- Mailing it in, early game.
- Washington is 9 points behind Boston in the Conference.
- Here Comes the Bruins! thinks this game could clinch the conference.
- The home team has won the game in each game so far. Here's hoping for that continuing.
- Half of the Bruins Bloggers will be at this game somewhere or another.
- No word as of writing about Savard or Lucic. Please let them be ok.
- Ovechkin, Chara, and Ference are all donating money to right to play depending on their playing time. Awesome. Off-ice, Ference might just be my favorite Bruin. He doesn't hunt bears, though.
- Oh, and on an unrelated note, GO CAMELS!
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Huge. Just huge. As you may already know, Tim Thomas posted a 35-save shutout last night in celebration of his 100th NHL Career Win. But just to make it special, he got an assist, as well. Huge. Tim Thomas Hunts Bears, you know. With a bow:
Bow in hand, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas was perched in a tree in northern Manitoba as he stared down a bear.
"He was pushing down smaller trees around me," Thomas says of his hunting trip a few years ago that inspired the "Beware of the Bear" theme on his mask. "Apparently, that's what they do to scare away weaker bears and I've been told they see us as a weaker bear." - USA TODAY
Whatta guy. Appropriate for him to get all this on Heroes Night at the Garden. Also, big props to anthem singer Dan Clark for struggling through an instrumental track that went WAY faster than he wanted to. 10 guys had points last night. Let's take a look at how it went:
In the first period, the Bruins and Ducks went back and forth a bit. Bruins went on the PP thanks to Brookbank, but it didn't lead to anything. Same for the Ducks and Krejci. At about the time that you're realizing that Aaron Ward isn't playing, Matt Hunwick steps up and makes you notice. Krejci pokes it off a duckstick to Ryder, who battles it in from neutral ice to the slot. Then he passes it across for Wheeler, but the no-look spin-o-rama pass goes behind him. Luckily, Hunwick streaks in and BOOM. Tick Tock Goal.
1-0. Let's keep that kid around a bit longer, eh?
The last 2 minutes of the first, same as most of the first. Ducks outshoot the Bruins pretty handily. Tim Thomas has all the answers, like that kid you cheated off of in 7th grade.
The second period begins. The ducks have it in the Bruins zone. So the backcheck. Stuart and Krejci take the puck away. Then some magic passing happens. Krejci-Hnidy-past Krejci-Wheeler-Krejci-Ryder-Bar-Net. DINK! Goal.
2-0. In a post-game interview, Blake Wheeler says that Ryder has an "Unbelievable shot." No lie, Wheels.
Kobasew picks it up in the Bruins zone. He skates it up. Sure, other guys skate around with him and make the defenders play the pass. But Kobasew skates the rink and puts it in.
3-0. The Number 12 has often been a good player for the Bruins - Oates, Rolston, Cashman, Byers, Lukowich, and now Kobasew. I don't expect to see it hanging from the rafters anytime soon, but it's still interesting. There was a guy there last night with a Rolston jersey, and he had taken a big piece of masking tape and written Kobasew on it and stuck it over Rolston. Good looks, dude, wherever you are.
J.S. Giguere will have to get Giggy with it on the Bench for the rest of the night. Enter Jonas Hiller. The "Hillll-eeeerrrrr" chants start up right away.
Sick save by thomas. Gotta put it in.
The next 2 big events are fights. Surprise, surprise. The Ducks get in fights. First, Parros lays a big hit on Savard and he limps to the Bench. So Shawn Thornton steps in. Here's HockeyFights page. Good effort by 6'2", 217 lb Thornton.
Then Lucic gets sucker punched by Mike Brown, so he throws him to the ice and takes a couple vicious thwacks at his neck. Brookbank defends his teammate. Hockeyfights. Total penalties:
- Mike Brown: 2 Min. Instigating, 5 Min. fighting, 10 Min. Misconduct
- Sheldon Brookbank: 2 Min. 3rd Man in, 10 Min. Game Misconduct
- Milan Lucic: 5 Min. Fighting
Luckily, we have this scoring depth...and at 2 minutes to go in the second, the Ducks clear to Thomas. Thomas makes a DIRTY breakout pass that's actually illegal in 17 countries and Utah, finds Ryder on the far blue line. Ryder puts it in with Authority. Edwards calls it a goal off Kessel's leg. Kessel gets the screen, Ryder gets the goal.
4-0. Tim Thomas Hunts Bears with the assist. As they said in the all-star game, SICK MOVES. p.s. PPG!
