Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Miller Time

Yeah. The B's stayed on their usual, season-long path of consistent inconsistency. They lost last night, 3-2 to Buffalo. Tim Thomas let up 3 really soft-looking goals (I think he was screened on one of them, this fluttering slo-mo wrist shot that looked like a softball eephus pitch.); he looked really bad, off-balance and searching for the crease/posts. I think that's why Cload yanked his ass. Timmy needs to go back to yoga class and summon his Vezina mojo.
  • "What have you done for me lately?" asks the Bruins fandom, as TT was booed and Rask cheered wildly.
  • Wideman Suckage Chronicles continues. Like sands thru the hourglass, so is the massive suckage of Dennis Wideman. He was -3 last night and continues to be squirrely whenever the puck gets near him. He get booed whenever he touches the puck, like when Chara gets booed in MTL whenever he touches the puck.
  • Craig Rivet is a dick. Maybe it's my residual hatred left over from his Habs days, but he's a dick and Lootch wanted to kill him, but the linesmen separated them a few times. Disappointing.
  • Seidenberg is making a case for being re-signed. Trade Hunwick, trade Boychuk. Noted Minnesota recently, "Boychuk is NOT a defenseman. Nice shot...but that's it." The d-pair of Boychuk & Hunwick is an atrocity and an insult to the concept of "defense".
  • Sobotka was 9 out of 10 from the faceoff dot.
  • OH YES, that was Chara laying out ex-BC pissant Nathan Gerbe at center ice in the middle of the 2nd period.
  • The Canes beat the Thrash last night, keeping the B's dim playoff hopes alive.
  • Seidenberg is der scheisse.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

B's Extinguish Flames

Yesterday, the B's turned in one of their better efforts of the season and whupped the Flames, 5-0. Tim Thomas with the shutout. Goals by ahhhh Bergeron (off Flames' d-man skate), Krejci (kinda likea half-wrister/slappa that picked the corner on Kiipprruussooff), Chara (charging thru the slot on the PP, walked in alone and beat Kipper high blocker side), Seidenberg (looking nearly Bourque-like (that's Ray, not Rene) a one-timer from Wideman (2 assists) with Sturm screening, and Recchi diving on a shot to cap the scoring.
  • Quietly pleased with Thomas' shutout. He didn't have to work too hard, though he did deal with 3 or 4 collisions with Flames players. I can't be a Timmy-hater even if his GAA is 5.00. Cload appreciated his mental toughness because he was on the bench the past few games. Holy shit, Cload, TT is an even bigger journeyman that you. Any guy who spends his life in minor league hockey/overseas hockey and finally breaks into the NHL at age 28 - I think "mental toughness" and resiliency are pretty much a given at that point.
  • Just for shits 'n grins, let's compare the journeyman-ness of Cload & Tim Thomas. Cload, in 12 years, has played for: Oshawa Generals, Windsor Spitfires, Port Huron Flags, Salt Lake Golden Eagles, Milwaukee Admirals, Fredericton Express, Quebec Nordiques, Baltimore Skipjacks, Halifax Citadels, Kansas City Blades, Moncton Hawks. Tim Thomas, in 17 years, has played for: UVM Catamounts, HIFK Helsinki, Birmingham Bulls, Houston Aeros, Hamilton Bulldogs, Detroit Vipers, AIK Solna, Karpat, the P-Bruins, Jokerit Helsinki, Boston Bruins. Okay, maybe they're sort of equal in the bus mileage accrued. Nevermind.
  • Thornton dispatched Regehr in a 3rd period fight. Wasn't much of a fight, just mostly grappling, with Thornton connecting on maybe 2 punches. But he got the takedown.
  • I'm tellin' ya, Sobotka HAS to drop the gloves one of these days. He's flying around the ice, hitting folks, and it's great because he's a spaz and will take on anyone, but he's gotta answer the call one of these days...he was also 10 of 11 from the faceoff dot yesterday.
  • I prescribe the following remedy for Wideman and his season-long suckage: He needs to go to a cabin in northern Ontario or something, kill a large wild animal with his bare hands, and then eat it. Maybe have that Mantracker guy chase after him, too.
  • I'm warming up to the presence of Seidenberg on the blue line, maybe we can make room for him to be re-signed over the summer. TRADE HUNWICK.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Bruins Hate Us

Why can't this team win at home? After turning in 2 gritty efforts on the road, they come home, throw 50 shots on Tampa (The 'Ning, as Minnesota chooses to call them) and lose 5-3. Surely, many fans were pumped to see the Bruins return to form (sort of) on the road - and wanted to see the same type of effort/physicality last night. It was there for the most part, I guess. But the game lacked a fight, even with noble gas Xenon Konopka and league turd Steve Downie skating for the other side. But Niittyymmaakkii, despite being a rebound machine and helping the Bruins all he could, held the fort as the shots rained down. Ya know, at least if we make the playoffs, we'll play all games on the road as the 8th seed. So maybe sucking at home won't be so bad. Meanwhile, I'm gonna put my head back in the oven.
  • Row 12 mused aloud last night, "Hey, what's our record with Trent Whitfield in the lineup"? I looked it up. In 2009-2010, 4-8-3.
  • Wideman, he's just one metric ton of suck out there, huh? Wow.
  • I used to have Steven Stamkos on my fantasy hockey team, but I did not keep him for this season. So in case my posts didn't already show that I don't know anything about the game, there's additional proof. (Instead I kept...Kimmo Timonen.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Andrew Ference Signs 3-year Extension

