I like what our blue line has shown through these first four games. I like this emphasis on low-event hockey. I like the emphasis on structure and set plays. I like that every player seems to know what he's doing, what he'd like to do next, and what he'll do if things don't go according to plan. I like that when something does go wrong and the puck ends up in our net, it's because of a simple turnover, so all Babcock has to say is "That? Don't do that." I like that the D are jumping into the attack, that we're showing some physicality in our end, that The Forbidden Play - the breakout pass through the middle of the ice - seems to be throwing off the opposition. I like that we're no longer an adventure in our end, that we've calmed down, matured, grown, flat-out improved.
I also like Jeff Petry. But when I look at our blue line...to me, it doesn't scream "Could really use Jeff Petry." I think he'd settle in as a good #3 or #4, and, frankly, that's not what we need. Certainly not if it costs us Helm. His shortcomings are familiar to us - mental lapses in the d-zone, soft plays, inconsistency. He was a strong possession player last season, basically serving as Edmonton's #1 defenseman, but I don't know if adding him moves our needle closer to true Cup contention.
He was very good before he left too. He had a couple costly turnovers in the playoffs before he left, which everyone blew out of proportion, and so he's not looked upon favorable in hindsight. By every standard he was an exceptionally good investment during his time with the Wings.
I 100% agree that the Seguin trade was a bad trade on Boston's end, but it wasn't just a "hockey" trade. I remember at the time Seguin's character was being questioned regarding his supposed late night partying.
I think Boston's issues this year are a combination of losing Iginla, Boychuck, Krejci's injury, possibly a regression due to age, facing good competition, but most likely just a slump. If they are playing this way in a month, Bruins fans should maybe be concerned. Its just a few games into an 82 game season.
I think losing Thornton has absolutely nothing to do with it.