Saturday, February 28, 2009

Game 63 Preview: Bruins vs. Washington

Feb 28, 2009 1:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
vs. Washington Capitals (30-27-5)
  • Mailing it in, early game.
  • Washington is 9 points behind Boston in the Conference.
  • Here Comes the Bruins! thinks this game could clinch the conference.
  • The home team has won the game in each game so far. Here's hoping for that continuing.
  • Half of the Bruins Bloggers will be at this game somewhere or another.
  • No word as of writing about Savard or Lucic. Please let them be ok.
  • Ovechkin, Chara, and Ference are all donating money to right to play depending on their playing time. Awesome. Off-ice, Ference might just be my favorite Bruin. He doesn't hunt bears, though.
  • Oh, and on an unrelated note, GO CAMELS!
Other Previews:
Click those fun links to the left for probably some better content than I'm throwing out.

"Crapitals" - Mike Milbury

Friday, February 27, 2009

Glen Metropolit to Montreal on Waivers

Ah, the good times.

Right before we have to start all hating on Glen Metropolit for being picked up by the Habs, let's remember the good times.

He scored the game winner in a huge game in Montreal - Game 5.  it was his only He scored the game winner in a huge game in Montreal - Game 5 of the playoffs last year.  it was his only playoff point in the NHL, and it was a good one.  Here's the video:

Everytime I saw him play last year, he was always hustling.  While he was with Philly, I could handle it.  But dammit.  He's a Hab now.  I'll miss you, Glen.  I know it's not your fault, and I'll like you again when you're not a Hab.

Never Forget.

Other News:
  • Savard, Lucic Questionable.  Wheeler Probable.  Ducks are still terrible.
  • Puck Prospectus: An interview with P.J. Axelsson and Kimmo Timmenen  "Wayne Gretzky. He probably changed the game."



Huge. Just huge. As you may already know, Tim Thomas posted a 35-save shutout last night in celebration of his 100th NHL Career Win. But just to make it special, he got an assist, as well. Huge. Tim Thomas Hunts Bears, you know. With a bow:

Bow in hand, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas was perched in a tree in northern Manitoba as he stared down a bear.
"He was pushing down smaller trees around me," Thomas says of his hunting trip a few years ago that inspired the "Beware of the Bear" theme on his mask. "Apparently, that's what they do to scare away weaker bears and I've been told they see us as a weaker bear." - USA TODAY

Whatta guy. Appropriate for him to get all this on Heroes Night at the Garden. Also, big props to anthem singer Dan Clark for struggling through an instrumental track that went WAY faster than he wanted to. 10 guys had points last night. Let's take a look at how it went:

In the first period, the Bruins and Ducks went back and forth a bit. Bruins went on the PP thanks to Brookbank, but it didn't lead to anything. Same for the Ducks and Krejci. At about the time that you're realizing that Aaron Ward isn't playing, Matt Hunwick steps up and makes you notice. Krejci pokes it off a duckstick to Ryder, who battles it in from neutral ice to the slot. Then he passes it across for Wheeler, but the no-look spin-o-rama pass goes behind him. Luckily, Hunwick streaks in and BOOM. Tick Tock Goal.

1-0. Let's keep that kid around a bit longer, eh?

The last 2 minutes of the first, same as most of the first. Ducks outshoot the Bruins pretty handily. Tim Thomas has all the answers, like that kid you cheated off of in 7th grade.

The second period begins. The ducks have it in the Bruins zone. So the backcheck. Stuart and Krejci take the puck away. Then some magic passing happens. Krejci-Hnidy-past Krejci-Wheeler-Krejci-Ryder-Bar-Net. DINK! Goal.

2-0. In a post-game interview, Blake Wheeler says that Ryder has an "Unbelievable shot." No lie, Wheels.

Kobasew picks it up in the Bruins zone. He skates it up. Sure, other guys skate around with him and make the defenders play the pass. But Kobasew skates the rink and puts it in.

3-0. The Number 12 has often been a good player for the Bruins - Oates, Rolston, Cashman, Byers, Lukowich, and now Kobasew. I don't expect to see it hanging from the rafters anytime soon, but it's still interesting. There was a guy there last night with a Rolston jersey, and he had taken a big piece of masking tape and written Kobasew on it and stuck it over Rolston. Good looks, dude, wherever you are.

J.S. Giguere will have to get Giggy with it on the Bench for the rest of the night. Enter Jonas Hiller. The "Hillll-eeeerrrrr" chants start up right away.

Sick save by thomas. Gotta put it in.

The next 2 big events are fights. Surprise, surprise. The Ducks get in fights. First, Parros lays a big hit on Savard and he limps to the Bench. So Shawn Thornton steps in. Here's HockeyFights page. Good effort by 6'2", 217 lb Thornton.

Then Lucic gets sucker punched by Mike Brown, so he throws him to the ice and takes a couple vicious thwacks at his neck. Brookbank defends his teammate. Hockeyfights. Total penalties:

  • Mike Brown: 2 Min. Instigating, 5 Min. fighting, 10 Min. Misconduct
  • Sheldon Brookbank: 2 Min. 3rd Man in, 10 Min. Game Misconduct
  • Milan Lucic: 5 Min. Fighting
Bwahahahahaha nice goonery there, Anaheim. Somewhere in there, Savard and Scott neidermayer throw down, but they each get 2 minutes roughing and Savard doesn't come back to the game. Neither does Lucic. Which means somebody other than the top line has to step up.

Luckily, we have this scoring depth...and at 2 minutes to go in the second, the Ducks clear to Thomas. Thomas makes a DIRTY breakout pass that's actually illegal in 17 countries and Utah, finds Ryder on the far blue line. Ryder puts it in with Authority. Edwards calls it a goal off Kessel's leg. Kessel gets the screen, Ryder gets the goal.

4-0. Tim Thomas Hunts Bears with the assist. As they said in the all-star game, SICK MOVES. p.s. PPG!