According to Darren Dreger and now Matt Kalman, who might just be quoting Dreger, the deal carries with it a cap hit of $2.25M per year. This seems high to me and the commenters are out in full force on the Globe's blog post. He had previously only carried a cap hit of $1.4M and hasn't exactly proven to be durable. He played in 59 games in '07-'08, just 47 last year and he has already missed 22 games this year. Now, the surprising statistic here is the Bruins are just 5-12-5 in those 22 games meaning they are 28-15-7 when he is in the lineup. He first got injured in the Ottawa game shortly after the Winter Classic where the Bruins played very well. The next game was against Chicago where Savard exited on the first shift. Ference then missed the next 14 games and the Bruins went 1-9-4 in that span. He returned just in time for the 4-game winning streak prior to the Olympics. Maybe something can be said for this, but the Bruins were missing Savard and Bergeron for much of that stretch as well.

I just don't think he is worth that much for what he brings to the table (8 assists in 50 games and questionable durability). Right now, the Bruins are committed to four defenseman for next year (with cap hit in parentheses): Chara ($7.5M), Wideman ($3.875M), Ference ($2.25M), and Hunwick ($1.45M). Stuart and Boychuk are RFA's and Seidenberg is a UFA after this season. Wideman and Hunwick have been MIA this season.

It makes you wonder what Chiarelli has in store for the offseason. I still think Peter wants Tomas Kaberle (who will be in the final year of his contract and will no longer have the no-trade clause this summer). This signing has me worried that Mark Stuart might go the other way for Kaberle. Mark Stuart fits the Brian Burke mold and would give Burke the salary relief he needs on his back end.

B's take the Thrash out.

One thing about this blog is that I can tap into my inner Boston Herald and come up with lame-pun headlines like "Take out the Thrash" or "Set the Thrash out on the curb for pickup" or something like that.
Rask pitched a shutout last night as the B's won, 4-0. Goals by, ah...Lootch, Satan, Krejci, and Begin.
The play was physical, but Atlanta couldn't keep up. Fight between Thornton & Boulton was pretty good. Jack Edwards was particularly effusive about Boulton's character, it was even a little weird. Not many fans in Atlanta, and a lot of them were B's fans. Now the B's are within, ah, 2 points? of 5th place. What is going on? Personally, I'm hoping for a Round 1 matchup vs. the Penguins, I think it would be very emotional out there, we could just pound them into submission like we should have last week.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I'm sure one of my fellow contributors will chip in with a more detailed account of tonight's game.

Full disclosure- I've been working a ton of nights, and have unfortunately missed many games, Including tonight. I do have it recorded, and plan on watching it tomorrow. (Tivo is so much better than VHS.)

However, from all accounts (texts messages from the 311 crew) and the recaps I have read of the game it actually leads me to be more angry than happy.

Why? B's showed grit Sunday, and from what I've heard tonight (except for Wideman, who should be the first causality in the offseason moves.)

I just don't get it. You play an inspired game and beat a hot team good tonight. You play hard, you play physical, you score goals. Why can't you do this every night? You lay a DUD against the Pens Thursday in the highest rated regular season game in NESN history. You've played heartless hockey most of the season. Yet tonight, you play a helluva hockey game.

Granted, I guess I'm the only one that can be cynical enough to be frustrated with a convincing win. I"m just baffled. Who are these Bruins? Can they actually muster enough to give a team a go in the first round of the playoffs? (still planning on an early exit, IF they make it.)

Prove me wrong B's. Can you show some intensity from here on out and go into the playoffs hot? Man, I hope so.

But in the meantime, you still baffle me. Every game.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Who Knew?

The Thrash are hot on the heels of our Bruins for the last playoff spot in the East. Suddenly, Tuesday night's game in Atlanta is the headline matchup on the NHL sched that night (I'll also be watching the Florida/Toronto game closely which has significant lottery implications). I would be remiss not to mention the Phoenix/Chicago game that is also on Tuesday night. Derek Morris' new team has reeled off NINE straight victories and are currently tied with Chicago for the CONFERENCE LEAD. They passed San Jose over the weekend with a couple of dramatic victories. On Saturday, they came back from two goals down in the 3rd against the aforementioned Blackhawks to win in a shootout. This is a great story. Dave Tippett is a lock for the Jack Adams.

Our Bruins have 11 games remaining and the teams around them are all down to their final 10. Yesterday's victory over the even-more-pathetic Rangers basically wiped the blueshirts out of the race. If the Rangers and Panthers were to win all of their remaining games, they would only have 91 points. If Carolina, Tampa, or the Isle did the same, they would have only 88 points. These teams are all effectively finished which makes tomorrow's matchup against the Thrash a "huge one" as Jack Edwards would say.

