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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bruins are north of the border

Can the Bruins finally beat the Senators? Bruins Nation will find out tonight. If there's ever a night to do it, it's tonight. THe Senators are slumping and they will be without Alfredsson and Heatley.

Tim Thomas will start in net. He has been on fire recently. Also, PJ Axelsson is a game time decision. The longtime Bruin skated with the team the other day, and Claude Julien has not decided whether he is okay to play.
My guess at the lines:
With Axelsson:

Without Axelsson:




Also, here's Andrew Ference vs. Scott Nichol

Game 50: Bruins beat Predators 3-1, are 26-19-5

Last season the Bruins played Nashville once. Hannu Toivenen started the game and the Bruins lost 5-0 in Tennessee. Last night at the Garden, two 55 point teams played very good hockey, and the Bruins came away with two points. Throughout most of the game, the two teams were evenly matched. Tim Thomas led the way for the Bruins with 37 saves, and Glen Metropolit had two great goals. Meanwhile Nashville played well, but not well enough.

The first period was scoreless. Both Tim Thomas and Chris Mason made some incredible saves to keep it scoreless. Things started heating up in the second period. Towards the middle of the period, with the game still scoreless, J.P. Dumont barreled into Tim Thomas. Thomas took exception and roughed him up, then some Bruins defensemen did the same. The so called captain of the Predators, Jason Arnott, was also sent to the box for Unsportsmanlike conduct. With him and Dumont (goalie interference) in the penalty box, the Bruins started a long 5 on 3 power play. Thirty-two seconds later, David Krejci's pass perfect pass to Marco Sturm in front of the net led to an easy goal by Sturm. The Predators, however, tied it up with under a minute left in the period when Alexander Radulov capitalized on a mistake by Denis Wideman.

Tied 1-1 in the third, Andrew Ference turned the game around. Five minutes in Ference put a huge hit on an unsuspecting Predator. Scott Nichol took exception to the hit and started throwing punches at Ference. Ference took on the challenge and gave Nichol a beating. Ference right fist connected with Nichol over and over again until Nichol finally went down. Nichol got in a couple, but was no match for the under-sized Andrew Ference.

The Bruins were sparked. Under a minute later, Glen Metropolit put the moves on a defenseman and shot the puck in the net. It was a great goal. Metro got his name on the scoresheet again when he put an amazing shot into the top of the net. Thomas remained solid and the Bruins won 3-1. Thomas's 93% save percentage is still the best in the league.

After 50 games the Bruins have 57 points. At this point last season the Bruins had just lost to Buffalo and had a poor 22-24-4 record with 52 points.

Monday, January 28, 2008

8-7 east

After taking a 5-1 lead in the first period, then giving it up in the third, the east battled back and won 8-7. The friendly game between the best in the world was a good one. Marc Savard assisted on the game-tying goal and scored the game winning goal with 20 seconds left.

Eric Staal won MVP. Rick Nash's hat-trick I thought should have won him the new car but Staal also assisted on Savard's goal. Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas, the other Bruins in the game, played well. Chara started and skated next to Andrei Markov, meanwhile Tim Thomas played the entire third period, earning the win. Surprisingly, I thought the best defensive pair was Campbell (sabres) and Gonchar (Penguins). The Kovalchuck-Savard-Staal line was probably the best offensive line. Kovalchuck twice should have scored. He was robbed by Nabokov.

This just from the NHL: Teemu Selanne has decided to come back and play for the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks may be unstoppable now. The Ducks have been on a role since Neidermayer came back and now that their leading scorer from last year is back, they shou;d be a strong contender to defend their title.

The Bruins play Nashville tomorrow at the Garden. I'll be there. Go Bruins!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

the day before the all star game

Tonight the NHL had its fun little skills competition and young-stars game. Once again the Bruins did very well. Tim Thomas had a solid day in net, Milan Lucic scored in the Young-stars game, Marc Savard did very well in his saucer passing contest, and Zdeno Chara won the hardest shot competition for the second year in a row with an amazing 103.1 MPH shot.

What I was most impressed with, however, was the job the Versus guys did. They had microphones inside the masks of Manny Legace and Rick Dipietro. Both men gave some good commentary during the events. Rick Dipietro did slip a little though. After saving a shot in the break-away competition, Rick Dipietro skated off and told Tim Thomas to take his place. He went on to say, "I fucked up my hip again" on national television. I hope the former BU star and first round pick is okay to continue playing. It would be a huge tragedy for the New York Islanders if Rick Dipietro injured himself during the all-star break.

