Sunday, February 27, 2011

Game 62: "Oh, Canada" Road Trip Game 4 of 5

From the top to the bottom. From first to worst. Coming full circle. From one end of the spectrum to the other. Whatever cliche you want to use for this situation, you will sure be able to find one. These cliches come into play here since the Boston Bruins took on the Edmonton Oilers tonight, a team that is ranked 30th in the NHL out of 30 teams. This is one day removed from the Bruins defeating the best team in the NHL in the Vancouver Canucks.

The story before the game was "Taylor vs. Tyler." The Oilders drafted Taylor Hall number one overall in last year's draft and the Bruins drafted Tyler Seguin as the number two overall pick. Are these comparisons valid? No. They are two different players put into two different situations. Hall was put into a situation where he would carry this team. He was the only talent Edmonton had so he needed to adjust to the speed of the NHL rather quickly. As for Seguin, he got drafted to a team with a lot of talent and experience, so he has the time to study the game without all of the pressure. When it is all set and done, Seguin will have more playoff experience than Hall and that is what professional sports is all about: playoffs and championships.

Bruins fans held their breath at the beginning of this game because Edmonton jumped out to an early lead on a goal from Ales Hemsky (14th of the season). The B's looked very drained and emotionless during the first five minutes of this game. After Nathan Horton dropped the gloves with Theo Peckham, the spark was brought back. Michael Ryder evened up the score with a sensational sniper shot. Horton himself got himself on the score sheet by putting the Bruins up 2-1 just over three minutes after Ryder's goal.

The second period was dominated by Boston, in which the Bruins out shot the Oilers 32-12 by the end of that period. Edmonton had to go on the penalty kill and also had the opportunity to score a power play goal. Since they are ranked 30th (last) in both categories, Oilers fans were not expecting anything to come of it, and they were right. Just before the end of the period, Rich Peverley scored his first goal as a Bruin to put Boston up 3-1 after two. Chris Kelly had an assist on Peverley's goal, his first point as a Bruin as well.

Gilbert Brule from Edmonton put some life back into his team as he scored to pull the Oilers within one to begin the third period. Unexpectedly, Brad Marchand got into a fight with the Oilders' second line center Andrew Cogliano. It was the first fighting major of his career. Milan Lucic also dropped the gloves with Jim Vandermeer in a bout that had "fight of the year" potential. This added some much needed energy for the Bruins as the Oilders began to come on with a flurry of shots of their own.

The game came down to solid defense by the Bruins when they had to kill the rest of the clock. Goaltender Tuukka Rask made some key saves down the stretch and they hung on to win 3-2. The Bruins are 5-0-0 on this six game road trip. They will end the trip on Tuesday in the same place they began the trip: in Ottawa to take on the Senators. The Bruins finish the month of February with a record of 8-4-0.

Gold Star: Michael Ryder (1 goal, 1 assist, +2 rating, 3 shots on goal)
Black Star: Mark Recchi...very non-existent tonight. He got bumped off the puck way too easily and was not involved in any key plays.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Game 61: "Oh, Canada" Road Trip Game 3 of 5

This road trip for the Bruins has not got any easier. Tonight they faced the Vancouver Canucks, a team that many people say are the best team in the NHL. According to several league rankings, they are the best team in the NHL, holding first place in the league in goals per game, goals against, and power play percentage.

Henrik and Daniel Sedin are a dynamic duo who have been the nucleus of this powerful and highly-skilled team. Coming into this game, the Bruins needed to shut down the Sedin brothers and capitalize on any Canuck mistake because they knew that there would not be many of them.

Even though the score did not show it, this was an incredibly played first period for both teams. Both teams had some key chances to score. However, Boston goalie Tim Thomas and Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo were on their toes. The Canucks got on the board first on a goal by Manny Malhotra and that is how the first period would end with Vancouver on top 1-0.

The second period was very physical. Sereveral big hits were on display and this allowed both teams to create seems in the defense for scoring chances. Throughout the first two periods, niether team was able to capatalize on the power play. Even with that against them, the B's managed to tie the game at 1-1 after Nathan Horton scored his 16th of the season. Milan Lucic and Tomas Kaberle had the assists.

In the third period, the Bruins and the Canucks took turns exchanging fast breaks and numerous shots on goal. Late in the third period, Lucic recorded his second point of the night by putting the Bruins on top 2-1. That goal was 27th of the season. The Bruins go on to win the game 3-1.

