Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Make That 12 In A Row

I left out #11 in the last post. Ran out of time this morning. So here's that recap with another from late this afternoon.

November 5, 1995 Bruins @ Blackhawks

The action started early as Kevin Stevens got to work hammering Joe Murphy and rendering him useless for 3 games. (The game just gives J. Murphy when the injury occured. I had to go check to make sure it wasn't our goateed friend from the infamous Montreal Radio Show incident at Sully's during the playoffs.) A great first period ensued with many chances for both teams. The B's cashed in first with Dave Reid netting his first of the year, from Leach and Potvin, half way through the first.

Bernie Nicholls then struck for the Hawks to tie it up (unassisted) early in the 2nd period. Bob Probert then bit off a little more than he could chew when Marc Potvin eeked out the win in a looooong long bout. (P.S. haven't lost a fight yet in this game). B's then proceed to get a powerplay, not sure who or how, but of course proceed to blow it by letting in a shorty from Steve Smith. Tony Amonte then extended the Hawks lead to 3-1 unassited with just 47 seconds left in the 2nd.

To open the third, Lacher continued his leaky ways by allowing a Sergei Krivokrasv slapper by to make it a 4-1 Chicago lead. A minute and a half later the checking line had seen enough. Dave Reid produces again with a backhander to beat Eddie Belfour, from Rohloff and Zombo. 40 seconds later Todd Elik chips in to slim the lead to one (assisted by Oates). Oates then ties it up at 4, returning the favor on the assist was Mr. Elik. In a strange sequnence Alexei Kasatonov and Don Sweeney both injure Tony Amonte and Steve Smith for 3 games respectively. Three Hawks gone for three games by three different Bruins. With just 1:45 remaining the Bruins conjure up some more 3rd line magic as Marc Potvin drills the go ahead goal past Belfour. However 40 seconds later Chris Chelios ties up the game for good. An uneventful overtime leads to the first Bruins tie of the season. Oates, Reid, and Potvin are the three stars. Outshot one more time 48-30.

League News: St. Louis trades Pat Jablonski to Montreal for J.J. Daigneault.

November 7, 1995 Senators @ Bruins

So I figured Blaine Lacher has played 19 games in a row at this point and his last two games he's let in 9 goals. Not like the typical Lacher we've seen so far, unless the game knows how the wheels come off in reality. So playing a 3-12-2 team at home I decided to give Lacher a rest and go with good ol' Vincent Riendeau. Two early goals from Don Sweeney and Ray Bourque made it look like this was going to be a piece of cake. More like a piece of caked dog crap. The Sens crawled back into this one with a penalty shot goal and a beautiful one timer from Tom Chorske and Sean Hill respectively. Kevin Stevens got his record to 10-0 in the mean time by defeating Stan Neckar in easy fashion. The boys came back in the third with Bourque's second and a Stevens tally to squeeze out the 4-2 win. Bourque, Stevens and Chorske are the stars.

11 Straight Unbeaten For The Black and Gold

October 29, 1995

The B's swept into Buffalo looking to continue the streak to 9 wins in a row. With a Ray Bourque one-timer from Don Sweeney in the first 43 seconds, we had a pretty good idea how this one would play out. Two goals from Joe Mullen, and one each from Todd Elik, Adam Oates, Ted Donato, and Shawn McEachern ensured the victory in a very comfortable fashion. Of course Kevin Stevens continued his dominance in the ring thumping Jason Dawe in the second period. Blaine Lacher made 44 saves in this one. Mullen, Oates, Elik are the three stars.

League News: St. Louis acquired a 3rd round pick from New Jersey for forward Esa Tikkanen.

Also, Calgary acquired Claude Lapointe from the Avadiques (COL/QUE) for a 7th round choice. (That 7th round choice turned out to be Sami Pahlsson by the way)

November 3, 1995 Bruins @ Penguins.

This game had it all. We kicked it off with Alexei Kasatonov scoring on Blaine Lacher, totally my bad but I'm still not as bad at this game as Mark Mowers is at real hockey. (We've had this blog a month and I can't believe that was my first Mark Mowers joke.) Kasatonov rebounds and threads a sweet pass to Ted Donato a few seconds later to tie her up at 1. It was a real back and forth game for the next period and a half. Stevens takes out Sergei Zubov for the game, then Luc Robitaille gets the Pens up 2-1. B's fire right back, Jozef Stumpel rockets one from the top of the circle from Rob Zombie, I mean, Rick Zombo. Todd Elik then makes it 3-2 B's from Oates and Don Sweeney. Then a 4-2 lead provided by Kevin Stevens who banked a rebound left by Tom Barrasso after a Bourque blast. John Rohloff then takes his golden gloves record to 3-0 by walloping Francois Leroux in a no contest bout. A weird sequence at the end of the second saw a delayed penalty on Oates for a trip, the Pens score (MacIver) and Oates still goes to the box. Then on the ensuing powerplay Mikko Makela drops in to tie the game at 4. All Bruins from here on out. Joe Mullen nets a pair for the 2nd game in a row. Neely and Donato (his second) also had goals late. Mullen, Donato, Stumpel are the three stars. B's outshot again 49-34.

Another post coming tonight. Maybe the best game of the year.....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Boston Makes It 8 In A Row

October 22, 1995 Flames @ Bruins

Let's hear it one more time (because we're so used to it at this point), nothing happens in the first period. I think I've figured out that if I don't play for awhile it takes about one period for me to get used to the game again. Then the flood gates open in the second and third. Actually we had a little injury action as Alexei Kasatonov gets railed by Trent Yawney and we lose him for the period. Now I've seen someone injured for multiple games yet it hasn't happened to our boys yet (fingers crossed).

