Saturday, January 31, 2009

L10: Games 41-50 (7-2-1)

Overall Record: 36-8-6
L10 Record: 7-2-1

Not a bad run, on the whole. Why is every 10th game during back-to-backs?
  • Game 41: Bruins 6 OTT 4 W:  It was 6-3 with the Empty Netter with 30 seconds to go.  Manny's last appearance.
  • Game 42: Bruins 5 CAR 1 W: Byron Bitz's first NHL Point
  • Game 43: Bruins 3 Habs 1 W: Chara scores two, Krejci scores one.
  • Game 44: Bruins 2 NYI 1 W: Bruins just barely manage to beat the Islanders.  Way to go, guys.
  • Game 45: Bruins 1 WAS 2 L: Washington is still hot at home.
  • Game 46: Bruins 4 STL 4 SOL: Ugh.
  • Game 47: Bruins 3 TOR 3 SOW: Ugh, but with a win.  Rally on a Roadtrip was fun.
  • Game 48: Bruins 3 WAS 2 OTW: Lucic, Ference, Bergeron come back.  Bruins win.
  • Game 49: Bruins 3 NJD 4 OTL: Kessel, Ryder come back.  Bruins lose.  No talking about it.
  • Game 50: Bruins 1 NYR 0 W: Huge win, great back and forth game, Savard tips one in for the win.
Best Goal:
Shawn Thornton against the Caps:  Beautiful top-shelf backhand shot.  Huge move, big goal.  

Best Save:
They've been riding Thomas.  Here's one example of why it's been working:

Tim Thomas: Action Hero!



Wow.  What a game.  The box score doesn't do this game justice.  Just 2 goalies, having great days.  When people say defensive battle, this is what they mean.

Personal highlight of the game:  Meeting Nemmy.  Sorry we couldn't meet up at Boston Beer Works afterwards...see you in march.  Emails forthcoming.

Back to other readers of the blog:

I hope you were watching this afternoon, because it was a doozy.

The first thing that happened was that Rask started.  For the first time all season, someone other than Manny and Thomas gets in net for the Bruins.
And he rocks.

Exhibit A:

And the following is a composite image of Tuuka Rask all game:

The first period was 9 shots on a side and one hooking penalty called on Wade Redden.  Tuuka and Lundqvist both looked great.

The Second period was more of the same.  The rangers go on the PP and instead of getting a short-handed goal, the Bruins draw a too many men penalty.

Nothing comes of it, except for some back and forth hockey.  Both teams are doing a great job of stopping the offensive rush.

And then the sky clears.

Wideman rips one in, and Savard taps it in.  GO-

The play is under review.
Toronto says:  GOOD GOAL.

1-0.  You're happy the Bruins scored.  You're worried about the next 20.78 minutes of play.

The third period is about what you'd expect from two shut-down defenses:  Not a lot of good chances, but not for lack of trying.

0:45 left, Lundqvist gets pulled.
6 on 5 isn't doing it this time.



Record: 36-8-6 (W 1)
Home: 19-3-3 (W 1)
L10: 7-1-2
January: 8-3-2

Game 50 Preview: Rangers @ Bruins ALICIA SACRAMONE AFTERNOON

Jan 31, 2009 1:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
vs. New York Rangers (29-17-4)
  • Nice writeup on Axelsson in the Globe today.
  • The Rangers have a shutdown PK, but crap defense on the powerplay.
  • If not for the Devils, the Rangers would be first in the Atlantic right now.
  • Olympic Gymnast Alicia Sacramone will be dropping the puck. Here she is dropping the gloves:

Makes me proud to be from Massachusetts.
Previous Games:
  • Game 17: Bruins 2 NYR 2 SO LOSS: Possibly one of the most infuriating games ever.
Other Previews:

  • WickedBruinsFan: Zdeno Chara needs one point for 300 NHL points.
  • Double A Hockey: Will Rangers goalie Lundqvist stink up the ice as bad as he did against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, allowing a 6-2 defeat. Or was this a fluke?
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: I would like to see Tuuka Rask get the start today. Tim Thomas is getting a heavy workload lately. I say give the kid a shot and see what he can do in a meaningful game.
  • The Bear Cave: Tom Renney has already confirmed that Henrik Lundqvist will be the man between the pipes when his team takes the ice on Saturday.
  • Local Papers: Matt Kalman | | Herald
  • NESN First Shift: "You know, we can lick our wounds and think they were unfortunate goals, but you know, they all count. We have to score some of those goals." - Bruins Defenseman Aaron Ward on the hard-luck goals scored against his team Thursday night
  • Preview | GameDay


Friday, January 30, 2009


The Bruins looked pretty weak last night. They couldn't get anything going in the first two periods. Shawn Thornton fought a guy, the Devils scored twice including just an awful defensive mistake to let up a shorthanded goal.


Let's take a look at how the Bruins scored, and then never talk about this again.

Third Period Begins.
0-2. You're hoping it all gets better.

Luckily, Patrice Bergeron is a brilliant beam of light. He hits it behind the net, and Clemmenson comes out to get it. Chuck Kobasew is like a racing truck on his way there, and wraps it around. The wraparound doesn't make it, but it does make it over the line afterwards. The replay on doesn't show how.

1-2. Not a shutout no more.

7 Minutes into the third. The top line is back together again. Chara to Kessel, to Lucic. Lucic carries it up and backhands it off the side of the net. Kessel passes to Savard in front. Savard shows us why he was picked for the accurate shot competition.

2-2. Tied up. Huge.

About that top line. with 7 left to go, The Bruins gain the zone. They move it around a little, and Kessel passes to savard, who perfectly one-times it back to Wideman, who tees up and nails it right into the back of the net. GOAL.

3-2. The Bruins lead near the end of the third, right when you want them to.

