Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Game 37 Recap: BRUINS 5 PENS 2 NINE IN A ROW


Nine in a row.  The Pens are not an easy team to beat.  Let's take a look at what happened:

First Period:

Chara mangled Malkin.  No Call.  Odd, but I'll take it.  There should be video on Youtube, but I haven't found it.

Then 17 minutes into the 1st, the Pens finally get a good scoring chance by bouncing it twice off Timmy's pads and then scoring it back door.  Quite the trick. 
0-1.  You're reassuring yourself that the bruins have been at least playing well and it's early.

Second Period:
Powerplay.  Axelsson on the #1 PP.  While all of the whiners out there are saying "What's he doing on the PP?????? OH NO NOT AXELSSON"  Per-Johan threads the puck through the whole Pens PK unit to Chara, who deflects it behind fleury from next to the net.

1-1.  You're marvelling at how Chara's been getting away with pinching up on defense.

Then there's a 4 on 4 as Talbot gets Kessel into a shoving match.  Then Malkin takes a penalty.  What's this?  Oh, it's just Savard and Krejci on the same line in the 4-on-3.  You don't really need me to tell you that there was a beautiful pass through 18 players that set up the perfect goal.

2-1.  You're hoping that's the default 4-on-3 unit.  Also, listen closely to the audio after the goal.  Hehehe

Then Pascal "Milt Shmidt in The Rocket" Dupuis ties it up on an unforced turnover.
2-2.  Oh crap they tied it up.  The Bruins are not out of the woods yet.

But they don't want another 75-minute hard practice in their immediate future.  They also don't want to lose.

A minute and a half later, Savard and Kessel are in the zone.  Kessel shoots, but Fleury lets it bounce off.  Savard wills it onto Kessel's stick.  Kessel sees net.  Kessel scores.

3-2.  Kessel scores again.

Third Period:

A little over 5 minutes in, Pens go on the powerplay.  Martin "Justin" St. Pierre picks up a Crosby pass in the defensive zone.  He passes it up to Savard, who then gets it into the zone.  The Bruins have a 3-on-1 rush, short-handed.  Savard gives it to Martin "Justin" St. Pierre.  St. Pierre shows us what 63 inches of carbon hockey stick can do.

4-2.  First Bruins goal by Martin "Justin" St. Pierre.  Way to go, announcer-man.

Wideman cleans up with a slap shot from the point.

5-2.  10 minutes to go, you've seen less likely comebacks happen.

10 minutes I could've been playing more Rock Band.



  • The Penguins called a players-only meeting after this game.  It seems like stuff like that always happens after a team plays the Bruins.
  • The Bruins are 11-2-0 in November, 12-1-0 in December for 23-3-0 in the last 2 months, or 26 games.
  • The 5 game road trip nets the Bruins 10 points, all in regulation.
  • The Bruins lead the league in Goals for per Game and Goal against per game.  This makes me chuckle.
  • Seriously?  JUSTIN St. Pierre?  I don't care if his name is Les Glorieux du Montreal St. Pierre, if he's scoring short-handers for the Bruins.
Record: (W9)
Away: 15-4-3 (W6)
December: 12-1-0
L10: 9-1-0

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Game 37 Preview: Bruins @ Pittsburgh HOME AND NEW YEAR'S EVE AND HOME

Dec 30, 2008 7:30 PM ET
Radio: WBZ
@ Pittsburgh Penguins (19-13-4)
  • There's a story in the Pittsburgh Gazette about Ryan Whitney watching the Bruins while he's been hurt.
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder is in the HHR Iron Ref Finals. Go vote for Evan!
  • Also vote for Jack Edwards in the ongoing Puck the Media Tournament of Announcers.
  • Michael Ryder has 7 GWG, leading the league. That's half of his goals so far this year. It's also half of his goals for all of last year. Can he play for anyone other than Claude? We may never know.
  • Hal Gill has been out for the Pens, he'll be back tonight.  With 7 defensemen, rookie sensation Goligoski is expected to Brent Burns a little.
  • The Penguins are in a bit of a slump right now. I expect them to try to use the Bruins as a bounce-back springboard.
  • The Pens, Wild, Flames, and Rangers all have winning records against the Bruins so far.  The Bruins play all but the flames at home in January.
  • The Bruins had a hard practice yesterday, because they haven't been playing that well but still luckily are still beating the weaker teams they've been playing recently.
  • Thomas in net.  Lashoff a likely scratch.  Chara-Ward is backed up by Wideman-Hunwick.  I like the Bruins defense.  
  • Ference is skating again, patrice is still getting headaches, but isn't on the IR just yet.
  • The NYTimes Slap Shot blog has 2009 all figured out.
Previous Games:
Game 5: Bruins lose 1-1 to Pens in shootout in Home Opener.

5 Questions with the enemy:
This Preview, we have the PensBlog Staff, from The Pens Blog. I like their style, and they are always an entertaining read. Heck, they even had jerseys printed up. If not for them, this blog would have less style. Let's see what they have to say:

1) Who has impressed you so far?
Malkin, Malkin, Malkin, Malkin

2) Will the Penguins play in another outdoor game?
As much as we want to say yes, it won' be for awhile. Other fans should get to enjoy their teams.

3) Favorite false rumor about the Pens?
Gaborik to the Pens. Ain't happening.

4) What's your favorite PensBlog photoshop of all time?
Oh god, so many to pick from. Almost impossible.

5) Predictions for the home-and-home series?
The Bruins are the beast of the east. Should be a great barometer for the Pens. We think the Bruins success has been inflated, but that is not saying they aren't a great team. Huge test.

Once again, that's the fine staff at The Pens Blog. Check them out if you haven't before!

