The Series is TIED! Yippeeee Paille!

The Bruins are bringing the series back to Boston all tied up! These two games could have easily put either team up two, as both had to be determined in overtime. However, some things to point out…

In game one, the two Blackhawks goals that it took to tie up the game in the third were not anything to be super proud of. The first one from an ugly turnover by Mr. Torey Krug, and the tying goal bouncing off of Andrew Ference’s left skate. I’m not saying that the Blackhawks were handed the two goals, I’m just saying they had a little help.

I can give Andrew Shaw credit for his overtime goal, it was a nice goal. Granted the Bruins were playing down two forwards, Horton with his injury, and Thornton because Claude sees him as more of a liability. When really, Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley are just as big liabilities, if not more, the former was on the ice for three of the Chicago goals in game one, and Peverley has been invisible all season with only one goal in the playoffs.

Fortunately Kelly turned his game around for game two. The line of Kelly centering Paille and Seguin did WORK in game two. Just like in game three against the Rangers when the fourth line came out and won it for us, the Bruins are proving once again that all of their lines are dangerous. Common denominator being one Daniel Paille (Go Merlot!).

Now, to be clear I’m not whining about Chicago winning game one. The Bruins let go of their lead in the third like they had done a handful of times during the regular season. I am just pointing out that the Bruins could be up 2-0, and why I think so.

I mean Kaspars Daugaviņš could have just PUT THE PUCK IN THE NET instead of trying to be fancy and the Bruins could have taken game one in OT too. It was only game one, just unfortunate that Chicago won.

Looking at this from the other side, they could be up 2-0 as well. Every miss the Bruins made in their impressive game two OT could have easily lead to a Chicago goal.

This series is going to be tight, and exhausting if they keep this overtime pattern strong. Marc Savard picked the Bruins to win in six. While he was almost psychic with his predictions last season, he’s been a little off his guessing game this year. I picked the Bruins in five, so fingers crossed!

On another note, the pronunciations of the Bruins’ names by the NBC announcers is driving me nuts. For anyone who doesn’t know how they are pronounced, here is a funny video to help. Since it is the finals you would think they could learn 38 names. Especially the big names. Chair-a? Say-gan? No.

I think the Bruins will win the next two games. If they just play the whole 60minutes instead of giving up early (game one) and showing up late (game two). Actually make it 60+ minutes with all this OT stress. Come on boys you can bring it home again!

Go B’s!
-Kaylin

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One Down, Three to Go. Eastern Conference Finals.

What just happened? The Bruins not only beat the Penguins in game one, but they shut out the Pens in game one. The anticipation for game one was getting on everyone’s nerves, or maybe that was just me. Everyone would proudly boast that the Bruins were going to win, but there was a nagging doubt.

Michael Felger expressed it in a way I can identify with. He said the his heart was pulling for the Bruins, but his head was logically figuring the Penguins would take it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that this is only game one. Anything can happen in the next three/four/five/six games. But again, what the heck did we just watch?

The Penguins came out trying to play a mockery of what “Bruins hockey” is, and it backfired. If they had focused on playing to their offensive scoring strengths, we may have been looking at a different outcome tonight. However, they decided to try and put on this tough guy front and beat us at our own game. I don’t know why they thought Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were the guys for the job, the first trying to push our goaltender around and the next picking a fight with Bergeron? I’m still confused. It could be because Matt Cooke was thrown from the game.

Now I could go on a tangent about how Matt Cooke plays dirty and how much I hate him, but then Marchand went and made the same hit minutes later. Marchand was arguing that he “pushed” his player as opposed to Cooke who slammed into McQuaid. It doesn’t matter. The point is, hits from behind aren’t safe. Cooke should have expected to get thrown with his past history. Marchand could have received a similar five minute penalty, or what have you, because he just watched Cooke get thrown, he should have known better.

Also there is going to be no extra punishment on Cooke. Bummer, I really would like to see him thrown from this series before he takes a run at another guy who wasn’t as lucky as Adam tonight.

On a more positive note, can we just talk about what a ROCKSTAR Tuukka Rask was tonight? I mean there were some that were pure luck that didn’t go in (Chara’s horrible turn over being one), and the million posts Malkin hit tonight. Thirty saves tonight for Tuukka, and the one that stands out is when he jumped at Crosby, and made the initial save, and then made the save on the rebound. He came up big on so many levels tonight. The highlight reel of tonight’s game has GOT to include a number of his saves tonight. He had a crazy glove save too. I cant get over it.

Crosby must have awoken a a fire in Rask tonight. That shit Krej.

