Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Game 55 Preview: Bruins vs. San Jose A TALE OF TWO THORNTONS

Feb 10, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
vs. San Jose Sharks (36-7-7)
  • It's San Jose, the team the Bruins have been battling for first place overall all season long. Right now the Bruins are ahead 85-79. Points be damned, the Sharks have a smidgen better winning percentage (0.790 vs. 0.787). They also have 4 more games to play. And they could easily win all of those games.
  • Last game was the debacle against Philadelphia. The team had Sunday off, and now are up against the top team in the league.
  • San Jose is on their longest losing streak of the season, at 3 games.
  • Using the Simple Rating System method, these are the two teams over +1.00. Both have excellent PP, (top 5) PK, (top 10) Goals for, (top 5)
  • Basically every category that there is in hockey, these two do well in.
  • Thomas in net.
  • MC79Hockey on East vs. West says that San Jose is favored in this matchup.
  • Sturm was one of the players traded for Big Joe.
  • The Barry Melrose Rocks Official Versus Drinking Game.
  • Conference Call with Tim Thomas.
  • Matt Kalman catches up with Manny Fernandez and Chiarelli.
  • Flint Sports story on Tim Thomas.
  • Feel good story about Aaron Ward.
  • Boston.com on the Other Thornton (Joe, not Shawn).
  • Ryder is out after Facial Surgery yesterday. Damn.  He'll be out 2-3 weeks.
  • Sharkspage youtube feature on Joe Thornton.
  • Chiarelli vs. O'Connell.
  • UNRELATED: Good story in Charlotte about a sportswriter's coach-for-a-day experience.
  • After tonight, the Bruins don't play at home again for 2 weeks.
  • Chris Rooney will be working the game again.
Other Previews:
There's a lot getting written about this game, so if I missed something, deal.
  • Here Come the Bruins!: "San Jose's Joe Pavelski and Boston's Stephane Yelle are 6th and 7th, respectively, in blocked shots. That's right, even the shot-blocking defensive forwards are elite in this game!"
  • HubHockey: My favorite part is from the comments: "Thornton deserves a standing ovation. Don't be a bunch of D-bags, what did he do that made anyone mad? playing in the playoffs with a cracked rib?" And then he's got his real preview.
  • Kynch's Korner: "Hard working Bruins take on the surfer dudes from Cali. The Sharks have played the fewest games in the NHL, 50, yet still have the second most points (79) behind the Bruins (85), who have played 54 games."
  • SJSharks Broadcast Blog: " Thornton's return was abbreviated by a five-minute major for checking from behind and an automatic game misconduct about five-and-a-half minutes into the game. Ever since, we've always noted whenever referee Chris Rooney is officiating in a Sharks game, because he was the arbiter who leveled that decision."
  • Double A Hockey:  "Can the B's avoid another game going into OT? While it does guarantee them at least a point, they have a tough enough schedule without adding 5 extra minutes of play."
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: "Is Claude Lemieux killing the Sharks? The Sharks have lost 3 straight (0-1-2) for the first time all season. The 43 year old winger has played in six games for the Sharks since being called up from Worcester."
  • Fear the Fin: "4 PM in Boston is just a stepping stone leading up to the Church of Lord Stanley. Many men have slipped on these stones, only to pick themselves up and find a way to reach the summit. A summit that is immortal; an expanse can be seen from all corners of this great country. A monument that shakes the foundation of cities, brings grown men to tears, provides prosperous rivers and streams while reducing others to a barren wasteland."  Wow.  Dear Stanley Cup of Chowder, they are showing you up.
  • The Bear Cave: "Up front, San Jose is quite scary, as six forwards have ten or more goals, while three of those six have already reached 20."
  • Matt Kalman: "But I’m here to tell you that those thoughts are just a waste of brain cells. This game is all about what is and what will be. The Bruins and Sharks are 1-2 in the NHL overall standings, respectively. They could meet in the 2009 Stanley Cup final. Both clubs have reached this point via different routes, but that’s what this game is all about. It’s not about the struggles the Bruins had to finally emerge from their post-Thornton doldrums or the postseason failures San Jose has endured even with Thornton centering their top line."
  • AOL Fanhouse: "It isn't often you get a pair of teams meeting that are both on a 129-point pace, a total that has been reached by only three teams in NHL history, and both have a good chance of eclipsing the all-time mark of 132 set by the 1976-77 Canadiens."
  • NESN First Shift: "The Bruins must establish the tempo and then stick to their game plan for 60 minutes or this could be long night of treading while the Sharks circle and attack." They had a Joe Thornton timeline on last night.  Good job cutting those ugly curls, Joe.
  • Sharks Papers: SFGate | Mercury News
  • Even TSN is in on the action.
  • Boston.com: Preview | Thumbnails
  • Herald: Tale of the Tape | Joe Thornton feature | Scouting Report
  • bruins.nhl.com: Preview | Game Notes (pdf) | Joe Thornton | Tim Thomas | GameDay | Thornton Video
Get your game face on.


Unknown said...

I don't know who mc79hockey is but Vegas has the B's as the favorite.

By the way, my new favorite game to play is to guess what line from my preview you quote.

Unknown said...

Looks like statistical analysis and not wanting to lose 4 in a row beats vegas this time.