Other Previews:
  • ThePensBlog: Hasn't done their gameday post yet.  Unless the one from 2am last night is it, but I doubt it.
  • Double A Hockey:  "If only Patrice were not out with a concussion. His good looks rival even Crosby's and could tip things in the Bruins favor."
  • Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Bobby Orr fight video.
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: Should be focusing on how to spend his (presumed) Iron Ref winnings, but instead gives us a solid preview.
  • The Bear Cave: "One difference between October and now is that Marc-Andre Fleury might be in line for his first start against the Bruins since the 2006-07 season."
  • NESN First Shift: "Tim Thomas (11-2-1, 2.09) vs. Marc-Andre Fleury (11-6-2, 2.86)"
  • Thumbnails
  • Preview | GameDay | Game Notes (pdf)
8-game winning streak on the line. Krejci has scored in every game.

Monday, December 29, 2008


And I'm not talking about the All-Joke Game.  

Jack Edwards is up against Bob Cole in the tournament of announcers.  For your consideration:

Oh, and Stanley Cup of Chowder over at Hugging Harry Reynolds is in the Iron Ref finals.  Vote for him, too.

But really, Jack Edwards.  Together, we can beat Bob Cole.  8th seed from USA vs. Canadian top seed.....


Well, football's over. Pats fans, hop on the Bruins Bandwagon. There's plenty of room. Let's take a look at the most recent game. Whoops, I'm a little hungover so I'll be mailing this in, too.

End of the first period, Atlanta Scores. You're watching the Jets lose.

Beginning of second, Wideman-Savard-Kessel. Goal.

1-1. The Jets are still losing.

6 minutes to go in the game. defense chips it up to Blake Wheeler. Wheeler feeds it to Krejci. Krejci sends it through the middle of the zone to Ryder on the doorstep. Ryder does what he was born to do. GOAL.

2-1. Jets lose. Jags never had a chance.

But that season's over. Krejci's is not. And what a pretty pass by him.



vs. ATL: 4-0-0 (Season Series Sweep!)
Record: 27-5-4 (W8)
Away: 14-4-3 (W5)
L10: 9-1-0
December: 11-1-0

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Game 36 Preview: Bruins @ Atlanta GO PATS GO JETS (vomit) GO JAGUARS

Dec 28, 2008 5 PM ET
Radio: WBZ
@ Atlanta Thrashers (12-19-4)
  • This is the last time the Bruins play the Thrashers this season. The Bruins are 3-0-0 against them this season.
  • There's a little matter of the end of the NFL regular season. We'll know how the pats did in their game by the time the puck drops in Atlanta.
  • Early games are weird.
  • I'm totally mailing this one in. The Bruins should not do the same.
Previous Games:
  • Game 8: Bruins win 5-4 at home, Lucic gets a hat trick.
  • Game 29: Bruins win 7-3, there are 4 fights. Bruins chase backup backup goalie Pavelec on 3 goals in 4 shots, including a Chara wraparound goal.
  • Game 30: Bruins win 4-2 and Chara gets 17 minutes in the Penalty Box for sticking up for Kessel. After the Game, Coach Claude says he thought it was a good decision.

Other Previews:
<------Click those-----
NESN First Shift
: "Manny Fernandez (11-2-1, 2.09) vs. Johan Hedberg (6-7-2, 3.56)"



A Big Boast from the Alex Ovejtkin blog

I just want to know where the Lucic or Kessel or Savard or Wideman or Chara or Thomas or.... Well, you get the idea. Anyhow, a fan-run player-centric blog that will have the chutzpah to run a headline like this one, from the Alex Ovejtkin Blog:

Ovechkin hockey's greatest player, cleary Crosby's superior.

For your consideration, Blake Wheeler:

Get to it, internet!


I missed a lot of this game due to a number of reasons. But here's the highlights:

First Period: Canes score 1. Bruins score 0. Jack Edwards knocks it out of the park:

End of your career, Jack? I'm not so sure.

Second period
Blake Wheeler nearly falls over swiping at the puck in the slot. GOAL.

1-1. You're happy that the Bruins scored, they aren't looking so good.

~Less than 5 minutes later~

Blake Wheeler hits the puck from the corner up to Wideman, who slaps it in. Conn Smythe Trophy-winning Cam Ward makes the save, but the rebound ends up in the opposite direction to where he's lying on the ground. Blake Wheeler makes an understated tap to get it in the GOAL.

2-1. Yeah, we're going to have to start calling that a Wheeler-Trick.

Babchuck rains on everyone's parade.

Third period.
Axelsson is framed for a high-sticking, then gets out of the box and gets right back in with another penalty. C'mon, Per-Johan, you're better than that.

7 minutes to go, Savard passes through the whole Carolina bench to Ryder, who one-times it over Cam Ward's shoulder into the GOAL.

3-2. You're wondering if you're going to watch overtime.

1:08 to go. Cam Ward goes to the bench.
Dennis Wideman knocks down a high dump into the Bruins zone, gives it to Savard. Savard sees the open net and passes to Kobasew, who gets it in.
4-2. You're happy Kobasew scored, and that Jack Edwards is making fun of the Carolina fans leaving with 15 seconds left.



Record: 26-5-4 (W7)
Away: 13-4-3 (W4)
L10: 9-1-0
December: 10-1-0

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Game 35 Preview: Bruins @ Carolina LET'S JUST PLAY ALL THE SOUTHEAST TEAMS BEFORE 2009

Dec 27, 2008 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ
@ Carolina Hurricanes (17-14-5)


  • Last night, Eric Staal netted a hat trick in 4:31 of the third period as the Hurricanes came back to win. Expect a quick start from the 'Canes.
  • The Hurricanes are hosting the Atlanta Thrashers for a new year's eve party. That's kinda a cool idea.
  • Rod Brind'Amour has a league-worst -23 +/- rating.
  • Lucic has an 8-game scoring streak
  • The Bruins have a 6-game winning streak going for the first time this season.
  • Krejci has a one game hiccup in his long scoring streak.
  • Justin St. Pierre will be a ref tonight. I wonder if he's related to Martin St. Pierre?
  • The Canes don't take penalties.
  • Aaron Ward is making the trip, as is Nokelainen.
Previous Games:
Game 32
Other Previews:



Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Merry Solstice, Happy Kwanzaa, Good Yule, Happy Holidays from the Hockey Blog Adventure!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and if you don't celebrate, that you still had a wonderful day. I managed to get a new Thomas jersey, as well as Searching for Bobby Orr by Stephen Brunt, Open Ice by Jack Falla, and A People's History of Ice Hockey by the CBC.

