Archive for September, 2010

Bruins Belfast Bound

September 29, 2010

boston bruins ireland

Guinness anyone?

I know my old pal Gonz/Odd Brian wouldn’t mind attacking a pint or two, like Chris Nilan going after Kenny Linseman between the benches that night at the old Garden, in order to celebrate the next stop on the Boston Bruins’ exhibition game schedule. Of course, he’s likely going to be at Molly Malone’s hoisting a few, anyway, as his Cincinnati Reds have clinched the NL Central to earn their first Playoff appearance and division title since 1995. Those are some fans that deserve to celebrate, my friends. Those fans are real baseball fans. They love their team with a passion that’s almost carnal, I tell you. Rock on, Cinci. The Sox are done so it’s up to them Red Stockings.

But, yes, folks, the Black and Gold are indeed off to Belfast, Ireland to play the Belfast Giants Selects, a squad of what are essentially all-stars from the United Kingdom’s Elite League. The game will take place at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and I, for one, can’t wait to watch it. You think those lads over there won’t have something to prove? I guarantee you they give the B’s a game and, if it gets physical, the B’s will want to respond in kind. Should be fun to watch.

And tell me the Bruins aren’t going to have a good time travelling in Ireland. Might be a great team building experience, when you think about it. Seeing the Old Country, welcomed by the locals like celebrities, shown a good time. A visit to a pub or two for some laughs with Terry O’Reilly. Except for Tyler Seguin, that is. What is the legal drinking age in Ireland, anyone know?

This is the sort of thing that might propel a team to a great season and, just maybe, all the way to the Stanley Cup. Who knows?

What? You don’t believe in the Luck of the Irish? Or you think maybe I’ve been drinking as I wrote this.

Anyway, it should be fun viewing. I’m guessing NESN has a camera crew travelling with them so we’ll get to see some of what the off-ice activities are like for the team.

Six players, however, not heading to the Emerald Isle are Zach Hamill, Joe Colborne, Steve Kampfer, Jeremy Reich, Jeff LoVecchio, and Wyatt Smith. All returned to Rhode Island begin the season with the Providence Bruins.

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Lucic Steps Up

September 26, 2010

Alright, I have to be honest, I wasn’t planning on posting as many fights this year as last year. I mean, we all know where to find hockeyfights.com, the true masters of the art, so my small assortment was always a bit redundant.

However.

I like this one too much an want to share. From last night’s pre-season tilt at the TD Garden between the Panthers and Bruins, Triston Grant vs. Milan Lucic. Grant starts whacking away at Nathan Horton on a face off and Looch takes note, comes over and challenges the boy to go with an actual fighter and Number 17 schools the sorry lad with a number of direct rights to the jaw.

Don not pass go, do not collect $200. Five for fighting and a ticket back to Rochester, son.

Have a nice day.

The game also featured Tyler Seguin’s first goal of the preseason, captured quite nicely in the photo below.

tyler seguin goal

Savard Speaks

September 25, 2010

Marc Savard met very briefly with the media this morning to discuss the Post Concussion symptoms he’s been suffering that will keep him from starting the season with the rest of his Bruins teammates.

From Kevin Paul Dupont on the Globe’s blog this morning:

”I think everything you just summed up there,” said Savard, when a Globe reporter asked if he were dealing with nausea, headache, dizziness, seeing spots, depression, among the more common issues related to concussions and often PCS. “I’ve had issues with everything so far, so….like I said, I have to see the doctors, get the help that I need and go from there.”

On follow-up, when asked which of the symptoms he finds hardest to deal with, Savard noted depression.

”Oh, probably the depression part,” he said, his tone noticeably somber, his emotions clearly stirred. ”That’s probably the toughest, so….that’s it.”

Doesn’t sound good and, from the way his appearance was described, he’s probably shot down most of the conspiracy theorists, myself included, who wondered if there might be more to this than just the medical issues.

The bottom line is that concussions are nothing to fuck with. Depression is something that can be just as disabling as a high ankle sprain or a broken collarbone. Savard has a long road ahead of him and the Bruins, team and management, now have a much more complicated situation to deal with in turn. The player’s health comes first, before any roster or salary cap issues of course, but it will all need to be dealt with in time.

I guess what I’m saying is: Headaches all around.

Meanwhile, nine more players were released from camp.

Defenseman Ryan Button and forwards Craig Cunningham and Jared Knight have all been returned to their respective junior teams.

Defensemen Andrew Bodnarchuk and Jeff Penner and forwards Jordan Knackstedt, Kirk MacDonald and Lane MacDermid were sent down to the Providence Bruins training camp. Joe Rullier was released from his tryout agreement.

Game three of the pre-season tonight at TD Garden versus the Florida Panthers. First one to have TV coverage, broadcast live on NESN at 7:00 pm.

First Fists

September 24, 2010

Okay, I know this isn’t the first Bruins scrap of the preseason (that would have been Adam McQuaid vs. Tim Conboy in the Habs game Wednesday night) but it’s the first video we have out there. Lane MacDermid, Providence’s most active brawler from last season, takes on Andrew Peters in last night’s exhibition against the Florida Panthers in Rochester.

