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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Flightless birds in Boston tonight

Update: Game 63 was perfection. The Bruins crushed the Penguins 5-1. The Bruins play the Atlanta Thrashers Saturday at 1:00 at the Garden. It's unlikely that I'll have the game 63 summary or a pregame-64 post up before then. Go Bruins!

Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins will play at TD Banknorth Garden. Pittsburgh tonight will have Hal Gill and Marion Hossa in the lineup, both Tuesday acquisitions.

CHuck Kobasew will play tonight. He'll most likely see reduced minutes, I doubt he's 100%. Tim Thomas will start. Tonight's lines should be the same as Tuesday's, except for Kobasew in the lineup instead of Schaefer:




I'm looking forward to seeing Chara and Wideman go up against Malkin and Hossa's line. Go Bruins!

Game 62: Bruins crush Senators 4-0, are 33-23-6

On Tuesday night the Boston bruins played their best game of the season. The Ottawa Senators have the best record in the Northeast division, and the Bruins destroyed them. Boston dominated every aspect of the game. In all three zones, for all sixty minutes, the Bruins played better than Ottawa. Tim Thomas gave Ottawa their second shutout in two days. The Senators lost to the Maple Leafs and then the Bruins by a combined 9 goals. When a team is playing poorly, there's nothing wrong with beating up them.

The beating started early in the first period. Vladimir Sobotka, centering the fourth line, won a huge battle for the puck deep in the Senators zone. He fed the puck in the middle to Shawn Thornton who made a great move and put the puck in the net. Later in the period, the Bruins extended their lead via David Krejci's first career NHl goal. Lucic recovered a rebound off a David Krejci shot and then passed the puck back to Krejci. Krejci twirled around a little bit and scored.

Early in the second period, the Bruins extended their lead with a power play goal. This one off a drive from Zdeno Chara. Martin Gerber, in net for Ottawa, really did not play well. The game was scoreless for the next 30 minutes, but the Bruins were still the dominant team. Tim Thomas made some very nice saves, but for the most part, the Bruins did a great job not allowing Ottawa to take quality shots. Chara and Wideman shut down Alfreddson's line all game long. Speaking of Chara, he gave the Bruins a 4-0 lead with a little over a minute left. While shorthanded and with Gerber on the bench, Zdeno Chara launched the pcuk across the ice and into the net.

With the very impressive win, the Bruins moved into 6th place. The way things are looking, 6th place is a lot better than 5th place. In 5th place, the Bruins would play either Pittsburgh or Montreal in the playoffs. In 6th place, the Bruins would play the winner of the Southeast division (all five teams are below 500) in the playoffs.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bruins to play Ottawa's government tonight

Tonight the Boston Bruins will play the Ottawa Senators at TD Banknorth Garden. According to Shinzawa, who has been posting all day, Tim Thomas will start. Chuck Kobasew and Andrew Alberts are still out due to injury. The two of them skated at the same time as Patrice Bergeron did but they did skate together. Peter Schaefer is back, however, and will play tonight. According to Shinzawa, he will most likely replace Petteri Nokelainen. Here are the lines according to Fluto Shinzawa's blog:




The Senators are the best team in the division, but the Bruins beat them pretty badly the last time the two teams faced eachother. I'm not sure if Marty Lapointe will be available for Ottawa or not. Dale Arnold on the radio today predicted a 3-2 Bruins win, and I think he's right. Ottawa has not been playing well as of late (they were spanked 5-0 by Toronto yesterday) and the Bruins have been playing well (4-0-1 in last five games).

Go Bruins!

Trade deadline day

Update 5:00 PM: The Bruins did absolutely nothing today. I'm a little dissapointed because the Bruins have a lot to offer and there are definitely areas that the Bruins are lacking in and Chiarelli probably should have made some trades. This current Bruins team is not bad though. If they play well and continue to improve, they will make the playoffs and could shock some people.

Anyway, the big winner was Pittsburgh, who got Hal Gill and Marion Hossa among other players. Meanwhile Detroit got fromer Bruin Brad Stuart for a 2nd round pick and a 4th round pick. Why couldn't the Bruins have made this trade? a 2nd and 4th round pick for a reliable top 4 defenseman like Brad Stuart is a bargain. The Bruins need another defenseman. Andrew Alberts will come back but that still leaves Mark Stuart or Shane Hnidy in the lineup. Hnidy and M. Stuart are good, but IO'd much rather a Brad Stuart in there. The Boston Globe Blog (link to the right) has a breakdown of all the trades, as does TSN and many other websites.

Update 1:37 PM: The Bruins have not made any trades yet, however many other teams have. Here is a complete list from TSN. Some big trades so far:
Marty Lapointe to Ottawa. 6th round pick to chicago.

Christobal Huet to Washington. A 2nd round pick in 2009 to Montreal.

Brian Campbell and a 7th round pick to San Jose. Steve Bernier and a 1st round pick to Buffalo

Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist to Dallas. Mike Smith, Jussi Jokinen, and Jeff Halpern to Tampa Bay.

