Sunday, October 31, 2010

B's clobber Sens, 4-0

Tim Thomas extended his shutout streak as the B's beat the Sens last night, 4-0.
  • Yeah, I fell asleep during the 1st intermission, something about getting up at 4:45am Saturday morning catching up with me. But I watched some highlights on The Fly and maybe I'll catch the replay @ 2pm on NESN.
  • Goal by Seguin - got to see his wheels there, he just blew by the Senators defenders to get to Recchi's pass to tip in the easy lay-up.
  • Horton I guess missed a breakaway shot after deking out both Elliot and himself (too much time?), then Lootch scored 5-hole a few moments later.
  • The Krejci goal, I saw that one. Picked a corner, sweet.
  • Bergy setting up Caron (mini-Bergy) for an easy breakaway goal. Caron's got staying power, this is pretty cool. Earning his salary, that Bergeron, by winning the faceoffs and taking the younger French-Canadian sous son aile.
  • Chris Neil beat up on Seidenberg, hopefully the bench took note and will settle the score later on this season, hopefully during a home game so I can witness the carnage live.
  • Carkner punched Wheeler and Wheeler cried.
  • What can be said that hasn't already been said about Thomas? I've nothing to add, just glad he's playing great, it's a great story to see the old guy returning to form and, as usual, making everyone regret counting him out & second-guessing his abilities.
  • Sobotka update: 5 games with the Blues with 0-0-0 totals and 1 shot. Looks like he's getting about 8 minutes of ice time per night.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thank You Kessel

I love winning. Dontcha love winning? Like, it's better than losing?

The Bruins raked the Leafs into the forest (running out of Leafs/autumn/defeat items here) last night, 2-0. Tim Thomas with the shutout. GAA of 0.60 and a save percentage over .980, who woulda thunk it?
  • That Seguin kid, he's gonna be something someday. Snapped home a shot, displaying quick wrists, beating Gustafson. Bergy also connected again on the PP with a rising one-timer from the point, beating Gustafson high-glove.
  • Nathan Horton didn't get on the scoresheet tonight but he scored in other areas just as important. He got into a scuffle with Dion Phaneuf and handled himself okay. Apparently it had been going all night, just verbal stuff, then after a faceoff, the sticks, gloves, helmets all came off and Horton went after him like a hurricane, roundhouse blows. Horton got the takedown, but Phaneuf performed some Phaneuf-ery and punched Horton after Horton threw him down. That got Horton pretty hot, so he kept punching away while Phaneuf was on the ground. Horton got the extra 10 for that, but it was worth it. I never though Horton was the type to throw down, but check out this battle with Arron Asham. Took him to the woodshed there. Nice work there, kid.
  • Yah, surely you've heard about the chant (sounded like it started in Balcony Sec 314 or so) of "Thank You Kess-el" after the Seguin goal. It was pretty loud and among one of the better chants witnessed at the Fleet Garden in awhile. Great fun. As usual, the Loge was oblivious to there even being a hockey game on the ice. Game program lists Kessel at, no lie, 6-2 202 lbs. My ass. He's 5-10 and about 185 soaking wet, holding an anvil. He said he couldn't care less about the chants, etc. but we know we're in his head - which is why we chant & boo. Behind that tow-headed exterior lies a fragile, awkward, and sensitive lad...and we're going to destroy him emotionally, brick by brick.
  • Mark Stuart pretty much mugged him in the corner, stole his lunch money, Kessel fell, and the crowd went nuts. Yeah.
  • Milt Schmidt night at the TD Center, I missed most of it due to heavy traffic getting into the city. Dude is 92, appeared as alert as ever, started playing w/ the B's at age 12 or something, held all positions in the organization. I can barely skate.
  • Key Word to Last Night: "Toxic". I musta said "holy shit, the d-combo there is toxic" about 400 times last night. Usually Ference was one of those 2 d-men. During the post-game, Beers said Ference has been doing well, but ya know, if I can tell you suck, then you suck. McQuaid was in for the injured Boychuk. I'd rather see Bartkowski or Kampfer.
  • Ryan Spooner update: 7-8-15 totals in 10 games for the Peterborough Petes, slipping to 31st in scoring.
  • Trade Wheeler. Do it soon, get some picks for him. Banish him to Phoenix or someplace where we won't see him. Saw a toddler with a Wheeler jersey on my way out, I almost called DSS because that's just child abuse right there. My buddy's 13 year old son almost started liking Wheeler during the B's/Rangers game and I diverted him to Seguin.
  • Guy who sat to my right smelled like my late grandfather. Some cologne/aftershave from the 40's was employed there, methinks. And the dude talked to his wife the whole game, pretty much sewed a quilt and bought a few purses during the game as well.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Don't look now, but

Steve Montador is tied for the league lead in plus/minus at a +9.

