Don’t look now, but even with all their injury woes, the Bruins are heating up with six wins against only two losses in their last eight games.
David “Creaky” Krejci has had a very pedestrian first half with only 19 points in his first 37 games. I still say he came back far too early from off-season hip surgery. A good sign is that since turning the page to January, Krejci has four points in three games. Last season Krejci recorded 73 points in 82 games, but he faded with 21 points in 35 post All-Star games. Prior to the break last year, he had 52 points in 47 games. Krejci should be good for nearly a point-per-game from here on in.
Blake “Hot Wheels” Wheeler had a very similar start to Krejci points-wise with 19 points in his first 39 games. In his last two games though, Wheeler has been a force, recording five points. What’s even more amazing is that the Bruins only had six goals as a team over those two games. In those two most recent contests, the 23-year-old Wheeler saw an increase in his ice time of about two more minutes per game over his season average. He has gained some confidence and may have turned the corner on this season.
Contrary to his Hockey Holiness (Dobber), I think the signing of Satan was a sinfully good move by Boston. Okay, so Satan didn’t click with either Sidney “Snow Angel” Crosby or Evgeni "Zhenia is God" Malkin last year, but that’s all it was; a lack of chemistry. Good and Evil are rarely a good match. That doesn’t mean that Satan won’t find some wicked good chemistry with a few of the Big Bad Bruins.
There is one very important reason that Satan signed to play with Boston at this point in the season and it has everything to do with the fact that the Olympics are right around the corner. Satan will be super-motivated and should receive big support from fellow Slovak Zdeno Chara.
If Satan can stay on a line with Wheeler and Krejci, he might just find the chemistry he never found with his former Pens mates. His motivation following the Olympic Games may wane though, but until then you might be able to coax 50-55 point production for three to four weeks and if you’re lucky, maybe longer. The 35-year-old was a 59 point player only three seasons ago. Is he a sure thing? No, but depending who is available on your waiver wire, Satan could be a productive short term fill in.
The venerable Mark Recchi started the season with 11 points in his first 26 games. It took him half as many games to record his next 11 points and he now has three points in the first three games of 2010. The 41-year-old is averaging top six ice time, getting top power play minutes and was on pace for 48 points. That likely has more to do with the numerous injuries that the Bruins have had to deal with this season than with how well he is playing.
The Mythical Chimera – fire-breathing monster from Greek Mythology
The Jason Chimera – fast skating checker from Washington Capitals
How lucky can a guy get? Jason Chimera gets traded from a no fun, Ken Hitchcock coached, bottom four team to an all fun, Bruce Boudreau coached, top four team. If all goes according to plan for the Washington Capitals, Chimera will get a chance to play hockey far into the spring.
Chimera has the speed of a race horse, the heart of a lion, but his hands, well, let’s just say that only Medusa would find them appealing. He should prove to be a great fit on the Capitals and will play on the third line. They already have plenty of offensive talent, but what they could use come playoff time is more grit and a responsible defensive presence. Chimera possesses those attributes in abundance.
Now 30-years-old, Chimera wasn’t always a checker. Way back in his last year of junior hockey, he scored 66 points in 58 games. Over the next three seasons, he apprenticed in the AHL and in his third professional season, he recorded 77 points in 77 AHL games. He’s now an eight year NHL veteran and will never be mistaken for a scorer, topping out at 36 points in 2006-07. Chimera knows his role and is one of those under-appreciated players that could help the Caps win their first Stanley Cup. Nice move by George McPhee.