You figure with 2 minutes to go in the second, and up 4-0, the rest is just going to be a whole lot of not-that-much. But you forget that they're playing Anaheim, the second-most-penalized team in the league (third man in? Are you SERIOUS?) and they have guys whose hockey resume is basically fists and mustaches. George Parros really stepped up for the Bruins here, and takes a holding call with less than a minute to go. He tries for the unsportsmanlike, but....they don't give it to him. It's ok, we'll take the single minor. And by "we," I mean Kobasew. And by "take the single minor," I mean Krejci-Ference-Wideman-Kobasew-NET.

5-0. The second period is the Chuck and Mike show, we'll be taking your calls in just a minute. Hold on, though, folks, we've just got to score 2 goals each. Hat trick watch for both as we go into the third.

The third is a much calmer game. The ducks are not calm, but they stopped taking penalties after Pronger cries to the refs about how the Ducks keep getting penalties. There's a solution, there, elbow-machine: Stop commiting penalties. One way or another, the only penalty in the third is Mark Stuart. Whatever.

With 6:30 left, Bitz picks up a pass in the neutral zone. He's got future hall-of-famer Scott Neidermayer on him. But Bitz is a big guy. He muscles his way through Neidermayer (!!!) and then roofs it over Hiller.

There's that third goal in the third for him, it's a shame it's 2 days late. You almost think about tossing your hat on the ice, but you're way up in the balcony and it didn't work last time.



  • I hope Savard and Lucic are ok, or Kessel's going to need some new linemates against Washington. Damn.
  • The longest winning streak in the east right now is Toronto, with 3.
  • As Double A Hockey points out, Shane Hnidy (and Phil Kessel) are the only ones without points in the last 2 games, goalies included.
vs. ANA: 1-0-0 (season series sweep!)
Record: 42-12-8 (W 2)
Home: 21-4-4 (W 2)
L10: 4-4-2
Feb: 6-4-2

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Game 62 Preview: Bruins vs. Anaheim HAHA THEYRE JUST MALLARDS NOW

Feb 26, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
vs. Anaheim Ducks (30-27-5)
  • Ducks Traded Chris Kunitz for Ryan Whitney earlier today, we could see Whitney tonight.
  • Neither team coughs up a come-from-behind win in the third very often.  Doesn't mean it couldn't happen.
  • Anaheim won the cup 2 years ago.
  • Chris "Elbows" Pronger got a Hart trophy because his agent campaigned for him.
  • Scott Neidermayer is good.  So is Chara.
  • Hey, let's string together more than one win here.  Expect goonery from Anaheim.  Not as much as in the past, but still goonery.
  • Also expect players to stop playing because they just got traded.  Most of these guys contracts end this year.
Other Previews:
  • Yeah, swamped at work.  Sorry.  Check over to the left, people are still writing and it's still good.  I don't even have time to read it all, much less quote it for you.  Stanley Cup of Chowder will have an open thread, which I will miss because I'll be at the game instead.
"They're not the Mighty Ducks anymore?  That's lame.  They're just mallards now!" - Friend of the blog Nate.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Well, that's much better. First of all, we got a puck drop from space, which is now available for viewing in the TD Banknorth Garden sports museum, open between 1pm and 1:30pm on the third tuesday of the month.

This post is going to kill your browser since there are 7 videos in it. It was just that good of a game. That's why the image is up top there, to push the videos below the "fold."

Let's do a quick run through here.

First of all, while you're settling in Patrice Bergeron is telling the bench "hey y'all, watch this" and forechecks like a banshee. Jay Bouwmeester, Panthers super-D-man, let's a puck bounce past him and Bergeron is there. Bergeron takes it, beats Craig Anderson high glove side.

1-0. Huge goal. Patrice's first REAL goal of the season. Of course, we saw kessel do this last game, and look where that got us.

Then Ryder goes to work on the ice. He's moving the puck around, and then the Bruins get a little 3-on-whatever. Ryder passes - not across the crease like anderson expects, but back to Stuart. Stuart shoots it forward.

2-0. Hey, way to go Mark Stuart. When was his last goal? That's odd. Nice assist on the return there, Ryder.

Then some guy on Florida named "Kreps" (no joke, real name) scores, 13:34 into the first.
2-1. They have awakened the bear, and Tim Thomas is ready for some puck-hunting. He plays perfect the rest of the night...even after some lapses. Whatever.

Second period is all about your #1 star of the night: Byron Bitz. For serious, he scores his second goal of his NHL career right here:

3-1. Slick deflection. "I know most goalies take away the bottom, so I figured if I could deflect it up, it might go in" (paraphrase, too lazy to transcribe the real quote from the interview I will inevitably post below)

Third period time. 3-1 going in. Let's see if the Bruins can have a positive goal differential in all 3 periods. The fourth line decides to get some energy going. Yelle slaps one from the point as they enter the zone. Anderson gets in front, gives up a nice big juicy rebound. Byron Bitz is on the scene.

4-1. Byron Bitz Hat Trick Watch: Activated "I didn't have a hat trick through college, must have been back in Juniors" (paraphrase)

2 minutes later, the Bruins move it all over the FLA zone. Bouwmeester blows a tire, Ward gets the puck. Tim connolly goal: "Dink!"

5-1. Aaron Ward looks really happy about that. Gotta love a guy that likes scoring and winning so much.

Then about a million years into the game (ok, 49+ minutes) the first penalty is called: Hooking, of course, against the Panthers. Powerplay lines look like: Axelsson-Savard-Ryder, Bergeron-Chara. I'm writing about this, so I think you know what happens next. Axelsson bounces it off anderson's pads back to Ryder, Ryder bumps it up over them.

6-1. Textbook. Or is that Storybook? I never can tell.

Speaking of storybook, Bitz basically plays every other shift for the rest of the game as the fans chant "We Want Bitz! We Want Bitz!" Boston fans are suckers for rooting for the underdog.

There's a fight, kobasew vs. whoever, crap fight and only florida really cared about it.



