Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Still trying to sort out those post trade deadline feelings; Huskies host BU in regular season finale

The Predators got Peter Forsberg.
The Islanders got Ryan Smyth.
The Sharks got Bill Guerin.
The Wings got Todd Bertuzzi.
The Thrashers got Keith Tkachuk.
The Canes got Anson Carter.
The Sabres got Danius Zubrus.
The Pens got Garry Roberts.
The Leafs got Yanic Perreault.
The Stars got Mattias Norstrom.

The Bruins lost Paul Mara and Brad Boyes. The Bruins added Aaron Ward and Dennis Wideman. Dennis Wideman? And of course don't forget about Joey MacDonald too, a sure thing to improve our back end, right? I know I'm not the only Bruins fan a little sick of looking at the trades we make and trying oh so hard to the positives somewhere deep within. Certainly, the other 10 organizations that acquired elite players, playoff-tested veterans, additional scoring punch up front, grit and skill down the middle, etc. etc. etc. knew one thing for certain when they made these moves. The FANS would understand.

I don't think Bruins fans understand much of anything anymore.

All the players expected to be moved were moved before the trade deadline. But I heard little knows about action in the Boston area. Then it came, late in the day. It must have been a last minute move. Or maybe it just went way under the radar. Or maybe the Bruins know that this trade is another one of those mind busters.

What are we supposed to think about these moves? Sure, Boyes and Mara haven't put up great numbers this year. But Boyes is still very young and has rebounded a bit over the past couple weeks. And I really wonder if Aaron Ward in place of Paul Mara makes the Bruins a better team.

Chiarelli, obviously, is thinking defense first. And the Bruins have given up the second most goals in the league. Regardless, it is hard for me to see these young guys and guys that were just recently acquired leave town.

We will know very soon whether these additions/subtractions pay off.

Tonight we have a special Wednesday night matchup among the college ranks, as Northeastern hosts Boston University in the final game of the regular season for both teams.

The Huskies are currently in possession of the seventh of eight playoff spots for the Hockey East Tournament, pitting them against BU in the first round. However, a loss tonight to the Terriers and a weekend sweep of Merrimack by Providence would give the Friars the seventh seed, thus dropping NU to eight. An eighth seed for Northeastern means a trip to New Hampshire. A trip to BU or a trip to New Hampshire? Take your pick. At this point, the Morris-less Huskies are going nowhere fast, but a little momentum tonight could go a long way.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Panthers too fierce for these bears

Blogging is never as fun after losses like last night's 7-2 pounding, the sixth straight and fourth this season at the claws of those all too mighty panthers. I don't understand how that team has given the Bruins the most trouble all year. Four losses by a combined 24-10 score? Someone please explain that to me.

Regardless, the Bruins are still OK and return home for a huge game against an Atlanta team that has had more than its fair share of problems lately. I'll be up in the balcony for that one. If anyone needs tickets, let me know because I'm sure I'll be picking up a bunch.

We get an afternoon college hockey game today as Northeastern takes on UMass Amherst in the second game of a home-and-home this weekend. The Huskies lost 2-0 on Friday night and have struggled as of late, but Matthews Arena has brought the team plenty of joy this season and I suspect NU will rebound today at home. I'm curious to see what kind of crowd comes out - in my opinion, there's no better time to catch a game than a Sunday afternoon. If we had these every week, would football even exist?

And tonight out in Walpole at 9:10, I'll be getting my weekly skate in, hopefully with an improved performance after last week's stinker. I would hate to know how many giveaways I had..

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lightning Crashes

Ohh, now feel it comiin' baack again
like a rollin' thuunder chasing the wind
forces pullliin' from the center of the earth again
I can feeeel iit.

Wow does that song bring us back or what? It reminds me of all those summers spent in Chatham, Cape Cod. The nights my brother, sister and I stayed at our rented house with that babysitter, who I recall being very friendly and even a little innapropriate with us young kids. And for some reason, this song always brings me back to those times in the Cape.

