Sunday, November 30, 2008


Well, that was pretty huge.  By "that" I could mean a lot of things:

  • November's final record: 11-1-1
  • Bruins beating the Red wings 4-1
  • The Patriots loss to Pittsburgh.
But this is the Hockey blog adventure, and we're talking some hockey.  So here goes.

First period, first thing is Aaron Ward smacking his left ankle into the board and only playing 3 shifts.  With one defensemen down (Ference) we've still been playing well.  I don't know if the Bruins will be so lucky with Lashoff as they have been with Hunwick.   Bruins have until thursday to play again, so maybe no biggie.  I hope.  Sturm would do well to get over his concussion soon, too.

But Manny is still riled up from yesterday afternoon, and doesn't need a "warm-up" period.  He's played the Red Wings before, while he was playing with the Wild.  He's not letting anything up just yet.

The whole first 8-10 minutes otherwise, the Bruins are flat.  And I mean F-L-A-T flat.  Utah salt flats flat.  It looked bad.  They were playing the RED WINGS, for crying out loud.  Manny stayed strong.  

For 12 minutes.  With exactly 8 minutes left in the first, Ryder and Wheeler come down on the 2-on-1, Ryder passes to Wheeler, who puts it behind Conklin.

1-0.  Conklin has a 0.00% SV after one shot.

The Bruins look a little better after that.  With 4 minutes to go, Kessel gets it on the side boards.  He passes to Hnidy, who then passes it right back to Kessel.  Kessel rifles it past about 20 players, the last of which is Conklin.

2-0. It's still the first, anything can happen.

Manny makes another couple of stops, the Bruins manage to get out of the period 2-0.

But the Red Wings are known to go 1 out of 3 on the Powerplay coming into this game.  The Bruins gave them one powerplay, and they took some matching penalties.  Not a good start, penalty-wise.

That said, let's head to the second period.  

The Bruins are looking better than the beginning of the first, but you're still on the edge of your seat because they're playing last year's cup champs plus Marian Hossa.  It's a scary thing, at any point of the game.

8 minutes in.  Bergeron goes in for the forecheck.  Gets it off some guy from detroit but you can't see who in the replay.  Whatever.  He passes it up from the corner to Kobasew.  Kobasew has a wide open shot on Conklin.  9 shot of the game.  GOAL!

3-0.  Conklin leaves the game with a .667 Save percentage, and some huge GAA.  In comes Chris Osgood, three time stanley cup winner.  

Bruins give up 2 more penalties, on the second one, the Detroit PP offense sets up.  They work it around and around and around and then Jiri Hudler puts it in front of Manny and Franzen taps it in.  I don't care what says about who scored it, I was there and saw him tap it in.
3-1. Still the second.  You know what they say about the worst lead in hockey...

Third Period time.  Will the Bruins be able to keep it up and continue to stop the Red Wings, or will the Red Wings offensive MACHINE (seriously) get some past Manny.

Manny's voting for the former.  The same guys who started the "Put in Thomas" chant after the Thompson goal are now starting "Manny! Manny! Manny!" chants.  He's a beast.  He stops a bunch of shots.  Osgood is not so lucky.

6 or so minutes in, Wheeler picks it up off a Ryder rebound, gets it to Wideman at the point.  Wideman throws it in, bounces off krejci down to his stick.  There's a deliberate slow spin movement on this shot, but the shot comes off just a little ahead of times.  Osgood lets it get behind him, but can't find anyone to dive against.  GOAL.

4-1.  The best way to handle the worst lead is to score again.

The last 13 minutes of the game are Manny and Osgood both playing some serious business goaltender.

4-1. Final.
Manny wants that starter job.  So does Thomas.  They're both playing themselves into it.  Manny is 7-1-1, for crying out loud.  Granted, two of those were games where the Bruins scored 7 goals, but one is against the Red Wings, who are second in scoring behind the Sharks.

People talk about how december's schedule is "easy," but the Panthers just beat New York 4-0.  The Bruins would do well to not play down to any team, but they don't seem to have a problem with that so far, which has made them quite good.  Consistancy has gotten Lidstrom the Norris and Brodeur the Vezina the past couple years, after all.

What a game.  Just a fantastic game.

Postgame interview with Zdeno Chara:

"We can beat anybody in this league. We can play with any team in this league. But we haven't done anything but beat a few teams. We've got to keep going and keep pushing forward. We can't be satisfied with the results we have."
From THN.