Also, take a look in front of the Bruins and you will see some teams that are ripe for the picking. Three teams (OTT, PHI, MTL) are just 3 points ahead of the B's and they have a game in hand on all three of them. Ottawa has really been struggling (losers of 5 straight and 1-7-1 since the Olympics) and Philadelphia is now relying on Brian Boucher in goal. It's possible that one of these teams could be the odd team out if Atlanta keeps winning. Ottawa goes to Montreal tonight in a big game for each of them. As Bruins fans, we're just rooting for anything but a three point game.

If you want to be optimistic, 5th place is still well within reach with a strong finish. For the Bruins to have a chance in the first round, they need to avoid the Caps who they just don't match up with. So, the priorities these final three weeks are:

1. Toronto needs to stop winning and hold onto the #2 position in the lottery
2. The Bruins need to make the playoffs
3. The Bruins need to finish better than 8th to avoid the Caps in the first round

It was great to see some physical play from the B's yesterday and actually see an opposing team that was afraid to venture into the corners (a novel concept guys!). How about Mark Stuart getting hit from behind and then getting up to put a headlock on Gaborik? I also enjoyed Stuey's lookaway facewash of Brian Boyle that had the local Boyle all hot and bothered while probably playing in front of friends and family.

Also note that our boy Bitz had a goal and an assist for the Panthers in two games over the weekend!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bruins stop sucking long enough to win, 2-1

Seabass visits Section 311

The Rangers are a hockey team almost as offensively inept as the Bruins. Today, the Bruins picked up their play and beat them, 2-1. Goals by Satan (nice pass by Ference, backdoor) and Wideman (what?) from Sobotka. Wideman's was a backhand(!) from the right circle. He actually started the play with a good breakout pass to Lucic...It was probably Wideman's best shift in over a year. Oh, don't get me wrong - he still sucks.
  • Avery was typical Avery all night. Also, Begin fought Prust early. Stuart was boarded by Prospal, leading to a scrum in the corner. Satan actually checked someone...but it led to an interference penalty.
  • I renewed my season tickets - all of 311 is back for next year. I also had to buy concessions today, as the 12:30pm start threw off my eating schedule. Yup, that same eating schedule that makes me eat all of the time.
  • Look, it's all a conspiracy - the Bruins are trying to do nothing more than take your money. Take today's pretzel (below). It is mega-salty. That thing's more kosher than Tevye. It's all a massive plot by the Jacobses to make you buy a $7.25 beer or a $4.00 bottled water.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

K-Tap's Husband gets pounded

Just a small item: in not-really Bruins related news (trying to forget Thursday night), Mr. Kathryn Tappen, aka Jay Leach of the San Jose Sharks, got pounded on by Krys Barch of the Dallas Stars

I hope Gord & Barry give K-Tap some guff for this, if they haven't already.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I Told You So

I hate to say it, but things went exactly as I predicted.  The only slight difference was Thornton was able to land a couple punches on Matt Cooke instead of it being a wrestling match.  It didn't take a genius to figure out that was what would happen.  We've seen the body of work this season.  The entire crowd rose to their feet for the fight less than two minutes into the game...the next time I rose to my feet was for the mock cheer some 8 or 9 minutes into the 3rd period when our Bruins registered their 1st shot on goal of the period and only their 11th of the ENTIRE GAME!

Disgraceful.  Depressing.  Demoralizing.  Done.  I'm finished until the playoffs where I will show up to watch the Alex Ovechkin express roll over our "team".  Just a Toronto anti-fan from here on out.  Yes, this "team" is still going to make the playoffs.

To add to the misery, the damn Leafs won again last night and are threatening to climb out of their spot as 2nd worst team in the league.

Bruins drop turd, lose 3-0

That game was pure bullshit. I'm somewhat glad that Thornton took care of business with Cooke, but the rest of the team wasn't there. It should have been a massive gangbang with Cooke, with each player taking his turn pounding his face in until the refs give Cooke a misconduct for his own safety. And they shouldn't have stopped there. Anything that moved in a Pittsburgh jersey should have been attacked. Sobotka took a run at Crosby at center ice, clipped him, but didn't get all of him. I would have been able to deal with the loss if we had clobbered them, yet the lack of any give-a-shit-ness by the team is so discouraging. Even Chara, after his fight with Rupp, looked back at the bench to egg them on, and they all went back to knitting some sweaters.
And the most egregious offense - to not show up on the same night where the great 1970 Cup-winning team is honored, Andy Brickley being the emcee basically calling out the 2010 team for not having any ballz, and you even have God himself, Bobby Orr, saying that the 1970 team would all be in jail after the Cooke event. You've basically been given carte blanche by Jesus himself to go buckwild on the Pens, and you just sit & fart on the bench.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quick Recap of Chia's Conference Call

