Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hockey's Greatest Day?

The best single day slate of games in the history of the sport is about to begin...I'm beside myself...

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Road to the Gold

Captain Cloquet Minnesota, Jamie Langenbrunner, became a national hero last night. Everyone is giving Rafalski and Miller all the credit (and deservedly so, but i'm going to point out what Jamie did too). On the first shift of the game, Jamie wins a battle on the boards, feeds his point and hustles across the ice to create traffic. Sidney Crosby picks him up and ends up deflecting Brian Rafalski's shot in for the 1-0 lead. Later on in the first, Marty Brodeur makes a bad decision and bats the puck to a hard-charging Rafalski at the blueline. Jamie goes straight to the net, provides the screen, Rafalski fans on the shot, but Brodeur doesn't see it because of Jamie providing traffic and Brodeur ends up deflecting it into the net off of his left toe. If you look back at the replay, you'll see Rafalski was aiming high glove, but took a stick to the hands just before release that caused him to partially fan and send it along the ice. This is also why Brodeur looked bad on the play - he was positioning himself for a shot to the top corner. Finally, Jamie was once again providing traffic in front of the net on the game-winning goal and it hit his skate and deflected into the net. I can't put it into words how proud I am that he is from my hometown. What a great win for USA hockey. However, they haven't won anything yet...they need to use this momentum and find a way to win when it counts in the medal round.

Because the Swedes defeated the Finns last night, the USA gets the #1 seed for the medal round. This is the best possible place to be because of how everything else fell. On Wednesday, the USA will play the winner of the Belarus/Switzerland in the quarterfinals. Both teams are capable of beating the USA, but this certainly is an easier opponent compared to what the rest of field faces in the quarterfinals. The other three quarters will be SWE/SLO, RUS/CAN, and FIN/CZE assuming the Czechs, Canadians, and Slovakians take care of business on Tuesday against weaker opponents. So, let's say the USA gets the job done in the quarters. They will play the winner of the FIN/CZE quarterfinal on Friday. This will be an extremely tough game no matter who it is, but I would rather face one of these two teams than Russia or Canada or even Sweden for that matter.

If they can pull that off, they're in the gold medal game against whoever advances out of this "group of death" on the other side of the bracket: Canada, Russia, Sweden, and Slovakia.

Buckle up and enjoy the ride. USA hockey has already given us something we will never forget, but it COULD get even better.

PS - I was wrong about Chris Drury. He is playing the consummate team game and doing whatever it takes out there and he got rewarded with a huge goal last night. Congratulations to him.

PSS - On a Bruins note, Phil Kessel proved to me last night that the Bruins made the right decision in letting him go. He is not a big game player because he cannot handle physicality. He was a liability in the defensive zone last night. It led to one of Canada's goals and could have led to another if not for Ryan Miller. Ron Wilson took him off the Pavelski/Malone line after Canada scored the 2nd goal with that line on the ice as well he should have. Congratulations Peter Chiarelli on officially coming out WAY AHEAD in that deal with Toronto.

Ryan Miller is Jesus

Well, I was wrong. The USA/CAN game turned out to be one of the more exciting hockey games I've seen since BOS/MTL Game 6. USA got a quick goal right away from Rafalski and never looked back. They responded whenever CAN scored, and though things looked iffy when the game was tied, 2-2, Ryan Miller was there to save the day. And that Ryan Kesler empty goal was the coolest empty net goal (if there ever was such a thing) I've seen since Hextall's. USA wins, 5-3.
random crap
  • This team is strange in that I'm forced to root for players I normally hate. Brooks Orpik is one of the top 10 pieces of shit in the NHL, yet now I'm rooting for him and screaming at the television, esp. when he dumped Sidney Criesby. And Phil Kessel, I'm rooting for Kessel?
  • How about the deafening silence at the Canada Hockey Centre last night, huh?
  • Canada now plays Germany (Sturm!) to qualify for something, and if they beat Germany (which they should), they then play Russia and Flying Ovechkins.
  • Boy, does NBC suck ass or what? Their main broadcast on a Sunday night was figure skating (ice dancing?) instead of this incredible game.
  • Aside: Who are the bigger d-bags on the local slopes: terrain park snowboarders or telemark skiers? I'm actually going to go with telemark skiers. You know the type: usually has a beard, a backpack, and a smug look on their face.
  • US Men's Curling. Shuster was back in last night to screw up the game against Great Britain (which ended conveniently right before the hockey game). We are 2-5, we play Canada today and China tonight. No medal this year.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Swiss beat Norway

Now THIS was a hockey game, folks. A buncha lead changes, bodies flying all over, great goaltending, up & down action. The Swiss win in the OT session, 5-4. One hopes that CAN/USA tomorrow lives up to the hype. But probably not - the US will be bad, probably trapping against a Canadian squad who, for all their talent, will spend most of the game trying to be too cute.

USA Curling Wins Again

In overtime, the USA Men's Curling team again won a game on the final shot. They beat Sweden, 8-7. Not sure really how it all works, but Shuster was kept away from taking the last shot - it was Jason Smith who took the last shot. The USA is now 2-4, and I don't know what happens next.