Jumping to the second period, off the face off to open the second, Kevin Stevens gets into his comfort zone by pounding the bejesus out of Gary Roberts. Thank the good lord there is no instigator rule in the game, Stevens is pretty hot right now. The game does 4 on 4 for matching fighting penalties, which baffles me to no end. Also I believe this is some of the reason Neely doesn't produce more. Neely is a right winger and when it's 4 on 4 they send the left winger and the center for all lines. Makes no sense, and pisses me off a little. Might just have to play Cam at left for a while. After some 4 on 4, Marc Potvin checks in with a tally from Stevens fresh out of the box and Lacher. Potvin in his 3rd game of the season now has 2 goals and a fight, not bad for the worst rated player on the team. Exactly one minute later Stevens continues the hot streak with a goal assisted by Bourque and Lacher. (Another thing that grinds my gears. The game doesn't tally goalie's points. I'm fairly certain Lacher would be the points leader if this were so.) Two minutes after that score, the B's get another big opportunity. Theo Fluery decides to trip Todd Elik whilst on a breakaway. This game with it's affection for the penalty shot gives Elik the chance and he burys the thing on Tabbaraci. My first penalty shot goal, I was thrilled to say the least.

Defensive hockey from here on out for the B's. However it broke down and we blew the shutout again as Gary Roberts netted one at 7:55 of the 3rd. The B's closed out the 3-1 win with Stevens, Roberts and Potvin as your three stars. Outshot again 39-34 by the Flames.

League News:

Detroit traded Ray Sheppard to the San Jose Sharks for Igor Larionov and a conditional pick.

Also, Quebec (Colorado) traded Owen Nolan to the Sharks for defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh.

October 27, 1995 Bruins @ Montreal

The B's kick off a 4 game road trip for the first time it seems like in forever. We visit the Habs for some revenge from that 1-0 home opening loss. The first period provided some results this time at 5:20 in Todd Elik, who seems to be on a little hot streak of his own, drills one home assisted by McEachern and Kasatonov. Exactly nine seconds later Steve Leach gets on the board for the first time this season assisted by Jozef Stumpel.

Not much from the second period this time, only Lyle Odelein being Lyle Odelein. John Rohloff decided enough was enough I guess. Rohloff tuned up Odelein in a long bout. Odelein is a monumental d-bag but I will give him credit for his ability to take a punch.

More defensive minded hockey for the B's in the 3rd period. Teddy Donato did extend the lead to three late in the third with an unassisted blast from the blue line. The boys held onto this shutout for Blaine who made 42 saves in the contest. Donato, Elik and Leach are you stars of the game.

On a real Bruins note I'd just like to add that I personally am going to miss the hell out of P.J. Axelsson. Never an All-Star, never an award for the guy. But dammit he was reliable, consistent, and a first class gentleman. I hope he does very well in his home country and maybe we'll get to see him come Olympics time. That'll probably be the last guy we'll ever see begin and end his NHL career with the Bruins and I'm thrilled that I got to see him play. (P.S. Derek Morris, wtf?)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

'95-'96 Bruins Beatdown Western Conference Foes

Sorry I haven't updated in a few days, been kinda busy, work, weddings, road trips and stuff. So here's just a snapshot at what happened earlier this week (kinda short recaps as it is not fresh in my mind).

Oct 15th Kings @ Bruins

Gretzky and Co. stopped by the Fleet looking to take first place in the Pacific division. Unfortunately for the Kings, Cam Neely is healthy. That's all the B's needed. Weird side note, Kevin Stevens of course got into it, but this time with an opponent that will later be come very familiar. Rick Tocchet didn't stand a chance, but we'll see if they meet again sometime.

1st Period
BOS- 4:20 Cam Neely unassisted
2nd Period
LA-1:30 Granato assisted by Kurri and Hrudey
BOS- 2:37 John Rohloff assisted by Heinze
Fight- 2:47 Stevens def. Tocchet
BOS- 3:09 Shawn McEachern unassisted
BOS- 7:20 Joe Mullen unassisted
3rd Period
BOS- 4:35 Neely assisted by Kasatonov and Lacher
BOS- 9:26 Neely assisted by Gruden and Lacher

Neely, Mullen, and McEachern are the three stars in the 6-1 win.

October 17th The Washington Capitals trade Defenseman Igor Ulanov for a 3rd round draft pick from the Chicago Blackhawks.

October 19th Canucks @ Bruins

The Pacific division leading Cauncks were next to face the Bruins wrath and it was a pretty good back and forth hockey game.

1st Period
VAN- 1:22 Jeff Brown assisted by Bure
BOS- 3:45 Ray Bourque assisted by Stevens (Sweet give and go play)
2nd Period
BOS- 1:43 Shawn McEachern unassisted.
BOS- 5:07 Bourque assisted by Neely and Stevens
3rd Period
BOS- 0:39 Adam Oates assisted by Lacher
Fight- Stevens def. Dan Murzyn (WHO???)
BOS- 6:01 Todd Elik assisted by Kasatonov

Bourque, Stevens and Jeff Brown are the three stars, B's win 5-1. Better game than the score represents.

October 21st Oilers @ Bruins.

The Oilers came to town next with high hopes, but were just lucky to get out alive. A weird sequence in the second half in the first had Bourque, Stevens, and Neely all get double minors for roughing in the same minute. A 5-3 on three penalty until very late in the 1st allowed me Oates, Sweeney, Kasatonov, and Gruden for the kill. This almost feels like redemption for the Stanley Cup Finals losses. Hey, I said almost, I haven't really lost my mind.

1st Period
BOS- 1:27 Adam Oates assisted by Stevens and D. Sweeney
BOS- 4:03 Ray Bourque assited by Lacher
2nd Period
BOS- 6:03 Oates unassisted.
Fight- 6:13 John Rohloff defeats Jason Arnott
BOS- 6:50 Marc Potvin assisted by Lacher
BOS- 8:35 Todd Elik from Kasatonov and Lacher
BOS- 8:56 Shawn McEachern from Lacher
3rd Period
BOS- 1:04 Oates unassisted (Hat Trick)
BOS- 4:45 Joe Mullen from Lacher and Zombo
BOS- 5:06 Don Sweeney from Stevens
EDM- 8:48 Oliver unassisted

Oates, Sweeney, Stevens are your three stars in the 9-1 Bruins win. Funny story, I was outshot again 40-33.