You figure with 2 minutes to go in the second, and up 4-0, the rest is just going to be a whole lot of not-that-much. But you forget that they're playing Anaheim, the second-most-penalized team in the league (third man in? Are you SERIOUS?) and they have guys whose hockey resume is basically fists and mustaches. George Parros really stepped up for the Bruins here, and takes a holding call with less than a minute to go. He tries for the unsportsmanlike, but....they don't give it to him. It's ok, we'll take the single minor. And by "we," I mean Kobasew. And by "take the single minor," I mean Krejci-Ference-Wideman-Kobasew-NET.
5-0. The second period is the Chuck and Mike show, we'll be taking your calls in just a minute. Hold on, though, folks, we've just got to score 2 goals each. Hat trick watch for both as we go into the third.
The third is a much calmer game. The ducks are not calm, but they stopped taking penalties after Pronger cries to the refs about how the Ducks keep getting penalties. There's a solution, there, elbow-machine: Stop commiting penalties. One way or another, the only penalty in the third is Mark Stuart. Whatever.
With 6:30 left, Bitz picks up a pass in the neutral zone. He's got future hall-of-famer Scott Neidermayer on him. But Bitz is a big guy. He muscles his way through Neidermayer (!!!) and then roofs it over Hiller.
There's that third goal in the third for him, it's a shame it's 2 days late. You almost think about tossing your hat on the ice, but you're way up in the balcony and it didn't work last time.
- I hope Savard and Lucic are ok, or Kessel's going to need some new linemates against Washington. Damn.
- The longest winning streak in the east right now is Toronto, with 3.
- As Double A Hockey points out, Shane Hnidy (and Phil Kessel) are the only ones without points in the last 2 games, goalies included.
Record: 42-12-8 (W 2)
Home: 21-4-4 (W 2)
Thursday, February 26, 2009
- Ducks Traded Chris Kunitz for Ryan Whitney earlier today, we could see Whitney tonight.
- Neither team coughs up a come-from-behind win in the third very often. Doesn't mean it couldn't happen.
- Anaheim won the cup 2 years ago.
- Chris "Elbows" Pronger got a Hart trophy because his agent campaigned for him.
- Scott Neidermayer is good. So is Chara.
- Hey, let's string together more than one win here. Expect goonery from Anaheim. Not as much as in the past, but still goonery.
- Also expect players to stop playing because they just got traded. Most of these guys contracts end this year.
- Yeah, swamped at work. Sorry. Check over to the left, people are still writing and it's still good. I don't even have time to read it all, much less quote it for you. Stanley Cup of Chowder will have an open thread, which I will miss because I'll be at the game instead.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Well, that's much better. First of all, we got a puck drop from space, which is now available for viewing in the TD Banknorth Garden sports museum, open between 1pm and 1:30pm on the third tuesday of the month.
This post is going to kill your browser since there are 7 videos in it. It was just that good of a game. That's why the image is up top there, to push the videos below the "fold."
Let's do a quick run through here.
1-0. Huge goal. Patrice's first REAL goal of the season. Of course, we saw kessel do this last game, and look where that got us.
Then Ryder goes to work on the ice. He's moving the puck around, and then the Bruins get a little 3-on-whatever. Ryder passes - not across the crease like anderson expects, but back to Stuart. Stuart shoots it forward.
2-0. Hey, way to go Mark Stuart. When was his last goal? That's odd. Nice assist on the return there, Ryder.
Then some guy on Florida named "Kreps" (no joke, real name) scores, 13:34 into the first.
2-1. They have awakened the bear, and Tim Thomas is ready for some puck-hunting. He plays perfect the rest of the night...even after some lapses. Whatever.
Second period is all about your #1 star of the night: Byron Bitz. For serious, he scores his second goal of his NHL career right here:
3-1. Slick deflection. "I know most goalies take away the bottom, so I figured if I could deflect it up, it might go in" (paraphrase, too lazy to transcribe the real quote from the interview I will inevitably post below)
Third period time. 3-1 going in. Let's see if the Bruins can have a positive goal differential in all 3 periods. The fourth line decides to get some energy going. Yelle slaps one from the point as they enter the zone. Anderson gets in front, gives up a nice big juicy rebound. Byron Bitz is on the scene.
4-1. Byron Bitz Hat Trick Watch: Activated "I didn't have a hat trick through college, must have been back in Juniors" (paraphrase)
2 minutes later, the Bruins move it all over the FLA zone. Bouwmeester blows a tire, Ward gets the puck. Tim connolly goal: "Dink!"
5-1. Aaron Ward looks really happy about that. Gotta love a guy that likes scoring and winning so much.