Then Patrick Elias tries to prove he's the better Czech. Thomas has gotta cover that backdoor.
3-3. Vomit.

We go to overtime. Overtime ends.
3-4. Your hangover this morning doesn't feel as bad as that loss.


OT Loss.

Despite my disparaging comments about Thomas on the OT goal, this loss was by no means his fault. The Devils were very good at capitalizing on the Bruins mistakes, and the Bruins weren't as good at not making them. I mean come on, a short-handed goal? What is this, the Rangers?

Record: 35-8-6 (L 1)
Home: 18-3-3 (L 1)
L10: 6-2-2
January: 7-3-2

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Jan 29, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
vs. New Jersey Devils (30-15-3)
  • Kessel's back, Jersey is good, especially recently.  6 game winning streak.
  • I've got little time, so you can wait by the mailbox for this one.
  • Washington had the exact same record coming into tuesday's game.
  • Read this.  It's not related, but it's awesome.
  • This is The Gauntlet.

Previous Games:
  • Game 34: I interviewed Puck Daddy for my 5 questions with the enemy bit (I should start that up again...hmmm....)  and the Bruins won, 2-0.  Thomas made a huge save.  Here it is:

Other Previews:
No time, check over there.
I watched Sudden Death last night for the first time.  Makes me wish someone would make a movie like that in Boston.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Well, the home team continues to win in games between Washington and Boston. This was a pretty sweet game. Let's take a walk down memory lane...

One thing that happened this game was that the Bruins decided to take penalties to start each period. For example, 7 seconds into the first, and the Caps get a powerplay. Their powerplay is 6th in the league. It never converted (but may as well have in the first, see below)

Bruins almost kill it off, and Ovechkin gets stopped, but then he gives it to Mike Green, who rifles it in from the high slot at the last second of the powerplay.
0-1. It's only two minutes in. The Caps don't let up a whole bunch of goals these days, letting them get one early could be very bad.

Luckily, about 7 minutes later, Shawn Thornton corrals a puck that's about to go out of the zone. He skates it up and right as he's about to skate with it behind the goal, roofs it on the backhand. Theodore can't handle NHL Superstar Shawn Thornton.

1-1. Sick goal for a guy that deserves it. Loved the goal celebration, too. Arms down, just pumped. Huge goal.

Then in the last 30 seconds of play, washington gets it in and Fleishcschsmann creates traffic in front of the net by losing an edge. Nylander jams it in.
1-2. And that's the end of the first.

You're thinking, "Hey, this could be a high-scoring game." Foolish.

The second period had a first ten minutes, but it was all hooking calls and no scoring. Theodore was showing flashes of greatness, and the Bruins were held to nothing. Then when 14 minutes had passed, you wanted to make sure you were watching.

The Bruins are on the powerplay. They try the Chara-is-a-ninja move, but it doesn't work. The caps get the puck instead of Chara, and it looks like they'll dump it. But wait! What's that? A bird? A plane? NO! It's Patrice Bergeron, "the Lord of the Rink" according to the free posters they were handing out before the game. He makes a sick dive and not only knocks the puck off the caps stick, but also has time to get up before crashing into the boards and then makes a pretty sweet pass through the slot to Savard. Savard waits for Karl Alzner to spin himself around, and then uses him to screen Theodore and roof it. GOAL.

2-2. Tied up. While you were checking the caps website for who was #27 and got embarassed, Karl Alzner pops up and beseeches you to buy tickets to "Kids day" so you can get a tin lunchbox. Solid.

Then about 15 seconds later, Chara hits Ovechkin, and Ovechkin loses his balance and smashes into the boards with his head and shoulder. You're thinking a blend of "oh crap I hope the face of the league is ok," "maybe it would be ok if we didn't have to play against him for the rest of the game," and "I hope this doesn't last long, I've really gotta hit the men's room." 15 seconds after lying there, face down on the ice, (boston hasn't seen enough of that yet) he rolls over and rubs his eyes. A minute or two later, he gets up and skates off. Chara gets a penalty for hooking. It is the 4th hooking call of the period, and hooking was the only penalty called all period.

Here's the only video out so far:

At about 0:26, tell me that's a real hooking call. Caps fans will call it a dirty hit, Bruins fans will call it no penalty. It's part of why being a fan is fun. (Thanks to Puck Daddy for the video tip)

I blame the ref with the french name. It's not like officiating hockey is the hardest ref job or anything. Oh wait.

The rest of the second is relatively uneventful. Pucks are shot, but they do not go in.

The third period is all about shut-down hockey. Ovechkin came back. "Russian Machine never break." It is punctuated by Byron Bitz throwing down with Donald Brashear. The very same Brashear that Georges Laraque said was the best fighter in the league. doesn't have enough votes to declare a winner yet, they also don't have a youtube video up yet. Which is the first time I've ever seen that happen. Fried Chicken's video will have to do:

There are a lot of great saves surrounding the fight for the rest of the period, and some penalties, but whatever. When I go to games, I don't leave my seat except during intermissions. I also have a few beverages. So at 5 minutes left in a tie game, I'm dying. But enough about that.

We're going to OVERTIME! Hopefully that won't be OvieTime!

48 Seconds into Overtime, Nicklas Backstrom gets called for hooking. Which is about the 800th hooking call in the game. The refs need to get more creative. Anyhow, the Bruins put out my favorite 4-on-3 line out there: Savard-Krejci up front, Chara-Wideman on D. They set up in the zone, Savard gets it to Krejci, and know...

Oh wait, wrong clip. They figure, "lets try again." This time, Krejci tries to pass across the crease, but that crafty Caps Defenceman Shaone Morisonn is in the way. He breaks up the pass....right behind Theodore. GOAL!

3-2. I'm ready to credit Krejci with trying to make the Caps d look silly and bouncing it off him on purpose. I beg to differ, sir, that was not a "bad" bounce.



