A big night for the waffle watch Saturday put the Toronto Maple Leafs back into the 5th draft position after they had surged ahead on consecutive wins over Boston (with Mikhail Grabovski scoring in the game's last minute) and Buffalo in one-goal games. The newly-acquired Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators shut them out on Saturday (though it happened in the shootout- Ottawa couldn't score either) and a win by Florida boosted them into a three-way tie points-wise with Toronto and Colorado, who has gone into the tank. B's fans will hope the blockbuster deal that brought Eric Johnson to Denver will help, but with the Avs giving up Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk in the process, it's going to be tough.
The Devils are surging, just three points behind the Leafs and winners of seven straight and even the NY Islanders are keeping pace (six points behind TOR), though don't expect that to last. I have a feeling the Isles will sell off some assets at the deadline and fall back well behind the Leafs in the standings. If they don't, then it will be a major credit to the young Islanders, because it will mean they didn't roll over. And, Al Montoya got his first NHL shutout the other night after the Isles acquired him from Phoenix, so good on the former 6th overall pick in 2004 for doing something with the opportunity he's been given.
As for the Leafs, they'll be interesting to follow. In the span of 10 days, they've traded away Francois Beauchemin, Kris Versteeg and Tomas Kaberle, getting only Joffrey Lupul back from Anaheim as far as a player who is helping them in the present. Brian Burke now has some future building blocks, having acquired Joe Colborne from Boston, plus a pair of late firsts from the Bruins and Flyers, plus a third-rounder this year and conditional second in 2012 from Boston.
Speaking of the Bruins, they are considerably lighter in the wallet and picks department, having added Chris Kelly, Kaberle and Rich Peverley to the roster over the past week at the cost of a first- and second-round pick plus other assets. Boston is a better team today than they were the last team we posted a Waffle Watch update, but the question is-- are the B's legit contenders? We shall see.
Here is the pick update. I will break out the traded selections in a separate section so as not to confuse. Bruins still have plenty of draft assets to make a splash in June, so things are still pretty solid for the future.
2011 Boston Bruins draft picks as of 21 Feb (6 total picks plus one pending conditional 7th from FLA)
5th overall- Toronto (57 points; 25-27-7)- Completes Phil Kessel trade.
48th overall- Minnesota (68 points;31-22-6)- Completes Chuck Kobasew trade.
84th overall- Phoenix (73 points; 32-19-9) - Completes Derek Morris trade.
115th overall- Boston
145th overall- Boston
175th overall- Boston
186th overall- Florida (conditional 57 pts; 25-26-7)- Jeff LoVecchio, Jordan Knackstedt to Panthers for Sean Zimmerman, cond. 7th
Traded Picks- 2011 (4 Boston 2011 picks traded in Rounds 1-3, 7)
25th overall- Boston (73 pts; 33-19-7) pick Traded to Toronto for Tomas Kaberle
55th overall- Boston pick Traded to Ottawa for Chris Kelly
85th overall Boston pick traded to Florida; Completes Nathan Horton deal
205th overall Boston pick traded to Chicago (Zach Trotman)
Boston Bruins 2012 Draft Picks
2nd- Traded to TOR; conditional: If BOS makes Stanley Cup final or Kaberle re-signed, pick goes to Leafs