USA finally wins one

Nothing like facing the French to get yourself off the schnide. Last night, the USA men's curling team swapped out John Shuster for Chris Plys and beat France, 4-3, on the final shot. Will USA stay with Plys or go with Shuster in today's game ("bonspiel"?) vs. Sweden?
Yeah, I'll probably be watching curling again today since NBC refuses to air any alpine skiing live (today is the women's super-G).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Canada gets lucky

Last night the Swiss (!) gave Canada all they could handle in a pretty exciting game. I have to admit, I forgot to tune in until the middle of the 2nd period - and I was shocked to see the score so close - Canada on top, 2-1 (Goals by Heatley, Marleau). As soon as I got a txt from the Mayor "are you watching this?!", the Swiss put in their 2nd goal to tie the game. My face was 6" from the screen for the 3rd period as Canada attacked the Swiss and Jonas Hiller (45 saves total) shut them down. The Swiss actually attacked in OT, getting 3 shots, but for some reason, the IOC has Olympic hockey like NHL hockey. We were stuck watching a shootout. Crosby scored on Canada's 4th attempt, and Brodeur made all 4 saves. So the Swiss played a great defensive game, and but lost on an individual skill competition.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

If you're not watching the Olympics, you don't have a pulse...

Ok here we are...

I could write a book on the last few days.

Random thoughts-

How stupid is NBC for putting live microphones on snowboarders? Seriously? It was beautiful, I was just waiting for it, and it came. Wow.

Milbury and Roenick may kill each other by the times these games are over. No doubt. Milbury cuts off everything Roenick tries to say, and JR stares him down. They haven't agreed on anything. Blows are coming soon.

I HATE no touch icing. PATHETIC. It's HORRIBLE.

Something strange is going on with the Olympic Hockey tv timeouts. It's as though the officials on the ice don't even acknowledge them. They just drop the puck whenever they want. How many times have you come back from a commercial to the game in progress?

CURLING IS MESMORIZING! Seriously. I love it. The skill, the strategy, the fact that it's on ice. The U.S.A. however after another heartbreaking loss in extra's last night is now 0-3 in the round robin. That guy Shuler/Shuster? is about as clutch as Scott Norwide.

It looks as though Marco Sturm recorded about 40 minutes of ice time in that Germany game...He's on every single unit, and I swear he was triple shifting...

LAST NIGHT'S SLOVAKIA/CZECH GAME WAS THE GAME OF THE TOURNAMENT SO FAR! Why it was on at midnight eastern is beyond me (and why the Slovakia/Swiss woman's game preempted it is even worse.) Thoughts from the game.. HOW DID I MISS THAT VLADIMIR RUZICKA WAS COACH OF THE CZECHS? Brilliant! Aren't him and Jagr the same age? Jagr looked amazing (goal and assist) and could greatly help out the B's. A funny moment when Krejci and Chara tumbled to the ice in the first. Also, cut it out with the visors. They are horrendous. Chara went to the box in the 3rd, again not really stepping up when he should (sound familiar?). Czechs win 3-1. SWEET tip by Elias for the first goal, reeked of Recchi.

Missing the U.S.A. game because of work again today. Terrible. We can all look forward to Sunday evening however with the USA/CANADA.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Belarus - Finland

I was gonna watch this, but then I realized that to watch this game is to acknowledge the existence of the Brothers Kostitsyn, the top douche hydrants of the NHL.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Canada Pounds Norway, 8-0

It wasn't quite the blowout. The first period actually ended with no score. Then slowly Canada began to get their feet going and starting scoring goals like crazy. Norway trapped throughout the first period and played a pretty calm game. But things got out of hand. Canada goals by Iginla (3), Heatley (2), Richards (a shorty from Bergeron), Getzlaf, Perry. Bergeron played most of the night on Canada's 4th line with Richards and Toews.
random crap
  • No touch icing. It's odd to see this. Also, no trapezoid.
  • Contrary to what Minnesota experienced with his cable provider, I found the CAN/NOR game on channel 901 (Comcast), but then I had to switch to 795 at 8pm after curling ended (USA lost to Japan)
  • Luongo in goal. Lines were mostly Nash-Crosby-Iginla, Marleau-Thornton-Heatley, Perry-Getzlaf-Staaaaal, Toews-Bergeron-Richards
  • Norway's goaltender, Pal Grotnes, played a pretty strong game, considering. He was pulled after the 4th goal. Then they put in Andre Lysenstoen and the floodgates opened.
  • After each goal, the obnoxious "OLE" chant/song was played. I was hoping this was purely a Montreal phenomenon, but Vancouver is doing it as well.
  • Ya know who I'm waiting to see on team Russia? Former Bruin Sergei Zinovjev. He played with us for a short time, then just didn't really feel like playing for the AHL and joined the KHL. A little bit of a head case, but IIRC, had some mad one-on-one skillz.
  • Dick Ebersol has a huge forehead. That shit's, like, a five-head.
  • Women's hockey - Finland vs. China just started. China is pretty bad. They play like me.


The USA got an opening win, but certainly didn't look like world beaters.  They mustered just 2 shots on goal in the 3rd period as the Swiss took the attack to them.  Chalk it up to nerves and getting used to each other and let's hope they get better.  Timmy was in the all-too-familiar role of door opener on the USA bench.  Comeon Ron, put him in there on Thursday!  Bobby Ryan opened the scoring with a sweet release from the high slot.

David Backes scored the eventual game-winner with a nice end-to-end rush off a Ryan Miller save (where's his assist? - tough scorekeeper).  He made sometimes Hab, sometimes Hamilton Bulldog Yannick Weber look silly.  Ryan Malone had the 3rd USA goal on the PP by banging in a rebound.

Funny hearing Jeremy Roenick talk about Jamie Langenbrunner after the game (teammates in 1998)...Legend has it in my hometown that Jeremy Roenick was primarily responsible for the disgraceful incident in the Olympic Village in Nagano back in 1998.  Also, Mike Millbury giving Jeremy Roenick a hard time was pretty entertaining.  I'm hoping they drop the gloves at some point.