I hope you have a good World Junior Championship. Game tomorrow. Also, good news from Fluto!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


For the first time all season, the Bruins win a 6th game in a row.  Phil Kessel's streak is broken, but it's ok.  The win is most important.

In the first two periods, this is the only play that matters:
What a save by Thomas.

Then SOME goal scoring does happen.  Lucic happens.  Clemmenson has been a rock all night long at the rock (hehe, get it?) but he can't stop the 3rd rebound.  Lucic nails it in from the slot.

1-0.  You're glad we finally scored.  Lucic has scored in the last 8 games.  Chara and Hnidy get the assist.

Not much happens in the middle 18 minutes of the third.  The puck moves back and forth, but both goalies are on their game.

1 minute left, faceoff in the Bruins zone.  Clemmenson is pulled.  Krejci gets the EN goal.



Big win, as it's the first time the Bruins have gone 6 in a row after having 4 4+ game win streaks so far.  I was really worried about this game going in.

Thanks again to Puck Daddy for answering the 5 questions.  His prediction of 3-2 didn't quite come true, but I'll keep reading him anyhow.

Longest winning streak of the year, for the Bruins.  The Bruins come home for Christmas and then head out for a three game road trip to finish out the year, playing in Carolina, Atlanta, Pittsburgh in a 4 day trip.

Record: 25-5-4 (W6)
Away: 12-4-3 (W3)
L10: 9-1-0
December: 9-1-0
Krejci Streak: 6
Lucic Streak: 8
Kessel Streak: Ended at 18

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Game 34 Preview: Bruins @ New Jersey WHO REALLY WANTS TO BE JERSEY'S TEAM, ANYWAYS?

Nov 23, 2008 7:00 PM ET


Radio: WBZ

@ New Jersey Devils (19-9-3)


  • This is the first time the Bruins are playing a team in the top half of the league (based on points percentage) since the loss in Washington.
  • The Bruins will be making their 3rd attempt at winning 6 in a row.
  • I'm not feeling terribly optimistic about this game.  Thomas is going to have to be on top of his game in order for the Bs to win.
  • The Bruins and Devils both have a favorable goal differential, and bothare  tearing it up while battling through injuries.  
  • The Devils are 7-2-1 in the last 10, 3-1-1 in the last 5, and on a 3-game winning streak
  • Blake Wheeler is a team player.  Oh, and he may have scored goal of the year.
  • The Atlantic division has not been nice to the Bruins in the few games they've played: SO losses to NYR and PIT, but a 7-2 drubbing of the hapless Islanders leaves them with a 1-0-2 against the Atlantic.
  • Don Koharski is reffing.
  • Bergeron, Ference, Nokelainen, Sturm, Ward all on the IR.
  • Thomas in net.  Bergeron is still getting headaches.
  • Manny now has a better GAA (1.94) than Thomas (2.01).  Thomas's Save Percentage (.936) is still better than Manny (.932).  They're playing for their chances to shine in a contract year.  
  • Kessel hasn't missed a game since he recovered from Cancer, Joe Haggarty learns.
  • Before he coached the Bruins, Coach Claude was fired with 3 games to go in the 06-07 season for coaching the Devils well.

5 Questions with the enemy:

Today's victim is none other than Greg Wyshynski, the editor of Puck Daddy.  If you're only reading two hockey blogs, this is both of them.  He covers the whole NHL, but at heart is a Devils fan.  I'm very thankful that he took the time out of his day to answer these questions.  Let's read:

1) Who has impressed you so far?

We’ve been waiting years for Patrik Elias to do what he’s doing this season. The 37 points in 31 games are awfully nice on the stat sheet, but it’s the way he’s been an offensive player who takes over the game on certain shifts that’s been noteworthy. Dude went from overpaid hack to elite status faster than you can say “Jon Favreau, director of ‘Iron Man.’”

For Scott Clemmensen to be 11-3-1 at this point is stunning on several levels. The fact that he’s gotten 15 starts to Kevin Weekes’s six. The fact that he’s been the best player on the ice on more than one occasion. The fact that the Devils haven’t had to make some desperation pitch for another goalie after Marty Brodeur went down. I’m still not sold on him playing through March, but so far, so good.

The defense in front of him still is the weakest group since before the first Cup in 1995, but they have their moments. Bryce Salvador has been quite good. Johnny Oduya’s given them some good puck-handling. Colin White has stayed healthy, which is essential for a group that’s not exactly gargantuan and/or physical.

Finally, the fact that this team can roll four lines again has impressed me. I wasn’t really all that pleased with Bobby Holik coming back, what with the Rangers taint and all, but he’s given them depth at center in a big way.

2) Which controversy this year is best:  Too many black third jerseys, all-star game cheating, or the neverending saga of Mats Sundin?

The All-Star Game voting has been the most interesting, if only because the NHL has made it that way. The real-time voting begs for coverage and analysis, but it also exposed the voter fraud from the Canadiens fans. I’m still amazed at how little some fan bases (like the Flyers and Rangers) seem to care about the ASG. But not as amazed as I’ve been to see the NHL bend the truth and hide the context behind this year’s robo/text message-friendly voting to crow about setting records and other all-star starter news. It’s actually been a little pathetic to witness.