Peter Chiarelli held a conference call for all of us season ticket holders this afternoon. I can only imagine that renewals have been way down since prices went up and the Bruins game went into the tank this year. It also doesn't help that so many pink hats jumped on the bandwagon just to get tickets to the Winter Classic this year. Here's a synopsis of what he said:
  • The team's identity is the greatest disappointment to him this season. He spoke to the team prior to the Philly game as we all know and he said this is what he primarily addressed. He said he had worked since he got here to develop the identity the team displayed last year and is doing everything he can to help them regain that identity.
  • He said that addressing the character of the players was a priority in the offseason. 
  • He said that there are a number of reasons why Dennis Wideman's play has fallen off and specifically said that complacency is one of them.
  • He said that the losses of Axelsson, Hnidy, and Ward specifically may have hurt. He said teams need good "backroom" guys to support the leadership and those three may have filled that role last season. He added that you can't keep everybody in the salary cap system.
  • One fan asked him why Bruins fans should renew their season tickets and Peter said that this season should be a blip.
  • He believes this team is still capable of making a run in the playoffs.
  • He cannot explain why the Bruins have been so bad on home ice this season.
  • One guy asked him what he was proud of this year and it caught him off guard. He said he had only prepared to defend himself on the call. He mentioned that Bergy and Rask were the bright spots.
  • When asked about the Thomas contract, he mentioned that the organization did not want to throw Tuukka to the wolves by making him the guy this early in his development. He said that historically, goaltenders don't truly come into their own until they reach the age of 25 or 26 and Tuukka is just 22.
  • A season ticket holder who may or may not be a friend of mine that I play softball with asked about Mark Stuart. He may be the only guy in Boston who likes Mark Stuart more than I do. Chiarelli did nothing but praise Stuart, but of course would not divulge any information on if they planned to re-sign him or not.

Nothing's Gonna Happen

Here's my prediction for tonight: Cooke accepts a challenge to fight Thornton in the first period and that's it. The Bruins then go back to playing the boring, in-nobody's-face brand of hockey we've come to know and hate this season. Michael Ryder will breathe a huge sigh of relief as soon as the wrestling match is over because then he won't have to worry about standing up for anyone anymore. He can go back to mailing in his season.

So, after Thornton wrestles with Cooke and everyone in the building realizes all the hype was for a useless wrestling match that isn't going to make Savvy's head feel any better, the boo-birds will come calling. The fans will want heads for this disgrace of a season and tonight could be the defining moment. If my prediction is correct, it may be the final game I attend this season. If I wanted to go somewhere and pay $7.25 for a beer only to end up bitter and angry at the end of the night, I might as well go see Celine Dion in concert.

Please prove me wrong Bruins! Make me want to like you guys again. Don't do anything stupid, but prove to me that you are a hockey team and not a bunch of guys collecting a paycheck.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

B's Tame 'Canes

5 goals. The Bruins scored 5 goals en route to a 5-2 win over Carolina last night. Goals by Recchi (tying him with Guy Lafleur in all-time goals), Krejci, Ryder (yer still on my shit list, Ryder), Bergeron, Boychuk. Tuukka in net. I have to admit, I was shocked at the goal output, despite the quality of the opponent. Then I remembered that it was Manny Legace in net.
  • Krejci was +4 last night
  • Bitz update: It appears as thought he's not getting much time down there, he's only played in 2 games. He's still 4-5-9 with 31 PIM.
  • Speaking of the Panthers, they're unveiling their "Den of Honor", including such hockey legends like Scott Mellanby, Brian Skrudland, Paul Laus, and Bill Lindsay. It's basically a weekend-long deep kiss to confederate flag hockey in south Florida. I remember Skrudland with the Habs mostly, so he can take a long walk off a short pier. Dick.
  • According to the Globe, tomorrow night's refs include the very experienced Bill McCreary and Stephen Walkom. Apparently this is to discourage any beatdowns.
  • I'm not saying I'm expecting anything tomorrow night, but I just might bring my camera "just in case". Typically, these things fizzle out early...I'm not expecting much. But there's that 0.5% chance that the fans will leap over the glass and take matters into their own hands. Plus, the Crosby-hatred will be pretty intense.
  • Pretty horrifying, seeing Bergeron take a slapper off his knee and staggering to the locker room. Supposedly, it's just a bruise and he'll be ready for battle tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bruins lose

B's lost to Montreal, 3-2.
B's lost to Devils, 3-2.
This post is as listless as your Bruins.

Let's hope the team shows up tonight and crushes the tiny playoff hopes (8 points from 8th place) of the that confederate flag hockey team known as the Carolina Hurricanes.

Friday, March 12, 2010

B's Slap Flyers Away Like a Brat at K-mart

In a rare display of jam & goal-scoring, the B's pounded the Flyers last night, 5-1. Goals by Bergeron, Krejci, Sturm, Wheels, and Recchi. Suddenly, the B's discovered how to pass and get out of their own zone. Ryder actually passed the puck and it actually worked (Krejci goal). Who is this team?
  • Seidenberg was +3 with 2 assists and 5 shots in a team-leading 22:15 of ice time. Plus, he "boarded" Carcillo (embellished by Carcillo), which is always good. Especially since my last-place fantasy team has Carcillo and rewards PIM (he got a misconduct later). Anyhow, this Seidenberg trade so far is working out well. He's tougher than Morris, but still not scared to make the occasional offensive play. He will also come in handy when we beat down Pittsburgh next week.
  • Bergeron was a force last night. Sturmgeron.
  • 2 fights by Caveman Strong Mark Stuart. Perhaps buoyed by the "A" on his sweater the other night, he took on Carcillo and perennial pest Laperriere. Both fights were just waltzes, with Stuart getting the takedown on both occasions with no real punches thrown. This will come in handy when we beat down Pittsburgh next week.
  • Speaking of which, I believe the over/under on total penalty minutes to be set at 400. I'm betting the over.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Backing In To The Playoffs