According to Fluto Shinzawa, Marc Savard will center Ilya Kovalchuck and Marian Hossa. Who knows, if the trade rumors have any validity, maybe Savard centering Hossa permanently isn't that far away.

In case anyone was wondering, the East beat the crap out of the West. It was something like 10-6. Alexander Ovechkin won the break-away (AKA flashy moves) contest when twice he tried to baseball swing the puck into the net. (He missed both times, but the judges rewarded the effort.)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Game 49: Bruins head into All-star break by crushing the Islanders 4-1, are 25-19-5

I don't know how they did it, but they put Tuesday's shameful performance behind them. Boston humiliated New York (which will hopefully be repeated in Arizona). Two all star goaltenders, Dipietro and Thomas, went head to head. Tim Thomas looked great, Rick Dipietro looked horrendous. The Bruins came out strong and never looked back. Now the Bruins are the proud owners of the seventh place spot in the eastern conference.

In the first period, with Marc-Andre Bergeron in the penalty box for New York, Zdeno Chara's drive almost trickled in. Marc Savard gathered the rebound and past it back to Dennis Wideman. Wideman then faked out a diving defenseman and shot the puck into the net. Under a mintute later, a great feed from Zdeno Chara to Milan Lucic gave the Bruins an odd man rush. Lucic skated towards the net, looked up, saw an open hole, and sent the puck home. The Garden crowd really enjoyed Lucic scoring a goal.

The Bruins continued their dominance in the second period. Midway through Marc Savard had the puck in the corner and took a no-angle slap shot. His shot hit off Dipietro and went in. Later in the period on the power play, Phil Kessel's wrist shot hit off of Dipietro and trickled in, giving the Bruins a 4-0 second period lead.

Early in the third period, a very relaxed defense led to the breaking up of Thomas's shutout. Mike Sillinger had the puck and a wide open lane. His slap shot went over the stick of Thomas. The game ended 4-1 Bruins.

Once again, the kid line was great. No goals, but a lot of quality opportunities. It's only a matter of time. With a minute left in the third, when Dipietro was called for tripping, Coach Julien put in the kid line for the entire minute of play. Julien really wanted to reward them.

Before I end this post, I just want to mention that New Jersey sucks. The Devils had a two goal lead in the third over the habs and they lost. Chara, Lucic, Savard, and Thomas are heading to Atlanta for the all-star festivities. I hope they have a good time and everyone else rests up. The next three games are Nashville, Ottawa, and Detroit.

Going into the all-star break I have been to a career high 15 Bruins games. My record is 8-6-1. The Bruins are 5-2-2 at the Garden without me. Sorry guys, but I have tickets to more games and I plan on going.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Game 48: Bruins get murdered by Canadiens 8-2, are 24-19-5

Ouch! Not really the result Bruins Nation was looking for. Montreal came out strong and the Bruins did nothing right. okay offense, poor defense, and very poor goaltending will defeat nobody in this league. The Bruins are now 0-6-0 against those jerks in Quebec.

The start of the game pretty much set the pace for the rest of it. Alex Auld let in two bad goals within the first three and a half minutes (goal #1 was 14 seconds into the game). It looked as if the Bruins settled down after that. The defensemen, who looked like they had lost faith in Auld, started blocking a lot of shots. Then 12 minutes in, Phil Kessel's shot hit off Huet's pad and went right to Sturm. Sturm shot the puck in and the Bruins were within one. Auld really blew it again though. He let in a goal, and then let in another with 3 seconds left. Tim Thomas was in for the next two periods. Alex Auld ended the day with 3 saves (he allowed 4 goals).

Montreal, still in control, scored two more in the second. In the third, Nokelainen tipped in a drive by Wideman, but that was in between two Habs goals. Tim Thomas was better then Auld, but not by much. Two fights happened in the third, however, to liven the game for Bruins fans. Chuck Kobasew beat up Sergei Kostitsyn, and then later in the period Tom Kostopoulos picked a fight with Shane Hnidy. Hnidy beat up Kostopoulos and TK (such a pain of a last name to type) was thrown out of the game with an instigator penalty. Anyway, the Bruins lost 8-2. NOT GOOD!

