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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Game 71: Bruins shocked by lowly Lightning 3-1, are 36-27-8

Before I start writing about this horrible game, I would like everyone who reads this to appreciate every aspect of the beautiful blog post title.

Anyway, this was just a pathetic showing by the Bruins. The last place Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Bruins pretty badly at the Garden. The B's packed on the shots but could only get one past Mike Smith. Even that one goal was just a lucky Kobasew deflection. Meanwhile, the Lightning scored 7 minutes into the first period and 7 minutes into the second period. With Tim Thomas pulled, the Lightning scored an empty netter to win the game 3-1. Guess who scored the empty net goal? Yep, you guessed it, Vincent Lecavalier. He kills the Bruins, always have and probably always will.

I could write more about this game but I won't. It is just way too depressing.

Game 70: Bruins lose to Senators 4-1, are 36-26-8

Normally I would be ranting about how the moronic refs screwed us. There is no doubt that a terrible call led to a Bruins goal being annulled. Glen Murray scored a goal, and because the game was in Ottawa, the Bruins were not awarded a point on the scoreboard. That being said, the Bruins still played pretty poorly. an 0-5 power play, complemented by poor penalty killing, is what really gave Ottawa the win.

Martin Gerber and Alex Auld kept the game tied at zero in the first period. Things changed in the second period. Dany Heatley scored first early in the period. Five minutes later with Wideman in the penalty box, Dany Heatley scored his second goal of the game and gave the Senators a 2-0 lead. A little later with Jason Spezza in the penalty boxx due to a bench mistake, Glen Murray got the puck by Gerber. The reason he got the puck by Gerber is because Marco Sturm kind of got him out of the way. No whistle was blown. The ref, however, waved off the goal that would have brought the Bruins within one because he claimed to have meant to blown the whistle. Not only is that a ridiculous call to make (one obviously influenced by the booing crowd in Ottawa), but it was the wrong call. After NESN showed the replay, it was clear that Sturm was pushed into Gerber by a Senator. The goal should have counted. Momentum probably would have shifted. Instead the Bruins were still in a hole. Later in the period with Andrew Ference in the box, Jason Spezza scored to give Ottawa a 3 goal lead.

The Bruins were not quiet in the third, but they knew they weren't going to score 3 goals and it was easy to see the Bruins were not going balls to the wall. Near the end of the game, Wideman threw the puck into the net, but it was too little too late. Dany Heatley got an empty net goal to secure his hat-trick and the Senators won 4-1.

Game 69: Bruins lose to Rangers in a shootout 1-0, are 36-25-8

So I looked back at the box score for this game and for some reason I could not remember a thing from the game. Then I looked at the date of the game and Immediately realized why. On March 9th, 2008, I was outside the entire day. I won't go into the specifics of why I was outside all day. I did make arrangements though. On that day, I brought a radio with me while I was outside. It was not one of the new tiny fancy radios. It was a boombox style AM radio. During the game, I held the radio up to my ear the entire time (and ignored the laughs from everyone around me). The game was actually extremely intense. I could not put the radio down. And by the way, Dave Goucher and Bob Beers do a great job on WBZ 1030. If you have to be in the car or anything like that during a Bruins game, you are fine. Listening to the game on WBZ is the next best thing to NESN.

Anyway, the game was intense. Henrik Lundqvist (29 saves, 3 more in the shootout) was the game's 1st star. Alex Auld (35 saves, 2 more in the shootout) was the game's 2nd star. Neither goalie allowed a single shot to become a goal in regulation or overtime. We can expect this from Lundqvist, but Alex Auld being able to shut out NYR's star offense (Gomez, Avery, Jagr, Shanahan, Drury, Dubinsky, etc...) proves how valuable of a backup he is.

Some fireworks arose near the end of the third period when Petteri Nokelainen nailed Malik. Chris Drury then shoved Nokelainen and the two started throwing punches. Here's a video of the incident.

I'll fast-forward to the shootout. Just imagine me, outside, in a crowded place, with a radio up to my ears, yelling "aahh shit" every time a Bruins player (Sturm then Kessel then Krejci) didn't score. Nigel Dawes was the only player to score in the shootout and the Rangers won. The Bruins went 3-0-1 against the Rangers this season. (Three of thhe four games went into a shootout, and the lone regulation win was a 3-1 win on NBC)

Game 68: Bruins with some help rally in third to beat Capitals 2-1, are 36-25-7

I'm not an expert on Donald Brashear or the Washington Capitals coaching staff, but after watching this game I came to the conclusion that the Capitals coaching staff do not hold their players accountable for their mistakes. I also came to the conclusion that Donald Brashear, alhough extremely tough, is extremely undisciplined.

The Bruins defense played great in game 68. The defense did a great job of preventing shots and Alex Auld did a great job in net. The offense was another story. Especially in the first period, our offense had trouble putting quality shots on Christobal Huet.

The game starting off with a couple bangs. Five seconds in, Milan Lucic and Matt Bradley squared off. Lucic pummeled Bradley in an extremely one sided fight. Ten seconds later, Shawn Thornton and Donald Brashear dropped the gloves. Brashear probably got in a few more punches but I'd call it a draw. It was a long fight and one Thornton should be proud of. It seemed the Bruins wanted to beat up the Capitals in front of the Garden croud as retribution for the humiliation that occured a week earlier in DC. Even with the two good fights, it was Washington that scored first.

It was still 1-0 Caps in the third, and the Bruins looked beat. The Capitals had momentum and it didn't look like the Bruins were going to score anytime soon. That's when Donald Brashear made me thank God that he wasn't a Bruin. With a little more than 6 minutes left in the game, Donald Brashear high sticked David Krejci. Krejci started bleeding and Brashear was given a double minor. Shane Hnidy went over to have a word with Brashear and Brashear just punched him in the face, earning him another two minutes. Donald Brashear got three two-minute minors. Another Caps hooking penalty (like I said before, no discipline or accountability) gave the Bruins a five-on-three. Zdeno Chara was able to easily tie the game. Three minutes later, with Tom Poti in the box (and Brashear still in the box), a beautiful pass from Krejci across the crease to Sturm gave Sturm an easy goal and gave the Bruins the lead. The Bruins easily hung on for the win.

How lucky are we? Two five-on-three goals in the third period. I would like to thank Donald Brashear and the Capitals coaching staff for this win. I don't even care if Capitals fans don't think we deserved this win. A win is a win.

Game 67: Bruins lose big time to Maple Leafs 8-2, are 35-25-7

Game 67 was the third game in a terrible three game stretch. The Bruins lost game 65-67 by a combined score of 19-4, going 0-2-1 in the process. Game 65 was a blowout in Washington, game 66 was an overtime loss to Florida, and game 67 was a disaster at the Garden. The Maple Leafs suck, we all know that, yet the Bruins were crushed by them!

I went to this game and was really excited to see an original six & Northeast division rival get beat. I love making fun of Toronto fans. (Toronto fans are very passionate, and are routinely disappointed. Maple Leafs fans are what Red Sox fans used to be) Yet this game ended up being one of two games all season that I left early from (the first was when I knew the Bruins would win and I wanted to see the Red Sox in the playoffs). The Bruins started off very well after a good play led to Peter Schaefer scoring. The Bruins defense and Tim Thomas really fell apart in the second and third periods to give the Maple Leafs an easy win.

Apparently Phil Kessel scored in the end but I was long gone by the time he sent the puck into the net. This is one game we will forget.

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