Number One: The Larch

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The Bruins have had enough of Patrick Kaleta’s donkey-like behavior it seems. Mark Stuart and Milan Lucic both showed their disdain for his antics and their disrespect for his game when they smacked him around during tonight’s manhandling of the Buffalo Sabres by a red hot Boston team that is really starting to “feel it” I would say. Kaleta is heading home from the rink tonight with a host of new bruises to nurse, not the least of which might be his pride after the smack Lucic laid on him in the second.

Andy Brickley seemed impressed.

Other highlights from the match include:

  • Bruins pest Brad Marchand scoring his first NHL goal shorthanded. Marchand is hopefully no Kaleta. If he learns how to employ his skills without resorting to cheaper tactics and can stay out of the penalty box he can be a valuable 4th line contributor. His penalty killing abilities are a bit of a revelation, I must admit. Much to Daniel Paille’s chagrin.
  • Patrice Bergeron adding his own man-down goal a short time later.
  • Dominant defensive game from the B’s blueline corps. Steady work from all including Adam McQuaid and the reborn Matt Hunwick, the latter seeming to have figured out that his strength is in his skating and when he employs his speed correctly he can be very effective at both ends of the ice. There’s an overwhelming general sense that everyone is on the same page, forwards included, when it comes to the defensive aspects of the game.
  • The Bruins won without any scoring contributions from their top line other than the empty netter at the end to seal it. Suddenly this B’s team has depth. All four lines can put the puck in the net if need be. Takes the pressure off of guys and keeps things upbeat. The Bruins locker room must be a fun place to hang these days.
  • Buffalo, on the other hand, is mired in a horrible start and they look like quite the disfunctional club right now. Lindy Ruff, in a move that smacks of desperation, benched captain Craig Rivet for the two games prior to the Bruins contest but it had little effect other than to humiliate an old soldier and a classy veteran. Good way to lose your team rather than motivate them, is you ask me. Ruff, the longest tenured coach in the league by far, may finally be on the hot seat for real now that his boys seem so utterly listless. Getting ugly up there for sure.
  • So sad, eh?

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