Man, do we get screwed as hockey fans here in the states.  CNBC carries the USA/Japan Women's Curling match IN IT'S ENTIRETY and pre-empts the majority of the 1st period of Canada/Norway.  Amazingly, still 0-0 after the first period!

Sidebar, as the Morale Officer has stated multiple times leading up to the Olympics, this version of the USA Women's curling team is a little too "housewifey" compared to the young, blond-haired, blue-eyed team from my home state in 2006.

Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit

"Unity, Justice, and Freedom." The national motto of Germany, a very eerie omen for the boys from Deutschland.

You haven't heard from me in months, and I apologize for my absence. However, I was not about fill the View From 311 with mindless babble about how much Morris and Wideman, and well pretty much everyone else was driving me bananas since before christmas. The Winter Classic soured me on hockey for awhile. It's true, it was a great experience and I wouldn't have traded my attendance for the world. But something about the way the B's played that day irked me, and then the great inevitable slide to the bottom of the conference. However a 4 game win streak to head into the Olympic break, and now some of that Olympic hockey has brought me back, I'm in for the long haul loyal blog readers. Let's do this preview, German style.....

Einigkeit (Unity)- Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer. Or for you non-German speakers, one People, one Reich, one Leader. Well they sure have the one leader, Uwe Krupp, former NHLer (700+ games played) with 6 different teams as recently as 2003 with the Thrash in HOTlanta. Krupp was the first German born player to win a Stanley Cup with the '96 Avalanche, scoring the Cup clinching goal for the Avs. However for the rest of the team, not so much. 7 of the "German National Team" members are foreigners! 4 Canadians, 1 Czech, 1 Austrian, and a Kazakh. The foreigners play for German League teams, but does that make it right? Doesn't much matter me thinks, with only 5 NHLers on the roster anyhow, Germany is looking at a pounding like 1944.

Recht (Justice)- Well justice they might not find either. Stuck in a group with both the Fins and Swedes, we're looking at a pretty much screwed German team unless Sturmface becomes a 2010 Olympic Craze. The only chance at a win in pool play is that against Belarus. One upset of either Finland or Sweden could earn them tournament play in the first round, but it would have to coincide with the same team losing to FIN/SWE.

Freiheit (Freedom)- Freedom will come for the Germans, I assure you that, and a sigh of relief if you happen to be a Bruins fan. As far as I'm concerned, Sturmy gets 9 days off starting this Sunday. Sturm and Jochen Hecht are your two best players with your starting goalie.......wait for it...... the starting goalie for the Worcester Sharks.

So we'll say losses to Sweden and Finalnd and they'll squeak one out against Belarus. Not a great trip to BC for the Germans. Stay tuned for coverage of at least one of these games. (They will show it on TV right??)

Canada - Norway Preview

Today at 4:30pm Vancouver Time, Canada will pound the shit out of Norway in a Group A matchup at the "Canada Hockey Place" (the GM Place - IOC doesn't allow corporate sponsorships for venues). Norway consists of 1 NHL'er, Ole Tollefsen of the Philadelphia Flyers. The rest of the Norwegian team appears to play in the Swedish Elite League. The forward to watch for Norway is Mats Aasen, who is 3rd in SEL scoring (18-33-51). He might score their only goal.
Canada...well, Canada's got, let's see here, might recognize a few names:

Goalies: Luongo, Fleury, Brodeur
D-men: Keith, Weber, Seabrook, Doughty, Pronger, Boyle, Niedermayer (C)
Fowards: Morrow, Marleau, Iginla, Heatley, Toews, M Richards, J Thornton, E Staaaaaaal, Perry, our own Patrice Bergeron, Getzlaf, Nash (Rick, not Steve), Crosby
Coaches: Head Coach is Mike Babcock, assisted by Jacques Lemaire, Lindy Ruff, Ken Hitchcock

Prediction: Win for Canada, let's say 14-0. Thornton gets 14 assists.

Team Slovakia...A True Underdog Story...

In doing our best to offer Olympic previews with players from the Bruins, we bring you...TEAM SLOVAKIA! (you have to love that baby outfit...)

Anyway, the USA can rally around the underdog label, but in true degenerate fashion, let's take a look at the Vegas line.

Currently the Slovak's (who have never won an Olympic Hockey medal) are +4000 to win the gold. That is correct folks. A wager of $100 dollars would win you $4000 if the team from Slovakia (population 5 million) can do the improbable.

And it is going to be a tough road to climb, as half of the NHL forwards on the team (Marian Hossa, Gabarik, and Satan) could all miss the opener against the Czech's on Wednesday evening due to injury.

A quick glance at the team...

From your Boston Bruins. Captain and D-man Zdeno Chara, and that's right folks, forward Miro Satan (who shockingly has his own "official" website that hasn't been updated in a LONG TIME: . Coincidence that the not so fleet footed forward is slow to update his official website, I think not. But honestly here, could we have two opposite ends of the spectrum for the B's? Chara can dominate a game, Satan could score goals in bunches (5 years ago). Still injured from his own stick cutting him we have this classic quote from Miro going into the games: "I'm out there, but it's not sure if I can play," Satan said. That quote alone should be a big confidence boost to the nation.

On to the Goalie: Our good friend from Montreal, Jaroslav Halak, who is getting the nod over CA-REY Price these days. Could Halak stand on his head to give the Slovaks a chance to go deep? My humble opinion is MAYBE. I think it's a bit of a stretch, but he's been playing good hockey of late. He's had 7 games this season where he has stopped over 40 shots. He'll be backed up by Peter Budaj from the Avalanche and some other dude from a KHL team.

In front of Halak- We have Chara and some other big dudes. This Slovak D can bang and shoot, so they may be able to intimidate some other teams. Jurcina can play, and both Visnovsky and Sekera can move the puck a bit. Overall-it's pretty clear that the Slovak's will be relying on their D in a big way.

