One Week will Tell

This time next week the Bruins will be getting ready for game four against the Penguins. This week, however, the boys are still prepping for game one, set to take place Saturday night at 8 o’clock in the home of the Eastern Conference leading Penguins.

Everyone is giving long winded lectures rooting for either side of this matchup. I found myself stressing about this matchup more than the others, for the fact that the Bruins haven’t won against the Penguins yet this season. However as I listened to the broadcasts and pried into the three games we’ve had against PITT this season I’m a little more optimistic.

A recap for those of you who need one:

Tuesday March 12, 2013, Bruins lost 2-3 at PITT. Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin scored the two goals for us. Chara’s was on the PP. The Penguins came back with six minutes left.

Sunday March 17, 2013 Bruins lost 1-2 at PITT. Tyler Seguin had the only goal for Boston. The Penguins were without their star defenseman Letang, and the B’s even outshot the Pens 32-18 but couldn’t capitalize.

Saturday April 20, 2013 at Boston the Bruins lost 3-2. Brad Marchand and Seguin had the two goals for the Bruins. The Bruins came out fighting, literally with Adam McQuaid and Tanner Glass dropping the gloves after 8minutes. Both teams had 30+hits, and the Bruins outshot the Pens 40-24.

What these games have said to me, is REUNITE SEGUIN, MARCHAND, AND PATRICE BERGERON. Please. We need speed. Look at Marchand’s goal in the third game, he tore through the Penguins players and shot it up over the shoulder of the goalie. Speed is key, hell the assists went to Rask and Chara, and it wasn’t even a breakaway. That line had made four of five goals? At least play them together once, humor me, Julien.

Second, we need to keep throwing pucks on net. The weakness for the Pens is their goaltending. We have scored against the Penguins, it took a large number of shots, but it has happened. We need to keep throwing the puck at the net, and I think our defense will be key, as long as Krug and Boychuk keep shooting to score. Marchand and Bergeron are going to come up big if they can produce more of their dynamic duo goals, I think Seguin could help there.

Finishing our checks is another big one. Lucic came up with huge hits in game five, he is a big guy, and he needs to finish his checks. If he starts strong, hitting hard in the first game or two, his intimidation factor alone can help open the ice for him later. Krug and Bartkowski are checking better than the rest of the Bruins (except maybe Chara), and they have been able to come up huge.

Speaking about Matt Bartkowski, he grew up a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. He had pictures of Jagr on his wall growing up, and now he is playing with Jags against his hometown team. As long as Bart can keep his head on his shoulders, he should be a contributing factor.

People can argue that this rivalry isn’t really a rivalry. I am going to disagree. Back when the Penguins crushed the Bruins on their way to the Cup in 1991 and 1992, that still rings bells for long-term fans. I mean my personal grudge is still on Matt Cooke for destroying Marc Savard. Also this drama with Jarome Iginla picking the Penguins over the Bruins should have added fuel to the Bruins drive to beat the Pens. I know I would love to see the Pens lose to the Bruins just so I can laugh at Iginla. Bartkowski should come up huge just because he could have gone to Calgary for Iginla, and now he can help prove that the Bruins didn’t miss out with Iginla.

I think the Bruins are going to put up a huge fight, this is going to go to game six or seven. The Bruins need to play the full 60 minutes. We can’t have a repeat of game four against the Rangers, no sluggish play behind the net (Chara) we need to fight every minute of this series.

That’s my take. A week waiting for this game has my nerves stretched to their limits. It all starts tomorrow, we’ll see if the Bruins can turn over a new leaf in the playoffs against the Pens. The Bruins have been this far before, they need to focus and remember the amount of effort they need to bring every night.

Go B’s!

-Kaylin

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Rangers Fourth Line Revived With Whale Help

Back to the Garden for game five! Why not win it on home ice boys?

That would be nice, especially after the downfall of the Providence Bruins. They lost during game seven after being up 3-0 going into game four. The good news for the Boston Bruins is that we have the PBruins best defense, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski.

Krug of course who managed to net a goal.

