Friday, February 27, 2009

Game Notes Haiku: Roast that shit...

Even the mighty
Can't slow down Ryder-led train
Shoot'n 'em down, now

PS - The Cavemen are off to see the B's tomorrow as they take on the Caps.
Check in late in the day for a potential drunken update!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Turning Point

Michael J Fox once narrated the best hockey highlight video ever produced (by Lechmere of all companies) in 1990. Believe it or not, Mike Milbury was our coach back then and many old timers like Neely, Bourque and yes, Andy Brickley roamed the ice for our black and gold boys. In that video, there's a great game around thanksgiving where the Bruins came together as a team and began to go on a run that would lead them to the #1 overall seed, and eventually the runner up in the Cup finals. That game was a 3-2 win over Montreal with some of the most exciting goals i can recall in the regular season. Fuck Roy. Reach for the Stars ruled.

Last night's game had a turning point feel. I sat at lunch today with my Father, trying to guage his growing enthusiasm for the team he loves, but has been so detached from since those days when i was a kid. He brought it up before i could. "Boy, we sure didn't need any help finding the net last night!", he remarked. Darn right. As we talked about the game and its progression i found myself looking to the 3rd goal as really being the turning point. For 35 minutes, the Bruins didn't look ANY different than the Bruins of these last 4 weeks. We were up, but despite a 2-1 advantage in shots, we only held a one goal lead and were actually being run around our own end frequently giving a constant feeling of another shoe, waiting to drop on our defense.

Then something happened. It may have been Kobasew's hit and ensuing fight, it may have been the play of that 3rd and fourth lines (both of whom were the best lines on the ice all game) and it may have been nothing. We may have just awoken from a mid-season slumber, but somehow, Byron Bitz's slam home for a 3-1 lead triggered the most dominant 20+ minutes of hockey this Bruins team has played in a long time. Early on, shots would get through and no one would be there for the rebound. Passes would be made, but they'd be out of reach or bouncing (like a bad high school game). clicked. The rebounds were ours, and there were a shit-ton of them. The hits were everywhere and Timmy just did what he always does.

I really believe there was something different in the water bottles after the second period. That was a statement period. Florida is dangerous. They are young, energetic and fighting for a playoff spot - successfully at the moment. They're gaining confidence. On home ice, the B's did the necesarry. They sent a message. We are done rolling over. This is the team we have, this is the team we can and will win with. Chiarelli alluded to as much that morning, telling the Globe's Fluto Shinzawa that he was "apt to keep the young core together". The team got the message.

Now my concern still lies in the shaky D and more urgently, in the first line. Despite Kessel's goal the other night, they've looked at a loss in the offensive zone for weeks now. Kessel was all over the place last night forechecking, but he was also on a completely different page from Savvy in the passing game. Lucic looked like the smartest of the 3, and due respect to the young tough guy, but that shouldn't be the case.

Speaking of Lucic, i've been getting requests for fight video's of his, so here's a beauty with a pleasurable back story for my choosing it (aside from the fact that it involves last night's opponent). Back in 2005, i was in Cleveland Circle at the City Side bar on Marathon Monday. What's that equal, you ask? Drinking at 11am i reply. While doing so, i encounter about 6 Bruins players and a number of BC Eagle Hockey players at the bar. This began with the following drunken (on my part) exchange in the line outside the Men's room.

Me: (taps guy in front of me on shoulder) "Hey there, you probably get this alot, but have you ever been told you look exactly like Brian Leetch?"

Guy: "Heh, i don't mind. Yes, i have" (turns back around)

Me: "Sonofabitch, you're Brian Leetch! You're great!! You should re-sign"

Brian Leetch: "I would love to, but i don't think they want me back"

Me: (mumbles inaudibly, walks away embarrased).

Now this was two weeks after our terrible season had concluded and these guys were just trying to relax. In Leetch's case, he was reaizing his career was over and he'd have to start playing golf 330 days a year...tough life. To me though, it actually was great proof that Hockey players are the coolest, most humble professional athlete's out there, except maybe Curlers. Anyway, I proceeded outside where, to my amusement, i found Nick Boynton bumming a ciggarette off my buddy. Nick Boynton sucks. He sucked here. He sucks in Florida. He's slow...maybe its the fuckin CIGGARETTES!!!