Then about a million years into the game (ok, 49+ minutes) the first penalty is called: Hooking, of course, against the Panthers. Powerplay lines look like: Axelsson-Savard-Ryder, Bergeron-Chara. I'm writing about this, so I think you know what happens next. Axelsson bounces it off anderson's pads back to Ryder, Ryder bumps it up over them.
6-1. Textbook. Or is that Storybook? I never can tell.
Speaking of storybook, Bitz basically plays every other shift for the rest of the game as the fans chant "We Want Bitz! We Want Bitz!" Boston fans are suckers for rooting for the underdog.
There's a fight, kobasew vs. whoever, crap fight and only florida really cared about it.
- Now don't mess it up like you did after the carolina game. Dammit.
- Montreal now has the longest win streak in the east....with 2.
- 41's just another number, but 20 home wins is nice.
- Other teams with 20 home wins: San Jose, Washington, Detroit, Calgary,
Record: 41-12-8 (W 1)
Home: 20-4-4 (W 1)
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
- This is the first of six home games in a row.
- An Astronaut is going to drop the puck. THAT PUCK WAS IN SPACE!
- They made Jack Edwards bingo OFFICIAL!
- The Bruins could drop out of first during this homestand if they play poorly enough and NJ and WAS play well.
- But that doesn't matter tonight.
- Tonight is the Florida Panthers, who the Bruins got shut out by on Saturday.
- The Florida panthers that the Bruins had handily beaten each other time they had played.
- The Florida Panthers that throw rats on the ice.
- The Florida Panthers that are on a tear since new year's. They are sick of losing.
- The 7-3-0 Florida Panthers.
- Ryder is back, and the angels are singing.
- Anderson and Vokoun are still excellent goalies. We'll see Anderson tonight, and Thomas.
- I still miss Sturm too, Fluto.
- In case you hadn't noticed, the Bruins are playing better this year than last.
- The Panthers are the last team featured in Puck Money's "Playing Below Capacity" series.
- Game 20: Bruins win 4-2 to take the top spot in the Conference on "slapshot night" at the Garden.
- Game 26: Bruins win 4-0 "We could have been out there for three days and still not scored."- Peter DeBoer
- Game 59: Bruins lose 2-0 in Florida after having a few too many days in the sun. Brick looks like a carrot on the TV. Jack Edwards doesn't go outside, he'd get too excited.
- Cameron Frye: Prediction: "B's win 4-2, 3 fights and Jack Edwards is going mention at least once that the B's are skinning the Panthers alive."
- HubHockey: "The B's need to go for the jugular tonight if they want to win, and yes I went there."
- Stanley Cup of Chowder: "It looks like the Panthers might not be moving Jay Bouwmeester afterall. The Panthers are selling "Panthers Promise" ticket packages that include a playoff guarantee. That doesn't sound like a team that is going to be a seller at the deadline." Will have an open thread, as will...
- Litter Box Cats:
- The Bear Cave: "The other reason for a strong start is Tomas Vokoun. The 32-year old blanked Boston on Saturday, meaning he will be entering this game with plenty of confidence. If the Bruins can get one or two past him early, the confidence could turn to doubt. Even if the game remains scoreless, Boston will want to test the Florida netminder, seeing how he is coming off of the flu."
- Matt Kalman: "Florida is just a really tough match-up for the Bruins right now. But Boston can neutralize some of that with a stronger forecheck and more efficient special teams."
- NESN First Shift: "After beating the Bruins 2-0 on Saturday, Florida is 7-3-0 in their last ten games and 14-5-3 since the New Year. The currently seventh-seeded Panthers are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2000."
- Newspaper thumbs: Globe | Herald
- Bruins Blog: Lines | Moves
- bruins.nhl.com: Preview | Game Notes (pdf)
Monday, February 23, 2009
- Doc Rivers, Celtics Coach. (Paraphrase)
Well, there goes another one. The Bruins are 4-4-2 in their last 10. They've dropped 6 of the last 7, haven't played at home in 2 weeks, and still have the league's best road record. This is a slump. Let's go through some goals, and then move on.
- Zdeno Chara, paraphrase
- Claude Julien, Coach
The game starts off on a high note: Kessel getting his first goal since he got mono:
Then the Lightning take over for 15 seconds about 2 minutes later.
The Bruins remember what a power play is, and Ference-Wideman-Savard-Ference-Net.
2-2. Hey, a powerplay goal! Woohoo!
Mark Recchi scores one halfway through the second period.
Then with 5 minutes left in the second, the Bruins rush out of their own zone. Kobasew-Chara-Net.