The NHL trade deadline is today at 3:00 PM. The Bruins have not done anything yet but stay around the computer, something is bound to happen. TSN is usually the first media source that has the information posted. Two things did happen today though:
• Peter Forsberg has signed with the COlorado Avalanche.
• The Flyers have aquired Vaclav Prospal from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Alexandre Picard and a pick.

Chiarelli has not been very specific about what he wants. Sometimes he wants a top 6 forward, sometimes a stay at home defenseman, sometimes some depth, and sometimes he wants to keep the team just the way it is. I will tell you what I want though. I want either Marion Hossa or Olli Jokinen (or Brian Campbell if Buffalo is willing to deal him, he might be too expensive though), and I am more than happy to trade away some of our young talent to do so. I'd like to keep Lucic, but guys like Kessel, Krejci, Sobotka, Pelletier, Soderberg, and Stuart are all trade-able in my eyes. UFA-to-be Aaron Ward may also be traded.

Today is the big day! At 3:01 PM Peter Chiarelli will know what team Claude Julien is coaching for the rest of the season. (Oh yeah, and the Bruins play Ottawa tonight.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Game 61: Bruins beat lowly Lightning 5-3, are 32-23-6

The Tampa Bay Lightning have Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, and Brad Richards, yet they are in last place. Now if you're a John Tortorella fan, I'm sorry, but I'm about to throw him under the bus. He's got three of the fifteen best forwards in the league and yet he can't win. He used to be able to win; hell he won the Stanley Cup four years back, but now his team is in last place in the Eastern Conference and the Lightning should start to look for a new head coach.

Anyway, the game was great if you're a Bruins fan. The Bruins had no trouble getting the puck past Holmqvist. All three Lightning goals were on little mistakes by Bruins players. Saturday night's game had 2 short-handed goals, 3 power play goals, and 3 even stregnth goals.

In the first period, the Bruins looked a litle rusty out of the gate. On the power play, a slip on the ice led to a turnover. Lecevalier had the puck on the other side of the ice shorthanded and fed the puck perfectly to Darche. Darche scored and the Bruins were down 1-0. The Bruins power play unit made up for their mistake later in the period. Fourteen minutes in on the power play, Milan Lucic shot the puck hard and into the net. It was a good job by Lucic recognizing that Holmqvist has been struggling and the Bruins should take as many shots as possible.

Tied 1-1, the Bruins took the lead early in the second when Mark Stuart's drive in traffic went in. Later in the period, the Lightning tied the game on a controversial goal. Brad Richards made a beautiful pass to a streaking Michel Ouellet. Ouellet recieved the puck and tipped it in while barreling into Alex Auld. After review, the goal was allowed. With the game tied, it was up to the bruins power play to once againt break the tie. With under two minutes left in the second period, on a Bruins 5 on 3 power play, Zdeno Chara's drive was saved by Holmqvist. the BRuins had three guys stationed near the goal on the drive and Glen Murray was the one who came up with the rebound. Murray put the puck in the net and the Bruins had the lead 3-2.

Murray struck again 17 seconds into the third period. Marc Savard stole the puck deep in the Lightning zone and passed to Murray. Glen Murray shot the puck in and the Bruins were up 4-2. The Bruins defense, for the rest of the period, played perfectly. Both in the defensive zone and the nuetral zone, the Bruins did a great job not letting Tampa have the puck for any extended period of time. In the third period, the Lightning were only able to take 3 shots. With 2:17 left in the game, on a Tampa Bay power play, A shot just barely trickled by Alex Auld. It was a big mistake by Auld, who played a great game besides for the one mistake, and it almost allowed the Lightning to comeback. The game became tense when Glen Murray was called for holding with a minute and a half left. The Bruins penalty kill came through though! With a little over a minute left, Glen Metropolit stole the puck and started skating down the ice. THe Lightning defenseman who skated back hooked Metro over and over again, but metro was still able to tip back the puck. PJ Axelsson was there and slapped the puck into the net. If Tommy Heinson was calling the game, Metro would have gotten 100 Tommy points for his effort. (Yes, even I have started watching Celtics games. They are the Detroit Red Wings of basketball and are very fun to watch.)

So the Bruins won 5-3 and finished the road trip 4-0-1. The next three Bruins games are at home against Ottawa, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta. The trade deadline is tomorrow at 3, so stay tuned for any news on trades.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bruins to play Thunder's best friend

The Boston Bruins will play the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at 7:30. The game will be on NESN and WBZ 1030 as usual. This game concludes the Bruins five game road trip.

Chuck Kobasew suffered a groin injury on Thursday and will not play tonight. Alex Auld will also start in net for the Bruins after his great performance in Sunrise, Florida. Here are the expected lines from Fluto Shinzawa:




Sturm just got his 20th goals of the season and is now the team's leading goal scorer. With Kobasew out of the lineup, Sturm could add to his lead with more goals tonight. Go Bruins!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Game 60: Bruins beat Panthers in shootout 5-4, are 31-23-6

The Bruins sure did not play great hockey, but they came away with the win. The two points are all that matters. Thursday night featured a huge, late third period comeback by the Bruins, who with 68 points are now in 6th place in the Eastern Conference standings.

