Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo Endure Painful Separation

Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo were teammates for mere hours, but I don't think either will forget the experience. Thomas was traded to the Dallas Stars just before the NHL Trade Deadline on Wednesday. Thomas will backup Kari Lehtonen as the Stars push to make the playoffs. Dallas currently has the 8th best record in the West.

Thomas and Luongo were teammates for less than a day, although Luongo probably flew to southern Florida for the Panthers next game at home against Buffalo. Thomas was up in Boston playing in net for the Panthers, who lost 4-1 to the Bruins. I doubt the two were ever in the same room. However both goalies were able to make light of the situation, and poke fun at the other. Luongo's unverified Twitter account posted this on Tuesday:

Tim Thomas, after Tuesday night's Bruins-Panthers game, was asked about being teammates with Luongo...

"It looked like [Florida GM Dale Tallon] went kicking some tires and found one that needed to be pumped."

Thomas also seemed to think that his time with the Panthers might be nearing an end, as he continued to say "I don’t know how things are going to work out assuming I stay in Florida, it will be interesting."

Once Thomas was traded, Luongo's Twitter reacted with this:

So no reality TV show in Sunrise. There will not be a second dream team in South Beach. No Twitter vs. Facebook debates. All of this makes perfect hockey sense, but it is disappointing that there will be no Bobby and Timmy Show.

Canadiens Acquire Bruins Killer Thomas Vanek

While the Boston Bruins didn't do much at the deadline, acquiring Andrej "Meh"-szaros, up in Montreal the Habs traded for Thomas Vanek. Vanek, when he was a member of the Buffalo Sabres, absolutely killed the Bruins.

In Vanek's career against the Bruins he's played 53 games, scoring 30 goals with 31 assists. He's +21. 14 of those 30 goals came on the power play. Which Montreal needed to improve, and the Bruins have had difficulty defending since Dennis Seidenberg's injury.

Vanek has a 20.0% career shooting percentage against the Bruins. Which is ridiculous. He scores every 5 shots he takes against the B's.

Vanek also has decent numbers against the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Lightning. With the new divisional formatting of the NHL playoffs, the Habs will likely have to go through these teams. If the season ended today, the Canadiens would play Tampa Bay, then face the winner of a Toronto/Boston series.

I mentioned Montreal's power play. Typically the Habs bring a frightening power play to the table, but this year it's been a disappointment. They're 13th in the NHL with a 19.7% scoring rate with a man advantage. They're tied for 8th with 41 power play goals.

Vanek hasn't been great on the power play since leaving Buffalo. However, a few seasons ago he routinely scored 10+ power play goals a season, including 20 in 2008-09. If he can find that form in Montreal, it might be time for Bruins fans to have a Vanek-panic attack.

The B's have lost both their games against Montreal this season, and will play the Habs next Wednesday up at the Bell Centre and again on March 24th in Boston.

Photo Credit:
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Bruins Make "Meh" Trade for Andrej Meszaros

The Bruins needed to add a defenseman. If they failed to do so, their chances of winning a Stanley Cup would have been quite small. They traded a 3rd round pick to the Philadelphia Flyers for defenseman Andrej Meszaros. It's a very "meh" trade.

Meszaros is 28-years-old, 6' 2" tall and weighs 223 pounds. He's played with Zdeno Chara as a member of the Ottawa Senators, who originally drafted him late in the 1st round of the '04 draft. He's played in 38 games this season with 5 goals, 12 assists and a +1. He has 46 games of playoff experience in Ottawa and Philly.

My main concern is penalty killing. Since losing Dennis Seidenberg, the Bruins' penalty kill has statistically been one of the worst in the League.

Meszaros is averaging 0:51 of shorthanded ice time per game this season. Once again, meh.

I'm not thrilled about that. That's good that he plays on the penalty kill. And he improves the defense, adds depth, et cetera. He reportedly has played well with Zdeno Chara in the past. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is familiar with him, as he was part of Ottawa's front office when Meszaros was drafted. So maybe he'll improve as a member of the Bruins.

So the Bruins slightly improved their biggest weakness. Hopefully Meszaros does work well with Chara. Hopefully they click. Hopefully Chara can make Meszaros a better player.

All I know is the Bruins have a suspect penalty kill and special teams takes on added importance in the postseason. I don't think the penalty kill improved much, although it did improve somewhat. Time will tell.

Until we know, my reaction to this trade is just "meh."