HOCKEY IS BACK!

Just gonna leave this here…

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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?

Looking to the Elder

I’d love to let you know that the Bruins won last Friday and are going to the Stanley Cup Finals, but if you don’t already know that somehow, you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog in the first place.  This article is about Jaromir Jagr. For someone who has scored download681 goals in his career, he has really decided to buy into his role with the Bruins. At age 41, the guy has become a solid set-up man and a great defensive forward. Not to mention we got him because Iginla chose the Penguins over us… But now he’s golfing.

Jagr has only had two goals since signing with the B’s, but has 7 assists in the playoffs. He has been playing with Bergeron and Marchand too, so he has been a critical line throughout the postseason.  Jagr’s tenacity was one of the main reasons why we won game 3 in double overtime. He dug out the puck and stole it from Malkin before giving it to Marchy who slid it across to Bergy for the winner.  All of the Bruins can’t say enough about the veteran. They love his work ethic and how much better he tries to get each and every day.

Former Bruins player and champion Mark Recchi and Jagr raised their first Stanley Cup in Pittsburg in the 1990-91 season. Recchi still praises his old friend. This is the first time that Jagr has reached the finals since the 1992 Stanley Cup.

A Hero Honored

Great game last night! Even their best game couldn’t stop us.

Anyway, I was listening to WAAF’s Hillman Morning Show today and they spoke to MBTA Officer Dick Donahue who was the officer shot during the Watertown Shootout with the terrorists responsible for the Boston Marathon Bombings. Popular Host Greg Hill asked Officer Donahue to tell a story about when Hill and Rob Gronkowski went to visit him in the hospital. Apparently, Gronk said something to the nature of (and I’m paraphrasing) “you know what would help you: if we got you some strippers that dressed up as nurses to bruins-thomas-and-raskcould come in here.” According to Greg Hill, Donahue’s wife then walked in and was not too pleased. But this is just classic Gronk and we can add one more reason to the list of reasons why we love the guy.

For those of you who missed it, Office Donahue was the hero that was brought out in a wheel chair to wave the flag before the start of the Bruins game last night. Hill said that Donahue should take full credit for the win, and the Officer laughed it off. He was a very modest hero and defines Boston Strong. Have a good day everybody!

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!

The Looch Saga

The B’s have been taking a lot of heat for a team that’s sitting in first place of their division heading into the final week of the season. And I’ll be the first to say that I’ve been right there throwing stones with the rest of the angry mob. So why are we complaining? Besides our Bostonian expectation of win it all or bust, it’s obvious that the Bruins just aren’t playing to their full potential. Come playoff time, the fumes we’ve Lucic Scratchbeen running on aren’t going to be enough to make a legitimate run at the Cup.

The sense of urgency and our ability to score has just been lacking, among other things. One of which being Milan Lucic. I love Looch, but there’s no denying his metaphorical absence. The Looch of old has been nowhere to be found on the ice this year. Lucic used to be our enforcer. Would anyone call him that right now? No. A lot of people say he’s gone soft since becoming a father, but I’m not buying it. Regardless, the Lucic we’ve grown accustom to over the years needs to return if the B’s want to win the Cup. When Milan Lucic is playing Milan Lucic hockey, the Bruins are playing Boston Bruin’s Hockey, the kind of hockey that won us a Stanley Cup in 2011.

As much as we are all complaining, things aren’t all bad. Although we are in first place, the B’s just need to pick up some momentum heading down the home stretch. And I think that starts with Looch. So here are a few throwbacks that might help build some confidence in the Milan Lucic we all know and love, so Lord Stanley can be returned to its rightful home in Beantown.

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B’s Options

With Chris Kelly out indefinitely with a broken Tibia, will the Bruins go out and try to make a big time trade before the April 3rd deadline? They have already recalled 22-year old Jordan Caron from Providence for 3 games, and could even play Jay Panalpho (38-years old) a lot more than they have.

hi-res-141630913_crop_exactThose would be the cheaper options, for sure. However, the B’s have quite a bit of money that they can spend.  They still have $7.6 Million in cap space. That should be more than enough to bring in a proven star.

