Sunday, January 31, 2010

Maple Laffs: Major Shakeup

The day after blowing a 3-goal lead to lose to the Canucks 5-3, the Toronto Maple Leafs make trades with Anaheim and then with Calgary in rapid succession.  The net result of all of this is as follows:

Leafs Get:
J.S. Giguere
Dion Phaneuf (10g)
Fredrik Sjostrom (1g)
Keith Aulie (prospect D-man)

Leafs Send:
Ian White (9g) to CAL
Matt Stajan (16g) to CAL
Jamal Mayers (2g) to CAL
Niklas Hagman (20g) to CAL
Jason Blake (10g) to ANA
Vesa Toskala to ANA

Instant reaction - where is Toronto going to get any offense?  Burke has basically said goodbye to this season unless J.S. Giguere can recapture the magic with his old goalie coach and become the player he was when he won the Stanley Cup back in 2007.  Calgary gets a much-needed pivot in Stajan and an extremely cap friendly contract in Niklas Hagman (just $3M per thru 2012 for a guy who appears to be a borderline 30-goal man).  I have to say I like how Burke is working here.  In a short period of time, he has assembled a tough, skilled group of D-Men to build around with Komisarek, Kaberle (soon to be moved - see below), Phaneuf and Beauchemin (he also has Schenn and Finger under contract for next year) and he got rid of dead weight in Blake to shore up his goaltending for this year and next with the tandem of Giguere/Gustavsson.

I love this from a Bruins perspective because these moves are to gear up for the future and have made them a poorer team this year.  Carolina is playing great hockey and the Leafs are officially now in 29th place in the NHL which would guarantee the Bruins one of the big three in the draft this year if they finish in this position.

What this also means is one of Burke's defensemen is going to be moved.  As it stands now, he has roughly $23.5M in cap room committed to 6 defensemen for next year.  When you combine this with the $6M cap hit that Giguere will have next year, he will have nothing left to pay forwards.  Therefore, I have to assume he is going to try and cash in at the deadline or before with Tomas Kaberle and I also have to assume the Bruins will be VERY interested.  The Bruins could be in position to pay Burke enough to wrestle Kaberle and Ponikarovsky from him - Chia won't give up Toronto's 1st Rounder, but he still has Boston's 1st and 2nd and Toronto's 2nd to offer...not to mention Toronto's 1st in 2011.  Chiarelli will have to send some cap space back his way to make things fit which would mean Ryder, but I can see such a move on the horizon and I think it would do a great job of addressing the B's weaknesses.

However, Burke did maintain that he is not going to ask Kaberle to waive his no-trade clause (about 6 minutes into the video of his press conference)

At any rate, I love today's news because it could lead to all kinds of jockeying before the unofficial FIRST trading deadline before the Olympic Break roster freeze.  It's fun to be a hockey fan when blockbusters start getting made in the last day of January.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Geez, What's it Gonna Take to get a Win?

Tonight, I developed a headache at the game because my jaw was clenched, and I almost ground my teeth down into dust. I have to say, the Bruins did put forth a better, more lively effort than in recent games. But they still lost, in OT, against the Kings, 3-2. Goals by Recchi and Sturm. They still look lost out there, and can't seem to skate out of their own zone. But at least they played with an NHL lineup (Bitz, Sturm, Begin are back). So many missed chances, hit a few crossbars/posts, players looking the wrong way, etc. We just can't get the lucky bounce.
random crap
  • Nice check by Mark Stuart on Anze Kopitar, which led to a fight between Stuart and Simmonds. Simmonds got 4 minute instigator, 5 minute roughing, and 10 minute misconduct. Kopitar had his head down, and Stuart just stood there and let Kopitar skate into him. Good stuff. Minnesota jumped to his feet and applauded in approval. Of course, after the fight, what do they play? "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" - Elton John version - a song which really strikes fear into the heart of the opponent. It should have been something like a Slayer tune or something. Regardless, the highlight of the night.
  • Whenever the jumbotron shows "black 'n blue hockey", check out the Bruins bench - every player watches "black 'n blue hockey".
  • I think we need to call this guy to exorcise the Curse of the Winter Classic:
  • Fight in section 306 it looked like. It seems that it was mostly verbal and possibly between 2 chicks.
  • Row 10 Wheeler-hater left early, during the shootout. He was pretty quiet and showed no hate for Wheeler tonight.
  • Apparently on T&R on Thursday, Shawn Thornton made a comment about the absence of P.J. Axelsson in the locker room, how the team really misses him.
  • Nice to see Savard out there, he made about 3 or 4 sick passes. Too bad he plays with guys who can't finish.
  • Toronto blew another lead, lost to Vancouver, 5-3. And Carolina won again, beating Chicago, 4-2.
  • Right now, I'd take Cam Fowler over Taylor Hall, but that's just me. I can't wait for the Derek Morris era to end.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Could tonight save the season?


Here we are.

9 games in 15 days.

The B's play Buffalo (twice) (Sabes are 3rd in the East), LA (6th in the West), the Caps (leading the East), Habs (twice (who cares where they stand, this is always a battle), Vancouver (beginning their longest trip in history), Tampa Bay and Carolina (ok should be a bit easier to beat).

Anyway, tonight's game could save the season. Savard's back. The B's are well rested. No longer should the product on the ice be compared to an AHL team. Play a statement game tonight, and set the tone for the entire stretch before the Olympics. Do the freaking things you did last year that led to success. Do the SIMPLE things. Hit hard, finish your checks, STAND UP FOR YOUR DAMN TEAMMATES, drop the gloves, and for the love of all that is holy SHOOT THE GOD DAMN PUCK.