This victory cemented the Bruins reputation as one of the elite teams in the NHL. Whether they will be able to defeat a team like Vancouver in a seven game series come playoff time is another question, but they will be there once the third line starts hitting on all cylinders and the defense adjusts to the new style. Defenseman Andrew Ference left the game with a lower body injury and he did not return. Earlier in the week, the Bruins signed former Bruin's defenseman Shane Hnidy to a one-year deal. Coinsidence? We might see him as well as Steve Kampfer return to the line up tomorrow in Edmonton.

Gold Star: Milan Lucic (1 goal, 2 assists, +3 rating, 3 shots on goal)
Black Star: Chris Kelly...solid shifts, but no points since arriving in Boston. We are waiting patiently, but hopefully it will come soon.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Game 60: "Oh, Canada" Road Trip Game 2 of 5

The new-look Bruins were in action tonight in their third game of this six game road trip and their second of five in Canada. They visited the Calgary Flames, a team who was just recently removed from an outstanding outdoor game known as the "Heritage Classic." They defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-0.

Coming into the night, the Flames held a record of 31-22-8 and fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. They skated against a Bruins team that featured all three big name acquisitions in the line-up tonight (Tomas Kaberle, Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley). Peverley came to the Bruins from the Atlanta Thrashers and he wore number 47, the same number as rookie Steve Kampfer. Peverley chose to wear number 49 even though Kampfer offered him number 47. Now that is a team that respects each other.

A couple of days before this game, many were contemplating how Claude Julien would set up the four lines. A suggestion arose to have Tyler Seguin skate on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. This was the most logical move to make since Kelly and Peverley would skate with Michael Ryder on the third line and the fact that Seguin had been playing great the past few games.

Daniel Paille was the odd man out, which was bearable because he has been playing lack-luster the past few games and some energy needed to return on that fourth line. Johnny Boychuk was back in the line-up as Kampfer got the scratch. The game got off to a fast start when Milan Lucic scored his team-leading 25th goal of the season off of a beautiful pass from David Krejci. A flurry of shots by the Flames were all shut down by Tim Thomas. Bruins led 1-0 after one.

For those of you who love great defensive hockey and outstanding goaltending, the second period had all of that and then some. Thomas and Flames' goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stopped a total of 19 shots. Even though Calgary out shot the B's through the first two periods 22-17, they still trailed Boston 1-0. A questionable four minute high-sticking penalty on Calgary's Curtis Glencross had the B's on the power play to start the third period.

The Bruins did not score on the power play, but later in the period Brad Marchand scored his 19th goal of the season. When that second line (Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Mark Recchi) is clicking, they are a force to be reckoned with on the ice. Curtis Glencross made things interesting on a power play goal to pull Calgary within one. But Lucic added an empty net goal, scoring two on the night and the B's win 3-1, starting the road trip 3-0-0.

Gold Star: Tim Thomas (28 saves on 29 shots, 1 goal allowed, .966 save %)
Black Star: Nathan Horton...a couple of missed opportunities tonight and some average play in the neutral and defensive zones. He has got to play better if he wants to be a first line wing.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Game 59: "Oh, Canada" Road Trip Game 1 of 5

The big story before this game was that through some crafty dealing, Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli finally got what he was after. The Bruins acquired Tomas Kaberle from the Toronto Maple Leafs. The deal included that the B's would send a minor league player, a 2011 first-round pick, and a conditional second-round pick in 2012 to the Leafs.

The nifty GM was not done yet. In order to clear up the cap space to pick up the rest of Kaberle's contract, which was about $4.25 million, the B's sent forward Blake Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart to the Atlanta Thrashers for center Rich Peverley and defenseman Boris Valabik.

It might be premature to say that the Bruins are done shopping before the trade deadline, but they got their puck moving defenseman and some veteran centers. Just take it and leave it. Are they contenders now? They always were, but now they have some veteran fire power that will be essential in the playoffs.

With all of that being said, we have a game to get to. It was the Bruins second game on their six game road trip and their first of five in Canada. Tonight they took on divional foe Ottawa Senators. After a solid game in New York last night, Tuukka Rask got the start in goal.

After a scoreless first period, the second period opened up with Senators going up 1-0 on a nice goal by Bobby Butler, his third goal in three games. However, Brad Marchand tied it up at 1-1 on a fast break away and on a nice pass from Tyler Seguin.

The Bruins were called for three penalties in the third period, but only allowed one power play goal, scored Alexei Kovalev late in the game. However, Nathan Horton (15th of the season), Dennis Seidenberg (6th of the season), and Marchand (18th of the season, 2nd of the game) netted goals earlier in the period. This proved too much much for Ottawa as the Bruins won 4-2. The Senators have the worst record in the Eastern Conference at 18-31-9 (45 points).

