Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Game 76 Preview: Bruins vs. Tampa Bay

Mar 31, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM vs.
Tampa Bay Lightning (24-35-17)
Boston: Patrice Bergeron -- Just a year and a half ago, Patrice Bergeron was nearly paralyzed and suffered a severe concussion from a hit from behind. His determination to be back by the 2008 playoffs nearly paid off, as he amazingly would have been ready to take the ice had the Bruins reached the second round last spring.

This season, Bergeron suffered yet another concussion, but has since returned to approach the high-caliber level of play for which he was known before the injuries. His credo of respect and "playing the right way" is reflected in his style on the ice -- always hard, always physical, always clean.
  • This is a really cool graph, both for what it shows about the roster and the Bruins winning/losing streaks.
  • Kessel didn't practice this morning, will be out tonight, but should be back next week.  
  • The Lightning are the league leaders in overtime losses.
  • Carey Price and Shane Doan are cousins.  So are Phil Kessel and David Moss.
  • The Islanders have almost clinched the top spot in the Tavares/Hedman lottery.
  • The Bruins signed QMJHL leading scorer Yannick Riendeu.  Good prospect signing, good pickup by Chiarelli.  He averaged 1.97 ppg this past year, but was over-age.
  • Bruins official new-media guy Bish has twitter.
  • It's the last Bru Fest, or opportunity to buy an overpriced ticket for a free beer outside the garden.  The one time I went it was bitter cold, so I bet it's a lot nicer now.
  • Krejci is getting better.
  • Lucic is talked about in the Globe and Herald.  They talk about this shift:

Previous Games:
The loss was during the slump, down in Florida.
Other Previews:
  • Cameron Frye: "Personally, I will be watching the game from home with a large glass of vodka filled to the tippy top."
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: " Bruins fans can expect to see another familiar face playing for the visiting team tonight. The Lightning recalled former Bruin Brandon Bochenski from the Norfolk Admirals."  I always liked Bochenski, but he never worked out.
  • Raw Charge: Doesn't do previews, does do open threads.  
  • WickedBruinsFan: "Looks like Manny Fernandez will be getting the start tonight."
  • HubHockey: "Notable tonight is that the Bruins will be seeing some familiar faces tonight on the other side of the ice in former teammates Matt Lashoff and Martins Karsums who were both involved in the deal that brought Mark Recchi to Beantown"
  • The Bear Cave: "Karsums has two points in 12 games, while Lashoff has five points in seven contests."
  • Matt Kalman: "Steven Stamkos has found his game with 19-22-41 totals and veteran forwards Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis have both reached 25 goals for the sixth straight season."
  • NESN First Shift: "While the Lightning players won’t use it as an excuse it must be noted that they have been slammed by injuries and have used 49 players." (and 2 coaches!)
  • Globe Thumbnails | Herald Scouting Report
  • bruins.nhl.com: Preview | Game notes (pdf)
I am well aware that Tampa Bay has 35, not 5, losses.

Monday, March 30, 2009


HUZZAH! Who doesn't like beating those ugly jerks from Philly?

First Period.
Uh oh, Claude Giroux scores on Thomas 5 minutes in.
0-1. Luckily, Steve Montador and Daniel Carcillo fight immediately afterwards. Montador loses his second fight in 2 days. He is approximately the same fighting powerhouse as a matador's cape, from what I've seen. Granted, Carcillo's pretty good at the whole thing. hockeyfights.com has it.

It's a good thing they fought, too, because about 5 minutes later Ryder and Lucic are streaking towards the net. Lucic puts his stick on the ice behind Nittymaki, and Ryder moves down the side. He puts it across. Tape to tape to net.
1-1. Always good to see Lucic score a goal.

Then the Flyers get themselves a penalty. Then a minute later they do the same thing. Welcome to the kingdom of the 5-on-3, where a Wideman slapper from the high slot is king.
2-1. Bruins take the lead, Wideman finally puts one in, I like this in a big way.

It's throwback time soon after that. Ryder gets the pass in the neutral zone, he gives it to Krejci. Krejci and Lucic fly towards the net. Krejci passes it across, Lucic puts it past Antero.
3-1. Looks pretty good.
Second Period.
Then the ref decides to give philly a 5-on-3 for approximately no reason at all.
The Bruins kill it. Mostly thanks to Tim Thomas, who had some amazing saves all game. Here's the best, probably:
At some point, Jack Edwards does this:
Thanks to Puck the Media for the clip!
Later, Mike Richards.
3-2. I'm pretty jealous of philly for him.
Third Period.
The Bruins scrum around the net a bunch. Mark Recchi says "thanks for the memories" and scores one up close. A very pretty shot.
4-2. If anyone didn't like the RECCHING BALL before, you should love him by now. He's got 16 20-goal seasons under his belt after last night.
Scott Hartnell litters and Andrew Ference's ENVIRONMENTALIST RAGE leads to a little fight. Hockeyfights has it.
Empty Net.
4-3. Rough luck on that one.