I'm not ready to abandon this team's playoff chances...YET. However, if they go down in flames in the next two weeks, I'll be about ready to.

Let's Go Bruins.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Rule of 94

Generally speaking, it takes 94 points to make the playoffs in the East.  Since the lockout, the 8th place team in the Eastern Conference has had 92, 92, 93, and 94 points.  The Bruins have 31 games to go and have to get 40 more points to reach 94.  This means finishing 20-11-0 or small task.  They better start by getting at least 10 points out of these 9 games before the break.

The Toronto Maple Leafs could win every single one of their final 28 games and they would finish with only 100 points.  Lottery here we come!

Also, NHL 94 is arguably the best in the series - the advent of the one-timer in hockey video games changed my life.   Enjoy Mario Lemieux scoring on a one-timer from Jaromir Jagr:

Healing Up

Take a look at Fluto's latest update from practice this morning.  It looks like an NHL roster again!  No offense to Trent Whitfield and Drew Larman, but boy did I feel good when I looked at these line combinations.  Claude will be able to roll four lines again and they are going to need it to get through this brutal stretch of 9 games in 16 days that starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wayne Primeau Helps Bruins

...funny that I mentioned Wayne Primeau yesterday. Last night I watched the Leafs/Kings game and he made a soon-to-be-healthy-scratch type turnover to Dustin Brown that allowed the Kings to go ahead 3-2 and they never looked back. By the way, Drew Doughty is a great player - take a close look at him on Saturday when the Kings visit our Bruins - you won't be disappointed.

I can't say I've ever watched more Leafs games in all my years with NHL Center Ice. The Leafs between periods studio show talked about the Bruins pick and how they would be insane to trade it away for Ilya Kovalchuk. One of the guys also said that Ilya might be planning to get traded and then decide to go to the KHL next season and leave whatever sap bets the farm on him 'holding the bag'.

Go Leafs - KEEP LOSING! In other Leafs news, they are expecting Komisarek and Grabovski back from injury shortly. Hopefully this doesn't help their play any.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More Trade Rumors

Here are some random notes from around the web plus a look at Toronto's UFA's that could be on the block.

KPD says Aaron Ward would be a nice cheap addition. We said that Friday too. thinks the Bruins were in heavy discussion with the 'Canes for Whitney. View From 311 likes the prospect of this deal.  They also think the Bruins are shopping Timmy.  This is odd to me if true - Toronto has plenty of cap room and questionable goaltending.  Atlanta has poor goaltending, but I don't want Kovalchuk - I'm with Millbury on that one. thinks the Bruins are talking Kovalchuk and Phaneuf. I don't buy it - to get either would require Krejci at a minimum. I generally don't trust Eklund on anything.

Now to the Leafs who are closing in on being guaranteed sellers - go here to see their contract situation. UFA's of note:

  • Alexei Ponikarovsky - $2.1M cap hit. Left-handed shooting winger that can score a few goals. Fits the Bruins needs perfectly. As long as Chiarelli and Burke are still pals, I have to imagine they are talking about this one.  He would replace the Miro experiment.
  • Matt Stajan - $1.75M cap hit. Bruins don't need a center, so I don't consider him a possibility unless they move Krejci.
  • Lee Stempniak - $2.5M cap hit. A little too much of a hit for what you get. He's also a right-handed shot which the Bruins don't need.
  • Wayne Primeau - Whitby, Ontario Canada - those of you who were in the garden for the "It's Called Bruins" season when we traded Jumbo Joe will know why I added the Whitby Ontario Canada after his name. Just mentioned him for that reason - I don't think the Maple Leafs even want him on their roster, much less anybody else.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bruins Suckage Conspiracy Theories

The Bruins have hit bottom and have begun to dig after last night's 5-1 lost to the Hurricanes.

Section from 311 offers some theories on what's going on.

  1. P.J. Axelsson was the glue that held this team together. Apparently, Axelsson was a much-loved teammate, a true "locker room guy", according to sources I don't have. Apparently, P.J. along with Aaron Ward and Stephane Yelle, were the pectin that made this team gel so impressively last year.
  2. Patrice Bergeron is a locker room prima donna. Based on absolutely no sources, perhaps Bergeron's constant injuries and mincing french-ness has destroyed the personality of the team.
  3. The Curse of Steve Begin. Begin's last 3 teams (Bruins, Stars, Habs), he has absolutely destroyed them somehow.
  4. HAARP. Long suspected as being a weather/mind control device by conspiracy nuts, maybe they're experimenting on the Bruins via this huge antenna array in Alaska.
  5. Curse of the Winter Classic. The B's are 2-8-1 since the Winter Classic. I have no additional supporting data.
  6. Marc Savard is a chatty bitch. Savvy's constant chatter on the rink to his teammates and media-whore existence has gotten under the team's nerves. His sneaky, two-handed slashes to the backs of opponents' knees have alarmed his teammates.
  7. Team is fat, dumb, and happy after signing large contracts. Savvy, Lootch, Wideman, Thomas, etc. all received nice contracts during/after last year's regular season dominance.
  8. The Illuminati/Bilderberg Group. Jeremy Jacobs wants your soul/money to fund the machinations of these two entities.
  9. Brett Favre. The Bruins are just like kids out there, having fun like they're in their backyard, just gunslingin' ...and turning it over, yielding stomach-punch results.
  10. Caveman Weak. Sign Mark Stuart, and everything will be in it's right place.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


..."and the worst team in the league is running the Bruins out of the building!"