I really do think this loss was because of sub-par goaltending. The defense looked tired, but I think that's because they stopped trying. This team plays by giving up a lot of shots. They don't give up a lot of quality shots though. This means that Bruins goaltenders see a lot of saveable shots. When the goalies don't save those shots, the team is in trouble. A small plus, I thought, was the play on the other side of the ice. Huet had a fantastiv game. Any other goalie and the Bruins would have had 4 goals at least. The kid line played very well, and plenty of scoring opportunities were created. Hopefully those guys will score against the Islanders. Either way, I'm sure Alex Auld won't be playing for a while.

The Bruins need to get over this loss fast. They take on New York tonight! I'm off to the game. Go Bruins!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tim Thomas is an all-star

Update: the Bruins were humiliated 8-2 in Montreal. I'll post about it tomorrow. Currently numbers 2-8 in the eastern conference are separated by 6 points. that, however, is if you don't count third place Carolina. Carolina is only in third because they are leading the awful southeast division. Carolina has one less point then the eighth place Bruins.

Tim Thomas is replacing Martin Brodeur at this year's all-star game. He deserved it all along and I'd be surprised if he isn't the starter.

Also announced today, Evgeni Malkin will replace Sidney Crosby. Meanwhile for the west, Scott Neidermayer will replace Sergei Zubov, Mike Rebiero will replace Paul Stastny, and Corey Perry will replace Henrik Zetterberg.

Alex Auld is still starting tonight in Montreal. Refer to the post below for details. Go Bruins!!!

Alex Auld is going to beat the Habs

This is now coming from two sources. Fluto Shinzawa from the Boston Globe and John Bishop from are both reporting that Alex Auld will start. I have no idea why. Tim Thomas is coming off two good wins over New York, including a 59 minute shutout. Thomas's performance this season and Alex Auld's performance this season hasn't differed that much. They're both dependable and I really do think the Bruins are going to win tonight. The Bruins are coming off two good wins and the Habs are coming off a bad home loss to a Pittsburgh team that doesn't have Sidney Crosby.

Here are Shinzawa's expected lines:




The guys from are saying that the old line of Michael Ryder-Saku Koivu-Christopher Higgins will be reunited tonight. It's been their second line of Kostitsyn-Plekanec-Kovalev that has been damaging the Bruins this season. Chara and Wideman will probably see a lot of ice time. The two were not overwhelmed with ice time Sunday.

Some very quick news around the league:
• Sidney Crosby is expected to be out 6-8 weeks.
• The Maple Leafs fired their GM.
• Canadiens SUCK! GO Bruins!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Game 47: Bruins beat Rangers 3-1 inside Madison Square Garden, are 24-18-5

Did the Bruins look like the better team? No. Did the Bruins win? Hell yes! A solid two points, topped off with the Patriots clinching the Super Bowl a few hours later.

NBC had this game. I know I've said this before, but we are very spoiled when it comes to television broadcasts. NESN really does a great job. Mike Millbury was a familiar face during the NBC intermission show, but he almost went as far as to trash talk Phil Kessel. This NBC crew had clearly not done their homework when it comes to the Bruins, but they did do a good job explaining what was happening on the ice.

The Bruins were badly out-shot 12-4 in the first period. The only goal of the period was a shorthanded one by the Bruins. Zdeno Chara did a good job getting the puck to a streaking Chuck Kobasew. Kobasew's great snap shot got the puck by Lunqvist.

The second period was eventless. The Bruins killed off two penalties, and Tim THomas remained dominant, but so was Lunqvist. In the third period, the Bruins started playing with much more energy. Two minutes in, Glen Metropolit was able to gain control of a short rebound, move the puck, and tap it into the net. The game remained 2-0 for a while until a pass in the Ranger's zone was intercepted by Savard. Savard's shot was saved, but Phil Kessel calmly collected the long rebound and shot the puck into the back of the goal.