Why? Because this forward core is SUSPECT. Injuries and old guys are weighing them down up front. As I touched upon earlier both Gaborik and Hossa are hurt (I guess we'll throw Satan in there) and Demitra has been on the shelf forever due to shoulder problems. Some other guys I've never heard of who apparently are decent in the KHL provide "experience." I guess. Either way, it's going to be HUGE if Gab, Hossa, and Demitra are healthy. If that happens and they can gel, perhaps the Slovaks can score goals. More so at least than their women's team who lost (wait for it) 18-0 to Canada. I had to work that in somehow.

So end of the day? Can Slovakia win gold and net 4000 big ones on a 100 dollar bet. It's a long shot. But if Halak plays way over his head, Chara and the D knock some people around, and some of those forwards put some pucks in the net anything can happen.

It's a long shot. But so was the U.S. in 1980....

Hey-who knows...maybe Satan gets hot and comes back to the Bruins with his old touch.

One can dream, it is the Olympics after all...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Team USA Preview

Cue the NBC Olympic music. I'm getting pumped. It helps that the Bruins went into the break with a 4-0 roadtrip so I'm no longer considering ballet and yoga in lieu of being a hockey fan. I'm covering Team USA because captain Jamie Langenbrunner was just 3 years ahead of me on the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Lumberjacks in Northern Minnesota. The amount of pride in my hometown for Jamie is immense - my mother says the local paper devoted a big spread to him the other day.

Here's the schedule:
Tuesday, Feb 16 - Switzerland @ 3 PM EST
Thursday, Feb 18 - Norway @ 3 PM EST
Sunday, Feb 21 - Canada @ 7:40 PM EST

Obviously, the USA is heavily favored in the first two games, but they better be ready because Jonas Hiller and Switzerland could easily surprise them. Teams in all three groups will be competing for points (using the three-point system) and the top 4 overall earn a first round bye. The USA/Canada game will likely have a bye at stake (though it would be possible for both teams to earn a bye). This is big because if you do not acquire a bye, you will be forced to play Tues-Weds-Fri-Sun to win the gold instead of just Weds-Fri-Sun.

The three-point system! Take notes Gary Bettman. This is how the NHL Standings should work because the current system is ridiculous. Winning in regulation garners 3 points. Making it to overtime gives 1 point to each team and the team that wins in overtime or the shootout gets an additional point. This makes EVERY GAME worth three points! A novel idea. If applied to the NHL, teams that are skills competition specialists would not be rewarded as much they presently are.

I swell with pride when the olympics come around because I grew up with the college game. 17 of the 23 members of the USA roster got their start in the college ranks. Unfortunately, none of them are from my UMD Bulldogs, but 9 of the 17 hail from the WCHA which is easily the best conference in the college game (and I'll have words with anyone that tries to tell me Hockey East is better). There are three former Wiconsin Badgers which is the most of any one school (Pavelski, Rafalski, and Ryan Suter). For you Hockey East supporters, there are 4 reps: Quick, Orpik, Whitney, and Drury. Speaking of Drury, I don't know why he is on this team (leadership shmeadership when your game is that far in the tank) - I am hoping he is the healthy scratch forward. Count me among the many who think Tim Connolly should be there instead.

My key to this tournament is the young defensive corps. Veterans Rafalski and Orpik are going to have to provide leadership for the relatively inexperienced Johnson's, Gleason, Suter, and Whitney. If this young D corps can hold their own and Ryan Miller can regain his early season form, the USA could pull off an upset or two and make their way to the gold medal game. I'm psyched to see how this young group of forwards comes together - many of us Bruins fans will actually be rooting for Phil Kessel for the next two weeks.

And, as a Bruins fan, I'm just hoping Ron Wilson gives Timmy a chance to play in garbage time against Norway perhaps. He has to be third on the depth chart with the emergence of Quick this season.

Look for coverage of Slovakia, The Czech Republic, Germany, and Canada from other View From 311 contributors in the next couple weeks as we keep an eye on all of the Bruins...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bruins win 4th straight

Finding ways to win. The B's were sluggish throughout the first half in the game, but managed to find a way to win a 3-2 shootout against the Panthers. Goals by Krejci (a weak one on his Olympic team mate Vokoun) and Recchi (sweet tip-in off the shaft of his stick on a Wideman wrister), with Recchi getting the shootout winner in the 8th round. When you have 2 teams like Boston & Florida who have little offensive luck going these days, no surprise they went 8 rounds in a shootout. Rask with the win. He looked pretty good out there.
random crap
  • McQuaid fought Oreskovich. Oreskovich wears a visor, but that didn't slow down McQuaid, who just started flailing away right in front of the B's bench. Kluzak was definitely impressed during the intermission chats with K-Tap.
  • B's are now in 7th place, and are 4-0-0 since the return of Andrew Ference
  • Satan's resting his lacerated hand, Bitz came back into the lineup in Satan's absence.
  • Sweet end-to-end rush and goal by Stephen Weiss of Florida. Got Chara all tied up and faked out Rask pretty good.
  • Just watched Hannah Kearney of Norwich, VT win the gold in the women's freestyle skiing. Watching Kearney/Heil/Bahrke pound thru moguls that fast left me breathless, that was some phenomenal skill on display there.
  • View from 311 won't be idle during the Olympic break - we'll be posting on the success/failure of the Bruins players that are involved with the Olympics.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Couldn't Resist...

View from 311 is going to do our best to update you on all things Bruins in the Olympics.

Here's one for the ages...

Satan..Firepower? Wow..Slovakia must be HURTING...(holding its breath...) for Satan? REALLY? You have to clock the dude with a sundial.