League Update through 10 games (Bruins 8-2).

Division Leaders: Pacific- Vancouver, Central- Detroit, Atlantic- Washington, Northeast- Boston

Goals- 9 Paul Coffey DET. Tied for 3rd are Oates and McEachern with 7 each.
Assists- 14 Michael Pivonka WAS.
Points- 20 Paul Coffey DET.
GAA- 1.00 Mike Vernon DET. Lacher in 4th with a 1.40.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Post-Ward Speculation

First WBCN announces they are shutting down, then Aaron Ward, a WBCN regular, gets shipped out of town as well. Here’s what this does to the cap (at least I think these are the rules according to NHLSCAP.com). The B’s had approximately $2.85M of cap space before this and Aaron Ward’s contract was a $2.5M cap hit. Patrick Eaves has this year at $1.4M and next year at $1.7M remaining on his contract. The B’s would be responsible for a third of this $3.1M spread over four years which is only about $258K per season. The net result of all this is the B’s have $5.1M in cap space and only 5 defenseman plus Johnny Boychuk signed. This makes you think Chiarelli has a trade up his sleeve for a puck-moving defenseman with a good-sized contract. For the sake of argument I looked only at the Western Conference for possible trading partners since I doubt the B’s want to send him to an Eastern Conference rival. Here are the possibilities I came up with:

John Michael Liles (COL) – cap hit $4.2M
Brent Burns (MIN) - $3.55M
Kevin Bieksa (VAN) - $3.75M
Tom Gilbert (EDM) - $4M
Ryan Whitney (ANA) - $4M
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (SJS) - $3.1M

The first four on the list seem most likely as all four of these teams could use help up front. Anaheim and San Jose already have offensive weapons on the roster, but stranger things have happened.

I guess it is also possible they just want to sign Phil, but what would that mean for the Bruins backline. What happens when Ference or anyone else gets injured again? This has got to mean they are looking to acquire someone on defense. Don’t forget they could also sign Phil and trade some other forward for blueline help. I wonder how long they will make us agonize over this one???

Bye Bye Ward....

You will be missed...On and off ice, you always gave it your all...


69 Days...

Until opening night. The Red Sox are falling apart. Lance was just too old to pull off the Tour De France. Yes, I've been watching the Tour De France. Maybe because it's on Vs. and I tune in hoping to see hockey. There's only so many Classic Series I can watch on the NHL Network. Hockey season can't get here fast enough...

Monday, July 20, 2009


Another loss for the Old Home Team Tonight...

Does anyone else see the similarities?

And both home teams are still paying the contracts...

How many days till Hockey Season?

Go B's...

Bruins make it 3

Oct 12, 1995 Sharks @ Bruins

The Fish stopped by the Fleet this morning to take on our boys, or did they. Certainly looked like both teams missed the bus to the arena as not a single thing happened in the first period. Seriously nothing. The second opened with a bang, which was Cam Neely's body crashing mightily into Craig Janney's (yeah remember that guy?). Well Janney went down and out for the game and Neely served his 2 for the rough. Neely fresh out of the box gets to come back to a powerplay and immediately sets up Adam Oates for the 1-0 lead with 2:46 remaining. A minute and ten seconds later the B's made it 2-0 as Oates struck again from Donato and Lacher. One minute and twelve seconds later, Shawn McEachern decided 3-0 looked better on the big board (from Jozef Stumpel and Joe Mullen). The first half of the third was like the first, booooring. Until Alexei Kasatonov decided to come out from his cave and trip Viktor Koslov. Koslov got his penalty shot and Lacher stacked the pads to deny the Sharks their only chance to get back in the game. The very next shift Steve Heinze got in on the fun with a pretty rebound from Elik and Stevens. Game over, Bruins 4 Sharks 0. Lacher's first goose egg of the year with 35 glorious saves. Oates, McEachern and Heinze the Three Stars. Also of note, Kevin Stevens did not fight anyone. It's almost unheard of at this point.

October 14th Mighty Ducks @ Bruins

Almost forgot they were called the Mighty Ducks somehow. No triple dekes, no knucklepucks in this one. All Bruins. We'll jump to the second period again. Kevin Stevens opens the scoring from McEachern and Elik. Then in his first game Marc Potvin figures if they keep playing Stevens, I might as well go Brock Lesnar on someone. Joe Sacco is the poor sap who is beaten in 5 blows. It looked like the Tyson-McNeely fight. McEachern then makes it 2-0 with an unassisted tally. Ducks make the lead one shortly after as LeBeau sneaks one past assisted by Tverdovsky. No need to fear though, Ted Donato gets the 2 goal lead back 14 seconds later assisted by Adam Oates. Tverdovsky strikes again to open the third, but 33 seconds later Stevens gets the 2 goal lead back from Gruden and Elik. The B's never looked back as scores from Joe Mullen and Ted Donato locked this one up at 6-2 Bruins. Donato, Stevens, and McEachern are your Three Stars.

Tomorrow is 68 days to go! Maybe a tilt in the a.m.

Phil the Thrill

KPD is saying the Bruins are not close to a deal with Kessel and says there are a few ways this can go:

1. He signs a one year deal
2. He signs a deal similar to Krejci’s
3. He waits for an offer sheet to come in
4. He refuses to play and requests a trade or holds out

What KPD fails to mention is the possibility of a trade during the offseason here. There are rumors out there that teams are interested in trading for him, this one in particular says that Chiarelli may have an offer that he can’t refuse Godfather style. If they do trade him, that would be in stark contrast to what Chiarelli told Kathryn Tappen here. This little interview looks like a good player relations move more than anything. They don’t want Phil to believe the rumors out there and start to think he isn’t valued or liked here in Boston.