OK. Enough of that. I have some extra time to shoot the breeze while my Spanish tutor continues to try to make it here. Our 11:00 a.m. appointment has already been delayed until now and now it looks like it's not going to be until 1 or 2. So much for my day! But you know as well as I that I will spend this time eating (done) and blogging about another big day of hockey.

Back to that song and its current relevance. Well as we know, the Bruins buried the Lightning last night, 6-2. That came after a 6-3 win in Philly and a more convincing 3-0 shutout at Toronto, thus giving the team three-straight three-plus goal wins, the first such streak since April of 1999, as ESPN so kindly informed us.

Perhaps what is most impressive about this 4-1 road trip (5-1 tonight?) is that it has come while the Bruins have been riddled by injuries. Alberts, Bergeron and Murray are three of our top five or six players and the trio has been absent for all or part of this trip. I don't think anyone would have predicted this level of success with the starting personel.

But as is the case with any injury-plagued team that finds success, the Bruins have found other ways to win. Tim Thomas is playing some of his best hockey of the season. The aquisition of Brandon Bochenski. for Kris Versteeg and a draft pick has proved to be even more important than I had hinted. He has posted six goals and five assists since joining the Bruins. I'm not sure, but my gut tells me he's probably our leading scorer during that period. Exception Marc Savard.

Phil Kessel has continued to impress me. The guy skates hard, and I do mean on both ends of the ice. We knew about his talent, so it comes as no surprise (although quite welcoming) that we see his skill set rise to a new level night in and night out. But look again at the Bruins first goal last night. Nothing pretty about that. Phil broke through the neutral zone, crashed down on the Lightning D-men, creating a mistake by Denis that led to Sturm's ugly opening goal.

But most importantly has been the much improved play of key guys like Brad Boyes, Marco Sturm. A few weeks ago, the Bruins don't get that kind of break. When you skate hard, the puck bounces your way. And as long as the Bruins continue to skate hard, I have faith in our postseason chances.

Northeastern dropped another game, a 2-0 stinker at UMass Amherst last night, so we're going to stick to the Pro game for now.

Despite all the positives we have to talk about right now, the Bruins could use another piece to add to their puzzle. Carolina, yet again a winner in the Rent-A-Player sweepstakes, aquired Anson Carter (last year a 33-goal man) for a fifth round pisser. And that's after rumors that any team looking for a piece of Carter's caliber would have to give up a piece of their future. So much for that rumor.

I have heard nothing of this, but how about Melrose, Mass. native Keith Tkachuk coming to his former stomping grounds and joining the Bruins. I think he would look damn good in the Black and Gold. The Bruins could definately use a guy of his size and skill set down low. Of course, there's Chara, but with Tkachuk, we would never Need to send Big Z down low on the PP. Although the havok created by both of them would be fun to watch. I would have no problem with the Bruins giving up a first round and a fifth round pick, or maybe a second and a third. Even Toivonen could be used as baite at this point with Tuuku Rask on the horizon. Keith has put up pretty good numbers this year (20-23-43, +3) and has scored five times in the last 10 games (5-3-8). We could even sign him for the next two or three seasons.

This recipe has the right ingredients, but it's up to Chiarelli to measure, mix and serve it up. And he's got about three days to do it.

Until then, we have some scoreboard watching to do, and some Panthers to chase tonight. A win and a 5-1 record on this road trip before heading home would do wonders for this team. And we owe the Panthers a pounding after coming out on the losing end five straight times.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pride and points at stake in Toronto

As the Bruins get ready to square off in the eighth and final meeting of the regular season tonight, both teams are well aware of the playoff implications of this game. Toronto, with 66 points, is deadlocked with Montreal and the Isles for that last spot in the East. Boston is just six points back with 60 points and has three games in hand on the Habs, two on the Isles, but just one on Toronto. A win tonight would be huge for Boston against a Leafs team that is 12-5-2 since Jan. 1, 9-2-2 since Jan. 16 and most importantly to the Bruins, 2-0 with 5-1 and 10-2 victories, the latter coming in Boston's own building. That's a 15-3 Leafs advantage over the last two games. That's not what I call a rivalry.