3) Which of the 14 pending unrestricted and restricted free agents that new jersey has right now will be back next year?

We have 14? Seriously? Oy. I imagine Oduya stays. Madden should stay, although I feel he’s overpaid. Brian Gionta’s a tough nut to crack. Do they really want to pay $5 million for an undersized player who isn’t nearly the sniper he should be? I’m not sure I would.

4) The game is on Versus.  What do you think of how Versus is handling the NHL compared to how ESPN handled it?

Compared to ESPN? Great, if only because they haven’t promoted poker more than hockey, even if they’ve given us another healthy dose of Engblom.

Overall? Not happy. The studio show stinks, the coverage is middling, and would it really kill Versus to have more games on the air considering what the rest of the schedule looks like?

5) Predictions for Tuesday's game?

3-2 Bruins in overtime. Devils get the charity point, but blow a lead late in the game.

Bonus question:  Is your job the best ever?

Since leering at Scarlett Johansson while she sleeps can’t really be considered a profession, yes.
What a pro.  Once again, that's Greg Wyshynski, the Puck Daddy.  If you're not already reading him regularly, you're doing it wrong.

Other Previews:

Of course, I'll have missed something.  Check to your left, as well.  (Woo, automation!)

  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: "The B's have averaged 5.80 goals for in their past five games. I expect tonight's game to be a little bit of a more low scoring affair. The Devils are 7th in GAA (2.58)."
  • Hub Hockey: "Clemmensen has only one regulation loss in his last twelve starts."
  • Here Come the Bruins!: "The Devils are nothing special at home, with a record of 11-5-1. Perhaps it's got to do with averaging less than 15,000 fans per game -- less than the Lightning, Kings and Panthers."
  • The Bear Cave: "Because the Devils get constant offensive contributions from each of their top two forward lines, referring to them as "one" and "two" can be quite the challenge."
  • Bruins Blog: Lines
  • NESN First Shift: "Manny Fernandez (11-2-1, 2.09) vs. Scott Clemmensen (11-3-1, 2.30)"
  • Daily Papers writeup: Thumbnails | Herald Scouting Report
  • Preview | GameDay | Game Notes (pdf)


Phil Kessel kept his 18 game point streak alive last game.  The Bruins are going for their 6th win in a row for the third time.  If anyone can get the December Jumbotron intro for Bruins home games, that would be huge.


Monday, December 22, 2008


Wheeler is now tied for rookie scoring with 11. Kessel kept his streak alive. Here's how:

Less than 3 minutes in, Wheeler-Krejci-Ryder is skating it up through the neutral zone. Ryder passes to krejci at the blue line, Krejci passes from the hash marks to Wheeler. Wheeler one-times it. GOAL.

1-0. You're less worried about the Blues than you were before.

Then the Bruins give up a powerplay.
On the PK, Wheeler gets the puck in the neutral zone. Less than 5 minutes into the game, Wheeler has a SHG on top of his normal goal. Now look at this dominant play:

2-0. I know, right? Ridiculous. You're hoping Wheeler can get another hat trick.

The Blues stay on the PP, and Winchester scores one off a deflection.
Then the Bruins get the powerplay. McClement scores a short-hander on a breakaway.

But this time the Bruins stay on the Powerplay, and Shane Hnidy gets a feed from Krejci, which of course is a perfect setup. Hnidy wrists it in from the top of the circle.

3-2. You're happy because Hnidy never scores and Krejci has assists on all 3 goals.

The first period ends.

Yan Stasny gets it going early in the second. Stuffs it in on Manny.

Then, with 11 minutes left in the second, the Bruins are on the Powerplay. Axelsson finds Ryder unguarded in the slot. So he gives him the puck. Ryder wrists it right in.

4-3. You're thinking last year Ryder had 14 goals, and now he's got 12 so far this year.

Then the Blues try to stuff it in on Manny, but Manny's all done letting the puck past. The bruins get it on their own goal line, they get it to Lucic on the side of the neutral zone. Kessel gets it coming into the zone, he skates up to the goalmouth then passes up to Savard, who buries it.

5-3. You're happy Legace was thinking the same thing: "Kessel's going to score another goal. Hwa-?"

End of the Second. Blues pull Legace in favor of Chris Mason.

The Bruins keeps things under control. They only took 5 shots the whole third, but one of them went like this:
Martin St. Pierre picks up in the offensive zone off a botched Blues pass. He whips it behind him. It goes towards the net, but it's deflected over to Sobotka, who taps it in. GOAL.


Blues don't pull their goalie. GAME.


St. Louis Blues Coach, after the game:
"I didn't think Berglund was good, I didn't think Perron was good, I didn't think Tkachuk was good ... I didn't think Boyes was good. I thought Backes was all right. I expect Jeff Woywitka to be a lot better than he was today. David Perron ... where's he? Berglund, I expect him to be better. Am I being a little hard on them here? That's just the way that it is."
That's just the way it is. Ouch.

Bruins keep their perfect record against the Central division, and a 7-2-0 against the West.