The problem is, the Bruins don’t have many “stars”. They are such a balanced team and haven’t relied on any one player since Savard went down a few years back. One name that has come up in talks is 35-year old Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames. Jarome is a 15 year veteran and former first round draft pick. He has played his whole career with the Flames, and has proved that he can still play at his older age. Last season, Iginla netted 32 goals while adding 35 assists. In his career, Iginla has a total of 523 goals and 569 assists for a total of 1,092 points.

To put that into perspective: Zdeno Chara has played 14 seasons (albeit as a defender) and has only 470 total points. Bergeron has played 8 seasons, but only has 423 points.  Iginla has scored as many as 52 goals in a season and has only had under 25 goals twice in his career. With the Flames sitting outside of the projected playoff bracket, they may be willing to deal for a younger player. Not saying we will go for Jarome, but he has been the only one mentioned so far. They still have plenty of time to figure out a move that they want to make, if any..


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B’s lose tough one to rivals

The Bruins took on the Montreal Canadiens tonight for the 889th time. That is the most games between two teams ever. It was definitely an exciting one. The Canadiehi-res-136915692_crop_exactns drew first blood when they scored about 2 seconds into a power play in the first period. However, Tyler Seguin scored the equalizer less than two minutes later (Marchand and Bergeron assisted). But Montreal didn’t let that tie last as they scored almost immediately after that to regain the lead, which they held for the rest of the first period.

The B’s were able to tie it up again 4 minutes into the 2nd period on a goal from Bergeron. That was Patrice’s 5th goal of the season. Seguin and Marchand were credited with the assists. The Canadiens almost scored right away again but the Bruins got a lucky bounce, thankfully.

Rookie big-man Dougie Hamilton got the go ahead goal later in the 2nd period. It looked like Marchand might have gotten his 3rd assist of the game on this one, but they did not credit him with it. That is the 2nd career goal for Dougie.

habsIt turned into a normal Habs-B’s matchup after that with lots of hitting and fighting. Lucic drew a fighting major, and Mcquaid would have too if it wasn’t for the refs stepping in. Chara got in a fight shortly after that against Emelin. He took a shot at Seguin and Tyler went down, so Chara came to his aid. Emelin got one shot on Chara before Chara just completely unloaded on him.

The Candiens tied it up 5:30 into the 3rd as Tuuka was screened from seeing the puck. 5 minutes later Montreal struck again when the puck slipped through during a cluster in front of the net.

The Candiens ended up winning 4-3 after stopping many of our chances late in the game. Chara served 17 minutes of penalty time during the game after a 10 minute misconduct. Tuuka Rask finished with 22 saves.

 

Bruins Top Panthers

The Bruins traveled to Sunrise, Florida yesterday, where hockey should be illegal just because of it’s name. They took on the Panthers and got out to yet another quick lead. Milan Lucic scored his 4th goal of the season 8 minutes in to put the B’s ahead. David Krejci recorded his team high 9th assist. Krejci has been playing spectacular and is the Boston Bruins v Florida Panthersteam leader with 12 points. A little while later, Chara made an unbelievable spin move and backhanded one into the back of the net. He looked like a figure skater on the play, which is hard to believe from someone who is 6”9 without skates. Marchand and Seguin got the assists on that one. The Panthers were able to put in one of their own before the end of the first period.

The Bruins finally scored on the Power Play a few minutes into the 2nd period when Daniel Paille assisted Chris Kelly for his first goal of the season.  Other than that, the game was pretty back and forth. There was no more scoring until Paille scored on an open net with 1 minute left, but it was definitely fun to watch. The Bruins were on a penalty in that last goal and the Panthers pulled their goalie so they scored even though they were playing 4 against 6. That marked the first time this season that Boston has had a 3 goal lead. Milan Lucic made things exciting when he went after a guy who clearly cross-checked him and didn’t get the call, so he was pinned with a 10 minute misconduct penalty for retaliating. Tuuka Rask played well for the Black & Gold with .34 saves. The Bruins improve to 11-2-2 and will take on the Islanders Tuesday night.