It has been a long day with all the trades and then the Bruins’ 4-2 win at Ottawa, so I’m just going to close the night with some quick-hit thoughts on what went down over the last 10 hours or so.
•Raise your hand if you had Brad Marchand on target for surpassing 20 goals this year by mid-February, and not only outscoring his teammate Tyler Seguin but also No. 1 overall pick Taylor Hall. Marchand has been a ridiculous revelation and he has to be in the mix for the Calder Trophy with San Jose’s Logan Couture and Carolina’s Jeff Skinner at this point.
•Raise your other hand if you thought on Feb. 18 Adam McQuaid would be in the top six and Johnny Boychuk would be a healthy scratch. Luckily for Boychuk, he signed a two-year deal last summer, and he still might get his development on track. This situation is as much a credit to McQuaid as it is a tale of woe for Boychuk. McQuaid had another solid game tonight and it seems like his confidence increases every game. If he and Andrew Ference are going to be your third pair, the Bruins are in solid shape.
•Along the same lines, I have said 1,000 times in the last few years that the Bruins won’t be a championship-caliber club until they can play Ference in their third pair on a regular basis. Now it looks like that’ll be the case, which should aid Ference’s durability and also allow the Bruins to have very little drop-off in their own end when their third pair gets caught on the ice against top lines.
•Going back to Tyler Seguin, aka SegNasty, this blog gives the rookie a lot of grief. But these last two games in particular show that he’s finally figuring out that he doesn’t have to be afraid to play in the NHL and doesn’t have to do much more than skate hard and make a few plays. It’s about time he started to keep the puck on his stick and make some passes that aren’t blind. If he gets to stay on the wing full-time now and continues to take care of the puck, that’ll be a huge boon to Boston’s efforts.
•So Toronto held out long enough to get Boston to part with Joe Colborne in the Tomas Kaberle deal. What does that tell you about Zach Hamill? The ’07 first-round pick was called up for a quick audition and obviously didn’t impress the Leafs as much as the ’08 first-round pick who has no NHL experience and has endured an up-and-down first pro season. Hamill was sort of handicapped skating with Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder, but you would’ve liked to see him make his linemates better.
I wonder where that leaves Hamill on the Bruins’ depth chart now. The Bruins are overflowing with centers now. A restricted free agent this summer, Hamill might not get the chance to prove he’s not a bust in a Boston sweater.