Philadelphia and Boston love winning in the other's building.
Thomas made 45 saves. Wow.

vs. PHI: 2-1-1
Record: 48-17-10 (W 3)
Away: 23-11-4 (W 2)
L10: 6-3-1
March: 6-5-1

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Game 75 Preview: Bruins @ Philadelphia NOT THE FLYERS AGAIN

Mar 29, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030
@ Philadelphia Flyers (41-23-10)
Previous Games:
The home team has always lost.
Other Previews:
  • Ghosts of the Garden didn't watch last night's game.  Foolish.
  • Matt Kalman: "The Flyers are even deeper now than they were when the Bruins last faced them because Danny Briere is healthy and almost back to being his old self."
  • NESN First Shift: "Philadelphia is ranked fifth on the power play (22.1 percent) and eighth on the penalty kill (82.9 percent), where they have netted 16 short-handed goals."
  • bruins.nhl.com: Preview | Game Notes (pdf)
Google docs embedding hasn't been working, so you haven't been seeing it.  I know.  Luckily, the league does most of it anyhow.  I'm totally just stealing it from them today, with plans to make it better:


Brian Burke looks on as the Leafs manage to lose one to the Bruins even though they scored 5 goals.
Hahahaha, what a game. Thanks to the folks of Pension Plan Puppets for letting me crash their live thread. Funny folks, there. I'm happy to jump on the Toronto spoiler bandwagon when they're not playing the bruins. Ok, we've got a lot of goals to hazily remember and link to videos, so let's get to it.

First of all, you hear that Manny is in net, but that Pogge is as well. Toronto's 4th goalie against Manny, who is definitely playing injured at this point. He was saying he might be forced into retirement at the end of this year. So, let's see...yeah, lots of goals. Toronto starts the goal scoring off about 4 minutes in.
0-1. Uh oh, manny didn't look very good on that one. Hopefully the Bruins will score soon and tie it up.

Luckily, that's their job. So they go to work (I kinda hate that turn of phrase, it's so overused, especially in football commentating.) Chuck Kobasew gets the puck at the half-boards, and then grinds around Ian White and flips a backhand up. It likely gets deflected off of one of the 3 leafs sticks in front, but ends up sitting on the top shelf. Where grandma hides the cookies.
1-1. Chuck Kobasew might be one of the best third-liners in the NHL.

Not wanting to get left out, the rest of the Bruins want in on the action. Krejci passes to wideman, wideman shoots wide, Ryder grinds the puck out, comes around the side, and it's like he's playing horse with Kobasew.
Also, it's not even 9 minutes into the game.

Leafs get on a PP. John "F'in" Mitchell.
2-2. At 4 goals in 12 minutes, this could end up being a 20-goal game. They already had an 8-5 one in boston earlier...hmmmm.....

2-3. Manny tries to save it in slow motion.

But the 1st period isn't quite over yet, folks. Jeff Finger gets himself a tripping call and the Bruins PP sets up. They pass it around and through, until Hunwick Hunwick? Hunwick... HUNWICK! No wait RECCHING BALL!
3-3. Nice tip-in by Recchi. he's getting close to his 16th 20-goal season, they say.

Second Period.
Bruins have the first successful penalty kill of the night.

Then 6 minutes in: Ponikarovsky.
3-4. Again with the ponies.

Bruins get another Powerplay, though. This one is courtest of Jeff Hamilton. As the CBC is putting Tonight's powerplay: 1/1 on the screen, Savard is shooting at Recchi's stick blade. The RECCHING BALL is in full effect.
4-4. Tied up at 4, about halfway into the game...wow. If you took the over, you're all set.

If you bet on Shawn Thornton scoring, you have more faith than I do. But you're some kind of genius, because, well.... Awesomeness happens. Shot, rebound. Yelle picks it up, up to Stuart. Stuart across to Hunwick. Hunwick forward for Thornton. Thornton's mustache shoots from the high slot. Montador doesn't touch it, Thornton has half-agained his previous career-high season title for goals.
5-4. Yes, a lead. Awesome.

After Thornton scores, Ron Wilson takes a minute to say a few words to his young goalie.

Schenn takes a shot. Bruins block it. Krejci gives it up to Lucic. Lucic puts it on Krejci's stick as he's entering the zone. Grabovski hanging of his back, Krejci makes us remember the good times by triple-deking and putting it past Pogge.
6-4. Only up by two, but this feels a lot better than it did an hour ago. Quote from the Star article I just linked to:
"Boston's David Krejci scored on that, jamming in a backhand with Pogge essentially in a praying position sliding backward over his goal line, not quite the way it's written up in the goaltending manuals."
The dogs start howling as CuJo comes in to play relief. Lucic fights Oreskevic, likely because of frustration and the maybe-clean, maybe-not hit on Grabovski earlier. HockeyFights.com has Lucic winning. (and the video)

It certainly does work the momentum a little, though I don't know why the Bruins need even more momentum. They shoot, rebound. Leafs start to take it up ice, but Montador or Ference tips it back up ice. Savard taps it to Axelsson, who drives hard to the net. He gets to the side, and prefectly puts it to Wheeler in the slot. Wheeler does his thing.
7-4. Every time they say Wheeler, I still think of captain planet.
Third Period.
Not all that much happens in the third. Montador gets whooped by Luke Schenn: HockeyFights.com

Manny gets back into a rhythm (please let this continue) even though Hagman does manage to score:
7-5. 5 minutes left.

Game over, man. Game over.