  • Now don't mess it up like you did after the carolina game. Dammit.
  • Montreal now has the longest win streak in the east....with 2.
  • 41's just another number, but 20 home wins is nice.
  • Other teams with 20 home wins: San Jose, Washington, Detroit, Calgary,

vs. FLA: 3-1-0 (end of season series)
Record: 41-12-8 (W 1)
Home: 20-4-4 (W 1)
L10: 4-4-2
Feb: 5-4-2

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Game 61 Preview: Florida @ Boston PUCKDROP FROM SPACE

Feb 24, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
vs. Florida Panthers (30-21-8)

  • This is the first of six home games in a row.
  • An Astronaut is going to drop the puck. THAT PUCK WAS IN SPACE!
  • They made Jack Edwards bingo OFFICIAL!
  • The Bruins could drop out of first during this homestand if they play poorly enough and NJ and WAS play well.
  • But that doesn't matter tonight.
  • Tonight is the Florida Panthers, who the Bruins got shut out by on Saturday.
  • The Florida panthers that the Bruins had handily beaten each other time they had played.
  • The Florida Panthers that throw rats on the ice.
  • The Florida Panthers that are on a tear since new year's. They are sick of losing.
  • The 7-3-0 Florida Panthers.
  • Ryder is back, and the angels are singing.
  • Anderson and Vokoun are still excellent goalies.  We'll see Anderson tonight, and Thomas.
  • I still miss Sturm too, Fluto.
  • In case you hadn't noticed, the Bruins are playing better this year than last.
  • The Panthers are the last team featured in Puck Money's "Playing Below Capacity" series.
Previous Games:
  • Game 20: Bruins win 4-2 to take the top spot in the Conference on "slapshot night" at the Garden.
  • Game 26: Bruins win 4-0 "We could have been out there for three days and still not scored."- Peter DeBoer
  • Game 59: Bruins lose 2-0 in Florida after having a few too many days in the sun.  Brick looks like a carrot on the TV.  Jack Edwards doesn't go outside, he'd get too excited.
Other Previews:
  • Cameron Frye: Prediction: "B's win 4-2, 3 fights and Jack Edwards is going mention at least once that the B's are skinning the Panthers alive."
  • HubHockey: "The B's need to go for the jugular tonight if they want to win, and yes I went there."
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: "It looks like the Panthers might not be moving Jay Bouwmeester afterall. The Panthers are selling "Panthers Promise" ticket packages that include a playoff guarantee. That doesn't sound like a team that is going to be a seller at the deadline."  Will have an open thread, as will...
  • Litter Box Cats
  • The Bear Cave: "The other reason for a strong start is Tomas Vokoun. The 32-year old blanked Boston on Saturday, meaning he will be entering this game with plenty of confidence. If the Bruins can get one or two past him early, the confidence could turn to doubt. Even if the game remains scoreless, Boston will want to test the Florida netminder, seeing how he is coming off of the flu."
  • Matt Kalman: "Florida is just a really tough match-up for the Bruins right now. But Boston can neutralize some of that with a stronger forecheck and more efficient special teams."
  • NESN First Shift: "After beating the Bruins 2-0 on Saturday, Florida is 7-3-0 in their last ten games and 14-5-3 since the New Year. The currently seventh-seeded Panthers are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2000."
  • Newspaper thumbs: Globe | Herald
  • Bruins Blog: Lines | Moves
  • Preview | Game Notes (pdf)

So it begins.

Monday, February 23, 2009

L10: Game 51-60 (4-4-2)

By far the worst one of these yet. The Bruins are in a slump, and 6 out of 10 games are losses. They got 10 points out of a possible 20 in the last ten, and in the NHL .500 is not a playoff pace. Of course for now they're just eating into the lead they built earlier in the season, but all those games are behind them. Luckily, the next 6 games are at home, so home cooking and hometown fans should provide a boost. It seems like something happened in that Sharks game that sorta turned the bruins off.
  • Game 51: Bruins win in Montreal, 3-1.  Shawn Thornton has a great game, scores a game-winning goal.  The Bruins hit hard enough to put a couple Montreal skaters out. Streak: W2
  • Game 52: Bruins win in Philadelphia, 3-1.  Every Bruins goal seemed to start with a slapshot from the blueline. Streak: W3
  • Game 53: Bruins win the shootout in Ottawa, 3-3.  P.J. is the only successful shooter in the skills competition and manages to get us a win against super nintendo. Streak: W4
  • Game 54: Bruins lose 4-3 in OT to the flyers.  The game-winner bounces in off of ferences leg.  Between the break and this, ference should get some new age something or other done (I assume he's into that, since he's a hippy and all that).  Streak: L1
  • Game 55: Bruins lose to sharks, 5-2.  This was a great game, and the score lies.  The sharks were up 3-2, then Big Dumbo Joe had a buck bounce off him and in, followed by an empty netter. Streak: L2
  • Game 56: Bruins Lose 1-0 to New Jersey, who are playing really well right now.  The one goal was a five-hole shot from the point off a faceoff.  Both goalies played out of their minds. Streak: L3
  • Game 57: Bruins lose in the shootout, 2-2 to the panthers. Streak: L4
  • Game 58: Bruins win a damn game, 5-1 against Carolina on Glen Wesley night.  Part of the  "revenge against moving the team south" campaign. Streak: W1.  Maybe things are looking up!
  • Game 59: Bruins lose 0-2 to the Florida Panthers.  Woof. Streak: L1.  Maybe they can split in florida?
  • Game 60: Bruins lose 3-4 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.  They looked better, but not good enough. Streak: L2.  The Sky, she falls.
Whoof.  Longest losing streak of the year, worst L10 record all year, etc.  Like I said, it's bad.  So here's CSA Astronaut (and MIT grad) Bob Thirsk in space on mission STS-78 in 1996, recreating, well, you know:
Oh yes.  There's a 4 on the back of that sweater.
Record: 40-12-8
Home: 19-4-4
Away: 21-8-4


"Every team has circled us. We've got to circle them back."
- Doc Rivers, Celtics Coach. (Paraphrase)

Well, there goes another one. The Bruins are 4-4-2 in their last 10. They've dropped 6 of the last 7, haven't played at home in 2 weeks, and still have the league's best road record. This is a slump. Let's go through some goals, and then move on.

"Effort is good, points count."
- Zdeno Chara, paraphrase

- Claude Julien, Coach

The game starts off on a high note: Kessel getting his first goal since he got mono:

1-0. Kessel!