Huge win at home with Bergeron, Ference, Lucic back.
But, the Bruins gave up a point. This is the 4th game in a row where they've given up at least 1 point.

Record: 35-8-5 (W 2)
Home: 18-3-2 (W 1)
L10: 6-3-1
January: 7-3-1

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Game 48 Preview: Washington @ Bruins THE RETURN

Jan 27, 2009 7:00 PM ET
TV: Versus
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
vs. Washington Capitals (30-15-3)
  • BERGERON! BERGERON! BERGERON! BERGERON!  Please don't get another concussion, dude.  I worry.
  • Lucic is back.  In his absense, he dropped to 5th in the league in hits with 154.  He's behind Brooks Orpik, Dustin Brown, Cal Clutterbuck, and Matt Cooke.  Ovechkin just barely trails him.
  • Andrew Ference will be back as well.  We last saw him killing a penalty on a broken leg during a Montreal@Boston game.  Hunwick was skating on the wing.
  • Ryder's been out with "flu-like symptoms" and I'm held to the floor by a "gravity-like force."  If he's out, this is what lines will look like.
  • In those lines, Matt Hunwick is playing wing.  Interesting.
  • The Caps called up Karl Alzner, and there is much rejoicing among Caps fans.
  • Both teams play very well, basically waiting for the other team to make a mistake.
  • Thomas is ready.
  • A Guest Blogger over at Hub Hockey wrote up Peter Chiarelli's 10 best moves.  Solid piece, solid GM.
  • Solid writeup on Thomas by Puck Daddy.
  • Apparently, it's "Go Red" night, but did they really have to pick the game against the team whose playoff slogan is "Rock the Red"?  REALLY?
  • Overall, this should be a pretty sweet matchup.
Previous Games:
The Bruins have lost twice in Washington.  This is the first meeting in Boston this year.
  • Game 28: Bruins 1 WAS 3: Brent Johnson plays some solid goaltending, and Ovechkin gets the empty-netter.
  • Game 45: Bruins 1 WAS 2: Bruins lose again, on an Alexander Semin shot from the top of the circle.
Other Previews:
  • WickedBruinsFan: Pumped for The Return.
  • Japer's Rink: "the Caps' last win away from the Verizon Center against a team currently in either conference's top eight was in Buffalo way back on December 30."
  • HubHockey: As close to a preview as we're going to get.
  • Bobby Orr's Bastard:  Pumped for The Return.
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: "Public Skate starts at 6:00 PM ET:Watch the game and join the open thread to discuss the game with other B's fans."
  • The Bear Cave: Break time is over.
  • Fanhouse: "Don't trust NESN's Jack Edwards"
  • NESN First Shift: "Thomas became the fifth goalie in All-Star game history to win the game in back to back years, joining Frank Brimsek (1947 and '48), Jacques Plante (1958 and 1959), Johnny Bower (1961 and 1962) and Martin Brodeur (1997-1998)."
  • Papers: Matt Kalman | |  Herald
  • Preview | Notes (pdf)
They're BAAAaaack....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

SuperSkills Recap: Records, Chara-ty, Conspiracy, and funny hats.

It's a big weekend up in Montreal. Last night, they had the SuperSkills competition, consisting of a terrible musical intro, which was intercut with an awesome spinning organist.

Then they introduced the players. Tim Thomas had the biggest smile on his face when he got booed by the Montreal fans.

They did the fastest skater first, but with the nets pushed further back than before, no one beat the old record. Cogliano won that, but no one from the Bruins was in it, so I didn't really care too much.

Next up, they had the Trick Shot Circus. Alexander Ovechkin won that one, again.


Then there was the YoungStars game.

Blake Wheeler came up big for the rookies in that, but you wouldn't know it because they kept cutting away from the play in progress to show clips and other things. I had trouble following it sometimes, because the announcers would still be talking about the play while we'd be treated to a wonderful view of someone shooting the puck wide 2 minutes ago that we missed because they were showing a replay from even earlier, and so on.

The moral of the story is that Blake Wheeler got a hat trick, nobody really played defense, and carey price lost. Isn't that what it's all about?

Then we had the acuracy competition. Malkin won, Savard is not a sniper.

Then came the hardest shot competition. There was some buildup to this. Chara got in touch with all the other competitors and put a friendly wager for charity on the line. Each player put $1,000 into a pool, and the winner got to give it to a favorite charity. Then the teams of those players matched their amounts. Then the league threw in its own 6,000 dollars. During the competition, we found out that the player's association also matched. 24,000 dollars was going to somebody's favorite charity. The other story was that people thought Sheldon Souray might beat Chara at this one.

I'd go through it all, but basically Weber and Souray hit over 100 mph, then Chara came up last as 2-time defending champion. Chara put a reasonable number on the board, then with his second shot he broke Al Iafrate's long-held record by .2 miles per hour. Then he put on a silly hat with his favorite charity, Right to Play, on it. What a hustling fundraiser.

I said it, nobody wanted it, but I couldn't not.

Then there was the elimination shootout. The first three rounds got it down to Hejduk, Doan, and Savard, who was mic'd up. All three missed twice, then Doan scored and Hejduk missed. Savard now has to face Tim Thomas and score if he wants to keep going. Thomas doesn't spend a whole lot of effort on the save, and they high five afterwards.

Solid. Lundqvist poke-checks Savard to make Doan the winner.

Can't wait for real hockey to come back.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Jack Edwards is a Poet, Lazy Links, the search for content, Weekend Liveblogs

It's that time of year again.  There's a 5-day break between NHL games and people just don't know what to do with themselves.  Bloggers looking for content are coming up with all kinds of stuff.

Jack Edwards does some slam poetry about the grind of the NHL schedule.