My opinion on all of this is that Chiarelli has most of it figured out, but has to wait because of Hunwick. Matt Hunwick might be the domino. Chiarelli could be waiting for Matt Hunwick’s cap number to be finalized before he moves forward with Kessel. This would then allow the Bruins to sign Kessel right up to the cap OR trade Chuck Kobasew to make more room for Kessel OR trade Kessel presumably for help on the blueline. Kessel is going to want $5M. Apparently his best buddy on the team is Krejci. If only he would sign a contract like Krejci did. However, after watching what happened to the Bruins against Carolina last season, I would have no problem waving goodbye to Kessel to get something back of quality for the blueline. Let’s just hope that option #4 doesn’t happen.

For some more discussion of this, you can go here and read Jimmy Murphy’s thoughts. Jimmy Murphy is well known to Section 311 and especially the Mayor. Before Game 7 against Carolina Jimmy was at Sully’s tap looking for someone to go on a Montreal sports talk show. He overheard us talking and asked if one of us would do it – we all pointed at the Mayor and he ended up on Montreal radio mostly taking shots at the Habs for their quick exit the round before. I think this was before the Wild Turkey shots so he did quite well.

B's Claw Past Panthers

October 10, 1995 Bruins @ Panthers

So what is the next logical destination on a road trip for the B's two days after a game in Toronto? You guessed it, sunny Florida! It took me this long to realize that the schedule this game has me on is not the real '95-96 schedule. I must really be getting slow in my old age. Anyway, to Florida we go to take on the Kitty Cats.....

The boys came out with a fire lit under them like I've yet to see. A first shift goal that was nostalgic yet at the same time completely fantastical. Ray Bourque grabs a loose puck coming out of the offensive zone and makes a brilliant pass to Kevin Stevens. Stevens then proceeds to blow a scoring opportunity, likely story, but grab his own rebound and swings to the corner. This is kind of where we get a little fantasy, Stevens threads the needle with a pass to the slot. Fantasy over as awaiting the puck in the slot is Mr. Neely who rips it home to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. A couple of Florida penalties and a non-productive Bruins powerplay tells the rest of the first period story.

To open the second, Neely gets a nifty breakaway pass from Adam Oates, then is takcled by (name slipped past me) doing his best Rodney Harrison open field tackle impersonation. Neely is awarded a penalty shot and I finnally get my first chance to blow that opportunity which I did with style and grace. Jesse Belanger then gets lucky for the Panthers. As I was trying to do god knows what with the puck and Blaine Lacher, Belanger somehow sneaks it past to tie the game up 1-1. This apparently pissed off Stevens who went looking for someone's head to knock off. Local boy Tom Fitzgerald just happened to cross paths with Stevens on the next shift and he stupidly drops the gloves. You probably know how this story goes if you've been keeping up, Stevens 5th fight in 5 games and he's now 5-0. Why oh why is Fitzy fighting anyone anyway, tisk tisk Tommy. The very next shift Radek Dvorak makes a couple nice moves and gets himself a breakaway. Too bad for him he was playing the same shift as Ted Donato. Donato rockets back down the ice to somehow catch Dvorak and deny his shot on Lacher. Jon Gruden lumbered down behind Donato to try and cover as well and ends up with the puck and open ice as far as the eye could see. Gruden carries to the red line where he squeaks the puck to a streaking...........TED DONATO! Donato then breaks into the zone, a couple moves and backhands one shortside on the Beezer. 2-0 Bruins.

The Third period didn't see much action until the 6 minute mark. When the 3rd line chipped in a nice goal from Todd Elik assisted beautifully by Steve Heinze. Apparently pulling the goalie when down by 2 was not "in" when this game came out. All comeback attempts by the Panthers were futile at best and I would very much like to see this team in the first round of the playoffs. I finnally outshot an opponent 33-30 in this one. Your three stars were Neely, Donato, and Elik. Through 5 games Donato is so far the team MVP. Also through 5 games, here's a look at the rest of the league......

Division Leaders: Pacific Division Vancouver, Central Division Chicago, Atlantic Division Philadelphia, Northeast Division Buffalo (Bruins in second place)
Goals: Paul Kariya ANA, Gary Suter CHI, Eric Lindros PHI, Joe Sakic QUE, Brian Bradley TB all have 5 goals to lead the league. Five Bruins have 2 goals to lead the team.
Assists: Chris Chelios CHI leads with 7 assists followed by 4 others with 6. Four players have notched 2 assists to lead the team.
Points: Both Chelios and Lindros have 11 points to share the lead, Kariya is in 3rd with 8. Ray Bourque leads the B's with 4 points.
GAA: Grant Fuhr STL and Kay Whitmore VAN lead with a 1.00 GAA. Blaine Lacher is 9th in the league at 1.76.

Should be more to come tonight as I only have 69 days to win the Cup.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Hockey Hotbed...

Greetings Ladies and Gents,

After a 2,000 mile road trip to the hockey hotbed of Austin, Texas (my temporary home) I am back...

Although as you all know I am a hockey fan, baseball dominated this trip. Here's a little recap:

Day One
Drove from Boston to Mohegan Sun (word to the wise, HORRIBLE idea for the first day of your trip). Lost my shirt at the blackjack table. After hundreds of trips to the casino. Here's some advice. Just leave when you're up. Even if its 5 bucks. Leave. I didn't heed this advice, and lost some serious gas money. Went from Mohegan to New Haven, CT. (Yes, CT is not my favorite place, nor do I like Yale at all. However, GREAT pizza. UNBELIEVABLE, and stayed w/ some friends and hit up a local establishment. Bought a round for 4, it was $10.50, I almost fell over) The savings continue as I head further south.