Game three was all about Merlot. They walked all over Brad Richards, and the Rangers’ fourth line showed weak attempts to fight against the likes of Paille, Campbell, and Thornton. That all changed in game four with the addition of forwards Micheal Haley, and Kris Newbury. These AHL players had something to prove, and much like the outstanding work of Krug and Bartkowski they weren’t going to let the Rangers down.

So, I suppose spending fall semester tracking the Connecticut Whale paid off. With the Rangers calling up from their farm team for game four I found myself prepared and excited to see these players getting post-season opportunities. I’m not surprised that they helped the Blueshirts on Thursday night, as the two played big roles during the Whale’s season.

Haley was perfect to pull up to the lacking fourth line. This enforcer was new to the Whale this season; his five previous seasons were spent fighting on the Islanders. Haley racked up 170 penalty minutes, ten goals, and thirteen assists in 69 games with the Whale.

Game four wasn’t his first time up with the Rangers as Haley was called up in the beginning of March where he played nine regular season games. Torts must have liked what Haley had to offer, for when the Whale missed out on a post season, Haley was quickly added to the Rangers’ roster and made the journey to Washington with the team.

Toward the end of the Whale’s season, Haley found himself on the scoring line. Paired with center Kelsey Tessier and Christian Thomas, this line was affectionately dubbed the “Smurf” line as Haley stood the tallest at 5’10. In their first weekend together the line managed five of 11 goals against the St John’s IceCaps. Haley is able to hold his own in a fight, and plays smart with the puck. Just what the Rangers needed to counter the Bruins fourth line.

“You could put me against anybody and I’m going to do the same things… I’ve got one train of thought… Hittin’ and bangin’ and skatin’ hard.” Reported Haley when questioned about facing the Washington Capitals, guess not much changed when it came to facing the Bruins.

As for the AHL vet Kris Newbury, he made an appearance in the Rangers game one against the Washington Capitals this post-season. I really mean appearance, with only five minutes of ice time. This season with the Whale, Newbury scored 20 goals, had 42 assists and 127 penalty minutes in 70 games. Newbury was second on the Whale with goals, Brandon Segal holding first. Newbury was traded to the NYR organization in 2010 and has seen a handful of regular season games with the Rangers.

They also played Roman Hamrlik in place if the injured Stralman. Hamrlik was acquired from the Washington Capitals this season, and if his name sounds familiar it is because he played in all seven games against the Bruins last year in the playoffs. This was his first game back after playing for only 4minutes back on April first, 2013. He only played sixteen games this half-season and had only an assist and eight penalty minutes.

The Rangers played their best game of the series Thursday night. The Bruins need to get refocused, and play the full 60minutes during game five. The second Rangers goal was painful to watch, with Chara lollygagging behind the net. Sure Rask could have been ready for it, but I’m finding it hard to blame Rask who put faith in his Captain to get the puck out of their zone.

Anyway I guess I really just wanted an excuse to write about Micheal Haley.

Fingers crossed for game five!

GO B’S!

-Kaylin

Home on the Golf Range, Rangers?

Game three is in the bag! The Merlot line steps up and delivers in this tight game.

hadmeatmerlot

Me at Game 1 May 16th, 2013

The Rangers have struggled so far in this series. Their star center Brad Richards only played 8:10 of ice time tonight and his first (possibly only) shift during the third period was host to Johnny Boychuk’s goal. Speaking of Boychuk’s goal, it looked to me like he had help from Shawn Thornton, but as player 22 said post game, “As long as it’s in, that’s all that matters”. Our fourth line once again is proving to be an asset as they came up big, out playing the Ranger’s fourth line. Following game two, Gregory Campbell spoke of this line:

Three minutes into the third period of tonight’s game and Thornton and Campbell’s screening in front of Henrik Lundqvist helped the Bruins get on the scoreboard. Then with four minutes remaining in the third, the Fourth Line/Energy Line/Merlot line took the ice again to success. It wasn’t without a fight as the puck was determined to not go in the net, jumping high into the air over Lundqvist, and then hitting the backspin just right to bounce AWAY from instead of toward the goal line. Thornton thought it was in, raising his arms in victory but Daniel Paille saw the puck’s revolt. Determined, Paille swung around behind the net and whipped his stick in front to knock the stubborn puck behind the redline.