Of course, there's the usual Picks contests, and stuff about the festivities, and retrospectives.  But I prefer to focus on those bloggers that go above and beyond (or aren't lucky enough to have a press pass) and write some random stuff.  Let's take a look:
And this blogger?  Well, I'm pretty much just kicking back and figuring out how much ice skating I can squeeze in.  I'll probably tune in for the LiveBlog festivities over at Puck The Media tomorrow.  If Steve doesn't boot me out for whining about how Krejci should be in it somewhere.  If he does, I can always fall back on my friends at Melt Your Face Off who will also be holding a liveblog.

Spelling is hard:

Enjoy the break, folks!  (Unless you're one of the players playing, in which case please email me - I'd love to interview you.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009


If anyone reading this was at the ROAR event, I hope you had a good time. Much high-fiving all around.

The pre-game show proved that the NESN crew are ready for the break, as Mike Milbury and Gord Kluzak showed pictures of each other in brown sweaters, followed by clips from their careers. If anyone has the clip of Mike Milbury yelling, "Just another day at the #%$#%^& office! Just pick up your %&^%&^%& paycheck and $^%$& go home," please post it in the comments or email me or something. Hilarious stuff.

But nobody really REALLY cares about what sweater Milbury's wearing. They're here for the game. Or on the couch for the game. Whatever.

The first 14 minutes or so are pretty nerve-wracking. Then Jason Blake manages to get one past Thomas.
0-1. Please don't let us lose 3 in a row when the second two are the Blues and Leafs.

But then Mr. "It was all my fault we lost the last game" decides that he's going to do something about it this time. With 5 minutes to go in the first, and about a minute since the Leafs goal, Blake Wheeler helps move it around the zone, then heads for the front of the net. Luckily, he's 6'5" so he screens Toskala. More importantly, he deflects the puck between his legs and then Ryder shows up behind him just in case it doesn't go in. Ryder doesn't even get to touch the puck.

1-1. I never blamed Wheeler for the loss, but I do like his determination.

The second period led to a Lee Stempniak goal, former player for the Blues (ugh) and then...

Brad May. Of all the people to score against the Bruins, why's it gotta be Brad May?
1-3. End of the second. You've eaten your wings and gone through some beers, so the rest of the game is a little hazy. For a while, someone was calling me "Versus Boy" because they are old and I prefer Versus to JOKESPN.

3 minutes into the 3rd, that reunited Ryder-Wheeler-Krejci line gets set up in the zone. They move it around a bunch and Wheeler sets up in front again after passing it back to Wideman. Wideman tees up, and Wheeler tries to deflect. Wheeler misses, but luckily there's a Leaf standing there and it goes off his skate.

2-3. Could this be the beginning of a comeback?

6 minutes left, now. Bruins on the powerplay. Wideman gets the puck, and the Bruins start moving it around on the right hand side. The D moves a little bit, then a little more, then a little more, then all of a sudden, the biggest player in the league is behind them on the doorstep, and Savard gets a clear pass to Chara, and, well...

3-3. Ok, 6 minutes to go. It's all tied up. Holy crap, that was a nice play by Chara. Look at him, all 6'9" of him, just sneaking in behind the Leafs. Some days he's a Velociraptor, some days he's a giant, but today... Today, Zdeno Chara is a ninja.

Then Ponikarovsky flips it out with less than 4 minutes to go and gets a delay of game. Sweet, another Powerplay, the Bruins have been doing well on-

Crap. Michael Ryder gets hooking called on him. Looks like we're in for some 4-on-4 hockey.

4-on-4 is exciting, and the Bruins are good at it, but they don't score.

This time a high stick doesn't score with .8 seconds to go and we're headed to Overtime. I guess they just don't want to go on break.

The big story about overtime is Martin "I'm generously listed as 5'9" and have a 63" stick" St. Pierre getting called for tripping on what was an obvious dive (through my goggles, at least, but what do I know? I'm watching on a big screen in the Hard Rock Cafe lounge.)

There's 1:40 left, and the Bruins play every second 3-on-4. Looks like this one is going to a shootout.

Shootout results:
Lee Stempniak Scores.
Blake Wheeler answers. Basically uses the same move, but better.
Tim Thomas stops Hagman.
Krejci misses completely.
Jason Blake scores.
Martin St. Pierre gets a story written about him.
2-2. Looks like the shootout's going to overtime (vomit)
Toronto sends out Nikolai Kulemin, who's scored 7 goals all year for the leaf. Thomas comes up big.
Commisioner Julien puts out the Ryd-signal.
Oh yeah, I went there. And here it is, just a goal-scorers goal. That's what the commentators would say, right?

3-2. Bruins win the Skills competition, and away they go.



vs. TOR: 4-1-0
Record: 34-8-5 (W1)
Away: 17-5-3 (W1)
L10: 6-3-1
January: 6-3-1
I'm so relieved they got that out.
Steve Dangle will review this game eventually, but hasn't yet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Game 47 Preview: Bruins@Toronto ROAR

