EuroBruins: An update
For hockey fans, there’s been almost nothing more miserable than the NHL lockout. But while we’re waiting to get let back into NHL arenas, here’s an update on how your favorite Bruins are faring over in Europe and beyond.
In Switzerland, it’s been a year of many flame-enthused helmets for 20-year-old Tyler Seguin. Suiting up for EHC Biel, Seguin’s 26-game stint with the club has included a league-leading 24 goals along with 14 assists, giving up 38 points, good for fourth in the entire Swiss League. Staying in the Swiss League, Patrice Bergeron's 18-game stint with Lugano came to end with the two-way forward and defending Selke Trophy winner tallying 11 goals and 17 assists with a plus-8 rating.
Not to be outdone, the Bruins’ Chris Kelly ended an eight-game stint in the lower Swiss league with four goals and five assists for HC Red Ice.
Skating in Finland, B’s forward Rich Peverley has enjoyed a reunion with former Thrashers teammate Eric Perrin for JyP, scoring eight goals and recording 19 points in 22 contests with the club. Peverley, oddly enough, also leads the teams in penalty minutes, sitting in the sin-bin for 41 minutes this year. Despite finding himself in the box 17 more minutes than he has in 80 career games in Boston, the penalties haven’t seem to bother a JyP club that has 55 points on the year, sitting just four points away from first place Jokerit.
Joining Peverley in Finland, but playing with Ilves Tampere, Danny Paille has welcomed himself to Europe with a goal and assist in three games. Playing on the club’s first line with Philly forward Max Talbot, Ilves Tampere, better known as the ‘Lynx’ by the locals, is 2-0-1 since Paille joined. Intangibles, baby!
Serving as the Bruins’ lone representation in the Czech League, top-line forward David Krejci has undoubtedly enjoyed some time back in his homeland, recording 25 points in just 22 games, headlined by 14 goals, tying him with Oilers forward Ales Hemsky for the team lead.
Note: Bruins forwards Shawn Thornton, Greg Campbell, Brad Marchand, Nathan Horton, and Milan Lucic have all remained at home during the lockout.
Despite returning to Boston this past week, the 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara certainly seemed to make his impact for Lev Praha in his 20-game stint with the club. In a 20-game KHL stint that apparently ruined the defensemen’s friendship with fellow Slovak and former teammate Miroslav Satan, Chara scored four times and added five assists. There’s no word as to whether or not Chara will return to the club when the KHL gets back underway on the 19th just yet. I’m sure it’ll all depend on the status of the NHL and NHLPA’s negotiations.
Playing in his home country of Germany, and playing with younger brother Yannick, Dennis Seidenberg's status as one of the game's better defensive defensemen hasn't gone unnoticed for the Mannheim Eagles. Tops among Mannheim d-men with a plus-8 rating, the 31-year-old Seidenberg has also chipped in with one goal (on the power-play, too) and 12 assists in 21 games.
Over in the Czech Republic, Andrew Ference has put in solid work for Ceske Budejovice with six points in 18 games, with countless beer assists for any B’s fans willing to travel to the Czech to see him play.
In Austria, joining the Salzburg EC Red Bulls along with David Clarkson and Derick Brassard, top-four defensemen Johnny Boychuk has welcomed himself to the locals with a goal and four assists in just seven games with the club. All while Boston longs for a ‘Johnny Rocket’. *sigh*.
Notes: Defensemen Adam McQuaid has not signed a lockout contract with a club.
Heir to Tim Thomas' vacated throne, a brief yet triumphant trip to the Czech has told us that yes, Tuukka Rask is ready to seize the role of the No. 1 netminder in Boston. Playing in 17 contests with HC Plzen, the 25-year-old Rask had a 2.13 goals-against-average and .929 save-percentage before returning back to Boston.
The same cannot be said for the assumed backup, Anton Khudobin. After starting off on the right foot with Atlant of the KHL, the wildly entertaining Kazakh goaltender has struggled to the tune of a 6-12-3 record with a 2.83 goals-against-average. Ouch.