The Black and Gold have had their fair share of bad losses this season but none were as dismal as that thumping at home. Now with perhaps their last change to exact revenge on those Leafs and former keeper Andrew Raycroft, a Bergeron/Murray-less team must man up and take something, anything, if not points away from Toronto in this game. Without the assistant captains in the mix, the young guys like Kessel and Tenkrat who have thrived as of late will have to shoulder more of the load than they have been used to.

If this often-questioned rivalry formatted schedule means anything or has developed any sort of animosity between these two teams over the first seven matchups this season, it would certainly be evident tonight. The Bruins have an axe to grind. The character and enthusiasm they display tonight will show a lot about this team.

Last night's win in Philly wasn't easy but it was necessary. But even more is at stake tonight. There are many subplots. There's more to analyze. More to ponder. Last night was just a game we needed to have. Tonight is more. Before we even think win in Boston, I think we are all looking for a response. A message needs to be sent and it has to be now. One of these teams will elevate its game tonight and that team that refuses to lie down will likely be the same one we see in the race to the end.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Bruins get it done in an unusual game

I got out of the Northeastern women's hockey game at about 9:15 last night, fully expecting the Sabres to have already put the finishing touches on our very collapsible Bruins team. I had been checking to score in between periods and was receiving text updates from a friend, so I knew pretty much what was going on. He had relayed a message that said "tied now, most f***ed up shit just happened." That meant nothing to me. A 3-1 lead for the B's in Buffalo is nearly worthless.

I was thinking that I could have written the script for this game before it even started. "Boston comes out hard, showing desperation, and gets on top of Buffalo before the Sabres storm back, scoring three goals in just a matter of minutes before distancing themselves in a 5-3 victory." But it wasn't that easy.

Turns out when I got to Uno's just around the corner, the third period was just beginning because a Buffalo goal with 53 seconds left in the second period which was not initially signaled was then awarded as both teams were preparing for the third inside the locker room. Nearly ten minutes later, then B's emerged from the dressing room, forced to re-play out the final 53 seconds of the second period with the score tied at three.

It was a situation I feel like I've nearly seen and thought about in depth during those instances but had never actually witnessed until last night. The near save by Thomas on the play was a spectacle in itself. On what should have been an easy gift, a bang bang play, a sharp pass from Jochen Hecht across the crease to a wide open Briere for the slam dunk, Thomas somehow got his stick on the puck, deflecting it out of the next just as it completely crossed the goal line.

After allowing two goals in 47 seconds for the imminent temporary collapse against Buffalo, the B's bounced back with a decent third period. Both teams had their chances, although Buffalo probably had the better of them. After a scoreless overtime, both keepers looked solid in the shootout. Finally Tenkrat's snap shot found its way into the net on yet another reviewed play. Nonetheless, the B's walked out of Buffalo with crucial, and very strange, 4-3 win. Next on the menu is a very able Philly team and then red hot Toronto. Three points or more out of the next two mixed in with a few more Rangers/Islaners/Canadiens losses and we will be back in business.

Note: Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau have been nearly vacant from the Flames' scoresheet, despite a trio of high scoring games since the two arrived. And Ference is already looked pretty good.

And in college hockey, Northeastern blew a 3-0 third period lead in Providence, in "it's called Bruins" fashion. But last night, our team didn't quit.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

NU bounces back, Bruins look to do the same tonight; Forsberg to make debut

Northeastern's Bryan Esner scored on a nifty breakaway move and NU added a second goal at 19:59 of the first in a 3-0 victory over Providence last night at Matthews Arena. The Huskies looked pretty solid, even without leading scorers Mike Morris and Chad Costello. I fully expect Joe Vitale to have the best shot at the AHL/NHL after college at this point. Morris, now suffering from back discomfort, is really having a tough time staying healthy and finding some consistency.