I think that's the message Milan was trying to convey to him here...

Ducks tomorrow...Peking Duck.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Games Notes Haiku: Needs More Bitz, Bruins Show the Panthers the Door

You like them apples?
Byron gives the Cats a jump
My boy's wicked smaht

No Haiku For You

Executive decision (even though we have a sort of dual house system here, with the Caveman and I as two ruling powers...i'm like the house, he's the senate; he's got the real power since i don't get web design...wait, clearly neither of us do). Did i just digress into a run on sentence within a parenthesis?

Here's the decision: No game notes haiku following consecutive losses in Florida. They don't deserve it and more importantly, you, our readers, don't deserve to relive that crap.

On a positive note, Ryder is coming back tonight. Just look for the guy dressed like a college hockey player, it should be hilarious. Let's hope his scoring touch isn't rusty because we need some offense and some grit.
On a negative note, Manny Fernandez sucks. He's been awful lately. Look at his last four starts:
1W-1L-2 OL, 14 GA. He's given up four goals in three of those, and actually managed to win one of them. Since returning from injury, he just has not found the form he maintained in jumping to a 13-2-1 start in 2008. I'm not sure if i'm more pissed that he's losing us games, or that he's diminishing his trade value. I guess its both.

For the "completely insane hockey fan" out there, check out the newest sabremetric site to hit the web: Puck (this courtesy of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness). These guys just launched as an offshoot of the well known Baseball Prospectus, with some similar staffing/writers. I'm not kidding though, if you're tired, don't start reading this unless you really want to be lulled to sleep. There's alot of numbers in their first article...unless you LOVE stats, this might be hard to follow.

But then again, i LOVE stats!

In BEHIND ENEMY LINES for today, i discovered that Panthers fans are so excited about their team, that they can't update their blogs after opening day! The Miami Herald's blog did report (contrary to Bish's info on the Bruins website) that Craig Anderson will start for the flu-stricken Vokoun. Given that Anderson last was seen on the business side of a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of our B's, and Vokoun just punked us in a 2-0 shutout on Saturday, i like this.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

He did WHATS?!!!?@?@?

Ovechkin. Alexander. Boom.

As a hockey fan, it's impossible not to smile/jaw drop when viewing this. I will always endorse posting videos of this guy, because he's simply the most exciting player we've had since Gretzky. Fuck Crosby. He's great, but there's a reason he's on the Penguins...its where Lemuiex played, and Mario was always second fiddle to Wayne. Oh, and a lesser man might feel bad for Carey Price...but here, we just laugh at him. That he started the All-Star game is a j0ke.

So here. enjoy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Game Notes Haiku: Bruins Ruin Another Jersey Retirement, Down Canes 5-1

We'll take the big win
but maybe more important
Krejci is the one

Back to Basics

So, in thinking about the bad stretch of offense we've run into lately, i've realized that we just need to get hungry, angry and overall, feisty. Yea...i said it. It's time to intimidate our opponents again the way we did before Lucic got hurt in December.

Since i just don't have time to make a full post...i'll show you what i mean. Since the Whalers are tonight's opponent (i've decided that we'll no longer be calling them the Hurricanes in this space. In fact, we're calling Phoenix the Jets, Colorado the Nordiques and for fun, Dallas can be the Suck), here's a video of a great brawl from the late 80's. Watch for the little things, like Jay Miller giving a "how's your father" with his stick to some guy and Byers cursing out the guy he's fighting, quite audibly, on television.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Requiem for a Power Play

I am so close to throing things across the room right now. That second half of the game was as frustrating as I've watched all year. Anyone with me?

The Bruins' inept power play was the achillies heel again tonight. It could have opened up the lead in the second. It could have gotten them back in it in the third. It did neither. Credit an aggressive forecheck and high pressure from the Sharks.

Once again, as we have seen lately their effort and legs just were not there in the 3rd period. The Sharks got better, the Bruins got worse. But oh, how MUCH worse they got!

When looking for the proper words to describe the 3rd period I was reminded of Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park...

"Now that is one big pile of shit."

