Finally! The 2010-2011 season is here and it is off and running with some very exciting hockey. Did you get to see the games being played in Europe? In Pittsburgh, rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky looked anything but a rookie in the Flyers win over the Penguins. The Colorado Avalanche pulled off an upset by defeating defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago in overtime. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated their archrival Montreal 3-2 and the Edmonton Oilers made it look easy in the Battle of Alberta as they sent the Calgary Flames packing by shutting them out 4-0. Give yourself a visual treat and check out Edmonton rookie Jordan Eberle’s first career NHL goal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uWbrZ_PE0U&feature=youtu.be. The most exciting part of all of this is it ocurred on just the first day of the season! Of course, Bruins fans are anticipating quite a few exciting plays, saves, and goals, from their favorite team and it all kicks off Saturday in Prague, Czech Republic against the Phoenix Coyotes.
The B’s will open the season with seven new faces in the lineup. Eighteen year old rookie forward, Tyler Seguin, was expected to make the team since being drafted 2nd overall in last June’s NHL Entry Draft and it appears he will be centering the 3rd line between wingers Danny Paille and Michael Ryder or Jordan Caron. Seguin has been everything he was billed to be and is feeling more and more comfortable each day. Seguin has the skills and potential to become a superstar in the National Hockey League. As mentioned, Jordan Caron will begin the season with the Bruins. He had a bit of a slow start in camp but has gained confidence and steadily improved. The nineteen year old winger is full of potential and will score many a goal in the years to come. Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell will bring their combination of skill, grit, and scoring abilities from the Florida Panthers to a Boston lineup that was in need of such attributes on a consistent basis last season. Horton should be a lock to put 30+ goals in NHL nets this season while Campbell will contribute more in a defensive forward role. Campbell has the ability to score 15-20 goals while shutting down opponents’ top scoring lines. Think of him, at twenty-six years of age, as a young P. J. Axelsson. Twenty-two year old forward, Brad Marchand, will stick with the black and gold out of training camp this year. The Halifax, Nova Scotia native got his feet wet last season in the NHL by playing in twenty games with Boston. Marchand has the speed and smarts to skate the wing on the all-important fourth line with Gregory Campbell and veteran Shawn Thornton. Defenseman Adam McQuaid. The Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada native is another young (twenty-three years old) player to crack the lineup. McQuaid saw action in nineteen games with the club last season and scored his first NHL goal for his only point of the season but he showed plenty of toughness by registering twenty-one minutes in the penalty box. He will be the team’s seventh defenseman meaning he will receive very limited ice time but will still be counted on to cut down on the Bruins’ goals against total. The biggest surprise coming out of training camp was the play of forward Brian McGrattan. The former Ottawa Senator has yet to sign with the B’s as he was invited to tryout without a contract. He impressed the brass with his toughness and grit and is with the team in Europe. Reports have circulated that the organization has offered the winger a one year contract which should be finalized before Saturday.
It is clear to see the 2010-2011 Boston Bruins will be younger, faster, better skilled, and tougher. The team which finished sixth in the Eastern Conference last season should be a team that competes for the Eastern Conference title this season. Those additions along with the club’s veteran players, who want nothing more than to wipe the bitter taste of last season’s playoff debacle out of their mouths and those of the fans, will make this team a strong Stanley Cup contender.
For a preview of this season’s Phoenix Coyotes check out www.howlinhockeycom.
Topics: Adam McQuaid, Alberta, Boston, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Brian McGrattan, Calgary Flames, Canada, Charlottetown, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Czech Republic, Danny Paille, Eastern Conference, Edmonton Oilers, Europe, Florida Panthers, Gregory Campbell, Halifax, Jordan Caron, Jordan Eberle, Michael Ryder, Montreal Canadiens, Nathan Horton, NHL, NHL Draft, Nova Scotia, Ottawa Senators, P.J. Axelsson, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Playoffs, Prague, Prince Edward Island, Sergei Bobrovsky, Shawn Thornton, Stanley Cup, Stanley Cup Champion, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tyler Seguin