Elsewhere in Hockey East action last night, BU knocked off league-leading UNH. NU will travel down to Providence tonight for the second game of the home and home series.

The Bruins will have their hands full once again tonight as they travel to Buffalo looking to bounce back from a bad loss to the Islanders on Thursday night. With the Rangers almost sure to get a win today at home against the Forsberg-less Flyers (Philly has not won a game without Pete in the lineup this season), the Bruins need at least a point to keep pace. It won't come easy.

A bunch of other good looking games to catch today. Atlanta and Ottawa meet with 69 points each. This is always an interesting matchup, which features the two big name guys in Heatley and Hossa that were swapped not long ago. The Minnesota/Nashville game of course is the game of the night with Forsberg making his debut. Look for the Preds to bounce back from last night's 1-0 loss to the Blues. But how about that lone goal by Bill Guerin last night? I'll be the first to admit that I thought his career in the new NHL was all but over.

The Penguins are not in action tonight but host the Caps and Ovechkin tomorrow at 3:30 on NBC. With points in their last 15 games, the Pens should get the best of this one. Again last night, this young group found a way to get it done, holding on against division-leading New Jersey, 5-4 win.

Unfortunately for me, I will be watching the 3-25-2 Northeastern women's hockey team take on Vermont tonight at Matthews Arena. Hopefully, that game will not go into overtime and the Bruins will hold on long enough for me to catch the end of the game around the corner at Uno's.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Poile picked Peter, Predators primed for postseason

The acquisition of questionably the best all around hockey player in the world has dramatically changed the playoff landscape as we head into the second half of February.

Before Predators GM David Poile brought in Peter Forsberg, his team boasted the league's best record at 39-16-3 and an even more impressive 21-4-3 mark at home. It's almost sickening that a team doing this well just got one Peter Forsberg better. If I was a betting man, which in this case I just may be, I would give some serious thought on this one. The Preds, at least for the moment, are not the odds on favorites. The slumping Ducks and injury-riddled Sabres share that distinction.

Coming out of the West will be no easy task, but the Preds have a lot in their favor right now. The home record speaks for itself. If the Preds retain the top spot in the West until the season ends, which looks like a very likely scenario, they will likely meet a team like Dallas, Calgary, Minnesota, Edmontion, Colorada or maybe even the St. Louis Blues. Calgary is probably the most playoff ready team of that bunch and they are 7-14-7 away from home. Minnesota shares a similar mark on the road. It would be an uphill battle for any of these teams.

Not to mention, I can almost guarantee that at least one of the 6,7,8 seeds will knock off one of the top finishers.

The Preds also have a great mix of youth and experienced guys and a whole lot of depth. Down the middle, we are now talking about Forsberg, 6'2 David Legwand (leads team with +28 rating and has 20-28-48 scoring line) and 6'4 Jason Arnot. All big, talented guys for the top three lines. Then you have your grit guys in Jordin Tootoo and Scott Hartnell. Experienced vets who still have tons in the tank in Kariya, Sullivan, Dumont, Arnott and Forsberg. A great rookie in Radulov. An excellent group of top four defensemen in Timonen, Weber, Zidlicky and Suter.

In net where it counts most, Chris Mason and Tomas Vokoun have put up almost identical numbers. Mason has a 2.35 GAA while Vokoun is at 2.38. Save percentages are at .927 and .921 respectively. Mason, the backup, has better numbers than the number one guy and has shown the ability several times over the last few years to step in as The Man when Vokoun has dealt with his many health issues.

