True Believers, the time has come. The NHL season is just over a week away and the preseason is in full swing. With that being said, the Bruins continue to dwindle down the numbers and will soon be setting the opening day roster.
So who do I think will be the starting 20 on October 9th in Prague? Well is it who do I think or who do I want to be the starters? Those have two totally different answers for me. First, I’m going to give you who I would want to be my starting 20 for the first game. My roster of 20 would include: forwards Bergeron, Krejci, Seguin, Campbell, Lucic, Marchand, Paille, Recchi, Reich, Thornton, Wheeler, Horton and defensemen Boychuk, Chara, McQuaid, Stuart, Seidenberg, and Hunwick. The goalies would be Rask and Thomas.
Naming Seguin and Wheeler to the roster are not my first picks but there are no good replacements at the moment with Savard and Sturm out. I certainly believe Seguin has the skills to play for the NHL. I just think at 18, he could use a year in Providence before making the jump to the NHL. And to all the people that are hoping Seguin is the next Crosby, please stop saying that. We want Seguin to play hockey and be aggressive and not an ice princess, to steal a nickname from Andrew Ference’s notebook.
Wheeler has the skills (I think) to contribute to this team but has not done so. It is almost painful to see him waste roster space but I am hopeful that he will pull through this season and put all the critics (including me) in our place. You will also note that Michael Ryder is not on my roster. As you all know by now, Ryder is never on the top of my list for anything. Maybe a trip to Providence will do Ryder some good, either he’ll ask for a trade or realize he needs to step his game up in order to keep his spot in Boston.
The top seven defenders (Boychuk, Chara, Seidenberg, Hunwick, Ference, Stuart, McQuaid) are pretty much set. The only choice to be made is who the odd man out is. I personally picked McQuaid because he brings physicality and is not afraid to mix it up with opposing fighters. The hard part for me was choosing between Ference and Hunwick. They both bring something to the table but just not enough. If they morphed into one person, they (it?) would be a great hockey player. Hunwick is my choice because I just feel more confident when he is on the ice versus Ference.
With all this said, none of it matters because once again, I am not the GM nor am I the head coach. One can always dream though, right? So this is what I think the roster will actually look like. First off, take out Reich and insert Ryder. As much as I love Reich, I do not think he will make the team. He was already sent to Providence and only recalled to play in the preseason game on Tuesday. He may make the trip to Prague but I don’t see him starting. As for that final roster spot, I am not sure who is going to get it. With all the talk, I would think it is between Marchand, Caron, or Colborne.
Whatever the finalized roster looks like, expect there to be a mix of skills and physicality in front of the strong goaltending of Tuukka Rask. Either way, I can’t wait until October 9th!
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