In the first period, Jay Bouwmeester (who should be suspended by the NHL for a punch he threw to the back of a Bruin head) scored early to give the Panthers the lead. Knowing that the Bruins needed some firing up, Jeremy Reich decided to drop the gloves against Steve Montador. Jeremy Reich kicked his ass. Later in the period, Mark Stuart punched Gregory Campbell to the ice. Despite having two fighting victories, the Bruins trailed 1-0 at the end of the period.

Early in the second, Marco Sturm's slap shot on a breakaway went in and the game was tied. The Bruins looked as if they were going to score again and again. They took 19 shots in the second period. The BRuins, however, gave up two bad goals. 9:32 into the second, Mark Sturat and Phil Kessel blew their coverage of Steve Montador and he was wide open in front of the goal. Olesz found him and set up the easy goal. A few minutes later, Rostislav Olesz circled around the net and tucked the puck in behind Thomas. This should have been a routine save for Tim Thomas, who did not get across the pipes in time. The Bruins showed that they would not give up when five minutes later, Dennis Wideman's slap shot on the power play went in. He had recieved a pass from Savard, who was out playing near the blue line. What happened next was a shocker. Kamil Kreps with 0.8 seconds left in the second period scored over the shoulder of Tim Thomas. Thomas was hesistant about Kreps passing the puck and did not protect the near side of the net.

Claude Julien replaced Thomas with Auld in the third period. Auld was perfect, stopping every shot that he faced. Meanwhile, the Bruins were finally able to get some pucks behind Tomas Vokoun, who leads the league in saves. With under 7 minutes left to play, Marco Sturm passed the puck across the net on a power play to Zdeno Chara, who easily tipped it in. This play was very similar to Chara's goal on Tuesday night. A minute and a half later, Phil Kessel's shot went in while streaking towards the net with Krejci. All of a sudden the game was tied.

Overtime was a bit boring but the shootout was a lot of fun. Marco Sturm went first and scored five whole on Vokoun. Auld then saved Montador's shot. (Montador had a gordie howe hat trick this game) Phil Kessel's shot was saved by Vokoun. Horton's shot was stopped by Auld. David Krejci had a chance to win the game again but his shot sailed wide. Alex Auld forced Olli Jokinen's shot wide and the Bruins won the game.

The Bruins came very close to tkaing 48 shots and losing. If they keep up the shots they should have more 4 or 5 goal games. The Bruins are now 3-0-1 on this 5 game road trip. All 3 wins have been one goal wins (2 in shootout). The Bruins aren't playing spectacular hockey but they are getting the job done. Coach Julien needs to find a way to motivate a winning team to play better, which is always a tough thing to do.

By the way, this is Bruins Nation's 400th post.

Game 59: Bruins blow lead, then beat 'Canes in Shootout 3-2, are 29-23-6

I was planning on writing about how strong the Bruins played. I was going to mention how I thought this team could finally bring the Stanley Cup home to Boston. I was thinking that I would type a little about how if the Bruins play like they did against the Carolina Hurricanes, they could beat anybody. I am not going to write about that.

Unfortunately, what should have been an easy Bruins win very quickly turned into a scary situation. The Bruins took 28 shots through two periods, had a two goal lead, and had a goalie (Tim Thomas) who had saved every puck he saw until 18:57 of the third period. In 20 seconds, the Hurricanes wiped away a two goal deficit and sent the game into overtime. Luckily, Tim Thomas, Phil Kessel (age 20), and David Krejci (age 19) saved the Bruins and allowed the Bruins to take away twe points.

Early in this game, the Bruins showed the fighting spirit that it would take to finally beat Carolina. Two minutes into the game, Jeremy Reich dropped the gloves against Tim Conboy. Reich lost his balance early, but got up and beat Conboy pretty badly. A few minutes later the Bruins scored. On the power play, Marco Sturm made a beautiful pass in front of the net to Zdeno Chara, who tipped the puck in. Later that period, Wade Brookbank and Milan Lucic fought. Neither one got a good punch in, a cleat draw.

Late in the second period, Marc Savard's great slap shot from a distance on the power play went in, and the Bruins were up 2-0 to end the second period. As I said before, everything was looking great. Throughout the third period things were looking pretty good as well. Then it happened.

With under two minutes left in the third (and the Bruins still up 2-0) Tim Gleason put a huge hit on Marc Savard. Milan Lucic took exception to the hit and dropped the gloves with Gleason. Gleason got in a few great punches on Lucic. Gleason winning the fight decisively sparked the 'Canes. First it was Ray Whitney, then it was Erik Cole twenty seconds later. With the game tied 2-2, the two teams went into overtime.

Cam Ward and Tim Thomas made sure no pucks went in either net and the game went into a shootout. Sturm missed the net fisrt. Then Cullen hit the post. Phil Kessel scored for the Bruins, then Tim Thomas saved Sergei Samsonov's shot. David Krejci skated down the ice and scored, giving the Bruins the win.