The power play, at 16.8, is tied for the fourth worst unit of teams currently qualified for a playoff spot in either conference. Mr. Forsberg should give that unit a significant boost. Perhaps even a whole five percentage points. And he's certainly not going to hurt the penalty kill either.

Forsberg leaves the Flyers, the team he was drafted by, to join the Preds looking for his third Cup. He makes his debut when Nashville hosts the Wild on Saturday night. His 1991-92 Upper Deck rookie card (right) remains a bargain at just $10.

No team in the East, with exceptions in a completely healthy Buffalo squad and a Jersey team with Brodeur at his very best, will likely be able to match Nashville in depth, grit, speed, talent and goaltending come Cup time. Only Buffalo has scored more goals this year, but minus Afinegenov as of last night for a while and plus Forsberg for Nashville, I'm sure the Preds will overtake the Sabres when all is said and done. Pittsburgh looks great right now, but that ship will sail at some point. If not in the regular season, surely in the first couple rounds when experience really matters.

The Predators are having a franchise season, and with this move, they went from the league's top team in the standings to an instant Cup favorite as the most complete team from top to bottom. It's going to be fun to watch this team make a run at it. And for Forsberg, it could be his last attempt at another championship.

In the Hobby:
Stock up on issues of these Preds guys that are still quite unknown and undervalued. Rookie Alexander Radulov is among the top newcomers in the league, but his talents won't go unnoticed much longer. Take a look at the roster and there are plenty more little known faces to study up on.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Zetterberg "The Magician" zaps the Stars with Awe-inspiring pass and GWG

The Bruins game was great Tuesday night - a rare 3-0 shutout win that featured zero collapses, at least that the visiting Oilers were able to capitalize on. But what I witnessed in just 10 minutes last night before bed put visions of sugarplums and between the legs behind the back passes into my head.

I've always liked Henrik Zetterberg, who was dratfed in 1999 with the 210th pick by the Red Wings, one year after fellow Wings star Pavel Datsyuk was taken with the 171st pick. Astounding, isn't it?

These two guys were overlooked by a combined 379 other players. Now, post Wings era of Steve Y., Shanny and many others, these two guys are carrying on the winning tradition in Detroit, with a whole lot of flare. They don't just score. They score pretty. And Zetterberg is plus 25 this season (Datsyuk not far behind at plus 22). Below are some definitions of zap. Because that's the first word that came to mind that described what I watched Zetterberg and the Wings do to the Stars, on their home ice, in the last eight and a half minutes last night. They turned it up, silenced the fans and came out of Dallas with a 3-1 win that they flat out robbed from their awe-struck opponents. Watch that highlight real. It is The play of the year in my opinion - I can't remember even seeing a pass this great. He made a very good rookie goalie in Mike Smith look flat out stupid. OK - here are those definitions from

1. strike suddenly and with force; "This show zaps the viewers with some shocking scenes"
2. to attack, defeat, or destroy with sudden speed and force.
7. to add a sudden infusion of energy, verve, color, attractiveness, or the like (often fol. by up): just the thing to zap up your spring wardrobe.
8. to move quickly, forcefully, or destructively: high-voltage currents zapping overhead.
n. Something that imparts excitement or great interest.
9. force, energy, or drive; zip.

And here is that highlight real again from the Wings 3-1 win last night. Every hockey fan, especially those B's fans, need to watch this goal before they approach the TV for tonight's B's/Isles very important matchup. Biggest road trip of the year coming up.

Hobby Tip:
Zetterberg, once valued right up there among the rest of the superstar class of 2002-03, has dipped over the past few seasons. This season, he is showing why him and linemate Pavel should not be overlooked. They were underated from the moment they came into the NHL and have somehow attained that classification. Get his rookies now, while they are still well undervalued behind fellow classmates Nash and Spezza.