3-3. Nice going there, Chara.
The 3rd period is a whole lotta back and forth, and then Kessel-Ramo-Kessel-neRAMO.
3-3. Wow, what a save.
The Bruins spend 4 of the last 5 minutes on the PK, thanks to Tampa's crap boards giving all kinds of funny bounces, including one that involves Ference passing it to Wideman, but the puck decides it will crawl up the glass and out instead.
Record: 40-12-8 (L 2)
Away: 21-8-4 (L 2)
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
@ Tampa Bay Lightning (19-28-12)
- Bleh. Last night's game was awful. Vacation's over now. Mailing in the preview to make time to go skating.
- Tampa is looking for it's 20th win. The Bruins are looking for their 41st.
It's not that the bruins played poorly. It's that they didn't finish.
0-for-6 on the powerplay.
Record: 40-11-8 (L 1)
Away: 21-7-4 (L 1)
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
@ Florida Panthers (29-21-8)
- The Panthers have a ton of ticket promotions. 17 bucks gets you in, parked, eating, and 5$ on gas.
- The Panthers are better than you think.
- The Bruins haven't lost to any southeast teams except Washington. Tonight could change that, as Florida is battling for a playoff spot.
- No time, mailed in.
Click the tag link: Florida Panthers
Friday, February 20, 2009
So if you haven't looked at Zorak's Magic Number page recently, the Bruins magic number is 22 with 24 games left. They could lose 22 games in OT/SO, 2 in regulation, and still make the playoffs. It would be depressing, though, and these Bruins haven't shown themselves to be the type to roll over and die like that.
- There are 24 games to go.
- 10 are Away games. The Bruins are 21-6-4 Away.
- 14 are Home games. The Bruins are 19-4-4 Home.
- All remaining games are in the Eastern Time Zone.
- EAST: 19 Games (10 Home, 9 Away, 33-6-6) This is the conference the Bruins have been on top of for a while. Anything can happen in 24 games, but I'm most worried about the Devils taking the Bruins #1 seed by the end of the season. They have been ridiculous.
- Atlantic: 8 Games. (4 Home, 4 Away, 7-1-4) 1 Each against the Penguins and Devils, and 2 each against the Flyers, Rangers, and Islanders. The best team in this division is the Devils right now, but the Rangers could do something at the trade deadline.
- Northeast: 6 Games. (3 Home, 3 Away, 13-3-2) 1 each against the Sabres, Habs, and Leafs. 3 Games against the Ottawa Senators. The Bruins have been on top of the division for most of the season, and the closest team to challenging them is the Habs, if they can stay away from Montreal mobsters. Ottawa and Toronto are currently tied for last in the division, with 53 points. The Montreal game is the last home game of the season.
- Southeast: 5 Games (3 Home, 2 Away, 13-2-0) 1 vs. Washington, 2 each vs. Tampa Bay and Florida. Washington is far and away the best team in this division, being the only team from the Southeast that has managed to beat the Bruins. However, the Caps beat the Bruins twice in the phone booth, and the remaining game will be in Boston. By tuesday, they'll have played Florida twice and Tampa once.
- WEST: 5 Games (4 Home, 1 Away, 7-4-2) It will be a boon that the Bruins only have to travel west once more this season, and then only to Columbus. Western teams don't have the whole rivalry thing with Boston as much as Eastern teams do, but these are usually quite interesting games. The West is insane. 11 points seperate 5th from 15th right now.
- Pacific: 3 Games (3 Home, 0 Away, 1-1-0) Everyone remembers the one loss to the Sharks at home in February, and Everyone remembers the one win over Dallas near the beginning of the season. The Bruins host the Ducks, Coyotes, and Kings once each at the Garden, and these should prove to be interesting games.
- Central: 2 Games (1 Home, 1 Away, 3-0-2) They play the Blackhawks at home and the Blue Jackets away. The Blackhawks are one of the top-4 teams in the west right now, but Columbus doesn't want to give up any points. Their sensational rookie goalie, Steve Mason, is very good. Very. Good. The Bruins will have to work hard to score on either, and play good defense against the high-flying offense of the Blackhawks and Rick Nash of the Bluejackets.
- Northwest: 0 Games (3-3-0) This is all done.
- Feb 21 vs. Panthers, Feb 22 vs. Lightning: Florida is looking for a playoff spot because they like Jay Bouwmeester on their team.
- Mar 8 vs. Rangers, Mar 10 vs. BlueJackets: This is the one road trip that takes them out of the Eastern conference.