Let's check in with Jack and Andy, post-game:

Record: 16-4-4
November Total: 11-1-1
L10: 8-1-1
Streak: W2

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Game 24 Preview: Detroit @ Bruins MORE THIRD JERSEYS

Nov 29, 2008 7:00 PM ET
On Radio: WBZ
vs. Detroit Red Wings (15-3-4)
  • Manny in net.
  • More third jerseys.
  • Marco Sturm has been out with a Concussion, though he was also playing with a concussion for a while.  He's apparently feeling better, and I hope he can get back into the lineup soon.
  • It's Chris from's Birthday.  Let's hope the B's get him something nice.
  • Bruins beat the Red Wings in the Preseason, 2-1.  Preseason means nothing.
  • This game finishes up "Original Six Month."  The bruins have played Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, and New York already this month.
  • This game is the season series against Detroit.
  • The Red Wings have a scary-good 32.26% powerplay.  Wow.  That means that they score on nearly a third of the power plays they get.  As I said, Scary-good.
Other Previews:

Friday, November 28, 2008


This was an awesome game. It was sold out, the crowd was all in their seats by the first puck drop, just a fantastic game.

Let's start ourselves a post-thanksgiving recap.
(Email and feed subscribers, you may have to click through to see the videos)
First off, Nate Thompson comes back to the team that put him on waivers and - oops! - scores one 1:46 in to the game.  It was a nice corner shot.  One of those goals where you wonder, "Is it going to be one of THOSE nights?"
0-1.  The guys next to you try to start a "put in thomas" chant, but you saw this in the Buffalo game.

Lucic absolutely pastes Jackman into the boards.  Jackman doesn't get up for a minute.  But he skates off the ice, and plays later in the game, so I guess he's ok.

The Bruins come out flat.  And by flat, I mean Utah salt flats before they flooded flat.
So Head Coach Claude Julien talks to the team:
The Bruins respond.

Second Period.
We go on the PP, the whole bench crashes the net.  Seriously.  Axelsson-Kobasew-RW-Axelsson-MacDonald-Kobasew-NET.  GOAL.

1-1.  That's more like it.

Then Krejci gets it down low behind the net, but Hilbert gets it away from him.  He dumps...into the waiting hands of Michael Ryder.  High glove side. GOAL.

2-1.  Solid.

During the second intermission, the Islanders look down and realize they're the islanders.

Bill Guerin gets the breakaway, but Manny hasn't let any goals in yet and doesn't see a reason to start now.

2-1.  Solid save by Manny.

On the rebound from that save, they work it out of the zone, Krejci gets going on a 2-on-1 with Wheeler.  You know how this goes.  Krejci-Wheeler-Net.  GOAL.

3-1.  How about that.

Krejci decides that that looked like fun, so 10 seconds later, well...
He brings it in, fakes the pass, stuffs it in like Thanksgiving dinner.

4-1. You start to feel better about the game.  Joey Macdonald gets to watch the rest of the game

A couple minutes later, Wideman fires it in, it bounces all the way around to Hunwick, who passes it to Kessel.  Kessel gets it across to Wideman, who wrists it high short side.  GOAL.

5-1. Well, I think that will....

Oh, look at that, Lucic and Witt decide it's fightin' time. has the video, and votes Lucic the winner.

22 seconds of game-time later, Shane Hnidy and Tim Jackman - who Lucic had flattened in the first - fight as well.  Hockeyfights calls it a draw, leaning towards Jackman.

But fights don't win games.  Goals do.  Richard Park understands that, and the Islanders get on the Power Play, and he looks like he's going to work it up the boards, but turns around and wrists one home.

Ryder sits at the other blue line, gets the pass from Wideman and wrists it into the net.  GOAL.

6-2.  Second goal from Ryder.  Sick.

Then with 2:40 left in the game, Lucic picks up the puck in the Bruins end.  He skates it up, drops it to Savard.  Savard gives it back to Lucic, and the both go wide to pull apart the defense.  Let's see, who else is on that line?  Oh yeah...  KESSEL!  Lucic gives it to him, Kessel buries it.  From the clip: MacDonald is ANGRY.

7-2.  Watch that one again.  Seriously, look at how two guys go with Savard, two go with Lucic, and the point-man D just gets burned by Kessel.  What a pretty play.

Thirty seconds left, they try to give Ryder the hat trick, but he has to settle for just 2 goals on the night.

Just a wonderful game to watch.  Especially the last 40 minutes.
Pretty much the only thing missing is another Hunwick goal.

