Can Nathan Horton boost line mates shooting %

Nathan Horton has been one of the stars of these NHL playoffs as will be an integral component of the Stanley Cup finals if the Bruins are going to beat the Chicago Blackhawks. Nathan Horton is also set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer so his good playoff performance is good timing. One of the things I have noticed about Horton while looking through the statistics is that he has one of the highest on-ice 5v5 shooting percentages over the past 6 seasons of any NHL forward (ranks 16th among forwards with >300 minutes of ice time). Part

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Quick Hit Rumours

– Add a new team into the Mats Sundin sweepstakes: the Ducks. That’s right, the perpetually financially strained team is reportedly making a pitch to Sundin, and with the Ducks so close to the cap they’re going to have to shed salary (again). This time, the casualty may be Chris Kunitz, the former Ducks alternate captain who hasn’t quite lived up to his $3.5m price-tag since signing it. No doubt that the Ducks would prefer to trade Kunitz to an Eastern Conference team, but Brian Burke continues to put himself in situations in which he has absolutely no leverage –

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David's 2008-09 NHL Predictions

I believe we are in for some serious surprises in both conferences as I don’t think there are many teams that are sure bets to make the playoffs and in both conferences, particularly the west, there are several younger teams ready to make a push for a playoff spot. All that means that some teams expecting to make the playoffs won’t. Eastern Conference 1. New Jersey Devils 2. Montreal Canadiens 3. Washington Capitals 4. New York Rangers 5. Pittsburgh Penguins 6. Buffalo Sabres 7. Ottawa Senators 8. Boston Bruins 9. Philadelphia Flyers 10. Tampa Bay Lightning 11. Carolina Hurricanes 12.

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Boston Bruins

The Bruins made the playoffs with one of the league’s worst PK units and offense, yet managed to sneak into the playoffs. The bears caught fire at season’s end and put up a formidable fight against the top-ranked Habs. The Bruins are one of the more physical teams in the East with emphasis on defense, although after captain Zdeno Chara the talent level of the defensive corps dives right off a cliff. Marc Savard is perhaps one of the most skilled playmakers in the game, and with coach Claude Julien‘s help, he has become a stronger two-way player as well.

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THN Rankings – East

1 Montreal Canadiens 2 Pittsburgh Penguins 3 Washington Capitals 4 Philadelphia Flyers 5 Ottawa Senators 6 NY Rangers 7 New Jersey Devils 8 Carolina Hurricanes 9 Tampa Bay Lightning 10 Boston Bruins 11 Buffalo Sabres 12 Florida Panthers 13 Atlanta Thrashers 14 Toronto Maple Leafs 15 NY Islanders Again, I’m going to have to disagree with THN over this. If the Pens had managed to keep Ryan Malone and/or Marian Hossa I’d be inclined to agree that they would finish atop their division, but they won’t. When you potentially have Miroslav Satan as your top scoring winger you’re not going

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Northeast division preview

Boston Bruins Strengths: -Good 1-2 tandem at center with Savard and Bergeron -Should get improved goaltending with Manny Fernandez Weaknesses: -Lack of overall depth. -No quality game breakers on the wings. -Mediocre defense Question Marks: -Can Chara rebound after a questionable season last year? -Can Fernandez be the anchor in goal that the Bruins desperately need? -Can Glen Murray stay healthy and get back to 40 goal territory? Outlook: The Bruins addressed one of their key problem areas with the acquisition of goalie Manny Fernandez but one still has to wonder if Fernandez, who only once has played more than

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Eastern Conference Team Ratings

Based on the same forumula as the western conference ratings, here are the eastern conference ratings. As usual, if you disagree feel free to post your thoughts and if you can back up your arguement, who knows, maybe you can get me to change my mind. Forwards Defense Goaltending Total Talent Depth Exp. Talent Depth Exp. #1 goalie Depth Exp. Score Ottawa 10 6 7 8 7 7 8 7 6 53.2 Buffalo 8 8 6 7 8 7 8 7 6 52.8 Pittsburgh 10 8 6 8 7 6 7 6 6 52.5 NY Rangers 9 7 8 6

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Big Bad Bruin Trade

If you haven’t heard already, the Boston Bruins have traded Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks for Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau. In my mind this is a horrible trade for the Bruins and a good one for the Sharks. The Sharks now have a dominant centerman who can take control of a game and anchor the Sharks offense. Every team needs one of those guys if they want to win. For Boston, well, now they don’t and they will suffer. Yes, Brad Stuart is a solid defenseman, and the Bruins could definitely use one of those,

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Best Lines in NHL

With all the player movement since the NHL last played we can’t be sure if all of these lines will be used by the coaches of the teams but here is my list of the best possible first lines teams could use if desired. Be sure to also vote for your top line in the poll in the menu to the left. (poll should be up for several days) Vancouver Canucks – Markus Naslund-Brendan Morrison-Todd Bertuzzi While Brendan Morrison is a good player he isn’t really an elite center in the NHL but his wingers are so good and have

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