Gold Star: Tuukka Rask (32 saves on 34 shots, .941 save %)
Danielle Paille...It is not like that it was a terrible game for Paille, but with only 11 shifts and finishing with a -1, it is hard to generate production.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Game 58: Don't Be Fooled

Although the Bruins have dropped three in a row, they needed to get their identity back tonight against the New York Islanders, who are 21-29-4 (27th in the NHL). The Islanders have won four games in a row coming in, so they needed to put some ice on their streak of fire. The Bruins are still shopping around for a new defenseman, but that was not their only focus.

Late last night, the B's traded for Chris Kelly of the Ottawa Senators. The 30-year old center has 12 goals and 11 assists so far this season. This is a solid veteran who will provide some depth at the center position. He will debut tommorrow night against his now former team, the Senators.

Tuukka Rask took the start for the Bruins tonight as maybe it seems that Tim Thomas is starting to show fatigue in the past few games. Mark Stuart was a healthy scratch once again. It was reported that the Chicago Blackhawks are interested in Stuart. With the healthy scratches piling up, that deal just might end up happening.

Blake Wheeler got things started less than two minutes in by putting the Bruins on top 1-0. Mark Recchi scored his 11th of the season to put the Bruins up 2-0. It was Recchi's 13th point in 13 games. The Bruins went into the first intermission by a score of 3-0 when Gregory Campbell added a goal. The Bruins out-shot the Islanders 15-4 in the period. That was a dominating first 20 minutes by the Bruins or a terrible first period by the Islanders. Either way, the B's will take it.

The second period featured an explosion of goals. Both teams combined for 5 goals and 33 shots on net. David Kerjci (9th of the season), Tyler Seguin (10th of the season), and Milan Lucic (24th of the season) were the scorers for Boston. John Tavares and Josh Bailey were the goal scorers for New York. A quick random fact:Tavares was the number 1 overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

The Bruins worked on a plethora of game tactics that several people were questioning during the second period. We witnessed goal scoring, solid goal tending, a power play goal, and a penalty kill. Also, the third line (Seguin, Wheeler, Ryder) is finally stepping up and contributing to round out the Bruins solid offensive attack.

The third period was a relatively conservative one. Tavares scored his second of the night for the Islanders and that was the only goal of the period. The Bruins get the much needed two points as they win 6-3. An overall great night for the Bruins as 12 players had at least one point. Tuukka Rask made some great stops down the stretch. This will give them momentum heading into Ottawa where they will meet their new teammate in Chris Kelly.

Gold Star: David Krejci (1 goal, 1 assist, 5 shots on goal)
Black Star: Adam McQuaid...yes you took the bate in the first period fight and finished with a -1 for the night. Not a strong game by any means.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Game 57: Black and Blue

Has anyone seen Phil Kessel? Apparently the Toronto Maple Leaf's fans have not seen the goal scorer for some time. At their most recent home game, Maple Leaf's fans were handed out a bounty poster with Kessel on it. Well, he was spotted in Boston tonight as the 636th game between the Leafs and the Bruins took place.

Toronto was 23-27-6 coming into the game and the Bruins own an 11-1-2 record against them in the past 14 meetings. Tonight we also witnessed the stealer play of Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who leads the team with 33 assists. Kaberle has been in trade rumor discussions with the Bruins as of late. Could the puck moving defenseman be bound for Boston?

Zach Hamill and Jordan Caron were sent back down to Providence due to the return of Daniel Paille from suspension and Tyler Seguin being inserted into the line-up for the second straight game after being a healthy scratch for the games against Montreal and Detroit. Johnny Boychuk was the healthy scratch on defense tonight as Steve Kampfer returned to action.

Great passing and fancy puck moving was the story of the first period. Both defenses were quick to dump the puck, but it was evident that the speed of the Bruin's forwards got the better of the Maple Leafs.

A beautiful pass from Gregory Campbell was chased down by Mark Stuart, who found Daniel Paille behind the net to put the B's on top 1-0. The puck hit the Toronto player and was deflected into the goal as Paille tried to pass to Campbell, but Paille got credit for the goal.

Phil Kessel was indeed found tonight as he scored on a power play that tied the game. It is his first goal in 15 games against the Bruins. The two teams were tied 1-1 at the end of the first period.