Thanks, Ian - that about sums up my feelings as well. They say 'You can't win them all' and I suppose that's right, but can we just maybe, possible, please, for the love of god not lose any like that again?

Monday, February 9, 2009 is lazy, unaware.

UPDATE - Well, it took them a whole business day but has fixed the spelling gaff from earlier. Way to go guys!


So I'm at work, poking around the intertubes and I go to Oh, they are promoting Sharks at Bruins, awesome. Should be a sweet game. The NHL is so excited to see Joe Thornton come back to Boston that they have an article practically begging you to watch it on Versus Tuesday Night.

"In fact, Tuesday's game on Versus will also feature former Bruin Joe Thorton's return to Boston for the first time since January 2006, just about a month after being traded to the Sharks. Thorton drew a misconduct for a high hit that night and left the game after just two minutes. So Tuesday qualifies as the Western Conference All-Star captain's first full game against his former team, for whom he scored 169 goals and 454 points. Thorton's San Jose run is 83 goals, 358 points and counting."

Wait. What's his name? Thorton? FUCK! Seriously?! We're not talking about some Russian guy who no one has ever heard of - he was the goddamned MVP of the league!

That's OK, it was only written by Bob Condor,'s Editor-in-Chief.

It's the NHL! Watch our product, buy our shit, but don't expect us to spell our best player's names correctly.

Now I actually want to do work. Great. Thanks

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cage goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark's in the water. Our shark.

"I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish. Not like going down the pond chasin' bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow you whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', an' down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back your tourists, put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant."
-Quint, Jaws
So here we go, folks. We've got the Sharks in town this week and it is going to the biggest test that the Bruins have faced all year. The Red Wings game was a great measuring stick early on, and this game will be a 'show me' game as the Bruins move down the stretch.

Well we don't see these West coast teams a whole hell of a lot in Boston. I mean, who are these Sharks? Why are they so fucking good? Lets see if we can't break this team down a little.

1.) Who scores the goals?


Joe Thornton12455721
Patrick Marleau26
Devin Setoguchi22
Bryan Clowe20

You may have heard of that guy at the top. He's like Marc Savard, if Marc Savard ditched the faux-hawk, got taller, stronger, and stamped a 'chokes in the play-offs' sign on his back.

Don't give them any power plays - then he sets up behind the net and feeds the point, the slot, and anyone else who gets a little open.

When not on the PP, Joe usually centers Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek, while the second line is the rest of the guys on that list above. Thorton is a point machine, but don't sleep on the second line.

2.) Who stops the pucks?

NameRecordGAASave %
Evgeni Nabokov
Brian Boucher

Nabokov has been around the block a few times (what a whore! oh!) and he's as solid a puck-stoppah as there is. Did I mention he's on pace for a career high record?

Nabokov is the workhorse of this tandem, but don't be fooled into thinking that they have a jobber backing him up. Boucher's stats speak for themselves and he's perfectly capable of jumping in and giving Evgeni a break.

3.) Defense?

Dan Boyle13263910
Rob Blake7243115
Marc-Eduard Vlasic4212518
Christian Ehrhoff61824-8

Dan Boyle is clearly the big shot on the Sharks blue line, and also one of the quarterbacks on the power play unit. Taking away his options will be critical to keeping the puck to the perimeter and away from Joe Thornton. As we know all too well, if you let Joe go to the goal from behind the net or off the half wall there isn't much anyone can do to stop him - disrupting the pass to him in the first place will be key.

4.) Wiley Veterans?

Holy shit - these guys are the ones who signed Claude Lemieux?! Is there a hockey player alive who doesn't hate him? The body of evidence against him is pretty extrodinary.

NOTE: Please mute your speakers/audio before watching this clip. The music that this guy set the clip to wreaks of 'I hate my Dad'. Fitting I suppose, because Claude most likely had some Daddy issues himself - though I doubt that's what Jef12321 was trying to get across when he made the video.

I think I scored 40 goals with Lemieux in NHL 98 on the original PlayStation. Not sure why I chose the Avalanche for that season - maybe because Joe Sakic was practically Jesus on skates. Anyway ...

Speaking of Jesus on skates - they have Roenick too?! Awesome. Though he never plays and when he does he's only a shell of his former NHL 94 glory ... but he's a local guy, and one hell of a model American.