With the Bruins up 3-0, the very tired defense (led by Wideman's 26+ minutes) got a little sloppy and the Rangers were able to score. Tim Thomas was pissed about not getting the shutout, but he was still cheery after the game. The Bruins were able to Get 4 points out of this home and home series (FYI: both games were sold out) and now have 53 points. The Bruins are 3-0-1 in their last four games and head into Montreal on Tuesday to try and pull off a win over the Habs. The game is on Versus at 7:30. Keep in mind that Montreal is significantly worse at home then they are on the road.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Game 46: Bruins beat Rangers after a shootout 4-3, are 23-18-5

Two very evenly matched and talented teams went down to the wire. That's the only way I can think to describe Saturday's game. It was a very exciting game to watch. Henrik Lunqvist was incredible in net. The Bruins ofense played VERY well, but Lunqvist lept the Rangers in it. Meanwhile the Bruins defense, for most of the time, was able to shut down the stacked Rangers roster.

The Rangers got on the board first in the first period when Scott Gomez put the puck between Tim Thomas's legs. It was quite the coincidence. Throughout the game the Bruins were honoring Willie O'ree for being the first black NHL player, and the first Hispanic NHL player (you guessed it, Gomez) scores the first goal of the game. Later in the period the Bruins tied it up when Marco Sturm got to the puck near the side boards. His pass to Phil Kessel in front of the net hit off of Paul Mara's (yes, it's the same Mara) skate and went into the net.

A second period filled with the Rangers taking dumb penalties led to an excellent power play goal. This happened when Zdeno Chara made a beautiful pass to Chuck Kobasew. Kobasew was then about to skate to the net all alone when he was hooked from behind down to the ice from behind. On his knees Kobasew was able to retain possesion of the puck and shoot it by Lunqvist. The amazing goal made the Bruins up 2-1 heading into the third period.

The Rangers and Bruins came out with passion in the third period. It was the Rangers who were able to capitalize though. Early in the peirod when Zdeno Chara misplayed the puck, Jaromir Jagr was able to jam it by Thomas. Five minutes later, with two Bruins in the penalty box, Gomez fed a pass to Avery in front of the net. Avery easily put the puck in and the Bruins were all of a sudden losing. The losing part didn't last long. About a minute later, now on a Bruins power play, Dennis Wideman found a streaking Marco Sturm. Sturm wasn't able to get the puck in the net, but Chuck Kobasew had his back. Kobasew flicked the puck in and the game was tied. As the title of the post implies, the game went into overtime for the third straight time, however not before the Bruins put some quality pressure on New York. THis pressure didn't come from the Savard line or the Metropolit line. It came from the so called "kid line" of Sobotka-Krejci-Pelletier (pronounced Pell-tee-ay). The three Providence stars were on the ice for a long shift at the end of the game, almost scoring numerous times.

The game went into overtime. Three minutes in, Jaromir Jagr blatantly crashed into THomas and was sent to the box. The BRuins power play then set up and really did play well. They couldn't get one past Lunqvist though. Lunqvist ended the game with 36 saves.

The struggling Bruins shootout lineup went to the ice. The Bruins elected to shoot first this time.

B: Chuck Kobasew's shot was saved by Lunqvist.
NYR: Shanahan's hard wrist shot was stopped by the glove of Tim Thomas
B: Phil kessel sent the puck between the legs of Lunqvist
NYR: Prucha's shot was saved by Thomas, who went into the net but kept the puck out.
B: Zdeno Chara skated a little and then sent a 200 MPH slap shot by Lunqvist to end the game

The Bruins now have 51 points and are going to Madison Square Garden to play the Rangers again. That game will be Sunday at 12:30 on NBC. Immediately after the game the Patriots are hosting the San Diego Chargers on CBS. The winner of the game goes to the Super Bowl. This could end up being a really good Sunday or a really bad one. The way Boston's sports teams have been playing this year, I think that January 20th will be a very good day!

Friday, January 18, 2008

A wierd couple of days around the league

Thursday featured close games, and Friday featured blowouts. One of the wierdest two days on the NHL scoreboard I've ever seen.

On Friday:
Flames 6 Kings 1
Hurricanes 7 Oilers 2
Sabres 10 Thrashers 1
(and on the AHL front, Providence beat Lowell 7-1)

On Thursday:
Maple Leafs 3 Bruins 2 (SO)
Capitals 5 Oilers 4 (12 round SO)
Canadiens 3 Thrashers 2 (SO)
Red Wings 3 Canucks 2 (SO)
and Blue Jackets 4 Coyotes 3 on the amazing Rick Nash goal (shown below) with 22 seconds left in the game.