Record: 24-5-4 (W5)
Away: 11-4-3 (W2)
L10: 9-1-0
December: 8-1-0

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Game 33 Preview: Bruins @ St. Louis UGLY SWEATER NIGHT 2: ECLECTIC BUGALOO

Dec 21, 2008 6:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ
@ St. Louis Blues (13-16-3)
  • BERGERON WATCH: Concussion. I'm not going to post the video of it happening. I don't want to see it again.
  • This is the 1st of 5 away games to finish out the year. They play at home next on January 1st, 2009 against the Pens.
  • Sturm was placed on Long-Term Injured Reserve. Martin St. Pierre was called up, he's been tearing it up in the AHL with 10+25=35 in 30 games. I look forward to seeing him play.
  • Don "Have Another Donut" Koharski will be reffing.
  • Sturm, Nokelainen, Ference, Ward are all on the IR. Sturm and Ference are on LTIR.
  • According to Fluto, St. Louis is without Eric Brewer (back), Erik Johnson (knee), D.J. King (shoulder), Paul Kariya (lower body), Andy McDonald (leg), Jay McKee (finger), and T.J. Oshie (lower body).
Other Previews:
  • Not a whole lot out there, probably due to the Pats game/Bergeron Horror. Check to your left for things I'm missing.
  • NESN First Shift: "Manny Fernandez (9-2-1, 2.02) vs. Cam Ward (10-7-3, 2.51)"
  • Preview | GameDay | Notes (pdf)



Well, that was one of those wins where you just sit back and say, wow, we're lucky we won that one. Of course the far larger news is of Patrice Bergeron going down after a hit to the head (he initiated contact, it's not like Randy Jones boarding some guy). Coach Claude said he was "dazed" and Fluto expects news at around 3pm, when the team skates before tonight's game in St. Louis (WOOOO Super-posting day!). Also, Sturm is back on LTIR and Martin St. Pierre got called up.

With all that in mind, let's recap, shall we?

The Bruins give the Hurricanes a powerplay 5 minutes in and plenty of room to play it in. Hurricanes work it all the way around the zone, until the finally stuff one in on Manny.
0-1. You're worried that the home win streak might be broken. (It's gotta happen sometime, but to the Canes? Really?)

The whole rest of the first period, not much happens.

The second also is scoreless for the first 5 minutes or so. Then the bruins get it in their own zone, which of course means there's a legitimate scoring chance in play. Lucic passes up to Kessel. Kessel gets stuck on the sideboards, gives it back to Lucic. Lucic tips the pass, leaves it in open space. Which is where Marc Savard picks it up, makes Ward go down early, and buries it. GOAL.

1-1. You're thinking "Finally! Now just score like 8 more, please."

The rest of the second plays out. I'm pretty sure that's where Bergeron goes out. Please let him be ok. Please.

Third Period.
Bruins pick it up a dump in the neutral zone. Sobotka gets it over Thornton's stick to Krejci, who slips it in behind Cam Ward.

2-1. You're happy with the lead, but you know that there's definitely at least 16 minutes of the end of the game left.

After 8 minutes, there's an offensive zone faceoff. Nokelainen doesn't quite get it, but it gets behind the Carolina net. Thornton picks it up, and puts it in.

3-1. 8 minutes to go, you get the feeling the Canes will bury one, but pulling their goalie won't help. (really, I did. I swear)

As expected, 3 minutes later, they put a lot of people in front of the net and the Bruins can't stop it.
3-2. 4:36 to go. Let's not mess it up.

Nothing much happens on the PK, then there's a faceoff in the Bruins zone. Empty Net

4-2. Game.


Please be ok, Patrice.

Record: 23-5-4 (W4)
Home: 13-1-1 (W13)
Kessel Streak: 17
L10: 9-1-0
December: 7-1-0

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Game 32 Preview: Carolina @ Bruins TACKY CHRISTMAS SWEATER DAY

Dec 20, 2008 1:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ
vs. Carolina Hurricanes (15-12-5)
  • Kessel has a 16 game point streak
  • The Bruins have won 12 at home and 3 in a row overall
  • Sturm is out
  • Manny might be in, Fluto is saying.
  • The Carolina Hurricanes have recently fired the coach that won them the 2006 cup.
  • Mailing it in, early game.
Other Previews:
Early game means no time for this.  Check to the left or here.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Well, that was a heck of a game.  Let's see, Sturm was in the lineup to start the game.  On that first shift, they- GOAL!

1-0.  You're checking the time.  Oh, it's 36 seconds in.  Marco Sturm's first shift back.  And he scored.  Huge.

Then a couple minutes later, Krejci passes it up to the point, it's kept in.  Over to Lucic.  Lucic sends it right down the middle onto Krejci's stick, Krejci embarasses Vesa Toskala.  GOAL!

2-0.  You're wondering just what kind of world this is, with all this early scoring.

So is Ron Wilson.  He pulls Vesa "I let in a goal from the other goal line" Toskala in favor of the 41-year-old CuJo.  You've gotta change your taunting chant.

Kubina comes in and scores one, to get the end of period score to

The second period starts, and the Bruins get on the powerplay.
Chara gets it at the point, Slaps it in.  Savard tips it up and in.

3-1.  Your legs are getting tired from all of this standing and cheering.

Then Wheeler picks it up at the faceoff circle in his own zone, and skates it up into the offensive zone.  He goes left, then gives it to a streaking David Krejci.  Krejci skates all the way in, then goes around CuJo and puts it in.  It's not even really a shot.  He just skates it all the way to the goal line.

4-1.  You're thinking that Krejci's got two now...interesting.

Kessel picks it up in the offensive zone, gives it to savard for safekeeping through the neutral zone.  Kessel gets it back from Savard, and rockets one in from the top of the circle.

5-1.  If you picked the over, you're happy right now.

Then with 12 minutes to go in the second, Thomas lets in 3 Toronto Goals in a row. In less than 10 minutes, it's

But the second period isn't over yet. 
Savard gets it behind the night, he gives it to Kessel.  Kessel fakes, then wrists one home.

6-4.  You're wondering if the Bruins will score again with 2 minutes left, and whether they're going to have to put Toskala in.  Thomas has let a few in, but at least the Bruins are winning the perio-  awwwwww.
Toronto goes on the powerplay, Jason Blake sits at the corner with the puck.  Mark Stuart stares at him for a few seconds, then he rips one high short side.

The second period ends.  When the third begins, both goalies have been switched out and we're seeing the battle of the 35s - Manny vs. Toskala.  Manny makes a bunch of solid saves.  Toskala has a solid first 10 minutes of the period.