Should be one hell of a game. I'll run a post with some more specific stats tomorrow - right now I'm going to watch Point Break.

Game Notes Haiku: Bruins Mail in the Second Period, Hand Two Points to Flyers

Undisciplined play
lets Flyers extend the game
Jones nets the winner

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Game Day: Flyers at 1

These fuckers again? (Have a look at this throwback to Lucic's name-creating days bearing number 62 and still technically a Jr. Hockey call-up)

Fine. I'd like to say that i will not be laying action on this one after the bruins covered a 1.5 spread the other night and i moronically parlayed the over with that pick...let's just say that didn't pan out.

Some notes from the trainer's room for today:

Lucic is going to be back, after a CAT scan revealed no break in his left foot. He skated at practice yesterday. Kobasew and Ryder (took a nice cut to the face Thursday) should be available, but the Globe's online reporting makes it sound ominous for Ward, who appears to be the next victim of the locker room flu. No word, of yet, on Hunwick's status.

In other news, we recently discovered a very well written blog by our friends north of the border at which has an awesome concept called "Behind Enemy Lines". In said section, the authors dubiously point to commentary from the upcoming opponent's blogosphere. I'm so moved to have been found, much less quoted, that i feel compelled to quoth the raven back, right here. This is what the Sens faithful had to say in their retelling of Brian Elliot's performance Thursday:

"Sweep the leg!: Brian Grasshopper, you grow stronger with each passing sun. Man who catch Phil Kessel wrist shot out of thin air, accomplish anything!"

Well done boys.

As for today's Behind Enemy Lines, well there aren't any good Philly blogs, so fuck Philly. Now, if you'll excuse me, the Caveman is sans vehicle, and needs to exchange his golf shoes. So it's "off to Saugus, we go".


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Game Notes Haiku: Holy Shoot-out Batman, Bruins Squeak by Sens 4-3

A classic trap game:
Bs play real sloppy and steal
game from reeling Sens

Just the tip...

Just for a second, just to see how it feels. It's a new segment i'm trying out, named after the ever-clever line in Wedding Crashers...Only here we're talking about a news tip.

Today's tip:
Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli guests on 'NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman on Sirius and XM radio. From
"NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman broadcasts live on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET on NHL Home Ice (XM Channel 204 and on SIRIUS Channel 208 as part of the "Best of XM" programming package) and The show will re-air on SIRIUS XM Radio, with archived shows available for download via podcast on "

Now i know what you're thinking. You're saying "this bonesaw clown thinks telling me about something 10 minutes after it's begun is a 'tip'? Screw him!"

Hey, look, depending on your age and disposition, that might be something we could look into; but for now consider this a friendly heads up that you would've stumbled onto sooner if you weren't reading my half ass-ed writing while killing time at work.

Since its already 4:10pm...go get the podcast!

Game Notes Haiku: Philly Can't Hang for all 3 Periods, Road Warriors Keep Rolling with a 3-1 Win

Bs take down Philly
With quick strikes seconds apart
Van Damme would be proud

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Philly Preview

Given that the Bruins are meeting the Flyers for the first time this season and in almost a year (3/15/08 being the last meeting), i thought some preview fun facts would be in order.

The Bruins took the season series, 3 games to 1, last year. You might remember game 1 (no, i won't relive the experience here) from such times as Randy Jones can lick my balls and if i ever see the fucker, I'm pulling a Marty McSorley on his ankle-bending ass.

Sorry...i blacked out for a second.

Here's a better, more random note: Aaron Ward potted the game winner in each of the final two meetings last year. Pretty good contribution, considering Aaron had 5 goals in 2007-08. Kind of reminds me how Thornton always seems to score against the Hurricanes. By the way, let's go off on a tangent to the circle that is Aaron Ward. This is a guy who, prior to this season, had a career minus 42. You read that right. That's bad. In fact, it is outright horrible. As a guy who contributes little offensively, yet is highly touted for being a solid veteran with good decision making, he sure sucks in this regard. But wait. What's that you say? He's a career-best plus 15 this year? He's a plus 16 in two (plus) seasons since joining the Bruins? Wow, way to turn it around late there Mr. Ward. In retrospect, the guy had a -23 in 02/03, so really what you should learn here is that i like to go overboard and in reality, one bad season on a bad team can KILL your career +/-. To be completely fair and rounded, I think Ward's physical play is highly under appreciated (except by Jack Edwards) and he's been a solid leader, at least from afar, to a relatively younger team.

