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Monday, December 27, 2010

Waffle Watch: 2011 Boston Bruins draft pick update 27 Dec.

Welcome to the final draft pick update for the 2010 calendar year! It's hard to believe that 2011 is upon us, but by this time next week, that's precisely where we'll be. That much closer to the draft in St. Paul come June.

The bad news for the Waffle Watch was that the Toronto Maple Leafs went up against the only team in the NHL that can make the moribund Leafs lineup seem appetizing: the New Jersey Devils.

Off since a bad loss last week to Vancouver, the Leafs went into Newark last night and thrashed the hapless Devils at home to the tune of a 4-1 score. They didn't escape the Garden State unscathed, however. With the bad snowstorm pelting parts of the Eastern Seaboard, the team bus got stuck in a snow bank after the game and the team didn't arrive at their hotel until after 3:30 a.m. All told, however, the Waffle Warriors will take the win.

Leafs' win coupled with brutal Edmonton loss, propels the Leaf into the 26th spot in the NHL standings. They both have played 34 games and both have 30 points, but Toronto wins the tie-breaker. The Oil need to pick it up to keep the Waffle Watch tank vibe in full effect.

The good news is, buoyed by the outstanding play of NHL 1st star Dwayne Roloson, the New York Islanders, in the league cellar since the second week of October, won three games last week to cut Toronto's lead to just six points in the standings.

What to do about the Devils?

Clearly, Jacques Lemaire's undistinguished start as the new head coach after Lou Lamoriello fired John MacLean (two days before Christmas I might add) shows that NJ's problems are beyond what any guy behind the bench can fix. Marty Brodeur's game has gone south this season and there simply aren't enough players on the back end who can compensate for his losing a couple of steps. Although the forwards are good on paper, they aren't scoring. All told, it's a recipe for disaster.

With just 20 points, the Devils are fading fast. The amazing thing is, as bad as they've played, they're only 10 points behind the Leafs in the standings. Bruins fans should take heart that the Toronto pick is still shaping up as a good one. Of course, there are only 10 points separating the Leafs in 26th from the Bruins in 15th (14th by virtue of points, but the B's are the eighth seed and therefore would pick in the first playoff spot- 15). And then there's always the lottery for better or for potentially worse.

Here are the picks if the season ended today:

1st Round
4th overall- Toronto (30 points; 13-17-4)- Completes Phil Kessel trade.
15th overall- Boston (40 points; 18-11-4)

2nd Round
40th overall- Minnesota (36 points;16-14-4)- Completes Chuck Kobasew trade.
45th overall- Boston

3rd Round
72nd overall- Phoenix (39 points; 16-11-7) - Completes Derek Morris trade.
Boston pick traded to Florida; Completes Nathan Horton deal

4th Round
105th overall- Boston

5th Round
135th overall- Boston

6th Round
165th overall- Boston

7th Round
186th overall- Florida (conditional)- Jeff LoVecchio, Jordan Knackstedt to Panthers for Sean Zimmerman, cond. 7th
Boston pick traded to Chicago (Zach Trotman)

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