Thursday, April 29, 2010

Get to Know/Hate a Flyer

There really is so much to hate about the Flyers. Today we will profile Scott Hartnell:

(pilfered from

Full Name: Sideshow Bob
DOB: April 18, 1982 (Regina, SK)
Jersey Number: #19
Hockey Player idolized while growing up: Claude Lemieux
Favorite Hobbies: Pimping my wife out to my linemates
Favorite Meals: anything made by Purina; Kris Letang
Famous People for whom I am commonly mistaken: Carrot Top, Mick Hucknall, Lucille Ball
Most prized possession: my 'fro pick.
Favorite Car: Hummer H3, cos I'm an asshole
Thing you didn't know about me: Nashville Predators all-time PIM leader

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Get Ready For The Pen..Flyers?!?

Jack Edwards: That's now Snowball 2! and Hell 0 after the Habs defeated the Caps tonight.

All these pundits who say Mike Green should win the Norris need look no further than Game 7 earlier tonight in Washington.  He takes an awful penalty in the attacking zone to lead to Montreal's first goal on the powerplay and then misplays a Hal "Skills" Gill dump that leads to Montreal's second goal.  Mike Green does not deserve the Norris.  Sacrilege: even Hal Gill is more deserving.  There, I said it.

Speaking of the pundits, the popular theory from the talking heads was that the bottom of the East was worthless and would be bounced in the first round.  And out in the West, it was wide open.  What happened?  #4, #6, #7, and #8 advance in the East and the only "upset" according to seeding in the West went to the favored Red Wings as a #5.  This is why the NHL playoffs are the pinnacle of sport.

Can you believe the Bruins will have home ice advantage for the 2nd round?  Here's the Schedule:

Game 1: Saturday, May 1 @ 12:30 PM EST (Garden)
Game 2: Monday, May 3 @ 7 PM EST (Garden)
Game 3: Wednesday, May 5 @ 7 PM EST (Philly)
Game 4: Friday, May 7 @ 7 PM EST (Philly)
Game 5: Monday, May 10 @ 7 PM EST (Garden - if necessary)
Game 6: Wednesday, May 12 @ TBD (Philly - if necessary)
Game 7: Friday, May 14 @ 7 PM EST (Garden - if necessary)

Here's a look at how the Bruins match up with the Philadelphia Flyers.  The Bruins are the favorites: home ice, better goaltending, deeper up front due to injury, Bruins will not be complacent again like last year.
Brian Boucher played great in Round 1, but the edge still goes to Tuukka.  There is little else to say about this.

The Flyers are banged up.  Jeff Carter will almost certainly not play in the series.  Simon Gagne will be available late in the series at best.  Ian LaPerriere is out for the rest of the season with a brain contusion.  These injuries up front drastically reduce the Flyers scoring depth and it means that Ference and McQuaid will rarely be exposed to top-shelf offensive talent.  Chara will likely see a lot of Mike Richards and there should be some great battles between the two captains throughout the series.  The wildcard for the Flyers could be that hairy mess of a human being Scott Hartnell.  The guy had a disappointing season, but he can put the puck in the net and the Flyers will need him to step up with Gagne and Carter out.  But as far as scoring threats go, it gets pretty weak once you get past Richards, Giroux, Briere and then Pronger and Timonen on the back end.  It reminds you of Buffalo's lack of scoring depth, but the Flyers don't have the all-world Ryan Miller on the other end.

The Flyers had the #3 PP unit in the league during the regular season and carried it with them in the playoffs (27.6% against Devils).  The Bruins will need to stay hot on the PK.

Will the Bruins be guilty of complacency this year?  No way.  Last year taught them that they can't take anything for granted and they won't get caught off guard by a team who "wants it" more.

On the Bruins end of things, all hands are now on deck up front.  Based on practice today (which doesn't necessarily mean anything), Blake Wheeler is thankfully going to be removed from the top 9 forwards.  Vladdy skated on Savard's wing today.  This means the Bruins should be trotting out three lines that are a threat just like Chiarelli drew it up at the beginning of the regular season.  They certainly didn't show us anything during the regular season, but that's ancient history now.

The Morale Officer might just get his line brawl in this series.  Dan Carcillo and Hartnell are going to take runs at Tuukka and the Bruins are going to respond in kind.  These are two big teams and it's going to be a physical battle.  The Flyers are in for a different brand of hockey than they faced against the light-hitting Devils.  The Bruins landed 221 hits in 6 games (36.8 hpg) in round 1.  The Devils were credited with just 112 in 5 games (22.4 hpg).  Even though the hits stat is enigmatic at best, this is a vast difference and the Flyers will feel it.

It was nice being an underdog.  Hopefully the fans don't get cocky and expect to win and start sitting on their hands.  The Garden needs to be at the same level it was at in Round 1.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Savvy Back For 2nd Round

Marc Savard is going to be available for Round 2, but Mark Stuart is not.  What does this mean for the lineup?  It means that one of the forwards becomes a healthy scratch.  It has to be Thornton.  Begin and Paille are your #1 PK unit and that PK unit was the difference in the series against the Sabres.  For the same reason, Wheeler gets the edge over Thornton because he also logs a lot of PK time.  It has to be between those two.

It's very disappointing that Stuart won't be back.  The Ference/McQuaid D pair of doom is already showing signs of breaking down and would be especially vulnerable against Jordan Staal and Pittsburgh.  Claude will do his best to have the top 4 out there for Malkin and Crosby, but Jordan Staal is no slouch and could be a difference maker in a series against them when he gets to pick on Ference/McQuaid.

Does Vladdy get demoted to 4th line duty and less than 10 minutes of TOI per night?  Let's hope not.  The kid is made for the playoffs and it would be sad not to see him with a regular shift.  Perhaps they'll ease Savard into things by giving Sobotka occasional shifts in the top 9 at even strength to spot Savvy.  Bergeron is one of the best two-way centers in the league so he's not moving to wing.  Krejci and Savard are not moving to wing either.  That means Vladdy either centers the 4th line, gets spot duty or plays wing with one of the big three.  The primary candidate for demotion from the top 9 is of course Wheeler.  We'll see what Claude comes up with.  Don't bother believing anything they run in practice.  This might be one of those things they don't want to tip to their opposition before the puck drops in Game 1.