Game 45: Bruins lose in a shootout 3-2 to Toronto, are 22-18-5

Overall a very sloppy game. The Bruins aren't playing that well lately, and the Maple Leafs never play well. Nevertheless the game was fun. A lot of fans trekked to TD Banknorth Garden last night, many of them from Toronto. The Bruins really needed a win last night, and for a while I thought they had one, but they couldn't hold on. Luckily the Bruins got a point out of it.

The first period didn't start out too well. Alex Steen scored very early over the shoulder glove side to give Toronto the early lead. The Bruins had to play catch-up, and that the did. later in the first, right after a power play ended, the Bruins were still passing in the Leafs zone when the puck was fed to Zdeno Chara, who blasted it into the back of the net. A minute later Marco Sturm got the rebound from Savard's shot, faked out Toskala, and scored, giving the Bruins the lead.

In the second period, as well as in the first, the Bruins were relying heavily on Auld. Auld was making key saves, but he had trouble controlling rebounds. Only once was Toronto able to capitalize on this. The Bruins defense did a great job finding the rebounds. The aforementioned Leafs goal came with 8 seconds left in the second period, when a rebound was shot past Auld. With the game tied the Bruins and Maple Leafs played a very intense third period. Toward the end of the period, Andrew Ference was called for high sticking Darcy Tucker (I didn't see it, but I would have supported it. Good Job Ference!). I then did see Darcy Tucker scratch out and cause himself to bleed. the idiot refs bought it and Ference was penalized 4 minutes with two minutes left in the third. The Bruins were on the ice killing the penalty when Jeremy Reich went on a breakaway. he was tripped up as he was about to shoot. It should have been a penalty. It was a textbook penalty shot case, but the Jack-ass refs didn't call it. Instead Pavel Kubina was sent to the box for two minutes.

With one man in the box for both teams, I saw something I had never seen before. When overtime started, the crowd got to see three on three hockey. Toronto just waisted time until Kubina was released and then the Bruins were down a man for another minute and a half. Wideman and Chara were on the ice the entire kill as they, with some help from Auld, killed off the penalty. At the end of their very long shift, Wideman got hit with a puck and went down. Shinzawa has reported that he'll be okay. After a scoreless overtime, the game went into a shootout.

T: Tomas Kaberle going down, faking out Auld, and hitting the post.
B: Phil Kesel skated down but went for a wrist shot instead of his usual deke move. Toskala made the save.
T: Mats Sundin was able to fake out Auld and score easily
B: Marc Savard lost control of the puck and was only able to softly tap the puck to Toskala
T: Alex Steen gave Toronto the win when he easily faked out Auld and scored

Alex Auld had a great game, but a lousy shootout. Meanwhile the Bruins shooters have continued to do a poor job getting the puck in the net on the shootout.

At least the Bruins got a point out of this one. They needed two. With the way the standings are shaping up, every point matters. The Bruins need to be able to take two from the last place team in the division. The Bruins have a two game weekend coming up. They play a home and home with the New York Rangers. Tomorrow's is at 1:00, Sunday's is at 12:30. The big one is on Tuesday, however, when the Bruins travel up to Montreal to try and beat them for the first time this season. (rebound put in)(Tomas Kaberle, Mats sundin Alex steen kessel, savvy) (Ference high on Darcy)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pascal Pelletier to help tonight against Toronto

The Bruins have recalled from Providence Pascal Pelletier. He currently leads the AHL in goals (24). He will most likely play for Peter Schaefer, who is suffering from the flu. Shawn Thornton and Tim Thomas are also sick, so it looks like Alex Auld will start. Fluto Shinzawa from the globe is predicting that Thornton will play. here is his guess at what the lines will be:




• The Bruins are about to embark on a 4 day 3 game battle. I'm about to head off to tonight's game against Toronto. The Bruins play day games on Saturday and Sunday against the New York Rangers. Go Bruins!

Game 44: Bruins beat Flyers in overtime 4-3, are 22-18-4

I was in the section right behind the boards 20 rows up when Bergeron went down and didn't get back up. Everyone in the Garden was shocked. Quite frankly, Bergeron looked dead. Since then, I've wanted Philadelphia to lose every single game. So what happens the next time the Bruins play the Flyers, Mike Hartnell puts a very illegal hit on Andrew Alberts (Alberts is still injured from it because of post concussion syndrome). All I wanted on Saturday was for the Bruins to beat the Flyers, and they did.