Record: 15-4-4
L10: 8-1-1
In November: 10-1-1
Home: 8-1-1
Streak: W1

Game 23 Preview: NY Islanders @ Bruins HIGH NOON GAME

Nov 28, 2008 12:00 PM ET
On Radio: WBZ
vs. NY Islanders (9-11-2)
Other Previews:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Howdy, folks.  It's turkey day here in the US, and before I rush off to the family stuff, I'd like to just give thanks for anyone who's read the blog, who's commented, and especially those of you out there who have posted links on your own/let me post links in your liveblogs and comments sections.  I have really enjoyed this season so far, from the season tickets I foolishly bought myself on my birthday, to all the folks who've made this blog worth writing, to anyone who has gone to a hockey game with me.

Also, big ups to people I talk hockey with.  

Thanks to the victims of "5 Questions with the Enemy."  If some random guy emailed me with 5 questions about the bruins, I'm not so sure I would answer.  Just a look back, here are the participants:
And thanks to the Sabres for bringing me back down to earth.  Enjoy thanksgiving, and of course,


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Well, the home-team winning streak continues in this series. Luckily, we don't see these guys until January, and it's in OUR building next time. I missed the first 2 periods due to family engagements. So once again, it's time to piece together what happened.


10 minutes into the game, the bruins are working it out of our zone when Derek Roy literally shoots it in from David Krejci's stick blade. Seriously. Ridiculous. Want proof? Fine. Here:

See? Unbelievable. 0-1.

2 Minutes left in the 1st, and Derek Roy sneaks one in short side.

4 minutes into the second, the Bruins start battling back. This nice little number is what we like to call a "Matt Hunwick Garbage Goal." Krejci-Kobasew-Miller-Kobasew-Miller-Hunwick-GOAL.

1-2. Hope springs eternal.

Then 5 minutes into the second, Hecht on the Sabres PK streaks up and rifles one past Thomas. Just embarassing.

Thornton fights Andrew Peters. They stood around a bunch, but eventually got to it.

Third period, about halfway through, this one's a doozy.
Kessel walks it in, gets it across to Savard, Savard half-whiffs on a slapshot, but it gets to Lucic. Lucic tips it when it gets to him, then Kessel finally grabs it and shows them how a goal is supposed to be scored.


Thomas pulled with a minute to go, we can't bury it.

Not the worst game ever, the Bruins were certainly trying to get it going in the third. The announcers mentioned some funny bounces, maybe that's it.

Happy Thanksgiving, folks. See y'all Friday for my early-morning Preview. Hmmmmm.....

Record: 14-4-4
L10: 8-1-1
Away: 7-3-3
Streak: L1

Game 22 Preview: Bruins @ Buffalo BUFFALO? AGAIN? REALLY?

Nov 26, 2008 7:00 PM ET
On Radio: WBZ
@Buffalo Sabres (9-8-3)

  • Again? This is the 4th game against Buffalo this year. After this, we don't see them until Jan. 3rd, and then not again until the second-to-last game of the season, April 11th. In each game, the home team has won. Games so far:
  • Game 6: 2-2 SO Loss in Buffalo
  • Game 14: 3-1 W in Boston.
  • Game 19: 7-4 W in Boston. Miller got chased from the net.
  • The Bruins are on a 4 game winning streak, including 3 divisional games against the Leafs, Habs, and Sabres.  They also haven't lost in regulation in November...yet.
  • Manny vs. Miller has been the goalie-duel for the last 3 games.  
  • Congrats to Marc Savard for getting first star of the week last week.
  • Will Marco "The German" Sturm ever return?
  • Vanek still has 15 goals, and is still tied for the lead in NHL scoring.
  • Buffalo has cooled down a lot after their hot start. I worry about that happening to the Bruins.
  • NHL Fanhouse:The Bruins are now the measuring stick.
  • Puck the Media doesn't want to see the NHL on ESPN.
  • sees that Savard is a complete player.
  • Matt Porter has an early gift idea.
  • Give thanks for Jack Edwards.
Other Previews:
Tim Thomas:
(The other goalie on both lists:  Backstrom from the Wild.  Sick.)
This space was once the Campaign Headquarters.  No more.  Penguins Experience agrees.



Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Also, Vote Jack "SAVE! BY! THOMAS!" Edwards in this poll on Puck the Media. Let's see, an 8th seed from boston going up against a 1st seed from Canada....why does that sound familiar?


Monday, November 24, 2008


Ok, folks, I've been waiting for this day for a while.  Jack "Save by Thomas" Edwards...

Wait, hold on.   That's Jack "SAVE! BY! THOMAS!" Edwards is an eighth seed in Puck the Media's NHL Tournament of Announcers.  Voting starts RIGHT NOW. and lasts only 24 hours.  So if you're reading this at 5:30 pm on tuesday or later, it may already be too late.