Adams Division Semifinal Game 6

Satan (above) scores another winning goal to further demonize his former team

B's win. The game started off pretty well relative to the others games - we didn't cough up a goal in the first 5 to 8 minutes. Once the forecheck was established, the B's carried themselves really well with a confidence, intensity, and efficiency that reminded me of last year when they were consistently destroying teams by 4 or 5 goals. Then we got on the power play and Krejci scored on a tip-in. In the 2nd period, Buffalo stepped up their play a little bit, but the B's stayed cool. Recchi slapped home another power play goal, B's up 2-0. Then Buffalo attempted their comeback, goal by Kaleta after a turnover by Wideman. The B's extended their lead to 2 goals with another Krejci goal off a nice feed from Lootch, but immediately after the celebration, ex-BC putz Nathan Gerbe fired a shot in after a turnover by Ryder. Just can't seem to hold those 2 goal leads. Anyhow, Satan scores the eventual game-winner on a nice pass from Wideman. Miller was caught out of position and Satan had an empty net to fire at. Vanek scored with a little over a minute left, after the (premature) "Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye" chant.
random crap
  • Mike Milbury HATES Tim Connolly, so he must be enjoying some serious schadenfreude here.
  • McQuaid/Ference. Now there's a pair that beats a full house. Every time their shift began, it was open season on Rask.
  • Buffalo's power play went 0 for 19 in the series.
  • Sobotka was 7 for 11 from the faceoff dot.
  • Sometimes I think the warmup songs have something to do with a team's performance. Okay, maybe not, but they played "Unsung" by Helmet which is always a good thing.
  • Of course, they're playing "In the Air Tonight" as well, probably a nod to the Celtics' recent championship run. Amusing to watch most of the crowd air-drum the famous drum fill.
  • "Snowball 1, Hell 0" was what Jack Edwards said after the win. He also quoted Gordon Lightfoot, and that tool who replaced Tanguay ("Gresh"?) was whining about it. We all known Jack is loony and a total homer, but so what? I'll take the homer-ism over the high-pitched doom 'n gloom of Tony Mazz.
  • I hope we play the Penguins. I'd like really like to send Cindy Crosby to the golf course, avenge the hits by Samuelsson on Neely, and avenge the losses we suffered in the Wales Conference Finals in the early 90's. Of course, there's also the whole Matt Cooke thing, with Savard coming back and stuff (he's been cleared for contact as of this morning). Minnesota thinks the Pens are very beatable, "Fleury's not that good; that team had trouble with Ottawa, a team that's been miserable since the Olympic break; they don't have Hal Gill & Rob Scuderi, their key shutdown pair from last season. Seriously, you think they're gonna win it all with Alex Goligoski or Mark Eaton? No way." Look forward to his full preview once our opponent has been determined. We're also reviewing his Bruins fan membership, as he actually spoke well of Hal Gill.
  • Boob Salad. A listener on Toucher & Rich suggested that they be called "Apple Widemans" instead of "Apple Turnovers". If you're able to catch the drunken Bruins recap, check it out. Not a greater statement has been made in human history than "Top shelf, baby...where mom stores the peanut butter and I hide the pornos."
  • Any thoughts on which number Seguin or Hall will wear on their jersey next season?

For The Fans

I'm sure the Morale Officer will have his recap up soon, but in the meantime...

I'm proud of you Boston. That building was consistently better than I have ever seen it for Bruins hockey in this series. I need to qualify that statement: I bought a playoff strip for the 2004 debacle against the Habs and became a season ticket holder after the lockout. I wasn't here prior to that. But the Fleetbanknorthcentergarden really hasn't had much to cheer about when it comes to the Bruins since its inception in the mid-'90's so I think I might be safe in saying that this series was the peak. Was Game 6 two years ago a better single game than any of these were? Probably, but the sustained energy in the crowd in the three games in this series easily trumps what I experienced two years ago. Game 6 in 2008 was really only one period at that level.

Every chant was unanimous; not just a couple sections in a corner of the building. Every taunt of Miller was deafening. Every goal celebration was batshit crazy. This is playoff hockey and we get more of it. I would bet the farm on Washington tomorrow. Montreal is not going to win a third consecutive game against them in Washington. The Caps outshot them 54-22 last night and still managed to lose, but they'll break through tomorrow night just like they did against the Rangers in the opening round last year.

If Washington does what I expect, we get Pittsburgh and what could possibly be more fun than that? If Montreal pulls off the miracle, we get Philly and home-ice advantage. It's a win-win...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Zdeno Chara = Bruce Banner? A Quick Thought Experiment....

On February 22, 1977, a nuclear accident happened at Bohunice, Czechoslovakia. It was rated INES-4 ("Accident with Local Consequences"). Not quite talking Chernobyl by any stretch of the imagination, but stuff happened:

"Operators neglected to remove moisture absorbing materials from a fuel rod assembly before loading it into the KS 150 reactor at power plant A-1. The accident resulted in damaged fuel integrity, extensive corrosion damage of fuel cladding and release of radioactivity into the plant area. The plant was decommissioned following this accident." (Source: Good ol' Wikipedia)

Trencin, Chara's hometown, is located 22.5km SW of Bohunice, Czechoslovakia. On March 18, 1977, Zdeno Chara was born.

Could it be that the league's most mutant defenseman is a result of not just genetics (father Zdenek was an Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler), but of nuclear power gone horribly wrong? Momma Chara, perhaps she possibly got too close to the incident while carrying Chara, she inhaled the radioactive fumes and Chara mutated in the womb as a result of the exposure to radioactivity. For the last month, she's carrying a glowing-green, hulking, huge-ass Chara-baby and finally drops the kid less than month later.

Well, mutant or not, he's our mutant.

Postscript: Ever read the wikipedia entry on Chara? It says that according to WEEI, Sobotka was drafted because Chara needs a life partner on the team per the terms of his contract. I think most folks are willing to buy my "Chara is radioactive mutant" theory before they'll buy this one. Then again, consider, Satan & Chara are BFFs as well. THAT, combined with the B's opening up next season in Prague. Does Bruins management think "as Chara goes, so do the Bruins"?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Adams Division Semifinal Game 5

The Bruins just can't make things easy on themselves, huh? Last night, the Bruins squatted over the HSBC Center and dropped a pinecone, losing 4-1. First Buffalo goal was a softie wrap-around job by Adam Mair (yeah, Adam Mair). 2nd goal was ah, Pominville - Ference & Sobotka messed up hardcore on that one; 3rd goal was Grier on a faceoff win. The 4th was an empty-netta by who cares. Bruins goal by Boychuk on the PP.
Honestly, I flipped to the Sox game on NESN+ during the 2nd intermission because it just wasn't happening. I did it for the safety of the television and for the health of my walls. I've made enough holes in the drywall, done enough patching (buy stock in DuraBond 90 if you want to make a quick buck)...just could not stand to watch another minute of play. It was as if they reverted back to the stinky play of all season, and games 1 thru 4 never happened. HORRIBLE.
Apparently at the end of the game, Gaustad slashed Chara in the back of the legs (known as "the Savard Special"), and Chara apparently went completely batshit. Some sort of fight ensued and supposedly Chara got the instigator (wtf?), etc. So I bet you can count on Chara getting suspended for Game 6 (but Matt Cooke got off free...). Lindy Ruff, Buffalo's Minister of Propaganda, made it sound like Chara ate babies at center ice last night. He even said *HE* wanted to get out there. C'mon, son. We've all seen you fight - I posted your battle with Cam Neely last week. You laid on the ice, covered your head, sobbed your brains out, and waited for the linesmen to save your wimp ass.

Ruff (above): "None of my players ever do anything wrong. Chara is a beast and must be suspended! The league needs to take a hard look at the video."

Update: Chara will not be suspended...

Thursday, April 22, 2010


We've been saying it on the blog all along: WORSHIP SATAN.
The number of the beast is now 81 instead of 666.

Okay, where to start? The B's got behind again quickly on 2 goals from Buffalo. Honestly, the 1st 2 periods are a blur right now. But one of those goals was scored by league punching bag Steve Montador. Montador wears an "A" on his sweater. Lindy Ruff should be tried for war crimes for allowing him to be an alternate. That is an atrocity to the game of hockey to allow that putz to wear the "A", nevermind give him 20+ minutes of ice time. Then in the 3rd period, Krejci scores a goal, then Bergeron scores a goal. How clutch is Bergeron? DAMN. So we end up going to overtime, and it's non-stop play. Everyone was pulling their hair out because Buffalo had a lot of chances and Rask made some pretty incredible stops, as did Miller.