Huzzah! The leafs will score a ton of goals on you on saturday night, but they are beatable.

vs. TOR: 5-1-0
Record: 47-17-10 (W 2)
Away: 22-11-4 (W 1)
L10: 5-4-1
March: 5-5-1

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Game 74 Preview: Bruins @ Toronto THEY'RE BACK THEY'RE BACK THEY'RE BACK

Mar 28, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030
@ Toronto Maple Leafs (31-31-13)
  • Aaaaaaaah, it's time for some Bruins hockey again. I bought a domain name to celebrate.
  • Kessel isn't traveling with the team this weekend. Rumor says it's his shoulder, but I think he's just watching his little brother play with UNH.
  • Open threads at SCoC and PPP tonight.
  • Scott Cullen looks at how teams do with and without key players. Kessel isn't mentioned.
  • Last night in NCAA Hockey, the only non-upset was thanks to an amazing, last minute, 2-goal comeback to tie it up in the UMD/Princeton game. Here's that last minute of regulation:
Previous Games:
Other Previews:
There are many. Numbered for fun:
  1. Caveman Strong: "Watch Wideman tonight, though, as his groin injury from 07-08 is supposedly flaring again and his health is crucial to our success on even strength play, as evidenced by the +32 rating (not to mention his 23 PP points)."
  2. Cameron Frye: "The B's have been off this week, both Ward & Ference welcomed new bundles of joy( hopefully they've nottoo tired from late night diaper changes) - so the team should be well rested for these last few games."
  3. Kynch's Korner: "The Leafs are led offensively by the pesky Jason Blake. It seems hard to believe he "only" has 25 goals."
  4. Stanley Cup of Chowder: If you do nothing else, watch that kiss cam video to the end. Solid gold.
  5. Pension Plan Puppets: "The Bruins are the talk of the Eastern Conference, but the Leafs haven't played them since January. Let's hope the new look Leafs do their usual Saturday night awesome job and send the Bruins home without two points tonight."
  6. The Bear Cave: "The Boston Bruins still have the lead, but suddenly, they are the ones with the games in hand."
  7. Matt Kalman: "The way this last week went, you’d think they’d already be playing in the Super Bowl."
  8. Bruins Blog: "Matt Hunwick, who has dressed for only six of the club's last 12 games, has averaged a point per game (3 goals, 3 assists) in those six starts."
  9. NESN First Shift: "Justin Pogge is 1-3-1 with a 3.95 goals-against average and .855 save-percentage"
  10. boston.com thumbnails
  11. bruins.nhl.com: Preview | Game Notes

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lazy Links: hitting, etc, blah blah blah ARE THEY BACK YET?

Because Cal Clutterbuck just set an NHL record for most hits in a season (317 and counting), I decided I'd take a look at the hitting totals of the Bruins. The top ten is pretty predictable: Lucic, Chara, Ward, Thornton, Recchi, Yelle..... Those are the top six. And your number 7 most-hittingest Bruin?


Which is kinda crazy, since he has an unreal shot and doesn't look like much of a hitter. Unfortunately, nhl.tv doesn't have videos of his hits neatly lined up like they do his goals. Still better than any other league's video site, though. Back to what I was saying, whenever he doesn't score goals, you can always say "he's doing the right things everywhere else." I guess someone needs to check on the Wheeler-Krejci-Ryder line. Solid play from him. Thanks, Claude.

The rest of the top ten are Kobasew, Montador, Stuart. Those make a lot of sense. I find it interesting that our two deadline acquisitions both land in the top ten. Byron Bitz would be tearing up the charts in a hits/games category - he's got 60 in 28 games.

The problem with this stat is "What is the definition of hit?" Home statkeepers may keep it differently than away stat keepers. It's a stat that's only been around for a few years, and as far as I know it doesn't have a real definition. I also don't know if they count penalized hits as hits, per se. Even with all that, it was interesting especially when Lucic was at the top of the list for the league (injuries have brought him down).

Oh, and Chara's hits should count double. He tosses people aside like ragdolls. Ragdolls? That reminds me...

With that mini-rant out of the way, here are your lazy links:
  • There's still time to join the WCHB NCAA Tourney pick 'em before the first game today (3pm eastern, I believe). If your -other- tourney pick 'em bracket is shot (like mine) you should give it a go!
  • Thornton has been rocking the vlog near-daily during this week.
  • The Bear Cave lets us know about the P-bruins. They are doing well, even with the loss of Coach Gordon.
  • Wil Wheaton is a kings fan. That team's got a lot of young promise. Unlike Wesley Crusher.
  • nhlplayoffrace.com added a president's trophy tracker.
Everyone at work has gone down to florida.

Thursday, March 26, 2009



  • Manny may retire after this year.  Manny Haters everywhere rejoice.  Jerks.

*contingent on Bailout Money
That's all folks.  BUT WAIT!  COMING OUT OF THE (hall?  runway?  what the hell does a monster truck come out of?  I'm calling it a) GATE:  IT'S AFTERBURNER!
  • Actually, Cycle Like the Sedins has an interesting piece about the Habs being similar to the Celtics.  Except the Habs suck and the Celtics are the greatest franchise in all of basketball history.
  • Also, Nemmy did his thing.  kevyn allen has never had so many words written about him.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lazy Links on a Wednesday: Bruins DVD out, Montreal not

Here's some stuff.  Happy Hump day, folks.
  • Last night Montreal showed up to a game.  I haven't forgiven them yet.
  • The Bruins History DVD came out.  I'm not going to watch it until I'm in the depths of the offseason and I'm craving hockey.
  • Matt Kalman has stooped to name-calling drafted but unsigned Carl Soderberg
  • Western College Hockey Blog is running an NCAA hockey tourney pick 'em.  I've joined.  You should too.
  • Holy crap did you see the Leafs/Caps game last night?  Gerber gets tossed with 50ish seconds to go.  CuJo (the friendly rabid dog of a goalie) comes in and - though only 2 losses away from tying the all-time record - plays some shut-down goaltending.  He stoned ovechkin both in OT and the shootout and won the game for Toronto.  You could only barely hear the crickets chirping over the crowd.  More writeup at Pension Plan Puppets.
  • I really like the mspaint-on-pictures that the Two-Line Pass does with it's morning writeup.  Pretty solid writing, too.  Good enough to do Puck Daddy's weekend wrap-up, even.
  • Puck Prospectus interviews Colin Wilson, who some in Nashville are really hoping is going to be good next year.
  • Japer's Rink has some interesting stuff about goalies in the playoffs.
Well, that's about it, folks.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hockey Culture: The Rocket