B's lose, 3-2

Last night the Bruins failed to capitalize on some man-advantages and lost to the Rangers, 3-2.
  • Marchand. The guy's a little turd but man he displayed some sweet moves a few times in the game.
  • 3 fights in the game. First fight was Stuart vs. Avery after Stuart stood up Fedotenko at the blue line. Avery jumped him, they battled, Stuart held his own. Avery got the extra 2 instigator. Then later on Boogard took on Thornton. I don't know how this one started, they just started bear-hugging. But Boogard's got about a half-foot on Thornton and Thornton held up okay. Then Lootch took on Prust but the linesmen ended the fight early, and Lootch was pissed. Jumbotron showed Prust was eye-gouging - whatta bitch...Linesmen ending the fights early. C'mon. Boston-New York, it's Saturday night, let them go at it. Lootch was just getting an arm free and was ready to turn Prust's face into a bowl of meat sauce.
  • Lots of Ranger fans in the building. HORRIBLE.
  • Horton. Continues to come as advertised. Scored another goal on a between-the-legs-behind-the-back feed from Krejci in the corner. Krejci is just sick.
  • Rask. Let up 3 weird, un-Rask-like goals. These are the types of goals Thomas lets up - kind of fluke-y, tip-in shots with weird trajectories and angles.
  • Seguin. Starting to quiet down, playing an apparently responsible game. He was lined up for a massive hit in the corner and dodged it in the last minute...Dale & Holley were projecting on Friday that by xmas he'll be tearing up the NHL, Stamkos-style.
  • Chara scored on another power-play BOMB of shot. Lundqvist never saw it.
  • Another strong game for Caron. He just keeps riding with Bergy and acclimating to the speed of the game. Bergy's got great hockey-sense, so this is not a bad deal by any means. Really, what's gonna happen when Savvy & Sturm come back?
  • Local spaz Brendan "TuukkaTime40" LeComte was featured on the Jumbotron to get the crowd pumped up. He hasn't posted a recap of last night's game yet, probably because he was pahtying wicked hahd last night.
  • Boychuk got slashed on the hand by someone, didn't return for the rest of the game. This may mean the rebirth of the Adam McQuaid era. Ya know, would rather see Bartkowski...
  • Greg Campbell got 4 minutes for slashing Prust in the face. Prust went down like he was shot. Will his dad issue a fine or a suspension?
  • Cole Harbour Hoser, who sat next to me last night, actually played against Avery many moons ago in Nova Scotia. "He is 100% not manufactured. He really, truly is a piece of shit."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bruins will never lose another game this season

The Bruins dispatched the Capitals in a home/home series with convincing wins. I don't understand what's going on, why the Caps were a step behind on virtually every play, but Bruce Boudreau's got some work to do.
  • Wheeler was offside at least 3 times last night and was in alone probably 3 times, with shots going very wide. The dude has Paille syndrome, he just can't finish. Row 10 blamed "the new skates".
  • Nice work by Caron in the 2nd period right before his goal. He was mucking in the corners for the puck, maintained possession, then scored a goal about 30 seconds later. During this time, the fans were on their feet cheering because the domination was awesome. It almost started to look unfair.
  • Tim Thomas. Wow, huh? I mean, he's all over the place, he's kind of getting lucky with some of the shots just hitting him center-mass, but at some point it goes from being lucky to being just plain ol' good.
  • Horton. Comes as advertised.
  • Ryder. Contract year, trying to get more money. It'd be wise for whoever re-signs him next summer to just go with a one-year deal so he keeps playing for money.
  • Ryan Spooner update: Spooner had a hat trick the other night for the Peterborough Petes in a 6-4 win over the Kitchener Rangers. He is currently ranked #22 in scoring in the OHL with 7-6-13 totals in 7 games.
  • Ference & Laich almost squared off last night. Would have been good to see that one. The linesmen got in the way of that, not sure why. Ference could use a good punch in the face.
  • Near catfight in our section last night. No real blows, just words between each Snooki-wannabe.
  • Brad Marchand is still a turd but he had some good shifts last night.
  • Minnesota, reporting from overseas, predicted the removal of Hunwick from the PP, saying he was the weak link in that setup.
  • One of the highlights last night was when Seidenberg took out Ovechkin on a body check that had both sliding into the corner. Just took him right out, yeeeaaaaah.
  • Wikipedia lists Claude as 195lbs. YEAH RIGHT maybe his arm.
  • Steven Tyler, tone-deaf and just making up words to the anthem. Here's some ear bleach:

