STANLEY CUP FINALS TONIGHT! Do you know who to look out for?

The Boston Bruins SWEPT the Pittsburgh Penguins. I can say this to myself a million times a day and not get sick of it. If anyone actually had the Bruins in four, I’d like to firmly shake your hand. Bravo you.
The Bruins put every ounce of themselves into that series. They got under the Penguins skin in game one, and didn’t let up. There wasn’t an inch of the ice the Penguins could take before running into Bruins defense. Or even offense, the boys were everywhere.

The final four minutes of that game killed me. I had my hat twisted into a knot with an overwhelming sense of hope, dread, and anxiety washing over me. It was almost worse than game seven against the Leafs waiting for that tying goal.
However those games are behind us now as the Bruins move on to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals!!! Raaaaah!

How exhilarating. Second go at the Cup in three years. Fun fact, want to know a pattern? The Bruins won the Cup in 1939 and 1941, and then later in 1970&1972, and if the pattern holds up we’re looking at a pretty fun coincidence.

Another fun fact, when the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Cup in 1992, they went through the New York Rangers (whom they beat in 6) and they swept the Bruins, and went on to sweep the Chicago Blackhawks for the cup. Guess who was on the team? JAGR!

HMMMM.

In any case the Bruins seemed to have hit their stride. Tuukka Rask is proving how phenomenal he is between the pipes, having shut down Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin completely and only allowing two goals in the four games.

Why were the Bruins so successful? David Krejci shed some light,

The Boston Bruins pride themselves on their camaraderie. They work together as a unit, with all four lines rolling and crazy depth. Their depth was highlighted with the call-ups of Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski, and Kaspars Daugaviņš. The loss of Gregory Campbell had the potential to open up a gaping hole in the Bruins offense, particularly on their special teams, where Soupy and Daniel Paille are commonly seen fighting off penalties. However Daugaviņš was able to slide onto our third line, and I recall he had a wicked chance in the third to score.

I guess I should spend a little time talking about game one. Obviously the duo to look out for are Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. However just as dangerous is Marian Hossa. These three players lead their team in points during the regular season, and the playoffs are no different. They are all tied at 14 points. Duncan Keith is their leading D with the most assists (in regular season and playoffs), and someone to keep an eye out for when he is on the ice.

Another reason why Hossa is dangerous? He claims to know the secret to breaking Chara.

“I try to joke with him because he likes to be serious all the time on the ice,” the Hawks forward said. “I know he doesn’t like to talk on the ice. I try to throw some funny stories on the faceoff, make him laugh a little bit.”
Hossa knows these tricks not only because he was Chara’s teammate with the Senators [but] because their apartment buildings in the Czech Republic are across the street from one another.The Chicago Tribune.

It all starts tonight! Where will you be?

GOOOOO B’s!
-Kaylin

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

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

Getting on the Air; 98.5 The Sports Hub

I was fortunate enough to go to the Bruins game tonight. Fortunate? You say, but they lost, you also say. True. They did lose and it was horrible. That is not why I am so ecstatic though.

Positive notes, the tickets were free (Thanks Mom!), so the night was starting on a good foot. Then there was the bonus that it was military appreciation night, with the very fitting digital camouflage jerseys for warm ups. Adam McQuaid was back!! Which was excellent of course. (Well, not for Dougie Hamilton, who was a healthy scratch this evening).

Negative notes, Jordan Caron was on the roster poster they handed out, and I think this blog knows my feelings on him quite well. Second Brad Marchand was not playing, due to an elbow to the head from Wednesday night’s game . Third being that they well, lost.

BUT HERES THE BEST PART.

I GOT ON THE AIR.

FOR 98.5 THE SPORTS HUB!!!

So the game ends, painfully. The Bruins had the whole third period to spark any sort of fire to get their team going. Do they? No of course not. They stood there with the puck, not even waiting on a line change! Andrew Ference stood there just waiting for something to open up, which is the worst play I’ve ever heard of. And then towards the end of the game, final two minutes Chara decides to take a huge detour with the puck back around the Bruins empty net! You’re the captain for Pete’s sake why on Earth are you making bad plays. Chara to me seems like a giant liability at times, but that’s a story for another day.

So my roommate Amanda and I are hanging out in the parking garage listening to the Sports Hub, because well, that’s what you do after going to a Bruins game. All of the sudden, Adam Jones starts taking the loss out on Claude. Which is an act I’ve never been a fan of, I understand that being a coach you’re supposed to push the boys in the right direction, but come on! How is it Claude’s fault that the boys are making all of these blind passes (heads up, if your name is not Marc Savard, don’t bother), turning over the puck, and just not being where they need to be?

So big mouth me decides, you know what. I’m going to text in.

AND I DID. AND ADAM JONES READ IT ON AIR. BOOM.

Screen Shot - SPORTSHUB

But before he read it I decided no, you know what I’m going to call. And so I did. And then I recited my text to the girl and she asked my name and where I was calling from and put me on hoooold! And I was shaking and my stomach was in knots and it was a really exciting thing for me, because my dad and I listened to the Sports Hub driving home from every Bruins game I’ve ever gone to. It has always been a want of mine to call in and say my opinion.

So anyway, while I was on hold they put on the radio through your phone. For anyone who hasn’t worked in a radio station, there is a delay between the radio you hear, and the person actually speaking. I put my phone on speaker so my friend could listen also, when all of the sudden I hear him reading my text. Flailing occurred I cannot lie.

Anyway I’m still on hold, and they’re talking about my text and how I’m right and the boys do hold the responsibility (duh). They take another caller who decides to go on about… er the Pats or the Red Sox. I don’t really remember. AND THEN ITS MY TURN.

We were still in the garage and my phone started going in and out of service so I like jumped out of the car and ran to the wall and he’s all “Hey” and I’m like “hi I’m coming from the game and I haveafewthingstosay” and then I remembered to breathe and continued.

I talked about how Milan Lucic spent the entire night looking like a loaf of bread. Which they loved. No, seriously, they loved it. They made a sound clip of it and kept playing it over the next two hours. Don’t get me wrong I used to be the biggest Looch fan. Now not so much. Why was he put on the line with Jagr and Campbell? He’s not playing well at all and should BE demoted down to third or fourth line.

I also mentioned that the Bruins had no sense of urgency in that dwindling last 10 minutes of the third. I quoted Jagr from the other night when he had talked about not knowing how much time was remaining on the clock, and about Chara’s detour and how the Bruins didn’t want to win tonight. And then my phone cut out.

But there it is ladies and gents! My five minutes of Sports Hub fame. I feel like I’ve caught a bug now. Maybe I’ll call in after every game! Eeee exciting.

Also, the Montreal Canadiens beat the Buffalo Sabers 5-1 so the Bruins fell back out of first in the division, and down the fourth in the conference. Great game to blow guys, not. This was supposed to be an easy week.

Anyway before that ruins my mood, does anyone know how I could get my hands on the mp3 of last night’s Adam Jones show?

Thanks much! Go B’s!

-Kaylin