Jack Edwards after 3rd Carolina goal tonight.  'Nuff said.

Not to mention I'm a diehard Vikings fan.  'Nuff said.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

No Pulse

I think it is time for the Bruins to realize that they have NO SHOT at the playoffs. Really - just fold up your tents and shoot for 2 lottery picks this summer. Today, the Bruins loafed thru another game at the FleetGarden and lost to Ottawa, 2-1. Goal by Paille on a rather nice shot from a tough angle. Another goal was called back, scored by Recchi. Apparently, there was a "distinct kicking motion". Otherwise, the team just did not care. Stupid, careless mistakes like not paying attention to offsides, or skating for 15 seconds with only 4 guys on the ice. The defensement are so reluctant to skate out of their zone, it's just horrible to watch. Honestly, I'm so irritated with today's game I can barely type. Ottawa embarrassed you a week ago and you got nothing to show for it?

As Minnesota said, "This isn't a team. Just a buncha dudes who are paid to play hockey."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Trade Speculation

The ship has already sailed for two teams this year: Edmonton and Carolina - interesting that they were the Stanley Cup finalists coming out of the lockout and are now at the bottom of the barrel. This means that these teams might be willing to talk trade at this juncture and will definitely be sellers at the deadline. Here are some players that may be available based on their current contract situation:

Ray Whitney (CAR) - UFA at end of year with $3.55M cap hit - intriguing for the B's, but cap manipulation would be required depending on when the trade was made - would help PP and provide good scoring depth - Savvy with Sturm on the right and Whitney on the left? I like that idea.

Matt Cullen (CAR) - UFA at end of year with $2.88M cap hit - Bruins don't need a centerman

Scott Effing Walker (CAR) - UFA at end of year with $2.5M cap hit - Not coming to Boston

Aaron Ward (CAR) - UFA at end of year with $2.5M cap hit - Could provide some cheap depth for the stretch run in case of injury - I think he's a big upgrade over McQuaid or Wozniewski who we've had to insert and if Wideman doesn't get his game back there are huge holes on D

Fernando Pisani (EDM) - UFA at end of year with $2.5M cap hit - this guy has largely disappeared since Edmonton's run to the finals 4 years ago and has only seen the ice 12 times this year due to various ailments - cross him off the list.

The rest of Edmonton's roster is young guys who will be RFA's after the season or guys that are locked up for a few years making them nearly untradeable because of the cap. Cogliano and Gagner showed a lot of promise two seasons ago, but have been nothing but disappointments since. Maybe they could be pried away, but both are natural centermen and the B's aren't looking for that.


Last night the Hockey Godz decided that the Bruins and their fans had not suffered enough. The Bruins, who had overall performed decently ("are the Bruins doing better, or does Columbus suck that bad?") during the game, were the victims of poor officiating. Late in the 3rd period, with the game tied, 2-2, Milan Lucic was whistled off for a high-stick after crashing the net. After replay review, it turns out that it was his own teammate that cut his lip. At any rate, Lootch sat in the box to serve the 4-minute double minor and the Blue Jackets scored on the ensuing power play.
Also, pile on David Krejci's Nate Kaeding impersonation as he shanked an attempt at an empty net (with Mason down), and you just have a frustrating game. Man, I hope we pound the Senators on Saturday.
random crap
  • The Wideman Freefall Express continues to accelerate, as he coughed up the puck at his own blue line to set up Columbus' first goal. The boo birds were out in force last night as the Garden not-so-faithful razzed him everytime he touched the puck. Wideman is about a $3.7M cap hit or's Section 311's opinion that he will not be traded.
  • Lootch dropped the gloves with Jared Boll in the 1st period. We have been wondering if Lootch was injured or something, since he had not committed an on-ice homicide since his return. Boll is no slouch when it comes to fights. Both basically dodged each other's punches and got 5 minutes each.
  • Minnesota, during one of his more philosophical moments during the Chipotle t-shirt toss, noted that crowd control could be attained by the t-shirt toss. He then mused, "when I become dictator, I will control the masses via the t-shirt toss."

"WE ARE ANGRY. Wait, are those t-shirts???"

  • Steve Mason. Wow, his GAA is like, 3.30 or something these days. Remember last year, his Calder Trophy year? He was insane in net, and one of the trendy picks for the Cup this year was Columbus. Yup. So were the Bruins.
  • Everything in its right place: Row 12 showed up for this game, seated in Row 12 where he should be. Previous game, we had allowed this filthy peasant to sit in Row 11.

NHL News

Georges Laraque is finished as a Hab - Bob Gainey (Papa Smurf) healthy-scratched Laraque (Hefty Smurf) for the rest of the season which leaves them with no enforcer. Gomez (Greedy Smurf), Gionta (Baby Smurf), Cammalleri (Handy Smurf) and crew have their work cut out for them to make the postseason.

The Leafs lost in OT to the Ning last night. They took a too many men on the ice penalty in OT and Marty St. Louis cashed in on the power play. Remember, we need the Leafs to finish in the bottom 5 overall to give us a chance at the #1 overall pick in June. Right now, Tampa Bay occupies that magical 26th place overall position with 50 points, which is 6 points ahead of the Leafs. The way the Bruins are playing, they might be in the lottery too - only 4 points ahead of the aforementioned Ning.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mid-Season Report Card

It's not really mid-season, but whatever, it allows Section 311 to piss and moan about the state of the Bruins.