The Rocket (2005)
A quick word:  The Bruins are off and instead of just lazily posting a bunch of links to stuff I found I'd like to instead do some reviews of stuff in Hockey Culture.  Without further ado, here is my review of The Rocket:

The first thing I came away with after watching The Rocket is the quality of the hockey action.  All of the on-ice scenes are beautifully shot, giving you what feels like an authentic look at the period.  One of the most jarring sites (besides goaltenders without masks) is the chain-link fence as a backstop, and the complete lack of glass along the boards.  Truly, a different arena.  And a different game.

The movie follows the rise of Maurice Richard, who despite all odds against triumphed into a truly dominant player.  He did of course play for the Habs and this is a Bruins-centric blog...but history is history.  Habs still suck and all, but I liked this movie in the same way I liked Miracle.  It's a feel good sports drama.  They beat the odds, take all comers, and beat the russians.  Er...anglophones.  

Yes, the cultural enemy in this movie is, well, the coach and the faceless league.  Plus, Vinny Lecavelier plays Jean Beliveau and Patrick Roy produced.  As sports dramas about hockey go, this is a good one.  And the hockey action is top notch.

Plus, Sean Avery plays "Killer" Dill.  The perfect role.  Apparently the New York tabloid the next day ran with the headline DILL PICKLED.  But I've said too much.  Go check out this film, you will not be dissapointed.

One final note, on the dubbing:  Yes, the radio guy is tremendously overdone.  However, most of it is pretty good...or good enough.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Wahoo! And the Bruins clinch the division. They're locked into a top-three spot for the playoffs, and are now 5 points ahead of the Devils (though they still have a game in hand). And the head-to-head. I've gotta say, I wouldn't mind if the Habs slipped out of 8th place. To the recap!

The Devils and Bruins are both looking pretty good for the first 15 minutes until the Devils get a too-many-men penalty about 15 minutes into the game. The Bruins are all for it, but Paul Martin is against the call. He demonstrates this by letting the puck bounce off his skate and behind Brodeur about 40 seconds into the PP to get back to 5-on-5.
1-0. Let's hope this isn't one of those score-first-and-then-crumple games. This is a Big Game.
The rest of the first goes by and Bruins are up 1-0. Why did the Garden get rid of that one sam adams stand and replace it with a hoegaarden and stella stand? I prefer not to get asked if I want fruit in my beer when I'm at a hockey game. Also, Stella is water. Plus they had all those "perfection" ads up right after the superbowl a year ago.

The second period starts up. A little over a minute in, Chuck Kobasew pokes a wraparound through Brodeur.
2-0. Chuck Kobasew is such a good player.

Refs getting worried about the Bruins playing well, so they send off Wheeler. Penalty: Killed. PK Axelsson is rocking and rolling.

Then Bobby Holik does his thing. Powerplay time! The Bruins move the puck around and around and around and Savard sees his spot. He one-times it from the bottom of the circle.
3-0. Up 3-nothing. Still plenty of hockey to play.

6 minutes later, Thomas loses his shutout to Andy Greene.

About 5 minutes after that, still in the third, in between kills on Michael Ryder and Aaron Ward penalties, Lucic puts one in.
4-1. Solid. And about time for Lucic to get scoring.

In the third, the Bruins and Devils each kill off a penalty or two. Chara gets sent off with like 30 seconds to go because Clarkson is an agitator.



vs. NJD: 2-1-1
Record: 46-17-10 (W 1)
Home: 25-6-6 (W 1)
L10: 4-5-1
March: 4-5-1

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Game 73 Preview: Bruins vs. New Jersey BIGGEST GAME OF THE REST OF THE SEASON

Mar 21, 2009 3:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
vs. New Jersey Devils (47-21-3)
This is it. This is a big game. This is the big game. This is the biggest game of the rest of the regular season. The only thing that comes within a sneeze is vs. MTL.
  • Brodeur is the winningest goalie ever in the NHL. He's chasing a shutout record and playing some lights-out hockey. Of the 10 games he's played since coming back from injury, he's lost one.
  • Brodeur lost to the Islanders. He let in 6 goals.
  • The Devils forwards are also pretty good. Parise, Langenbrunner, Elias...they're all pretty good. Patrick Elias has twitter.
  • The Bruins clinched last night. They practiced yesterday.
Previous Games:
1-1-1 vs. NJD. 2-game losing streak.
  • Game 34: Bruins 2 NJD 0 Win: Lucic scores one and Krejci gets the empty netter in New Jersey.
  • Game 49: Bruins 3 NJD 4 OT Loss: The third period started 2-0, only to have Patrice Bergeron play the part of Brilliant Beam of Light, Savard shows off his accurate shot goods, and Wideman blasts one in. The Bruins give
  • Game 56: Bruins 0 NJD 1: The one goal was awrister from the bluelineand it looks like
Other Previews:
  • Cameron Frye: "If the B's win today - I'll buy them their stupid burritos!"
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: "Only X points (between 3 and 5 depending on the outcome of Friday night's game between the Devils and Wild) separate the Bruins and Devils in the Eastern Conference standings so this is a HUGE game for both teams."
  • In Lou We Trust: "Shanahan, who made the trip up to Boston, is questionable for today. "
  • The Bear Cave: "Despite a 1-1-1 record, Tim Thomas has been extremely solid between the pipes for the Bruins. The 34-year old has stopped 68 of 73 shots in the season series, giving him a .932 save percentage."
  • NESN First Shift: "Forward Zach Parise is having a Hart Trophy-caliber season, leading the Devils with 41 goals and 87 points."
  • Globe Thumbnails
  • bruins.nhl.com: Preview | Game Notes (pdf)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Keeping it simple


Friday, March 20, 2009


Are you kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me?