Jan 21, 2009 7:30 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030AM
@ Toronto Maple Leafs (17-22-7)
  • While no-one was looking, the Bruins worked their way up to having the league's 7th-best PK, after starting out the season with the worst.
  • The Bruins are hosting a game-watching event at the Hard Rock Cafe at Faniuel Hall, starting at 6:30.  I'll be there, because I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff.
  • In a recent Maple Leafs practice, the NHL put in nets with different-shaped crossbar and posts.  It's supposed to make more pucks deflect in.
  • This is the last game until Tuesday.  There's an exhibition game going on in Canada somewhere, and I guess some of the players on the team will be there for that.  Congrats to them.
  • The big news is that Aaron Ward could play tonight.  At least when he does get injured, he comes back quickly.
  • Basically, either the Bruins will have lost to two non-playoff teams in a row heading into the break, or we'll all get to call monday's game a fluke on a bad call at the end and move on.  Either way, the reactions will last until they have the skills competition on Saturday night.
  • Montreal and Washington both lost last night, so a Win tonight would give the Bruins a 10-point cushion atop the East.
Previous Games:
  • Game 7: Bruins 2 TOR 4: Bruins scored twice, then Lucic put Mike Van Ryn through the glass. Then the leafs scored 4 unanswered goals.
  • Game 13: Bruins 5 TOR 2: Blake Wheeler got a hat trick and some girl threw a bra on the ice.
  • Game 18: Bruins 3 TOR 2: Tim Thomas saves the day, and the Bruins manage to get a win out of the game.
  • Game 31: Bruins 8 TOR 5: Tim, Manny, CuJo, and Toskala all took a turn in net in this ridiculous shootout. Sturm set off the scoring 36 seconds in, and now he's out for the season. Dammit.
Other Previews:
  • Joe Pelletier: Gives us a taste of what game ads looked like in the 1930s.
  • Here Come the Bruins: "What pre-2004 Red Sox fans were to baseball, Leafs fans are to hockey."
  • Double A Hockey: "Blake Wheeler is my new favorite Bruin - I still love Lucic, but after I saw 500 teenage girls with Lucic shirts, and the two annoying ones in front of me couldn't figure out what icing meant, I had enough. Somehow the teenage population hasn't fully caught on to Wheels yet, but I can always go back to PJAX when they do."
  • Cameron Frye: "Blake Wheeler, who died and made you Hal Gill?"
  • Stanley Cup of Chowder: "My guess is that all the injured guys will stay out of the lineup until after the break and Manny Fernandez will get the start tonight."
  • The Bear Cave: "17 members of the Maple Leafs and 16 of the Bruins have all picked up at least one point, meaning 33 players have figured into the scoring."
  • Matt Kalman: "it doesn’t take Toe Blake to look at the Bruins’ current line-up and realize that the time for beautiful goals and dazzling odd-man rushes are over until the team returns to some semblance of full health. "
  • Local Papers: | Herald
  • NESN First Shift: "With the Bruins coming off a shootout loss that they easily could have taken two points from, this is once again a good chance for them to get back on the winning track and gain momentum heading into the All-Star break. "
  • Preview | Game Notes (pdf)

In the top picture, Thornton scored that goal.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009



First period, first 5 minutes. You notice that Wheeler's taken Axelsson's spot on the top line. Why mess with a good thing?

1-0. Oh, I suppose.

3 minutes later, Brad Winchester ties it up for St. Louis.
1-1. The Bruins are looking wicked flat, and I don't like it.

And all of a sudden, there are no Mannys in net. Legace probably hurt himself somehow.

Second Period, 7 minutes in, and the Bruins are down, thanks to Mr. McClement.
1-2. Thanks for nothing.

That about ends it for the second. Score entering the third: 1-2, St. Louis on top.

With less than 5 minutes to go in the 3rd, the score is the same. In your mind, you're going "c'mon, not to the blues. Not to the blues. not to the blues. You can do it, Bruins."

Luckily, the Blues decide to take two penalties in a row, and the Bruins have less than a minute of 5-on-3 to work with. Luckily, they've got Krejci, Ryder, Savard, Chara, and Wideman out there. If those 5 can't score 5-on-3, we're...

2-2. We can find out what a world without that would look like later, I suppose.

Bruins keep the Powerplay, and see the opportunity to turn it all around. They end up in their own zone, and then go rushing in. Wideman leads the charge, and bounces it off of Mason's chest. Ryder flies through the zone, trying to get it but misses. Luckily, P.J. is there.

3-2. Can we stop whining about Axelsson, now? It's not like he hasn't scored clutch goals. I think people are just reminded of how crappy the bruins used to be just by his presence. Or their scared of his hair. Either way, the Bruins are back on top and the world is wonderful again.

30 seconds after that, and there's a faceoff in the offensive zone (icing, I believe). Krejci steps up to the center dot. He gets it out just enough for Axelsson to get it back to Chara, who lets fly. It gets through 8 players, 3 beer lines, and one St. Louis Blues goalie. Nice screen job, everybody.

4-2. You're thinking, "3 minutes left, just gotta get the empty netter now).

But then SOMEBODY takes a penalty for the Bruins. David Perron decides to capitalize on it from the point. Dink dink
4-3. You're thinking, ok, 1:20 to go, let's just keep it in the offensive zone for the rest of the game, please?

You know how this story ends. Here it is in full youtube glory:

Toronto calls it a goal, but the replay we saw at the garden showed the stick never getting below the crossbar. Any time they want to set up special cameras for that, I'm for it.
4-4. 0.8 seconds to go.
You're wishing they still served beer, because you could use one right about now.

Overtime ends in a tie.

The Bruins are out of practice on the shootout. And lose.


vs. STL: 1-0-1
Record: 33-8-5 (L1)
Home: 17-3-2 (L1)
L10: 6-3-1
January: 5-3-1

Monday, January 19, 2009

Game 46: Bruins vs. St. Louis MLK DAY MATINEE

Jan 19, 2009 1:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030AM
vs. St. Louis Blues (17-23-4)

  • The St. Louis blues have been pretty hurting all season. Their #1 defenseman got hurt at a charity golf tournament and has been out all season with a torn ACL. He will be out the rest of the season, too.
  • St. Louis has more injured players than Boston.
  • Over the last two games, the Bruins fought hard and lost, and coasted to a win. Hmmm...
  • Brad Boyes is their leading scorer, and was the 5th leading scorer last year. He used to be a Bruin. They got Dennis Wideman for him. It's worked out ok for us.
  • I got skates for christmas and went skating yesterday. Holy crap that was awesome.
Previous Games:
  • Game 33: Bruins 6 Blues 3: Manny the goalie showdown night, but Fernandez had more answers. Oh, and this:

