Saturday, November 29, 2008

GNH: Black Friday

Eight straight wins at home
Bruins trample the Isles
Walmart style, son

(You laughed, be honest.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

GNH: The Empire Slugs Back, 3-2

Can't give up shorties
To a desperate slug squad
Mind what you have learned

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I don't mean to go on a Rant here...

Some Game Day thought's before I sign off to cram my psyche and body with live sporting events, too much food/booze and a lot of football in the next 48 hours.

I miss Dennis Miller...but not on MNF - just the pool table and Tears for Fears playing

Thoughts on shitty Canadiens:

Ryan O'Byrne - where the hell did this guy come from? I feel like I haven't even heard his name in 3 games already against the Habs, and suddenly he's scoring on his own net to give the lowly Isle's a point and eventual SO victory? (see video here) This poor guy needs a hug and a Southwest flight to get away. Mercilessly, the frog fans boo'd the crap out of him even though the reply shows he CLEARLY didn't have a clue that a delayed penalty was in the works...thus the empty net. Though i gotta ask "WHY DONT YOU JUST WRAP IT AROUND THE FUCKING END BOARDS!!??"

Or Steal a purse?...

That's I know why i've heard this clowns name before. Last February, O'Byrne and Tom Kostopoulos were arrested in Tampa for, wait for it, grand theft!

"The situation involving the players arose when a woman set her purse on the counter top inside the bar and then noticed it was missing before alerting security. The bar's bouncers allegedly saw O'Byrne outside with the purse and the woman's cellphone in his hands. He was questioned by police.

"They approached him and asked him what he was doing with her cellphone and her purse. He said it was his girlfriend's purse. They asked him what his girlfriend's name was and he couldn't provide the name of his girlfriend," Tampa Police Department spokesperson Andrea Davis told the CBC.

O'Byrne was detained and placed in the back of a police car. Davis said that's when the situation deteriorated.

"There were several other hockey players around. One of them was Kostopolous. Police kept telling them all to back up. Everyone did except for Kostopolous," Davis said."

This is just phenomenal. Way to add to the blue collar reputation of the sport, boys. Fuckin morons. Wouldn't back up? what?!? When your buddy is getting eyed by some dude at a bar and his friend tells you to back up - go ahead and say no. When your teammate inexplicably, albeit it drunkenly, robs a stranger's purse and a Cop tells you to back up, survey says, you back up. I can't decide which of these two is less inteligent (though the own goal is evidence against O'Byrne) so we're moving on.

Atlantic Division - Yikes! This group is good, son. Of the 5 teams, only one is under .500 (aforementioned Isles are 9-10-0-2) and the top 4 are all 4 games above water or better. Think about it: NY Rangers? Ugly game already this year; Pittsburgh? League's leading scorer and his name isn't Crosby; NJ Devils? Maybe they're the pretender here, but they're 4 games over .500 without the best goalie of a generation and a 14.1% PP (worst in the east); Philly? Best PP and most goals in the east...ugh.

Guess what though - with the exception of Friday's matinee, and a late December matchup against the Devils and Pens each, the Black and Gold are off the hook against this division until 2009.

Speaking of schedule...

December is one wiiierd month for our boys. Starting on December 1, we play nine (count 'em, NINE) games against the Southeast out of a thirteen for the month. Oh it gets better. We only play Washington once in there. So the lowlight's are on there way to the B's. Every "stretch" can be called a test for a team if you put it in the right context, but pursuant to the note i made last week about how the B's "played down" last year, this month coming up will be a test of that development for the home town club. It all caps off with a 5 game in 9 day run leading up to New Years...all on the road.

Hunwick - I think this kid is worthy of mention here. That damn Lucic kid keeps grabbing our headlines, but Matty the Hun is quietly proving to be a very serviceable fill in for Andrew Ference. Good thing, too, because Ference had rattled off some of his best hockey this season. Here's a side by side look at there performances this year.