NESN started out their coverage of the game by highlighting a cut on Jeremy Reich. Apparently him and Zdeno Chara dropped the gloves at practice. Both players downplayed it, and Claude Julien said he was glad that the two were practicing with such high intensity. NESN never mentioned, however, who won. After Thomas's poor performance against MOntreal, julien decided to give Auld the start.

The Bruins started off by taking a bunch of early penalties. Aaron Ward looked to be going after Hartnell (I don't blame him). With Eight and a half left in the first, a Flyer shot hit off the post. The rebound then hit off the boards and bounced right to Jeff Carter, who shot it in. A little later, Milan Lucic tried to put a hit on Smith. It was a bad idea. Milan Lucic hit his head on the dasher and blood sprayed everywhere. Thishappening after Reich had taken a shot off his ankle. Now two tough guys were injured with the Bruins down by one. Hockey is truly a great sport though. Milna Lucic got stitched up and Reich got his swelling to go down. Both players returned in the second period.

Four minutes into the second period, the Bruins were able to go on a 5 on 3. During that time, Marc Savard shot a one million mile per hour slap shot into the net. Late in the second, good passing on a power play led to Chara shooting the puck near the faceoff circle. Marco Sturm was able to put in his rebound. The second period ended with the Bruins up 2-1.

Five minutes into the third period, David Krejci did a great job feeding the puck to Chara in the offensive zone. Chara sent a drive toward the net that was deflected in by Peter Schaefer. The Bruins started getting a sloppy with a two goal lead. Alex Auld started having to make really nice saves. Eventually Philly got their chance. On a Flyer power play with under ten minutes left, a shot came while a group of Flyers crashed the net. The puck somehow went in. Three minutes later, Marco Sturm was robbed by the Flyer crossbar. Philadelphia then got the puck and got a shot off to Auld. Auld saved it, but he wasn't able to control the rebound and Daniel Briere was able to put it in easily. All tied up I would have figured the team would ease up. They didn't. The Flyers toward the end of the third started coming very hard. The Bruins were lucky to makje it into overtime.

As overtime started, it looked as if the Flyers had all the momentum and energy. On a Bruins clear, Sturm (or Savard, I couldn't tell) was racing towards the puck. This caused the goalie to come out of the net to clear the puck. He cleared it right to Aaron Ward, who from the blue line shot the puck into an open net, and the Bruins won 4-3!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A few tidbits

I'll have the summary from the overtime win over Philadelphia soon. It wasn't a great win, but hopefully our boys got some confidence back.

• Detroit finally suffered there 10th non-ot loss of the season. They have an NHL best 33-10-4 record.

• Announced recently are the Boston Bruins who are going to Atlanta for the all-star festivities. Zdeno Chara was elected by the fans, Marc Savard is replacing the injured Dany Heatley, and Milan Lucic will play in the young stars game. (Tim Thomas should be there! Rick Dipietro and the other goalie from the Panthers do not deserve it.)

The Bruins next have 3 games in 4 days. The Bruins should win all three (Tor, NYR, NYR).

Game 43: Bruins get crushed again by Montreal 5-2. are 21-18-4

Definitely not the high point of this season. Those damn Canadiens fans packed TD Banknorth Garden with their hideous red jerseys like they always do. Once again, the Bruins were able to send those damn Habs fans back over the border with a smile. That's 0-5-0 against Montreal so far. the Bruins have one more home game (in March) and two on the road against the Habs. But this means once again, the Bruins lost the season series. So far the Bruins have good records against Toronto and Buffalo, but are 0-2-1 against Ottawa and 0-5 vs. Montreal. You take one win from Ottawa and two from Montreal and the Bruins are in second place in the division.

Anyway, the game was still fun. The Bruins did not play very well at all, and the referees did not help. A lot of bad penalty calls and bad penalties committed by the Bruins left the very talented Montreal power play on the ice for much of the first period. On the power play int he middle of the first, good passing led to a juicy rebound put in by Plekanec. Under a minute later, a snap shot by Lapierre trickled by Tim Thomas. TT should have had it, and I didn't think the goal should have counted because a Hab knocked the goal off. It counted, however, and the Bruins were down 2-0 at the break.