The second period was a different story. The Bruin's forwards were out-muscled and bumped off the puck too easily. Miscommunication between Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara led to the Leafs scoring a relatively easy goal to go up 2-1. Mikhail Grabovski was the goal scorer, his 23rd of the season.

After a couple of failed power play attempts, Campbell scored on the man advantage to tie the game at two at the end of the period. Brad Marchand and Michael Ryder had the assists on that second goal.

About halfway through the third period, Patrice Bergeron scored his 20th goal of the season to put the B's in front 3-2. That guy named Kessel tied it up at three on another power play goal. With a minute left in the game, Grabovski scores his second of the game to give Toronto the 4-3 victory. Not a good way to end your last home game of the month of February.

Gold Star: Gregory Campbell (1 goal, 1 assist, 3 hits, 75% face-offs won)
Black Star: Dennis have to play tighter defense. Grabovski went right through to zone to put in the game winner at your expense.

Now the Bruins are hitting the road for six games. During that time the TD Garden will play host to Toy Story 3 On Ice, which is not a bad trade off.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Game 56: Original Six Home-and-Home Part 2

Welcome back to part 2 of the home-and-home series between the Detroit Red Wings and the Boston Bruins. The Bruins came off a huge loss this past Friday to the Red Wings, falling 6-1. Todd Bertuzzi scored two for the Western Conference juggernaut. So I'm assuming that some of the strategy was to slow down Bertuzzi...everybody knows what happens when we assume things.

Tyler Seguin was back in the B's line-up today and he scored the first goal of the game and his 9th of the season. Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder had the assists. When that line is healthy and clicking on all cylinders, they are a very dangerous third line for the Bruins. The lead did not last long as Bertuzzi scored just five minutes later. He would go on to add a second goal later on in the third period. So much for the coaching strategy.

Brad Marchand scored on a power play on some nice passing by Michael Ryder and Mark Recchi. That goal was Marchand's 16th of the season and his first power play goal of the season. He has been the Bruins top rookie player this year hands down and he continues to improve every game.

Even though it does not show up on the stat sheet, Zdeno Chara had a solid game as he is really showing initiative on the back line for the Bruins. Defenseman Mark Stuart played his first game in several weeks as Steve Kampfer was a healthy scratch for today's game.

The Bruins went on to lose this game by a score of 4-2. Tim Thomas saved 36 shots on 40 attempts. They will return home for a divsional game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. That night will also mark the end of Daniel Paille's 4 game suspension by the NHL. The Bruins went 1-3-0 without him.

Gold Star: Michael Ryder (2 assists, 2 shots on goal, 2 take-aways)
Black Star: Shawn Thornton...a little more urgency on the ice is all you need. Lets bring some energey back to the fourth line, the line known as the "Energy Line."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Game 55: Original Six Home-and-Home Part 1

The Western Conference in the NHL plays a very different style of game than the teams in the Eastern Conference. The teams in the East play a very fast-paced, hard contact style where as the teams in the West play a slowed-down, finesse style. The Bruins were tested tonight by a team that leads the Central Division: the Detroit Red Wings.

These teams were members of the "Original Six" teams when the NHL came into fruition. This year's Red Wings team has been injury-plagued all season long, having had 12 players out of action for at least a game. They came into the game coming off a loss to divisional rival Nashville Predators by a score of 4-1. However, the Bruins are coming off the most emotional win of the season in a fight-filled game with the Montreal Canadiens in which they won 8-6. Tyler Seguin and Mark Stuart were announced as healthy scratches prior to the game.

The Bruins came out looking emotionally drained to start the game. The Red Wings jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. As the period progressed, Tuukka Rask made some key saves to keep the B's in the game. David Krejci scored his 8th goal of the season on a nice pass by Milan Lucic. Bruins trailed after one by a score of 2-1.

The second period was arguably the worst period that the Bruins have ever played so far this season. They were out shot 11 to 7 and they allowed three goals in the period. The Red Wings have the second best power play percentage in the league, so I guess the B's are lucky that the Red Wings are only 1 for 4 on the man advantage. Not much for Jack Edwards to get excited about during these 20 minutes. Bruins trailed 5-1 after two.

The third period was a disaster. The Red Wings out shot the B's 15 to 8 and they popped in another goal. This goal came after Rask was replaced by Tim Thomas. The worst goal differential outing this season for the B's as they lose 6-1.

