Manny shuts out the Panthers, Bruins sweep Florida

Posted in Uncategorized on December 10, 2008 by theblackandgold

There was no doubt who controlled this game, and the scoreboard showed it. The team appears to be firing on all cylinders, with Fernandez being great in net, David Krejci and Phil Kessel continuing their scoring streaks, and Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler showing signs of being potential 30 goal men.

The Bruins got their offense rolling at 9:02 of the first, when Ryder was strong on the puck and slipped a shot past Florida goaltender Craig Anderson. After a crisp breakoutpass from Zdeno Chara that Krejci caught at the blue line, the Bruins successfully penetrated the Panthers zone. Krejci left the puck off to Ryder, who was on the right side boards. Ryder quickly beat his defender, toe dragging the puck to the high slot, and faught through a back checking panther to muscle a shot towards the yet.  Krejci, helped by a Florida defender screened Anderson.

As soon as Ryder found the back of the net it was clear the the Bruins were in control of this one. They cycled the puck well down low, and played the majority of the first period deep in the Panthers zone. For their efforts, the Black and Gold took a 1-0 lead into the locker room after the first.

These days in the NHL what seperates “snipers” from run of the mill goal scorers is accelaration. Rejoice Boston, we have our first potential 50 goal scorer since Cam Neely.

Kessel scored the Bruins second goal

Kessel scored the Bruins second goal

Kessel showed great acceleration as he jumped into the slot after a give and go with Dennis Wideman at the point. The space on Kessel’s off-wing opened up when Krejci brought the puck from the left point down to the goal line where he switched spots with Kessel, and gave him the puck as well. Kessel sent the puck to Wideman, who rotated to the middle of the ice, opening a lane for Kessel, and then sliding him the puck. With two quick strides Kessel was in the slot, and ripped a quick snap shot for his 16th goal of the year. Assists went to Wideman and Krejci.

The Bruins were done scoring for in the second frame, and Florida actually seemed to find some life after falling down by two goals. Again, the Bruins played tight defensive zone hockey, weathered the storm and kept the lead going into the third.

There a subtleties in Krejci’s game that sometimes don’t show up on the score sheet. He gets to the net and causes screens, sets up clean break outs, and is incredibly patient with the puck. Tonight, his efforts earned him three assists. He is now tied with Vincent Lecalvier, and Pavel Datsyuk, two elite centers, in points. He got his third assist of the night on the Bruins third goal when Shane Hnidy scored from the point at 2:21 of the third.

Krejci is on pace for 72 points

Krejci is on pace for 72 points

Krejci camped out behind the net and sent a pass to Blake Wheeler and immediately drove to the front of the net. Wheeler sent the puck up to a waiting Hnidy, who ripped a shot through the screen that found the back of the net.

The game was all but over at that point. Wheeler completed the blow out at 13:36 of the third, when he banged home a one timer on a two on two break, when Chuck Kobasew fed him a pass in the slot.

Manny Fernandez was rewarded for his efforts with his 15th career shut out and his first as a Bruin.

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Phil Kessel 3rd in the NHL in goals with 15, on pace for 51

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 5, 2008 by theblackandgold
Phil Kessel has come a long way since he was drafted in 2006

Phil Kessel has come a long way since he was drafted in 2006

Have the questions been answered now? 25 games into his third NHL season and phil Kessel has 15 goals, two fewer than he had in the regular season last year. Anyone still desperately hoping we can trade him? Kessel is third in the NHL in goals, ahead of Marian Hossa, whom many thought the Bruins should trade for Hossa. Does Charelli know what hes doing?

The Bruins haven’t had a scorer like this in a while. Kessel is on pace for 51 goals, the last time a 50 goal scorer pulled on the Spoked-B was in 1994, when Cam Neely scored 50 in 49 games. No suggestions are being made that Phil Kessel is a hall of fame calibur player like Neely, but its time to give this kid the recognition he deserves, and to pat Charelli on the back for sticking with him.