Day 2
CT>Baltimore. Camden Yards. Ok, the ballpark is gorgeous, however those upper deck seats are HIGH (that i bought for 3.75 a piece on stubhub, it's no $19 season ticket to the B's, but hey). A couple observations about Camden Yards. First off, you can drink outside on the street. Literally. There are a bunch of bars (one called Pickles that was enjoyable) and you can just booze on the sidewalk. Not to mention they sold dollar beers outside. Has anyone else heard of Natural Bohemians? (Natty Bo's?) It was a buck. Therefore delicious. Imagine if they sold dollar beers outside Fenway? Also, a quick observation. They sell beer everywhere inside Camden. It was a Saturday night. The crowd was in control, no one was plastered, really. You go to Fenway on a Tuesday night. Everyone is obliterated, and to get a beer takes 3 innings. Interesting.
(also went to Hooters before. Any trip to Hooters is awesome. RIP Hooters on Friend Street...Screw you DJ's at the Garden)

Day 3.
Baltimore> Salem, Virginia. Why the hell would the Mayor go to Salem, VA? The Salem Red Sox of course. High Single A Ball for the home town team. First year in the Sox organization. And as usual completely wh*red out by the Sox. Get this people. They play "Shipping up to Boston, " Tessie", yes and even "Sweet Caroline", during the 8th inning. However, great little ballpark. Sat next to the dugout first row, and had a heckuva time. If you are ever in Salem, VA (doubtful) check this out.

Day 4 & 5
Salem, VA> Nashville, TN. Stayed with a great friend of mine in Nashville. Was only going to spend one night, spent 2. Went to the Nashville Sounds game. Hilarious. Triple A. Worst baseball stadium ever. However, they have a guitar scoreboard in the outfield. If you like country music at all. Heck if you can stand it. Nashville is a time. Great bars (CHEAP) I recall drinking 5 dollar pitchers of PBR at a trailer park themed bar. (vaguely), and live Country in every bar. They played Sweet Caroline at one. I know the damn song followed me all over this great nation.

Side note. Sat 5 feet away from the famous EL Duque, of Yanks fame as he was in the bullpen. He's making a comeback in the minors. Pretty funny

Day 6, 7, 8ish
Sorry at this point down South everything meshes together. Especially the fact that it was HOT . Went to a West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx game in Jackson, TN. A couple highlights. Phil Plantier (yes that Phil) was manager of the team. It was a day game. The stadium was called Pringles Park (yes the chip). It was a Wednesday. The only people there were us and summer camp kids in groups from all over TN. It was "Super Splash Day" everyone in attendance got sprayed by 2 giant fire hoses. Yeah, welcome to the minors. Double A ball. Also, Phil LOVES small ball. The game was like 4 plus hours, and all he did was steal bases and bunt. And lost.
So after the game, was having car problems. Find a Ford dealership in Jackson. Go in. (this is the south, rebel flags everywhere). I tell the guy my problem he goes, go in there, but don't talk with that accent. Yeah, that bad. But got on my way with a loose tire. Thank God.
That night went to Memphis. If you haven't been to Memphis. Go. Now. Beale Street. You can drink outside, it's like Mardi Gras. You can smoke cigars in the bars. Music everywhere. Go. Now.
Next Day hit up Graceland. LOVE Graceland. Nostalgic, nothings been touched. a CASH COW. 33 bucks a head, and 10 to park. Not to mention the millions of gift shops. The King's family will be taken care of FOREVER.

Where are we? Day 9?
Either way. Went to Little Rock, Arkansas. Why? To buy cigars at Bill Clinton's gift shop. Actually, Arkansas Travelers. Triple A. GORGEOUS little ballpark on the Arkansas River. Trashy as hell. There's a restaurant that sold a 2 pound pooh bear challenge burger and fries. If you finished, you got a tshirt. Challenged my cousin, he almost died. They deep friend the whole thing. Enough said.
In North Little Rock, Arkansas, the team is ALL there is to do. Girls were done up to the NINE'S. high heels, dresses. You could smoke in the bleachers, beer garden. Arkansas at it's finest. DO NOT GO. But Go.

Day 10?
Arkansas to Texas. Ballpark at Arlington. Great stadium. This and Camden Yards reaffirmed my belief in that we need a new Fenway. Now. Great time. 6 dollar parking. Beer everywhere. I hope to drive back up when the Sox are in town early next week.

Day 11-Present
Austin, TX. Hot as all get out. 105 every day. Happy Hours. Found a bar with 2 dollar Tecate's and dollar tacos. Cheap. Great music. No Hockey. Enough Said.

Will update soon. If you got through this. God Bless You.

PS-Winter Classic at Fenway is a joke. At least $250 face on each ticket ($1,000 scalped). Not being able to fit in the seats. No tailgating. See you there.

PSS- Sick of all these bandwagon fans wanting to go the Classic. It's all over people's facebook pages, I"m getting E-mails up the wazoo. These same people I couldn't give away a ticket to three seasons ago. While we are sitting in the cheap seats every game. Bandwagon chumps.

Winter Classic and stuff.

The Winter Classic will be held in Boston on January 1st. For all you folks looking for tickets, be prepared to PAY UP, either to Ticketbastard, or the The Official Ticket Scalper of the Boston Red Sox, Ace Ticket. Us season ticket holders have been offered 1 seat each. Note that Flyers fans are getting the same deal. I'm willing to bet the Sox luxury box owners will also get some love. Personally, I'm against the idea of playing the game at Fenway (should be Harvard Stadium). Consider how uncomfortable the Fenway seats are in summer. Now put on your winter clothes and sit in those skinny seats in Grandstand Section 4. (Does Fenway also have to be retrofitted for its plumbing to work in winter?) Consider the height of the boards and the height of the glass - the only good seat for this event will be along the baselines, elevated somewhat, but not under the overhang. It's kind of like a NASCAR race - the closer you are, the kind-of more it may suck. But, of course, it's all about the event and "just being there". I'm ambivalent. But for all my whining, I'm still going, so I'll shut my pie-hole for now. OH, and we should be playing the Habs, not the Flyers.