Ference - 0 Goals, 7 assists, +9, 22:27 mins of Ice Time (avg) in 16 games
Hunwick - 2 Goals, 3 assists, +6, 13:02 mins of Ice Time (avg) in 9 games
Considering that Ference was third on the team in playing time, JUST below Wideman, and that Hunwick has stepped in on the PK alot, this is pretty impressive for a young kid who just the other night, was seen diligently fixing his own mistakes after a turnover in his own corner. We're gonna miss Ference for the next 6 weeks, no doubt - but i like the cut of Matt's jib so far.

As for tonight...well, the Swords are an interesting bunch. Miller's been an enigma lately (perhaps explained by this discussion group about whether or not he A. has a gf and B. might have asked two separate girls for their number at a recent Bills game - WOW). The guy is an all pro, regardless of giving up 7 goals last time out (and Lalime is NOT a better alternative for them) and the Sabres have now dropped 5 straight despite shooting like a bunch of Arab's with joy rounds; they outshot Philly 40-25 in a shutout loss for crips cripes. Interestingly, as ESPN points out, Fernandez is 5-0-1 lifetime against the Sabres, with that one loss coming earlier this season in a shootout.

So two big questions stand out tonight...

Which Ryan Miller shows up, and can the Bruins keep the Sabres shot-happy offense in check?

GNH to follow, as always. Enjoy your churduckin.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Claude Julien: King of the Hub?

We’ve reached the quarter pole of the 2008-09 NHL season, and there’s no way that Claude Julien isn’t the league’s Jack Adams Award winner in waiting. That’s Coach of the Year for all of you people who want to turn the NHL into the NBA (and I know there’s nobody like that who is even allowed onto this particular web space) by crushing the old traditions that made the league great. I mean, seriously, how’s that revenue spike doing that came in from changing the Prince of Wales Conference into the Eastern Conference? So good that the premier sports entity in this country, ESPN, turned down broadcast rights to the NHL for $60 million after the last lockout. To put that in some perspective, the NFL’s last television package was somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.3 billion.

But I digress, back to Claude.

He’s even managed to find a way to beat The Frogs on a semi-regular basis and had all of Quebec’s nerves completely frayed going into Game 7 last year. And that with a roster that had a grand total of two 20-goal scorers (Marco Sturm, Chuck Kobasew), worst in the 16-team postseason field, the Anaheim Ducks No. 8 defenseman taking a regular shift (Shane Hnidy, who is still terrible) and a goaltender who got paid almost $4.5 million to be the team’s No. 1 and ended up opening the bench door all season (Manny Fernandez, who is still horrendously overpaid).

Claude’s been even better this year, driving the Bruins to the top of the Eastern Conference. Boston leads the 15-team field in goals scored and goals allowed – it’s pretty easy to go 14-3-4 in your first 21 games when you do that. The Bruins have added young talent (Blake Wheeler, who is an absolute stud, and David Krejci, who looks like a keeper so far), old faces (Patrice Bergeron, who is a plus-4 in 17 games) and have even managed to survive more disastrous signings by Mr. Magoo (Michael Ryder for one, the demoted Peter Schaefer and his $2.1 million he’s making in Providence for another). All of this has been thanks to Julien’s attention to detail and his insistence that Boston gives maximum effort every night out, making its style of play something that the team’s blue-collar, hardcore fan base wants to see.

Perfect example of what a genius this guy is: north of the border Saturday night, Milan Lucic was told not to fight Georges Laraque. That’s like telling Oprah not to yo-yo diet or Roseanne Barr not to be obnoxious – borderline impossible. Laraque wanted revenge for Lucic’s pounding of Mike Komisarek in the Bruins’ 6-1 thrashing of the Habs on Nov. 13, a fight where Lucic dropped Komisarek with a right hand that put Andy Brickley in serious danger of witnessing a Jack Edwards orgasm in the broadcast booth. Julien is smart enough to know that Laraque is a fourth-line butcher and that Lucic, who went on to score a goal in the second period on Saturday, is just a little bit more valuable to his team. Julien assigned Shawn Thornton, who’s about as graceful on skates as Terry O’Reilly ever was, to fight Laraque should he come looking for a beef.