After watching this slo-mo, I can only be reminded of another diving play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs a few years ago:

Then, of course, we have the goal by Satan. Ryder, who has become an entirely different player in this playoff series, blows right thru the Buffalo defense and puts a tape-to-tape pass on Satan, who fakes out Miller and shoots on a virtually empty net. Scrub to 1:58 of the video below, as the it shows the entire power play.

  • KNOW YOUR CHEEZ ROCK: The Garden entertainment crew lived up to their usual milquetoast, family-friendly BS and played "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Living on a Prayer" during the overtime intermission. They then played "Nut Rocker", temporarily cleansing the palate...then kicked into ah, Ferris Bueller "Twist 'n Shout" thing, to which Minnesota noted, "this is where [jumbotron entertainment] jumps the shark". Then an edited version of the classic speech by Al Pacino from Any Given Sunday.
  • THERE WON'T BE BLOOD: Only 1 real fight in the game, Lootch took on Rivet. It didn't amount to much, just mostly grappling. Lootch got the helmet off, but couldn't seem to get an arm free so he could start whaling away. The game was physical (95 hits or so), but not a chippy affair from what I could see.
  • POWERLESS: Buffalo's power play is 0 for 14.
  • WOOF: Krejci was 6 for 19 from the faceoff dot.
  • SLICE OF SOBOTKA: 8 hits tonight to lead the Bruins.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

For Your Entertainment

This is a column from The Buffalo News that is a thoroughly enjoyable read for a Bruins fan.  Make sure you read the comments for additional entertainment.  One of the best ones:

“Connolly, you are a woman, as is Pominville. Neither of you are willing to scratch your nail polish and fight for the puck.”

Another one that is particularly interesting to this blogger:

“Did the Sabres trade for Raffi Torres the hockey player or Raffi the children's singer? The guy has been so invisible that people forget to criticize him. C'mon Bucky, wasn't Torres supposed to add some grit to this group of cream puffs and squirts? Whatever we gave up for Torres was robbery. He makes the Bob Corkum deal look like a home run. At least Connolly has an excuse. How about a column calling out Torres or did you forget he was on this team too?”

I hammered Chiarelli for not anteing up for a guy like Torres.  I thought he would provide a little goal-scoring and some much needed (at the time) sandpaper.  But, through three games (reminder - they haven't won anything yet!) it looks like Chia was right to stand pat.  By the way, how are those Devils doing who went out and got Kovalchuk?  They're down 3 games to 1 to Brian Boucher and the Flyers.

Anyways, notice how all of the Sabres fans and this columnist are complaining about the physicality of their Sabres (it reminds you of the entire Bruins regular season).  Also, the general hating of ownership and management.  It's the same no matter where you go!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Adams Division Semifinal Game 3

Recchi's brass balls (above); when he walks, he places them in a wheelbarrow and pushes them around.

How hot was last night's game? It was your typical grinding Adams Division playoff game full of defense, hits, stellar goaltending, and more hits. The first period was pretty intense - Boston had the usual home-town push for the first ten minutes but that was diffused when Mike Grier beat Rask on a quick snap-shot. We all were cautiously optimistic and Wideman scored the tying goal on a nice backhand pass from Sobotka. Tied 1-1 going into the 2nd period. Minnesota noted, "the 2nd period is OUR period." Despite the up-and-down action, there were no goals scored in the 2nd period. As time ticked away in the 3rd period, we were all figuring on OT, and perhaps even multiple sessions of OT. Actually, the hoser to my right was thinking 3-1 Bruins with the 3rd goal being an empty-netter. BUT, brass balls Recchi charges down the wing, pushes Tim Kennedy off the puck, passes to Bergeron at the faceoff dot, shot, in. B's win, 2-1. Remember when last year, Recchi basically had a couple kidneys removed, his blood swapped out, gave birth to twins, etc. and still played all the games against Carolina? Yeah. That. Wheeler, are you paying attention?

In case you missed it, here's the Boychuk hit on Matt Ellis. It is a thing of beauty.

  • Begin was 8 for 11 at the faceoff dot
  • Chara & Sobotka led the team in hits with 6 each. Kaleta was non-factor in the game, he pretty much got rag-dolled every time he stepped on the ice.
  • I decided to punish myself this morning and catch a little Toucher & Rich. Boy, they're pretty bad with facts and details. And lots of folks were calling in asking who this Sobotka guy was. They were correct in their criticisms of Sturm & Wheeler.
  • The Sabre power play is 0 for 12 in the series.
  • Where is HubHockey? I go to the site to crib info and it's been dead the past few days.
  • Game 4 Wednesday night - The B's win this one, and thing are looking pretty good, especially if the rumors regarding Marc Savard's prognosis become true.
  • That's right - Mahk S'vahd started skating yesterday and may be cleared for strenuous exercise today. I hope they take their time with it, but I also hope they don't, just to hear the crowd go batshit when he steps on the ice.
  • Row 10 Wheeler-hater was in good form last night, until I think the alcohol hit him and he got real quiet. But he was ripping into Wheels a bit in the beginning.
  • Fellow 311'er ran the Marathon yesterday and finished in something like 3 hours. That's just retarded.
  • What also can't be ignored, but I'm afraid to jinx it, is the play of Ryder. He's rediscovered his skating ability and actually getting shots on goal.
  • Does it get any better than playoff hockey?????

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sully's Here We Come!

In a matter of hours, Section 311 will be downing beers at Sully's Tap. Had to show up at work extra early today to take off early and get to Causeway Street.

This is the greatest time of the year isn't it? Is there really anything better than playoff hockey? Anybody who doesn't enjoy this is soft and probably enjoys watching "The Real Housewives." The weekend's action across the league was just tremendously entertaining. You had the Capitals comeback against Montreal on Saturday night. You had the "cinderella" Phoenix Coyotes taking a 2-1 lead over the Wings and, on Friday, that series gave us one of the most entertaining periods of hockey I've ever seen including a stretch with 5 goals in 4 minutes. You had Craig Anderson stopping 51 shots to shutout the Sharks (laughed this morning when I woke up to see that result - if not for a Joe Pavelski goal with approx 30 seconds left in Game 2, it would be 3-0 Avs right now - Joe Thornton doing nothing again). You even had Daniel Carcillo scoring an OT game-winner.

So since Saturday afternoon, nothing but anticipation for tonight's game. Big and bad were actually back in Game 2 and let's hope they continue with a similar effort in front of us tonight. Vladdy Effin Sobotka! He gets my game puck for Game 2. Remember how much we liked this kid two years ago in the playoffs against Montreal? I can see why now - it appears the B's could have used him last year against Carolina too - 9 hits on Saturday and he scored a goal (only an assist on the scoresheet, but it was effectively his goal). Sobotka/Ryder/Wheels was arguably the Bruins best line. Can Michael Ryder keep this up? He's been great in the first two games - even landing a monster hit in Game 2.

There are people that like to hate on Chara out there. I bet they are silent now. What a great performance by the captain. It was nice to see the B's catch a couple lucky bounces on his two goals (Pominville's tip and Boychuk fanning from point getting Miller out of position).