Chris Cuthbert eats babies.  VOTE FOR EDWARDS!  Let's stuff the crap out of that ballot box.

Love him or hate him, Edwards is always an exciting guy to hear.  Here is proof, from the Dallas Game:

(dafoomie, you make my blog like 10 times better)

There's a reason that NESN has a "Jack Edwards quote of the Week." So GO VOTE!

It's official: Third Jerseys are here.

Here's the pdf linked to by BruinsBlog.  The official unveiling is at the Pro Shop today at 2pm.

My thoughts are...  there are two many black jerseys in the NHL already.  Throwbacks would be cool, but there the bruins have like 3 choices:  The hand-done spoked-B (no reason), just the big B, the way old-school one they're sending up in this one, or this fine item: 
Picture from NHL Uniforms, an absolutely FANTASTIC place to find out what every team was wearing every season.  Seriously, it's ridiculous.  Oh look, they already have the third jersey.

There, I said it.  Deal with it.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Game 21 Recap: BRUINS 2 HABS 2 SO WIN


What.  A. Game.  Didn't watch the Ruoah retirement ceremony, but he did help win bourque a stanley cup.  But it's not 2001 anymore.
For all of you looking for a Lucic/Laraque fight, choke on this:
"There was no way it was going to happen," said coach Claude Julien, who had, before the game, forbidden Lucic from fighting Laraque. "[Shawn]Thornton was there, ready for Georges. Nothing happened. My tough guy was ready for their tough guy. Simple as that. I told him not to fight. It was me."
from  Claude knows he needs to be scoring those goals.

Clutch game.  Let's remember...

Chara plays 31+ minutes against Montreal

Your Video Recap:
Before the game it was Patrick Roy night.  Carey Price helped him raise the banner.  No video of that.

Whole first period is some hitting, some skating around, and some saves.  Thomas and Price both looked solid.  Georges Laraque was told by Coach Guy to fight Lucic.  Lucic was told by Coach Julien to not fight Laraque.  It got a little awkward.
That was most of the first.
First intermission.
Second period, the habs are allowed to keep it in the zone, pass it around and tip it past Thomas.  0-1.

Then a little less than 10 minutes laters, Kessel makes a break for it.  He manages to get around his defenseman, then puts one on Lucic's stick for the goal.

1-1.  Sick.  let's see that goal celebration again:
Habs are annoyed.    No scoring for the rest of the second.
2nd intermission
Third Period.  It's one-one nearly through half of the third, until Krejci gets another breakaway, and then makes another good move like the night before.  krejci brings the puck halfway into the zone, then moves it over to Hunwick (HUNWICK?) in the high slot.  Hunwick gets the biscuit to the basket.

2-1.  You have that feeling like, "I hope we hold on"

Our defense has been a joke when leading in the third recently, so the bruins let the habs score another one with three minutes left by tipping it past Thomas again.  

OT speeds by and nobody wins there.  Shootout time.  Blake wheeler comes out first.  Keeps moving his stick around it like it's a shell game.  Carey Price loses track of the 6 of diamonds.  Goal.

Thomas saves all 3 shots, Price doesn't TOTALLY disgrace Roy and stops the other two.

"To come in here and come out with a win is really good, especially in a shootout," said Thomas, who didn't see any of Roy's pre-game ceremony. "I've seen Saku score on that last shot and him the one walking off the ice with his arms raised and all happy, and I was happy to be the one with my arms raised and happy today."
Sick Quote from JOKESPN

Record: 14-3-4
Away: 7-2-3
L10: 9-0-1
Streak: W4

Saturday, November 22, 2008

L10: Second 10 games

It's still early. Don't blow your whole wad.
We're about a quarter of the way through the season, and if you look up, you'll see that we're #1 in the conference, due to NYR having the same amount of points and 2 more GP. I'll take it for now.
Here's the quick and dirty version of what happened during games 11-20.
  • Game 11: Calgary beat us. This was the third game of Thomas's Road Trip, and the only game of 3 that he didn't post a 0-1 shutout.
  • Game 12: "Brave Steve" Ott and Sean Avery try to knock the Bruins off their game, fail miserably. We beat them on the ice and the scoreboard, 5-1.