Then the Lightning take over for 15 seconds about 2 minutes later.

The Bruins remember what a power play is, and Ference-Wideman-Savard-Ference-Net.

2-2. Hey, a powerplay goal! Woohoo!

Mark Recchi scores one halfway through the second period.
2-3. Ugh.

Then with 5 minutes left in the second, the Bruins rush out of their own zone. Kobasew-Chara-Net.

3-3. Nice going there, Chara.

The 3rd period is a whole lotta back and forth, and then Kessel-Ramo-Kessel-neRAMO.

3-3. Wow, what a save.

The Bruins spend 4 of the last 5 minutes on the PK, thanks to Tampa's crap boards giving all kinds of funny bounces, including one that involves Ference passing it to Wideman, but the puck decides it will crawl up the glass and out instead.
3-4. Prospal.



vs TBL:
Record: 40-12-8 (L 2)
Away: 21-8-4 (L 2)
L10: 4-4-2
February: 4-4-2

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Game 60 Preview: Bruins @ Tampa Bay CAN THEY SPLIT A FLORIDA ROAD TRIP

Feb 22, 2009 5:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
@ Tampa Bay Lightning (19-28-12)
  • Bleh. Last night's game was awful. Vacation's over now. Mailing in the preview to make time to go skating.
  • Tampa is looking for it's 20th win. The Bruins are looking for their 41st.
Other Previews:



The Bruins got shut out. Tomas Vokoun turned away 41 shots. Thomas turned away 29 out of 31. Ference turned away 2 out of 2 with the empty net to stop Dvorak from getting a hat trick.

It's not that the bruins played poorly. It's that they didn't finish.

0-for-6 on the powerplay.

Bench Kessel.

Julien on the Loss:

Here's a clip from Stephane Yelle's official euro-fan club:

vs: Florida: 2-1-0
Record: 40-11-8 (L 1)
Away: 21-7-4 (L 1)
L10: 5-3-2
February: 4-3-2

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Game 59 Preview: Bruins @ Florida WHICH TICKET PROMOTION ARE YOU USING

Feb 21, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
@ Florida Panthers (29-21-8)

  • The Panthers have a ton of ticket promotions. 17 bucks gets you in, parked, eating, and 5$ on gas.
  • The Panthers are better than you think.
  • The Bruins haven't lost to any southeast teams except Washington. Tonight could change that, as Florida is battling for a playoff spot.
  • No time, mailed in.
Previous games:
Click the tag link: Florida Panthers
Other Previews:


Friday, February 20, 2009

Schedule Breakdown: 24 games to go

So if you haven't looked at Zorak's Magic Number page recently, the Bruins magic number is 22 with 24 games left. They could lose 22 games in OT/SO, 2 in regulation, and still make the playoffs. It would be depressing, though, and these Bruins haven't shown themselves to be the type to roll over and die like that.

So let's take a look at the rest of the season.
  • There are 24 games to go.
  • 10 are Away games. The Bruins are 21-6-4 Away.
  • 14 are Home games. The Bruins are 19-4-4 Home.
  • All remaining games are in the Eastern Time Zone.
The Divisional Breakdown, in order of most games played:
  • EAST: 19 Games (10 Home, 9 Away, 33-6-6) This is the conference the Bruins have been on top of for a while. Anything can happen in 24 games, but I'm most worried about the Devils taking the Bruins #1 seed by the end of the season. They have been ridiculous.
  • Atlantic: 8 Games. (4 Home, 4 Away, 7-1-4) 1 Each against the Penguins and Devils, and 2 each against the Flyers, Rangers, and Islanders. The best team in this division is the Devils right now, but the Rangers could do something at the trade deadline.
  • Northeast: 6 Games. (3 Home, 3 Away, 13-3-2) 1 each against the Sabres, Habs, and Leafs. 3 Games against the Ottawa Senators. The Bruins have been on top of the division for most of the season, and the closest team to challenging them is the Habs, if they can stay away from Montreal mobsters. Ottawa and Toronto are currently tied for last in the division, with 53 points. The Montreal game is the last home game of the season.
  • Southeast: 5 Games (3 Home, 2 Away, 13-2-0) 1 vs. Washington, 2 each vs. Tampa Bay and Florida. Washington is far and away the best team in this division, being the only team from the Southeast that has managed to beat the Bruins. However, the Caps beat the Bruins twice in the phone booth, and the remaining game will be in Boston. By tuesday, they'll have played Florida twice and Tampa once.
  • WEST: 5 Games (4 Home, 1 Away, 7-4-2) It will be a boon that the Bruins only have to travel west once more this season, and then only to Columbus. Western teams don't have the whole rivalry thing with Boston as much as Eastern teams do, but these are usually quite interesting games. The West is insane. 11 points seperate 5th from 15th right now.
  • Pacific: 3 Games (3 Home, 0 Away, 1-1-0) Everyone remembers the one loss to the Sharks at home in February, and Everyone remembers the one win over Dallas near the beginning of the season. The Bruins host the Ducks, Coyotes, and Kings once each at the Garden, and these should prove to be interesting games.
  • Central: 2 Games (1 Home, 1 Away, 3-0-2) They play the Blackhawks at home and the Blue Jackets away. The Blackhawks are one of the top-4 teams in the west right now, but Columbus doesn't want to give up any points. Their sensational rookie goalie, Steve Mason, is very good. Very. Good. The Bruins will have to work hard to score on either, and play good defense against the high-flying offense of the Blackhawks and Rick Nash of the Bluejackets.
  • Northwest: 0 Games (3-3-0) This is all done.
The longest road trip they'll have to endure from here on out is back-to-back games. There are 4 such trips:
  • Feb 21 vs. Panthers, Feb 22 vs. Lightning: Florida is looking for a playoff spot because they like Jay Bouwmeester on their team.
  • Mar 8 vs. Rangers, Mar 10 vs. BlueJackets: This is the one road trip that takes them out of the Eastern conference.
  • Mar 28 vs. Leafs, Mar 29 vs. Flyers: The Flyers are tough, and who knows what Toronto will look like by then.
  • Apr 11 vs. Sabres, Apr 12 vs. Islanders: These are the last 2 games of the season. Last year I went to the last game of the season, and it was pretty boring because they clinched the playoffs. Because they lost that game, they had the habs in the first round.
  • The Bruins have a 6-game homestand coming up after this weekend, playing 3 Western teams, Florida, Washington, and Philly. None of these games are guaranteed wins, though the Coyotes' game is right after the deadline and who knows how they'll look at that point. If the coach of the Coyotes wasn't Wayne Gretzky, he'd have been fired already.
  • Three game homestand, March 31 to April 1: Tampa Bay, Ottawa, and the Rangers. The Bruins should be able to get 4 out of those 6 points.
  • The rest of the homestands are 1 or 2 games together. Look up the schedule yourself if you want to look at them.
Other Points of interest:
  • Mirtle's From the Rink: has a breakdown of how each team has done since new year's day. The Bruins are 5th. They play teams in the top 5: 4 times, top 10: 8 times, top 15: 10 times.
  • is having a Mike Milbury day today, apparently. Story and selected quotations: "It's unbelievable that after more than 30 years in the game, pummeling a guy with his loafer will be my legacy. But I guess it's better than having no legacy at all."
  • Andrew Ference is still a big ole hippy. Plus he can check like a freight train and move the puck. Look for "B's Go Green" at a 3-8 grade science room near you.
  • Erik Cole blah blah blah.
  • Fluto did another Mailbag.
The Trade Deadline is March 4th, so at that point you can stop worrying about who's going where. Aaron Ward was on WBCN the other day, he said that they have great chemistry in the locker room and that the only moves that should be made are ones that will definitely help the team. I agree.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day off lazy links