Monday, February 12, 2007

As much as we all would like to like this trade...

can we really? We have no choice but to accept it and see what Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobesaw can bring to the team. But as a Bruins fan or even just a fan of hockey, this trade simply brings us back to the Joe Thornton trade last season in which we acquired Primeau, Stuart and Marco Sturm for the reigning MVP of the league. Now, the trade looks like this:

Chuck Kobesaw, Marco Sturm and Andrew Ference for the reigning MVP of the league. I don't know if it's much worse now than it was originally. I was beginning to think Stuart was our best defenseman after Chara. He plays hard, hits hard, shoots well, moves the puck effortlessly and has a solid overall game. These are qualities you would expect of the No. 3 overall pick in 1998. Then again, Primeau was the 17th overall pick in 1994, and he isn't much more than a likeable guy and a hard-working third liner.

For quotes from all four players invovled, check out Bish's Blog. Ference and Kobesaw both sound like good character guys with some good stuff to offer. But of course, B's management is going to spin this trade to look as best as possible.

The trade story on the Flames' website reads like this. "The Calgary Flames have nabbed the most coveted defenceman on the market more than two weeks before the NHL trade deadline."

Now that may be a true statement. The Bruins, unfortunately, cannot argue that Andrew Ference, a former 208th overall pick, was among the most coveted defensemen on the market. I recognized the name but barely knew much else. Take a look at the Flames D men. The addition of a talented Brad Stuart just may push them over the top. Overall, they probably have a more talented and if not certainly a tougher group of defensemen than the Ducks. Not to mention the keeper behind them. The good news is that in last night's 7-4 loss to the Red Wings, both Stuart and Primeau were -1 and they combined for three shots. Still, imagine the pairing of Phaneuf with Stuart? Western Conference teams will have a tough time pushing through that duo. More on this trade later.

Now, off to the Beanpot finals. My prediction:

Harvard over Northeastern, 4-2, and BU for another crown over BC, 3-1.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bochenski "BB" a big pick-up; B's return home with two game streak

According to the American Hockey League statistics, the Bruins just picked up the AHL's top scorer and perhaps one of the league's best players. Brandon Bochenski had posted 33 goals and 33 assists in just 35 games with the Norfolk Admirals, a total that would likely eclipse the 89 point mark by AHL-leader Darren Haydar over 49 games. At nearly a 2-point per game pace, Bochenski should be a huge addition to the Boston offense, as he displayed last night, lighting the lamp in just his first game with the B's.

The trade itself appears to be a no-brainer and definately one in favor of the Bruins, for once. In exchange for BB, as I think I may now refer to Brandon, we sent right-winger Kris Versteeg and a conditional draft pick to the Blackhawks. Versteeg had posted a 22-27-49 line over 43 games with Providence. Good numbers, but nothing astounding. The one catch is Versteeg was still only 20, while Bochenski, 24, is a bit older and developed.

Still, I remember last preseason when with Ottawa, BB led the NHL in scoring on a line with Dany Heatley. Likely to play alongside the likes of other B's (double meaning) in the likes of Bergeron, Brad Boyes and also Savvy, he should be able to continue to put up big numbers.

It could even be enough to prevent a trade for other offensive prospects - we are looking pretty deep now, especially once Murray and Sturm are back in the mix.

On to last night, Zdeno Chara was the player of the game. He held Ovechkin in check all night long. And when it came down to the last shot in the shootout, The Thrill notched his third goal in three shootout tries. He may just be the Dallas Stars version of Jussi Jokinen, who led the NHL with 10 shootout goals last season. And Phil brings more to the real game as well. With two consecutive road wins and a trio of games at the TD Banknorth Garden to come, the B's (12th) have a chance to close that gap between them and the 8th spot, especially against Carolina (8th) tomorrow and against the Islanders (10th) on Saturday. Big Big games for the B's, the BBs Savvy, Timmy and the rest.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Just how bad are hockey T.V. ratings? This will blow your mind.

Hockey is no longer one of the "Big Four." We all know that. We know the All-Star got dismal ratings compared to past years. We also know that attendance in the NHL was the highest for the month of January since 1988 (or maybe 1987?).