This 2-1 lead is the first time the Ranger’s have lost this season at home when leading going into the third, their record now 18-1. Lundqvist played his best game of the series tonight, shutting down breakaway chances from Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin in the first period alone. Let alone the number of really good chances the Bruins had.

A big problem in this game was with the officiating. I’m not going to spend too much time here, but there were multiple high sticks, including an especially bloody one on Zdeno Chara that went uncalled. Marchand was at the butt end of some Dorsett taunting, but 63 kept his composure, and Thornton jumped out instead to drop gloves. krugtweetsHowever Dorsett backed down, which is not uncommon when put up against Thornton.

Torey Krug was playing with confidence tonight. He led the Bruins with four shots on net going into the third. The next was Bergeron with three; then Soupy, Looch, and Segs with two. I would have loved to see him net his third goal in just as many playoff games. Guess he’ll have to start a new streak come Thursday night. Brian Boyle was going after Dougie Hamilton and Krug, trying to intimidate the young guys early, but both baby Bruins had no problem throwing their own weight around. You’re going to have to come up with something better for game four Rangers.

Speaking of game four, I wouldn’t get your brooms out just yet. The Bruins need to continue to keep the pressure on the Rangers. Johnny Boychuk spoke to the media post game and let it be known they weren’t going to take it lightly. “That fourth game is going to be the toughest one. Out of any team in the NHL, we should probably know that the best”. According to Claude Julien the atmosphere in the locker room is a lot tighter, hopefully they are in a playoff mindset, and out of their Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde phase.

I guess we’ll find out Thursday night. The Rangers are going to be fighting with a desperation to stay in this series, it is the Bruins’ job to not get cocky, to play their own game and win it.

I know I’m excited! & Not just because I graduated this weekend.

Graduation picture

Go Bruins!

-Kaylin

Bergeron Selke Finalist, No Update on Seids

“The best two-way player” is a common phrase that gets tossed around whenever you talk about Patrice Bergeron. He is well-known for being a fantastic defense playing forward. This morning he was listed as one of three finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, the trophy that he is currently in possesion of having won it last year.

“The Frank J. Selke Trophy is awarded annually to the National Hockey League forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game. The winner is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association following the regular season.”

The other nominees are Pavel Datsyuk from the Detroit Red Wings, and Jonathan Toews from the Chicago Blackhawks. Datsyuk is nominated for his sixth straight season, and has already won the award three times. Toews was second in face-off win percentage (59.9%) to Bergeron (62.1%), and is tied for takeaways with Datsyuk(56). All three of these players could easily take away this award.

Of course, we all want to see Bergeron take it again.

In other news, there was no update on Dennis Seidenberg this morning after practice. He, Ference and Redden were all MIA from the rink. Torey Krug was present however, so finger’s crossed he gets ice time come Thursday night. (I just really want to see him play okay?)

Cam Neely advises that while the Rangers “lack the speed [the Leafs] had… [the Rangers] will make up for it with physicality.” Hopefully Lucic can bottle that beast mode he unleashed in the last ten minutes of Monday night’s game and we can start finishing checks and bruise the Rangers up.

Incase you need an adrenaline rush, watch Jack’s reaction to Bergeron’s goal in OT.

Tomorrow night it starts again!
Get your rally towels waving, and Go B’s!

-Kaylin

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? CAN YOU?!

Lauryn and I, pregame game faces.

Lauryn and I, pregame game faces.

The Bruins came back from a FOUR – ONE DEFICIT TO WIN IN OVERTIME. I’LL SHOUT IN CAPS IF I WANT TOO. I was there and I can’t even put into words the emotions. The guy next to me was losing heart fast as fans in the ice seats started leaving around the ten minute mark. BUT THEY DID IT. Horton scores with nine minute back, and it was like a bleep on a heart monitor. The fans went from close to mourning to tense silence. Could they make the comeback?

My friend and I were on the edges of our seats. We pull Rask and 18:38 sees Lucic net one. Forget edge of our seats we were standing now. One more we needed ONE more. I stopped texting my dad the score after it was 4-2. Can’t jinx it. Don’t even think, no bad mojo coming out of me for that last two minutes.

