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Is Boston Bruins Forward Brad Marchand An Elite Forward In The NHL?

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Can We Consider Brad Marchand As Elite?

Brad Marchand has had a great past couple of seasons. His was a bit rough around the edges in his first few seasons. Now are we able to put him in the Elite Category?

Last season Marchand had his best season with 37 goals and 24 assists for 61 points. In the previous years Marchand was known as the kid with great skill but could not finish. I can remember watch him skate through the entire team then get to the net and miss the net by trying to go “bar-down”, or he would jut put it right in the breadbasket. Also he would constantly take stupid penalties. Part of his game is to get under the other teams skin, but there is a line he would cross it too often.

He has calmed down and realized the Bruins are better off with him on the ice than off it. Since then he has developed into one of Boston’s best forwards we have seen in a while.  He has cleaned up his game a tiny bit since then. He has narrowly avoided big suspensions this season with two slew-foots.

Marchand is a good penalty killer as usually finds a way to score shorthanded. He is tied for second for most shorthanded goals among active players with 22 goals. Marian Hossa is first with 34 but Hossa has been in the league much longer.

This season has been another breakout year for him and it all started in the World Cup of Hockey. While playing in the World Cup he was able to play with two if the best passers in the world. The First was teammate Patrice Bergeron (chemistry was already there), and Sidney Crosby (arguably the best player in the world right now). Crosby would not be a hard guy to find chemistry with his skill. The Crosby line combined for the most points in the Tournament with 25 points combined. Marchy had 8 of them (5 goals, 3 assists) in only 6 games. Canada went on to win the Tournament.

After the tourney Marchand came back to the Bruins and started the season off hot. He had a cold stretch in there but his is at the top of his game right now. We can see that from of Monday’s 4 point performance.Three of those points came from his three goals. He is now tied for the league lead in goals with 35. Also Marchand in 4th in points with 74. He is the first Bruins to score 70 points in a season since Marc Savard did so in 2008-09 when Savard had 88 points. With only 10 or so games left we he be able to hit the 40 goal mark that e just missed last season?

Verdict

I have grown to realize that Marchand is good, alright really good. I still do not think that I can call him great until he brings me another cup. If he puts the team on his back and brings me a cup then I will say that. Yes that is a lot to ask for but that is what elite players do. Look at Sidney Crosby has brought two Stanley Cups to Pittsburgh and Patrick Kane who has brought three Cups to Chicago. These two players are also putting up 60 plus points a season consistently. If Marchy can do what he is doing this season for another two season I would say he is a definite yes for being considered elite. Right now he is on the bubble for me. I will say that he can be considered an elite Bruins winger.

 

Justin is a Computer Networking student at Wentworth Institute of Technology and joined the Trifecta Network as an Editor in February of 2016 and is a guest on Down to the WIRE Sports Talk.

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins Report: Beleskey Clears Waivers, Assigned To AHL

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Boston Bruins

On Friday the Boston Bruins assigned forward Matt Beleskey to AHL Providence less than 24 hours after the struggling veteran was placed on waivers.

It isn’t shocking that Beleskey cleared waivers given he has a $3.8 million cap hit through the 2019-20 season and failed to record a point in 14 games played this season for Boston. Beleskey was a negative factor for the B’s this season with the team possessing a 4-8-2 record when he is on the ice and a 11-1-2 record when he is eating popcorn.

It is safe to say that this five-year $19 million deal is a complete bust. Boston signed Beleskey off of a career year and simply overpaid trying to replace Milan Lucic. This was a typical move of an organization that was bogged down with aging veterans with the needle pointing downwards at the time.

Several years removed from the signing Boston is a completely different organization with the teams focus having shifted to drafting and developing players. A strategy that has now given the organization an abundance of young options to go with who simply can out produce or have a higher upside than Beleskey.

Funny enough his first season with Boston (2015-16) he looked to be a good signing with 37 points in 80 games. But since that time he has recorded 8 points for the Bruins. With his assigning to AHL Providence it looks like his time in Boston has come to a close for now. His $2.775 million in dead cap space is a hefty price for Boston to pay, but it is worth it given the damage he has caused when he skates.