Douche-alev signs with the Sens, so we just may yet see the laziest front three on the planet (Spezza, Heatley, Crap-alev) grace our lives with their presence. I project that their combined plus/minus next season will be around -80. As I pondered in my fantasy hockey league sometime last season - which would you rather have drive you home after a night of partying - Ted Kennedy or Dany Heatley? (okay, this is probably where I'll get sued.)

Habs signed local boy (Belmont, MA) Paul Mara. What is it with the locals joining up with the enemy? So for those of you, all 8 of you, who dreamt of an all-Massachusetts defensive pair suck-fest, it just may come to fruition in about 75 days.

Former Bruins d-man/lug Andrew Alberts has signed on with the Whale.

Anytime a Canadien bleeds, it's a good thing. Stan Jonathan turns some poor sap's face into a serving of bloody lo mein. Yeah, that's Fred Cusick with the call.
October 8, 1995 Bruins @ Maple Leafs

The B's continued their trip through Canada this morning. A strange first period as the Bruins were a man down for 6 of the first 10 minutes with Ray Bourque taking two 2 minute minor penalties for Interference and tripping. All penalties killed nicely without the Captain on patrol and Lacher came up huge on a couple stops early.

The Second commenced with a strange play in the corner, with Lacher trying to retrieve a puck then attempting a Drew Bledsoe like pass of the puck, only to be intercepted by Mats Sundin not Troy Vincent. Sundin then lazily lofts the puck in for the Leafs first score. Not 2 minutes later does Benoit Hogue drill one home from the slot and the Leafs are quickly up 2-0 as the period came to a close.

Came out for the third and Bourque had enough of the sputtering B's offenese and took matters into his own hands on the first shift. Oates recovered a Leafs dump and hit Ray at his own blue line where Bourque went the other two thirds to park one home. Kevin Stevens then threw his weight around for a few, easily defeating Jamie McCoun to extend his fight streak to 4 games and record to 4-0. Toronto recovered quickly when a Dmitri Yuskevich blast squeaked past Lacher for a 3-1 lead. Fresh out of the box, Stevens caught Todd Gill trying to get fancy, and promptly dropped his punk ass for the next two games with a crushing open ice check. Shawn McEachern got the B's to a 3-2 deficit with a slapper from 10 feet from Donny Sweeney. Then Neely made a spectacular rush to try for the tie and was stopped by Felix Potvin. Bourque however cleaned up the rebound and sent us into the third OT game of the young season.

The comeback however stopped there. Doug Gilmour broke the Bruins hearts by netting a nifty backhander to end the contest in the first minute of OT. Leafs outshot the B's 39-25 and your Three Stars were Gilmour, Bourque, Yuskevich. After the 4-3 loss the Bruins now stand at 2-2.

League Update: Summer Trades

I forgot to update you all on the notable transactions that took place the summer prior to the season. Of course the game gives you the final roster from the '94-'95 season so yes I went and made all these trades (and more). So here's just a few. (And I'll keep you updated throughout the year with the rest of the deals made).

1. To Kings - Dimitri Khristich and Byron Dafoe. To Caps- First Round pick
2. To Canucks- Alexander Mogilny. To Sabres- Michael Peca
3.To Penguins Dmitri Mirinov. To Maple Leafs- Larry Murphy
4. Blues sign Dale Hawerchuk, Geoff Courtnall, and Grant Fuhr
5. To Blues- Chris Pronger. To Whalers- Brendan Shanahan
6. To Bruins Kevin Stevens, Shawn McEachern. To Pens- Glen Murray, Bryan Smolinski
7.To Edmonton- Curtis Jospeh, Mike Grier. To Blues- Picks
8. To Pens- Sergei Zubov, Luc Robitaille. To Rangers- Ulf Samuelsson, Petr Nedved
9. To Islanders- Claude Lemieux. To Devils- Steve Thomas
10. To Nordiques- Claude Lemieux. To Islanders- Wendel Clark

Stick around. More to come tomorrow!

Friday, July 17, 2009

95-96 B's Roll Through Canadian Foes

October 4, 1995 Senators @ Bruins

The Ottawa Senators stopped into the FleetCenter for a tilt with our boys. Still trying to get the hang of the game in general, I was actually afraid of this one after the debacle for a home opener. A stalemate through the first until Kevin Stevens (of all people) put the Bruins on the board for the game and the season with a nifty rush with assists from Oates and Neely. The Sens pulled right back into the game just a few minutes later with a tally from Alexander Daigle. The first ended without too much fanfare but the second was something to see.

As I began the second period, I stated to my brother "I never did like going this way on the screen" as for home games you travel upwards on screen twice and downwards once. I never did well in the latter situation (and yes I just totally avoided all "going down" jokes, dirty dirty people). So take one guess how that turned out. Four Bruins goals in the second. I honestly didn't track who or when, because I was just so damn excited I scored everytime. The Sens came back with one, totally my fault, no blame to Blaine. Kevin Stevens also extended his winning streak to two in a hard fought bout with Randy Cunneyworth.

The third saw a futlie attempt of the Sens to get back into the game. With a good lead, we went for Don Beaupre's blood. Two more B's tallies, again not sure who, but did notice on the second to last that Lacher registered his 4th assist of the night. Locked up the 7-2 blow-out and starting to feel good about that promise. Out shot 39-38, out hit them 27-12, and Oates, Stevens, Neely took home the stars.

October 6, 1995 Bruins @ Nordiques

Not until later NHL series editions could you create teams. So we're stuck with the Nordiques in the division instead of the Avalanche in the West. Oh well, I'm on fire right now after netting 7 against the Sens right? Wrong. Forgot the nucleus of this team is the same that goes on to win the real Stanley Cup (minus Patrick Roy). Tough contest, and the 'Diques strike early in the first, Sakic from Forsberg and Fiset. "Crap" is pretty much all I've got at this point. I shuffled up some lines at the beginning of the game to get Leach and Reid some ice time, may have picked the wrong time to do so.

