Matt, Marc, And Other Bruins Topics


Thanksgiving has come and gone and we turn our thoughts and visions to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and New Years. Personally, I get to celabrate a birthday also. Interestingly, three of the holidays, and my birthday, are celebrated with gift giving as a major part of those occassions. Bruins fans are hoping their favorite team receives a gift or two, as well.

The most immediate gift, for Bruins fans, would be a big W tonight over the Philadelphia Flyers. The world remembers what happened in last spring’s Stanley Cup playoffs between the two teams. Tonight’s game could be the start of getting the monkey off the Boston organization’s back.

The gifts began arriving Monday, November 29, 2010 with the trade that sent defenseman Matt Hunwick to the Colorado Avalanche for defensman Colby Cohen. This deal was a business deal, pure and simple. The Bruins needed to free up salary cap space in preparation for the return of center Marc Savard and trading the smooth skating Hunwick did the trick. Hunwick will be missed. In a recent interview with the Boston Globe, Coach Claude Julien called Hunwick the B’s best puckhandling and its best skating defenseman. Which makes this writer wonder even more how a different defenseman on the club – I will give you a hint, he wears number 33 – can be touted as a Norris Trophy (NHL’s best defenseman) candidate when he is not his team’s best skilled defenseman? But, I digress. In Cohen, the B’s received a big defensman who is in his rookie year of professional hockey. He has spent most of this season with Lake Erie in the American Hockey League and played in two National Hockey League games for Colorado. Cohen is best remembered around Boston as the player who scored the winning goal for Boston University in overtime of the NCAA national championship game in 2009 against Miami (Ohio) University. Cohen, a native of Villanova, Pennsylvania, has joined the Providence Bruins and joins a stable of skilled, developing, defensemen who could make the jump to the big club withing a year or two.

The gift that could make this the most wonderful time of the year is center Marc Savard. Savvy is feeling great, has passed all of the testing required of him, and is ready to return to game action. He told the Boston Globe yesterday, he’s hoping to be in uniform this Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. His return could be just what the doctor ordered. The club has been struggling as of late, especially, at the start of games. Savard’s skills should help the team overcome its first period doldrums. In the fourteen games the Bruins played in November, they were outscored in the first period, collectively, 11-8. That led to a record of 5 wins, 7 losses, and 2 overtime ties for the month. Quite a difference from October’s record of 6 wins, 2 losses, and 0 overtime ties. In case you are curious, Boston outscored their opponents 6-3 in first periods in October. Getting the early lead is a goal all teams strive for. The Bruins need to refocus on that goal and have done just that in recent practices. Marc Savard gives the club an added scoring dimension. He should be the shot in the arm his teammates need to break out of their scoring slumps.    

As mentioned, the holidays have arrived and with them, we think of family, friends, and loved ones (Hint, hint, to my son, daughter, and girlfriend.) Some great Bruins gift ideas and deals can be found at the official Boston Bruins website and at the official website of the NHL

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Shawn Hutcheon can be followed on Twitter at and on facebook at