Then Chara picks it up in the Bruins corner.  He passes across the zone to Ryder.  Ryder skates it in.  There are three defenders around him and he has Axelsson out to the right.  So of course he skates it to the goal and wrists one behind Toskala.  GOAL!

7-5.  This is starting to get a little ridiculous, but the Bruins are only up by two.  You're telling yourself "Toronto could come back..."

5 minutes later, The Bruins go back on the powerplay.  Oh wait, that's a 1:30 5-on-3.  Wideman passes from the left point to the right corner, Savard gets it.  Savard wails on it, sending it right in front of Toskala.  Krejci holds his stick down, it bounces in (Ok, there was a little shot-motion in there, too, but you get the idea)

8-5.  The Bruins manage to keep things under wraps for the last 4+ minutes.



Record: 22-5-4 (W3)
Home Record: 12-1-1 (W12)
Kessel Scoring Streak: 16 games.
L10: 8-2-0
vs. TOR: 3-1-0
December: 6-1-0

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Game 31: Toronto @ Bruins 11 WIN HOME STREAK ON THE LINE

Dec 18, 2008 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ
vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (12-12-6)
  • This is the last time the Maple Leafs are scheduled to play in Boston this season, and the 4th meeting so far.
  • The Maple leafs are the last team to beat the Bruins at home, on October 23rd.
  • Marco Sturm is off LTIR and is a game-time decision for tonight's game.
  • Thomas in net.
  • The Bruins PP is up to a full 25%.  That's one out of every 4 PPs, the Bruins score.  The Maple Leafs have the 3rd-worst PK in the league right now.
  • In case you forgot, there's an 11-game home winning streak for the Bruins.
  • Phil Kessel is on a 15-game point streak.
  • The Maple Leafs can be sneaky good, and are on a bit of a tear, here.  The Bruins would do well not to let them sneak up, again.
Previous Games:
  • Game 7: Oct 23, @Bruins 2, TOR 4: Milan Lucic put Mike Van Ryn through the glass, but the Bruins let in 4 unanswered goals after the first period to lose the game.  This was the Bruins most recent home loss.
  • Game 13: Nov 6, @Bruins 5, TOR 2: Blake Wheeler scores his first career hat trick, and it was party-time in recap-land.
  • Game 18: Nov 17, Bruins 3, @TOR 2: Savard's indirect pass to Kessel on the first goal of this game was very pretty.  Versus is interviewing Peter Chiarelli when Ryder scores.  C'mon, Versus, you can do better.  Thomas absolutely STOLE this game, and rightfully had every save highlight 
Other Previews:


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Slow News Wednesday - Things I like about hockey

Not a lot going on today.  Over at Bruins blog, they've got a story about fighting, including this among many good quotes (It's tempting to quote the whole darn thing, but you should just read his thoughts about Steve Ott and other things over there) from Shawn Thornton:

Shawn Thornton said his hands already hurt from the damage he's taken over a career of fighting. He cites ice and Advil as his go-to remedies. "I'm sure there'll be something," Thornton said of long-term repercussions. "But hopefully my family will be set and I'll be set. It's like anything. My old man's worked in a steel factory for 31 years. I'm sure he's going to have long-term damage from that. You do what you've got to do to set yourself up in the best position."
Hockey is such a blue-collar sport sometimes.  Some blog or other said during the sean avery scandal-rama that "at it's heart, hockey is still a sport played by canadian farmboys."  I know it's wicked sappy, but I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff.

Speaking of sappiness and fighting, how about that Lucic/Valabik fight?  I'm sure I've talked about it at length, but they were saying on NESN for the away game that Valabik idolizes Chara (they're both HUGE slovakian defensemen) and that he and chara talked about being big slovakian defensemen.  Chara was very encouraging and all that.  Skip to the next day, and Valabik is trying to take out Kessel's kidney with his stick.  The penalty gets called, but Chara comes in ANYWAYS and takes 17 minutes of penalties, just to say "no, you don't mess with kessel, not on my watch."  And that's why Chara's the captain.

I always liked the slovakian national team because of Gaborik, now I just want to see a Chara/Valabik defensive pairing.  When Boris is the short guy, that's ridiculous.  Get on that, Slovakia.  

Also, I was looking at goals the bruins scored recently, and this one is great:

Savard has the empty net and uses his pin-point accuracy to give it to Kessel.

This is the kind of stuff that keeps me going during 4-day game breaks.  I hope the Bruins have had some good time to rest their weary bones, and that they don't come out totally flat.  Some observations/links:
  • No Habs No: The Habs lost to the Hurricanes last night.  Joe Corvo earns the letter.
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: Some Corsi numbers for you.
  • Michael DiLorenzo: A picture of the NHL War Room.
  • Bruins Blog: Sturm could play tomorrow.
  •  Webcam from Wrigley Field showing the construction.  It updates a little bit at a time, uploading old video.  It's not actually live.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lazy Links: Tuesday

Oh, screw it.   Look to the left for more stuff.

More importantly, Marion Gaborik is looking likely to be back for wednesday's game, and none too soon.  The wild have been anemic in scoring, and could really use a 40-goals-when-he's-healthy-which-is-never guy to take passes.  Then trade him 5 games later.

Or just sit on it, Doug.  I'm sure it will all work out in the end.

Yeah, I like the wild.  Deal with it.