Tyler/Perry strung out >> Tyler/Perry sober

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bruins win, 4-1

The Bruins pounded away on the Devils tonight and won, 4-1. Pretty solid game all around, lots of balance between the lines. Started off a little weak as the Devils skated around the B's for awhile, but the B's got their legs going and put the game away in the 2nd period.
  • Ference/Hunwick d-pair. WOOF. Ference got caught deep a few hundred times. I mean, they were both +2 for the game, but there were some tense moments there.
  • Awesome pass, awesome shot on the Ryder goal from Seguin.
  • Thomas was all over the ice, might have gotten lucky a few times, but looked pretty darn good out there. I don't care too much for his new albino mask, though. Brodeur looked kind of bad tonight, NJ defense just kinda shaky all around. Hey, without the trap, is Brodeur just an average goalie now? Are all those records a product of LeMaire's trap, or what?
  • NESN's Cole Wright - loves Quagmire from Family Guy. okay. Apparently, this is Bergeron's favorite show, too. NESN's also got this thing where Patrice shows off his backyard rink. I just saw it, pretty wacky stuff.
  • Marchand went hip-to-thigh on Zubrus and got called for tripping. I was hoping it'd lead to a massive fight where Marchand would get the stuffing pounded out of him, but no dice.
  • Dennis Wideman scored a goal tonight in a Panthers win, was +2 in 25:19 of playing time
  • First NHL goal for Jordan Caron. Bergeron retrieved the puck right after the goal for his fellow Quebecer ami. Caron's from Sayabec, which appears to be about 120 miles north of Fort Kent, ME.
  • Gregory Campbell is called "Soupy" by his linemates.
  • Matt Cooke got blind-side hit by Mike Richards tonight and got upset about it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Prague Random Thoughts

So we've had two regular season games on at the time I'm usually watching the English Premier League.  Actually worked out well since the EPL had the weekend off for an international break.  Some random thoughts based on the weekend's action...

Enough already with starting the season overseas:
This can't be helping the NHL.  They can't even sell out the rinks and they have to be spending a lot of money to have 6 teams over there.  The only positive I can see in it is it would be a great excuse for a European vacation if I was independently wealthy.  Since I'm not, I just think it blows.  It takes away a home game for us season ticket holders and it has to be tough on our Bruins.  It's also dumb that we don't see the Bruins play again until Saturday.

Would have been nice to visit and take in a couple games

Comcast sucks:
I'm stuck with Comcast where I now live.  I had DirecTV for years.  Comcast's NHL Center Ice has maybe one game per night in HD and they charge more than DirecTV does for everything.

Nathan Horton is on the 2nd PP Unit:
This boggles my mind and will likely change.  I also don't like seeing Matt Hunwick on PP1.  The PP definitely needs some work.  The Bruins are actually fortunate Phoenix didn't score 3 or 4 shorties in the two games.

The Bruins D has me tempering expectations for this season:
From 1 thru 6, the Bruins D just does not stack up with many of the so-called contenders.  Multiple guys will have to step up their games this year for everything to come together.  Don't be surprised if there is a trade after Ference's groin gives way.

It's nice to have a healthy Chara and Lucic:
Remember last year when Chara was taking little wristers from the point because of his hand injury?  Remember how Lucic never looked like himself after the high ankle sprain?  They both look like more like the 2009 version now.  Chara was also flattening people and getting involved in the offense.  When Marchand found him with a brilliant pass in the 1st period on Sunday, I had to laugh at how he had no idea what to do against Bryzgalov though - that's alright, that's not his game.

It's going to take time for Tyler:
Steven Stamkos looks poised to join Crosby and Ovechkin as an elite superstar in the NHL.  Remember what he did in the first half of his first year?  Next to nothing.  Stamkos turned it up in the 2nd half of his rookie season and that's what we need to hope for from Tyler.  Let's be honest with ourselves, he was nearly invisible this weekend until Michael "Vick" Ryder found him on the post pattern for the breakaway.

Nice debut for the new guys

Horton will lead the team in goals:
Going out on a limb here.  His hands are so good.  Man it's nice to have a sniper again isn't it?  As the Mayor pointed out, he's on pace for 120.  After watching him this weekend, 40 to 50 certainly isn't out of the question.  We'll see if his propensity to take nights off shows up this year or not.  At least he doesn't have a propensity to take seasons off like Mr. Ryder.  Horton has figured in 4 of the 5 goals on the season with his assist on Lucic's goal.  You can't beat that start.