Lucic blew it twice on Saturday (running around in own zone on Myers goal and horrible turnover on Pominville goal) and got demoted to 4th line duty for the 3rd period, but on a positive note, was landing hits and intimidating when he was out there a la '08-'09. Hopefully he will be better. It will be interesting to see what Claude does with the lines tonight.

Another guy who was sleepwalking through most of the regular season was Steve Begin, but he has been brilliant in his role thus far in this series. That's what Chia hired him for and so far he's delivered.

Unfortunately, I can't be 100% positive. Marco Sturm was invisible again on Saturday and he appears to be slower than normal. I'm beginning to think he has an undisclosed injury he's trying to battle through because he's just not right.

Thomas Vanek is doubtful for tonight and judging by the way he hobbled off the ice, one would think he is doubtful for the rest of the series. The Sabres will of course play the injury game and pretend he's about to come back, but it looked like his knee buckled when Boychuk's stick came down directly on it.

My biggest fear tonight is seeing the team we saw at home all season: tentative, tame, and tense. I'm feeling positive that they've put that behind them and will come out playing the way they did for the majority of the first two games.

If you are in attendance and anybody around you starts booing Dennis Wideman tonight, tell them to shut their ignorant mouths and get behind their team. "Wides" has been pretty solid for the better part of a month now. See you at the Garden...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Get to Know/Hate a Sabre


In order to form a more perfect hatred, today we will introduce #36 on the Sabres: Patrick Kaleta. We swiped these, uh, "results" from his "getting to know you" quiz on his, uh, facebook page.

Full Name: Patrick Kaleta
Hometown: Angola, NY
Favorite Player Growing Up: "Ulf Samuelsson. I just love the cheap way he played."
Favorite Music: Insane Clown Posse
Favorite Food: puppies & kittens
If I wasn't a hockey player, I'd be: unemployed
Favorite Animal: turtle
I really hate: minorities, children, war veterans
Favorite non-hockey athlete: Rae Carruth or JP Losman
Favorite TV show: Jersey Shore
Highest level of education reached: 8th grade
Favorite Hobbies: Hiding behind my visor or the refs; working on my goal celebrations; ducking responsibility
Favorite non-hockey team: J-E-T-S, jets jets jets!
Favorite non-hockey sport: Diving

10 Questions Moving Forward

1. Will Bruins wingers ever get in the face of Ryan Miller? KPD and Matt Kalman are asking the same question.

2. What happened to Marco Sturm on March 11? In the first 6 games following the Olympic break, Marco had 3g and 4a. Since then, in 17 games including last night, Marco has one goal and one assist! What happened?

3. Will Michael Ryder continue to play like he did in Game 1? I gotta hand it to him, he was pretty good last night. If he keeps it up, goals should come.

4. Why is Mark Recchi our best winger at the age of 42?

5. How long before one of the Bruins rearranges Patrick Kaleta's face? Steve Begin started by running him into the boards with no helmet last night, but if he keeps taking dives like he did against Chara in the first, he is going to get a beating. I enjoyed Claude's jab that Chara is not going to worry about a player (Kaleta) who hardly sees the ice.

6. What is going to happen as a result of Tyler Myers' cheapshot on Boychuk? As Johnny said, he didn't have the puck and it was a blindside hit. I doubt there will be any league discipline as a result, but it might lead to the Bruins seeking some in-game justice for the hit. Time to give the rookie his playoff initiation if you ask me.

7. What was Toni Lydman thinking? He's lucky Lucic didn't kill him. Ryan Miller made a comment to the effect that the hulking Lucic shouldn't be picking on Lydman, but he must have missed the part where Lydman started it and got what he asked for.

8. How long will Ference's groin last? Apparently it made it through last night in his 13+ minutes of ice time.

9. Will Blake Wheeler be re-signed after this season? I hope not. He showed me nothing yet again last night.

10. Will Tuukka continue to play like he did last night? I have to think so. He made some incredible saves during those powerplays in the third.

Adams Division Semifinal Game 1

Tonight the series begins, Bruins vs. Sabres at the Aud - feels like 1989 all over again. However, B's lose, 2-1. Goal by Recchi, a nice wrister off a rebound of a Chara shot. The Bruins played a good 2nd period, but that's about it. The Sabres came out hard, as you would expect, and it seems as though in the playoffs, you have to withstand that first 10 minute rush the home team usually has the in the playoffs. Vanek scored pretty early, so the momentum swung to Buffalo for the remainder of the 1st period. The 2nd period was a different story. I almost got my coveted line brawl, as there was a scrum in the corner and every player had a dance partner. No real punches were thrown. Later on in the period, ex-Hab Craig Rivet summoned his inner Canadien and killed our rally with a bomb that beat Rask high-blocker. Boston outshot Buffalo and got 1 goal. The 3rd period was mostly quiet, as the Sabres just played keep away. 6 shots for the Bruins in the 3rd, pretty weak.
  • Steve Montador (above, pictured) was 2nd in TOI for the Sabres with 24:18.
  • Saturday's matinee is on NBC I believe. NHL, still trying to win new fans from the US, showing a game featuring 2 teams from the northeast.
  • The refs gave Buffalo 5 power plays and the B's penalty kill held firm.
  • Admittedly, I didn't pay much attention to the 3rd period. The pushback by the B's was limited to start the was oh vee ay: OVA.
  • Here's Cam Neely knocking Lindy Ruff to the ice in 1988. Good stuff. Wouldn't you rather see this on the Jumbrotron than, say, the helmet shuffle? "Here's a clip of one of our VPs pounding on the opponent's head coach." Then play "Battery" or something at jet-takeoff volume.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

History Will Be Made - Jack Edwards

For your entertainment - a little Jack Edwards comedy I saw on Puck Daddy's Decadent NHL Playoff Preview for the Sabres and Bruins.

Game Time

Well, it's here. The third consecutive trip to the postseason for the Bruins kicks off tonight in Buffalo. The question marks are the battered D Corps and Tuukka's debut in the NHL Playoffs.

Andrew "Glass Groin" Ference is going to return to the lineup tonight and Mark Stuart, Dennis Seidenberg, and Marc Savard are all out for the entire series, but Stuey and Savvy are both possibilities for Round 2 if they can find a way to win.

Tim Connolly returns to the lineup for Buffalo and Jochen Hecht will miss the entire series.

The focus is on the present now, but Tuesday's results in the draft lottery were great for the future. After a lackluster at best regular season, expectations are low for the postseason and hopefully that means the Bruins will play a little looser when they get back in front of us on Monday night for Game 3. If home ice is a disadvantage like it was all season, the Bruins are in trouble in this series.

Monday, April 12, 2010

NHL Playoff Preview

Even though I'm historically horrible at predicting these things, I'm going to use the down day in between the final day of the regular season and the tomorrow's draft lottery for my playoff preview. Back in my home country (Minnesota), it's opening day for the Twins against the Sox which is a pretty big deal with the new outdoor stadium and all, but I haven't transitioned to baseball yet. It's all hockey all the time for me still so here's how I see the playoffs shaping up...

Go here for the complete TV schedule of the first round.

For us Bruins fans - here's the quick reference of the first round sched - first home game on Marathon Monday - can you say shitshow? How many people are going to make a long drunken day of Patriot's Day this year before showing up at the Garden?