The first (after the Quebec goal) and second period were pretty much the same, defensivly stellar performances on both teams part. Couple hooks and trips for each side, nothing doing for either PP.

The third period was an absolute thriller. Alexei Kasatonov goes for a hook in the first 2 minutes. Penalty killed no problem, Bourque is the ultimate in that particular area. Kasatonov comes out of the box, Quebec changes, and Sweeney hits him streaking to the net, Kasatonov tries a backhanded stuff, runs into Fiset, INTERFERENCE!!! I was livid. Almost sat him, except the next shift I lost John Gruden for the period. Then the streak goes to 3-0. Kevin Stevens pounds the living fecal matter out of Wendell Clark. This fired up the boys (me and my brother) and led to a 5 minute barrage which garnered (yes Jon that's for you) no results. I played the 1st line with about 1:45 remaining, still down 1-0. Dog tired at the next stoppage a minute or so later, I reluctantly put in the 2nd unit. Well wouldn't you know good ol' McEachern gets a breakaway and nets the tying goal with 29 ticks left. Total pandemonium in the living room. We take her to OT and McEachern gets another solo shot on Fiset right off the faceoff, stoned cold. Unfortunatly for Fiset and the rest of the 'Dique crew, Teddy Donato cleaned up the rebound and sent us on our way with an amazing comeback victory. Nordiques came with 39 shots to the B's 29 but the physical B's went 36-16 in hits. Donato 1st star and McEachern 3rd.

Stay tuned for this weekend

Thursday, July 16, 2009

1995-96 Season Preview

Minnesota e-mailed me yesterday with a countdown, 74 days until the season opener. Luckily in the snail mail I received my copy of NHL 96 for Sega Genesis. So my promise of the Cup must come true in the next 73 days or it will be hell to pay in 311 for the entire year. So here's your preview of the roster and a recap of the opening game of the 1995-96 season that took place last night at about 11:30 p.m. (Eastern time for those of us who still live in civilization).

The season will commence with as many players on the opening day roster as the Game will allow. I am not creating any players for the sheer fact that this really happened 14-15 years ago and I still think Sandy Moger is better than he actually was. I will then make the same trades as Harry and Co. did this season (don't go research it, surprise is way more fun). 10 minute periods, all penalties, and of course fighting. I was admittedly not very talented at video games my entire life, so this could be a rough journey. Here's your 1995-96 Boston Bruins (Row 12 style)

Adam Oates- Best Forward on the team this year
Cam Neely- Still great though injury prone
Kevin Stevens- Cokehead
Shawn McEachern- Lots of upside, big wheels
Todd Elik- Who? Seriously.....
Joe Mullen- Too good for the '80 US Olympic squad, couldn't hold Neely's jock
Ted Donato- Love Teddy, have to love Teddy
Steve Heinze- Again, who didn't love Heinzey
Steve Leach- One more time! Now just the ladies!
Dave Reid- 24/7, or 24 minus 7 = #17 Dave Reid All Day!
Jozef Stumpel- Yuck
Mariusz Czerkawski- Had upside at one point, promptly left it in a trash can in a Polish Airport
Tim Sweeney- Does a great job with the Bruins Foundation, Good Job Timmy!

Ray Bourque- Rated a 99 in the game, need I say more
Don Sweeney- Reliable, solid defenseman
John Gruden- Not the football coach, though this guy may have had better luck doing so
John Rohloff- Think short Hal Gill
Alexei Kasatonov- Last NHL season for a reason
Rick Zombo- Best defenseman name ever because he played like he was bitten
(There are a couple more, somehow I lost their names. No one better than the last 4 guys, so I'm sure you won't miss them. Al Iafrate was on the roster, however he was "recovering from knee surgery" all year and did not play. If the Mayor was old enough at the time I'd think he went on a weekend bender with him and took 2 years to recover)

Blaine Lacher- Came up huge in '94-95 lockout year. Flamed out quickly this year.
Vincent Riendeau- Did not play for the Bruins in '95-96. He is my one exception to the rule because there are no other goalies on the game who did play for the B's. Or at least until January that is, stay tuned for that mess.

1995-96 Game 1. Canadiens @ Bruins

So it all kicked off last night. Home opener, building opener, hated rivals, and I couldn't be more excited. I probably should have been well rested for this or at least tried my hand at a couple practice games to shake off the rust. Well I didn't because I firgured I'd just get the hang on the fly. Much tougher than I remembered, getting slow in my old age perhaps. But they played pretty good D. Lacher was a monster for the first 10, Pierre Turgeon had at least 6 breakaways. A couple close calls on Roy, Czerkawski slashed Brian Bellows and he was awarded a penalty shot which Lacher turned away with ease. Second Period was a snoozer except for Kevin Stevens pounding the bejesus out of Lyle Odelein who landed maybe two blows. The third was just a back and forth thriller, great time. Todd Elik pulled a Glen Wesley and missed a wide-open net on a rebound that had me out of my seat screaming. We dragged her into OT where current Bruin Mark Recchi, who was then a Canadien, gets an incredible breakaway and Lacher stones him cold. After trying to recover from hyperventilating, I make an outlet pass from Kasatonov that gets picked by Recchi for another breakaway and doesn't he just stuff it home. Outshot 38-29 by the Habs and out hit as well 21-20. So the B's are 0-1. Lets hope for a rebound tonight as I believe Ottawa is on deck and I won't have to face Patrick Roy. (Yes he does get traded to Colorado later this year, but funny thing is the Av's we're formed too late and the Nordiques are still in the game.) All for now.

As Always Lets Go The Bruins

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Living in the past

A solemn promise from Row 12,

I personally (with a little help) will secure and deliver the Stanley Cup Championship for our very own Boston Bruins by the time the pucks drops on the 2009-10 NHL regular season. How could I possibly do this you might ask? Well I’m going to need some names such as Bourque, Neely, and Oates to accomplish this task. I am also not the first person to achieve this feat; however I may be one of the last. It’ll only take a TV, Sega Genesis, and way too much free time.

