Friday, November 21, 2008

"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.


  1. A quick correction - Wheeler and Vanek never actually played together at Minnesota. There was a gap of a full season in between there time there.


  2. Most impressive from Wheeler's time at UM: leading a team in scoring that features numerous top prospects, including past #8 pick Kyle Okposo. That's pretty sick, even if the team's record was pretty mediocre.