Monday, December 15, 2008

L10: Third ten games (8-2-0)

It's been quite the little trip here.  Phil Kessel is the NHL 1st star of the week, and Puck Daddy has a whole article on him.  The Bruins continue to show that they'll stand up for each other.
  • Game 21: Bruins 2 Habs 2 SO WIN. Roy's number is finally retired by the Habs, the Bruins come in and win right in front of all of those fans. Blake Wheeler gets the only goal in the shootout, and gets a No Habs No letter from Sens Army Blog.
  • Game 22: Bruins 2 BUF 3 Loss.  In the 18 Buffalo-Boston games, the home team has won.  This one was played in Buffalo.  Derek Roy shot one in off a Bruins stick. Despite trying to get it going in the third, they just couldn't put it in.
  • Game 23: Bruins 7 NYI 2 WIN. Black Friday in the new Third Jerseys brought a blowout against the league-basement Islanders.  The 7th goal in this game was super-pretty.
  • Game 24: Bruins 4 DET 1 WIN. Detroit comes to Boston to try to pick up a win.  Luckily, the Bruins aren't scared of the reigning stanley cup champs.  After 12 minutes without a shot, Blake Wheeler buries it behind Osgood on the first shot of the game.  They go on to win.
  • Game 25: Bruins 3 TBL 1 WIN.  Lecavelier-to-Martin St. Louis starts the scoring about a minute in, but Thomas starts taking the game seriously and the Bruins come back to win, 3-1 with an empty netter.
  • Game 26: Bruins 4 FLA 0 WIN. Manny Fernandez pitches a shutout.  The Florida Coach after the game: "We could have been out there for three days and still not scored."
  • Game 27: Bruins 5 TBL 3 WIN. This was the game that the Bruins got up 3-0 in the first 10 minutes, then stopped playing altogether.  P.J. Axelsson's Empty netter made this score look less scary than it was to watch.
  • Game 28: Bruins 1 WAS 3 Loss. Proving that the Bruins can't win them all, Washington continues a home winning streak against the Bruins.  Ovechkin got the empty-netter.  It was a pretty hard-fought game.  I can't wait until Washington comes to Boston.
  • Game 29: Bruins 7 ATL 3 WIN. 14 Players have points in this mega team effort.  4 fights make this quite the game as the first of the home-and-home series.
  • Game 30: Bruins 4 ATL 2 WIN. The Bruins pick up where they left off in Atlanta, and 6'7" Thrashers defenseman Valabik has to answer to Chara after picking on Kessel.  Valabik is star-struck and throws no punches.  How do you fight your idol?  Chara doesn't even knock him down.  Sort of a sad fight, in a way.  That said, back off of Kessel or one of our bruisers will Crush you.  By Bruisers, I mean Lucic, Chara, Thornton, or Savard.  Savard?  Yeah, check his PIMs for the season.
Stats/On-Pace Projections:

Best goal of the last 10 games:
Maybe this one's just fresh in my mind, but Michael Ryder's second goal against atlanta on Saturday was pretty dominant:

It was his 10th of the season.
L10 Record: 8-2-0
Overall record: 21-5-4

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Well, that was a fun game. Football's a-coming, so let's get this recap party started.

NOTE TO NHL.TV: I am not going to get XM radio, ever, now that you're making me watch a 30 second ad for almost every 10 second clip. Seriously, c'mon. That's just crappy planning. Maybe for the longer clips it makes some amount of sense, but really? For a 10 second highlight I have to watch the SAME commercial at twice the volume of the clip?

Phil Kessel entered this game with an active 14-game point streak. I was wondering if that would continue. Luckily, Mr. Kessel wanted it to. Krejci pokes it to Lucic, Lucic to Krejci. Krejci puts a beautiful pass from the wall accross the slot to Kessel. Kessel shoots, but hedberg gets it. Gets it right back to Kessel. Kessel takes advantage of Hedberg being down, moves it to the other side of Slater, and GOAL.

1-0. You're screaming about the 15-game point streak.

Playing defense, Krejci gets the puck at the Bruins blue line. Wheeler starts moving in the right direct, gets the pass from Krejci. Wheeler skates it into the zone with Ryder on the wing. Wheeler goes right, realizes he's dragging the d, and drop-passes to Ryder. Ryder goes left, skates around Hainsey, and backhands one in. GOAL.

2-0. Ryder's 9th of the season.

With less than a minute to go, Oystrick proves the dump and chase tactic works. He gets the puck at the top of the circle. Five-hole.

Not much happens for most of the second. Then Valabik runs Kessel. Let me rephrase that. The 6'7", 240-pound Slovakian Boris Valabik was roughing up 6'0", 180-pound Bruins Leading Goal-Scorer Phil Kessel. He gets called for that, but Zdeno Chara decides it's time to teach a lesson to his buddy. Here's's video:

Their coverage is here. How do you fight your idol?
Chara gets 17 minutes of penalties for it, Valabik gets 5 for fighting, 2 for roughing.

A couple minutes later, Vyacheslav Kozlov takes a hooking penalty. Atlanta doesn't get to touch the puck during the powerplay, though. Savard gets the faceoff to Lucic-Hunwick-Wideman-Kessel-Hunwick-Wideman-net. The announcer has just barely enough time to introduce the powerplay before the GOAL.

3-1. Wonderful Puck Movement.

3rd period, 15 minutes in and Michael Ryder shows us some skill. Krejci gives it to him and goes to the bench. While his linemates are getting back to the Bench, Ryder looks like he's going to lazily skate it in to give them time. Then after crossing the blue line, he sees he can get past Hainsey. He puts it in gear and skates around hainsey. Then he puts the puck between Oystrick's skates to himself WHILE deking out Hedberg. He's got net for days on the other side of Oystrick. GOAL.

4-1. 10th of the season for Ryder, he had 14 total last year. 5 minutes to go. Looks pretty good.

Marty Reasoner makes up for a penalty earlier by dinging one in off the post from the point.

Bruins shut down the Thrashers for the rest of the game, even though they pull the goalie with like 2 minutes to go and Ryder scores the empty net with -0.01 seconds in the game. One person throws a hat, because it didn't really count.