Attaboy Timmy:
Looked good.  Had one of his floppy moments in the 2nd period, but made all the saves and his team certainly played better in front of him.  It will be interesting to see how the playing time shakes out this season.  This blogger projects neither goalie will exceed 50 starts barring injury to the other.

Blake Wheeler is still awful:
I hope this changes because we need the guy to be better, but he is horrible and he's bringing Bergy down with him by being on his line.  He was even bringing Jordan Caron down on Sunday.

Jack made a great point late in Sunday's broadcast:
...when talking about bringing Caron in for Paille today - making players accountable for a poor performance.  Remember last year when Claude kept sending the same bums out night after night even though the effort wasn't there?

Way to go Peter:
Chara and Bergy's combined cap hit this year: $12.25M
Chara and Bergy's combined cap hit the next three years: $11.5M
You have to like locking up these core players and reducing their combined cap hit.  I was actually hoping they could reduce Chara's numbers on the back end of his contract to reduce it further.  According to capgeek, the final two years are $5M and $4M respectively.  Seeing as how he'll be 40 then, I would have thought they could have reduced that some - not Lou Lamoriello/Ilya Kovalchuk style, but some to bring the cap number down further.

I'll take the 2 points after Saturday's debacle.  Good start to the season.  Horton looks awesome, Seguin gets his first, and Chara and Bergy are locked up.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bruins Preseason

Gee, I'd love to tell ya what I think of this year's team so far, but I've only seen the 2 games at home. Nothing is on television. Apparently NESN thinks we all want to witness the dying days of the Sox.
But here goes anyhow:
  • Gregory Campbell - who the hell do you think you are, wearing #11 and then sucking? Axelsson's skates are pretty big to fill on the ice and in the locker room. Yeah, we saw that substandard preseason fight vs. the Caps. You're not very good. One could argue that maybe he'll turn out like Mike Lowell in the Beckett trade. But probably not. He'll be a nightly scratch within 10 games. Already, I am not a card-carrying member of the Greg Campbell fan club.
  • Zach Hamill - still not progressing at the speed that Chiarelli, et al. would like, he's still too slight (also, Max Sauve, who looked HORRIBLE in the pre-season, he's too light)
  • Jordan Caron - looks like the real deal for next season, when all the old guys are gone after winning the Stanley Cup.
  • Nathan Horton - has displayed a willingness to shoot and scored a nice goal on Carey Price in MTL (saw the replay - Price knew the wrista was coming and Horton still beat him easily), but has also displayed his usual lack of grit ("too many blow-bys along the boards", noted Minnesota.). But the line of Lootch, Krejci, and Horton is looking pretty sick.
  • Tyler Seguin - seems to have picked up the speed of the game quick enough, but we thought he lollygagged a bit, Savard-style, on the line changes. Apparently, he scored some sort of hat trick or something in Ireland, but couldn't see the game. So no highlight reel stuff yet.
  • David Krejci - seems to have returned to form - he showed some sick sick moves during the Caps game. I have him on my fantasy team, so he'll probably get hurt.
  • Patrice Bergeron - probably looked the best out of anyone in training camp. He's going to have a monster year. He'll eclipse Mike Richards as the top 2-way center in the Eastern Conference.
  • Zdeno Chara - has looked shaky to me so far, looks a little behind on the plays. But he delivered that sweet pass to Seguin for Seguin's first preseason goal.
  • Whatshisname Bartkowski - please stick around and replace Adam McQuaid.
  • Brad Marchand - this experiment has to end. I know he scores a few goals here and there, but the cheapness/sandpaper to his game I can't abide. Not looking for Matt Cooke-types here, time to drop 'em and show us you're willing to do more than be a pest. We have better wingers in the system.
  • Andrew Ference - holy shit. What a black hole of suck this guy could be. I dunno, man. I mean, at least he'll get hurt and we'll only have to see him for 30 games. Will spend this season replacing Wideman as the d-man that makes us cringe whenever he handles the puck.
  • Lootch - returning to form. Awesome. Beat down some hump during the Caps game and it was like Christmas. Showing some soft hands again. Fumbled a hot pass from Horton ("that had some hasenpfeffer on it", noted Minnesota) in the slot during the Caps (or Panthers) game that shoulda been a layup one-timer. Gotta nail those looks, Lootch.
  • Ryan Spooner - Imagine when he scores goals, the crowd going "SPOOOOOOON". Why are we dicking around with Marchand when clearly this kid's got the goods? The B's sent him back to Peterborough. He's gonna make the team next year and will probably even be around for the playoffs this April.
That's all I got for now, my half-assed analysis...season starts soon enough. I'm cautiously optimistic but I also have a weird vibe that we're going to go 0-10-0 to start the season.