In the middle of the second period, Montreal once again capitalized on a power play. Kovalev's snap shot went over the shoulder of Thomas. The MOntreal power play was doing very well, but this goal should have been saved. The Bruins answered this one though a minute later. Aaron Ward's long drive went in. It may have hit off Axelsson or a Habs defenseman, it was hard to see. After two the score was 3-1. A minute into the third period, Milan Lucic put the Bruins within one when his shot from the side went in. His shot hit off the post and Huet before entering the net. It still counts no matter how it goes in. The Bruins comeback ended there. Dandenault, in the middle of the third, beat Stuart to the puck on a dump and got the puck by Thomas. Dandenault struck again late in the third when his one-timer sealed the win for Montreal.

Next Habs game is January 22nd in Montreal, I'm sure the Bruins want to disapoint 20,000 Quebecois.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Game 42: Bruins lose to 'Canes 1-0, are 21-17-4

It's just so strange. Two weeks ago the Carolina hosted the Bruins and seven goals were scored, at least one in each period. On Tuesday night, however, the Garden fans saw but one. Cam Ward stopped sixteen Bruins shots for the shutout, meanwhile Tim Thomas stopped 27 of 28 Carolina shots. Some of those 27 were very nice, including one save on a beautiful Hurricanes one-timer after Zdeno Chara blew his coverage.

The Bruins, in my eyes, dominated the first period, but they were unable to score. Three minutes into the first period, Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves with former Bruin Wade Brookbank. Neither got in a good punch before Thornton slipped. The Bruins dropped any momentum that they had after the first period. In the second the Bruins stopped skating, and just looked like they stopped trying. That continued into the third period as well. Tim Thomas kept the B's in it, but without anyone else playing well no goalie can win.

Carolina scored their sole goal late in the second. Eric Staal received a pass behind the Bruins net, and then he skated in front and shot one by Thomas. A real ugly way to end a 3 game winning streak.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Game 41: Bruins beat Devils 4-3, are 21-16-4

Another great win! This time it's against a good team, a team the Bruins have lost a couple times to. This Devils team is going places. They have an amazing top line and a great goaltender. Anyway, the Bruins started off slowly but quickly recovered. They had a very very poor third period, but great teamwork in the defensive zone allowed the Bruins to hang on to the win.

Early in the first period, New Jersey scored a very cool looking goal. A pass by Elias was deflected up. Then Zubris got his stick up and tipped it into the net. After review the stick was ruled to be below the crossbar and the goal stood. It took about ten minutes, but the Bruins recovered and went on fire. With under six minutes left, Axelsson picked up a rebound and got a turnaround shot to go off the post and in. Then with just under two minutes left, Sturm and Kobasew did a great job screening the Devil's goalie (Brodeur's backup), and Dennis Wideman was able to get a drive into the net. With the Bruins up 2-1, some shorthanded heroics took place. While shorthanded, Andrew Ference cleared the puck to Sturm. Sturm then skated up to the net and completely missed with a shot. He was able, though, to get his own rebound off the glass and stuff a shot into the net with 0.6 seconds left in the first period.

Some scoring continued late in the second period when a wide open drive by New Jersey hit off of Chara's skate and went in. That's two goals so far that Tim Thomas had no chance of saving. The Bruins top line immediately answered. With a minute left in the period, PJ Axlesson saved a puck near the blue line, spun around, and whipped a shot toward the goal. Marc Savard tipped it in and the Bruins were up 4-2.

The third period was very bad. The Bruins managed to get off one little shot. In the middle of the third on the power play, Zajac put in a long rebound and the Bruins found themselves only up one. Still though, the Bruins concentrated on defense and only defense. It was a very dangerous way to play and the Bruins almost blew their lead. As the final seconds of the game were winding down, New Jersey started coming up with good hard shots. Tim Thomas is usually the one who makes the big saves, but this time it was Glen Metropolit who got in behind Thomas and lay down on the ice. He made two saves like that and the Bruins came away with the win. As the game ended, however, sparks started flying. All five Bruins started having words with all five Devils. Wideman and the guy he was talking to were the only ones who came close to blows. Andy Brickley had a great line during all this in which he said, "You win as a team, you lose as a team, and you brawl as a team".