Speaking of David Krejci, he reminded all of his haters why we keep him around. Two goals tonight (the third from Nathan Horton), and his team recognized his efforts when Tuukka awarded him the Rangers player of the game jacket. When asked post game how he was able to keep such a level head and not get panicky during the games he responded “I don’t know… That’s just how I play.”

He was also compared to Crosby, which he declined. He went on to defend himself by saying that Crosby and Malkin “are the best players in the world. We don’t have guys like that. We have a team. We play as a team.”

A few other things I wanted to touch on before I wrap this up. The first thing has to be Shawn Thornton winning a face off against Crosby. I laughed. Granted, during the game they showned that Crosby had only won like a handful out of 14. The fourth line facing off against Crosby was amusing enough, but they held their own.

Also Torey Krug standing up for McQuaid was just the best. After Cooke’s hit on McQuaid, Krug gave Cooke the first shove before Kelly came in and roughed him up. D-pairs for life! Krug may be 5’9 but he’s built like a truck and will stand up for his teammates, something that is always a welcome sight on the Bruins bench.

Andrew Ference was back tonight. He managed to even rally up an assist on the first goal. This isn’t good news for Matt Bartkowski who was looking forward to playing his hometown team, but it is good for Ference. Claude might throw him a bone depending on how the series progresses as Bart has proven he can pull his own weight.

However Krug’s offense and speed are more in demand. The power play looked much different with Krug flying up from our end with the puck as opposed to Chara taking his sweet time to move with the puck. AND KRUG’S AWESOME SIDE STEP. OH MAN. Greatest. He has a finesse and patience with the puck that is just beautiful.

Side note, for those of you who don’t know. Tomas Vokoun is actual the backup goalie for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled last round for being awful. Needless to say the goal tending is definitely their Achilles’ heel, and the Bruins need to SHOOT to get goals.

As long as the Bruins keep their heads on their shoulders, realize that this series is going to be a tough, apparently physical, battle, and play the full 60 minutes like I believe they did tonight, they can beat the Penguins.

We’ll see what Monday brings.

Go B’s!

-Kaylin

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

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

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

Because It’s the Cup.

Boston Bruins with Stanley Cup

Boston Bruins with Stanley Cup (Photo credit: slidingsideways)

The Boston Bruins start their playoff run tomorrow night at 7:00pm against the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

The Bruins’ Playoff run ended abrubtly last season. A heartbreaking loss in OT during game seven against the Washington Capitals in the Quarterfinals demolished the chance of a repeat 2011 Cup run. 

The Leafs haven’t seen the playoffs since before the 04/05 NHL Lockout and they haven’t won a championship since 1967! The Bruins have won nine of the last ten games against Toronto, however this could still be an interesting matchup. In April this season the Bruins were 2-1-0 agaist the Leafs, one of the wins coming from a shootout. 

These Original Six teams sparked new fuel to their rivalry fire when Phil Kessel was traded to the Leafs for drafts picks, which turned into Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton, and PBruin Jared Knight. “Thank You Kessel” is a common chant when the Leafs blow into the Garden, along side a “boo”ing when he touches the puck. While Kessel scores big numbers for Toronto, leading the team with goals and assists, he manages to disappear when playing his former team. 

Joe Haggerty reports that Claude wants nothing to do with gossip about Kessel. It is not surprising since the two never really got along. Claude wanted to put an end to Kessel inquires immediately, “First of all, I have no intention of talking about other players on other teams… That’s got nothing to do with me… I can tell you Zdeno Chara is one of the best shutdown D’s in the league, and that’s what we utilize him for.”

Patrice Bergeron is positive about the playoffs. Having their first multi-day break since the end of March might have helped.

My NHL bracket has the Bruins sweeping the Leafs in four. However it’s no secret how much the Bruins love their game sevens, so this could draw itself out. It all starts tomorrow!!

Go B’s!

-Kaylin

President Tim Thomas… Too Soon?

The LAKings visited the white house today. I awknowledge that this is a Bruins blog, but I couldn’t help sharing this tweet from Pancakes, er, Dustin Penner of the Kings…

After careful consideration I’ve decided not to visit the White House today for political reasons LOL JK I’m not an idiot!Free trip? I’m in!

— Dustin Penner (@Dustinpenner25) March 26, 2013

It might be just me, but I found this tweet hilarious. I laughed at it this morning. If you don’t remember the whole Time Thomas debacle feel free to click here.

In short, he refused to meet the President in order to make a political stand. It was in poor taste, and clearly that’s what Tim Thomas is going to be remembered for instead of the amazing goal tending that secured the Stanley Cup for the Boston Bruins.

Anyway, I found Penner’s tweet funny and worth sharing. Especially if you, like me, found Thomas’s stand to be absurd.

Go B’s!
-Kaylin