  • Game 13: Blake Wheeler got a hat trick en route to our 5-2 win over Toronto.
  • Game 14: We beat Buffalo 3-1, to take the top spot in the division.
  • Game 15: We beat Chicago 1-1 in the shootout. It's our first OT win against Chicago since 1934. Axelsson with the game-winner:

  • Game 16: We CRUSH the Habs 6-1, Lucic finally fights Komisarek, 5 Game winning streak.
  • Game 17: We fall apart in the last 10 minutes to give up a 2-0 lead and lose in the shootout, 2-2. Lundqvist is ridiculous.
  • Game 18: We fell apart in the last 10 minutes, BUT Thomas is solid in net all game long, even grabbing the puck as the last buzzer sounds. If Thomas wasn't solid this game, it would look a lot more like the 4-2 loss vs. Toronto earlier in the year.

  • Game 19: A ridiculous 7-4 win. Miller got pulled after 7, Manny stayed in after 4 goals in a period, held on to win the game. Just silly. Chara, Kobasew had 2 goal games.
  • Game 20: Bruins get out early, and hold on for a 4-2 win. Move to 1st in the conference.
And the stats/on-pace stats for the Bruins:

Good is in green, bad is in red, just like last time. "Pace" is number at 20*(82/GP at 20). Yes, it's bad. Deal.
L10 Record: 8-1-1
Overall Record: 13-3-4

Game 21 Preview: Bruins @ Habs PATRICK ROY RETIREMENT NIGHT

(Thanks to TravBot and the SA Forums for the pic)
22 Nov 2008, 7:40 PM ET
On the Radio: WBZ
@ Habs (11-5-2)

  • The habs have one more goal against and one more penalty minute than the Bruins, and 2 fewer games.
  • Savard will play tonight. Sturm didn't make the trip, and we all know Ference is out.
  • Komisarek is still out from his fight with Lucic.
  • Both Boston Goalies studied under Roy or something.
  • For some reason, people think there will be blood.
  • "Roy, Religion and the Habs"
  • Patrick Roy's celebration night. He swore he'd never wear the uniform again, now he's getting honored. Eh, so it goes. I'm looking for a good game, myself.
Other Previews:
I missed another Thort's Vlog:

Some pictures I took coming back from freezing on top of the Blue Hills observatory in Milton, MA:



I didn't see this game at all because I was at a BU game, where they lost 3-4 to the Vermont "What's a Catamount, anyway?" Catamounts. Solid game, good company, and a great time.

Friend of the Blog Greg Nation had these comments about it:
"Everyone other team we play is afraid of Lucic. I wish he'd put up some better numbers."

And here's another pieced-together video review Recap. Let's find out what happened, shall we?
Looking at the scoresheet, it's pretty promising.

Period One:
The Bruins start playing some extended umbrella offense - Work it around behind your own net, pass it up to Savard, who'll put it on Kessel's stick at the other blueline, breakaway. Some joker on the panthers tries to turn it into a penalty shot, but Kessel whispers in Vokoun's ear, "I beat cancer, and I'm beating you, too." Vokoun looks like he saw a rat. GOAL.

Then John Wilkes Booth comes into the zone, dinks one off the crossbar. Ref waves it off.
Turns out later, that WAS a goal. Darn. 1-1.
Halfway through the period, they get it behind Florida's net. Passes it along the boards, and Hunwick plays Chara for the day. SLAP. Bergeron tips it past Vokoun.

2-1. You have no idea because you just saw Gryba deliver a massive check and the Google Scores thing is only showing the last game and saturday's.

Scoring ends in the first here, there's like 10 more minutes, and the Bruins had 14 Shots on Goal in the period. Honestly, do you really want to see a bunch of Vokoun Save highlights? It's just going to slow the page down. Ryder got another almost-goal at 1:33, it was a good setup. The mites will play a round and the Zamboni will resurface the ice while we're waiting.

Across Town, the mites game at Agganis features Parkway. So many little kids playing hockey, but the real winner was the kid who, as they're all leaving the ice, is practicing his goal celebrations. Let's see, that's a couple of kneeling fist-pumps and then... A quality hip-checking yourself into the boards. Solid celebrations, way to go kid. Mite hockey at intermission is fun, and I bet the kids love it. Solid idea, Hockey.

Oh, you're back? Just in time for Period Two:
First, Krejci gets the breakaway and instead of streaking forward and maybe scoring, he sees the 3-on-1 opportunity and slows down just enough for Kobasew and Blake Wheeler to catch up. Krejci-Kobasew-Vokoun-Krejci. Goal.


But the Bruins aren't done scoring just yet. Not when Michael Frolik is getting Double-Minors for high-sticking. Power play sets up.
Bergeron-Savard-Chara-Axelsson-Savard-Bergeron-Vokoun-Savard-Net. GOAL.


The Bruins goal-scoring stops at this point, so that means it's fightin' time.