With 41 games under their belt the Bruins had 46 points. If they stay at that pace (which they shouldn't as guys start coming back from injury) they would have 92 points. 92 is usually good enough to get into the playoffs. Don't tell that to Colorado fans though.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Canadiens Suck

Sorry I haven't been posting recently. I'll get the game summaries up soon.

Anyway, I'm about to head off to tonight's game. Hopefully Montreal fans won't outnumber us this time. The Bruins are 0-4-0 against the Habs this season. That needs to change. The Habs are 4 points ahead of us and that is unacceptable. Alberts, Axelsson, Murray, (Bergeron), and all of Bruins Nation remember the playoff losses to the Canadiens.

Aaron Ward may be back in the lineup after breaking his foot. Tim Thomas is in net again. Here are the lines that Fluto Shinzawa expects if Ward plays:




I'm excited to watch the biggest rivalry in the NHL (second in the world only to Sox vs. Yankees). Tonight's game should be a good one!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Game 40: Bruins shutout Capitals 2-0, are 20-16-4

He's baaaaack! Tim Thomas is back to old self again. Since his injury TT hadn't been playing like his dominant self, until Thursday night, when he stopped all 31 pucks sent in his direction. He had some help from his usual defense, and a new face. Defenseman Shane Hnidy was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks for struggling wingman Brandon Bochenski. This trade makes complete sense from both team's perspective. Anaheim has Niedermayer now and doesn't need Hnidy, meanwhile, Boston has two injured defensemen and need a reliable veteran. It is a little ironic, however, that this trade comes days after my "Bochenski's Story" post.

Anyway, the Bruins and Capitals both played a very intense hockey game that ended in a shutout. All who were at the Garden, which includes myself, knew this game would be intense after just three minutes. 2:38 into the first period, Milan Lucic and John Erskine squared off. Erskine got a lot of big punches in while Lucic only got in a couple wild ones before being taken down. Everybody loses every now and then. The first goal of the game came 13:35 into the second period, when after killing a penalty, Marc Savard put in the rebound from his own shot. In the middle of the third period, a high stick that injured Lucic (who was later found out to be fine) led to a 5 on 3 Bruins advantage. While the Bruins were passing the puck around, a Capitals defenseman slid into Olie Kolzig, leaving the net open. Chara saw it and sent the puck into the net. The Bruins held on to win 2-0. Tim Thomas was the first star, Chara the second, and Metropolit, who had 2 assists, was the third star.

• A funny occurence at the game on Thursday was the trivia guy getting the question wrong. The guy put on the jumbotron that Glen Murray led the team in goals with 14, when in fact it's Chuck Kobasew who leads the team.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Game 39: Bruins snap losing streak and beat the Thrashers 5-2, are 19-16-4

A great win for Boston's hockey fans on New Year's eve. The Boston Bruins and all of Bruins Nation were able to celebrate the coming of the new year with a smile because of this win. TD Banknorth Garden was sold out, which means that 17,565 fans saw the Bruins play hockey against Atlanta (which they were unable to do 2 days earlier). Anyway it was a great win and a good confidence booster for Tim Thomas, who will hopefully be back to his old self.

Nine minutes into the game, after good puck movement on the power play, the Thrashers scored their first goal off a shot by Holik. Exactly four minutes later, a good pass led to a score by Colin Stuart (Mark's brother). Atlanta was up 2-0, but the second period was all Boston.

Early in the second, Wideman's drive on the power play went in. That goal by Dennis Wideman was the 18,000th in Bruins history. 34 seconds later, Chara saved a puck at the blue line and drove it to the net. Axelsson tipped it in and the game was tied. Four minutes later, Glen Metropolit (who was centering the third line) drew a penalty. With Thomas skating off the ice, Schaefer found Mark Stuart, whose drive went in, giving the Bruins the lead. That goal made it the second time this season that a pair of brothers on different teams have scored in the same game (the Hossa brothers on December 7th did it).

Early in the third period, an Andrew Ference power play drive created a long rebound. Phil Kessel then put the rebound where it should be and the Bruins were up two. A few minutes later, Matt Lashoff's first career NHL goal made the lead 3. The Bruins defense, with Thomas as its star, kept the game 5-2. A great way to end 2007 on a high note.

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