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Monday, January 3, 2011

Waffle Watch: 2011 Boston Bruins draft pick update; 03 Jan.

The Boston Bruins are in Toronto tonight, so we'll get another look at two crucial points to keep the Leafs down in the standings and the Waffle Watch humming along.

Talked with an NHL scout over the weekend who thinks Edmonton is going in the tank the second half, especially with Jordan Eberle now out with an ankle injury.

Also, with the Islanders trading Dwayne Roloson away, they're incurring huge risk if Rick DiPietro's knee goes south. Credit the Isles for quietly creeping to within three points of Edmonton and four of Toronto for 28th and 27th, but there isn't a huge payoff for that team to do well enough to finish 7th or 8th in the season.

Buffalo's shootout win over Boston on New Year's Day gave them a four-point lead over Toronto which is a silver lining for those watching the standings closely, but the Bruins were 28 seconds from winning that one in regulation and should have closed it out. Pretty inexcusable for things to develop the way they did.

I don't want to hear any garbage about Tuukka Rask's flagging confidence, either. That kid is one of the most confident guys you'll ever meet. Furthermore, he's an NHL goalie and it's time to start doing the job like he proved he could last season. I would point out that few wanted to hear any excuses from Tim Thomas last season, as well (and we now have learned he was playing on one good leg). What's good for the goose should be good for the gander. Before we start giving Rask every free pass under the sun for what was, a pretty lousy showing in not one, but TWO starts against Buffalo in the last month, some of us need to step back and remember how we approached Thomas's struggles last season. If you were one of those folks clamoring for more playing time for Rask last year because he played better than Thomas did, then it's time to shut it. Thomas has outperformed his counterpart and Rask has been mediocre at best in what has been albeit a limited opportunity. Them's the breaks, though. Let's stop blaming the coach (although I do believe he can do a better job of managing the playing time) for the goalie's inability to stop the puck at crunch time, or treating Rask like an infant with this Johnny Hates Jazz "Shattered Dreams" business. Every goalie has ups and downs- it's how they handle it that matters and Rask simply hasn't played enough to start playing the "woe is me" card for his confidence yet. If it keeps up, then maybe we'll have a point, but from a goaltender's perspective, it's pretty simple: make the routine saves first, and the rest will follow. Rask will be fine.

Just my .02 on the matter-- I would imagine that there are folks who both agree and disagree. What can't be disputed is that one goalie in Boston has stolen games for his team while the other has not. Last year, Rask was the man of the hour-- so it's time for him to step up. If you're the excuse-making type, you're probably better off not opining on this space, because I'm not moving on this one bit. Sick and tired of seeing a double standard when it comes to Rask and Thomas in Bruins Nation.

OK- off the soapbox- and back to the standings watch.

Here are the picks if the season ended today (not taking the lottery into account):

1st Round
4th overall- Toronto (32 points; 14-19-4)- Completes Phil Kessel trade.
24th overall- Boston (46 points; 20-11-6) (Boston moves to 24th by virtue of third seed- NE Division lead with fewest points of division leaders even though technically lower than other teams in standings)

2nd Round
40th overall- Minnesota (41 points;18-15-5)- Completes Chuck Kobasew trade.
54th overall- Boston

3rd Round
71st overall- Phoenix (42 points; 17-13-8) - Completes Derek Morris trade.
Boston pick traded to Florida; Completes Nathan Horton deal

4th Round
114th overall- Boston

5th Round
144th overall- Boston

6th Round
174th overall- Boston

7th Round

186th overall- Florida (conditional 36 pts; 17-17-2)- Jeff LoVecchio, Jordan Knackstedt to Panthers for Sean Zimmerman, cond. 7th
Boston pick traded to Chicago (Zach Trotman)


  1. Thanks, Dom. Appreciate the comment and tweet as well, though I don't know it is the best...just from the heart.

    I think both guys are terrific for Boston- Bruins fans are so spoiled with these two and it's sickening sometimes to see the rat-****ing that goes on when one or the other has an off-night. It's time to stop making mountains out of molehills and appreciate what this team has in net. Two very capable guys.

    I think the whole talk of Rask losing confidence does him a major disservice, though I do agree he needs to be playing more. He gets a shot tonight, so let's see how it plays out. He needs to make the stops, period. If he doesn't, done be blaming Claude Julien...Rask is a pro and he's got to play like one.