Some links to get you through the day:

  • Nemmy of the 2 Man Advantage:  Outs me as a Season Ticket Holder.  Yes, it's true.  I just renewed for next year the other day, too.  I recommend it for anyone who's got the money, and they have a 10-month payment plan for this year to split it up.  If you're not reading his "Nocturnal Emissions" every Thursday, you're not following hockey correctly.
  • Matt Kalman on Stephane Yelle : "'He’s dry. He’s really dry. He’s always throwing his little bombs from the corner,' Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference explained to about his longtime teammate this week. 'We call him a giant, wooden spoon. He just likes to stir the pot and then kind of get out of there once the water’s moving around.'"
  • Kevin Paul Dupont on Patrice Bergeron: "Bergeron lined up Tuomo Ruutu in open ice and smacked the Hurricanes forward to the ice with a crushing, clean check. It was Bergeron's only hit of the night, but it was a beauty"
  • Matt Porter on the Habs: "It's...doubtful any of this will be included in the hardcover edition of 'Le Centennial Celebration."
  • Phil Janack: Is updating everyone on the situation about the River Rats bus that turned over on I-90 at 3:45 AM.
  • Puck Daddy:  Always has something good.  If you're reading this and not that, I'm flattered.
And that's about it.  I'm working on something bigger for tomorrow, same bat-time, same bat-channel.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Well, that's certainly a relief. Claude Julien's 200th career coaching win was tied into the Bruins 40th season win. When milestones like this come up, sometimes that last one can be elusive. Can't say I'm against the 2 points, and it was accomplished in such style.

That, and they swept the season series with the Whalercanes on Glen Wesley night.

The ceremony should've been in Hartford, except that then Sean Avery would've been there (playing for the wolfpack) and that just doesn't feel right. Glen did, however, mention Hartford for all of 2 sentences, so that was something.  Ray Bourque, who would usually make the trip for this, couldn't be there.  I hope everything's ok, Mr. Bourque.  My thoughts go out to you and yours.

After the endless ceremony, the game started around 7:40 PM, only 40 minutes later than the normal time.

But the delay didn't slow the Bruins down. They knew that there was a losing streak at hand. They knew that there is a race for the playoffs on. They knew that they didn't want to lose a 5th game in a row, especially to Carolina. They knew that they don't like losing on number retirement nights.

So they come out flying. They're attacking, going after the puck, just looking great.

Of course, after about 10 minutes of that, Carolina brings it back into the Bruins zone again and pass it through a mosh pit and put it in.
0-1. You're putting the champagne back in the fridge and reaching for the whiskey. Let's hope it's not another one of THOSE nights.

But it's not.

First of all, Patrice got his second concussion playing against Carolina earlier this year when he went in for a check, and led with his chin.  He's since re-learned how to hit.  Here's almost exactly the same play as the injury one, only better:

I still believe this is a catalyst for the rest of the game.  But I wouldn't want to ruin the suprise.

1 minute later, Eric Staal proves he's worth his contract and goes off for 2 minutes for a slashing penalty.  The Bruins go on the Powerplay.  You're thinking, "so?  They haven't scored on the powerplay in a long time."  Well, this time, they've got Lucic and Wheeler on the same line.  Lucic gets a half-breakaway.  He gets poke-checked and then falls over the PKer.  Wheeler comes in at 90 mph, forechecks the puck like a pro, and gets it to Krejci.  Krejci back to Wheeler.  Wheeler up to the point.  Ference slaps it in from the point, but it's deflected.  Luckily, Wheeler is ringing the doorbell like it's prom night.  He puts it in.

1-1.  Power Play Goal.  To the Bruins.  Huge.  "When you work harder, luck finds you more" is the saying, I believe.

Chara and LaRose tie each other up and get sent off for 2 for roughing, and the period ends.

The second period...not THAT much happens.  Well, except for this one thing.  The number we're looking for here is 3.  And 12.  That's the goal total and points total for Sheriff Shane Shnidy this year, after this game.  12 points ties a career high.  Right off the faceoff, he goes for the tip-in or rebound opportunity, and it pays off.

2-1.  That's the end of the even-strength scoring, but you're just happy the Bruins are up.

A couple of penalties get taken, the Canes and Bruins bring the puck up and down the ice, and away they go.

Right around the beginning of the third, Willie Mitchell is up in Calgary, using a 10-foot-long stick in warmups after the Calgary Coach had said he used too long of a stick.