- Mar 28 vs. Leafs, Mar 29 vs. Flyers: The Flyers are tough, and who knows what Toronto will look like by then.
- Apr 11 vs. Sabres, Apr 12 vs. Islanders: These are the last 2 games of the season. Last year I went to the last game of the season, and it was pretty boring because they clinched the playoffs. Because they lost that game, they had the habs in the first round.
- The Bruins have a 6-game homestand coming up after this weekend, playing 3 Western teams, Florida, Washington, and Philly. None of these games are guaranteed wins, though the Coyotes' game is right after the deadline and who knows how they'll look at that point. If the coach of the Coyotes wasn't Wayne Gretzky, he'd have been fired already.
- Three game homestand, March 31 to April 1: Tampa Bay, Ottawa, and the Rangers. The Bruins should be able to get 4 out of those 6 points.
- The rest of the homestands are 1 or 2 games together. Look up the schedule yourself if you want to look at them.
- Mirtle's From the Rink: has a breakdown of how each team has done since new year's day. The Bruins are 5th. They play teams in the top 5: 4 times, top 10: 8 times, top 15: 10 times.
- Boston.com is having a Mike Milbury day today, apparently. Story and selected quotations: "It's unbelievable that after more than 30 years in the game, pummeling a guy with his loafer will be my legacy. But I guess it's better than having no legacy at all."
- Andrew Ference is still a big ole hippy. Plus he can check like a freight train and move the puck. Look for "B's Go Green" at a 3-8 grade science room near you.
- Erik Cole blah blah blah.
- Fluto did another Mailbag.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Some links to get you through the day:
- Nemmy of the 2 Man Advantage: Outs me as a Season Ticket Holder. Yes, it's true. I just renewed for next year the other day, too. I recommend it for anyone who's got the money, and they have a 10-month payment plan for this year to split it up. If you're not reading his "Nocturnal Emissions" every Thursday, you're not following hockey correctly.
- Matt Kalman on Stephane Yelle : "'He’s dry. He’s really dry. He’s always throwing his little bombs from the corner,' Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference explained to TheBruinsBlog.net about his longtime teammate this week. 'We call him a giant, wooden spoon. He just likes to stir the pot and then kind of get out of there once the water’s moving around.'"
- Kevin Paul Dupont on Patrice Bergeron: "Bergeron lined up Tuomo Ruutu in open ice and smacked the Hurricanes forward to the ice with a crushing, clean check. It was Bergeron's only hit of the night, but it was a beauty"
- Matt Porter on the Habs: "It's...doubtful any of this will be included in the hardcover edition of 'Le Centennial Celebration."
- Phil Janack: Is updating everyone on the situation about the River Rats bus that turned over on I-90 at 3:45 AM.
- Puck Daddy: Always has something good. If you're reading this and not that, I'm flattered.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Well, that's certainly a relief. Claude Julien's 200th career coaching win was tied into the Bruins 40th season win. When milestones like this come up, sometimes that last one can be elusive. Can't say I'm against the 2 points, and it was accomplished in such style.
After the endless ceremony, the game started around 7:40 PM, only 40 minutes later than the normal time.
- That's 2 PPG, 2 SHG, and the game winner was even-strength.
- If there were a No Canes No campaign, Shane Hnidy would be getting some fan mail.
- The Bruins have the day off today, either going deep-sea fishing or golfing.
- After the game, there was a show on Tim Thomas. An inspiring story, to be sure.
Some other crap that has nothing to do with last night's AWESOME GAME:
- They found the Kings' playoff chances! (ok, this would have been even better if Detroit played the kings recently)
- I got featured in the Puck Daddy create-a-card photoshop contest Gallery 5!
- It's that time of year again: The Forechecker creates a statistically-based rumor mill. Inspired by the fine folks at hockeybuzzhogwash.com.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
- The Bruins take the longest losing streak of the year into this game. Expect sawdust.
- This could just as easily be the game where they turn it all around as the next game in a series of crap games.
- Carolina is without Justin Williams, who just came back from injury and got hurt again.
- Good news for the Bruins powerplay: Carolina takes the fewest penalties in the league.
- It's Glen Wesley number retirement night. He was the only guy left from the Whalers on the Canes cup team. Last time a team retired a number with the Bruins in attendance, the Bruins won on Patrick Roy night. Stay in the locker room, guys.
- The Instigators: Trading for Pronger?
- Great Hockey Moments as told through Twitter.
- The fine folks over at The Illegal Curve asked me to write up a trade deadline preview for them. Their page is here. You've gotta scroll down to get to what I wrote.