The Bruins could be a bad hockey team down the stretch and still make the playoffs. Just look at the teams behind them. King Henrik got yanked last night against a Devils team that has been playing bad hockey lately. The Atlanta Thrashers traded away Kovalchuk. The Tampa Bay Lightning also were sellers at the deadline, though on a much smaller scale. The 'Canes may be playing the best hockey of all of them, but they are in a hole thanks to their early season swoon. The Isles and Leafs are just too far back now.

My theory is that 86 points will be enough to make the playoffs which would easily be the lowest total to make the postseason since the current system was installed post-lockout. The Bruins could get to 86 by going just 8-9 over the final 17 games. The Leafs would have to go undefeated in their final 16 games to get to 86 points and the Isles would have to go 13-3 so you can cross both of them off. The Canes would have to go 12-4 which is a tall task for a team that just traded away 6 players and has Manny Legace starting in net so let's cross them off as well.

Byron Bitz and the Panthers would have to go 11-6-0 to get to 86 points - this is possible, but not likely.

The 'Ning would have to finish 10-6-1 to get to 86. The Thrash 10-7-0. The Rangers 9-5-1.

All of these are possible, but how likely are any of them? These are not good teams. And I didn't even mention the Habs, currently ahead of the B's, could easily finish at or below 86 points. If they play .500 hockey in their final 14 games, they will have only 86 points.

I am projecting the Bruins will back into the playoffs on the strength of their defense and goaltending and am hoping they end up with the #7 seed and Pittsburgh ends up with the #2 seed. The Bruins will not win the series, but it will make for some very interesting hockey after Matt Cooke's "legal" hit a few days back.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Watch this sequence. I did my best to slow it down. You're saying that this isn't deliberate? That a "shoulder to head" is OK? Not an "elbow to head"...Cooke has a reputation Campbell...and your statement is a piece of sh$t. I know that you've "broken this down" a million times. It took my crude screen shots of a YouTube to figure this out....Savard shot the puck. The puck was away. Cooke had time to pull up. HE DIDN'T! This was deliberate. Look at the pictures above. THE PUCK IS GONE. SAVARD SHOT. COOKE STILL WENT THROUGH!

I'll admit the Bruins suck, but you and Bettman are the worst thing to happen to the NHL since the disco puck. Seriously. You are an embarrassment to all of the fans that enjoy the game. HORRIBLE.

Cooke Not Suspended

Matt Cooke was not suspended for his elbow to the head of Marc Savard.

This is horrible. I'm gonna go put my head in the blender.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

B's Blow 3 Leads; Leafs Still Blow.

Ayup, B's lose tonight to Toronto, 4-3 in sudden-death overtime. The B's blew 3 leads, never trailed in the game until 49 seconds were left in the overtime session, where Ryder dove into Thomas to prevent a pass (and prevented the pass), knocked Thomas down, and Kulemin had an empty net to score the winning goal.
  • Boston goals by Recchi, Sturm, Bergeron. Actually, they may have changed the scoring on the Recchi goal and it's actually Bergeron's.
  • Thomas had a good game, made some crazy saves, but let in a wicked softie to Wayne Primeau. I was actually going to reserve some space in the post-game blog post about how RIDICULOUS it was to have Primeau's name bandied about in trade deadline talks. The pride of Whitby, ON: he's got hands like bricks, can't do anything but get in the way, maybe knock some folks around. Then he scores on Thomas on a 2-on-1 break.
  • Still no word on the Cooke hit from league sheriff Colin Campbell. On Toronto radio (590 the Fan or something like that), Campbell made it sound like it wasn't that bad of a hit.
  • With no Chara tonight, Wideman looked exceptionally retarded out there. Kessel smoked him at least twice for breakaways on Thomas.
  • Ryder is still a shithead and remains View from 311's doghouse. Today, he was witnessed performing kegel exercises between shifts.
  • The ACC played 2 Tragically Hip tunes during the game: "Fireworks", which mentions Bobby Orr; and "Fifty-Mission Cap", which is related to the Leafs never winning the Cup. The TD Garden? We play songs that bring fear into the heart of the opponent and have everything to do with hockey, like "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" by Dead or Alive. What should they be playing? I nominate "Blood and Thunder" by Mastodon.

Game 1 of Bruins 2010 Playoffs Tonight

Losing Savard has reduced the chances of making the playoffs to very slim at best. The only glimmer of hope is the quality of the teams behind them. The Rangers, Thrashers, Ning, Panthers and Isles have plenty of their own issues. Carolina might just be the team to be worried about. Since Eric Staal became captain, they have been unstoppable. They are 8 points behind the Bruins.

