Archive for November, 2008

Bruins solidify spot as cup contender in 4-1 win over Detroit

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2008 by theblackandgold
David Krejci had a goal and an assist

David Krejci had a goal and an assist

The Bruins are for real. The Bruins are cup contenders. It didn’t look like it in the first ten minutes of the game, when the Bruins were out shot 7-0, but the team got a desperately needed jump start when David Krejci made an excellent neutral zone pass to Michael Ryder who already had built up speed, and was able to split between two Detroit forwards. It was then a two on one with him and Blake Wheeler. Judging by Ty Conklin’s reaction to Ryder sliding the puck over to a ready-to-shoot Wheeler, he may not have seen that Ryder had an option other than shooting. The result of Conklin overplaying the shot was an open net for Wheeler, who made no mistakes, lifting the Bruins to a lead that they would not relinquish.

Despite the unreal amount of talent that Detroit has, they have struggled this season in 4 on 4 play, bringing a minus 5 goal differential into their game with the Bruins. Phil Kessel managed to make it minus 6 at 16:02 after Mark Stuart and Johan Franzen had been sent off for matching roughing penalties. After a great shift in which the Bruins had more than one good opportunity and kept possession deep in the Wings zone Phil Kessel received a pass from Shane Hnidy. Kessel took the puck from the side boards and circled into the high slot, and ripped a hard wrist shot, low to the ice, past a surprised Conklin, who clearly did not expect the shot. The Bruins had scored twice on their first 4 shots.

fernandez made 29 saves on 30 shots

fernandez made 29 saves on 30 shots

Manny Fernandez kept the Bruins in the game in the first period, making timely saves, especially when the unbelievably potent Red Wings power play went to work early in the first frame courtesy of a Petteri Nokalinen roughing call.

The Bruins continued to pour it on in the second stanza scoring at 8:01. Although the goal was scored by Chuck Kobasew, the majority of the credit goes to Patrice Bergeron, who did get an assist on the play. Bergeron picked the pocket of former Bruin Brad stuart deep in the corner of Detroit’s defensive zone and knew exactly where Kobasew was, immediately delivering a hard pass to his winger that was in the high slot. Kobasew drove a shot on net that managed to find the 5 hole opening of Conklin, who was then lifted for veteran Chris Osgood.

Those that know hockey knew that the Red Wings weren’t going to roll over, especially when given power play opportunities. The Detroit power play scores on roughly one of three power play tries, and they succeeded in doing just that at 16:25 of the second. While Blake Wheeler sat in the box on a somewhat suspect hooking call, Juri Hudler sent a cross crease pass looking for Johan Franzen. While the pass missed Franzen’s stick, it did connect with the skate blade of Marc Savard, who was dashing in from the slot hoping to clear out any potential rebounds. The Red Wings had life, and it showed. The Bruins were on their heals for the remaining 3 minutes and change in the second period.

The Bruins came out slow in the third, but managed to keep puck possession more and more as the period progressed. Finally, they were rewarded when Krejci scored at 6:51 of the third, to all but ice the game. Krejci was screening Osgood when Wideman took a wrist shot from the point. The shot hit Krejci in the leg, and the young center quickly found the puck in skates and jammed it home from in between the hash marks before Osgood could get set for the second shot.

The Bruins weathered the storm the remainder of the game, but also had some pretty good scoring opportunities of their own. There can be no doubt after this victory of two things; the Bruins are for real, and so is Manny Fernandez.


Detroit comes to Boston

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2008 by theblackandgold

This should be a good game. Keys for the Bruins will be staying out of the penalty box. Detroit has the top power play unit in the league, with a 32.3% effeciency rate, and no, that is not a typo. Detroit also played yesterday, so this is by no means a scheduled loss. Those who like fights in the NHL should rejoice, the Wings recalled Darren Mcarty from their AHL affiliate Grand Rapids today.

Tim Thomas will most likely start between the pipes for the Bruins tonight, but personally I would like to see Manny back in net today. He played well yesterday, making timely saves and controlling rebounds pretty well. Thomas is coming off an awful performance against Buffalo, and playing a team like Detroit could really destroy his confidence right now.