- Ryder is already practicing, but only in non-contact ways. "Crushed like an eggshell" is not a way I ever want to describe any part of my body.
- Kessel and Wheeler got switched in practice. Wheeler-Savard-Lucic, anyone? Will there be significant chemistry losses with the Wheeler-Krejci tandem broken up for the first time all year (pretty much)? Tune in next week. Same bat time, same bat chan- oh wait, the game's tonight.
- Caveman Strong: Wants the Bruins to play more like...well, cavemen. Obviously forgets Lucic's goal against the habs when Laraque was following him all game.
- From the (e4) department: SCoC says the Bruins are getting ready to give up Sobotka and Lashoff for Erik Cole from Edmonton.
- Everybody hates Philly for a reason.
- 25 years ago, it was the beginning of the end. But if Blades wants to guest blog, I'm all over it.
- I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this game.
- Game 32: Kessel extends his point streak to 17, Bruins win 4-2, Patrice slams his head into a Hurricane but skates off the ice rather than leave by stretcher. He's getting back into his game again.
- Game 35: Bruins win 4-2 on the strength of 2 Blake Wheeler goals and Michael Ryder's snipe.
- Game 42: Bruins win 5-1. My recap starts off with "That's more like it. What a wonderful game." Hopefully the 'canes can do the same thing again. Byron Bitz's first game, he got an assist. Matt Hunwick fought Justin Williams, knocked him over with his first punch.
- Kynch's Korner: Ok, more trade stuff than game preview stuff. If I had to pick out a highlight, I'd just be copying and pasting the whole thing.
- Hub Hockey: "The season series has brought some great games between these two teams, including two 4-2 Bruins wins at the Garden and a 5-1 blowout in Carolina. This is just the type of thing this team needs to get themselves out of this slump."
- Stanley Cup of Chowder: "So far this year, the Bruins have sat through ceremonies to honor the Canadiens 100th season, Keith Magnuson & Pierre Pilote, Patrick Roy, and Ace Bailey"
- The Bear Cave: "The Bruins have been able to use both of their starting goaltenders in the season series. Manny Fernandez made 32 saves on 34 shots in the first meeting, before Tim Thomas made 29 saves in each of the next two contests. The two have combined to go 3-0 against Carolina, allowing just five goals on 95 shots. Cam Ward has gotten the starting nod in all three tilts for the Hurricanes, going 0-3 with an .868 save percentage."
- Matt Kalman: "It’s time to find that second wind, get back to basics and maybe mix in a new twist or two in the opponents’ zone. If the Bruins don’t do that, what was once a runaway in the overall standings could become a race — one the Bruins would rather not have to run."
- NESN First Shift: "The Bruins will be looking for the season sweep against Carolina tonight." Thanks, NESN.
- Just-the-facts preview: boston.com
- bruins.nhl.com: Preview | Game Notes (pdf)
Monday, February 16, 2009
As I mentioned on Saturday, I played hockey for the FIRST TIME EVER on Saturday. That photo up there at the top is where I played, on a pond up in Freeport Maine. I was by far the youngest and least-skilled guy there, but with some practice and learning then I'll probably be able to pick it up. What I can tell you is that the VERY unskilled play I did was FUN AS HELL. Seriously, I had a blast. The old folks graciously let me get an easy goal just for kicks, but I did end up working for another one. I fell on my knee, but currently it's my back more than anything that's hurting. I barely even got a bruise. Here's some of the guys I played with:
"Who's that coming down the walk? That guy wants to play? Fine, whatever."
That dog was running around the ice during the game for part of it, too. It was pretty silly.
And here are my dad, uncle, and me, posing like an old-timey line from back in the day, doncha know:
And now, your Monday Morning lazy links and random thoughts:
- Justin Bourne for the Hockey News: "I was never married to hockey. If hockey were a girl, I'm fairly certain I could go to court and get a restraining order. Hey, I just liked it. Maybe I led it on a bit with the late night games and the odd early morning rendezvous, but it knew what we were. This all just happened so fast."
- Pens fired their head coach.
- Boston, San Jose, and New Jersey basically had a little round-robin tournament this past week or so. Boston lost both games and New Jersey won both games. The commute was shorter from your house to the Garden than the rock, Shanahan.
- The two-headed beast that is the Boston.com Bruins beat writers is interesting. Fluto Shinzawa writes more positive stories, pointing out hopeful and optimistic things like Patrice Bergeron is still recovering, and he's getting better. Kevin Paul Dupont calls for the Bruins trading for Lecavelier.
- The Hurricanes shut out the Sabres. I hope they get overconfident.