  • Blake Wheeler (12-16-28; -5; 32 PIM): Wheels has not made The Leap quite like 311 expected. After tearing it up nicely most of last season, Wheels promised that this season he wasn't going to tire out in the last few months. Maybe he won't tire, but the weaker parts of his game are beginning to come to the fore now that he's not scoring goals. Grade: C-
  • Mark Recchi (9-18-27; 0; 28PIM): The Recchin Ball has performed admirably despite his age and slowness. Always willing to do the dirty work in front of the net and is providing leadership in the locker room. Has a secret mancrush on Bergeron. Grade: B
  • Zdeno Chara (4-23-27; +5; 62PIM): Pretty solid season so far - kind of started off slow, but has gotten better as of late. Still needs to kill someone in order to galvanize his team, scare the league. I've seen him jump in front of the net lately as a desperation move for goal scoring, maybe something will turn up. And who would think Chara would lead the team in assists at the mid-point? Grade: B
  • Michael Ryder (11-8-19; 0; 8PIM): Starting to show signs of why Montreal made him a healthy scratch 2 seasons ago. He's rung a few posts and could easily have 15-17 goals by now, so he is a little bit snake-bitten...otherwise, he looks off-balance and lost on the ice at least 40% of the time. Grade: C-
  • Steve Begin (3-9-12; -3; 38PIM): Started off the season with insane production but has tailed off in that department. Shows up for every game which is better than most of the team. I was expecting more fisticuffs, though. He's not doing to others what he did against us when he played for Montreal. I want him to play more dirty and kill more people - his last fight was in the pre-season, I'm pretty sure. Grade: B
  • Marco Sturm (15-9-24; +8; 18PIM): Gets a passing grade for merely scoring the winning goal at the Winter Classic and justifying the money spent by everyone to attend the game. Has been snake-bitten like Ryder, but seems to keep his feet moving. Grade: B
  • Shawn Thornton (1-7-8; -2; 85PIM): Always willing to pound on people and perform some law enforcement on the ice. Takes a lot of shots from weird angles that yield good opportunities if he had linemates who could actually finish (I'm looking at you, Paella). Grade: B+
  • David Krejci (8-18-26; +1; 16PIM): It's frustrating to watch Krejci sometimes, and maybe he has lingering effects from the surgery. Still...we need so much more from this guy. Has looked good of late, though. Grade: B-
  • Derek Morris (3-17-20; -1; 22PIM): I'm still a Morris-hater. For $3.3M, this is what we get? A defenseman who can't play defense. He's a pylon. The power play hasn't improved with him there...but maybe if Wideman wasn't such a car wreck, D-Mo wouldn't look so bad, he could hide in the shadows. Grade: C+
  • Matt Hunwick (6-6-12; -5; 12PIM): I just think he's too small for the position. Maybe Don Sweeney's got a soft spot for the undertall d-men of the world. At times, he's looked absolutely ridiculous trying to play defense in the corners against forwards 6'-2" and larger. The offensive spark that showed serious upside last year is gone. Grade: C
  • Daniel Paille (6-7-13; -2; 12PIM): I wasn't expecting much from Paille, who was a nightly healthy scratch in Buffalo. He has shined as a niche player, specializing in the penalty kill. He keeps his feet moving, and has been promoted to top lines recently because he actually might give a shit. We all wish he could finish, though. Grade: A-
  • Patrice Bergeron (11-20-31; +3; 14PIM): Possibly the league's best at the faceoff dot, has rebounded from the concussion 100%. Generally, his play leaves a wet spot on the front of Minnesota's pants. Grade: B
  • Dennis Wideman (3-11-14; -8; 20PIM): What a shitshow. Even HE knows he sucks this season, and now Cload's called him out, too. He showed so much promise last year, and that he'd finally gotten rid of the yips when leaving his own zone. Now, he's just a husk out there. Grade: D
  • Andrew Ference (0-5-5; -3; 16PIM): There are a lot of Ference-haters out there, and yeah, he does mess up a lot, but he does come to the rink ready to fight for his team. I'm still wondering if there's lingering fallout from that whole player's union thing from earlier this eyar. Grade: C
  • Byron Bitz (4-5-9; -8; 31PIM): Bitz has disappointed us slightly this year. He's gotta work on his fighting skillz, he's lost his finishing touch around the net (probably because he's not hanging around the net anymore). He is a team-worst -8. Grade: C
  • Vladimir Sobotka (4-3-7; -3; 22PIM): One of the guys on the 4th line who really shakes things up out there. I was almost shocked when I saw that he had only 4 goals, considering the hustle he shows out there. If the rest of the team played with as much abandon as Sobotka, then maybe we'd be better off. Like every else this season, can't finish. Grade: B
  • Mark Stuart (2-2-4; -1; 36PIM): Has performed not too badly this season as a stay-at-home guy, but his injury hurt the Bruins in late Dec/early Jan. He really need to whale the shit out of someone, quick. Grade: B
  • Claude Julien: Claude - GET THIS TEAM GOING. Grade: C+
  • Peter Chiarelli: Peter - ROLL THE DICE, make a trade. Grade: B-
  • Incomplete: Lootch, Savvy, Crapchuk, Marchand, Whitfield, McQuaid, Satan, Wozniewski, Lefebvre, Lehtonen, Larman

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Carey Price Gets Drilled

What self-respecting Bruins fan doesn't enjoy seeing Carey Price get bowled over?