Thursday, April 15 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 17 at Buffalo, 1:00 p.m.
Monday, April 19 at Boston, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 21 at Boston, 7:00 p.m.
*Friday, April 23 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m.
*Monday, April 26 at Boston, 7:00 p.m.
*Wednesday, April 28 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m.

Eastern Conference
#1 Washington vs. #8 Montreal
The Habs really blew it down the stretch and now have to face the Caps. After playing incredibly since the Olympics, Halak has really slowed down in his last few starts and if he continues to falter, this one will be over in 4 games.

#2 New Jersey vs. #7 Philadelphia
Martin Brodeur versus Brian Boucher. New Jersey advances.

#3 Buffalo vs. #6 Boston
I'm going with the homer pick because I'm biased - simple as that. If I looked at this one objectively, I'd say it's a toss-up. Buffalo kind of coasted to the finish line this year while the Bruins have really upped their intensity down the stretch. The Bruins weakness will be the injuries on defense and leaning on guys a little too heavily. If there end up being some overtime games, which is highly possible with how these teams play, the Bruins run the risk of getting worn down on the back end.
The good news is, according to the Globe, Ference is likely back for Game 1. The bad news is Ference's papier mache groin could land him right back in the press after Game 1 and Mark Stuart may miss the entire series and at least the first two games.
Still, this series will be so close that a couple bounces either way could decide it. In a season that the Bruins seemingly haven't received any bounces, maybe they will start receiving them in the postseason. They should be rested too as half the guys were coasting through much of the season (burn).

#4 Pittsburgh vs. #5 Ottawa
Pittsburgh doesn't have the D corps they did last year so I'm trying to figure out if they get ousted in the 1st round or the 2nd. I'm going to give them the edge in this series because of the goaltending and home ice advantage.

Western Conference
#1 San Jose vs. #8 Colorado
Colorado is just happy to be there so the Sharks will actually win a round this year before flaming out in round 2. Jumbo Joe will once again prove that the Bruins were better off without him. He just hasn't proved that he has the intensity to make it happen when it counts in April and May.

#2 Chicago vs. #7 Nashville
I have to pick at least a couple upsets because there always are a couple. I'm going with one here. I think the injuries to Brian Campbell and Kim Johnsson have really hurt this team on the blueline and Nashville counters with one of the best 1-2 punches in the league in Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. Pekka Rinne versus Niemi/Huet - advantage Rinne. Maybe this will be this year's big surprise just like last year's Anaheim over San Jose (which didn't surprise me - see above).

#3 Vancouver vs. #6 Los Angeles
This may be my most anticipated matchup outside of the B's for the first round. I enjoy watching both of these teams. Drew Doughty may be my favorite young player in the league and the Sedin twins have taken their game to a whole new level this year. Vancouver is my pick to hoist Lord Stanley's cup in June so I am obviously taking them in this matchup.

#4 Phoenix vs. #5 Detroit
Poor Phoenix. They did not catch a break with this draw in the first round. I have to pick Detroit. They have generally the same group, many of whom are rested due to injury AND they have better goaltending than they've had the past two seasons. They're also the best team in the NHL since the Olympics.

Eastern Semis
#1 Washington defeats #6 Boston
Those Caps just have too many weapons on offense and overwhelm Tuukka. Two, maybe three goals per night just doesn't get it done against this team and the Bruins bow out, but give us some great playoff entertainment along the way.

#2 New Jersey defeats #4 Pittsburgh
The Devils and Jamie Langenbrunner owned Pittsburgh during the regular season and it continues in the playoffs as they knock them out.

Western Semis
#7 Nashville defeats #1 San Jose
Until they prove otherwise, I give the Sharks zero respect. This makes Nashville this year's version of Carolina.

#3 Vancouver defeats #5 Detroit
With their depth on defense and two solid scoring lines, the Canucks manage to knock off the red-hot Wings. It also helps to have Roberto Luongo over the 26-year-old "rookie" Jimmy Howard.

Eastern Finals
#1 Washington over #2 New Jersey
Washington guns their way through the Devils with big contributions from some of the role players.

Western Finals
#3 Vancouver over #7 Nashville
Much like Carolina last year, Nashville is just wiped out by the time they get here and get smoked by the Canucks.

Cup Finals
Vancouver defeats Washington
Goaltending finally catches up with the Caps in this series and they fall just short in an incredibly entertaining finals.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

B's win

Nice win today by the Providence B's over the Hershey Bears, who were playing with their parent team's #1 line of Backstrom, Ovechkin, and Semin. Thomas let in a softie at first, but was pretty solid throughout, including 3 nice saves on Ovechkin. Goals by, ah....Ryder who picked a corner on a nice shot for a power play goal, and also scored another close-in, Sturm (a BOMB one-timer on a feed from Krejci) and in the shootout, Krejci got the first one and Satan undressed Varlamov for the 2nd one.
  • First NHL point of his career for Zach Hamill, wearing #52. He assisted on Ryder's first goal of the game.
  • Buncha players taking today off: Chara, Bergeron, Recchi, Sobotka
  • Hunwick & Boychuk were tasked with Ovechkin duty, and didn't do too badly.
  • Nice to see the team start the playoffs winning 3 straight. It was basically against teams who didn't care, but it allowed for extended, quality minutes from McQuaid & Bodnarchuk as they adjusted to the speed/skill of the NHL game.

Evander Kane knocks out Matt Cooke

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Stage Is Set

It's a great day for Bruins fans.  The Bruins defeated the 'Canes and in the process became the first team in NHL history to score three shorties on the same PP.  The Garden was in '08-'09 form for this one and it was thoroughly enjoyable. 

Meanwhile, the Habs just lost to Toronto in OT on a Dion Phaneuf goal so your Boston Bruins have secured the #6 seed and can rest some guys tomorrow against the Caps.  The question now is who will they play in the first round?  That comes down to the Devils/Sabres game tomorrow @ 5 PM EST.  If the Sabres win in regulation, the Bruins face the Devils (let's hope not - snoozefest!).  If there is any other result in that game, it will be Bruins/Sabres in the first round.

The Habs clinched their spot so the final spot will be decided by the winner of the Flyers/Rangers tomorrow @ 3 PM EST.  If the Flyers win, they get the #7 seed and the Habs get #8.  If the Rangers win, the Habs are #7 and Rangers #8.

There you have it.  Bruins @ 12:30, Rangers/Flyers @ 3, Sabres/Devs @ 5, and the Masters.  My TV's will be getting a workout tomorrow...