I was happy that the Bruins won, but I was certainly not impressed. If the Bruins are going to make a run for it all they need to play a full 60 minutes!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

ugly storm looms on horizon

The Boston Bruins tonight are in Raleigh, North Carolina to play the Carolina Hurricanes. The Bruins are winless in three attempts against the 'Canes and are looking to avoid a season sweep. The Bruins are in 8th place with 64 points, but do have the least number of games played in the league. With a win the Bruins could jump over the struggling Philadelphia Flyers into 7th place.

The Hurrricanes will be without Rod Brind'amour, who injured his leg last week, and their second highest scorer Whitney. The Bruins will probably be without Schaefer and the usual injured players (BErgeron, Fernandez, Alberts). According to FLuto Shinzawa, Julien mixed up the lines a little bit:

Reich (or Nokelainen if his flu subsides)-Sobotka-Thornton



The Bruins are now 1-0-1 on this five game road trip and need to finally take a win from Cam Ward and the Hurricanes. Go Bruins!

Game 58: Bruins lose to Maple Leafs in overtime, are 29-23-6

What happened? I honestly have no idea. This should have been an easy two points. In the first period it looked as if it would be an easy two points, but the Bruins could not get the win. This team just fell apart. What was a winning team in the first period turned into a losing team in the next two. The Maple Leafs are in last place for a reason. They suck! The Bruins need to be able to beat teams that suck. The points in this Eastern Conference race are that important.

The Bruins outshot Toronto 18-9 in the first period. If the Bruins play like that the goals will come. Early in the first period, a good job down low by the Bruins led to PJ Axelsson finding glen Murray near the faceoff dot. Murray shot went into the net and the Bruins were up 1-0. Later in the period, however, Toronto was able to get a real lucky goal. A loose puck in front of the Bruins net led to Dominic Moore (from Harvard) getting the puck in. The Bruins dominated but the game was tied 1-1.

In the second period, the Maple Leafs started outplaying the Bruins. The Bruins, however, were the only team that scored. On the power play, Dennis Wideman in the middle shot the puck into traffic and it went in, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead.

In the third period, the Toronto crowd witnessed two great comebacks. Late in the period, the Leafs went on a five on three advantage. Darcy Tucker scored easily. A few minutes later, Toronto took the lead when Darcy Tucker skated behind the Bruins net. Instead of skating the whole way, he passed it back in front to Nick Antropov. It was a great pass and Antropov easily tipped it in.

Now the Bruins needed a goal, and they needed one quickly. With Thomas on the bench, Marco Sturm shot the puck on net. The rebound was picked up by Chara in the crease and put in, tying the game.

Overtime did not go as planned. 3:39 into OT, Darcy Tucker scored from Alex Steen. Darcy Tucker had 3 points in the game. It was he, not the Maple Leafs that beat us on Saturday. It's a shame the Bruins can't take 2 points when playing the last place team. This is sort of like last season. Down the stretch the Bruins needed points to stay in the race (things are looking a little better this year) and lost to Philadelphia, who was the laughing stock of the league last season. The Bruins are a good team! They need to play like one for a full 60 minutes.

With the Bruins third period comeback (if you can call it that) the Bruins are 24-0-3 when leading after two periods.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bruins to play broken tree parts tonight

The Boston Bruins are in Toronto and will play the Maple Leafs tonight a 7:00. The Boston Bruins should win this game. Toronto is in last place in the eastern conference while the Bruins are in a very close playoff hunt. While I type this, The New York Rangers are up over Buffalo 5-0. With a win tonight, the Bruins will find themselves in 7th (3rd in Northeast), with a loss, the Bruins will be in 9th (4th in Northeast).

According to both John Bishop and Fluto Shinzawa, Aaron Ward and Chuck Kobasew will be available tonight. Peter Schaefer (shin) is still out. Andrew Alberts is making progress. What everyone thought was post-concussion syndrome, is actually a neck injury. There is no current timetable on him. As I'm sure many of you Bruins fans read in the Boston Globe the other day Patrice Bergeron is feeling a little better and working out again. He is quoted in the article as saying, "Hopefully, I'll get the chance to be back on the ice this year". Don't get your hopes up Bruins Nation, Bergeron still is very hurt. It would be nice to have him back, but as of now he needs to recover and make sure he's available for next season.

Also according to a recent blog post by Fluto Shinzawa, Peter Chiarelli has decided not to allow Stan chistov to come back. Chistov ditched the team to play in Russia and now wants to come back. Per NHL rules, he can only come back with the Bruins. it really sucks to be him right now.

Anyway, here are the lines according to Shinzawa from yesterday's practice. I'd be really happy if these lines stick for the game tonight, it's been too long since the real top line has played together.