No shock that Boston ended up winning the game in shootout, 3-2, and served notice to the rest of the league that the Bruins are for real. They have one man to thank for that.

(Editors Note: 'The Great 8' penned this one, I swear we're going to give him posting rights anytime now. When will then be now? Soon.)

GNH: Patrick Roy can't save the Frogs this time

Roy night gets spoiled
Luc legend gains momentum
Ole that, bitches

Saturday, November 22, 2008

GNH: Bruins Pound Some Kitty 4 - 2

Boynton back in town
Used to be our turnstile, now
a Luc punching bag

( has some good video here, until NESN decides to take it down that is.)

THROWBACK! (well, sorta)

Dateline, Boston, MA
Officially Announced on yesterday, the B's are unveiling a new "alternate" jersey this week. If you watched last night's game, you probably caught wind of Jack and Andy discussing just this, and also adding tidbits about how the Bruins are the only Pro Hockey team to (from day one) have the color black as a base for its sweaters. In fact, Jack claims Harry Sinden once threatened to sue the Pittsburgh Pens for their shift to black from powder blue.

At the cave, we don't believe in waiting. We try to demonstrate a bit of 2008 savvy (or just knowing how to hit a google search) and so without further order, here she be.

In addition to the jersey unveiling, the Bruins will be sending some key reps from the team to sign jerseys and promote YOU BUYING THEM on Monday, November 24th at 2pm until 3:30pm. The list includes Bergy, Chara, Lucic, Kessel, Savvy, Timmy and Wheels. They're their to help with you "shopping needs". No ladies, that doesn't mean you can get roofed by Lucic, but he might help pack your bag.

The B's are planning to debut the jersey this coming Friday against the Isles on a day in which, frankly, I'm GLAD the stock market isn't open because its

Friday, November 21, 2008

Your NESN Broadcast team: Where are the boobs?!

Pay some attention tonight to the game within the game while the Bruins rip the claws off the toothless the Florida Panthers. We all know by now that Blake Wheeler is a stud, Marc Savard could turn Tony Twist into a 30-goal scorer and Tim Thomas is the best goaltender to ever be left off the All-Star ballot.

No, I’m talking about the NESN team providing the coverage. There’s no telling what could be said by this group at any time, but I’m usually looking forward to it…well, that and seeing Kathryn Tappen’s smiling face.

Anyway, on to the breakdown:

Tappen’s an absolute smoke-show who, I can assure you from a couple of face-to-face meetings, looks even better in person than she does on camera. Does it really matter what she says? Actually, it does this year – she’s much more confident than in 2007-08 when she stumbled and stuttered her way through the season. Of course, I’d better not say that too loud – she’s engaged to former Providence Bruin and current New Jersey Devils’ scrub Jay Leach, further proof that hockey players are able to overachieve more than any other collection of athletes.

If she’d just let up on the church-going look a little bit and raid Hazel Mae’s closet full of tank tops and mini-skirts we could be onto something.

Our first analyst for review is former Bruins’ defenseman Gord Kluzak. Credit the guy for donating all of his knee cartilage to the Black and Gold during his playing career, but it should be obvious to anyone that Gordie Clueless has no business on this broadcast. Watch his head movement during his segments with Tappen – he can’t even look at her!!!!! He’s constantly focused on the wrong camera and makes it so awkward that all Tappen can do is be confused. A tip, Gord – just stare at Kathryn!!!!!! Any heterosexual male should be able to do that for more than three minutes at a time.

Every time I see Barry Pederson, two words come to mind – ‘Thank you’. Thank you, Barry, for being just good enough during your playing career in Boston that Vancouver would make one of the worst trades of the last three decades in the NHL and hand the Bruins my favorite player of all time, one Cameron Michael Neely, in exchange for your decaying body. Pederson’s adequate as an analyst, but he could call pull a Ron Burgundy and tell everyone in Boston to go @%$# themselves and it wouldn’t matter to me. Picture all those crunching hits and tip-in goals from the great No. 8’s career and you’ll see why Pederson gets a lifetime pass.