B's win

Bruins beat the 'Canes today, 4-2. They set a new NHL record by scoring 3 shorthanded goals in 64 seconds' time, all on the same power play. It was pretty unbelievable. Goals by Paella, Wheels, Begin and an empty-netter (first EN goal in what seems like forever) by Lootch. Bergeron made a game-saving play by sweeping out an errant puck from the B's crease when Rask went off after a delayed penalty. Wheels passed to Ryder, who of course missed the pass, then it bounced off the wall and towards the empty net. Bergy tracked that shit down and saved the game, maybe the season.
  • Staal and LaRose were takin' liberties all night, I was waiting for someone to give them a tuneup. Alas, it was not to be. My thirst for sports violence is unquenched - all I wanted this season is a line brawl.
  • Row 10 Wheeler hater is turning into Row 10 Wideman hater as well.
  • BC just beat Wisconsin to win the NCAA Championship.
  • Leafs just beat MTL in OT. B's to play Sabres or Devils in playoffs, it looks like...
  • Draft Lottery on April 13. Look for Minnesota to be all over that shit.
  • Penner & Hamill were just called up from Providence.
  • whoa. WHOA. you should see Don Cherry's suit tonight. My TV just exploded.
  • Walking to the rink today, I was hoping I wouldn't have to see any Whaler fans. As soon as that thought entered my head, some pasty-white Whaler fan power-walked by me. It was the only Whaler fan I saw and it was still too many.
Quite possibly the saddest subset of the human species: The Whaler Fan. (swiped from NYT)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dennis Wideman Fan Club

I proposed starting the Dennis Wideman Fan Club for the playoffs to some fellow 311'ers, but I think it fell on deaf ears.  To be honest, I just want more Den-nis-Wide-man clap clap clapclapclap chants.

He is showing some signs of life.  In his last ten games, he has 3 goals and 4 assists and has been a minus player only ONCE in that stretch (the home loss to Buffalo).  That's 7 points in 10 games which is a damn good total for a defenseman on the offensively inept Bruins.  The fans notice every mistake he makes now because they're looking for it and are getting on him pretty relentlessly, but it's not deserved anymore.  DEN-NIS-WIDE-MAN!!!

I should probably eat some of my words on Johnny Boychuk too.  He has really stepped up in Seidenberg's absence and logged nearly 29 minutes of ice time last night.  I'm not getting too hyped up about beating a Buffalo team that was giving a number of key players a rest last night though.

The guy we should be getting on is Michael Ryder.  Blake Wheeler deserves it too, but not as much as Ryder.  The good news is Ryder will be playing for a contract next year so he might show up, but don't hold your breath on that one either.

All eyes on the Rangers tonight - a Ranger loss in regulation locks up the playoff spot for the B's, but the key now is to move into 6th or 7th to avoid Washington.  Eric Staal's 3g and 2a helped Carolina beat up on Montreal last night which helped in that quest.

Sabre Rattling

Last night, the B's won, 3-1. Really slow game to develop. Goals by Satan, Wideman (no, really), Chara. I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure, that there are "Wideman Hater" t-shirts out there these days. WOW. Apparently Mike Milbury had something to say about the overall Wideman hateration during the intermissions, that the fans had to leave him alone.
  • Power play continues to be powerless, going 0 for 5.
  • Hard to believe that Gaustad (78 PIM) wouldn't rumble with Thornton when Thornton wanted to.
  • Sobotka tried to engage Ex-BC punk Nathan Gerbe in a fight, but the linesmen broke it up, giving each 2 mins for roughing .
  • Let's say Satan gets 15 shifts a game. For 14 of those shifts, I hear Minnesota cursing under his breath because Satan is unable/unwilling to be physical or play defense. That 1 other shift, Satan usually scores. Normally, I figure you'd get rid of the guy, but seeing as how the B's have 1-20 goal scorer, I guess we can't be too choosy.
  • Sobotka 6 for 11 from the faceoff dot.
  • We had a pretty annoying Buffalo fan in Row 14 last night. A drunken "Let's go Buff-a-lo" chant every 30 seconds. I'm not exaggerating, either. He did start an almost entertaining chant of [clap clap clapclapclap] "DEN-NIS WIDE-MAN!" The section got into it for a few moments.
  • Row 12 sat in Loge 5 last night. Our apologies to those well-heeled denizens of Loge 5. We let him out of his kennel last night and his unwashed self managed to escape and then wander into the Loge.
  • Minnesota dislikes the Wisconsin Badgers ("they're rodents!") and I dislike the BC Eagles, so we're about to punch ourselves in the face over the Frozen Four matchup.
  • Dave Goucher (radio play by play guy for the B's) looks like Steve Carell. Well, he did last night anyway while announcing the Bruins fans awards (Lester B. Pearson, Elizabeth Dufresne, John P. Bucyk - won by Recchi, Bergeron, Thornton).
  • Last night ended Minnesota's boycott of home Bruins games. It was the first B's win he's seen in person since, yup, the Winter Classic.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lottery Percentages and Playoff Scenarios

Lottery Watch (is over):

It's official, the Bruins will have a top 3 choice after Toronto's loss to the Rangers last night. Here are the Bruins' odds of acquiring each pick in Tuesday's (April 13) Draft Lottery:

1st - 18.8%
2nd - 42.0%
3rd - 39.2%
4th or worse - Blutarski's GPA

Unfortunately, that % chance for #3 is pretty high and the Bruins seem to be cursed this year, but you can't complain about picking in the top 3.

Playoff Watch:

6. Montreal - 87 (39 wins, 2 games remaining)
7. Philly - 86 (40 wins, 2 games remaining)
8. Boston - 85 (36 wins, 3 games remaining)
9. Rangers - 84 (37 wins, 2 games remaining)

Here are all of the possible points scenarios in the final two games for the Rangers and Flyers (ignoring what happens with the Habs for the sake of argument):

Rangers 4, Flyers 2 (Rangers win both in OT/Shootout)
Bruins need 4 points to make playoffs, and to guarantee finishing above 8th

Rangers 4, Flyers 1 (one OT game)
Bruins need 3 points to make playoffs, 4 to guarantee 7th+

Rangers 4, Flyers 0
Bruins need 2 points for 8th, 4 to guarantee 7th+

Rangers 3, Flyers 3 (One OT/Shootout win each)
Bruins need 3 points to make playoffs, 5 to guarantee 7th+

Rangers 3, Flyers 2 (Rangers win in regulation, Flyers win in OT)
Bruins need 3 points to make playoffs, 4 to guarantee 7th+

Rangers 2, Flyers 4 (figure it out for yourself the rest of the way)
Bruins need 2 to make it, 6 to guarantee 7th+

Rangers 2, Flyers 3
Bruins need 2 to make it, 5 to guarantee 7th+

Rangers 2, Flyers 2
Bruins need 2, 4 for 7th+

Rangers 1, Flyers 4
Bruins need 1, 6 for 7th+

Rangers 0, Flyers 4
Bruins are in, 6 for 7th+

Just remember that 3 points by the Bruins could be enough to pass the Habs if they lose each of their final two games in regulation. Les Habitantes need only a single point to clinch their playoff spot since they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Rangers. The Habs play tonight @ Carolina and finish up with Toronto on Saturday. Ten different point possibilities come from just two games - have I mentioned the 3-point game system is stupid in the NHL?

The key here is, the Bruins need just 3 points at the most in all but one scenario (Rangers with two OT/Shootout wins). Even a team that is missing half of its D corps should be able to pry 3 points out of these final 3 games and they will only need 2 points to clinch if the dreaded three-point game does not occur in either Ranger/Flyer game.

That sets it up for you - the B's just need to go out and take care of their own business tonight (by the way, they cannot clinch with a win tonight as reported in the Globe).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New Central Scouting Rankings

Tyler Seguin is now ranked #1 and is compared to Steve Yzerman by Central scouting.  Taylor Hall is 2nd and compared to Zach Parise.  Cam Fowler falls to 5th and is compared to Mike Green.  Brett Connolly, a right winger, moves up to #3 and is compared to Peter Forsberg.  Erik Gudbranson, D-man, is rated 4th and compared to Dion Phaneuf.

