Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The Bruins made a pre-draft trade today, sending Dennis Wideman and their 15th overall pick to Florida for winger Nathan Horton, and center Gregory Campbell.

Horton scored 20 goals for the Panthers last year. He only just turned 25, and has three seasons left on a deal worth $4 million a year. His production has actually fallen off the past few years. He scored 28 in his first full season, then 31 the next year. Then it's been slowly downhill with 27, then 22, then 20.

But unlike Blake Wheeler, or Michael Ryder, he's at least kept himself above that minimum 20 goal level. And it's not like the Panthers have playmakers to help him out, either. He lead his team in assists with 37. And the Panthers had the 3rd worst offense in the League.

Gregory Campbell is most notable for being the son of NHL Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. The Bruins might use him to be a 4th line center, but apart from that he serves little purpose. He'll be a restricted free agent this off-season.

One of the reasons Florida were so willing to give the Bruins Horton was that he has a no-trade clause that kicks-in after the off-season. So the Bruins are stuck with him.

That being said, Horton and Wideman consume about the same cap space. And even though Wideman had a great postseason, his regular season was abysmal. He had two seasons left on an inflated deal, and the Bruins are deep at defense as is.

I'd say this is an improvement, and overall a good deal.


South American teams remain undefeated, and some powerhouse European sides finally showed up.

Portugal 7, North Korea 0

This was a 1-0 game at halftime. And Portugal scored 3 in the last 10 minutes. But don't get on them for running up the score. Goal differential is a tie-breaker, and the Portuguese have to play Brazil next. They have a 9 goal edge on Ivory Coast in the goal differential department and may need it, as the IC take on North Korea next.

Chile 1, Switzerland 0
The Chileans have been a nice surprise. They clinch advancement with a tie against Spain, or if Switzerland can't beat Honduras. They can also clinch on goal differential, which is +2.

Spain 2, Honduras 0

The Spanish came alive today. David Villa scored twice and was a missed penalty shy of a hat-trick.

So we're down to the final round of group play. That means games will be played simultaneously, and we'll be treated to 4 matches a game. Here's a quick shakedown of the various groups:

Group A (games played Tuesday):
Mexico and Uruguay can each advance with a tie, and they play each other, so they'll probably tie. France and South Africa each need to win and get help, and win by a few goals to beat the Mexicans or Uruguayans in goal differential. Mexico and Uruguay should advance.

Group B (Tuesday):
Argentina leads and can clinch winning the group with a tie or a win. South Korea and Greece each need to do better than the other (example: if Greece ties, SK advances with a win. Or if Greece wins by 2, SK can advance with a win by 3). South Korea faces Nigeria, Greece faces Argentina. Argentina should win, and South Korea should finish 2nd.

Group C (Wednesday):
Slovenia can advance with a tie against England, or if USA doesn't beat Algeria. All four teams can finish in any of the four spots. I think England wakes up and beats Slovenia, and the US beats Algeria, and both Anglophone nations advance.

Group D (Wednesday):
Germany essentially needs to beat Ghana. In fact, everyone needs to play for a win in order to advance. Germany's +3 goal differential will probably propel them into the Round of 16, along with Serbia.

Group E (Thursday):
The Netherlands are through no matter what. Cameroon is out no matter what. They play each other. Denmark and Japan play each other for the 2nd spot. Japan advances with a tie thanks to goal differential. But I think they'll beat the Japanese and it'll be Dutch and Danish from Group E.

Group F (Thursday):
Paraguay can advance with a tie or a win against New Zealand, who will probably still be hungover from their big draw against Italy. The Italians should be able to advance with a tie, so long as New Zealand doesn't tie/win.

Group G (Friday):
Brazil meets Portugal and will win the group with a tie or win. But Brazil is in the Round of 16 no matter what. Portugal also has one foot in, as they clinch advancement with a tie/win, and can only be eliminated if the amount of goals they lose by, plus the amount of goals Ivory Coast beats North Korea by, equal 9 or more. So if Portugal loses by 4, IC has to beat NK by 5.

Group H (Friday):
Chile and Spain sit atop the group, and will meet to determine the winner. Chile advances with a tie, Spain might need a win because the Swiss are playing the uninspired Hondurans. It's ironic because Chile is such an aggressive, offensive minded team, and they'll be playing for a tie. I say Spain and Switzerland advance.

Confused yet? Just a refresher, the first tie-breaker is goal differential, then total goals scored, then head-to-head results, then BCS ranking.