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Sunday, March 1, 2009

B's Lose in OT, Pronger and More

After opening the six game home stand at T.D. Banknorth Garden with a pair of six-goal outings, the Bruins fell in overtime yesterday 4-3 to the Capitals and Alexander Semin's 80 foot shot. Unfortunately, I was at work and missed the game, so my comments on it will be brief. From what I've read and watched from highlights, the game reminds me of the encounter with Tampa last week. Constantly playing catch up. The Bruins should be content, though not pleased to come away from this one with a point.

I feel like the Caps and all of their weapons would be a tough match for the Bruins in the playoffs, aside from Ovechkin being a monster, they're got a very strong team that can move the puck around quickly and make things happen. Now I'm not saying the Bruins can't do the same, they can, but I've got a feeling about the Capitals. Then again, it would be the playoffs and anything could happen.

The B's once again led the way in shots 37-32, but the Bruins surrendered two power play goals. Marc Savard had three assists, but could be the culprit for the first goal when he was sent to the box for hooking. Matt Hunwick, getting some serious ice time the past two games has responded extremely well, with two goals and an assist.

Bruins fans will certainly hope that the club can bounce back from this with a win, because they know that Jersey and Washington are becoming hot on their heels as the season begins to wind down through the last 20 or so games.

Highlights courtesy of our good friends at

Also last night, Yahoo Sports and the Sporting News had an article that Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger to Boston talk was picking up steam. One potential deal I've read is Pronger and Travis Moen to Boston in exchange for Mark Stuart, Chuck Kobasew, Joe Colborne and a 2009 2nd round pick.

From the outset I don't like this deal for Boston for a few reasons.

1. Pronger makes $6.25M. Yes the deal would only include the last 20ish games of the season, so that salary will be pro-rated and easier to swallow, but the B's are just $1.43M under the cap. Pronger is owed about $1.5M the rest of this year if my math is correct.

2. Mark Stuart is a poor man's Pronger. They play a similar style of play, sure Stuart doesn't have the size, or quite the same talent level, but he's younger, cheaper and has been effective for the Bruins this year.

3. Kobasew is a good piece to have around. He's a hard worker, a team player, can work on the power play, can score a goal and has definitely endeared himself to the Boston fans this year. I definitely see Chuck as a trading chip potentially in the future though.

4. Pronger is due $6.5M next year, the final year of his contract. The Bruins also will have expiring contracts in Tim Thomas, David Krejci and Phil Kessel. Where does Pronger fit under the cap in these circumstances? Which player doesn't return? How long would the B's really have Pronger for? Would he be an 18 month rental and out the door?

The Ducks are retooling, but they don't need help from the Bruins. I'd like to believe that B's GM Peter Chiarelli is more interested in finding a winger to help out in Marco Sturm's absence to get a little more oomph at the offensive end of the ice.

Other rumored targets for the B's are Keith Tkachuk (Mass. native), Jordon Leopold and of course, the oft-mentioned Erik Cole.

I would be okay with a player like Keith, he'd be a blessing on the power play, his big body in front of the net for screens and generally being a nuisance to the opposing goalie. Leopold would be a decent second-tier defenseman, but I don't see where he fits in right now. Chara/Ward, Hunwick/Wideman and Hnidy/Stuart are a good six-some, but unless Hunwick gets sent back to Providence (would be a bad move), I can't see Leopold being a B.

I think I've done the Erik Cole thing to death.

Would I like to see the Bruins make a move? Yes, but only if it supplements what is already at the club, Chiarelli has been quoted as saying that he's 50% likely to make a deal. I would put money on prospects and picks being traded over anyone actually on the B's, as long as any deal fits under the cap. Other than that, you could potentially see a Kobasew-type being moved, but I expect the Bruins to stand pat. I just don't see anything that makes a lot of sense right now.

There's three days left until the deadline on Wednesday, so I'm sure we'll be back with more information.

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