We weren’t even finished celebrating Looch’s goal WHEN PATRICE SENDS A WRIST SHOT. CHARA TIPS IT IN. ITS GOOD. GOOD GOAL BRUINS TIED IT. FOUR-FOUR GREATEST COMEBACK WITH FIFTY SECONDS LEFT ON THE CLOCK.

I just watched the replay and still waves of excitement crash over me. I screamed, jumped, cheered, high fives all around! Unfreakingbelievable. But we still had fifty seconds left and THEY HAD A WICKED CHANCE TO TAKE IT. BUT IT DIDN’T MATTER BECAUSE OVERTIME. BECAUSE ITS THE CUP.

The hallway between the end of regulation and OT was crazy! High fives everywhere chants, cheers, I called my dad I think I left two crazy screaming messages. I didn’t even want to think of what was about to happen. Either they would win it and it would be the greatest comeback EVER (No seriously, its the first time this has ever happened), or they’d go out swinging.

I’m looking at the time of Bergeron’s goal now and I can’t believe that was really six minutes of play. It felt like one! Everyone was on their feet, screaming, cheering. And then he scored and forgettaboutit the place erupted! I was still riding the high when I woke up this morning. Wired for days.

I was keeping track of the Ranger’s game on the little scoreboard in the Garden. I stopped looking at it after it was 3-0, and after OT I recieved a text from my friend saying “5-0 Rangers, game one?” and I’m dying. My two favorite teams are playing against each other for the Eastern Conference Semifinals?! Shut the front door. (Sorry to all Dad’s work buddies, those tickets are MINE).

Ahhh I guess I can move onto the news portion of this program, Adam McQuaid was named as a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. “The Masterton Trophy is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Other finalists include Minnesota goaltender Josh Harding and Pittsburgh forward Sidney Crosby.”

Torey Krug is getting called up from Providence today as Dennis Seidenberg only played :37 seconds in last night’s game, and is out injured. Speaking of Providence Defense, Matt Bartkowski’s first ever NHL goal was last night in the first period. Not to mention he and Johnny Boychuk got the memo to throw body’s around. Good job for our D last night. Ridiculous.

There’s also a really good interview with Shawn Thornton here, and I’m not just saying that because he’s my favorite. I want to see the replay of his almost goal in the third. When asked if the Bruins were tired Shawn responded “No. Not now, I’m wired right now… I think this time of year that tired is just a state of mind, I think you can really fight through it, you can be tired tomorrow or the next day, but thats my personal opinion.”

Notable tweets from Charelli’s interview this morning:

We’ve got game one coming up Thursday night at the Garden! Game two Sunday afternoon at three, game three on Tuesday night, and game three is Thursday night. Game five if needed is scheduled for the 25th, game six next Monday, and game seven Wednesday the 29th.

I hope it goes to seven. Charelli said this morning that the Rangers “Play like us”, and it’s expected to be a low scoring series as both teams have phenomenal goaltending and a hard time finding the back of the net. Which is interesting as both teams managed to net five goals in both of their game sevens last night.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Keep it here for Playoff news and injury updates!

Go B’s!

-Kaylin

We caught up with Adam McQuaid and Dougie Hamilton post-game!

We caught up with Adam McQuaid and Dougie Hamilton post-game!

What Did I Tell You?

Did I not say the Bruins were going to drag this series out?

I did, didn’t I. Now we’ve got a game six Sunday night at seven-thirty. My dad’s pissed he can’t watch it. I guess that’s what happens when you grow up and get a real job. Game seven would be Monday night at seven. If it needs to go that far (please Bruins, don’t make it go that far). Granted if it does, I’ve got my hands on some premium balcony seats.

I really don’t have much to say on how they’ve been playing. Mostly because I have a not-real-life job and get stuck working game nights. I was hoping for overtime tonight so I’d be able to come home for some of the game. Alas no. But I did watch the NYRangers lose (boo) and the LAKings win (yay!). Playoff hockey is the best man.