We Want Raffi! (Torres)...

The Campaign Begins...

12 HUGE Games

The next 12 games are critical for the Boston Bruins. They need to make it to the Olympic break without falling too far out of the playoff picture. As it stands, they are in 7th place in the East with some games in hand on teams in front of them. Those games in hand will be made up during the final 9 games before the break that they play in ONLY 15 DAYS! This 9 games includes 2 games each against BUF and MTL as well as very difficult home games against WAS and VAN. If they falter during this stretch, it could be curtains on the season. The way I see it, they need to get 12 points out of these 12 games, which is still below average with the ridiculous 3-point game. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure they will be able to come out of this with that many points. They will certainly need to get off to a good start against the Jackets (Thursday) and Canes (Sunday) who are the weakest opponents on the sched before the break.

What gives me hope that they will make the playoffs is the teams behind them - the East is clearly much weaker than the West this year. Two of these teams will have to pass our Bruins (assuming the Rangers and Sens even remain in front of them). The only one that worries me is Philly. The Isles, Habs, Thrash, Panthers, and Ning all have their own problems and will likely continue to be mediocre. Toronto and Carolina are basically out of it already.

These 12 games are also going to have a bearing on what Peter Chiarelli decides to do at the deadline. A guy that we will see tomorrow night for the Jackets could be a guy that ends up with the spoked B on his chest if the Jackets continue their freefall: Raffi Torres. He has a modest $2.25M cap hit and will be a UFA after this season - he provides some much-needed grit and he can provide offense as well (in a recent 6-game stretch he potted 5 goals - 16 on the season). The asking price for him likely wouldn't even approach the 2nd rounder we have from Toronto. This is a make-able trade unlike the ridiculous Kovalchuk talk out there in the blogosphere.

The NHL on NBC

Who says we can't be political? Down with Jay Leno. I'm with Coco. NBC Blows. Fitting that the NHL's national network presence is a sinking ship - the NHL has never been able to get television right here in the states. We, the diehard fans of the NHL, are always going to be a niche market. But I think it's better that way to be honest. With the NHL Network, NHL Radio on Sirius, and hockey-mad Canada providing plenty of media I have enough as an NHL fan. American television tends to ruin professional sports (5 hour baseball games, the glut of advertising during NFL games, and I can actually watch a college hoops game, but pro hoops on TV is unbearable). We should be thankful they haven't sunk their claws into our favorite game...yet. One thing that needs to change though is Versus on DirecTV. I'm cancelling my DirecTV and switching to cable as soon as my NHL Center Ice runs out. I will NOT go through the NHL playoffs without Versus in my home. DirecTV take note!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scott Brown Winning = Bruins Winning Stanley Cup?

The last time Massachusetts elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate was in 1972 - this was also the last time the Bruins won the Stanley Cup of course.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Go Bruins!

A Bad Day All Around

Yesterday began badly with the Senators thrashing the Bruins and ended badly with the Leafs getting a win over the Predators on a Phil Kessel game-winner.  The Toronto game started off very badly as Toronto jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but they let Nashville come back and tie it at 3.  Then Phil swooped in and let a 50' wrister go along the ice beating Dan Ellis thru the wickets to win the game.  A fitting end to a horrible day for Bruins fans.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Coming to you live from my office in Providence...

I didn't want to use a full vacation day to attend today's game against Ottawa since my office does not celebrate MLK day. I've got a potential Frozen Four to attend (at least 2 vacation days) since my UMD Bulldogs have been setting the world on fire lately in the WCHA. That means I'll only attend 37 games this year instead of big deal, but probably a low for me in my 5 years as a Season Ticket Holder.

Here's a diary of today's action with me streaming 98.5 online:

12:30p - Text from Morale Officer saying Bergy is in - Row 12 using my ticket today - I'll have to de-louse my seat when I get there on Thursday

12:49p - Bob Beers commenting on Draft Watch 2010 in pre-game. I am rooting for Toronto losses nearly as much as Bruins wins - Toronto getting a lot of airtime on my NHL Center Ice package.

12:52p - Big game for the standings today - need to find a way to win in regulation and continue our dominance against the Sens.

1:01p - Whitfield playing on line with Bergy so he can take draws - too much stress on thumb for Bergy. Sturm, Begin, and Bitz out today - it's kind of ridiculous.

1:06p - The Mayor theorizes that 11-yr old anthem singer is Rene's daughter. Rave reviews for her from Beers and Gouche.

1:10p - Drew Larman making his Bruins debut. Unreal.

1:13p - First derogatory comments about Kovalev's consistency by Beers. 7 goals in last 33 games for Kovalev, but they all came in just 2 games.

1:16p - Scott Brown ads during every commercial break - they are assaulting us with ads for this race here in the Bay State. I'm even getting solicitations from dudes in my fantasy football league - it feels like a presidential election around here - will be relieved come Wednesday when the media saturation goes away.

1:19p - Of course Kovalev scores on us - what a dick.

1:26p - First Coakley ad of the broadcast that I've caught.

1:29p - Alfy scores moments after Mayor texts me "B's look dead." The dreaded first home game after a road trip? This could get ugly - someone should pick a fight with Chris Neil.

1:33p - Beers saying the Bruins haven't done much offensively at all. What else is new?

1:40p - 2-0 after 1 - not looking good for our boys. Maybe they'll come out with more legs for the 2nd.

