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

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

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