Bruins lose the game 3-2. Game winner to Dennis Wideman.

Eeugh.

Let The Games Begin

September 22, 2010

The first official preseason game for the Boston Bruins will take place tonight at the Bell Centre in Montreal against the Canadiens.

Bruins have announced the line-up expected to suit up for the game.

Forwards:

Patrice Bergeron
Gregory Campbell
Jordan Caron
Nathan Horton
Brian McGrattan
Daniel Paille
Mark Recchi
Jeremy Reich
Max Sauve
Tyler Seguin
Ryan Spooner
Blake Wheeler

Defensemen:

Matt Bartkowski
Andrew Bodnarchuk
Johnny Boychuk
Matt Hunwick
Adam McQuaid
Dennis Seidenberg

Goalies:

Tuukka Rask
Nolan Schaefer

Meanwhile, Peter Chiarelli, in an interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub this morning, reiterated that the timetable on Marc Savard’s return from his current bout of post-concussion in uncertain and that a recent report that he could miss the entire season is false. He was hesitant to offer any actual details on the situation, however, and sounded rather guarded and tense while discussing it. “It could be two weeks, it could be a month…we don’t know.”

He also disclosed that it was “later in summer” when “he told us” about the symptoms, feeding a small amount of fuel to the conspiracy fires that suggest there might be more to this than simply a medical issue. He played dumb when asked whether or not the news came after Savard spoke publicly about his displeasure about the team’s obvious attempts to trade him this off season.

This won’t be the last we hear of this issue, you can be sure.

Born To Play

September 18, 2010

joe colborne boston bruins max sauve boston bruins

Anyone else notice this mildly odd coincidence featuring two of the Bruins’ brighter prospects in camp this year?

Joe Colborne and Max Sauve were both born on exactly the same day, January 30th 1990. The former in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the latter in Tours, France. The two have actually played on the same line with each other at times and shown a certain amount of chemistry. Now we know why. Connected by the stars, I guess.

Besides being an interesting bit of trivia, I’m thinking it’s going to save the team a bit of scratch this winter when they can combine the two parties into one and celebrate together. One cake, one party platter, same decorations, balloons. Share a hooker.

Works out good.

Pat Burns: Not Dead

September 17, 2010

pat burns alive

Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from today’s events.

You all most likely know by now what it is I’m talking about. This morning, about 11:30 or so local time, the news came across the airwaves via the all sports radio station I was listening to, that Pat Burns had died. Immediate and profound sadness. For whatever reason, like a lot of my fellow black and gold supporters, Burns had always been a favorite amongst Bruins’ coaches. Something about the way he did things, a straight shooter who had little tolerance for bullshit, an Irish cop’s mentality (and sense of humor), endeared him forever to a great many in Boston.

So the news he had passed was something big.

After the initial pang of regret, my thought was to post the news here. I went to a computer to do so. However, real world demands prevented me from doing so.

Which turned out to be a good thing.

Otherwise I would be amongst the many, including TSN, The Montreal Gazette and many others, with a bit of egg on their face right now. Incorrectly reporting a man’s death without fully checking it out in a rush to be one of the first people out there with the story.

Welcome to Planet Twitter. The dangerous thing about an environment where news can spread with wildfire rapidity is that so can unfounded rumors. The real crime, though, is that the big news outlets, like 98.5 The Sports Hub here in Boston, owned by CBS Radio, jump on the story so quickly and treat it as fact before it can actually be confirmed. Let me say that again because it used to be a concept that was important in the world of Journalism.

Confirmed.

A story as serious as this one, a story about whether or not a man is alive or dead, needs to be sorted out before one goes live with the news. And, believe me, I’m as guilty as anyone of sometimes seeking out that rush of being one of the first out there with a certain bit of news. After all, I was on my way to do just that, give you the news and then write out my own sort of rambling Eulogy for the guy.

But I would have been wrong to do so. As it turns out, there’s something to be said about being correct instead of just plain fast. I mean, what’s the point of being the first one there with the story if the story you’ve got is false. For some, there’s not as much shame in that as there should be, I know. They take down their web page, they retract the story, maybe apologize and move on. I know I would have been appalled with myself if I had posted this news incorrectly. I’m hoping a bit of fact checking would have stopped me.

Because, of course, as we all know now, Pat Burns is very much still alive. In fact, he relays this message to use all via Bob Mckenzie.

“Here we go again. They’re trying to kill me before I’m dead. I come to Quebec to spend some time with my family and they say I’m dead. I’m not dead, far fucking from it. They’ve had me dead since June. Tell them I’m alive. Set them straight.”

You see why I like this guy?

Turns out the story originated with Toronto Maple Leafs adviser Cliff Fletcher and CTV in Ottawa ran with it. Red faces all around, eh boys?

So, anyway, no retraction to be posted here, no apology. No mysterious, disappearing web pages. But lesson learned, man, that’s for sure. And there’s Pat Burns for you.

Still teaching us.