1:44p - 98.5 using Deftones song for the bumper - unfortunately the highlight of the broadcast thus far.

1:57p - Beers comments Bruins looked 'sleepy' in the first period.

2:11p - Power plays for each team unsuccessful. Bruins 0-7 on power play in past 4 games. As Beersy said, the bigger problem in that stat is that they've generated only 7 PP's in 4 games. "Move your feet and good things happen!"

2:16p - 3-0 Sens. Beersy saying 'almost too easy.' Rask coming in for Thomas. 3 goals on 9 shots. This will fuel the Thomas-haters. Don't forget about the game he gave us in San Jose.

2:18p - Glad I didn't use a vacation day to witness this.

2:20p - Goucher: "The quality chances the Bruins have generated today; you could count on one hand and wouldn't have to use all your fingers." All too common this year at the Garden.

2:24p - 4-0: Alfy hat trick. Text from Morale Officer: "kill me"

2:25p - Mayor: "and this is disgusting"

2:26p - I'm now happy to be here at work instead of at the Garden. Time to start thinking about Thursday.

2:28p - Toronto @ Nashville tonight. Go Preds!

2:31p - Beers on fans booing Bruins PP: "They can't get the puck in the zone right now Dave." I am now glad I am only listening to this and not watching on TV.

2:41p - Silver lining? Mike Fisher is on my fantasy team and has 3 assists. Nope, I don't feel better.

2:45p - Chance for revenge against the Sens on Saturday. They come right back to town for the final meeting of the regular season.

2:46p - I haven't seen any replays, but the between periods discussion makes it sound like the Tim Thomas haters will be out in full force after this performance. I thought he had squashed this and I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore, but 2 GA on 3 shots in the first doesn't help.

2:56p - Beers saying "this is the worst they have played in some time," which is really saying something when you think back to the last two games against the Rangers in recent memory. The Bruins need to get to that olympic break without falling too far in the standings - get healthy, make a trade or two and make a run down the stretch. Expectations have to be tempered with the injuries right now.

3:00p - Beers: "You could hear a pin drop in this building right now." Again, all too often this season.

3:01p - Lunch Pail(le) gets the Bruins on the board after good work from Lucic down low. Morale Officer's 7th payer nominee waking up the fans.

3:11p - Lucic and Carkner "having a discussion." When will we be treated to another Lucic beatdown? Is he still avoiding the fisticuffs because of his finger? Someone help me out here if you've heard anything. By the way, this is only his 16th game of the season.

3:13p - Cheechoo scores thanks to the referee colliding with Wideman. Hey, at least it happened in the third period of a 4-1 game if it had to happen. Cheechoo sux - 56 goals just 4 years ago and this was his 5th with an assist to the referee.

3:24p - They have until Thursday to figure out what went wrong today. They are so shorthanded right now. Get healthy guys. The Blue Jackets have been HORRIBLE for the last couple months.

3:29p - Mercifully, the game is over - I'm turning off my streaming audio. Go Preds.

I'm going to do my best to avoid the highlights tonight on the best show on television: "NHL On The Fly"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

B's Let One Slip Away

Pretty important game this afternoon - was the San Jose game an anomaly, or had the B's turned the corner and learned to play a tough, 60-minute game?
Well, almost. The B's played pretty well in the 1st 2 periods, but started to fall apart as the Kings tied the game at 3, only to then win it in the shootout.
Goals by Ryder, Wheeler, Satan.
Considering our prediction for this road trip was 0-3-0 and they went 1-1-1, getting 3 out of 6 points, I guess it's not the worst result. Supposedly, Bergeron comes back Monday against the Senators.
random crap
  • The Ryder/Wheeler/Krejci line showed some flashes of last year's brilliance. Several shifts featured cycling along the boards, lots of puck possession and guys getting good looks.
  • McQuaid fought Segal, Thornton fought Ivanans. McQuaid got a quick punch in to start, but that devolved into a wrestling match. Ivanans hit Thornton a few times, but that also didn't amount to much.
  • Jack & Brick spent a few moments pimping the Kindle. Stealth marketing?
  • Separated at birth: Ryan Smyth and Les Claypool?
  • Claude Lemieux was shown getting honored before a Devils/Nordilanche game. The guy is a huge piece of shit, I've had indigestion since K-Tap & Barry showed the clip.
  • 2 Bruins have returned from injury: Stuart (broken sternum) and Krejci (yeast infection). Stuart almost fought Stoll. I'm just waiting for Stuart to destroy someone in a fight.
  • LA taking liberties the whole night, and getting all of the calls...I don't even remember a Bruins power play. I spent a good portion of the game screaming with my face 3 inches from the TV screen and my fists clenched.
  • I'll start the buzz now - Paille for 7th player award. Today, he took a shotgun blast to the thigh and kept playing.

Friday, January 15, 2010

So You're Saying There's a Chance!

Great freaking win by the B's last night. Even though we are all a bit tired, that is the type of win that can define a season.

I know everyone was quick to jump on the Tukka train, but last night showed why Timmy should be the #1 goalie. Yes, times occur when Thomas lets up some softies, but when you make 40 plus saves, and come up huge in the Shootout (editor's note, I still f*#!@ hate the shootout), the team rallies around you. Yes Tukka can be brilliant, but watching Timmy when he's on is a work of art.