Look for Ryder to keep shooting the puck, as that method prooved affective yesterday

Look for Ryder to keep shooting the puck, as that method prooved affective yesterday

Big Win for the Bruins on Black Friday

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2008 by theblackandgold

The Bruins played against the Islanders at the TD BankNorth Garden today in what I viewed to be a critical game. The Bs had dropped an important game against Buffalo, a team they should beat, and are scheduled to face the potent wrecking machine that is the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. Three game losing streaks in this league simply can kill a team, and the Bruins looked to avoid p

Lucic sports the new Bruins Alternate sweaters

Lucic sports the new Bruins Alternate sweaters

utting themselves in a situation where they could easily drop three straight.

The Bruins dawned their new uniforms for the contest, but came out lacking that extra jump in their step, resulting in an early goal scored by former Bruins prospect Nate Thompson. It was a great shot, up over the shoulder of Manny Fernandez, who may have played the angle incorrectly.

The Bruins got their game on track at 3:28 of the second when Marc Savard threw a pass infront of the net meant for PJ Axellson to tip home. Axellson’s bid was saved, but Chuck Kobasew came from behind the net where he had set up Savard, and went right to the net to muscle home the rebound.

The Bruins began to dominate the game, playing physical, and finally landing their shots on net. An offensively struggling Michael Ryder broke out of his scoring slump when he picked off an Islanders pass on the sideboards, stepped to the middle to change his angle and scored while David Krejci screened the goaltender.

David Krejci wasn’t done, the young centerman set up Wheeler for a two on one bid just seconds after Bill Guerin had been foiled on a break away opportunity by Fernandez. Wheeler took the pass and ripped a shot
that was tipped by the stick of an Islanders defender and went top shelf at 6:48 of the third. Wheeler returned the favor, giving Krejci the puck after the opening faceoff. Krejci muscled his way to the net and roofed it for his 6th of the season at 6:58 of the third.

The Bruins were far from done. Wideman popped his 6th of the year on the powerplay, assisted by Kessel at 9:10 of the third. Almost instantly after the puck dropped in the back of the net, Lucic squared off with Brendan Witt. Lucic got the better of the fight, landing some viscous punches and scoring the take-down. 22 seconds later Tim Jackman dropped the gloves with Shane Hnidy, who left the ice surface with cuts on his face.

At this point the game was essentially over. Ryder, however did not get the memo, as he ripped a shot top shelf for his second of the game. Kessel followed that up with a one timer goal assisted by Marc Savard and Milan Lucic. Park also scored a second goal for the Isles. The Bruins climbed back atop the Eastern Conference and prepare to face the defending cup champions on Saturday at 7:30.

The Bruins Lost???

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2008 by theblackandgold

The bruins lost?

Its true, the Bruins actually did lose a game in regulation, to the struggling Buffalo Sabres. The team struggled in the first period, allowing a pair of Derek Roy goals. Tim Thomas was also not sharp at all in the opening frame, arguments could be made that both the goals should have been saved by the Boston netminder.

The Bruins were given a jump when Matt Hunwick managed to score his third goal of the season after hacking a David Krejci rebound past Ryan Miller. The Bruins had cut the lead to just one goal, and it looked as if they were beginning to control the game. However the goaltender that has won them quite a few games lost them them this one. Jochen Hecht took an unscreened, untipped slap shot from the left circle and beat Thomas to the far side. Despite the Bruins dominating much of the remainder of the game, they could only come up with one goal, from Kessel, and the final would be 3-2.

Thomas should be in the sin bin after that one, and should not get the start against the Islanders.

Bruins beat the Habs in shootouts courtesy of Blake Wheeler

Posted in Uncategorized on November 25, 2008 by theblackandgold

On a night when the Canadiens retired the number of possibly the greatest goaltender of all time, one thing was proven, Carey Price is no Patrick Roy. I must admit I had been impressed with Price last year, but like so many young goaltenders that break into the league, his sophomore season has not been kind to him, and the Bruins took advantage.

black wheeler accidentally puts one 5 hole on price

black wheeler accidentally puts one 5 hole on price

Despite the game going into shootouts I didn’t feel that it was as close as the score might have indicated. Although the Bruins were outshot 35-27, they had the better of the opportunities. The canadiens got two lucky bounces, that resulted in goals from Andrei Kotstitsyn at 1:31 in the second, and Tom Kostoupolus at 16:55 in the third. The second Habs goal was incredibly fluky, bouncing off a stick in a high arching pattern over Thomas’ shoulder to tie the game.