The ’95-96 season was a special event. The Bruins opened a new year in a new arena with Hall of Famers, All-Stars, Middle of the Road guys, Hot Prospects, Horrible flops, and just straight up Bums. They also hosted the All-Star game in which the Captain took home the MVP in a stellar performance. The B’s finished 5th in the Eastern Conference regular season with a record of 40-31-11 (remember ties, ugh, the Mayor might just jump the balcony if he witnessed another). They were ousted by the eventual Eastern Conference Champion Florida Panthers (sickening, I know) in just 5 games. Ray Bourque had the most productive year of his last 5 in Boston (20-62-82 +31 totals) playing in every single contest. Adam Oates had another fine year (25-67-92 +16 totals) leading the offense. The B’s faithful also had their hopes high, but then as always, were crushed mightily. Goaltender Blaine Lacher had a hopeful second half of ’94-95 and looked like the goalie of the future, but sputtered to a 3-5-2 record with a GAA of 3.93. It was also the last time we saw Cam Neely in the lineup. He only played 49 games (26-20-46 +3) and was just a shadow of his former dominant self.

This summer the 1995-96 Boston Bruins will come alive on my television (paired with my Sega Genesis) and your computer as well. I will attempt to create Harry Sinden’s wet dream with the arrival of the cup on my TV screen, he won’t see it but I’d really rather have it that way. My quest to get Cam the Cup, in his final year, on his last legs, will be completed. Stay tuned for game recaps, league updates, special commentary, guest “coaches” (anyone have Steve Kasper’s phone number, he just might come over and play a game or two). It’ll be a fun way to waste the summer away and get back to the fall ready for some real Boston Bruins hockey.

Did I mention this is the year they brought back fighting into the NHL series? Oh yeah, Kevin Stevens may just stay on the roster a little longer for that, and I might not let him fight back. Ever.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Benedict Arnold. Johnny Damon. Hal Gill.

Last week, the Habs signed ex-Bruin, ex-Penguin Hal “Skills” Gill. This Bruins fan remembers Gill not for his shut-down performances against Jaromir Jagr, but rather for his suckass performance in the playoffs against Montreal a few years back, where his lack of quickness and mobility was exploited by the smaller, quicker Montreal forwards. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. I hope when Gill brings the Cup to Concord, MA this summer, he is chided accordingly by the locals for his traitorous choice. And speaking of which - Bob Gainey - “who won’t make it to Xmas” according to Section 311 prognosticators – has opened up Montreal’s pocketbook and signed on Michael Cammalleri ($6M), Brian Gionta ($5M), and Jaroslav Spacek ($3.8M). Quick analysis/prediction: Spacek will get hurt within 2 weeks, Gionta will do okay, Cammalleri will do okay. I think the Cammalleri signing is an attempt to shore up their power play (same with Spacek, but since Spacek will only play 28 games this year...), but we all know that MTL’s #1 power play left town long ago when Mark Streit went to the Isle. However, the biggest gaffe…if I was a Hab fan, I’d douse myself in lighter fluid, scream “Tabarnac!”, and self-immolate over the trade for Scott Gomez ($8M). It’s just an awful move. But I’m glad to see Chris Higgins go. So let’s just watch Montreal implode next season. Schadenfreude will have never felt so good. I will say, also, they have about $10M left against the cap, and since I need additional reasons to hate them, I hope they re-sign Alexei “Louganis” Kovalev.

Bruins re-signed the brass-balled Mark Recchi. Surely, Cload wanted him back on the team to show the players what dedication is – we all know the story of Recchi getting his blood switched out, Keith Richards-style, before one of the games vs. Carolina a few months ago. I used to hate Recchi due to his presence on the good Penguins teams of the early 90’s that beat the B’s, and for his presence on the Habs teams of the late 90’s, and it took me awhile to warm to the concept…but as usual, winning changes everything.

Final note. Komisarek is a good player. If there was anyone on the Habs that is worthy of wearing the spoked-B, it’s Komisarek. If you thought he was the biggest chump on the Habs last year, recall that he often had to stick up for his wimpass team, and he was usually the only one. He was probably more upset that he had the Kostitsyns on his team than for anything else.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bitz, Begin, and Boychuk

Section 311's hero will be back in the black and gold this fall. Jubilation - love his work ethic - ecstatic that his goal in game 7 won't be the last he scores here in Boston. This is fantastic. What is not fantastic is the fact the Bruins never release contract information. We still don't know what the cap hit is going to be.
The Bruins also went out and got Steve Begin. This year's version of Yelle signed for only $850K. He knows how to butter this Bruins fan up - quoth Begin: "In all those years I played against Boston in the playoffs, a lot of things happened. I'm going to be on the right side now." Attaboy Steve. Do us a favor and exact some revenge on that team of diving midgets - the newest members of the diving dwarves include the overpaid tandem of Scotty Gomez and Brian Gionta. The Bruins have Marc Savard, David Krejci, and Marco Sturm for a slightly smaller combined salary hit than those two fidgets - who would you rather have? Dark days in Montreal.
Let's just guess that Bitz signed for around $1M. This would mean the B's have about $5M to sign one forward and one defenseman (Kessel and Hunwick)to fill a roster. This is not going to be enough. Mike Cammelleri got $6M and had 3 more goals than Kessel. This is just one of many deals today that proves he is worth more than the $3.75M Krejci got on the open market. They'll have to unload some salary to bring both Hunwick and Kessel back - there's just no getting around it. Trade Kobasew, bring up Sobotka, and sign Kessel is one scenario in which they might squeeze under the cap.
In other news, Johnny Boychuk signed a one-year deal. This likely will have nothing to do with the cap since he will probably start in Providence and provide depth.
We want Bitz! We got Bitz.