Friday, February 15, 2008

Game 57: Bruins beat Penguins 2-1, are 29-23-5

Much Better! After suffering through a miserable game against Carolina on Tuesday, Bruins Nation got to see their team, the Boston Bruins, defeat the very hot Pittsburgh Penguins. The steel city hockey players have been doing very well, despite not having Crosby or Fleury. The Bruins have been playing .500 hockey. The Bruins, however, were able to steel a win from Pittsburgh. The win featured really great defense, which is especially impressive considering Aaron Ward left the game when the butt of a stick caught him in the throat. In the end, Wideman played 30 minutes, Chara played 29, Ference played 24, Hnidy played 18, and Stuart, who Claude Julien criticized after the game, played only 8 minutes. A really good job in the defensive zone and in the nuetral zone by these guys led to the Penguins only taking 21 shots. Tim Thomas saved 20 of them.

In the first period, with just about seven minutes left, Milan Lucic did a great job forcing a turnover in the Penguins zone. Glen Metropolit came up with the puck and got a shot off. Petteri Nokelainen, who replaced the injured Chuck Kobasew on the second line, retrieved the rebound and shot the puck into the net. Two minutes later, jeremy Reich did a great job staying with the puck in the offensive zone. He managed to swat the puck towards the front of the net. Vladimir Sobotka was there and tipped it in, getting his first NHL goal and putting the Bruins up 2-0.

The Bruins stayed tough the rest of the game, but could not get the puck by Ty Conklin. The Penguins showed some life when Evgeni Malkin, who has been leading the team in every category since Crosby left, shot the puck off the post and in. The Pittsburgh crowd got into then, only to see their team not able to complete the comeback (sort of like what the Garden crowd saw on Tuesday), and the Bruins won 2-1.

One last thing worth mentioning about this game is the incredible play of the bruins penalty kill. Led by the now healthy PJ Axelsson, the Bruins killed off every Penguins power play, and there were quite a few. The Bruins need to stay more disciplined.

The Bruins are now 1-0-0 on their five game road trip.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bruins start off five game road trip by playing cold birds

Tonight in Pittsburgh, the Boston Bruins will try to snap their recent cold streak against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Tim Thomas will start in net. The lines will probably be totally different depending on who plays and who is injured (apparently Kobasew is a game time decision). Also Phil Kessel will probably not see first line duty. His minutes were reduced last night after Claude Julien was not impressed by his play.

My guess at the lines: Sturm-Savard-Murray



We need a win, Go Bruins!

Game 56: Bruins play very poorly, lose to Hurricanes 3-2, are 28-23-5

Say hello to 9th place Boston Bruins. In December we were in 4th place and seemed to be getting better. Now we just lost to Carolina again, and are in 9th place.

Last night the Bruins played as if they were 90 year old men. Absolutely no energy. The team was slow, passing was awful, and Alex Auld had a very bad first period. The pee wee hockey players that played in between periods completed more crisp passes than the Bruins did. The two goals that the Bruins got, both by Shawn Thornton (who otherwise I thought played pretty poorly, missing a few great oportunities), were pure luck.

All 15,300 fans at the Garden saw the Bruins get obliterated in the first period. Alex Auld was at the bottom of his game. The first goal was just a shot that he didn't see. The second was iffy. Andrew Ladd may have kicked it in, I really couldn't see. Auld should have been able to save it otherwise. When Auld finally did make a save, the Garden crowd applauded in sarcasm.

The Bruins played without energy in the second period as well. Very late in the period, the Hurricanes extended their lead when Sergei Samsonov (who has been excellent for Carolina) skated circles around the defense and scored.

The third period featured the same poor hockey, however the Bruins did get lucky. With about five minutes left, Shawn Thornton's shot hit off the pad of Cam Ward and went in. Something like 15 seconds later, A shot went through the legs of Ward and stuck right in front of the blue line. Shawn Thornton shoved in the puck and had his second goal of the game. It was very lucky for the Bruins that Cam Ward couldn't stop that puck from going through his pads. The Garden crowd was so pumped up, we all thought the Bruins had a chance, but all they did was revert back to their piss poor hockey. They barely took any shots on net and the Carolina Hurricanes won.

I'm upset that I paid money to go see that shit! Well, that's the was sports work. Hopefully the Bruins can rebound tonight in Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Florida's (and New Orleans's) worst nightmare comes to Boston

My appologies to those who think my nickname for the Carolina Hurricanes is a little off color.

Anyway, the Bruins are playing the 'Canes tonight at the Garden. The Hurricanes are featuring Joe Corvo, whom the Hurricanes got from Ottawa for Mike Commodore and Cory Stillman. Patrick Eaves also went to Carolina but he is hurt. Carolina is one point out of first in the Southeast division (or the Southleast division as those in Toronto like to call them) and there is no doubt that they're looking at this game against the Bruins as a big game.

As for the Bruins, Alex Auld will get the start in goal. WEEI sports radio today said that despite suffering a charlie horse against Florida, Zdeno Chara will play tonight. The line will probably be the same as they have been:




I wouldn't be surprised if Julien mixes up the lines during the game like he did on Saturday. Murray may replace Lucic or Kessel, as could Axelsson.

I'll be heading to the Garden soon. Go Bruins!

Boston College 6, Harvard 5 OT

The Best Beanpot game I have ever seen! Given that BC's great defense was going up against Harvard's goalie Kyle Richter, I figured this would be a very low scoring game (I predicted 2-0 Harvard if you recall). I was wrong. TD Banknorth Garden and the city of Boston last night saw an offensive showdown.