The Bruins are gutless, heartless, and lifeless and any other 'less you can think of, so I really don't think they will make the playoffs and even if they do, they will be ousted more abruptly than the Habs were in last year's first round. Therefore, tonight's game and the game on April 3rd are now the only two games I care about on the remaining schedule. They are both against Toronto and the only hope for this franchise is to grab a player in the draft that can carry the team for years to come so the Bruins need to keep Toronto down.

We just have to hope that this year's crop of underachievers that are returning next year learn something from this and become more than a shell of what they were in '08-'09.  Get healthy and remember how to play hockey fellas!
I'll be checking in with lottery watch updates the rest of the way. GO OILERS! I'm primarily a fan of whoever is playing the Leafs from here on out...

I can't wait for the draft lottery and I am also looking forward to the Bruins marketing slogan for next season. "Big And Bad Are Back", "It's Called Bruins"...what's the next punchline to come from Causeway Street?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Defending Lucic & Co. for not killing Cooke?

Everyone in Boston wants blood after no one beat the bag out of Cooke immediately following his CHEAP SHOT on Savard. Yes this was a cheap shot, and Cooke has a reputation as that type of player. Even more of a reason that he should have been destroyed. However, other circumstances existed.

I've been railing against the Bruins all year for not being TOUGH. No Toughness. And they can't put the puck in the net. Horrible combination. Anyway, I could write a novel on the lack of toughness and nobody being afraid to play the B's because they are heartless...However, I'm going to try and defend Lucic and the others on the ice (EXCEPT RYDER) for not immediately seeking retribution....

Here goes...

It is CLEAR by his half hearted hit at the 16 second mark (click here) that Ryder may have been the only one to really see the full hit on Savard. Lucic was chasing the puck behind the net, and Wideman was also moving forward...and I don't think he saw it either. Ryder clearly saw it based on his horrendous reaction, he just didn't have the heart to give Cooke the business. Hunwick was also behind the puck coming in, but I'm not sure what kind of view he had. Did Hunwick see the hit? Only he could answer that. You get a glimpse of him after the play, but no real reaction. The 5 skaters on the ice for the incident were: Wideman, Hunwick, Lucic, Ryder & Savard. Bergeron came on the ice to chirp at Crosby AFTER the play. Either way the one with the clearest look at it was Ryder. Even immediately after the play you don't see Wideman or Lucic react right away. It was up to Ryder who had the best view of it. By the time Ryder had made his awful attempt at retaliation Savard was unconscious on the ice, and at that point the Bruins players were probably more worried about Savard, then killing Cooke. The time to retaliate would have been IMMEDIATELY with Ryder. Lucic & Wideman had no clue what happened, and by the time they may have realized it, it was too late. You don't go after a guy when the doctors and stretchers are on the ice.

My 2 cents for what it's worth.

Battle of the Century?

After watching Michael Ryder's "response" to Matt Cooke's hit yesterday, it got me thinking...who's the tougher Ryder?  Winona or Michael?  So I ask you - who would win in a fight?  Vote in the poll on the righthand side...

The Blind Side

Yesterday, the B's lost to the Penguins, 2-1. Goal by Wheeler (goal-line stuff). Thomas looked pretty good, did what he could, etc. but when you can't score, you can't score.
Obviously, the bigger story was Matt Cooke's blind-side elbow to the head of Marc Savard. The other subplot to this event that I think is bouncing in every Bruins fan mind, is why didn't someone pound Matt Cooke's face into a bucket of lo mein? The guy has a reputation for being a pest, and makes a dumb hit, and the team just stands around. Yeah a little ho-hum retaliation by Lootch & Ryder, but nothing real. Cload seemed most pissed of all, both on the hit and the lack of pushback by the team.
I dunno.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

B's Keep Rolling

Yesterday, the Bruins held off the Islanders and actually won a game in regulation, 3-2. The first period was pretty hot - lots of shots for the B's and I think 4 for the Islanders. If you want to try to put a positive spin on it, the B's have won 6 of their last 7. Goals by Savard, Lootch, Krejci. Again, Miro Satan didn't embarrass himself out there, and actually made some good offensive plays. Seidenberg didn't look horrible out there, either, he made some heads-up defensive plays. Except he was on the ice for the goal that dribbled five-hole on Thomas.
  • Ryder got tossed for hitting Comeau from behind. It was probably the right call. Ryder might be the worst skater I've seen in the NHL.
  • Jack Edwards has to stop with the double-breasted suits. He was swimming in that shit yesterday, looked like something out of Stop Making Sense
"Brick, does anyone have more fun than us???"
  • Hey, let's trade Thomas! Yeah, folks - you just don't trade away 2 #1 goalies when you're in the hunt for the playoffs. Dany Sabourin has been backup in Rask's absence. I remember Sabourin. Maybe last year or the year before, Sabourin was backing up Fleury in Pittsburgh, and he started against Boston. Said Minnesota, "Pens got no respect for us; they're starting Sabourin." We got shut out, 2-0 I think was the score. Playing against the team who released you is a motivator, maybe Sabourin in net today? I don't think Fluto (actually KPD is blogging from the road) has posted the starters yet.
  • Did anyone see that pass by Savard to Paella yesterday? It was from the blue line, with Paella streaking up the left side. Savvy passed it off the boards, Paella was on-side, okay, but the pass came behind Paella, but it bounced off the boards, right, and right onto Paella's stick, with the defender on Paella's right, and he had a clean shot on Roloson. I described it very poorly, but it was cool.
  • Bergeron finally got over his Olympic hangover (groin pull) and played, assisted on Savvy's game-winning goal.
  • Lootch/Begin/Thornton skated on a line together. I'm beginning to see something in this combination. Maybe it was Don Cherry calling out Lootch. Maybe I'm blinded because I want them to kill people.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bitz Speaks

Go here for a story about Section 311 favorite Lord Byron Bitz from Florida.  Those are our T-Shirts he's talking about.  We'll see you on April Fool's Day at the Garden Byron!