During the third, the Refs get a little loopy.  Maybe they need another donut.  Maybe they think it's just another day at the office.  Maybe they're all teary-eyed from the Glen Wesley celebration.  Whatever.  After about 10 minutes of more back-and-forth, they realize there's a game on and make a call.  Mark Stuart for cross-checking.  This could break the Bruins, right here.  But wait!  4 seconds into the penalty, Tuomo Ruutu is on the ice.  They call a makeup call on him, and we're off to 4-on-4.  A minute into THAT, and Kobasew gets a hooking call.  4-on-3.  The Bruins manage to keep the puck out during that, then they go to 4-on-4, then immediately 5-on-4.  The Bruins are backchecking, and realize that the Canes aren't playing super PP Defense.  
So after trying to get it out to Bergeron and it gets back in, they bounce it out to Krejci, who goes up and backhands it top shelf over Cam Ward.

3-1.  That's a short-handed goal for David Krejci.  Jack Edwards has taken to calling him "matrix" for some reason.  Oh, Jack.  You were in top form last night.

30 seconds later, the bruins get to try out their powerplay again when "not the one in toronto" Kaberle gets a hooking call.  The Bruins set up shop.  Chara stares down the goalie, lights the cannon and fires.  The goalie would've gotten it, but Chuck Kobasew does so like to score on his first game back from injuries.

4-1.  Let's see, that's...carry the one...divide by remainder...2 powerplay goals (and a shorthander).

Then Sobotka, with less than 2 minutes left, goes of for another hooking call.  Get some creativity, refs.  Carolina pulls the goalie.  6-on-4 has worked before, not the most unorthodox move.  Unfortunately for them, we have forwards on our PK.  Yelle the Grizzled veteran gets it away from the Canes with a stick-lift, and Patrice sees it.  This is why Patrice had those silly "The Lord of the Rink: The Return of Patrice Bergeron" posters made about him.  Anyways, he gets his skates going and Yelle gets it to him.  Patrice has nobody behind him and, on Glen Wesley night, scores the empty-netter.

5-1.  If the Bruins weren't doing so well right now, that last line would've hurt more.  But they are.  Much respect to Glen Wesley.  Now go back to the hurricanes bench/front office/whatever.



  • That's 2 PPG, 2 SHG, and the game winner was even-strength.  
  • If there were a No Canes No campaign, Shane Hnidy would be getting some fan mail.
  • The Bruins have the day off today, either going deep-sea fishing or golfing.
  • After the game, there was a show on Tim Thomas.  An inspiring story, to be sure.

Some other crap that has nothing to do with last night's AWESOME GAME:
vs CAR: 4-0-0 (all in regulation, season sweep!)
Record: 40-10-8 (W 1)
Away: 21-6-4 (W 1)
L10: 5-2-3
February: 4-1-2

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Game 58 Preview: Bruins @ Carolina GLEN WESLEY NUMBER RETIREMENT NIGHT

Feb 17, 2009 7:20 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
@ Carolina Hurricanes (28-24-5)
  • The Bruins take the longest losing streak of the year into this game. Expect sawdust.
  • This could just as easily be the game where they turn it all around as the next game in a series of crap games.
  • Carolina is without Justin Williams, who just came back from injury and got hurt again.
  • Good news for the Bruins powerplay: Carolina takes the fewest penalties in the league.
  • It's Glen Wesley number retirement night. He was the only guy left from the Whalers on the Canes cup team. Last time a team retired a number with the Bruins in attendance, the Bruins won on Patrick Roy night. Stay in the locker room, guys.
  • The Instigators: Trading for Pronger?
  • Great Hockey Moments as told through Twitter.
  • The fine folks over at The Illegal Curve asked me to write up a trade deadline preview for them. Their page is here. You've gotta scroll down to get to what I wrote.
  • Ryder is already practicing, but only in non-contact ways. "Crushed like an eggshell" is not a way I ever want to describe any part of my body.
  • Kessel and Wheeler got switched in practice. Wheeler-Savard-Lucic, anyone? Will there be significant chemistry losses with the Wheeler-Krejci tandem broken up for the first time all year (pretty much)? Tune in next week. Same bat time, same bat chan- oh wait, the game's tonight.
  • Caveman Strong:  Wants the Bruins to play more like...well, cavemen.  Obviously forgets Lucic's goal against the habs when Laraque was following him all game.
  • From the (e4) department: SCoC says the Bruins are getting ready to give up Sobotka and Lashoff for Erik Cole from Edmonton.
  • Everybody hates Philly for a reason.
  • 25 years ago, it was the beginning of the end.  But if Blades wants to guest blog, I'm all over it.
  • I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this game.
Previous Games:
  • Game 32: Kessel extends his point streak to 17, Bruins win 4-2, Patrice slams his head into a Hurricane but skates off the ice rather than leave by stretcher. He's getting back into his game again.
  • Game 35: Bruins win 4-2 on the strength of 2 Blake Wheeler goals and Michael Ryder's snipe.
  • Game 42: Bruins win 5-1. My recap starts off with "That's more like it. What a wonderful game." Hopefully the 'canes can do the same thing again. Byron Bitz's first game, he got an assist. Matt Hunwick fought Justin Williams, knocked him over with his first punch.
Other Previews:
  • Kynch's Korner: Ok, more trade stuff than game preview stuff.  If I had to pick out a highlight, I'd just be copying and pasting the whole thing.
  • Hub Hockey: "The season series has brought some great games between these two teams, including two 4-2 Bruins wins at the Garden and a 5-1 blowout in Carolina. This is just the type of thing this team needs to get themselves out of this slump."
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: "So far this year, the Bruins have sat through ceremonies to honor the Canadiens 100th season, Keith Magnuson & Pierre Pilote, Patrick Roy, and Ace Bailey"
  • The Bear Cave: "The Bruins have been able to use both of their starting goaltenders in the season series. Manny Fernandez made 32 saves on 34 shots in the first meeting, before Tim Thomas made 29 saves in each of the next two contests. The two have combined to go 3-0 against Carolina, allowing just five goals on 95 shots. Cam Ward has gotten the starting nod in all three tilts for the Hurricanes, going 0-3 with an .868 save percentage."
  • Matt Kalman: "It’s time to find that second wind, get back to basics and maybe mix in a new twist or two in the opponents’ zone. If the Bruins don’t do that, what was once a runaway in the overall standings could become a race — one the Bruins would rather not have to run."
  • NESN First Shift: "The Bruins will be looking for the season sweep against Carolina tonight."  Thanks, NESN.
  • Just-the-facts preview: 
  • Preview | Game Notes (pdf)
I've got a bad feeling about this.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lazy Links, I PLAYED HOCKEY!, etc

This is where it happened.