Other Previews:
  • Double A Hockey: "Blues rookie Patrik Bergulnd leads the NHL rookies with 14 goals this season, one more than Boston's Blake Wheeler."
  • The Bear Cave: "Last month, the Bruins went into St. Louis and beat the Blues 6-3, for their first win in Missouri since October of 1995."
  • Cameron Frye: "[Brad Boyes] played on the B's back when the Patriots made the play offs, Manny Ramirez was still with the Red Sox and Jesus Shuttlesworth didn't bleed green."
  • HubHockey: "Could we see Keith Tkachuk in Black & Gold before this season ends?"
  • Stanley Cup Of Chowder: "I would expect Manny Fernandez to get the nod in goal considering he hasn't seen game action since January 8th."
  • NESN First Shift: No goalie predictions = no fun.
  • Papers: | Herald


Sunday, January 18, 2009


In the first period, the two teams moved it back and forth across the ice, and it was pretty exciting. Nothing too crazy happened on either end. A couple of penalties got killed.

The second period begins, and the Caps take a penalty. Savard, Hnidy, Chara, Kobasew, Savard, net. They work it around really well and then Savard gets another high short-side goal, from the wide, wide angle.

1-0. You're excited.

As it turns out, so is everyone else, because Mike Green finds a way, on a PP going the other way, to be completely invisible to the whole Bruins D. They let a pass through and it's Green vs. Thomas. Green wins.

And then near the end of the second, we find out it's true - Ovechkin is a dirty hitter.
Nice knee-to-knee. Luckily, Wideman came back into the game.

Despite excellent play from both teams, Alexander bongo-drummer Semin rifles one over Thomas's shoulder after St. Pierre can't bury it.

That would prove to be good enough.


Random Thoughts:
  • The Bruins haven't been able to win in Washington at all this year. In between losses @ Washington, the Bruins had a 7-game away winning streak.
  • The Bruins are also very good at home, it will be interesting to see what the two upcoming Caps@Bruins games look like.

vs. WAS: 0-2-0
Record: 33-8-4 (L1)
Away: 16-5-3 (L1)
L10: 7-3-0
January: 5-3-0

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Game 45 Preview: Bruins @ Washington OVECHKIN VS CHARA NIGHT WOOOOOO

Jan 17, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030AM
@ Washington Capitals (28-14-3)
  • The Caps are on a bit of a tear here. Ovechkin will run wild all over your defense if you let him.
  • Alexander Semin is also pretty good for them, and is an excellent bongo-player.
  • Kinda busy this afternoon, not a big-time preview. But this game should be huge. Ovechkin is a ridiculously good hockey player, and the Bruins have been really good this year. These are the top 2 teams in the east right now.
  • Lucic, Bergeron, and Ference are skating in team practice, but not cleared for battle drills.
  • The 2 Man Advantage will be at the game, so if you're going, say hi to them for me. And tell them about how the instigators really don't have a desk. Watch their hands some time.
  • After the way the Bruins played against the Islanders, this game may be bleak. I hope they have a good time getting fired up.
  • Chara will likely play against Ovechkin the most. Could be a huge game for him.
Previous Games:
Record Against Washington: 0-1-0
  • Game 28: Bruins 2 @ WAS 3 L: Washington won at home. First regulation loss in a while for the Bruins. Last loss before the 10 game winning streak.
Other Previews:

1st and 4th teams in the league and top 2 in the east square off.


Thursday, January 15, 2009


The Bruins weren't able to get much going in this game. Thomas stood on his head for 40 saves on 41 shots, giving Boston the win with 2 goals. Let's take a look. First of all, just to not kill your browser, here's the list of highlight saves from the game:
The Danis save deemed worthy by the NHL was a shoulder-shrug save on a one-timer after an islander takeaway turned into a giveaway. Not bad. But that's the 3rd period, and the Bruins did the same thing I did: Think ahead too far.

The first period has not a whole lot going on for it.

The second period, 3+ minutes in, and Savard gets into the zone. He slaps it from the halfboards, but Danis isn't letting that beat him. So it bounces off to the blueline. Luckily, a team of intrepid zone-keepers are in the area. Stuart clears it back in, and Savard picks it up behind the net. Savard looks left looks right goes left shoots right and roofs it shortside on Danis. GOAL!

1-0. Milbury and Tappen spend the next 5 minutes seeing who can say "Gretzky's Office" more times.

Shawn Thornton fights Tim Jackman, lands one hit and then they wrestle to the ground. says: Draw.

Third period. The Bruins are playing with fire by phoning it in like this. Luckily, Thomas has been making saves left and right.

And then, like a beam of light peaking through the clouds on a rainy day, Thomas clears from behind his net all the way out to Sobotka in the neutral zone. Vlad slaps it in as soon as he gets in the zone, but misses completely. Luckily, this is all a cunning plan. From center ice, Martin St. Pierre (generously listed as 5'9") reaches his league-maximum stick over and taps it in behind Danis. GOAL!

2-0. Martin St. Pierre just scored his 2nd NHL goal! Somebody needs to get him, Pedroia, and Chara in a picture together.

1 minute left, mr. Danis has left the crease and the Islanders are trying to get something going with 6 attackers. The Bruins almost clear it but the Islanders manage to keep it in the zone. Bill Guerin takes it behind the net and puts it in front of the net. It goes off a skate or something.
2-1. Thomas looks surprised. He should know from bear hunting that you can't consider it dead before it's over. He was really hoping to get on the top stats list for shutouts, too.



Other Random Thoughts:
I made this last night:

The Instigators is hilarious. Also, I've finally figured out that they're just in a bluescreen studio and HAVE NO DESK. Which is more hilarious.