Slovakia holding its breath 02.11.2010 / 10:45 p.m. ET

Boston forward Miroslav Satan left Thursday night's game against Tampa Bay with an undisclosed injury. According to reports, it appears that Satan was injured in a scuffle with Tampa Bay's Steve Downie early in the contest after Downie objected to a check thrown by Satan. Slovakia is counting on the veteran Satan to provide some firepower up front when the Olympics start next week. Satan has a pair of goals and 5 points in 17 games since signing as a midseason free agent with the Bruins. He appeared to be rounding into form lately and looked primed to make another strong showing for his country in international competition. Now, though, there has to be some concern about his availability for these Olympics. We'll continue to follow this story right up until final rosters are submitted on Feb. 15. --Shawn P. Roarke

PHEW......B'S WIN 5-4

Full disclosure here- I did not watch the first 2 periods of the B's game last night. I realize I'm a horrible blogger, but I had a late meeting for work. Something has to pay for that Center Ice.

Here's what I do know. I'm getting texts throughout the first 2 periods ranging from "This is unbelievable!", "The doghouse crew scored (Lucic & Satan)", "Satan just got roughed up by Downie""Chara just messed up Downie", etc etc etc. I check and it's 5-0. Ok, B's are finally shooting the puck into the net, Lucic is on his game, and the Krejci line is firing on all cylinders. Awesome. We are on a 3 game winning streak, win one more and cruise into the Olympic break.

I get home for the start of the 3rd, by then 5-2. No sweat, skate hard for 20 minutes, game in hand.

STOP THE PRESSES! Hey Bruins, hockey is a 3 period game. This is a problem that has been bugging them for weeks. Throughout the 10 game losing streak etc. Keep skating hard. Yes, the officials didn't help, but man, to make a game that close. I literally thought in the final minute that TB would tie it up. That bad. I don't know what it is. This Bruins team still gets complacent. Not sure why? Seriously, you're not that good. Still riding a YOUNG goalie, and besides last night, having trouble scoring goals.

Either way, a win is a win. Still waiting for that Bruins team to roar back into the fire. The team that will destroy you if you look at them sideways. And we are getting to that point. The Lucic beat down the other night, Chara last night, Thornton throwing. But keeping that up for 60 minutes. Stepping on the ice and having teams FEAR playing you. That is where this team was at for the majority of last year, and I think can get to that point again. Goals are starting to come, Tuukka has been solid (with a few glove side mistakes), and the toughness is coming back.

Let's get one more and go into the break with a 4 game winning streak...

It's funny how the game goes. Had the Bruins won 5-0, or even 5-2, I"d be crowning them Eastern Conference Contenders...5-4 and I find the negatives...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tim Thomas Reality Check

Let me lead this off by saying Toucher & Rich are morons. And John Wallach goes beyond moron because he talks like he's the expert on the show (this is equivalent to being the best hockey player on the Guatemalan national team). I tuned in this morning because I had heard they had been talking Tim Thomas trades and wanted to see what they were basing it on. The answer is nothing. I'm sorry I tuned in. Never have I heard more misinformation in so short a span.

Some guy from thinks they can get a forward, a defenseman, and a veteran goaltender in return for Tim Thomas? Are you effing kidding me? Sounds like some pinhead who just got himself a new job and wanted to feel important in his first ever radio appearance by spewing drivel to incite a few days of chatter. Also, of all the hockey sites out there, where does rank in the list? And, tell me how this supposed deal would ever fit under the cap and name me the players?

I do give Toucher & Rich credit for this: They did know that some emailer saying they should trade Thomas and Ryder for Patrick Kane was an idiot. Congratulations fellas, you're up to the 5th percentile in hockey knowledge.

Without further ado - here are some things to piss on the fire T&R are trying to create on their radio show...

Chicago will not trade for Tim Thomas - Here is why:
Chicago is in severe cap trouble for next year. If Tim Thomas is on their team, they cannot buy him out without still taking the FULL cap hit for him (35+ Year-old player contract). AND, they cannot send him to the minors to avoid the cap hit which they can do with Huet (Thomas has a no-movement clause). It's simple, the Tim Thomas contract would be a noose around Chicago's management's necks for THREE years after this year.

The Bruins will not trade Tim Thomas to Washington - Here is why:
What will Washington give the Bruins in return? They don't have any assets on the blueline that would interest the Bruins. I don't think the Bruins are interested in Mike Knuble. The Capitals aren't going to trade Ovechkin, Backstrom, or Semin. That leaves lesser players like Brooks Laich and Tomas Fleischmann as potential acquisitions. I don't think this is enough for the Bruins to trade for. Also, I believe Washington will go to the playoffs with Varlamov as their goaltender. The only thing that Peter would go for would be Thomas for Semin (with some picks potentially involved), but I just don't think Washington wants to give up Semin for the difference between Thomas and Theodore/Varlamov.

The only Tim Thomas trade that makes logical sense to me would be with Philadelphia - Here is why:
The Ray Emery experiment has not worked out for them and he is now hurt again. Michael Leighton was a castoff from one of the worst teams in the league this year. Philadelphia is looking for stability in goal and has assets they would be willing to trade to get it...and these assets would also interest the Bruins. The one asset that jumps off the page is Jeff Carter - supposedly there are some locker room issues involving him this year and he has underperformed, but he is clearly an elite talent. This would also work for the cap since they have identical $5M cap hits. This makes sense. The crap that T&R were spewing on the radio makes no sense at all.