At least it wasn't an own goal, I guess.

The story of this game is the LAKings scoring late. The first period, the Bruins look like they're finding their legs in the early goings, then they seem to find them. They start playing like they mean it.

Ok, back on track. 15 minutes into the first, krejci gives it to ryder down low. Ryder puts that puck from behind the net through a guy or two onto hunwick's stick and hunwick blasts it home. This is after John Quick has managed to make a lot of good stops.
1-0. Hunwick gets the goal! Huzzah!

The rest of the first goes on but I don't remember anything particularly noteworthy.


Right at the end of the first, the kings are working the front of the net as the final seconds count down. The green light flashes and the siren sounds, and then they put one in. It's like those fake goals you "score" in NHL 09. You know what I'm talking about. For me, it usually foreshadows real goals.

Then the second period starts, and within a couple minutes Recchi manages to get one home when Patrice gives him an absolute gift of a pass, completely faking out Quick.
2-0. One of their home-run passes finally does something. It's the last time, but they keep trying. Learn a new tactic, Kobasew.

Then Ivanans tries to start a fight or something and the Bruins aren't going for it, they like their 2-0 lead right where it is. Which is ok for the next 25 minutes of play.

But then the Kings are an aggressive, play 60 minutes because we want to make the playoffs team. Like the Islanders with more points and better talent. So then Michael Handzus.
2-1. 10:10. Uh oh.

Drew Doughty. 1:36
2-2. Shit.

Overtime time. The bruins for some awful reason are trying to get it to the shootout. I don't know why, it doesn't make any sense what the hell is going on with this team why are the L A KINGS more successful in February and March than the Bruins? Shit.

Oh yeah, Dustin Brown. 0:35.
2-3. Game.

Overtime Loss.

Shit. And I was all ready to stop shaving, too.

Quote of the night:
"Our powerplay was totally flat tonight and took away the momentum. If anything, I thought our PK had better scoring chances" - Coach Claude

Record: 45-17-10 (L 2)
Home: 24-6-6 (L 1)
L10: 3-5-2
The only teams with 10 or more OT Losses in the east are the Bruins, Flyers, and teams further back than 8th. The only teams with 3 wins in their last ten are Tampa Bay and Buffalo.
Don't push it just yet.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Game 72 Preview: Bruins vs. Los Angeles

Mar 19, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
vs. Los Angeles Kings (29-30-10)
Other Previews:
  • HubHockey: "Backing him up is Erik Ersberg (8-10-5) whom I guess has decided to one up Manny Fernandez and not record a win since December 13th"
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: "If I had the last name Quick, I don't think I would chose a college that calls its athletic teams the Minutemen."
  • The Bear Cave: "The last meeting on Causeway Street was back on January 12, 2006, when Mathieu Garon and the Kings blanked Boston 6-0. The Bruins' last home win over the Kings was also a shutout, as Byron Dafoe and John Grahame combined for a 5-0 victory on January 10, 2002."
  • Matt Kalman: "This Kings team plays with such structure and grit that it can beat anyone. Think of them as the hard-working New York Islanders, but with talent."
  • NESN First Shift: "Lately the Bruins penalty kill, (ranked 13th with an 82.2 percent success rate) has been a tired bunch, allowing opponents to go 10-of-38 (26.3 percent) in the last nine games."
  • boston.com thumbnails
  • bruins.nhl.com: Preview | Game Notes


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Favorite Player I Never Saw: Frank Brimsek

Frank "Mr. Zero" Brimsek is my favorite NHL player that I never actually saw play.  He passed away in 1998 at the age of 85.  May he Rest In Peace.

The first American to get inducted to the NHL Hall of Fame, Brimsek started his rookie season by getting 6 shutouts in 8 games and then immediately backstopped the Bruins to two Stanley Cups, in 1939 and 1941.  When the United States entered WWII, he joined the Coast Guard.  He played for the USCG Cutters, who added him to their FAQs.
After the war, Brimsek wasn't nearly the goalie he was before.  Then again, let's see you go through war and come back the same.

Minnesota has a "Frank Brimsek Award" for the best high school hockey goalies.  He made the Sports Illustrated All-Time American All-Star team, and is the only player on the list who didn't play in the 80s.  He also made it onto their list of the top-20 American-born, american-developed hockey players.  And he did it all looking like this:
Whatta guy.

Here's some spots to learn more about Mr. Zero around the web:
  • Wikipedia: Points out that the Bruins haven't retired the number 1, despite both Tiny Thompson and Frank Brimsek wearing it well throughout the early history of the Bruins.  Perhaps this would have been different were Frank or Tiny still alive today.
  • The Hockey Hall of Fame: "Brimsek was a classic standup goalie whose confidence on the ice threw off many a shooter. On breakaways and penalty shots he would often lean back calmly against his net as the foe approached. But he was not a passive figure while guarding his cage - Brimsek used his custom-made heavy stick to knock the puck off opposition sticks or to take the feet out from under someone who took too many liberties around his goal."
  • He's buried in Calvary Cemetary, in Minnesota.
  • Joe Pelletier: The Hockey History Blogger does his thing.
  • HockeyGoalies.org: "The kid had the fastest hands I ever saw - like lightning." (Art Ross, Boston Bruins, 1938)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Lazy Links

The Bruins don't play much over the next 2 weeks, so I'm going to be suggesting a game to watch that day and provide my usual lazy links. Without further ado...

