Sturm’s Presence Could Be Difference Maker on Offense

by abournenesn

Aug 10, 2009

Sturm's Presence Could Be Difference Maker on Offense It wouldn’t be a Bruins preseason if there weren’t an abundance of questions surrounding the club entering this year’s training camp.

Issues regarding injuries, contracts and the salary cap have created some concern around Causeway, but like the Hub of Hockey tends to forget, there are many positive aspects about the B’s upcoming camp.

One overlooked cog finagling itself back into the Black and Gold machine is Marco Sturm. Coach Claude Julien inked Sturm’s name into the lineup just 19 times last season due to a knee injury, but the Bruins’ leading scorer from the 2007-08 season is healthy and ready to make an impact.
“I feel good,” Sturm told the New England Hockey Journal recently. “There’s still work to do. I’m not there yet, but I skated [in July] and felt pretty good.”

Although the Bruins didn’t appear to miss out on his services in the regular season last year, he’ll prove to be one of the biggest additions to the Northeast Division this fall. The Bruins scored the second-most goals (274) in the NHL last year despite getting just seven goals from Sturm, whom fans were anticipating to have another big year.

Sturm led the B’s in goals in 2007-08 with 27 and was second behind Glen Murray in the 2006-07 season with 27. That’s 54 goals in his first two full seasons with the B’s following a 23-goal performance in just 51 games a season earlier – his first as a Bruin. Seventy-seven goals in that three-year span were the most among the B’s attack, eight ahead of Murray (69 goals) and 21 ahead of Patrice Bergeron (56). Despite not reaching the 30-goal plateau in any of his 11 NHL seasons, Sturm was on pace to reach that mark, potting seven goals in 19 games prior to his season-ending knee injury last winter. 

“All I’ve thought about is getting back,” Sturm said. “I can’t wait to join them again. I’ve worked hard to get back, and hopefully, we’ll have the same results as we had last year.”

One man who picked up the slack in Sturm’s absence last season was fellow winger Phil Kessel, and many critics felt that Sturm and his $3.5 million cap hit should be sacrificed to bring back Kessel at the young sniper’s hefty price tag request.

“I have heard there are rumors, but there’s nothing [going on with me being asked to waive the no-trade clause],” Sturm said before the B’s signed Matt Hunwick last month. “Obviously, we’re pretty tight against the cap. It’s part of the game.”

Whether general manager Peter Chiarelli finds a way to sign Kessel, Sturm gives the B’s another goal scorer who was absent from last season’s magical run. He may not be the prettiest, loudest or most consistent scorer, but Sturm’s re-addition to the B’s could push them over the top in 2010.

Who’s hot?
Shawn Thornton. The B’s enforcer is so hot he needed to take a dip into the Vineyard Sound with the Southeastern N.E. Coast Guard Sector to cool down. Thornton, who wanted to show his support for the Coast Guard, will be heading to the Woods Hole Coast Guard Base this week to meet and greet the brave members of the Coast Guard. The burly winger will go for a dive off the pier, take a response boat around the sound and then get an aerial tour of the area in a Coast Guard helicopter.

Who’s not?
Bruins first-round draft pick Jordan Caron broke his collarbone during the first intrasquad scrimmage at tryout camp for the Canadian World Junior team in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Saturday night.
According to TSN, Caron broke his collarbone after taking an open-ice hit from Los Angeles Kings blueline prospect Colten Teubert.

Quote of the week
“Preseason is a tough time period ‘cause you have to approach it the right way. You have to realize it’s the time you have to get your game back to the level you need it to be by the time of the regular season. The hard part is when it doesn’t come back quick enough. Over the past few years, experience helps me knowing that it’s going to take a little while, but you’ll be ready by the time the season starts. So I don’t get overly excited [when pucks go in early]. I’ve just got to keep in mind to be patient and work on the things I need to work on.”
Tim Thomas, on, describing his approach to the preseason

What to watch for
Does Patrick Kane, the Blackhawks winger who was arrested for allegedly assaulting and robbing a cab driver in his native Buffalo, N.Y., deserve to skate in the Team USA Orientation Camp this summer? The camp is designed as a tryout for the team which will compete in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver in February. Should Kane be axed from the roster, Bruin winger Phil Kessel will have an even better chance to make the squad. Removal from the roster also could open up a spot for another American player — Blake Wheeler. Wouldn’t he look spiffy in Red, White and Blue? Just a thought.

Previous Article

Rios Acquired by White Sox Through Waiver Claim

Next Article

Red Sox End Six-Game Slide With 6-5 Win Over Tigers

Picked For You