Now, before anything can be done, Timmy has to waive his no-trade. I have a feeling Timmy would be reluctant to waive his NTC to go to Philly. Could the Bruins be playing Tuukka right now in an attempt to get Thomas to waive his no-trade? I don't think they would do that to him, but there has to be some desperation on management's side of things so maybe they would. I like Tuukka, but he hasn't exactly been a late-'90's version of Dominik Hasek here lately either. That tying goal to Hamrlik against the Habs at home should not have gone in and yesterday's Myers goal was weak too (both of which beat him to the glove side, where Derek Roy's goal also beat him yesterday). John Wallach thinks Tuukka is the next Marty Brodeur, but I'm not ready to crown him just yet. But if you can get Jeff Carter in return for Tim Thomas, you do it.

The trouble is, if you're Peter Chiarelli, how do you convince Timmy to let you do it?

B's Win 2 Straight; Menino Planning Parade Route

I have to admit - I fell into a NyQuil-induced haze during the 3rd period and missed all of OT and the shootout. But I was hiiiiiiiiggghhh above rinkside for most of the game where the B's beat Buffalo, 3-2 in a shootout. (I'm watching the NESN replay now) The game featured the usual intense play that we've seen the past few games, but now we seem to be getting the bounces. 2 goals by Paella - and he almost had a hat trick. He's probably the most serious contender for the 7th player award at this season. 2 fights tonight - Thornton vs. Rivet and Lootch vs. Mair. Thornton spent a good portion of his fight trying to get Rivet's helmet off. Thornton with the takedown. Lootch's fight was pure anger - Mair hit him late and Lootch started pounding on him, even with his own jersey pulled over his head. Rask faced a ton of shots and hung in there pretty well, though that Tyler Myers wrister from the blue line looked a little weak to me. Krejci wins it in the shootout.
random crap
  • 98.5 the Sports Zone reported yesterday with some guy from "Hockey News" that a trade with Thomas going to Chicago was imminent. Sorry, I don't think these rumors are based in reality. Thomas costs too much, Chicago's right at the cap, too much junk in the way for this one to happen. Noted Minnesota, "Eklund's got nothing on this, and he's the biggest rumor monger out there."
  • What is it with these refs/linesman who simply cannot get out of the way of the puck? Instead, they gotta pull some sort of Boitano/Orser dance move when the puck comes to make it look flashy when they dodge the puck. This season, it seems the refs have been in the way more often.
  • BC won the Beanpot, which really only matters to anyone who attends or attended those 4 schools. NESN had a puffy Craig Janney doing analysis during the intermissions with Bob Beers and some goof named Brendan Walsh. Yeah, I don't know much about Hockey East. Bottomtooth enjoyed the game
  • Gaustad's a little bastard, isn't he? Chara & Gaustad battled a little bit early, but apparently Chara's got a splint on his dislocated finger, and when you drop the gloves with splints/casts on your fingers/hands/wrists, it's a suspension or something. I remember this being a factor a few years ago when the B's played MTL in the playoffs, and Souray wouldn't thrown down because his wrists were in splints. Anyway, the crowd booed Chara the whole time.
  • Bruins open up next season in Prague, a city near Krejci's & Sobotka's hometown. Actually not too far from Chara-land, either.
  • Miro Satan had an assist last night. There was a sequence in the game where he was 2 feet away from the puck in the crease but could not overtake some weenie Sabre defenseman (Butler). He's just not good enough anymore to skate with Savvy.
  • Seriously, how sad was that Wheeler fight the other night. You saw it, right? Two very sloppy overhand rights and then tripping over something and falling. It was like watching an NBA fight - where you got 2 guys who are so tall that no one will eff with them - so they actually never learn how to throw down, and you're stuck watching a slapfight between a coupla dudes. Wheels is 6'-5", probably never dropped 'em in his life because of his size, so he threw his purse at O'Byrne in desperation.
  • That said, I really would love it if everyone just pissed in the B's bowl of Wheaties every morning, and they played with an angry chip on their shoulder. Having your opponent believe that they may die when they play against you is a psychological edge.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

NHL News and Notes

Papa Smurf Steps Down
I had predicted Gainey would be gone by Thanksgiving so I was a little off, but still, this was long overdue.  The Canadiens let him go down gracefully by putting up the "it's time for me to leave" front.  As one commenter on TSN said: "The only GM Glen Sather ever fleeced" (The Scott Gomez deal).

Ryan Getzlaf Could Miss Olympics
I'm with Don Cherry and think Steven Stamkos should get the roster spot if Getzlaf can't go.  The leader in the clubhouse seems to be Jeff Carter since he was supposedly the last forward cut, but who has been better than Steven Stamkos in the past few weeks?

Leafs Lose to Sharks
The Leafs moved closer to lottery position on Monday night.  I watched this game and I must say that Kessel looked very good.  He had a goal and a very nice assist in the game.  The good news for us as Bruins fans is that J.S. Giguere looked very human after starting his Leafs career with two straight shutouts.  Heading into Tuesday's action, the Leafs had the 2nd worst record in the league.

Isles In Trouble
After a solid start to the season, the Islanders have fallen off the earth.  This is bad news for us as Bruins fans since they find themselves only 5 points ahead of the Leafs heading into Tuesday's action.  After winning a shootout at home against the Panthers on January 21, the Isles have not won a game.  And they haven't even acquired a point (0-7-0).  Get it together on Long Island and stay ahead of the Leafs fellas.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

(Letting out the biggest sigh of relief ever...)

After Sturm's second goal, the Morale Officer texts..."My face just fell off."


B's win in a great effort.

GREAT stones shown by Wheeler in throwing down with O'Byrne. Yes it was a SHORT bout ( Wheels got in 2 blows), but an absolute A plus for being willing. The B's should bring back the "hard hat" and give it to Blake for that.