Another random tidbit involves goal tending. In the 3 wins, the Bruins had 3 different winning net minders! Rask, Auld and Thomas in that order.

Not to be outdone in references, the Flyer's website notes that Martin Biron is "8-0-1 with a 2.00 goals-against average in his last 10 starts versus the Bruins".
Well FUCK THAT NOISE. I'm looking for the B's to continue their road tear of late (9 for their last 10) and slam some pucks into the twine behind Marty "Not that Marty" Biron. Let's just hope, for Philly's sake, Biron doesn't have a pregame ritual where he gazes at his skate's like this.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Would Brandon Bochenski do?

Everyone in town knows how that whole trade with San Jose worked out, and I will not re-hash that debacle in this space. Mainly because I will get angry and pass out, possibly breaking my 4 year old laptop in the process ... and I need this little f_cker to keep working for a while. I had the power to change things once, too. I rode an elevator at the Garden with Mike O'Connell when I worked for NESN - if only I had acted then, we might still have Jumbo Joe.

My failure to assassinate Mike O'Connell aside, I would like to point out a move that the Bruins current GM Peter Chiarelli might want back. No one is perfect, but perhaps you've heard of this Kris Versteeg fellow over in Chicago? Of course you have - you're thinking:
Your Brain: Say, that chap used to be on the Providence Bruins and now he's right there with Kane, Toews, and the Blackhawks youth movement. Sh*t, he's leading all Rookies in scoring. That guy is awesome - we must have gotten something pretty sweet for him, right?
Reality: You got Brandon Bochenski.
Your Brain: (Whacks you in the nuts with a car antenna to distract itself from the pain)

Yep. Brandon Bochenski. Where is he, you might ask? He's technically on Tampa Bay - though he hasn't played a game this season. Now you're thinking:
Your Brain: Wait a second, I remember him playing pretty well, right? I'm sure he had a decent game here and there. Right?

Reality: He was 0-6-6.

Your Brain: F*ck me.
Yep, he totally sucked. Did I mention Versteeg is a left wing? HA! Not like we could use one of them!!

So what's my point? Well I don't really have one I guess. Just wanted to make you think for a second. Who are you kidding - you're reading this to distract yourself from your job.

Quick, Alt-tab back to your email and look busy you slacker.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

GNH: Prison break jerseys and Canadiens both suck, B's win 3-1

Sweaters nausiate
but Waldo can't save the Habs
Thornton fights, scores, pwnz

Jack Edwards - Best Fight Call Ever?

"Here we go right away, Alex Henry who has just dressed for this game six feet six and two-hundred and thirty pounds who has no where near the goal scoring resume of Shaun Thornton. But hes got a big reach advantage over Thornton. Thornton drives him into the glass, scores with a couple of right! Ducks on lower right hand, Alex Henry is missing and missing again! Thornton goes in and hits him, then has to retreat and look for his space. THORNTON OVER AND UNDER AS HE SCORES ON THE BIG GOON FROM, um, THE EX MILWAUKEE ADMIRAL CAPTAIN WHO SPENT THE YEAR IN HAMILTON WORKING ON HIS PUGILISTIC SKILLS. HE'S DRESSED AS THE SIXTH DEFENSEMAN FOR THE CANADIENS BUT DON'T EXPECT HIM TO DO ANYTHING WITH HIS STICK IN HIS HANDS! IN FACT THE UNIFORM HE'S WEARING RIGHT NOW FITS PERFECTLY CAUSE THEY JUST RE-ARRANGED THE PRISON STRIPES ON THIS GUY! HE'S ARM-WEARY, HE'S GASSED AND HE'S GONE AND I DOUBT WE'LL SEE HIM AGAIN TONIGHT!"

GNH: one point twenty one jiggawatts!!!

Rask spectacular
Bloggers enjoy scalped tickets
View of the future?

Bruins win 1-0 behind Finnish Phenom