Gold Star: David Krejci (1 goal, 3 shots on goal)
Black Star: Brad Marchand (-3 for the game, 2 giveaways, 1 penalty)

If I had to chose an opponent for the Bruins to lose to, it would be the Red Wings. They are a classy group of guys who play very well together and are very well coached. We will be suiting up against them again real soon. See you guys on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Game 54: The Rivalry

Marc Savard will be shut down for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, an announcement that was not a shock to Bruins fans. The B's will be losing a quality first-line center and that is a position that is scarce in the NHL. Not only is Savard the best offensive player on the team (when healthy that is), but he also within the top three players in the division with Drew Stafford of the Buffalo Sabres and Alexei Kovalev of the Ottawa Senators.

Oh yes, that's right. There was a hockey game tonight, a game that re-newed the best rivalry in the histroy of sports in which the Montreal Canadiens visited the Garden. Montreal was 11-3-1 in the Northeast Division and was 3-0-0 against the Bruins this season entering tonight. Before the game, Claude Julien stated that Tyler Seguin will be a healthy scratch. He will be replaced by Jordan Caron. I hate saying "I told you so."

Both teams got off to a really slow start and both teams started off sloppy. Players from both teams were slipping on the ice trying to chase down loose pucks. However, the B's found their rhythm by scoring two goals in 12 seconds. Brad Marchand (15th of the season) and Dennis Seidenberg (5th of the season) were the goal scorers. It was nice to see Milan Lucic get that mean streak back at the end of the first period by shoving MTL goaltender Carey Price. Bruins led 2-0 after one.

It wouldn't be a rival game without it being close. The Canadiens came within one on Brian Gionta's goal 30 seconds into the second period. The Bruins later allow another power play goal when P.K. Subban ties the game at two with a one-time shot at the top of the zone.

But the story of the second period: we wittnessed a Donnybrook on the ice! All 10 skaters dropped the gloves after Marchand came in with a hit after an offsides whistle. Even Tim Thomas hooked up with Carey Price. The entire Bergeron line (Bergeron, Marchand, Recchi), along with Zdeno Chara and Steve Kampfer all stuffed into the box for roughing penalties. At the end of an intense second period, the Bruins led 6-4. Lucic added two more goals to his team-leading 23rd of the season.

10 goals total within the first two periods. Did I mention that these two teams have the number one (BOS) and number two (MTL) defenses in the league respectively?

The third period picked up where the second period left off as the excitement continued. After Montreal scored another power play goal, Michael Ryder scores his second goal of the game after having one waved off just seconds earlier. That is some poetic justice right there. Nathan Horton scored a goal to add to his five point night. The game ended with another Donnybrook. Gregory Campbell, ShawnThornton, Andrew Ference, and Johnny Boychuk all scrapped and all destroyed their opponents.

Bruins put up a snowman tonight as they win the game 8-6. 12 Bruins players had at least one point. Lucic and Ryder both had incredible games and David Krejci is back to his puck distributing form. It's a good thing Tyler Seguin was scratched from this game because he would have been lost out there.

Gold Star: Nathan Horton (1 goal, 4 assists, 6 shots on goal, +5 rating)...Horton also had three penalties and he took the walk of shame on two of them. Good thing you had a great game.
Black Star: Tim Thomas - I understand it was an exciting game, but you are supposed to be the front-runner for the Venzina Trophy. 6 goals is 6 goals Timmy...and we can't have you scrapping. Keep on smiling, but keep your cool.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Game 53: Lost Their "Mo-Joe"

In the late 1990s and the early 2000s, Bruins fans witnessed the emergence of Joe Thornton, an incredible young center who was capable of carrying a top line and having the potential to build a team around. Unfortunately, professional sports is a business and we had to let him go.

The San Jose Sharks visited the TD Garden for an afternoon game today, the same team that Joe Thornton was traded to. It's always a pleasure when he comes to the Garden because a lot of the Boston fans still have respect for him, as well they should.

Prior to the game, it was announced that Daniel Paille will be suspended four games for that questionable hit he delivered in the second period of the Dallas Stars game. Therefore, center Zach Hamill was called up from Providence to fill in the 20 man game time roster. He leads the Providence Bruins (AHL) in assists with 25 in 44 games.

This can only signify one thing: Claude Julien has no confidence in the rookie Tyler Seguin. Paille is a winger and I thought for sure he would call up Jordan Caron, who began the season in Boston and played very well. But once David Krejci healed from his concussion, he was sent back down to the AHL. Replacing Paille with Caron, a winger with a winger, would have been the logical choice. Instead you have Seguin and Blake Wheeler playing out of position and a 22 year old rookie centering a line in his first game.