Last night's AHL game between the Toronto Marlies and the Providence Bruins ended in a 3-2 shootout win for the good guys. Regulation time goals by Boychuk (bomb from the point) and Satan (5-hole on Giguere). P-Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (this guy is Vezina material) stoned all 3 Marlies shooters (Kessel, Bozak, Lundmark) in the shootout session, while Giguere stopped Ryder & Krejci, but bit hard on a Satan fake and got beat on an easy backhand.
  • Just before the game had started, I had acquiesced to Minnesota's argument of the past month regarding the end of the Satan experiment. I said to him, "I now renounce Satan". Satan ends up getting 2 goals.
  • Lootch fought Colton Orr, and I think Lootch underestimated Orr's stamina. Orr was still whaling away while Lootch tired out.
  • Steve Begin (finally) had some acid to his game. He was on a line with Lootch & Thornton.
  • Don Cherry Night at the Garden. He dropped the puck, that was all we saw, but apparently he had some stuff for Milbury and K-Tap during the breaks. They should have given him the mic during intermission and let him spew to the crowd.
  • Regarding ChiaPet and the trade deadline - what's (not) done is done, let's move on. You never know - this team could regain some swagger during the 2 week road trip, gel a little bit, kill some people, maybe figure out how to play the game again. I still contend that
    line brawls (I was secretly - okay, not so secretly - hoping for 400 minutes in penalties last night) and long-ass road trips bring teams together.
  • Numerous Kessel taunts during the night, which warms the cockles of my heart.
  • 7th player award - Brick & Jack talked of Rask, Bergeron, Boychuk - but COME ON!!!! It belongs to Daniel Paille. One could argue that Paille single-handedly turned the Bruins' penalty kill around.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tonight's Game and KPD

If the Bruins lose their 11th straight at home tonight, you can a stick a fork in me, I'm done thinking we will make the playoffs. The Maple Laffs traded away everybody and are bringing an AHL team to the TD Garden tonight. They also have a coach who put everything he had into the Olympics and has to be suffering from a complete lack of motivation himself. If you lose to this team at home, you do not deserve to make the playoffs.

Also, with the overwhelmingly bad will that Peter and staff generated amongst the fan base yesterday, can you imagine what a loss tonight will do to amplify that?

KPD offered his take on it today and pointed out that Raffi Torres or Alexei Ponikarovsky would not have brought Lord Stanley's Cup here to Boston. I agree with you KPD, but you left out the part about how the Seidenberg/Morris deals were made to clear cap room for a SMALL boost to the offense that Peter failed to provide. Peter traded away some of the future by sacrificing the 2nd rounder the Bruins had from Tampa to only get a college d-man and a 4th round pick in 2011 back. The supposed improvement over Morris that Seidenberg brings isn't going to lead to a victory parade in June either, so why sacrifice a potential top 40 pick on draft day for him? Remember, he's a UFA just like Morris at the end of the season.

Basically, it would have been better to do nothing than what Peter did yesterday - he proved to us that he didn't have things planned properly and that he couldn't pull the trigger when he needed to.

Someone, anyone to play with Savard would help this team. When Savard's line is not a threat, it makes this team very easy to play against. Raffi Torres or Alexei Ponikarovsky would have helped - to what degree is a question, but you cannot tell me they would not have helped at all. Miroslav Satan remaining in the lineup hurts - he's going to have to bag a hat trick tonight to get me off his back...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Peter's 2010 Has Been Horrible

I thought calendar year 2010 was going to be a great year for the Bruins. How could it be anything but when it started at Fenway on the very first day?

Well, it has been a precipitous fall ever since we left Fenway with smiles on our faces. It started with the signing of Miroslav Satan who has been miserable, yet they insist on keeping him in the lineup. He should have been watching from the press box after the first ten games. The experiment failed Peter, so move on.  You should have been looking to add a forward in January and then we find out today that you add NOTHING.

The first game after the Winter Classic, Bergeron goes down with an injury in an uninspired loss to the Rangers. The Bruins responded with a good effort and defeated Ottawa only to lose Marc Savard in their next game while getting completely outclassed by the Chicago Blackhawks. Things started to snowball from there and the only positive until the four-game win streak before the break was a world-class performance from Tim Thomas in a shootout win against San Jose.  All told, since that win on January 1st, the Bruins are just 6-11-4 including a 0-7-3 mark at TD Garden.  That is not a typo Bruins fans, it has been 63 days since the Bruins tasted victory on TD Garden ice!