Lucic fights Nick Boynton, one of WickedBruinsFans's favorites:

Jack Edwards is such a homer, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Intermission: NESN interviews Andrew "On the IR until January" Ference:

Period Three:
A whole bunch of moving the puck around and crap in the third, then with a little over 3 minutes left in the game, Ville "What kind of name is Ville? Oh wait I used that joke already once" Peltonen sits on Thomas's face, and the rest of the Panthers move it around until he tips it around Thomas.

Vokoun gets pulled, and everybody misses. Game.

Thanks again to Whale4Ever over at the Litter Box for participating in "5 Questions with the Enemy!"

Record: 13-3-4
Home Record: 7-1-1
L10: 8-1-1
Streak: W3

Friday, November 21, 2008

Game 20: Florida @ Bruins SLAPSHOT NIGHT

Nov 21, 2008 7:00 PM ET
On the Radio: WBZ
vs. Florida Panthers (7-9-1)

Other Previews:
5 Questions with the enemy:
Today's "5 questions with the enemy" victim is Whale4Ever over at The Litter Box. Aside from having a hilarious name, he covers the Florida Panthers daily. Sort of like this blog, but with more paragraphs. Anyhow, here we go:

1) Who has impressed you so far?
1. As for Florida, there hasn't been much to be impressed about, unfortunately. I really like what Bryan McCabe brings to the PP; always a threat from the blueline. Forward Michael Frolik finally got his first career goal last night against New Jersey. I say "finally" only because it hasn't been for a lack of hustle or speed. You'll hear about this kid. The Bruins? Thomas has been otherworldly.

2) How do you feel about the Jokinen trade?
2. I was mentally prepped for the loss of Jokinen, especially following his (non) performances after the Zednik accident, so it came as no surprise. When the deal went down, I saw the players involved (d-men Ballard, Boynton, and a pick) and just knew there would be hell to pay from fans who only viewed Olli as the Florida savior or something like that. He's a terrific player, with a passion for the community he lives in...he's just not a captain, not for the younger folks populating the Cats' ranks. Most everyone down here appreciates the depth of the disjointed relationship Jokinen had with (former coach, now GM) Jacques Martin. It just couldn't go on any longer. And I love Ballard. The guy is formidable.

3) The only things I know about Florida are what Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry told me. What am I missing?
3. Wow...never hear about Barry anymore! I'll approach this question from a different angle: evidently there are a lot of hockey fans who believe the Panthers play in Miami, so allow me to say again, for the record, that the Cats reside in Sunrise. That's some 30 miles from downtown Miami, and about ten miles or so northwest of Ft. Lauderdale. And it's beautiful terrain; look out to the west of BankAtlantic Center and all you see is the Everglades, stretching to the horizon, as far as the eye can see. Phenomenal. Another Florida fact? As I type this the temperature is 47 degrees in northern Palm Beach County...but it'll be 75 in a few hours. Think I'll wax the boat this afternoon... ;) [Ed: Damn.]

4) Do you remember Russo, who used to write about the Panthers? He writes up in Minnesota now.
4. Mike Russo is still very highly regarded down here, and he does a fantastic job with the Wild. His blog is a daily stop. Too bad he takes a bit of heat from some of his readers up there for "slipping" Panthers' references into his articles. Personally I don't see it too often. We're in pretty good hands with Steve Gorten and George Richards. Dedicated dudes. [Ed: they just mean ANY TIME AT ALL that he references them is too many.]

5) Who will win Friday's game?
5. The Cats have beaten San Jose, Anaheim, Ottawa (early), and almost got Detroit. Losses? Atlanta, LA, Ottawa (later), St. Louis. There's a trend at work here, so my pick is Florida over the surging Broons. We're still only spinning our wheels though, until a deal of substance for scoring - anywhere - can be made.

So there you have it, folks. Whale4Ever, who runs the hilariously-named The Litter Box. Check out his blog for the other side of the rink's opinion on tonight's game.


In honor of Slap Shot night:

Sneaky-good line: "Is the answer Jesus?"

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Ho. Ly. Crap. What a crazy game. Other acceptable words: Zany, wacky, astounding, silly, etc, etc.

Let's cut the chit-chat, and kick off our recap.
The starting lineup for the bruins: Thornton-Yelle-Nokelainen Hnidy-Stuart Fernandez.
That's right, our fourth line starts. Coach must know what he's doing.

Less than two minutes in, Pominville: population Goal.
For some reason, I don't really like the guy. I don't know. Whatever. 0-1. Less than 2 minutes in.

A minute later, Wheeler steals the puck in the offensive zone, sets up the sick pass to Kobasew. One-timer/deflection/back-door. Miller=pwned.