B's have been scary lately. Obviously all the injuries hurt, and yes I feel like I've been watching games at the Dunkin Donuts Center (is it still called that in Providence?), but to rally on the west coast, off a tough loss the night before to guts out a win, that is the team we can get behind. None of this entitlement, not sticking up for people, not fighting crap. But playing the game and winning.

Not to mention any time we can beat Joe Thornton, I am happy, (and yes I still support the trade, for many of the same reasons I supported getting Kessel the hell out of town).

Go Bruins.

B's win

I predicted a 2-0 loss. Minnesota txt'd me while standing on the roof of the highest building in Boston, his toes peeking over the edge: "B's lose 5-1".
'Twas not to be, as the Bruins banded together and played a tough, nearly error-free game and beat the San Jose Sharks, 2-1 in a shootout. Bruins goals from Paella (assist by Thornton and tenacious forechecking by Trent Whitfield; Milbury was losing his mind during the analysis). Shootout goal by Chara, as he wound up and shot an 8 foot slapper thru the wickets of Nabokov. The puck had already bounced off the back of the net by the time Nabokov reacted to the initial shot. It's almost a little unfair. Thomas stopped Heatley & Marleau in the shootout.
random crap
  • K-Tap, sporting a green shirt, most likely to support hubby Jay Leach - #28 in teal & black on your program. He didn't see much ice time in the 3rd period or OT.
  • Jack Edwards was so insane at the end of the game; his voice was either hoarse from yelling, or he was about to cry.
  • Jack Edwards also gushed about how loud the Sharks' arena can get, because of its "metal roof". Actually, most arenas have a "metal roof", it's just likely that improve sound, the metal roof has acoustic treatments (note the hanging sheets of something in the FleetGarden) to damp unwanted harmonics, etc. thus providing better sound for concerts. The Sharks' arena probably doesn't have these, making things "louder". Yeah, I know.
  • I dunno, but did you see that backhand, no-look pass made by Joe Thornton from behind the net that bounched off the half-wall and right to Dan Boyle, who shot the puck which led to the Sharks' only goal? Mercy.
  • Paella was just tireless out there, man. 7 shots last night in 14:43 of ice time. The Lunch Paille Gang. I ripped that off from one of the commenters on boston dot com.
  • Oh yeah, the B's lost a tough one the night before in Anaheim, 4-3.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lottery Watch!

Big news for Bruins fans last night:

Carolina 4
Toronto 2

Toronto is now only 4 points ahead of Carolina and Carolina has played two fewer games. Edmonton is only 2 points behind Toronto and they have played two fewer games as well. These three teams have separated themselves from the pack as far as being the NHL's anti-elite and Toronto is closing in on having the best chance for #1 overall come June.

Also of note is Phil Kessel having only mustered 1g and 2a in his past 13 contests.

That's the positive side of this post - here's the negative...

Quoth Fluto in the Globe blog under the heading "Minuses":
"Flickering emotional engagement. Might be the biggest underlying issue all season. They look like they care for only stretches of each game."

I could not agree more with anything Fluto has ever written. This team does not even make me want to root for it because a number of them are not trying. I feel like a sap for continuing to do so. Never have I seen such a turnaround in effort and commitment in a single season. This team has to show all of us something on this road trip. Just show us that you care! We're not expecting three wins while you are out there. At this point, I'd be overjoyed with 2 points out of the possible 6 on the trip...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hide All Sharp Objects

"I'm gonna call my girlfriend and tell her to hide all the knives in the kitchen. This game is pathetic." -- "Minnesota" during the 2nd period of today's loss to the Rangers

The Bruins dropped another turd today on Causeway St., losing to the Rangers, 3-1. Yet again, Henrik Lundqvist OWNED us.
#1 star announced was Brandon Dubinsky. He skated on a line with Higgins & Avery. Has a greater collection of shitbags on 1 line ever been assembled? The 2nd period of today's game was so bad (3 shots to the Rangers' 21, I lost count), it could've been the worst period of the year. The Bruins now take to the road: Anaheim, San Jose, LA. Our hopes for this road trip are whale-shit low: 0-3-0. Savvy's got a partially torn MCL. It's just bad all over.
random crap
  • Bruins goal by Wideman, he beat Lundqvist from the blue line with a slapshot.
  • Brashear & Thornton squared off early. Thornton surprised Brash with a punch to the face and got the takedown, but it could have been more.

  • Today's roster program included a feature on Johnny Boychuk, who said his guilty pleasure was shopping, and what he loves to shop for is shoes. Hey, you wanna know how I know you're gay? But his real crime was on the Dubinsky goal, where he fell and looked around for a call by the ref and while Dubinsky walked in on Thomas to score. Speaking of shoddy defense, wasn't it HORRIBLE to see Del Zotto just breeze right in and score on Thomas

Trent Whitfield to the Rescue

"Say 'allo to...Trent Whitfield"

In response to the diagnosis of Savard's knee (out 2-3 weeks with a strain), Cload has called in the big gun from Providence: Trent Whitfield.