As I mentioned on Saturday, I played hockey for the FIRST TIME EVER on Saturday. That photo up there at the top is where I played, on a pond up in Freeport Maine. I was by far the youngest and least-skilled guy there, but with some practice and learning then I'll probably be able to pick it up. What I can tell you is that the VERY unskilled play I did was FUN AS HELL. Seriously, I had a blast. The old folks graciously let me get an easy goal just for kicks, but I did end up working for another one. I fell on my knee, but currently it's my back more than anything that's hurting. I barely even got a bruise. Here's some of the guys I played with:
"Who's that coming down the walk? That guy wants to play? Fine, whatever."

That dog was running around the ice during the game for part of it, too. It was pretty silly.

And here are my dad, uncle, and me, posing like an old-timey line from back in the day, doncha know:
Don't pick us for your fantasy team.

Thanks again to the fine folks in Maine for letting me play with them. I had a great time, and I might just be heading back next weekend. Assuming my back isn't still sore.

And now, your Monday Morning lazy links and random thoughts:
  • Justin Bourne for the Hockey News: "I was never married to hockey. If hockey were a girl, I'm fairly certain I could go to court and get a restraining order. Hey, I just liked it. Maybe I led it on a bit with the late night games and the odd early morning rendezvous, but it knew what we were. This all just happened so fast."
  • Pens fired their head coach.
  • Boston, San Jose, and New Jersey basically had a little round-robin tournament this past week or so. Boston lost both games and New Jersey won both games. The commute was shorter from your house to the Garden than the rock, Shanahan.
  • The two-headed beast that is the Bruins beat writers is interesting. Fluto Shinzawa writes more positive stories, pointing out hopeful and optimistic things like Patrice Bergeron is still recovering, and he's getting better. Kevin Paul Dupont calls for the Bruins trading for Lecavelier.
  • The Hurricanes shut out the Sabres. I hope they get overconfident.
  • If anyone has the full version of this, please let me know. I'd love to see the whole thing:

And on a totally unrelated-to-hockey note, a friend of mine and I created a website over the weekend called It's kinda silly, but that's what happens when your friend calls you and you're still a little sore and winded from playing hockey.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Yup, that's now 4 in a row.  That's a year-long high.  In fact, the Bruins are the only team in the Northeast that hasn't won their last game.  The only other team in the Eastern conference top-8 that lost their last game is the Rangers, and they (Rangers) are 3-5-2 over their last 10.

The Bruins are 5-2-3 in their last 10.  It's not quite freefall, but it's close and I think that's the worst last 10 they've had all season.  This is the midseason slump that tests any team.  This is where the Bruins have the option to stand up and prove that they really are as good as they've been playing most of the season, or to show that they're frauds, this year's 07-08 Ottawa Senators.  The big names they're missing at this point are Ryder, Sturm, and Kobasew.  We really need them back.  Calling up Sobotka and Bitz has been good.  Personally, I'd like to see St. Pierre and more skill players come up so the Bruins can score more goals.  Throwing big bodies around can only go so far.

Speaking of Kobasew, hello to reader Kelly, who I met at an afterparty for a friend's band.

Anyhow, onto the game.  Due to the valentine's day thing and a couple of friends bands playing shows, I couldn't watch the whole game.  But here's what I gathered out of it.

In the first periods, the Bruins extended their scoreless streak to a full 6 periods, from after the first in the San Jose game through the whole devils game and the first period of the game against the predators.  Getting points from western conference teams is kinda important in the eastern conference race.  Looking at the top teams in the west, the Bruins are actually 3rd vs. the west, going 7-4-2.  The two teams doing better vs. the west are the Habs (8-3-1) and the Sabres (8-6-1), in terms of total points for.  

Oh, and David Legwand scores a goal.
0-1.  Whatever.

Second Period, and the first ten minutes have a lot of nashville penalties, giving the Bruins the opportunity to go 0-for-4, bringing their total to...2-for-35?  I think that's actually how bad it's gotten.  Come back soon, everyone.

David "what the hell kind of name is" Legwand puts in a short-hander. 
0-2.  Disgusting.

Luckily, Blake Wheeler knows that the best way to react to being scored on is to turn it around and answer with your own goal.  You have to watch some crap ad because you missed the game first.  Whatever.  David Krejci tries for a one-timer off Sobotka from between the hashmarks, but the blade of his shoddily-constructed stick just falls right off.  The Bruins pay over $400,000 a year for sticks because of things like this.  Blake wheeler picks up the rebound and backhands it over YoungStars teammate Pikka Rinne for the Bruins first goal in 138:31 of play.

1-2.  You now have an argument for that guy who said he still doesn't "believe in" Blake Wheeler, whatever that means.

The rest of the second doesn't show up in the highlights.

In the third, the Preds and Bs were back and forth or maybe they just danced around the neutral zone.  Looks like Boston took two penalties in the first half.

Then the Captain decided that dammit, if nobody else was going to work the front of the net, somebody had to.  Chara in front of your net = goal-time.  With less than 2 minutes to go, Chara ties it up.  He gets checked right afterwards, too.

2-2.  Still a chance.  Let them get a penalty in OT, and let's do this thing.

Hnidy gets a penalty one minute in.  Well, crap.

Shootout time.

Wheeler scores on the first attempt, then a couple of saves and misses later...
Yup, David Legwand scores both shootout goals for the Predators.

Shootout Loss.