Sick set-up. 1-1. Less than 3 minutes in.

4:30 or so. Ludman shoots it in, Derek Roy deflects it past Manny. Buffalo Goal. That drunk guy in the Thomas jersey is trying to start a "Hook 'em" chant. Julien stays the course. The buffalo fans are getting excited. Sing while you're winning, right?
1-2. Less than 5 minutes in.

While they're announcing the second goal, Vanek gets a goal. I don't usually post opponent's goals, but this is rick jeanneret.

Compare with Top Shelf. 1-3. Still less than 5 minutes in.

Don't worry, the next 15 minutes stay exciting.

David Krejci sings "anything you can do, I can do better" as he skates down during the announcement of the last goal and knuckles it past Miller. Goal.

2-3. If you took the over in this game, you're pretty confident. Less than 6 minutes in.

A scuffle happens, Mark Stuart and Andrew Peters go to the box, but so does Shawn Thornton, serving Mark Stuart's penalty. Buffalo Power Play. What do ya know? Thomas Vanek gets in front of the net, deflects another one in. That guy in the Moog jersey is trying to start a "pull the goa-lie" chant. Buffalo fans are spilling beer, they're celebrating so hard.
2-4. Less than 13 minutes in.

Manny announces "No Mas."

While they're announcing that goal, Kessel and Savard play some Magic: The Goalscoring.
Savard rams it into the backdoor. Again. Goal.

3-4. The last goal of the period.

Intermission: You get a beer and ask where you can buy a Thomas Jersey. Julien talks to his team.

Second Period. We end up on the PowerPlay early. Zdeno Chara(enstein) stands tall on the blueline. Winds up. Bergeron passes. Chara's gravitational pull brings it in. SLAP! GOAL!

4-4. Less than 3 minutes into the 1st. Tie Game.

Hunwick shoots, misses. It's ok. Kobasew picks it up, banks it off Miller's back. Is that even a back door, or just crappy luck?

The guy sitting next to you explains that that goal is the exact same that knocked his high school team out of the playoffs in overtime his junior year.
5-4. Our First Lead. Kobasew is on Hat-Trick watch.

Late in the second. Power Play. You blink if you miss it. Faceoff-somebody-chara-bergeron-chara.

6-4. Kobasew AND Chara are on Hat-Trick watch.

Third Period. You find out Lundqvist got pulled in the "Revenge 1994" game. King Nothing plays in your head.

Two major plays that I can remember from this period. First up, the top line gets the shovels out. Lucic tries, fails. Luckily, Kessel is right there, waiting. Goal.

7-4. Everybody's trying to start a "Mil-ler" chant, but what's this? That's not Miller #30 in net anymore. Patrick Lalime comes in. The whole rest of the game (all 17 or so minutes of it), Lalime and Manny are perfect. Here's a Manny save for you:

Game over man, Game over!
And Here's Jack and Andy with some commentary:

  • Crazy game. Manny held on, though, and our goalscoring machine worked.
  • 30 goals in 3 games last night
  • Any night where two division rivals pull their goalies is good. Especially if one is in the building.
Other Random Good Hockey stuff:

Record: 12-3-4
Home: 6-1-1
L10: 8-1-1
Streak: W2

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Game 19 Preview: Buffalo @ Bruins BRU FEST/COAT DRIVE NIGHT

Nov 19, 2008 7:00 PM ET
On Radio: WBZ
vs. Buffalo Sabres (9-5-3)
  • This is the third time we're playing these guys, and it's only November. We're currently 1-0-1 vs. them. We play again on November 26th.  See previous recaps:
  • Game 6: 2-2 SO Loss in Buffalo
  • Game 18: 3-1 Win at Home
  • If you're going to the game, bring an old coat to donate for charity.
  • Congrats to Chuck Kobasew on his 300th game tonight.
  • Sturm is out of the lineup tonight.
  • Manny in net.  He's won his last 3 games, is 4-0-1 in his last 5 starts.
  • The good Dr. Mirtle writes about projections vs. last year's performance.  Bruins are 2nd in points difference, 7th in Goals for difference, and 3rd in Goals against difference.  All in all, better than last year.
  • Tonight is the second Sam Adams Bru Fest.
  • HubHockey has another SteveDangle video, this one about the all-star game.
  • After scoring his first NHL goal the other night, Matt Hunwick got 20+ texts.
  • has more on the Ference Injury. Badass. He should be back in January.
  • John Beattie has a "Jack Edwards call of the week" feature on his blog.  This week's winner: “…with more moves than a monkey with 100 feet of rope…” prior to Rangers right winger Nikolai Zherdev’s shootout attempt in the Bruins’ 3-2 shootout loss at MSG
  • Jack Edwards is into Poetry.  Sick.
Lindy Ruff thinks the Bruins are for real:
“I think they’re definitely one of the top teams,” said the Buffalo bench boss. “Their depth up front, the fact that (PatriceBergeron’s back, (PhilKessel’s kind of having his coming-out party, (MarcSavard’s a real good player, Sturm, great two-way player. They’ve got good depth, they’ve got a solid defense, led by a guy that’s an All-Star and he happens to be 7-foot-11 (Zdeno Chara) or whatever he is – so that’s big enough and good enough. They’re a good team and their goaltending’s been good. All aspects of their team have been good, so they’re one of the teams we’re going to have to look up to, one of the teams you’re going to have to beat.
Thanks to New England Hockey Journal.