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Boston Bruins Have Many Prospects Playing In World Juniors

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Boston Bruins Prospects To Represent The Bruins At the

Upcoming World Juniors

It is now December and that means one thing. The World Juniors is right around the corner. The World Juniors have produced guys like JFK, Charlie McAvoy, Clayton Keller, Patrice Bergeron and many more. Once again the Bruins will be very well represented at this year’s World Juniors.

In total there will be six Boston Bruins prospects competing for a spot on their respective teams. The players are as follows: Trent Frederic, Ryan Lindgren, Jeremey Swayman will be going out for team USA. Team USA’s Final roster is expected by December 23. Urho Vaakanainen and Joona Koppanen are vying for a spot on Finlands team. The rounding out the six is Oskar Steen for Sweeden.

This is some of the best hockey around to watch. Kids playing kids. The pace of play is off the charts along with the skill and the mistakes. Being so young the kids make more mistakes which leads to more opportunities for the opposing team.

Here is what development coach Jaime Langenbrunner thinks:

“Give credit to the scouting staff, they’re identifying the right players,” said Bruins Player Development Coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner. “We have a lot of pride for the effort that [the players are] putting in, the positions they’re putting themselves in to have those opportunities to have those experiences going forward.”

The 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship will take place from December 26 -January 5 in Buffalo.

Quick Background of the players

Trent Frederic, F: University of Wisconsin.

Frederic was drafted by the Bruins 29th Overall in 2016. He is currently in his Sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin.

“It’s a great opportunity for him to gauge himself in that next group here,” said Langenbrunner. “He looks to be in a spot now that he can be a contributor on that team.”

Frederic has already won a bronze medal with Team USA in the 2016 IIHF U-18 Men’s World Championship.

Ryan Lindgren, D: University of Minnesota

Taken 49th overall in 2016, the University of Minnesota sophomore is looking to gain some experience at the World Juniors.

“Ryan was a key part of that gold-medal winning team,” said Langenbrunner. “With Ryan, you look at the stats sheet and you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ He doesn’t put up a whole lot of numbers, but you go and watch him day in and day out and you see how valuable he is to teams and why teams he’s on are successful.”

Lindgren won a gold medal at the world juniors last year where he played with current Bruins, Charlie McAvoy.

Jeremy Swayman, G: University of Maine

An Alaska Native was drafted 111th overall in this years draft. Playing in his freshman year at UMaine he looks to gain some exposure by being the backbone of Team USA.

“It’s a great opportunity for him [to be at USA camp], it’s a credit to the year he’s having,” said Langenbrunner. “I don’t believe he’s really been at any of the big tournaments before, so this is definitely an opportunity to see him at another level.”

Maybe is the Bruins answer to their goaltending question.

Urho Vaakanainen, D: SaiPa Lappeenranta

Drafted at this years draft the Fin will look to improve upon his two-way game.

“He’s one of, if not the leader in ice time for defensemen in the Finnish Elite League as an 18-year-old kid, and continues to impress with his consistency and the professional nature in which he plays,” said Langenbrunner.”

Joona Kopanen, F: Ilves Tampere

A 2016 fifth-round pick. The 19 year has been playing well over in Sweden.

“Reliable player. I don’t want to stereotype the Finns, but they all seem to have a lot of really good details in their game where they understand how to play the game defensively,” Langenbrunner said of the 6-foot-4, 192-pound winger.”

Oskar Steen, F: Farjestads BK Karlstad

Steen was also a 2016 pick being selected in the sixth round.

“He’s continuing to try to develop more of his scoring…was really good in Plymouth, [Michigan] during the [World Junior] Summer Showcase, had a hat trick in one game and has shown a little bit of the scoring that we think is in there.”

We will have to wait and see what these kids have and if they have what it takes to be a Bruin.