Bruins Off-Day Suggested Game:
Chicago @ New Jersey Tonight, 7:00 PM
Can Fatty break St. Patrick Roy's record on St. Patrick's Day?
or will Chicago's snipers have their way with him?
Chicago is 8-4-3 against the East.
New Jersey is 10-5-0 against the West.

And now, your Tuesday Lazy Links:
  • The JOKESPN Ombusman: "It is too late for ESPN to dial it back or dumb it down, too late to satisfy the savvy core audience it created with the thin gruel of sound bites, shouting heads and the celebrations of the obvious. If it wants to sustain its success, ESPN has no choice but to keep getting smarter. Its audience demands it."
  • The Hockey History Blogger: "The only thing Ovechkin lacks is Richard's infamous temper and eight Stanley Cup championships." (about this article on NHL.com)
  • Cycle Like the Sedins: "At this point, I love NHL Network to the point that if it beat me up, I'd be back the next day with sunglasses to mask my black eye and a fresh "I fell down the stairs" excuse. Yup, it's my umbrella."
  • Zorak's Magic Numbers: Detroit and San Jose have clinched playoff spots mathematically, but the Bruins magic number is only 4. If Carolina (tomorrow vs. NJD) and Buffalo (tonight vs. OTT) both lose, and the Bruins win vs. the Kings on thursday, then the bruins will have officially Clinched and I'll be taking my before-playoff-beard picture.
  • Matt Kalman: Talks to Thomas and Manny about MB30 "If you look how Marty Brodeur plays, he has his own, totally unique style — which doesn’t get talked about that much.” said Thomas"
  • Jeremy Roenick: "I grew up playing at that golf course. It was always one of my favorite places. I never could have thought that one day I’d be in position to buy it."

Monday, March 16, 2009


Well, that sucked.  Both the game and the fact that I was sick all day Sunday.  Anyhow, let's look at the game, because that's what we round these parts.

50 Seconds into the game, Bill Guerin.
0-1.  Damn, well that was fa-

Recchi says hello to his old team.
1-1.  16 seconds after the first goal.  Nice job, old man.

9 minutes later.  Bruins move it around the offensive zone, Wheeler passes to kessel while falling over, Kessel puts it in.
2-1.  Yay Kessel!  31 goals on the season.  That ties the most by a Bruin since the lockout (Bergeron in 05-06)

About 5 minutes later, the Bruins give up a powerplay, Chris Kunitz.
2-2.  All tied up after 1.

Halfway through the second, the Bruins give up another powerplay.  Brought to you by SuperCuts!  Wheeler and Krejci move up.  Krejci steals it, gives it to Wheeler, who pounds it past the goalie.
3-2.  Things are looking up in the steel city.

Gonchar (almost Kunitz)

3-4.  Hats come raining down.  Suckers.

Bruins go on the Powerplay in the third and, well...Michael Ryder has an unreal shot.  Just simply unreal.  Watch this goal video.  You will not be dissapointed.  He doesn't even touch the bar, it's just perfectly placed in the top corner.  Perfectly.
4-4.  All tied up in the third, the Bruins are still in it...


Thomas goes to the bench.  Nesn now has one of those little "goalie-to-bench" PIP things.  I dig it.

So does Jordan Staal.



Bruins still haven't won on the road in a month.

vs. PIT: 2-1-1 (Season Series over)
Record: 45-17-9 (L 1)
Away: 21-11-4 (L 5)
L10: 4-5-1
March: 3-5-0

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Game 71 Preview: Bruins @ Pittsburgh NHL SUPERSTARS

Aw, screw this, I'm heading to the St. Patrick's day Parade.  I'm not even going to try to put together a preview and stats and all that.

3 pm.  NESN.  Mellon Arena.  Be there or be square.

Malkin scares me.  The Bruins haven't been doing well in the second game of back-to-backs.  Oh well.

L10: Games 61-70: 5-4-1

Well, not the best 10 games the Bruins have played all season by a long shot, but at the end they look to be getting back to something resembling a winning situation.  Let's take a stroll down memory lane.  Prozac will be provided for the faint of heart.