Other Previews:
  • The Bruins Report: Covers the Ference injury.  
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: "we have finally solved the mystery of the whereabouts of Peter Schaefer's missing soul patch."
  • HubHockey: Shows off some Photoshop Skillz.
  • Kynch's Korner: Includes a hilarious editorial cartoon.
  • The Bear Cave: "Dennis Wideman, Phil Kessel, Chuck Kobasew, and Craig Rivet are the only four players with more than one point in the season series."
  • First Shift: "The Bruins have six forwards with at least 10 points: Marc Savard (21), Marco Sturm (12), Phil Kessel (12), Milan Lucic (11), Michael Ryder (10) and Patrice Bergeron (10)"
  • Preview | GameDay | Notes (pdf)
  • BruinsBlog: Bruins Lines
  • thumbnails
  • Top Shelf: "We're done with them after this game, right? Please?"  Sorry, we play again on the 26th.
5 Questions with the Enemy:
For today's session, we have Heather B from Top Shelf.  Top Shelf takes it's name from a Rick Jeanneret call, "TOP SHELF, WHERE MOMMA HIDES THE COOKIES."  
Let's see what she has to say:

1) Who's impressed you so far this season?

For us?  I think it has to be Thomas Vanek.  He's managed to ride his good second half of last season into this season.  He's looking much more confident and comfortable in his skin so far than he did most of last year - huge contracts will do that to you sometimes, I guess - and he's slowly but steadily improving his play in the defensive zone as well.  He's started killing penalties some this year and was practically beaming when he scored his first ever short-handed goal last month.  It's nice to see him becoming the go-to guy he's capable of being.

For you?  I covet Milan Lucic.  I love all of Buffalo's speedy little guys but a dose of talented size would be awesome.  If you guys ever want to get rid of him, let me know.

2) Obviously you'll like Rick Jeanneret best, but have you heard Jack Edwards?

Sadly, I don't have Center Ice or anything like that so I never hear anyone else's announcing team.  Sorry!

3) All-star voting?

It is what it is.  It seems like there's always one or two guys who are having great seasons who get left off the ballot but as long as it's fan voting, it's going to be a popularity contest.  I'm mostly in the "Give the people what they want" camp.  (As long as the people aren't Canadiens fans using tricky means that is.)  If a guy gets the most votes, he should play.  It's just an exhibition game.  I do wish the voting didn't start so early in the season though.  Is that necessary?  The game is forever away!

4) Does Buffalo have a local music group that represents it, akin to Boston's Dropkick Murphy's?

I'm not a music person so I can't tell you how well-known they are nationally these days or how many people relate them to Buffalo but the Goo Goo Dolls have very strong ties to Buffalo.  Johnny Rzenik and Robbie Takac both grew up in the area and both still have homes here.  They have a music studio in these parts and Robbie in particular is very involved with the local scene and runs an annual music festival which is pretty cool.  They both always speak very fondly of Buffalo which Buffalonians are suckers for.  Anyone who appreciates us is a-ok in our book.

5) Who will win tonight's game?

Well, jeez, I have to say us, right?  The Sabres are coming off two poor games - one half-effort against Pittsburgh and a match-up with Columbus that barely qualified as a hockey game.  I think Lindy Ruff coddled them a little at times last year but so far this season he seems to be riding them pretty hard (as he should) and really pushing them after bad games.  I expect to see them play much better hockey tonight with better all-around defense which will be the key.  (For all my complaining about how often we face Boston though I will say, you guys are still being very underrated.  I won't be the least bit surprised when you're in the playoffs this year.)

Once again, that's Heather B from Top Shelf.  Thanks again to you, Heather!

If anyone has a picture of Thomas punching that Sabre they always show in the Garden, please send it to me.  Thanks!