Also, it's about time we got some lucky bounces. The McQuaid goal, along with Sturm's second.

Goalie controversy is on. BIG TIME. That's a lot of money sitting on the bench in a backup goalie (and I LOVE Timmy), but having Tukka start 3 in a row (and he looked damn good today) is a sign.

Gord and Barry speculated in between periods a team like the Caps could be interested. Obviously no real evidence on this but it makes sense.

Either way. Finally a win, and the Thomas trade watch is on...(or is it?)...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

You're once, twice, TEN times a loser...

Effort was good.

Team played hard.

Another loss.

AS SOON, as the Nucks tied it up 2-2, that look of deflation just returned to the B's.

Montreal tomorrow.

I'm off to the bar.

Good Night.


Took this picture with my phone when I was out last night. And for some reason it is EXACTLY how I feel about today's game, and is a wonderful metaphor for the season.
The season is like this sign. You know what you were going to eat was going to be ridiculously hot, and BURN the hell out of you. Runny nose, tears, etc. You knew this was going to happen going in, but you had to try it. And it hurt the hell out of you. Well, how could it possibly get worse? Yup, that ridiculously hot PAINFUL feeling that was on your fingers has now been transferred to the most painful place in the world.

Ladies and Gents, the 2009-2010 Boston Bruins. Burning you where it hurts, one game at a time.

Friday, February 5, 2010

OK Peter, It's Time To Do Something

I'm going to start this by saying that I have consistently been a Peter Chiarelli supporter. He hasn't signed the franchise-killing contracts that so many other GM's have and he hasn't mortgaged the future for the quick fix and realizes an organization needs to build from within. It remains to be seen if he hit on any of the draft picks during his tenure (Hamill, Colborne, Caron), but overall, I'd give him a solid B on his body of work up to now.

Unfortunately, there are now signs that this grade is in jeopardy. Has anybody been watching Miro Satan lately? The Bruins are 2-9-3 with him in the lineup (2g, 2a in those 14 games), and he is part of the problem. He is not strong on the puck, he's slow, and he typically loses possession whenever the puck finds him in the offensive zone. I said at the time of the signing that it was fine because it didn't cost the Bruins anything and could potentially help. Well, the results are in Peter, you gambled and lost on Miro. Time to scratch the guy and find a wingman for Savvy because he is being completely wasted playing with Miro and Lootch right now. You have the assets to go out and get some help. You don't have to overspend to do it (See: Ponikarovsky, Alexei or Torres, Raffi). Just get the Bruins to the playoffs and see what happens. Missing the playoffs is unacceptable and the ship is sinking right now.

Another glaring weakness that Peter could address without spending too much: Matt Hunwick. It is obvious he is not a top-4 defensemen in this league and it is also obvious he's not the same guy he was last year (join the club). Last night, Sergei Effing Kostitsyn outraced him for a puck to nullify an icing. That was his game - speed and the ability to recover quickly. He also got the patented Hal Gill Pylon Treatment in the third period, but Derek Morris thankfully bailed him out. A solid NHL defenseman to log 20 minutes a night could be had without breaking the bank. The good news is here, that post-Olympics, Ference and Stuart should be back in the lineup and Hunwick can get healthy scratched.

There are good signs right now (I have to focus on these things because between the Vikings loss and this losing streak I have considered taking up ballet and yoga and abandoning sports fandom). Krejci-Ryder-Wheeler has consistently been the Bruins best line since the West Coast trip. The numbers aren't there yet, but you can see things coming together for them especially if opposing teams have to deal with a threat from Savvy's line as well (only if Miro is removed from it). Did you see the shiftiness Krejci displayed on the 2nd Bruins goal last night? I think you could say he's close to being fully recovered from the offseason surgery. Derek Morris and Dennis Wideman have both been moving the puck extremely well lately - there is a reason they took the play to Washington on Tuesday and registered 47 shots last night.

I'm with the Mayor though - no team play, no jam, no toughness, no grit. This is what Peter was supposed to bring to the table. Raffi would inject the Bruins with some of that. And goaltending has been a problem too. Montreal's second goal last night should not have beat Tuukka. The "timely" save hasn't been there during this streak.

Sidebar on Kovalchuk. You saw what the Devils gave up for him. To match that, the Bruins would have had to include Krejci, a prospect and Toronto's 1st pick (MAYBE the Bruins 1st and Toronto's 2nd in lieu of Toronto's #1). Case closed, that was not the answer for Boston.

Peter, we're not asking you to go out and make a Kovalchuk-type deal, but it's time to do something.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I'm so sick of f'in losing.

Quite simply, it comes down to one thing in my mind. HEY BRUINS GET TOUGHER.


With about 5 minutes left in the 3rd, Darche went in on our goal, for a little extra curriculur. Barely a touch by the B's D. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ACT TOUGH, BE TOUGH, Yes you're finally shooting the puck on net, but seriously?

You are going to lose against Vancouver on Saturday, and probably Sunday in Montreal.


Hey Peter, remember when you said "we'd be tough to play against." YOU WERE LAST YEAR, NOW YOU ARE A JOKE, A LAUGHINGSTOCK.

Here's a quote to remember, because it actually matters...when teams were afraid of Boston...

"If I play badly, I'll pick a fight in the third, just to get into a fight. I"ll break a guy's leg to win. I don't care. Afterward I say, "Yeah all right I played badly, but I won the fight so who gives a damn."-Turk



Kovy Wants WAY Too Much Money

According to this story on, Kovalchuk turned down separate offers of 7 years and $70M and 12 years for $101M from Atlanta.  You simply can't pay a forward this much money and expect to field a Stanley Cup-caliber roster.  Forget about Ilya Kovalchuk Boston. 