BC started the scoring early in the first when they took a 1-0 lead. Harvard battled back in the first though and the period ended with harvard up 2-1. To start the second period, BC jumped out, tied it up, and then took the lead 3-2. Harvard tied it up early in the third period with a knuckle-ball drive from the point. Boston College then got two very ugly goals (ugly goals still count just as much as beautiful ones). BC had a 5-3 lead late in the third. Harvard, however, did not give up. With some help from the referee, Harvard had a two on one man rush and got their fourth goal. Then with under four minutes to play, Alex Biega's drive from the blue line was redirected in by Mike Taylor. With the game tied 5-5 the beanpot championship went into overtime. BC dominated overtime. Seven minutes in, a shot hit off Kyle Richter and bounced right in front of the goal. A Harvard defenseman was there but his stick got caught up with a BC forward and BC freshman Nick Petrecki got to the puck and shot it in.

Although I am a Harvard fan, I recognize that most of Bruins Nation was probably rooting for BC. So congratulations to the Boston College Eagles for winning the 2008 Beanpot.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Go Harvard

update 12:14 AM: The Boston College Eagles defeated the Harvard Crimson 6-5 in overtime after Harvard made an incredible comeback. This game will go down in history as one of the best beanpot games of all time. I'm disapointed that Harvard lost, but it was still a great game. The game will be replayed Friday at 3:30 on NESN. I recommend all hockey fans watch or tape it.

Sorry to all you BC, BU, or Northeastern fans in Bruins Nation, but the President of Bruins Nation is a Harvard Crimson fan first, and a fan of all the other teams second.

Last week I predicted that Harvard and BC would win, and they did. I also predicted that Harvard would defeat BC tonight 2-0, and I'm standing by that prediction.

Tonight Harvard and BC are playing in the Beanpot championship game. BC is coming off an overtime win over BU, and Harvard is coming off a 3-1 upset over Northeastern. BC has gone to the championship game and lost to BU each of the last two years, meanwhile Harvard has not won since 1993. This game is going to come down to who wants it more. Is it Ted Denato and his men from Harvard, or is it Jerry York and his men from Boston College? The city of Boston will find out who gets to brag for the next year tonight.

Go Harvard!

Game 55: Bruins lose to Panthers 6-3, are 28-22-5

This game is very hard to describe. The better team lost, and they lost badly. The Bruins played pretty well in the first half of the game, and then fell apart. It didn't help that Tim Thomas had a rare poor performance. The Bruins scored three go-ahead goals yet still managed to lose. The Bruins also outshot Florida 41-27.

Very early in the first period, Zdeno Chara stuffed in a rebound on a power play to give the Bruins the lead. Richard Zednik tied it up later in the period. Early in the second the Bruins took the lead again when Glen Murray shot the puck to the top of the net. It was his first goal since coming back from injury. Richard Zednik ties it up again. A minute later, Marco Sturm took a feed from Kessel and got a quick shot into the net.

The Bruins defense, and as I previously mentioned Tim Thomas, fell apart after that. Jokinen and Booth scored within 14 seconds of eachother to give Florida the lead. The Panthers scored twice in the third to win the game 6-3. A couple of them should have been easy saves for Tim Thomas.

The Bruins need to put this one behind them and focus on Carolina on Tuesday, and Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Alex Auld will probably see Tuesday and Thomas on Wednesday.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Big Cats come to Garden

Update: 9:54 PM The Bruins lost pretty badly 6-3. I'll sumarize the game sometime soon. Let's just say, Claude Julien is very upset at the effort some of his skaters gave him. Tim Thomas, who playhed hard but was a bit off, will probably see the bench Tuesday against Carolina. The Bruins played great the first half, and then fell apart the second half.

The Boston Bruins will take on the Florida Panthers at TD Banknorth Garden tonight at 7:00. The Bruins are offering buy one get one free Loge seats. The code word is FLIGHT. Leave early if you're going to the game. Snow will always add time to your trip whether you go by car or by the T.

Tim Thomas will most likely start in net today. Alex Auld was great yesterday though, so it would not surprise me if Claude Julien gave the nod to Auld. Schaefer and Bobby Allen will remain out of the lineup. The two are day-to-day. My guess at the lines:




This should be an easy win for the Bruins, so long as they play hard and play as they usually do. Go Bruins!

Game 54: Bruins beat Sabres in a shootout 3-2, are 28-21-5

When the Boston Bruins took the ice last night, they realized how important the game was, and they played with the necessary intensity. Although it was a huge comeback win, the Bruins were never at any point really outplayed. Alex Auld and the Bruins defense did a great job. Auld made great saves, and the Bruins defense really shut down Buffalo, allowing only 23 shots. On the other end of the ice, the Bruin offense was showing off their playmaking ability. The Bruins time and time againwere able to get off quality shots. What the offense was uanble to do was capitalize on those quality shots. When you go up against Ryan Miller, your shots have to be perfect. Last night the Bruins took 37 shots, including 17 in the third period (Buffalo took one shot in the third period). Also last night, the Bruins got help from Glen Murray, who had been absent for 19 games. Murray played very well alongside David Krejci and PJ Axelsson.