Sens Army Blog has mailed Mr. Chara a letter congratulating him on his GWG against the Habs the other night. NO HABS NO! I support this campaign.

vs. NYI: 2-0-0
Record: 33-7-4 (W4)
Away: 16-4-3 (W7)
L10: 8-2-0
January: 4-2-0

Game 44 Preview: Bruins @ NY Islanders SPONGETECH KIDS T-SHIRT NIGHT

Jan 15, 2009 7:00 PM ET
Radio: WBZ 1030AM
@ New York Islanders (12-27-4)
  • The Islanders are last in the conference and the league, with 5 fewer points than any other team. The Thrashers are second-worst.
  • Rick DiPietro (pictured above) is in the first year of a 15-year contract. He is hurt and likely out for the season. Their backup, Joey Macdonald, went out in the middle of a recent game but is back playing with them. If he can't, they could always get their former backup goalie and current GM to play.
  • Scott Gordon, the coach of the Islanders, coached the P-Bruins last year.
  • Aaron Ward did not travel with the team, but Lucic, Ference, and Bergeron did. This is more a practice thing than a playing thing, I'm pretty sure.
  • Kevin Paul Dupont of wants the Bruins to drop all of the long-term building they've been quite successful with and sign Vinny Lecavelier.  He also wanted to bring in Brian Burke.  At least we have good reporters in the Metro.
  • Jack Edwards was kicked out of the Tournament of Announcers, but he did write quite the story on Zdeno Chara.  Choice Quote: "He is the green sweep-arm of the radar scope."
Previous Games:
  • Game 23: Bruins 7 NYI 2: Bruins debut their third jerseys on Black Friday and embarrass the Islanders to a rockin home crowd.   The high-noon shootout was quite one-sided, but former P-Bruins star Nate Thompson scores in the first 2 minutes.  Manny shuts it down pretty well for the rest of the game.
Other Previews:
First of all, Congratulations to Stanley Cup of Chowder for joining the SBNation network.
  • HubHockey: "this is a real mismatch on paper but with injuries plaguing both teams right now you never know what could happen. "
  • Cameron Frye: "I'm not saying it's going to be easy like a Vivid girl, but I'm thinking the B's should be able to pull off a win with no major problems."
  • The Bear Cave: "Although being at home could be comforting for New York, Boston's 15-4-3 road record should definitely send chills down the spines of the home team."
  • Matt Kalman: "The New York Islanders are a disaster area."
  • NESN First Shift: Tim Thomas and Yannick Danis.
  • Local Papers: | Herald
  • Preview | Game Notes (pdf)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


A wonderful game. I hope the Habs fan behind me made it home safe and sound. With a loss in hand. It's one of those things that just makes me smile. The Bruins beat the Habs in Boston, as they tend to do, pushing the all-time record to 160-131-56-2 in Boston. Let's check out how it happened.

First period was all Thomas. 17 shots, 17 saves. Jaro Halak takes it easy with 9 shots, 9 saves.
Oh, and Mark Stuart fights a guy:

Second Period, Habs get a powerplay. One of the Kotsyitititititittisins manages to deflect a shot in off his skate while the 4 PKers stand around, scratching their heads.
0-1. You're remembering last year, and how this used to turn out.

But then the refs decide it's time for a powerplay for the bruins.
Zdeno Chara works the front of the net.

1-1. You're happy the 100 habs fans in the place boo chara, it only makes him angry.

Speaking of which, The habs draw a 5 minute major for boarding. Then there are about 5 other penalties called, and the Bruins end up with a 5-on-3. Wideman and Chara pass back and forth across the circles, then Chara bombs it in there.

2-1. Zdeno Chara Hat Trick Watch: Activate.

The third period has a lot of back and forth, and the Habs get some good shots on goal. A lot of clogging, and then the puck squirts out to the side stuff. After one of those attempts with a little over a minute to go, Wheeler and Ryder go streaking up, with only one defender in front of them. Wheeler feeds through two defenders (a second comes up behind) but Ryder is denied. Luckily, Ryder cares more about a team win than poetic justice, so he picks up the rebound and feeds it to Krejci, who pounds it in.

3-1. 1:11 to go in the game.

1:11 passes.



vs Habs: 3-0-1
Record: 32-7-4
Home: 17-3-1
January: 4-2-0
L10: 8-2-0

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Game 43: Habs @ Bruins RIVALRY NIGHT IN BOSTON

Jan 13, 2009 7:00 PM ET
TV: Versus
Radio: WBZ 1030AM
Vs. Habs (25-10-6)
  • Lucic might be back in the lineup.  Game-time-decision, etc.  If not, we're looking at Kobasew-Savard-St. Pierre.
  • Hnidy has been cleared for play, and will probably play with a visor.  Lashoff got sent down.
  • This is the 6th of 6 home games in a row, part of 10 games at home in January.
  • Kessel is out with mono. Should've been less careful in high school and college, there, Phil. They think it's likely he'll be out a month, which is about 13 games, according to fluto and friends.
  • The Bruins are missing 6 of their top players right now: Manny, Patrice, Sturm, Ference, and Kessel. At least the Habs are pretty beat up, too.
  • The Bruins should make sure Komisarek continues to have bad memories of the Garden.
  • Halak and Thomas in net today, Rask and Denis as backups.
  • Fear not, Versus is bringing the NESN announcers on to call tonight's game.  I guess Montreal doesn't have any announcers on VS.
  • This is a really cool picture.
"Thort's Vlog":

Previous Games:
2-0-1 vs. Habs
  • Game 21: Bruins 2 Habs 2 SO WIN: Patrick Roy night in Montreal, and Thomas puts on quite the show.
  • Game 16: Bruins 6 Habs 1 WIN: The only game in Boston so far this season. Lucic beat up Komisarek. The bruins mopped the floor with the Habs. Chants of Caaaarrreeeeeey echoed through the garden. What a game.
  • Game 3: Bruins 3 Habs 3 SO Loss: All of Montreal's scoring is in 3:19 near the end of the first period in their home opener.
  • The playoffs last year, and so many years prior. I want Lucic and Hnidy (and O'reilly and...) back in the lineup out of spite.
Other Previews:
Habs in town, everybody's talking:

My dislike for the habs has been tempered by reading Jack Falla. That said, I'd appreciate if they took a nice long slumber like some other original six teams have.