Cam neely says Seguin and Hall are 1-2 on their list as well.  What if the worst-case happens and they don't get 1 or 2?  Who do the Bruins have rated number 3?

Taylor Hall is just the perfect fit - the Bruins are weak on the left wing and he would slot in there beautifully. 


Okay, I had joked a little about Seidenberg's wrist-cut thing, but it turns out he partially lacerated a tendon and will be out 8 weeks. That, plus Stuart being out for at least 2 weeks to recover from cellulitis...
What's gonna happen now???

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Magic Number Now 4 Points

The Bruins need any combination of 4 points - getting points themselves or the Rangers leaving points on the table.  Buffalo helped the Bruins out by getting King Henrik pulled on the way to a 5-2 victory.  Atlanta is now eliminated after losing to the Devils since the B's hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against them.

Even better, with Toronto's loss to Philly the absolute best they can finish now is 28th overall.  Tampa and Florida are still only two points clear of Toronto after losing Tuesday, but they both will hold the tiebreaker over Toronto and they play each other twice before all is said and done.  Therefore, one of them is guaranteed to get at least two points in the final three games which is all it takes to lock out the Leafs.  Things are looking good in the Hall/Seguin sweepstakes.  Remember, as Cam Neely said today on Felger & Mazz: if Toronto finishes 29th, the Bruins have a 60.8% chance of securing one of the top two spots in this year's draft.  And they'll have an 18.8% chance of getting #1.  Doesn't it give you visions of Taylor Hall riding shotgun with Savvy this fall?

Assuming Toronto finishes 29th: if no one beats the odds and Edmonton selects 1st and the Bruins select 2nd, Edmonton will likely be more interested in a pivot (Seguin) leaving the door open for the Bruins to trade up for the #1 pick or, even better, just having Taylor Hall fall to them at #2.  If they somehow do not secure a top two pick and end up with a defenseman there will likely be a mutiny among Bruins fans.  The fallout wouldn't be pretty - especially if Cam Fowler or Erik Gudbranson doesn't make the team out of camp.  For every Tyler Myers, there are 20 Luke Schenn's or Zach Bogosian's that take time to adjust to the NHL game.

Just remember, the Bruins have already won in the Kessel trade.  Did you see Kessel bounce off of Miro Satan last Saturday?  That's the first physical battle Miro won since signing with the Bruins and then Kessel left with "cramps" later in the game.  What a pussy!  He wasn't the answer.

Rooting Interest

I will be giving NHL Center Ice a workout tonight.  The Bruins are the only team in the entire Eastern Conference that is NOT playing tonight and every other game has ramifications, whether they are for the postseason or the draft lottery.

On Versus, you have Caps/Pens which is usually highly entertaining and has the added drama of the goal-scoring title.  This game has little impact on the B's except for potential opponents in the first round so I'll be rooting for the Pens because the last thing I want is a Devils/Bruins snoozefest of a playoff series - here's a look at the rest of the Eastern Conference sched tonight:
  • Rangers @ Sabres - Go Sabres
  • Flyers @ Leafs - Go FLYERS - Sorry, but that draft pick is the #1 priority
  • Devils @ Thrashers - Go THRASH - they're finished even if they win and see above for why I want the Pens to win that division
  • Habs @ Islanders - Go Isles - Bruins can still get 6th which would likely mean the Sabres for the first round
  • Sens @ Panthers - Go Panthers - hold off the charging Leafs
  • Canes @ Ning - Go Lightning in OT - both teams need to hold off the Leafs - the good news is one of them is guaranteed two points tonight
Notice the teams I'm pulling for are the home teams in all cases aside from the Flyers.  This is good news for teams other than the Boston Bruins - they actually play better at home!


Michael Ryder can't do shit. Did you see the flurry in front of Caps goalie Jose Theodore, where Ryder aimed for Theodore's pads from point blank and hit them? I was listening in the car at that point, and Bob Beers was just astounded by Ryder's inability to do anything right.
So yeah, the B's lost in OT to the Caps, 3-2. The Caps were resting some folks and were looking ahead to the playoffs already, so they really weren't trying. The B's played a decent game that was fun to watch (of what I saw). Goals by Bergeron (filthy move on Theodore) and Wideman (no, really. It was a slapshot after a faceoff win with 1.6 seconds left in the 1st period).
  • 28:39 of ice time for Wideman. HORRIBLE.
  • Sobotka was 6 of 9 from the faceoff dot. VINDICATION! as Brick and the other guy (Versus telecast) discussed Sobotka's hot streak on faceoffs last night. Something like 77% in his last I dunno 10 games or something.
  • B's are now with 85 points, still in the playoff hunt...
  • Stuart's got cellulitis (don't they always joke about this ailment on House, M.D.?), Seidenberg's on suicide watch with 15 stitches on his wrist, and ahhhh Ference and his glass groin are still on the mend.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bruins D Corps in Trouble

According to the Globe blog, Seidenberg is questionable tonight and Stuart will be out all week. Ference, the $6.75M-groin-injury, is also still out of the lineup. That leaves the Bruins with a third D pair of...


Suddenly, my confidence is waning on making the playoffs. Hopefully Seidenberg doesn't have tendon damage and will make it into the lineup tonight. If he doesn't, get ready for 30+ minutes of Dennis Wideman!

Final Week Primer

Lottery Watch (still the most important thing for this franchise since no cup is coming this year):

1. Edmonton - 56 (4 games remaining)
2. Toronto - 72 (3)
3. Tampa - 74 (4)
4. Florida - 74 (4)
5. Carolina - 76 (3)
6. Islanders - 76 (4)
7. Columbus - 77 (3)

These are the only teams Toronto can still pass so worst-case scenario is now the 7th pick, but the Bruins are looking great to at least have a shot at the #1 pick (bottom 5). Thankfully, Tampa Bay and Florida play each other on Sunday so someone has to get points right? However, this does beg the question, does anybody truly win when Tampa Bay and Florida square off on the final day of the season? All that needs to happen for Carolina and the Islanders to clinch finishing ahead of Toronto is for each team to get at least 2 points this week because they would have the wins tiebreaker over Toronto.

Futility Watch (games remaining in parentheses):

1. Your Boston Bruins! - 193 (4)
2. Calgary - 199 (3)
3. Edmonton - 199 (4)
4. Florida - 199 (4)
5. Tampa - 201 (4)

The Bruins may have wrapped up the distinction of having the most anemic offense in the league this past week. We're going to have to see an offensive explosion this week to climb out of the cellar.

Jennings Watch - fewest goals against for a team:

1. New Jersey - 186 (4)
2. Boston - 191 (4)
3. Phoenix - 195 (3)

The Bruins still have a chance to repeat as Jennings Trophy winners, albeit a slim one.