The Bruins on the other hand played like the best team in the east, showing great poise, patients while moving the puck well on the power play and keeping position in the offensive zone during five on five play. Lucic, while being taunted by the 23,000 at the bell centre, scored a pretty goal that would have made Neely proud. The big left winger skated hard to the off post as Kessel made a semi-successful move past a Montreal defensmen and dished him the puck for an easy tap in goal.

Rookie defensemen Matt Hunwick closed out the regulation scoring for the Bruins, getting a pass from the always patient Krejci who waited for the 4 on 3 to develop in the Canadiens zone. Hunwick buried the puck between the legs of a rather shaky looking Price at 9:41 of the third.

Wheeler scored the only goal in the shootout for the Bruins, mishandling the puck, but still managing to get it in between the legs of price.

Marc Savard on pace for 100 points

Posted in Uncategorized on November 20, 2008 by theblackandgold

In the spirit of making predictions after the first quarter of the NHL season, Marc Savard’s offensive accomplishments must be mentioned. Savard is on pace for 108 points, which would be the most impressive offensive season of his career. With 18 assists and 7 goals Savard is on pace for 78 helpers and 30 goals.

Here is how the Bruins scoring is projected to break down

1. Savard 30-78-108

2. Kobasew – 30 – 50 – 70

3 Kessel 39 – 22 – 61

4. Sturm 27 – 27 – 54

5. Bergeron – 13 – 39 – 52

6. Krejci – 17 – 35 – 52

7. Lucic – 22 – 30 – 52

8. Ryder – 13 – 30 – 43

9. Wideman – 22-17-39

10. Chara – 17 – 22 – 39

11. Wheeler – 26 – 13 – 39

I can guarantee that things will change, so now for the predictions

1. Savard -26 – 75 – 101

2. Kessel – 40 – 32 – 72

3. Bergeron – 25 – 45 – 70 (goes on a tear around January)

4. Krejci – 20-40-60

5. Chara – 23-34- 57

6. Sturm – 25-30-55

7. Lucic – 22-32-54

8.Ryder – 25-28-53

9. Wideman – 24-27-51

10. Kobasew – 22-27-49

Boston vs Buffalo

Posted in Uncategorized on November 20, 2008 by theblackandgold

The bruins gave up 4 goals in the first period, yet they still won. I’m sure many writers will blame the 4 goals on Fernandez, but I won’t. Poor defensive zone coverage and some bad bounces hurt the Bruins early, but they kept fighting, kept grinding, and most importantly kept shooting on a shaky Ryan Miller.

On the Bruins side of things, it was nice to see some guys that haven’t been scoring finding the back of the net. Chuck Kobasew got two goals, one a gift from line mate David Krejci and Buffalo defenseman Henrik Tallinder, and the other a tribute to his on-ice intelligence, banking a shot off Miller’s back and into the net.

Zdeno Chara also added to almost identical goals, both finding the back of the net after being shot from the point. The Bruins need more of this from Chara, his shot is so dangerous, and although the Bruins forwards have been moving the puck very well when a man up, the threat from the top of the umbrella formation is one that they need.

Kessel also added his team leading 9th goal of the year, and Savard had 4 points, including the 600th of his career.

It is always interesting to see how a team will persevere in the face of adversity. After a rough 10 minutes it would have been very easy for the Bruins to fold, but they have no quit. The B’s got a Jump start by the Krejci-Wheeler-Kobasew line, which has become the second best line ahead of Ryder Axellson and Bergeron. Mostly I was impressed with the massive turn around in the play of the blue liners. After the first 10 minutes it appeared that maybe the loss of Ference was going to be very significant. Wideman turned in one of his best two period stretches of the year, as did Chara. Stuart was very physical below the goal line, and Hunwick actually played pretty well. Hnidy stepped up and made some timely plays in his own zone, but I never want to see him on the powerplay ever again.

Overall it was a good effort. The score of this game probably should have been closer to 5-2 or maybe even 4-2 were it not for Ryan Miller having an off game and some fluky goals.

The Bruins are on pace for 121 points, 17 more than Montreal had last season which was tops in the eastern conference. It is still early but 19 games is a pretty close to a quarter of the way through the season, and a good time to check in on projections. For more on that, visit the news page.

Next game: Friday Boston vs Florida 7:00 p.m.