Christopher Price is a joke

I'll have the preview up at 4pm like clockwork.  I read this on my way into work:
"I've said this before, and I'll say it again: There aren't a lot of things I love about Montreal, but the fact the Canadiens' No. 1 goaltender - Carey Price, shares a last name with me is kinda awesome. There aren't a lot of other famous athletes named Price. (There aren't even a lot of semi-famous jocks named Price.) Other than former Cavs guard Mark Price and ex-Baltimore reliever Joe Price, that's pretty much it. So when we get a youngster like Carey Price, we've got to wave the flag high, even if he wears the bleu, blanc, and rouge of the Canadiens. Price - who is still a question mark because of a recent knee injury - and the rest of the Habs come to town tonight for a showdown with the Bruins on Causeway Street. They'll drop the puck at 7 (Versus, WBZ 1030 AM)"
This is Christopher Price, sports editor of the Boston Metro.  This is all of the Bruins coverage in the paper today.
is his email with the paper.  It doesn't work.  Write to
He also writes a blog on  There's another email here, but I'd like to think I have enough class not to publish it.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Everybody hurts sometimes

As if enough of the team wasn't hurt yet this year, looks like Manny isn't feeling well.  The Bruins have called up P-Bruins backup goalie Kevin Regan to backup Thomas.  Tukka Rask is back in providence after being the backup yesterday.

Kevin Paul Dupont of likens the Bruins injury reports to the KGB.

Luckily, the this week's P-Bruins game is @Lowell, then one at home and then one @Hartford.  So they can juggle lines across two teams if they want to all week long.

When Patrice Bergeron says he'll be back this year, I'm a fan of that.  But I do think he'll be out at least until February, if not beyond.  Losing Sturm is a huge blow, though.

Is a trade in the works?  Is the flu going around?  The bruins are starting to get hit pretty bad by the injury bug.  With the Habs tomorrow, this isn't exactly ideal.

The Red wings are looking to top the Bruins for longest winning streak this year pretty soon - they've got 6 in a row right now.

At halfway through the season, there are a lot of injuries but a lot of plusses, as well.  The Bruins schedule isn't going to get any easier (far fewer games against southeast teams, etc) and with the injuries plaguing the team, I wouldn't be surprised if the Bruins come back down to earth a bit, so to speak.

I'd like to say again that I liked seeing Byron Bitz play with the big club.  Thornton-St. Pierre-Bitz is an acceptable 4th line.

I'm glad the Bruins aren't in the same situation as the Wild right now.  Same with the St. Louis Blues, who could set a record for most GP lost to injury this season.  Oh, and it looks like Rick Nash is on Injured reserve for Columbus.  Luckily, they've got this Steve Mason goalie who is so on fire he's melting the ice around the net.

Interesting stuff from the hockey nerds at Objective NHL about how the bruins will have to come back to earth.  It's coming, folks, get ready.

I was a bit miffed at how quickly the Garden empties out when the Bruins lose a game (or two in a row!).  The Bruins have a ton of bandwagon fans right now, and I'm starting to understand why people don't like bandwagon fans.  Even so, I like talking about hockey and it's always good to see people excited about it.

Oh, and on top of all of that, some guy on the internet is saying that Tim Thomas's contract negotiations are starting to go sour.  If true, I blame his agent.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


That's more like it.  What a wonderful game.  Let's remember:

7:45 in, Bruins on a Powerplay, they pass from their own slot to wheeler on the far blue line.  Gotta love that two-line pass.  Wheeler moves in, passes to Krejci, who backhands it over Conn Smythe Winner Cam Ward's shoulder.

1-0.  Krejci, Krejci, Krejci.  Whatta Czech.

3 minutes to go, faceoff by CSWCW's net.  Bruins move it around a bit, Yelle tips it past CSWCW.

2-0.  This is the gamewinner.  More to come in the game.

Second Period.
Byron Bitz drives into the zone, waves to his folks, then passes to Joni Pitkanen, who passes back to Mark Stuart, who puts it just exactly on the right angle and buries it in the far edge of the net.

3-0.  First NHL point in his first NHL game for Byron Bitz!

doot doot doot do  do doo doo dooooo do do do do doo do-do doo0000000
Goalie Change!

7 minutes in, and it's the same old story.  Bruins pass it around the zone, Michael Ryder scores on the second goalie we've seen tonight.

4-0.  You're filling out the comments card at the Boston Beer Works next to the garden to call their "Black Rider" beer "Black Ryder"

4 minutes left in the second.  Wheeler gets it on the blue line.  He skates in, passes to Ryder, who bounces it off CAR G #49.  Krejci is a ninja, so of course he comes out of nowhere and then all of a sudden, Ryder has the puck and CAR G #49 is looking at Krejci to shoot.

5-0.  Wow.  This is starting to get embarassing.

And then Hunwick lays the hit on Williams, and of course CLEAN HIT MEANS YOU MUST FIGHT ARGH THIS IS THE NEW NHL GRAH.  I don't see a whole lot of intent to injure, but Justin Williams did:
Luckily, Matt Hunwick learns from the Zdeno Chara school of one-punch fights.

Justin Williams gets the last laugh, though, when he scores a super-soft deflection goal as the only score in the third.

Oh wait, the bruins really get the last laugh.



Lucic gets the last laugh for going to the youngstars game over krejci.  This is so unimaginably pathetic that I might actually be able to stay away from the game.  What channel is the KHL on?

vs. CAR: 3-0
Record: 31-7-4
L10: 8-2-0
Home: 16-3-1
Jan: 3-2-0