The Bruins did not show up to play today. They only had 26 shots on goal. That is not a high number considering some goalies have 35+ shots targeted their way. However, the defense stood their ground. The B's didn't let up a full strength goal the whole game. They ended up losing 2-0. The first goal was a power play goal scored by Logan Couture, who will most likely win Rookie of the Year. The second was an empty net goal. Tim Thomas finished with 16 saves on 17 shots.

Gold Star= Zdeno Chara (4 shots on goal, 4 hits, 25:32 time on ice with 28 shifts)
David Krejci= You are such a talented player, but keep it simple. Too much passing can get you in trouble, just like the power-play goal the Sharks scored on a break-away from your bad pass. Shoot the puck!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Game 52: Seeing Stars

November 1st, 2008. A date that Bruins fans remember very fondly. That was the date when the Dallas Stars last visited the TD Garden. A game that produced a combined 146 penalty minutes between the two teams. Cheap antics by several Stars' players forced the B's to defend their home ice by finishing every fight the Stars' started. Well, they are back.

Although both rosters have been tweaked since that infamous game, both teams were first in their respective divisions. Tuukka Rask got the start for the home team as he tried to slow down Hart Memorial Trophy candidate, Brad Richards.

You knew something was up when Shawn Thornton was lined up as center to take the face-off. This set up Gregory Campbell to fight Steve Ott one second into the game. Campbell, Thornton, and Adam McQuaid all got into fights four seconds into the game. Campbell got severely cut by Ott (we all remember him). However, Thornton and McQuaid had their opponents seeing stars (pun intended).

How appropriate that the song "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC is on Shawn Thornton's playlist.
Andrew Ferrence must like that track as well because he dropped the gloves soon there after. Yes Jack Edwards, I was having fun.

After one period, it was 4-0 Bruins, highly reminiscent of their last meeting in Boston. Milan Lucic scored his 21st of the season and Patrice Bergeron adds two goals in the opening period.

Dallas grabbed a goal in the 2nd period to make it 4-1 after two. The story of this period was the "elbowing" match penalty called on Daniel Paille. As a prisoner of the moment, I thought the call was ridiculous. However, Paille was guilty. We might be seeing Jordan Caron again very soon. Bruins win 6-3.

Gold Star= Patrice Bergeron (2 goals, 1 assist, +3 rating)
Black Star= Dennis Seidenberg - Where were you tonight? We were down defence men most of the game and yet your name was hardly mentioned.

It a shame that a talented player like Brad Richards is on a team like Dallas. They are a disgusting group of guys who use these instigating tactics to annoy their opponents. They are a disgrace to the league. If we see them again this season, it will be in the Stanley Cup Finals.....and it's nice hearing "Dirty Water" at the end of every game.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Game 51: Hurricane Season Is Over In February

As the representatives from all 30 NHL teams cleared out of Carolina from the All-Star weekend, the rest of the Bruins traveled down there to meet their three teammates for their final game of the regular season with the Hurricanes. The B's are 2-1 in the season series entering the game.

Prior to the game, the league announced that center Patrice Bergeron was the "First Star of the Month," with 17 points (eight goals and nine assists) and a +13 rating in January...I guess that wasn't All-Star material? A nice consolation prize I suppose.

Anyway, we have a hockey game to get to. The Hurricanes completely dominated the first half of the first period. It took the B's leading goal scorer (Milan Lucic) to get into a fight to wake them up.

A monster hit from Steve Kampfer at the end of the period set the tone for the rest of the game. All-Star goalies Cam Ward (CAR) and Tim Thomas (BOS) had shut-outs after one.

Daniel Paille scored his first goal of the season with Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton on the assists. Minutes later, Jamie McBain leveled the game at one. A familiar face did some nifty puck moving as former Bruin Sergei Samsonov got an assist on the play. Score tied 1-1 after two.

On a side note, the RBC Center crew (arena that held the game) played a little too much Hinder during stoppages...might want to change that.

Nathan Horton scored his 13th of the season, his first goal in 11 games. Bergeron added a goal, increasing his point total to 41 on the season. Bruins win the game 3-2.

Gold Star (top player) = Patrice Bergeron (1 goal, 3 shots on goal, 15 face-offs won)
Black Star (needs improvement) = Blake Wheeler...Stay out of the penalty box! You have taken the walk of shame three times this season and that leads the team.

A word of advice for Claude Julien: if you are going to healthy scratch Mark Stuart, who is a solid player, for four consecutive games, then you might be setting him up as trade bait. Be careful and be aware.