I can write about whatever I want, and what I really want to talk about are the Islanders. Like who would have thought those little guys would have two wins over the Penguins? Happy days! I’m missing their game tomorrow because of work but I’ll still be cheering them on.

Baaack to black and gold, (see what I did there), after reading the post-game interviews all the guys are upset. Clearly. They lost, and a lot of them acknowledge that they weren’t playing the full 60minutes.

 
Oh I guess I do have things to talk about. Like Matt Bartkowski being called up for his first NHL playoff game. Claude Julien must really not like Dougie. Hah. Just kidding, Bartkowski shoots left, Hamilton right. We saw what having Ference on the off-side did to us the other night, and Seidenberg on the left side was just baaaad. Thus calling Bart up, to keep our players on their preferred ice-sides, is Julien’s motive.

It’s been a rocky playoff run for Ference, who had to sit out in Game 2. When talking to Globe staff he called sitting out, “Nerve-racking… You’re just sitting there. I think I probably bruised Daugy’s arm, hitting him so many times. You just hate it. But that’s the way it is.” (Daugy being the affectionate team nickname for Kaspars Daugavins).

Our team is hurting without Wade Redden right now, and who would have thought that seasoned vet was going to be what our team needed? His injury is day-to-day, so hopefully we will see him back on Sunday and our D will tighten up. From looking at the highlights those were some piss-poor plays from our defense. Ference and Boychuk are both looking pretty guilty tonight. Had I watched I would probably have negative commentary on Chara, but alas all I can say now is good for him getting our only goal of the night.

Fun fact: If we see a playoff goal by Jaromir Jagr this run he will tie Jean Beliveau for 10th on the all-time playoff goals list with 79 ^BB. Jagr is just setting all of the records with the Bruins.

Also the Rangers need to come back, force a game seven, and win this business. I do not want to face the Caps in the playoffs again. Every time I hear Holtby’s name I get increasingly violent. I’m just glad our AHL team came back and kicked their AHL team in the butt. Take that Hershey! Also for anyone interested, the PBruins beat the Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins 8-5 tonight in Providence for Game 1 of the AHL Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

Anyway, now that Finals week is over and I’m a graduate I will have more time to write posts full of nonsense like this one. So keep it here for more playoff fun facts and trivia and ramblings. I leave you with a quote from our extremely tall captain, Zee: “It’s the playoffs. You can’t be sitting on your wins or your losses. You’ve got to move on.”

And move on we shall.
Hopefully with more fire.

Go B’s!

-Kaylin

Never Underestimate your Opponent

If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far in these quarter finals matchups, is that anything can happen. Seriously, anything. The Wild and the Islanders are putting up the biggest fight against the Blackhawks and Penguins respectfully. Also the Leafs, the Toronto Maple Leafs, beat the Boston Bruins on Saturday night. How? Phil Kessel even managed to score Saturday night after not even having a shot on net until the third period of Game one. Talk about frustrating.

Granted, it might just be my luck, I knew I shouldn’t have made a bracket. If I get anything right I will be more than surprised.

This even counts for the AHL. Even the Providence Bruins lost their first two games against the Hershey Bears who were eighth seed, to Providence’s first. Just in this last weekend Providence managed to have a fantastic comeback, 5-1 on Saturday, and 5-4 today. Unlike the NHL these teams only have to win three games, making Wednesday Night’s game five one to see.

Back to the NHL boys. I don’t know what it is about the Bruins. They manage to underestimate their opponent when they feel they can be cocky. Saturday’s game is a perfect example. Toronto came to play and Boston thought they were going to ride a sweep. I knew Toronto wasn’t going to let their first playoff stint since 05 be a sweep, there’s no way they are going to go down without a fight. Now that we are headed into Leaf territory the boys should be more focused now than ever.

Joe Haggerty hassled Dennis Seidenberg about how they came out in game one and managed to flip a switch from how they were playing towards the end of the season. Apparently they were jesting too soon. We can only wait for Game 3 Monday night to see if the Bruins boys show up to play or if they’ll struggle through this round.

I’ll be with you throughout the playoffs so keep it here on Back to Black and Gold!

Go B’s!
-Kaylin