As usual, we’ll save the best for last – Mike Milbury is too good to be doing regional broadcasts. He should grow a mullet and send his resume to Versus, the NHL Network or ESPN. The guy knows the league, its players and its coaches, like the back of his hand. His insight into personnel and in-game adjustments makes me wonder just how he could have been so terrible while serving as the GM of the New York Islanders. Some things just can’t be explained.

Down at rinkside, we find Naoko Funayama doing…something. What exactly it is we don’t know yet. Does she add anything to this team? Does any sideline reporter really contribute anything (unless her name is Erin Andrews, of course)? I just want somebody to check Funayama’s pulse, because most of the time she acts like a robot who needs to be plugged into the wall and charged. I guess the best thing I can say about her is that she’s not Rob Simpson (think Shemp from The Three Stooges) or Nancy Marrapese-Burrell (now that’s a face made for newspapers and radio –

Up in the booth are the men who carry us for most of the night, Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley. Edwards’ arc as play-by-play man with the Bruins has been an interesting one – he went from down-the-middle professional for his first 40 games to semi-towel waving homer in the next 40 games to the full-fledged Ice Girl you hear now. Count how many times Edwards uses the good ol’ Howard Dean ‘Ahhhhhhhhhggghhh’ tonight, usually followed by a cliché like ‘What a hit by Lucic!’ or ‘What a stop by Thomas!’ You could set your watch to it. I like Edwards for his energy, but I always make sure I have the volume control ready when he decides to pull a Gus Johnson.

Brickley is the person in this group that I would most like to have a beer with, and that’s saying something considering that Tappen is still in the conversation. I have a borderline man crush on the guy. Brick still sees the game like the longtime professional that he was and is able to explain it to the audience like the guy sitting three stools down at Sullivan’s Tap. That’s the sign of an excellent color man, which Brickley is. Enjoy him while you have him – he could pack up and head for a bigger gig with Milbury any time he wants.

And so ends the review of the NESN announce team. I promise you won’t be able to watch the Bruins the same way ever again.

(Seriously, Kathryn, ditch the granny sweaters.)

Editors Note: This comes courtesy of 'The Great 8', a new contributor who needs posting rights.

Game Notes Haiku: Bruins take down Sabres 7 - 4

Goals came quick for all
Don't blame Manny for bad D
Lindy, your team ... woof

"Puttin' on the foil, coach!"

Steve Carlson (far right), aka Steve Hanson, makes his way to the Garden tonight for a clash between our beloved B's and a Florida Panthers team that is sporting a whopping 15 points (second worst in the NHL to the lowly Blues).
If you didn't know, allow me to edumacate: the first 10,000 fans through the turnstile get a free pair of the black glasses at tonight's tilt. Last year, it seemed like every time the Panthers came up on the schedule i had to hear about Nathan bloody Horton or some clown tearing through our defense inexplicably. That was your 2007-2008 Boston Bruins season...playing down to your opponents.

Let's not kid ourselves, this year's squad is much improved, even if what little media covers hockey around here is getting a bit carried away with a nice start to the season. Look for the boys to lay down some physical play once more against the Sunshine state's (gorgeous) lowly representatives.
Speaking of the hockey media (tumbleweed), I had the pleasure of visiting my home to the north this week so that you wouldn't have to. Nothing like landing in a driving snow storm in Toronto a week before Thanksgiving. The fact is, hockey is outright dead in the US media. In Canada? (not suprisingly) it's FUCKING EVERYWHERE!!!! The first 8 stories on TSN SportsCenter (yes, they call it the same thing and its basically the same set) were Hockey, and there were only 3 games played on Wednesday...Awesome. Here at the Cave of course, its nothing but hockey, just one of the many services we provide to the women, er, fans in Boston.

In other news, Scott Burnside, one of the the few remaining outposts of hockey reporting at ESPN dropped a quarterly review today. I won't chastise him too much for the fact that the quarter mark in a hockey season come after 20.5 games, and most teams haven't played 20 yet. In case you missed it, here's the link and his review of the Bruins, whom he rates an "A" - his highest rated team in the East.