Trent Whitfield is an NHL veteran of 184 games, with 11-17-28 totals and 102 PIM. At 5'-11" and 204lbs, he is sure to be an equal replacement for Savard during even-strength and power play situations. So all you "nattering nabobs of negativism" out there who think that the Bruins are finished, I urge you to reconsider based on the hefty resume of Whitfield.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Deal with Satan

The Bruins were outclassed last night by the Blackhawks and lost, 5-2. Goals by Satan (result of a hustling forecheck by Wheels) and Wheels. Cload pulled Timmy in the 2nd period after he let in a floater from the blue line. After then, Chicago just laid back and toyed with the Bruins. Last night we witnessed the cold efficiency of what is probably this year's Stanley Cup champ.
Marc Savard, on his first shift, just 28 seconds into the game, hurt his knee. MRI is being conducted this morning, but it can't be good.
random crap
  • We're not totally sure, but we're sure enough, that Row 10 (who left early again) loudly expressed his wish for Wheels to get AIDS. Now Wheels has been the object of 311's ire the past few months, but we've never gone as far as wishing for him to get sick.
  • Hunwick was HORRIBLE. He was fighting himself and fighting the puck.
  • Andy McQuaid was out of his element, he needs to get back down to Providence soon.
  • Compare with Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook - arguably the league's top defense pair. Both were +4 last night.
  • Byfuglien ("BUFF-lin") and Toews ("TAVES")? 311 hasn't encountered messed up names like this since Stan Neckar (NETS-cash) back in the late 90's.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nice Win.

"Worship Satan" noted one brave View from 311 commenter. Perhaps we should get our pentagram tattoos ready and listen to some Slayer. In his Bruins debut, called into action earlier than expected due to Bergeron's broken thumb (out for 2 weeks), Miroslav Satan was a +2 in 14:06 of ice time. Perhaps Satan's presence had an effect on Wheels, who scored 2 goals and had an assist. Thomas was solid in net.
Also, Team USA beat Canada yesterday twice: in the Under-17 tournament (2-1 win over Canada in Timmins, ON), and in the World Juniors (6-5 OT win in Saskatoon, SK). Hey Canada, at least you still have curling. For now.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010



So yet again, the Bruins manage to
sleepwalk thru another game. There was a glimmer of hope, as the B's tied it up late in the 3rd period on a Blake Wheeler (!) goal. But for the remainder of the game, they played for the tie, and got burned by ex-Hab Christopher Higgins. So they lost, 3-2. Other goal was by Hunwick. Also, to add to the suckage of last night's game, Bergeron took a shot off the hand and is out for tonight's game vs. Ottawa. He's probably got a broken finger and gone for 4 weeks, knowing our luck. Cload was pretty pissed about their lackluster performance, according to this morning's Globe, so maybe they'll respond tonight.

Monday, January 4, 2010

B's Sign Satan

Bruins signed 35-year old Miroslav Satan to a prorated contract of $700K ($350K cap hit). Clearly, this means bench time for Bitz/Ryder/Wheels/Sobotka. According to what KPD has written, Satan & Chara (both Slovaks) are BFFs.

Quick, non-expert analysis: a proven power play scorer, hopefully he will give a little spark to the team. He doesn't seem to get injured a lot, and took getting demoted last year in Pittsburgh pretty well. This isn't the 1999 version of Satan, so I'm not expecting too much. He played for a bit with the Islanders, look for Mike Milbury to have something to say about this.

Winter Classic, etc.

Bobby Clarke and Bobby Orr meet up at center ice before the game.

Phew! Who isn't hockeyed out after the past few days' events, huh?

So in case you haven't heard, a few hockey games were played at Fenway. The first one was the Winter Classic, where the Bruins pulled it together in the final minutes to eke out a 2-1 OT win. Then Saturday featured the Legends Classic where Jay Miller displayed his nascent sniper abilities and scored a hat trick. Not occuring at Fenway, but equally entertaining has been the World Junior Championships - USA losing to the Hosers 5-4 in a shootout on New Year's Eve, then USA beating the Finns, then last night beating the Swedes. If you like fast, crazy-skilled hockey, check out the World Juniors. USA plays Canada for the gold tomorrow night at 8pm on the NHL Network.
Winter Classic random crap
  • TOO MANY FLYERS FANS. What a bunch of rubes. I was half-expecting them to throw batteries on the ice when the B's scored.
  • SCOTT HARTNELL. This guy is right up there with Avery as far as being an on-ice punk. His hair is obnoxious, he looks like Carrot Top out there. Lootch needs to come back so the B's won't get pushed around anymore.
  • SHUT UP, we know that "it's like being a kid again" after seeing the footage/hype of the previous outdoor games.
  • I can't believe they played "Sweet Caroline", the whole tradition at Sox games blows my mind, but there are those who say it galvanized the Bruins into scoring the goal, so my new fear is that they'll play this at the FleetGarden after Lootch beatdowns instead of "Seek & Destroy".
  • That B-2 Stealth flyover was something else. You expect flyovers to be all loud and stuff, and this thing was quiet as a mouse. Definitely a "holy shit" moment.
  • You call that "hot chocolate"???? Dude, it was brown water. HORRIBLE.
Legends Classic random crap
  • How nice was it to see Cam Neely skating again?
  • Charlie Jacobs scored a goal. As you would expect, the guy's 145lbs soaking wet, holding an anvil, so it's no surprise that Tom Werner (yes, that Tom Werner) beat him down in a "fight".
  • Cload was out there, playing "defense".
  • Middleton was awarded a penalty shot after being hooked down. He beat Peter Farrelly five-hole.
  • Farrelly was actually pretty good in net. Not just a connoisseur of dick 'n fart jokes, that Farrelly. He got the MVP of the game.
  • The attendance for this event was pretty good. The bleachers were kind of empty, but the Field Boxes & Grandstands were decently packed.
  • Jack Edwards and some other guy did the play-by-play, which was broadcast over the Fenway PA.

Saturday, January 2, 2010