The first two periods were simple. The Bruins played well and could not capitalize on opportunities. Meanwhile Buffalo played okay and managed to score in the last minute of each of the first two periods. One by Spacek and one by Vanek.

In the third period, athe Bruins cut the lead in half 57 seconds in. Zdeno Chara's drive with Murray setting the screen went in. Then later in the period, a bad pass by Buffalo went to Marc Savard. Savard found Sturm streaking towards the net with Kessel by his side. Sturm got the puck and shot it past Miller.

The game went into overtime, which was inconclusive. A very impressive shootout by the Bruins followed. Kotalik went first and got his shot saved by Alex Auld. Marco Sturm went next and had his shot stopped by the post. Tallinder went next and had his shot saved by Auld. Phil Kessel skated onto the ice for Boston. He approached Ryan Miller, deked left, and attempted to pull back and shoot forehand like he always does. He missed the puck however when he went to pull back. The only explination for what happened next is that a hockey angel had blessed Phil Kessel because the pcuk somehow trickled in on Kessel's blown shot. Derek Roy went third for the Sabres, but Alex Auld saved his shot, and the Bruins won the game. Alex AUld was sensational in the shootout with three great saves. The Bruing bench skated onto the ice and mobbed him right in the center of the HSBC Arena.

Hopefully momentum from this comeback win can lift the Bruins over Florida tonight (and maybe over Carolina and Pittsburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday).

Friday, February 08, 2008

Bruins-Swords rematch

The Buffalo Sabres and the Boston Bruins will meet again tonight in Buffalo. This rare Friday night game is at 7:30 on NESN.

According to various sources, Alex Auld and Glen Murray will be in the lineup. Tim Thomas will most likely play tomorrow night at home against Florida. My guess at the lines:

Axelsson-Krejci-Murray (Look for some great play from this line)


This game is important. Buffalo is only two points behind the Bruins. Go Bruins!

Game 53: Bruins lose to Sabres 4-2, are 27-21-5

The Bruins played with something I have not seen all season: Confidence. I was impressed. The problem is that it did not result in a Bruins win. Skating was pretty slow and they were not as aggressive as I thought they should be (except for Thornton). Playmaking was pretty good though. The Bruins took 32 shots, and many more then two would have gone in if it weren't for one of the league's best in net for Buffalo. Ryan Miller is one of the great goaltenders in the NHL today.

Three and a half minutes in, Buffalo netted their first goal. Two minutes later, Shawn THornton, realizing that the Bruins needed a kick-start, decided to fight the much bigger Andrew Peters. Thornton got a solid win. THe two men traded punches before Thornton got a good takedown.

A couple minutes later, David Krejci shot the puck and Miller made an incredible save. Spacek got the rebound and then turned it over to PJ Axelsson. PJ scored to tie up the game.

In the second period, Buffalo took the lead when Thomas Vanek, the ten million dollar man, scored. The two teams played even until late in the third, when Buffalo took over. Jochen Hecht's shot hit off the skate of Daniel Paille, who kicked in the puck. After the refs looked at it, they concluded that Paille didn't purposely kick in the puck. With 1:33 left in the game, Buffalo put the game out of reach with a power play goal. Miraculously, with one tenth of a second left in the game, Mark Stuart's shot went in. The goal was credited to Metropolit, the puck must have hit him. There was no celebration on the ice, however, as Buffalo took this four point game.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bruins take on bent swords tonight

I think I'm going to stick with the coming-up-with-nicknames-for-the-other-teams idea.

Anyway, the Boston Bruins are playing the Buffalo Sabres tonight at TD Banknorth Garden. Tim Thomas will start in net, and according to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, the lines should be the same.





Harvard, BC earn wins in the 56th Beanpot semifinals

Last night featured some very good hockey. All four teams, in my opinion, played above themselves. Both games were full of very aggressive play, and very technical play. I also would like to add that I called both games. If you care to scroll down to my last post, you'll read that I had both BC and Harvard winning. I was one goal off in both games. I had Harvard winning 3-2, and BC winning 4-2. Last night Harvard pulled off the upset over 14th ranked Northeastern 3-1, and 9th ranked Boston College beat Boston University 4-3 in overtime.

Ted Donato must have made a great speech to the guys in Crimson before the game because Harvard came ready to play. Very quickly the score was 3-0 Harvard. After a solid second period, and a defensive-minded third period, Harvard came away with the 3-1 win. All three of Harvard's goals looked very nice. They might have some future NHLers on that team.

The second game was one that we know featured future NHL players. BU came out to an early lead, then BC scored twice ten seconds apart. BU scored twice in the second, but Jerry York's boys scored in the third and then in overtime to give them the win. This one, more so then any other college game I've seen, was very physical!