"Go figure. The Bruins continue to play a tough, defensively sound style of hockey that makes them the surprise team to beat in the Eastern Conference at the quarter mark. Tim Thomas continues to prove he's the real deal in goal, leading the league in both save percentage (.944) and goals-against average (1.78). Milan Lucic has emerged as one of the game's toughest forwards and Marc Savard is on a 100-point pace." S Burnside, 11/21/08 ESPN.

Now Scott's no Bucci, but he's pretty on the money for a National guy who doesn't pay much attention. For my money, the guy to watch over the next few week's is Wheeler. If there's a poster child for staying in college and the benefits it can have on your rookie season (while getting out of having to go play for Phoenix!), this guy's submitting his application for the role. This is a guy who played with, not only Kessel, but Tomas Vanek and Erik Johnson while in school with the Gophers. I was worried about the Sturm demotion a few weeks back, but in retrospect, its hard to look at a line like Krejci, Sturm and Wheels and see this as anything but good. Remember, they're the third line. All 3 are over 210 lbs, and they're fast. Serious matchup problems for most teams with this bunch because the average team's checking lines are big, but they certainly can't move the way these 3 can. Keep your eye trained on them. They certainly don't have the flash of Kessel, Savvy and the other boys up top, but they're gettin it done.

That's it from the cave. Go B's, kill the kittens.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Segment!!!!111ONE!1

We watched the Leafs game with the laptop on the coffee table and a couple of high lifes in hand. The game notes could be quite long, so this might be the time to introduce a new segment here at the cave - the game notes Haiku.

Rydes gets game winner
Must chap old globe writer's ass
K.P.D., you douche

Reader Haiku's are welcome of course, so shoot us your best one in the comments section. Another post to come in just a little while - we need to get some dinner and beer for the Slugs game tonight.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Game Night: Toronto Maple Leafs

Early season NHL scheduling strikes again ... so what does that mean? Hockey on a Monday. We would say that sucks, but we like watching hockey. So for now we'll say 'that's cool'. Unless of course all these games over the next two weeks turns into a grind and the B's lose their momentum due to playing too many games in a row. The NHL has done a few things right over the past 2 years (see: automatic offensive zone face-offs on a Power Play), let's turn our attention to schedule next, eh?

In the meantime, we're playing another division game. Slauncha! These Leafs are a feisty bunch who aren't going to turtle like they did last time around, so don't get your hopes up for another blow-out. Our money is on a tight-checking low scoring game - something the B's have actually been pretty fucking good at this year. Come to think of it, the Bruins can score this year due to a number of off-season moves, some lucky, some actually well thought out - so any way the Leafs want to play it the B's should be able to come out on top so long as they don't forget how to fore-check in the 3rd period (Hi New York! Hi! You're welcome for that last game! Assholes.).

We'll check in after the game, in the meantime we need some Labatt and a sandwich.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This blog is vibrating!!!

If you have been so lucky as to stumble into our remote corner of the internet ... we're pretty fucking impressed because we haven't told anyone it even exists. But if you have, well done. We applaud you. Rene Rancourt pumps his fist in your general direction.

If you're like us you grew up watching guys like Neely, Orr, Bourque, Lemelin (was he even good? What about that mustache? More on this at a later date, I promise), the Sweeney Brothers, a young and not-so-shitty Glen Murray, and a host of other amazing combinations of facial hair and hilariously awesome last names. They were awesome to watch, even when they lost, and really encompassed a fantastic example of how hockey was meant to be played. They'd beat your ass, throw you into your bench, score a hat trick and then bang your girlfriend after the game. Now that's hockey.

The Boston Bruins used to mean a lot to Boston and if you're familiar with the recent history you know that since Bourque left people really just haven't given a shit.

Well here in the Cave, we give shit. We give a really big shit. We still watch every game anticipating the next Kessel toe-drag deke, Lucic fight, crazy-ass how-the-fuck-did-he-do-that Savard pass, simply terrifying Tim Thomas save, and maybe our favorite -- the Jack Edwards on air melt down.

So there you have it. We are all about the Bruins, hating the Canadiens, and promoting Jack Edwards for president. Check back soon for more legit posts and links.