Welcome to snowy Boston, Lightning fans! In today's segment of "3 Questions", we hear from Sarah Connors, managing editor at "Stanley Cup of Chowder," the home of Bruins fans looking for the kind of analysis and balanced insight you just can't get from Jack Edwards.
Thanks to Sarah for taking the time in the middle of "Winter Storm Nemo" to answer my questions!
Carolyn Christians, Raw Charge:
1) The Tim Thomas era in Boston came to a close Thursday. Setting aside all the snark, it's really a strange tale of sports heroics gone awry. More practically, it gives Peter Chiarelli room to work with under the cap this year. What's the biggest hole in this line up that you would want to see addressed?
Sarah Connors, Stanley Cup of Chowder:
There's definitely a significant hole that we want to see plugged at third line wing. Chris Bourque has been less than mediocre in that spot; Jordan Caron, that spot's usual designated player, has been hurt since before the lockout ended (he was playing in Providence, along with Bourque.)
While there are a few up and coming players (Ryan Spooner, Jared Knight) who will eventually likely fill in that role; for now, it's definitely a spot worth looking to upgrade.
2) During the lockout, Bruins' owner Jeremy Jacobs was painted as perhaps the biggest villain negotiating for the League, even by local press (e.g. here). The Bruins players appeared prominently and in large numbers at meetings in NY where the NHLPA wanted to demonstrate their unanimity negotiating against the owners. Now that the season is resumed, has all that been forgotten? Do the players and/or fan base have any lingering ill will for the organization, or have their great start and winning record pushed all that out of the conversation?
The funny thing is that here in Boston, Jeremy Jacobs as the villain isn't even a new thing; he's been loathed for quite some time now. Most recently before the lockout, as you can see in this piece, he took a pretty big potshot at Cam Neely - during the damn Stanley Cup parade! Our hatred for him definitely isn't a thing that's going to just go away - it may be swept under the rug, but it'll always be in the back of our minds.
3) Dougie Hamilton, at 19 years old, has emerged as one of the top rookie defenseman in the League this season. Edmonton's Justin Schultz, who is 22, would be the other. What's your take? Describe for us what to look for in his game that makes Hamilton such a standout.
Hamilton is the offensive defenseman Boston has been looking for for years. After cycling through Dennis Wideman, Tomas Kaberle, and Joe Corvo, Hamilton is like a breath of fresh air.
His shot quality is amazing - he makes great decisions in the shooting lanes, and his breakout passes are just awesome to watch. Against the Islanders a few weeks ago, he made a cross-ice pass to Brad Marchand that lead to a breakaway goal by Patrice Bergeron; it was his second assist of the night.
Basically he's awesome and I highly look forward to watching him for the next forever.
For a sampling, here's a look at Hamilton's sweet pass in the Islanders game January 25th in Boston.