  • Game 61: Bruins 6 FLA 1: Byron Bitz gets 2 goals, plays most of the last 5 minutes to try to get a third as the crowd chants "We Want Bitz! We Want Bitz!"  Happier times, a win, points.  A good old fashioned thrashing of a southeast team.
  • Game 62: Bruins 6 ANA 0: The Bruins take the points from a western conference team.  Some people referred to this as "Dallas game 2.0."  Those people don't know how the Ducks won the cup 2 years ago.  It wasn't all Teemu Selanne, folks.  Savard and Neidermeyer get matching roughing minors in an All-Star battle.
  • Game 63: Bruins 3 WSH 4: This one hurt.  Overtime loss for the Bruins.  Mostly it was the Bruins being tired and the Caps being rested.  Don't click that link unless you want to get all emo about the bruins.  Wow, what a post I did.  Damn.
  • Game 64: Bruins 2 PHI 4: Scottie Upshall starts the scoring for the Flyers and the Bruins do that thing where they can't score after the first 5-10 minutes.  Last game before the Trade Deadline, but still a game that matters.  Everyone's playing for a spot on their team.  Flyers score all 4 after the Bruins score their 2.
  • HOCKEY CHRISTMAS!!!  Bruins get Mark Recchi and Steve Montador.
  • Game 65: Bruins 1 PHX 2: Bruins get trapped in a trap game.  Scottie Upshall scores on the Bruins first again for the second time in 2 games, for 2 different teams.  Chara destroys Petr Prucha, but gets a penalty for it.
  • Game 66: Bruins 5 CHI 3: Bruins sweep their 2-game series with Chicago.  Mark Recchi lights it up in his second game for the Bruins, scores twice.  Bruins win big against another out-of-conference team, which sets them up for...
  • Game 67: Bruins 3 NYR 4: ...a big loss at MSG.  Manny is a good goalie, has a bad game because he's still rusty from coming back from injury.  If you were there, it was rough.  Lundqvist is puking his guts out between periods, and he lets in fewer goals.
  • Game 68: Bruins 0 CBJ 2: There are many excuses in this game.  Steve Mason is a hot goalie (true), Thomas let in his only goal while wearing Manny's Mask instead of his usual cage (true).  The fact of the matter is if the Bruins find a way to score a goal in this game, they're not losing 2-0 on the strength of a 180-foot Rick Nash empty net goal.
  • Game 69: Bruins 5 OTT 3: Kessel's Pair (of goals) wins this one for the Bruins, but the real story is Aaron Ward getting his career-first Short-handed Goal in his 750th game.  Congrats, Mr. Ward!  Spezza doesn't like losing.  Too bad.
  • Game 70: Bruins 2 NYI 1: Bruins should've won this one much bigger, but they're not playing all that great.  Alternatively, Coach Gordon has the Islanders playing pretty agressively and winning games.  The Bruins could double the Islanders overall points total, but not if the Islanders keep playing the way they do.
The Bruins were over .500 in the last five, but only because one of the 5 losses was in OT.  The Trade Deadline pickups were good.  Maybe not Butch Goring to Islanders good, but good nonetheless.  This is the salary cap era, after all.

The Bruins haven't won on the road since Feb. 17th.  They are 14-9-9 in 1 goal games, but 16-6 in 2 goal games and 15-1 in 3 goal games.

We're coming down the stretch to the Playoffs.  The next point the Bruins get puts them in triple-digit territory.
L10: 5-4-1
Record: 45-16-9 (W 2)
Home: 24-6-5 (W 3)
Away: 21-10-5 (L 4)

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Well, at least the Bruins managed to win in regulation.  Yannick Danis was still waking up early on, but then once he arose from his booze-and-whatever-drug-the-islanders-are-taking-induced haze, he was unflappable.

Tim Thomas isn't infallible, I had to explain to my friend.

First off, Kessel picked up where he left off last night and scored the Bruins trademarked Early Goal.  He bangs home a big juicy rebound like my roommates cat sneaks wings bones out of the trash.
1-0.  Phil Kessel is the Bruins first 30-goal scorer this year!

Then like one minute later, the bruins have the puck behind their own net, which is dangerous.  A home run pass up to Kessel, who sees Savard across ice.  Savard sees a big-enough hole.  He puts it in.
2-0.  It's not yet 5 minutes into the game.  You're pretty excited.  Danis is just waking up.

He stones the Bruins for the rest of the game.  Luckily, Bruins are playing good defense and Thomas is playing well, too.

2-1.  halfway through the game.

Blah Blah Blah defense.



Tim Thomas's 30th Win.

vs. NYI: 3-0-0
Record: 45-16-9 (W 2)
Home: 24-6-5 (W 3)
L10: 5-4-1
March: 3-4-0

Game 70 Preview: Bruins vs. NYIslanders BEWARE THE SPOILER TEAM

Mar 14, 2009 1:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
vs. New York Islanders (23-37-8)
  • This has trap game written all over it
  • Early game, no time for a good, in depth set of notes
  • The giveaway today is those Green St. Patrick's day bruins hats. Someone's going to score a hat trick, I can feel it.
  • Islanders have won 3 of 4 and have 2 more wins in their last 10 than the bruins. They are in Spoiler mode.
  • We'll likely see Manny in net, since there's a game against a hot Pittsburgh team tomorrow.
  • Speaking of goalies, check this out: Roy vs. Brodeur
  • Brodeur WILL tie Roy's win record IN MONTREAL. TODAY. Otherwise, how can he beat it on St. Patrick's day? I wish he would so everyone would just shut up about it.
  • HubHockey's March Meltdown got ended pretty quick. Seemed pretty harmless to me.
Previous Games
(skip past this post to see them)
Early game, don't have time to read, much less link to other previews. The links over to your left will have stuff.

The Bruins Magic Number is 9. For the division, it's 12.

Friday, March 13, 2009


WOOOOOOO Gotta love a win. Even a home win streak. Fun game, lots of scoring, good overall. Phil Kessel is definitely the star of the game. Let's remember the good times.

The Canadian national anthem gets me riled up.  I don't know what it is, but it's certainly something.  

First of all, the Refs decided they would take the game over early, calling 2 penalties (one and a makeup one) about a minute in.  Then Wideman got a hooking call about 40 seconds later.  You love 3-on-3 hockey, so you're hoping this continues for the whole game.

Aaron ward gets out of the box and the Bruins are down a man.  But he picks up the pass and slaps a shot at the net.
1-0. Aaron Ward's career first short-handed goal.  Not bad for a 36-year-old defenseman playing his 750th game.