Nice tie, guys, now get out there against Carolina on Tuesday and win something.  Dammit.  Don't be so scared of your 40th win.

vs: NSH: 0-0-1
Record: 39-10-8 (L 4)
Away: 20-6-4 (L 4)
L10: 5-2-3
February: 3-2-2

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Game 57 Preview: Bruins @ Nashville HOCKEY LOVE NIGHT IN NASHVILLE

Feb 14, 2009 8:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
@ Nashville Predators (26-26-3)
  • Apparently, Preds games were voted "Best place for a first date" in 2008 by...somebody.
  • I'm off to play hockey in Maine for the day, which will in fact be my first time playing hockey, ever.  Needless to say, I'm pretty pumped.
  • The Bruins have lost 3 in a row, Nashville won their last.  If the Bruins want it, they can take it.  No matter WHAT Rinne says.
  • 2 for 31.
  • Here's an ad for the Predators with Taylor Swift, who is apparently a country musician.

Other Previews:
Still mailing it in.  Sorry, fellow bloggers.


Well crap.  The Bruins have played close games against 2 of the other top teams in the league this past week, and ended up without the W in both.  Milan Lucic is the only Bruin that's scored since a week ago, and the Bruins have been shut out for the last 5 periods.  You want a recap?  fine.

The Bruins and Devils play really good hockey, and nobody is letting up a goal.

Off the faceoff, the Devils wrist one in from the point, and it bounces through Timmy's 5-hole.

The Devils and Bruins play really good hockey, and Mike Milbury calls it boring afterwards because he is stuck in 1995.


Sobotka almost kicked one in, and had a definite attraction to the Devil's right post.

Is this the Bruins coming back down to earth, or is it just 2 games in a row against top teams when we're down only a couple people?  I miss Ryder, Sturm, and Kobasew.  I also remember when there were like 5 guys hurt and the Bruins STILL won a bunch of games.  Heck, even San Jose has lost 3 games in a row now.

vs. NJD: 1-1-1
Record: 39-10-7 (L 3)
Away: 20-6-3 (L 1)
L10: 6-2-2
February: 3-2-1

Friday, February 13, 2009

Game 56 Preview: Bruins @ New Jersey WIN A DIAMOND NIGHT

February 13, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
@ New Jersey Devils ()

  • I kid you not: "Friday, Feb. 13 - Win a Diamond! Ladies 18 and older in attendance can win a diamond ring, sponsored by Fords Jewelers. Fill out the entry form upon arrival for your chance to go home from The Rock with a rock."
  • The Devils are good.
  • Sobotka is on a line with Wheeler and Krejci. Sobotka and Krejci are Czechs. Wheeler knows one word in Czech: "Pass."
  • Brodeur is almost back.
  • No Kobasew or Nokes tonight, and Ryder's still out.
  • Today at 5:31 PM ET, it will be 1234567890 in Unix time.
  • The Bruins will likely make a deal before the deadline.
Shawn Thornton's "Vlog":

Other Previews:
Mailing it in, check on the left.
The Devils scare me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thirsty Thursday Lazy Links

Some team news today but now much.   It's been too long since tuesday.  However, that game did have the highest overnight of any regular season game on Versus, ever, at 550,000 viewers.  Add in the 18,000 in the stands and that's a whole lotta eyes on the Bruins coughing up another game in the third period.  But kudos to San Jose for proving that west coast teams CAN, in fact, draw viewers.

Your thursday afternoon lazy links:
  • Puck Daddy on how Montreal is doing in their Habtennial.  He's right: "It's time to admit that the Habs' place in the postseason isn't a divine certainty any longer; and to admit that missing the playoffs in the nostalgic orgy of a 100th anniversary celebration would be quite amusing"
  • The other day, Big Daddy Wheels chatted up some fans.
  • You've already seen Alexander Ovechkin's 200 goals in 200 seconds, but it deserves reposting.  But maybe some muting, the audio track is a song and no calls.
  • Congrats from way back to my Alma Mater, Conn College, for the men playing well at home and especially to the rising women's hockey star Erin Davey, both of whom have been written up on the website.  Go Camels!
  • Chris over at Hub Hockey talks about rumors about trading.
  • Shaquille O'Neal admits to, should read for yourself.
  • Oh, and the Bruins have a deep team.
  • I've been pre-empted by the pros.  Shucks.  Do we all just feed off of the same bubbling mass of blogs, all feeding off each other, a cannibalistic mess not unlike the classic snake eating itself?  Does any of this really have any meaning?  What is life?  Where am I?  This is not my beautiful house.  This is not my beautiful car.  And the days go by...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


This was a great game until, well, let's talk about it when we get to it.

Claude Lemieux was Claude being Claude throughout the game. I think Julien has banned his team from fighting. Thomas vs. Nabokov was a good goalie duo. And the garden switched from sam winter to sam white ale. Boo.

Anyhow, 4 minutes into the game, The Bruins make some traffic in front, get a rebound, and Milan Lucic is sitting on the doorstep, waiting for his best friend peter puck to come home. He does and it's like in Calvin and Hobbes where hobbes tackles calvin after school.

1-0. You're wicked pumped, it feels like Lucic hasn't scored in a while.

Then about 3 minutes later, Rob Blake slaps one in, it bounces off of someone.
1-1. Thomas does this little ballerina spin move afterwards. He shoulda done another later, because after that he hunkers down and doesn't let in anything until the second intermission.

5 minutes left to go in the first, and Nokelllaaieeieiennnenanan and Lucic go into the zone on a change. Nokes shoots from the point, Nabokov stops it, but Lucic is there for the nice, juicy rebound.

2-1. It's like a nice juicy steak.

The rest of the period and the second period was filled with good, back and forth hockey.

The third period, the sharks took to the ice, and I'm still waiting for the bruins to show up for that one. Hooo boy, that's frustrating. Especially when some sharks fans are sitting right behind you.

Big Joe Thornton
Mike Grier (empty-netter)



This isn't soccer, guys. There are 3 periods.

Somewhere in there, the Sharks PK got called for offsides.

This is the first time the bruins have lost by more than 2 goals all season. Woof. At least it was to the best team in the West, which is probably the stronger conference by a little bit.

Bruins don't play again until friday (devils) and not at home again until 2 weeks from now (panthers).

vs. SJS: 0-1-0
Record: 39-9-7 (L 2)
Home: 19-4-4 (L 2)
L10: 6-1-3
Feb: 3-1-1