's a big, strong forward who plays a pretty good two way game (weird the Bruins would target a guy like this, right?). He'll be starting the year with Bergeron and Marchand - filling in for Ole Drippy Dick Seguin who will be trying to grow some horns out of his head so no one confuses him with the queers.
If the preseason is any indication of how Eriksson can play, we'll be seeing some if this:
But don't forget, I predicted that Eriksson wouldn't score over 25 goals. I stand by it, chumps and if you have an issue with that well you can just POCKET SAND!
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