The Bruins kill off the rest of the penalty (because P.J. is a stud) and then go on probably about a second of even strength play when P.K. Axelsson gets called for some crap.  Really bang-up penalties in this game.  The Bruins kill off most of the penalty and then comes out of the box to get the pass.  Axelsson-Krejci-Axelsson-NET.
2-0.  You're turning to the guy next to you and yelling "What'd I tell you about P.J. Axelsson?  What'd I tell you?"  Later some drunk guy whines about p.j. because his only experience with hockey was playing some in Juniors.  Whatever.

Chris Neil and Milan Lucic realize that "staged fights" are going to go out of style soon and they better get it on now while there's still time.  Hockey Fights.

The refs blow the whistle again and Ryan Shannon is the unlucky winner of penalty roulette.  Chuck Kobasew and friends put together a little ditty called the "garbage goal" (if memory serves).
3-0.  Yeah, this feels more like the Bruins of late 08.

Then the second half of the period happens.

Spezza's illegal toe curve.

Spezza also scores a penalty for too many men on the ice with 2 seconds to go in the period.

The second period has less jumping out of your seat.  It looked like the bruins scored once or twice, but Alex Auld managed to keep the puck out for a full 20 minutes of play.  So did Thomas.  Half-assed chants of "Aaaaaa-Lllleeeeeeex" waft through the arena.  The crowd needs to get a little crazier.  Sometimes you need to get electric.  Sometimes you need to get Arrested.

The third period gets off to a Kesselicious start.  Savard gets his second assist of the game.
4-1.  You're thinking "Nail, meet coffin."

But the Sens aren't.  They're thinking "Plenty of hockey to go."


Things get a little worrisome with that last one, but then the Bruins play shut-down hockey for the next 10 minutes.

Auld is pulled.  If this is the last 2-3 weeks, the Sens are tying it up.

But Kessel finally got over Mono.  He's got all kinds of hammers.  That last nail wasn't quite keeping the zombie Senators in their coffin.  Time to do some pounding.  Kessel magically appears with the puck between the defence and nails it like he did whoever he got mono from.
5-3.  One minute left.  Game over man, game over.


  • It's sad that I want to say a win over the 12th-place Senators is huge.
  • Anyone that doesn't like P.K. Axelsson doesn't like the Bruins.  Even you, Juniors-playing hockey expert.
  • This was a should-win game.
vs. OTT: 4-0-0
Record: 44-16-9 (W 1)
Home: 23-6-5 (W 2)
L10: 4-5-1
March: 2-5-0

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Game 69 Preview: Bruins vs. Ottawa IT'S TIME TO BREAK SOME NON-SCORING STREAKS

Mar 12, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030
vs. Ottawa Senators (27-29-10)
  • Bruins are still slumping.  Dammit.
  • Everyone except THE GERMAN (remember him?) is healthy for tonight, even though Kessel and Krejci sat out of practice on wednesday.  Maybe they'll get benched?  Worked last year.
  • SensHOBO: "They won’t make the playoffs, nor will they draft Tavares or Hedman."
  • Jack Edwards has a pain in his gut:  "If you pulled that crap on the kids in my neighborhood, you wouldn’t even get picked the next game. Nobody would have wanted you on his team. You could sit and think about being such a dink." Get well soon, Jack!
  • Tim Thomas is going to start having a backup cage around so he doesn't have to wear Manny's mask: "It's a mask, and I don't wear a mask," said Thomas. "They're hot, you can't hear, and you can't breathe . . . otherwise, they're OK."
  • Puck Daddy notices how the Bruins are doing.
  • Shawn Thornton talks about the GMs proposal on fighting in the NHL.
  • P.J.'s P.J. drive nets 12,000 P.J.s for kids.  He's also a stud PKer.
  • On a relatively unrelated note, apparently Lundqvist was puking in between periods of the Sunday game.
  • Byron Bitz did an online chat.  He listens to "90% country, the only time I don't listen to country is before a game, then it's all rock... Nickelback, Metallica, Linkin Park to name a few"
  • Milan Lucic is one of the Bruins named to the Pruins clear day roster.
  • Krejci, Kessel in, Yelle still out.  
  • Sens Army Blog is the creator of the No Habs No campaign.
Other previews:
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: "Will we see celebrity puck bunnies Carrie Underwood and Hillary Duff at the game? Apparently this is the most interesting story about the Sens this season. In other news, NHL.com has turned into Us Weekly."
  • Cameron Frye: "I've been debating back and forth about what to say about the Bruins, but words cannot describe the utter and complete disappointment I feel while watching them. I don't get it."
  • HubHockey: Takes time out of the March Meltdown Bruins Ice Girls contest to say "Please don't lose again. If this was my birthday and I was blowing out the candles on my cake I would wish for a Bruins win tonight."  I think we all can agree on that.
  • The Bear Cave: "Manny Fernandez has gotten the nod in the other two tilts, going 2-0, while making 47 saves on 53 shots. Both of Fernandez's victories came at the expense of Martin Gerber, who was recently claimed off of waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs."
  • Matt Kalman: "The Bruins have to find a way to light the lamp more consistently to prove that general manager Peter Chiarelli didn’t under-reach when he failed to add a big-time scorer at the trade deadline."
  • NESN First Shift: "the Senators come into this game off a 3-2 overtime win over Tampa Bay last night and winners of four straight games, and playing their best hockey of the season."
  • Papers thumbs: Globe | Herald
  • bruins.nhl.com: Preview | Game Notes