Record: 21-5-4 (Streak: W2)
Home: 11-1-1 (Streak: W11)
L10: 8-2-0
vs. ATL: 3-0-0
December: 5-1-0

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Game 30 Preview: Atlanta @ Bruins SINGLES NIGHT

(Scott Cunningham, NHLI, Getty)
Dec 13, 2008 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ
vs. Atlanta Thrashers (9-15-4)

  • They've played twice before.  Once was last night.  Here are the recaps:
  • Game 8: 5-4 Win. Lucic scores his first career hat trick.
  • Game 29: 7-3 Win. Lucic gets a Gordie Howe hat trick, Chara scores on a wraparound.  14 Bruins have points in that game, Kessel has his 14th game in a row with points.
  • A lot of the same stuff applies from yesterday, but with last night's game added and it's a Bruins home game.
  • The Bruins have a few streaks on the line tonight.  Kessel's scored points in the last 14, the Bruins have won the last 10 at home.
  • I expect Atlanta to come out strong.  I'm not sure whose plane took off first, but they both had to fly for a few hours up to Boston after the game last night.  Atlanta is coming off a tough loss, I wouldn't be surprised if Kovalchuk, Kozlov, etc get going early.  If they don't, I expect Bouldon, Thornton, etc etc will be hugging it out again.
  • That picture up there was the only one I could find of Chara's wraparound goal.  C'mon, NHL photographers, help me out here.
Other Previews:

Friday, December 12, 2008


Well, the Bruins got off to quite the start of the game, and didn't let up nearly as badly as they did in the Tampa Bay game. In fact, this game was awesome. Let's remember, shall we?

By the way, there were 4 fights in this game. Here's with the details.

1st Period, 3 minutes in. Jack and Andy are talking about how Colin Stuart and Mark Stuart are brothers and their dad flew in to watch. Colin could sit with him, he's a scratch. Hnidy taps it out of the Bruins corner, Krejci picks it up. He cruises down the right side, with wheeler on the left and Stuart down the middle. They just sort of float there for a minute, like bicycles without riders. Then Krejci sees 3 inches of space. Threads the needle. Stuart one-time/deflects it in.

1-0. You're still getting some beers at the corner store.

About a minute later, the Bruins are working it around the zone. Nokes to Hunwick to Wideman, who sends it around the Thrashers boards. Hunwick picks it up, moves it to Nokes. Nokelainen shoots from the point. Yelle with the alley-oop.

2-0. You're just starting to make yourself some dinner, but that's awesome.

This next one is...something else. Something wonderful. Something that only comes around once in a great while. Off a faceoff, Lucic-Kessel-Stuart-Kessel-Chara. Chara skates it around the back of the net. HOLD UP. CHARA skates it in behind Pavelec. He keeps going, and gets a wraparound goal. "How big are you?" "Really Big."

3-0. Goalie Change. Let's look at the shots he's faced at this point, from the play-by-play:

  1. 16:29 GOAL BOS #45 STUART(2), Wrist, Off. Zone, 14 ft. Assists: #46 KREJCI(17); #73 RYDER(11)
  2. 15:52 GOAL BOS #18 YELLE(4), Wrist, Off. Zone, 61 ft. Assists: #29 NOKELAINEN(1); #48 HUNWICK(8)
  3. 12:16 SHOT BOS ONGOAL - #29 NOKELAINEN, Slap, Off. Zone, 48 ft.
  4. 11:33 BLOCK BOS #81 KESSEL BLOCKED BY ATL #28 HAVELID, Snap, Def. Zone
  5. 11:19 GOAL BOS #33 CHARA(6), Wrap-around, Off. Zone, 10 ft. Assists: #81 KESSEL(10); #17 LUCIC(11)
That's right. 5 shots. And one was blocked. I thought those didn't count as saves by the goalie. And yet, is saying that he made 2 saves. Oh well. Pavelec skated right off the ice into the bruins blog SIN BIN:
SIN BIN: Ondrej Pavelec (one save on four first-period shots). "It was one of those games where I wouldn't have stopped a beachball," said Pavelec, who came back in for 17:28 of playing time in the third period. "If I want to play in the NHL, I have to be better than that."
You can do it, Ondrej. I believe in you. Just not tonight (and if you don't mind starting tomorrow, that would be great. Thanks.)

With Hedberg in, it must mean the party's over, right? Andy Brickley is obviously worried about it. Colby Armstrong's in-game mic gets called for hooking, he goes to the bench. Right off the faceoff, Savard to Bergeron. Bergeron gives it to Ryder. Ryder listens to Andy Brickley say "those guys need to be better players and more consistant." Ryder dings it of the post. "Bar and in," as they say. Seriously, watch this one with Audio.

4-0. Ryder just scored his 4th GWG.

Just so they're not totally embarassed, Kovalchuk gets it to the net for a Todd White tip-in before the end of the first.

The only thing that happened in the second period was Joseph Crabb boarding Phil Kessel at 17:40 into the period. He got a 5 minute major and a game misconduct. The Bruins don't manage to do anything on the first half of the powerplay, but then the third period starts.

Phil Kessel was really slow to shake off the hit, but he had time to rest. Hunwick-Wideman-Kobasew-Kessel-Net. Solid goal by a solid player, that.

5-1. 1:25 to go on the PP. Nothing happens.

Ilya Kovalchuk scores a couple minutes later.

Lucic and Kessel end up on a fast break. They skate down. Lucic tries to center to Kessel. Lucic-Atlanta D-Man-Net. GOAL.


Then Blake Wheeler forechecks like crazy, ends up getting the puck to Krejci. Krejci gives it to Mark Stuart at the top of the slot (I think).

7-2. Mark Stuart with the bookend goals. Can his dad come to every game?

Kozlov ends the scoring with 7 minutes to go.



Record: 20-5-4
L10: 8-2-0
Streak: W1
Away: 10-4-3
December: 4-1-0