KPD also reported in today's Globe that the Bruins were lagging well behind other bidders in what they were willing to give up.  That's good news to me.

Tonight is an absolute must-win for our boys.  If the Bruins lose again, look for a dude with a medium build and average height in his 30's falling into the loge from Section 311.


I threw a new poll up on the right - vote on it - curious to see who everybody thinks is the most disappointing this year.  I excluded the guys who have missed significant amounts of time to injury like Savard and Lucic, but you could certainly make a case for them too.  In fact, you could probably list the entire roster aside from Bergeron who may be the only player to have exceeded expectations this year.

I just went with the 5 players I think have been the most disappointing.  My anti-Wheeler bias may be showing here a little too; but I think Wideman, Ryder, and Hunwick would make just about everyone's top 5.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


It has been reported that Don Waddell, Thrashers GM, has told Ilya Kovalchuk to expect a trade within the next few hours or days.

Please Peter, I beg you, do not sell the future to bring this guy to Boston for two months.  Would it be incredibly fun to watch a more mature Marc Savard pass to him?  Yes, but not at the expense of the future because I cannot picture a scenario in which:

A) Bringing him here leads us to a Stanley Cup
B) The Bruins keep him here after this year and are able to remain competitive (he wants too damn much money)

Don't panic PC!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

(Insert every expletive in the book)

A couple things.

#1- Horribly my Vegas prediction was right. B's had NO business being only a plus 125. Yes a solid 2 periods was "good". But hey guys, hockey is 3 periods. And COUNT IT! 8 straight losses...

#2-11 straight wins for the Caps. Did I mention EIGHT STRAIGHT LOSSES FOR THE BRUINS.

#3- Toronto was up 3-0, and yes Kessel scored. (in no way do I want him back. good riddance)

#4- Most appropriate moment of the game. With less than 5 minutes left Krejci and Wheeler collide after crossing the blue line. Yup. Way to go offense.

#5- Bruins are openly shopping Ryder according to TSN. (too lazy/pissed to post apologies)

#6- Did Theodore think he was Ron Tugnutt? 40 saves is no 70, but not bad.

#7- Are you f'in kidding me Bruins? Ok you have shown "better effort" the last 3 games. But you are still HORRIBLE. Seriously. You were #1 in the East last year. Why? You hit, you stuck up for each other, you shot the damn puck. You played a team game. I don't know what this crap is, but it ain't pretty. Not to mention, a lot of people spend good money on you. Us idiot season ticket holders (ok I'm once removed), people who bought all the Winter Classic Crap, NHL Center Ice subscribers, people who have no money, yet order cable and NESN just to watch the B's. You owe it to all of us to be better.

#8- The Boychuck/Ovechkin love fest was really cute.

#9-Montreal than Vancouver. I wish the game against Vancouver was the actual Olympics, it's time man. This sucks. SUCKS!

#10- I originally said "a couple things". Well B's, here is one thing: WIN A GOD DAMN HOCKEY GAME.

48 hours vs. the Habs.

Help Us. Somebody. Anybody. HELP!

Fine. I lied. To all the gambler's in the house. Here is one guy that has it worse than the Bruins. God Bless Horse Racing..."The autopsies of my horses-they were clean, they were sound." (click here for the story)

B's/Caps...The Vegas Take

Let me start by saying that I don't give the B's a lot of hope in this game. Basically, based on past performances. The last two games were a bit of an improvement, but we still can't put the puck in the net, or win. So, my gut says we are losing AGAIN to the great #8 and the Caps.

However, Vegas really surprised me with the odds for tonight's game.

The Caps are a 1.5 goal favorite, and -145 on the money line.
The B's are + 125.
Over/Under is 6.

For all you non degenerates, what this means is that if you bet 100 dollars on the B's, and they win, you'd win $125. You'd have to bet $145 to win $100 on the Caps. Over/Under pick whether you think it will be over 6 goals (total) or under.

Either way, I absolutely thought the B's money line for this tilt would be over +150. Personal opinion, of course. Giving the B's not much of a chance to win this one against the top team in the East. Getting 125 back on a 100 dollar investment in this one, just doesn't seem worth it, since the B's probably won't win.

Good News- As we all know Vegas is rarely wrong, and I'm always wrong. So, what does this all mean? B's win.

Read Bob's Blog Post

Bob McKenzie posted a good piece about the hit Mark Stuart gave Anze Kopitar the other night.  A recommended read.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It Only Gets Harder

In this space with 12 games before the olympic break I said the Bruins needed to manage 12 points to survive. Then with 9 games to go I revised that to 10 after they got 0 in the 3 games between.

As it stands today, the Bruins have collected 1 of those 12 pre-olympic points I wanted 5 games ago. And now WAS and VAN are coming to town with the struggling Canadiens in between who will likely be without Cammalerri. Washington and Vancouver could not be hotter right now and it's almost unfair to the Bruins who appear ready to break out of the doldrums they are in.

To make things worse, Mark Stuart has a broken finger and will be out until after the break. He has been out there trying to do what he did to Anze Kopitar for a few games now - trying to wake this team up and I think he did on Saturday, but the Bruins were playing a very good team that is playing very good hockey right now (and they only lost in the skills competition). Ask the Devils, they held a 2-1 third period lead themselves yesterday and blew it in REGULATION to lose 3-2 to the up and coming Kings.

Mark Stuart is a caveman and a pit bull and if Chiarelli doesn't lock him up I will lose faith in this management team.  The Bruins cannot be trotting McQuaid out there with their playoff lives on the line.  Look for Chiarelli to make a move for a blueliner pre-break.