Something I'm sure nobody could expect is the rating of a recent Devils at Panthers game, televised on MSG. 736 of 7.4 million households tuned into the action, as cited in Richard Sandomir's article from Friday, February 2 in the New York Times titled "It Takes a Village To Put These Ratings in Perspective." That's a TV rating of .01. A shocking number for the Devils, who average 13,206 households and a .18 rating. A few other team ratings: Isles (7,336) and Rangers (36,834).

To be fair, the Devils don’t always draw 736 local households to their televised ice soirees. They average 13,206 (based on a .18 rating), better than the Islanders (7,336), but far worse than the Rangers (36,834). The Red Wings lead the league at 96,915 households.

And here comes the kicker. Last Saturday night when the Eastern Conference best Sabres took out the Islanders, 5-3, 8,103 households watched. BUT. That same night, 10,271 households watched a National Lacrosse League game featuring the New York Titans and the Rochester Knighthawks. I'm going to leave it at that and watch the end of this third period with the Bruins Finally in position to pick up a win. But I'm not going to jump the gun just yet.

BOYES! BOYES! 16 game drought no longer

Before I post the bad news, us Bruins fans finally have something to smile about. Brad Boyes came out of the box and roofed the puck over Cam Ward with 52 seconds left in the second period following a Carolina onslaught of power plays. That's the end of 16-game drought and hopefully will be a sign of more scoring to come from Brad.

Only points will suffice

Boston sits 14th of the 15 Eastern Conference teams right now. Carolina, with 10 more points (58), currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot, so tonight is a big game. Any game right now is a big game for Boston, but I'm starting to lose patience. As was the case on Thursday, I will likely watch in relative silence.

I hope every hockey fan in Boston plans on attending the Beanpot. Although tickets are sold out to my knowledge, for a little extra cash, tickets can be had on Craig's List. All four teams have a legitimate shot this year and right now, Northeastern looks primed to make a run for it. BC is coming off a loss, BU a tie against ULowell. More on the Beanpot tonight or early tomorrow.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Worthy photos

Some good hockey pictures on the links below.
A picture is worth 1000 words. Especially the hockey baby.
The Bruins better fight like bears,
literally if they want to have a chance tonight.

Loyalty is my payment for trust

I am in the middle of reading Don Quixote for a class called "Cervantes and his times." Last night's reading brought together tens if not nearly hundreds of themes in just a few chapters: friendship, forgiveness, love, lust, perception, temptation, deceit, marriage, courage, loyalty, trust...

I got a call this morning from my Bruin ticket hook-up. He had been out of town earlier this week and apologized but said he still had five tickets kicking around for tonight's game, one which he explained should feature a few fights right off the bat. After watching and also tuning in and out of the last two or three Bruins games, I nearly vowed not to return to the Garden until they showed significant improvement. Maybe even a closely-contested loss would do. But here I am again, lured by promises of fights, a better game plan, immenent action, surely a better all around product, but most of all, by the undying loyalty I have for this team. I can't stay away. But I will stay away if their promise is broken, thus forging my loyalties.

And before the Bruins rush into a trade, let's quickly review what we've let lost over the past year. Joe Thornton, the league's Hart winner last year. Enough said. And on a lesser note but beginning to make his loss evident is Andrew Raycroft, the B's rookie of the year just a short while ago. He boasts a 23-16-4 record, a 2.94 goals against average and he has won his last three games while giving up just one goal in each of those (and also making at least 28 saves in each). Surely, the Leafs aren't a team with as much talent with the Bruins, right? They have held the Rangers, Hurricanes and Canadiens to a goal a piece in the last three games. The Bruins? 19 goals allowed in the last three games.

It's clear that one of these teams needs to realize and react, right away. See you at the Garden and hopefully, tonight won't be a gloomy one for the post-game bar scene.