Camp Starts; Savard Out

September 17, 2010

On the eve of the first official day of the Boston Bruins 2010 Training Camp comes the surprising and disturbing news that Marc Savard will not be participating due to lingering issues with the post-concussion syndrome he suffered last season. I think, for most B’s fans, this is something coming right out of left field and I, for one, find the story somewhat suspicious. Maybe it’s my conspiratorial nature or the wind is blowing in from the waterfront again but I smell something fishy.

The facts are these. The Bruins are actively trying to trade Marc Savard and this has led to a profound souring of the relationship between the team and the player. There are those in B’s management who do not think very highly of Savard and I think he realizes this now. He is a proud guy, convinced of his own worth as one of the elite players in the league, and has publicly stated already that he was “hurt” by the trade rumors that were swirling around at the draft.

“They hurt me a little bit just because I went to Boston and I helped to build that team back up…to hear all this stuff this summer bothered me inside more than anything else.”

So now the hurt becomes real?

I don’t know. The fact is he was medically cleared to play last year in the playoffs and, while he wasn’t quite himself for sure, neither he nor the team reported any ill effects in terms of his head injury after he played. So what, I ask, has changed given that he has had an entire summer for further recuperation? I can’t help wondering, whether it originates from the team or Savard or it’s mutual, if there aren’t other reasons for number 91’s absence from camp right now.

Meanwhile, the Bruins have released five players from Camp today. Matt Delahey, Alain Goulet, Joe Pleckaitis, Yannick Riendeau, and Walter Wintoneak have all been given their walking papers. I hope Pleckaitis gets another shot somewhere. That kid can hit.

Live Streaming

September 16, 2010

boston bruins rookie game live

Watching tonight’s second B’s-Islanders Rookie Game live via the Bruins website. Click the above picture if you’d like to do the same.

1-1 tie late in the 2nd period after 2nd round draft pick Ryan Spooner just popped one in. Lane MacDermid, no stranger to the pugilistic arts having been very active in Providence last season, got into a nice scrap with big Islanders d-man Travis Hamonic who was ejected for having gotten into two fights over the course of the two game series.

Limiting fights in rookie games? C’mon guys. Horses are born to run and rookies like a good brawl or two in training camp.

Let the horses run.

Bruins Islanders Rookie Game One

September 15, 2010

Tyler Seguin Bruins Rookie Game

Well, 11,571 showed up to see Tyler Seguin but it was another 1st round pick, Jordan Caron, who made an impression tonight at TD Garden. Seguin had two assists but Caron put up the Hat Trick in an exciting, feisty affair that delighted all in attendance. The way the crowd was into it, you’d have thought it was the second half of a home and home with the Habs or something. Roaring on every hit, rocking the building on every goal and slamming the glass on every fight.

People seem happy to have hockey back in town, that’s for sure.

A truly fun night at the rink (especially for one happy six year old who got her first puck by flashing a gap-toothed smile at the right bull gang member).

Highlights and thoughts:

  • Caron seems like a natural goal scorer, a real player, the sort of kid who’s talent makes everything he does seem easy. A quick impression of his style makes me think of Simon Gagne. There’s every chance this kid could be riding the wing with the Big Club sooner rather than later if this sort of thing continues in camp. Likely he’s going to make Michael Ryder and Marco Sturm seem like distant memories before too very long.
  • The big hitter of the night was one Joe Plekaitis (number 86 in your program) I counted four flat out nasty, clean shoulder hits from the kid, a couple not four feet from where we were sitting in the B’s offensive zone. It’s not just that the kid had the energy and the jam to run around trying to lay people out but he had the timing and the ability to do it well. On the second hit right in front of me the Islanders defenseman actually saw him coming and planted himself to respond but Plekaitis laid him out nonetheless. Couple great thumps that set the tone for a great B’s second period. Plekaitis is an undrafted rookie camp invitee.
  • Joe Colborne is a big kid, for sure, but I’ve yet to see what it is exactly that going to turn him into any sort of player at the pro level. Maybe it’s me and I’m an idiot but I just don’t see much there. His size and the unfortunate choice to wear No. 39 make me once again think of Joel Prpic. Not what you want your career prospects to be when you’re a 1st round NHL draft pick. Colborne got laid out by little Islanders bastard boy Justin DiBenedetto, who seemed to be at the center of a lot of yapping and shoving. We all noticed him decline a fight with Tyler Randell off of a faceoff at one point, only to make his mark later on with a cheap shot elbow that sent Colborne off the ice for repairs and DiBenedetto to the locker room with a 5-minute major and a game misconduct.
  • Steve Kampfer wore the “C” and played fairly steadily on defense, as did most of the B’s blueliners. Swift movement of the puck and active at the points. Solid body work on the boards at times when needed.
  • Seguin did have two assists and was fast and smooth, as advertised. He looked a bit winded I thought, early in the game and seemed to warm up as the contest went on. My feeling is that I’d like to see what he can do later in camp when his conditioning and rhythm are more finely tuned. I’m not saying he looked out of shape but there was something a bit lackluster about his showing tonight. Maybe expectations are a bit too high, who knows. If a guy can grab two helpers on an off night, I’m eager to see what happens when he’s on his game. More to come on this story, of course.
  • Same time and place tomorrow night, folks. Head over if you have the chance.