Harvard will play Boston College next Monday night at 8:00.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Harvard, Northeastern, BU, and BC go at it tonight

At 5:00 tonight, the Harvard University Crimson will take on the Northeastern University Huskies. At 8:00, the Boston University Terriers will take on the Boston College Eagles. The biggest tournament in college sports (at least to someone in Bruins Nation) starts tonight. Of course I'm talking about the Beanpot. The winners of the two games will play for the beanpot-shaped trophy next monday night.

BU won last year in overtime over BC. BU also beat BC the year before that in the finals. This year, however, BU and BC will meet in the first round, and that means that either Northeastern or Harvard will get to the finals.

Once again, I'm going to go with the big upset. I'm going to go on record and say Harvard beats Northeastern 3-2, and Boston College beats Boston University 4-2.

Then in one week from tonight, Harvard will beat BC 2-0. Ted Donato's boys will pull off the huge upset win in shutout-style!

I know nobody wants to talk about it, so I won't. I'll just say that I hate the fucking Manning family.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Game 52: Bruins end win streak by losing to the Red Wings 3-1, are 27-20-5

Not really a whole lot I can write about this one. The Bruins were defeated by a far superior team. Even though the Bruins had the lead for most of the game, I thought they were outplayed. Detroit gave up very few transition opportunities, and their shot blocking was sensational. Don't get me wrong, the Bruins played pretty well. The Red Wings, who have 84 points for a reason, were just able to get the puck in the net, something the Bruins had trouble doing.

The Bruins at first had trouble controlling the puck, but got the opportunity they were looking for eight minutes into the period. Milan Lucic found Glen Metropolit skating towards the net with Chuck Kobasew by his side. Metropolit passed the puck to Kobasew, who shot it by Osgood.

Although Detroit seemed to be controlling the game, the Bruins looked as if they would hold on. Detroit had chances but not good ones. Momentum quickly changed with five minutes left in the second period. Henrik Zetterberg scored when his very lucky back hand shot just went into the net. Review confirmed that it was a goal.

Early in the third period, two Red Wings managed to get by the Bruins defense. Henrik Zetterberg's shot was saved by Thomas, but the long rebound went to Pavel Datsyuk, who scored easily.

After that goal, the Bruins played much more aggressively. They kept the puck in the offensive zone and took good shots. They made scoring opportunities. It's that type of play that scores goals. Momentum, however, shifted before the Bruins were able to capitalize. With a little over 6 minutes left, Zdeno Chara made a poor decision and took a bad hooking penalty. Brian Rafalski scored a power play goal very quickly and the Wings were up 3-1.

So the Red WIngs took the only game of the season between these two original six rivals. Hopefully we'll get our revenge when these two teams meet in the Stanley cup finals. The Bruins next three games are against Buffalo and Florida. The Bruins should be able to take 6 points in the next week.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Bloodied birds are in town

Why else would wings be red?

The Boston Bruins will play the Detroit Red Wings in front of what looks to be a sold out crowd. The Bruins just defeated the best team in the Eastern Conference and are looking to beat the best team in the Western Conference. Tim Thomas will start tonight. Here is Fluto Shinzawa's expected lines for tonight.



This should be a great game. If the Bruins win, and New Jersey and Pittsburgh lose, then the Bruins will find themselves in 5th place. Go Bruins!

Game 51: Bruins destroy Senators 4-1, are 27-19-5

On Thursday night, the Boston Bruins marched into Ottawa and embarrassed the Senators in front of a sold out crowd. The recently struggling Senators were without Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson, and the Bruins let them know how important those two really are. The Bruins, in their fourth attempt of the season, finally defeated the best team in the Eastern Conference.

One word described the first period. Dominance. The Bruins dominated the first period. It seemed as if every second the Bruins were in control of the puck. The Bruins came out early and took a big lead, and everyone knows it's easier to play when your team is winning.

28 seconds into the game, Marc Savard won an offensive zone face-off and sent the puck to Kessel. Kessel's wrist shot put the puck in the back of the net. Three minutes later, a nice play on transition allowed Chuck Kobasew to shoot on it. His shot was stopped by Martin Gerber, but Lucic was there to put in the rebound; the Bruins were up 2-0. Five minutes after the that, sloppy play by Ottawa led to a shot by Savard going in high blocker side. Less then ten minutes into the game the Bruins were up 3-0.

Throughout the rest of the game, Ottawa did show some life. Mike Fisher played very well, and it was clear that Ottawa would not give up. Tim Thomas and the Bruins defense, however, made Ottawa's efforts futile. Tim Thomas finished the game with 30 saves.

The Senators did eventually give their 19,959 fans something to cheer about. In the middle of the third period, Ottawa crashed the net on the power play and Antoine Vermette managed to score. Chuck Kobasew scored an empty net goal and the Bruins won the game 4-1.

Game 51's lines were a bit different than usual, but the team still got the job done. PJ Axelsson's return broke up the kid line and jumbled all the other lines. PJ played very well for someone who had been out for as long as he was. He is a great defensive winger and is an asset to this team. I'm sure all 30 NHL teams want Axelsson ont their penalty kill unit. After the game, Pascal Pelletier was assigned to Providence. Pelletier showed a lot of promise and is surely going to be back soon.

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