- If anyone has the full version of this, please let me know. I'd love to see the whole thing:
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
- Apparently, Preds games were voted "Best place for a first date" in 2008 by...somebody.
- I'm off to play hockey in Maine for the day, which will in fact be my first time playing hockey, ever. Needless to say, I'm pretty pumped.
- The Bruins have lost 3 in a row, Nashville won their last. If the Bruins want it, they can take it. No matter WHAT Rinne says.
- 2 for 31.
- Here's an ad for the Predators with Taylor Swift, who is apparently a country musician.
Well crap. The Bruins have played close games against 2 of the other top teams in the league this past week, and ended up without the W in both. Milan Lucic is the only Bruin that's scored since a week ago, and the Bruins have been shut out for the last 5 periods. You want a recap? fine.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Radio: WBZ 1030 AM
@ New Jersey Devils ()
- I kid you not: "Friday, Feb. 13 - Win a Diamond! Ladies 18 and older in attendance can win a diamond ring, sponsored by Fords Jewelers. Fill out the entry form upon arrival for your chance to go home from The Rock with a rock."
- The Devils are good.
- Sobotka is on a line with Wheeler and Krejci. Sobotka and Krejci are Czechs. Wheeler knows one word in Czech: "Pass."
- Brodeur is almost back.
- No Kobasew or Nokes tonight, and Ryder's still out.
- Today at 5:31 PM ET, it will be 1234567890 in Unix time.
- The Bruins will likely make a deal before the deadline.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Some team news today but now much. It's been too long since tuesday. However, that game did have the highest overnight of any regular season game on Versus, ever, at 550,000 viewers. Add in the 18,000 in the stands and that's a whole lotta eyes on the Bruins coughing up another game in the third period. But kudos to San Jose for proving that west coast teams CAN, in fact, draw viewers.
- Puck Daddy on how Montreal is doing in their Habtennial. He's right: "It's time to admit that the Habs' place in the postseason isn't a divine certainty any longer; and to admit that missing the playoffs in the nostalgic orgy of a 100th anniversary celebration would be quite amusing"
- The other day, Big Daddy Wheels chatted up some fans.
- You've already seen Alexander Ovechkin's 200 goals in 200 seconds, but it deserves reposting. But maybe some muting, the audio track is a song and no calls.
- Congrats from way back to my Alma Mater, Conn College, for the men playing well at home and especially to the rising women's hockey star Erin Davey, both of whom have been written up on the website. Go Camels!
- Chris over at Hub Hockey talks about rumors about trading.
- Shaquille O'Neal admits to, well....you should read for yourself.
- Oh, and the Bruins have a deep team.
- I've been pre-empted by the pros. Shucks. Do we all just feed off of the same bubbling mass of blogs, all feeding off each other, a cannibalistic mess not unlike the classic snake eating itself? Does any of this really have any meaning? What is life? Where am I? This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful car. And the days go by...
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
This was a great game until, well, let's talk about it when we get to it.
Claude Lemieux was Claude being Claude throughout the game. I think Julien has banned his team from fighting. Thomas vs. Nabokov was a good goalie duo. And the garden switched from sam winter to sam white ale. Boo.
1-0. You're wicked pumped, it feels like Lucic hasn't scored in a while.
Then about 3 minutes later, Rob Blake slaps one in, it bounces off of someone.
1-1. Thomas does this little ballerina spin move afterwards. He shoulda done another later, because after that he hunkers down and doesn't let in anything until the second intermission.
5 minutes left to go in the first, and Nokelllaaieeieiennnenanan and Lucic go into the zone on a change. Nokes shoots from the point, Nabokov stops it, but Lucic is there for the nice, juicy rebound.
2-1. It's like a nice juicy steak.
The rest of the period and the second period was filled with good, back and forth hockey.
The third period, the sharks took to the ice, and I'm still waiting for the bruins to show up for that one. Hooo boy, that's frustrating. Especially when some sharks fans are sitting right behind you.
Big Joe Thornton
Mike Grier (empty-netter)
This isn't soccer, guys. There are 3 periods.
Somewhere in there, the Sharks PK got called for offsides.
This is the first time the bruins have lost by more than 2 goals all season. Woof. At least it was to the best team in the West, which is probably the stronger conference by a little bit.
Bruins don't play again until friday (devils) and not at home again until 2 weeks from now (panthers).
vs. SJS: 0-1-0
Record: 39-9-7 (L 2)
Home: 19-4-4 (L 2)
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
- It's San Jose, the team the Bruins have been battling for first place overall all season long. Right now the Bruins are ahead 85-79. Points be damned, the Sharks have a smidgen better winning percentage (0.790 vs. 0.787). They also have 4 more games to play. And they could easily win all of those games.
