Who’s Ready?

Mondays suck a lot less when you have the Bruins on at night. It’s going to be a big game for sure, and the Bruins must be pumped to play at the Garden again.images The last time we came home for game 3 of the finals, we beat the Canucks 8 to 1. That would be amazing to do again, obviously.

Adam McQuaid told espn that “You run on adrenaline this time of year”, and it’s true. After playing as many games as these guys have, they need every little bit of help they can get. So if you’re going to the game and don’t plan on screaming your heart out, then give the tickets to someone else (preferably me). Let’s just hope the series doesn’t flip flop like the NBA is, and go back and forth. We need to take these two at home! Go Bruins!

I don’t want to jinx anything, but here are a few things that could be in our favor (from ESPN):

  • The Blackhawks have not won a game 3 this postseason
  • About 75% of game 2 winners have won the cup
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How They Match Up

It’s no secret that the Blackhawks were the best team in the NHL during the regular season. I mean, they didn’t lose for the first 24 games of the season. They didn’t fall off much after that, losing only 7 games the rest of the season. The playoffs are a lot closer, though. The last time we played the Hawks was almost two years ago when we beat them in a shootout during the regular season. That is hardly an indication of what’s to come. Many writers and analysts have already said that this could be one of the best Cup Finals in a long, long time. Both teams have won the Cup in the past 3 seasons. Here is how the match up:

REGULAR Season Bruins Blackhawks
Wins 28 36
Losses 14 7
Points 62 77
Goals Scored 131 155
Goals Against 109 102

And now for the playoffs:

Postseason Bruins Blackhawks
Wins 12 12
Losses 4 5
Points For per Game 3.1 2.8
Points Allowed per Game 1.9 1.9
Home Record 7-2 9-1
Road Record 5-2 3-4

What do you think will happen in the series?

Goaltenders Equal?

I read an interesting article on ESPN earlier about the difference between the way Tuuka Rask is playing during the playoffs this season and the way that Tim Thomas did two years ago when we won the cup. Thomas won the Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe that season and was clearly the leading factor in why we brought the cup back to Boston. He was phenomenal. But now he left us and we needed to fill those shoes. Tuuka is a lot younger and doing just that.bruins-thomas-and-rask

Through the first 13 games of each year’s playoffs (2011 and 2013), their records are identical, 9 wins, 4 losses. However, and much to my surprise, Tuuka’s numbers are better. Maybe it’s just because Thomas did it first, and now we just expect it from everyone, but I would have thought it would be the other way around. Rask has allowed 2.10 Goals per game and sported a .933 save percentage. Thomas allowed 2.39 Goals and had a .927 save percentage.

Granted, Thomas was a lot more interesting to watch because he would fly out of nowhere and make the save, whereas Rask is typically in the right place. Except when he leaves his net and goes out 10 feet. But either way, we are going to need him to keep playing this well if we want to bring home another cup. Go Bruins!

Bruins Take Care of Ducks

The Bruins took care of business against the Ducks last night and Marty Turco earned his first W as a Boston Bruin with some fine play in net. Last night’s game wraps up the Bruins three-game West coast road trip (2-1-0) with the B’s coming back to Boston for a Tuesday night game with the pesky Lightening. With only a handful of games remaining in the regular season, it looks like the Bruins will nab the number two or three seed in the Eastern Conference.

Last night, Big Z, Pouliot, and Brian Rolston all tallied goals. Rolston’s goal was particularly nice because it resulted from a nice breakout pass, some fancy footwork and nice feed from Chris Kelly. From there Rolston delivered a snipe pass Jonas Hiller that rang the post and then in. The Kelly-Pouliot-Rolston line has been effective since Claude has put them together and I would expect to see that line continue to stay in-tact even with Rich Peverley’s return to the ice for two reasons. First, the KPR has been good over the last couple games, finally getting Rolston involved, and secondly having Peverley and Marchand as Bergeron’s two wingers makes for a dynamic line with a lot of speed to burn.

Bruins Get Blanked

Senators goaltender Robin Lehner (20 years old) made himself known to the Bruins faithful last night when he registered 32 saves and his first career shutout. Young defenseman (21 days younger than me, hard to believe) Erik Karlsson tallied the only goal for Ottawa on a gift powerplay. Tyler Seguin was called for a phantom interference penalty which ended up costing the B’s the game. Although, the Bruins did not exactly play their best in the first two periods (more like terrible) they came out strong in the third, but playing catch-up hockey is not this team’s strength. They are dominant when they score first, so these sluggish starts are killing them. Not to take anything away from Lehner, but the Bruins should have buried the puck on a couple of chances. Even though Lehner was great in net, guys like Bergeron and Marchand need to finish strong. After posting five goals on these guys a couple of nights ago on the road, it’s kind of unacceptable to come home and get shut-out considering Ottawa has sneakily crept up to within one point of the Northeast division leading Bruins. Ottawa has won six of seven and the B’s have lost four of six. The Bruins have a game tomorrow vs. the Devils and Saturday vs. the Islanders before a big showdown with the New York Rangers on Sunday afternoon. I would like to see this team get a little momentum heading into a potential Eastern Conference finals matchup, by winning these next two by reestablishing their checking game, outskating their opponents, and causing turnovers. When they stick to this formula, its plain and simple, they win games.