Lashoff and Boychuk make debut, Bruins come back to beat Lightning

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2008 by theblackandgold

The Bruins took to the ice against the Tampa Lightening, with three rookie defensemen, two of whom were playing their first NHL game.The resilient Bruins nonethless managed to play great defensive hockey, grabbing a 3-1 victory and picking up two important points in the race for first in the east

Dennis Wideman was a last minute scratch due to and undisclosed injury

Dennis Wideman was a last minute scratch due to and undisclosed injury

The Bruins recieved some bad news before the game when it was discovered that Dennis Wideman, The B’s best defensemen this season, would be unable to play due to an injury. No details of the injury were disclosed.

The Black and Gold were also without injured defensemen Aaron Ward, and Andrew Ference. The team turned to two Providence call-ups, Lashoff, and Boychuk to eat up some solid minutes, and the two even saw some time together on the power play in the first period.

Continuing their recent trend, the Bruins came out flat, and it cost them barely a minute into the game when Martin St. Louis slammed home a pass after linemate Vincent Leclavier beat Zdeno Chara and created a 2 on 1.

The Bruins looked dead for the first 10 minutes of the game.

The only good scoring chance that came out of the first for the Bruins was the result of a good forecheck from Patrice Bergeron (stop me if that sounds familiar) who fed Kobasew in the slot. Kobasew was robbed by Tampa goaltender Mike Smith.

The Bruins came out of the locker room with considerably more pep in their step for the second period. Phil Kessel was noticably the best player on the ice, having several scoring chances, including a 1 on 1 break where he ripped possibly the first slap-shot he had ever taken in the NHL, which beat Smith but rang audibly off the post. After several other scoring opportunities, Kessel finally found the back of the net. Lucic used his body to win the puck on the sidewall of the Lightning’s zone and cycled the puck slowly to a waiting Savard behind the net. Savard found a streaking Kessel in the slot with a behind the back pass, Kessel made no mistakes burying the puck five-hole.

Phil Kessel is in the midst of a break-out season, he is on pace for 51 goals

Phil Kessel is in the midst of a break-out season, he is on pace for 51 goals

Once the Bruins had tied the game, it was clear that it was theirs to win. They controlled much of the play in the second and continued to do so into the third. Despite strong play by Smith, David Krejci managed to complete the come back and put the Bruins in the lead. While killing a Shane Hnidy penalty, Blake Wheeler got his stick in the passing lane and broke up the play. Coralling the puck, Wheeler sent a hard pass to a streaking Krejci who found himself in a 1 on 1. “I wanted break away but lane wasn’t there,” said Krejci, who is still learning english. Krejci toe dragged the Lightning defensemen, and snapped a quick shot five-hole that found the seam between Smith’s pads.

The Bruins continued to dominate the play until Tampa was forced to pull Smith for the extra skater.  Tim Thomas made a couple clutch saves in the last minute of play, adding to his solid night. Marc Savard finally got the puck off a Milan Lucic clearing pass, and gave it to Kessel who was in alone, and scored on the empty net for his 15th of the year. Kessel is now third in the league in goal scoring.

It was a solid night for the Bruins, but they should not be satisfied. Despite getting the win they still have not solved the problem of the first few minutes of the game, in which they have been flat for the last four or five contests. The Bruins are off the ice until saturday, when they continue their Florida swing playing the Florida Panthers.

Andrew Ference put on the long term injured reserve, Boychuk and Lashoff recalled

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 2, 2008 by theblackandgold

lashoffThe Bruins made some changes in their roster today due to the lower body injury to Aaron Ward that will keep the blue liner out a minimum of two games.  Charelli started by placing defensemen Andrew Ference on the long-term injured reserve, meaning that Ference cannot return for a minimum of 24 days and 10 games, but as Ference is expected to be out eight weeks, that does not appear to be a problem. This move was made so that the Bruins could fit the salaries of two Providence call-ups, Matt Lashoff an John Boychuk.

Wether it is Lashoff or Boychuk that replaces Ward remains to be seen. Although Lashoff is regarded as the better prospect, and has played more NHL games (30) than Boychuk, (4) Boychuk has had the more productive season in Providence so far.

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.