- Last game was the debacle against Philadelphia. The team had Sunday off, and now are up against the top team in the league.
- San Jose is on their longest losing streak of the season, at 3 games.
- Using the Simple Rating System method, these are the two teams over +1.00. Both have excellent PP, (top 5) PK, (top 10) Goals for, (top 5)
- Basically every category that there is in hockey, these two do well in.
- Thomas in net.
- MC79Hockey on East vs. West says that San Jose is favored in this matchup.
- Sturm was one of the players traded for Big Joe.
- The Barry Melrose Rocks Official Versus Drinking Game.
- Conference Call with Tim Thomas.
- Matt Kalman catches up with Manny Fernandez and Chiarelli.
- Flint Sports story on Tim Thomas.
- Feel good story about Aaron Ward.
- Boston.com on the Other Thornton (Joe, not Shawn).
- Ryder is out after Facial Surgery yesterday. Damn. He'll be out 2-3 weeks.
- Sharkspage youtube feature on Joe Thornton.
- Chiarelli vs. O'Connell.
- UNRELATED: Good story in Charlotte about a sportswriter's coach-for-a-day experience.
- After tonight, the Bruins don't play at home again for 2 weeks.
- Chris Rooney will be working the game again.
- Here Come the Bruins!: "San Jose's Joe Pavelski and Boston's Stephane Yelle are 6th and 7th, respectively, in blocked shots. That's right, even the shot-blocking defensive forwards are elite in this game!"
- HubHockey: My favorite part is from the comments: "Thornton deserves a standing ovation. Don't be a bunch of D-bags, what did he do that made anyone mad? playing in the playoffs with a cracked rib?" And then he's got his real preview.
- Kynch's Korner: "Hard working Bruins take on the surfer dudes from Cali. The Sharks have played the fewest games in the NHL, 50, yet still have the second most points (79) behind the Bruins (85), who have played 54 games."
- SJSharks Broadcast Blog: " Thornton's return was abbreviated by a five-minute major for checking from behind and an automatic game misconduct about five-and-a-half minutes into the game. Ever since, we've always noted whenever referee Chris Rooney is officiating in a Sharks game, because he was the arbiter who leveled that decision."
- Double A Hockey: "Can the B's avoid another game going into OT? While it does guarantee them at least a point, they have a tough enough schedule without adding 5 extra minutes of play."
- Stanley Cup of Chowder: "Is Claude Lemieux killing the Sharks? The Sharks have lost 3 straight (0-1-2) for the first time all season. The 43 year old winger has played in six games for the Sharks since being called up from Worcester."
- Fear the Fin: "4 PM in Boston is just a stepping stone leading up to the Church of Lord Stanley. Many men have slipped on these stones, only to pick themselves up and find a way to reach the summit. A summit that is immortal; an expanse can be seen from all corners of this great country. A monument that shakes the foundation of cities, brings grown men to tears, provides prosperous rivers and streams while reducing others to a barren wasteland." Wow. Dear Stanley Cup of Chowder, they are showing you up.
- The Bear Cave: "Up front, San Jose is quite scary, as six forwards have ten or more goals, while three of those six have already reached 20."
- Matt Kalman: "But I’m here to tell you that those thoughts are just a waste of brain cells. This game is all about what is and what will be. The Bruins and Sharks are 1-2 in the NHL overall standings, respectively. They could meet in the 2009 Stanley Cup final. Both clubs have reached this point via different routes, but that’s what this game is all about. It’s not about the struggles the Bruins had to finally emerge from their post-Thornton doldrums or the postseason failures San Jose has endured even with Thornton centering their top line."
- AOL Fanhouse: "It isn't often you get a pair of teams meeting that are both on a 129-point pace, a total that has been reached by only three teams in NHL history, and both have a good chance of eclipsing the all-time mark of 132 set by the 1976-77 Canadiens."
- NESN First Shift: "The Bruins must establish the tempo and then stick to their game plan for 60 minutes or this could be long night of treading while the Sharks circle and attack." They had a Joe Thornton timeline on last night. Good job cutting those ugly curls, Joe.
- Sharks Papers: SFGate | Mercury News |
- Even TSN is in on the action.
- Boston.com: Preview | Thumbnails
- Herald: Tale of the Tape | Joe Thornton feature | Scouting Report
- bruins.nhl.com: Preview | Game Notes (pdf) | Joe Thornton | Tim Thomas | GameDay | Thornton Video