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Fantasy Hockey Talk: Two Month Update

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There is snow on the ground and it feels like winter today.  What better time it is to talk Hockey!  More importantly I’m talking about Fantasy Hockey.  It has been a little over two months and things are really starting to ramp up.  There has been some injuries that have come and gone.  But nothing like last year’s Flu outbreak, or whatever that was.  If you have read my previous Fantasy Hockey Blog then you know I am one of those “Die Hard” Fantasy Hockey Fans.  Hey I just love Fantasy, I can’t get enough of it!

So yeah it has been two months and my Fantasy Team is steamrolling the competition.  I’m 8-1 in a Head 2 Head Weekly Points League.  This type of format is common.  What you do is add up the total points you’ve scored every day and at the end of the week if your total points for the week is greater than your opponent, you notch a Win for the week.  Easy, right?  Not so fast you can net negative points, mainly if your Goalie loses.  And players don’t play every single day, so you have figure out who to start when their team is playing.  Yeah it gets challenging but let me tell you the secret to my success.  My Roster, of course!

So yeah everyone on my Roster is playing well and here are some of the big names on my Fantasy Team.  Brad Marchand is tearing it up for me on the the ice.  He is having an unbelievable Season. He has 10 Goals and 12 Assists with 44 Shots on Goal, that’s 62 Fantasy Points for the year.  David Pastrnak is having an even better year than Marchand.  He has 14 Goals and 11 Assists with 76 Shots on Goal, that adds up to 72 Fantasy Points.  That is my top duo and they have been giving my opponents the “old one two.”

At Forward I also have Jonathan Huberdeau 75 Fantasy Points, Brayden Schenn 91 Fantasy Points, Patric Hornqvist 61 Fantasy Points, Vladislav Namestnikov 77 Fantasy Points, and James Neal 62 Fantasy Points.  These are the big play makers on my team.  All of them are having a great year.  If you are playing Fantasy Hockey I suggest you look to mirror my team and pick some of these guys up via trades.  You won’t be disappointed.  I have particularly like the way Nikolaj Ehlers has been playing.  He is my go to at the Utility Position when my starting Roster is stacked.  He has 12 Goals and 10 Assists with 78 Shots on Goal, that is 63 Fantasy Points.  Yeah he is having a career best.  I also like J.T. Miller at Utility.

On Defense I have Victor Hedman 44 Fantasy Points, Colton Parayko 41 Fantasy Points, Alex Goligoski 32 Fantasy Points, Aaron Ekblad 31 Fantasy Points, and lastly I have Johnny Boychuk 20 Fantasy Points.  Suffice to say I rely heavily on my Forwards to net me Points.  I had David Krejci but he has been injured.  I released him immediately, he just wasn’t a good fit for my Fantasy Team.  Marchand was injured briefly but I dodged a bullet as he is back to his usual form after that.  Other than that I really like the way everyone has been playing.  I mean seriously I have a stacked team, its been one of the better years for me, Fantasy wise.  Just look at those numbers!

For Goalies I rotate three of them around.  I have Tuukka Rask who has been my big “Achilles Heal” this year.  He just isn’t playing up to his talent.  He has only 6 Wins with a Save Percentage of .908 and Goals Allowed at 2.52, that has netted -8 Fantasy Points.  Yeah not good, they had to pull him.  Anton Khudobin has played better with 7 Wins and a .922 Save Percentage, that has netted 10 Fantasy Points.  I’m expecting Tuukka to play better the second half of the Season.  I do have Jonathan Quick who has 14 Wins and 27 Fantasy Points on the year.  Lastly I have Brian Elliott who has 9 Wins but has a net points of -15.  Ouch!  If he continues on this dreadful streak of negative points expect me to make some drastic changes.  Picking Goalies is just difficult in Fantasy Hockey.  It always is!

So that’s my Superstar Team, heavily populated by Forward Scoring Machines.  They have carried me so far; into almost Playoff contention.  That I think if you look at them deep down you will discover a good mix of Goal Scoring, Shots on Goal, and Assists.  It’s only been two months but if my Fantasy Team continues to out perform expect an expanded blog.  Maybe a blog each week?  We’ll see!  Oh yeah and “Don’t Poke the Bear.”  Cheers!

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