That has been enough to swallow - ten straight losses at home - but then Peter pulls what he did today.  I don't even know where to begin.  The early moves made today, as I said at the time, were just to clear cap room for the forward they were going to bring in.  Peter admitted as much in his presser so that is not speculation.  Well, when it came time to ante up and make a trade to even marginally improve the team (which is still better than not improving the team at all Peter), he balked.  All he had to do to top Buffalo's offer was give Columbus the Bruins 2nd rounder which will almost certainly be a higher pick than Buffalo's (The Bruins sent Tampa's 2nd Rounder to Florida and still hold Toronto's 2nd Rounder as well).  The other part of the deal was Nathan Paetsch.  The Bruins could easily trump that part of it too, but Peter didn't. 

Apologists would say that Raffi Torres would not lead them to a Stanley Cup.  I agree, but he would have made the team better.  I would feel much better about being a Bruins fan and paying $7.25 for a beer if Raffi were on Savard's wing instead of Daniel Paille.  They need to make the Savard line a threat and right now they don't have the tools to do so.

So let's have a look at the net result beyond this season.  I am looking beyond this season because I do not think the Bruins improved and will make it to the 2nd round of the playoffs at best (and that is extremely optimistic).  So heading into 2010 and beyond, here is what you accomplished in the last couple days Peter:

1. Gave away a 2nd rounder and 4th rounder in 2010
2. Got back a 4th Rounder in 2011
3. Acquired Bartkowski and Kampfer - two college D-men for organizational depth
4. Unloaded Bitz's contract for 2010-2011

Wow Peter!  Bartkowski or Kampfer better become Norris Trophy candidates someday to make me feel better about today.

If you see a guy in Section 311 with a paper bag over his head, chances are it's me...

So Far, So What?

The Bruins got rid of Derek Morris and Byron Bitz in a cap clearing move. This gets rid of roughly a pro-rated $4M for the remainder of the season. They brought in Dennis Seidenberg who has a $2.25M cap hit.

This just allows them to bring in a Raffi Torres ($2.25M cap hit). A recent tweet from Joe Haggerty says talks are heating up with Columbus, but that they want a 1st rounder. I imagine Columbus will back off on that stance before the deadline passes since Raffi is a UFA at the end of the year. Look for this to be the only other move the Bruins make today - maybe a 2nd rounder and a prospect.

After watching last night's debacle, I'm mostly looking forward to the draft. The only thing that would get me excited for this season would be if they could pull off a miracle move for a Tomas Kaberle. And when I say miracle, I mean it - not likely.


Tis a sad day for Section 311 as our adopted son, Lord Byron Bitz has been traded...

Will never forget the "We Want Bitz" chant during the game when he came back on the ice for the almost hat trick.

And the goal in Game 7.

Thanks Bitzy. We will miss you.


For 2 weeks, we had been exposed to world-class Olympic hockey. Top-skilled players performing at a stunning level. Last night, Section 311 crashed back down to Earth, as our Bruins - who haven't won at the Garden since last year, lost to the Habs, 4-1. The B's started off "just okay", managing to get a power play goal from Sturm (shot by Chara, then Sturm at the crease reaching around/over Price to poke it in for his 19th of the season). But then the 3rd period came, the Habs started to play harder, and the B's caved in.
random crap
  • New Bruins killer: ex-Bruin Glen Metropolit. He scored again, had an assist, got #1 star. I believe he has scored in every game this season against us. I still can't summon enough hate for the guy - he was one of the guys who hustled back when the B's sucked. No, that other time the B's sucked.
  • More Habs fans than usual at the Garden for this game - the redshirts had stayed away for the previous 2 games, but fresh off their gold medal they all plotted to come to Boston in their buses and invade.
  • Wideman just looks horrible out there. Krejci had 3 "wtf!" shifts where he showed flashes of the old Krejci.
  • Almost had a rumble in 311 - some season ticket holder a few rows in front of us started jawing at Cam Neely (yeah, he can hear you from the press box), and some of us got annoyed and let him know. He took offense, then saw that the 311 posse was something like 10 persons with a combined strength of over a thousand Mark Stuarts, and he backed off.
  • No "Hal Gill sucks" chants. Where hath our ballz gone, when there's no "Hal Gill sucks" chants?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bruins Acquire a D-man!!!

...but he's still in college...

Honestly, I think this will be the only defenseman the Bruins land prior to the trade deadline. They could really use some help on the back end, but so could everyone else and I just don't think Peter wants to get in any bidding wars.

Tim Thomas will still be a Bruin after the dust clears and Teemu Selanne will NOT be a Bruin. These are just things people like to talk about because it's more fun than talking about acquiring the rights to a college d-man.

Get ready for Raffi Torres! I really think this will be about all the Bruins do before tomorrow's deadline. I still want Alexei Ponikarovsky, but I think too many teams want him and Peter will get outbid. Same idea for Ray Whitney. Hence Raffi Torres.

If the likes of Jordan Leopold, Denis Grebeshkov and Andy Sutton are commanding 2nd round picks on the market, Brian Burke will certainly get more than that for Ponikarovsky and this Bruins fan does not think Peter will pay more than that.