Playoff watch:
6. Montreal - 86 (3 games - @NYI, @CAR, TOR)
7. Boston - 84 (4 games - @WAS, BUF, CAR, @WAS)
8. Philadelphia - 84 (3 games - @TOR, @NYR, NYR)
9. Rangers - 82 (4 games - @BUF, TOR, PHI, @PHI)
10. Atlanta - 81 (3 games - NJ, @WAS, PIT)
11. Islanders - 76 (4 games - who cares, just get two points out of all of them)

Yes, the Isles are still mathematically in it if they win out and Boston and the Rangers lose out - not happening, but thought I'd throw them in there for accuracy. Here's the deal - Atlanta is toast. They finish with NJ, @WAS, PIT. NJ and PIT are battling it out for seeding and the Atlantic Division title and will be playing for keeps. Atlanta would have to win all 3 to have a shot and I just don't see it against those teams. Montreal is in the playoffs, but it's not official yet. They finish with @NYI, @CAR, TOR. I just hope their seed is in doubt on Saturday when they square off with the Leafs in their final game of the season.

The schedule helps out our Bruins. Philly and the Rangers play TWICE this week in each team's final two games of the season. What this means is that one of these teams is guaranteed to lose points. The worst-case for the Bruins would be both games going to OT and the teams trading wins which would mean 3 points each. If that were to happen and each team won their other games, they would both finish with 89 points. Therefore, if the Bruins can manage 6 points this week, they would clinch a playoff spot. This blogger thinks 4 points will be enough giving them 88 which wipes out Atlanta since their max is 87 and would force the Rangers to win 3 of 4 minimum this week.

My prediction is as follows...The Bruins will make it as the #7 seed and Montreal will stay ahead of them for #6. The winner of the Flyers/Rangers mini-playoff series gets #8. Who will the Bruins play in the first round? There's a tight race for the 2, 3, and 4 seeds:

2. New Jersey - 97 (4 games - @ATL, @FLA, NYI, BUF)
3. Buffalo - 96 (4 games - NYR, @BOS, @OTT, @NJ)
4. Pittsburgh - 97 (4 games - WAS, NYI, @ATL, @NYI)

New Jersey owns the tiebreaker on PIT due to head-to-head record. This is a tough call. I'm going to give the edge to Pittsburgh since WAS will be playing on back-to-back nights and they have two against the Isles. Let's hope the Caps are looking forward to their matchup with Crosby and Co. tonight when they square off against our Bruins. If the Pens manage to win the division, they would be the #2 seed since Buffalo has a tough schedule to finish.

This, of course, would setup a playoff series against Matt Cooke and the Pittsburgh Penguins. That would at least have the possibility of being a lot of fun before the Penguins send the Bruins to the golf course for the offseason...if New Jersey ends up winning the Atlantic and getting the #2 seed, just burn my playoff tickets - can't wait to watch more thrillers like that 1-0 OT win a few games back! Although I would give the B's a better chance of winning a series against the Devils...

Whatever happens, there will be some great hockey to watch this week around the league...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"Dude, Wideman's Gahbidge!"

Check out local spaz Brendan "TuukkaTime" LeComte as he recaps the B's games on the youtube:

B's get a win on the road.

Last night the B's beat Toronto, 2-1 in OT. Both goals by Satan. The first one was a garbage rebound goal off of a Krejci shot. The second was a snappy tip of a Chara shot off of the shaft of his stick. Ya know, I don't know if he meant to do it, but it's a pretty fine thing to tip a shot with the shaft of your stick and not have it go wide. Satan's been strange to watch this half-season. I'd say get rid of him, but we have no one else.
  • I'm becoming a little obsessed with Sobotka's performance on faceoffs; last night he was 5 of 7 from the dot.
  • Seidenberg suffered a gash on the wrist while attempting to take his own life after watching the B's power play.
  • No production from Wheels/Ryder despite the line shuffle. The offense is simply Krejci & Bergeron. I hope opposing teams are not scouting us.
  • Currently watching the 2-hour (!) pre-game to the Sox' season opener. posted something about the rivalry being dead or old. Dude, the rivalry was done in '04 - the only folks who give a shit about it are those reporting or broadcasting the game. All I know is that the games are usually 5+ hours long when the Sox/Yanks play. It's that whole Globe/Red Sox/NESN circle jerk that's been put into high gear now that the season's underway. Don't get me wrong - I love the Sox, love to plop down in front of the tv every night and waste time watching the games, but I - like the rest of "Red Sox Nation" - could probably do without the constant coverage. I DO like the addition of Peter Gammons. Anyhow, the only thing that makes Sox/Yanks interesting are the donnybrooks - so let's have some HBPs tonight...shake up the tired, old ballpark, eh?
  • Wideman was on the ice for 27:34 last night. My goodness, I hope that never happens again.
  • Gotta learn your cliches:

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Yeah, I dozed off during the Devils/Bruins game and was woken up by Jack Edwards going completely batshit when Bergeron scored the game-winner with 19 seconds left.

The Florida game was much worse, as the Bruins continued their hatred of their fanbase by dropping a huge, elephant-sized deuce on Causeway Street by losing 1-0 to the Florida Panthers. Scott Clemmensen looked like Martin Brodeur; the B's resembled a team going thru the motions - I saw more desperation in the "Three Minutes of Fame" during the 1st intermission. (Speaking of which, when are the coaches/parents going to teach their kids HOW TO PASS?)
  • Sobotka was 6 of 9 from the faceoff dot Thursday night. Of course,'s statistics interface isn't that hot, so I can't tell what his season FO% is and where he ranks without going thru all 4 billion NHL players. Bergeron leads the league among those who've taken >700 draws, though.
  • Wideman got #2 star Thursday night. Total pity-fuck there; he did nothing to distinguish himself except by not screwing up a hundred times like usual.
  • Chara took 12 shots that were blocked Thursday night. I forget where I saw this, and I could have dreamed it up, but wow.
  • Apparently Cload is going to shake up the lines tonight vs. the Laffs, sending Wheels and Ryder to the 4th lines or the press box. Ryder seems rather uncaring by his lackluster performance. Someone's gotta piss in their Wheaties to get them angry.
  • Row 12 has fleas. He spent most of Thursday night scratching away.
  • There's a 311'er who is running this year's Boston Marathon. What a slacker. He alleges that he will finish in under 3h15min. And yes, there will be some wagering involved.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Eyes on the Prize(s)

Lottery Watch:

With only 5 games to play, the WORST-CASE is now the 8th slot in the 2010 draft via Toronto. Edmonton has clinched the worst record and Toronto likely has no chance of catching Carolina, the Rangers, or the Jackets though it is mathematically possible. Unfortunately, the Panthers, Lightning, and Islanders are well within striking distance of the Laffs. Therefore, I wouldn't mind seeing a three-point game tonight at the Garden (with our Bruins getting two of those points of course). Here are the lottery standings with games remaining in parentheses - remember that Toronto's max point total is 79 if they win out:

1. Edmonton - 55 (6)
2. Toronto - 69 (5)
3. Florida - 72 (6)
4. Islanders - 72 (6)
5. Tampa - 74 (5)
6. Carolina - 75 (5)
7. Columbus - 77 (5)
8. Rangers - 78 (6)

Futility Watch - Fewest Goals Scored Race (games remaining in parentheses):

1. Bruins - 191 (6)
2. Oilers - 194 (6)
3. Calgary - 196 (5)
4. Florida - 197 (6)
5. Islanders - 199 (6)

Comeon Bruins, pass somebody so we don't have to hear "the worst offense in the NHL" during the playoff broadcasts. Make it the "worst offense among playoff teams" instead!

Yes, the Bruins will make the playoffs.

Buffalo could help the B's by defeating Toronto tonight and Washington could help by defeating the Thrash. Root for those teams tonight too.