Posts Tagged ‘Blake Wheeler’

Sturm To Los Angeles?

December 2, 2010

UPDATE: Some serious questions about whether or not this trade will actually be consummated. Is it dead or is it just being delayed? Methinks the answer will not be provided until tomorrow. TSN has retracted their story on the deal.

marco sturm

Thanks for that goal in The Classic, Marco. Good luck in L.A.

Amidst the speculation that Marc Savard will return to the Bruins’ line-up tonight at TD Garden versus the Tampa Bay Lightning , B’s brass seems to have cleared the final salary cap hurdle from their books by trading oft-injured wing Marco Sturm, and his $3.5 million dollar cap hit, to the Los Angeles Kings.

It was that easy?

After all that hullabaloo about the B’s salary cap woes it took two somewhat smallish, non-impact moves to get things into the clear. I know that Sturm, when healthy, can be a significant player (but when was the last time he was?) and that Hunwick showed some promise (that he never really delivered) but let’s be honest. Will anyone here really miss either of them?

Not when the gentlemen previously though to be potential salary cap casualties, i.e. Blake Wheeler, Michael Ryder and Tim Thomas, have essentially played their way into key components of this current team.

And who the hell would have thought that last season?

Not me, I full admit.

The fact is they have, though. Wheeler seems to have “got it” this season. How to use his size and speed and defensive instincts to become, at the least, a very effective, contributing 3rd line winger and possibly more. Ryder, meanwhile, has rediscovered his shot and his offensive instincts and has clicked fairly well with prize prospect Tyler Seguin. Tim Thomas? What do I need to even say?

All of that made Sturm and his questionable knees (and his hefty salary) very much expendable. The Kings, meanwhile, have about $3.6 million still available under the cap and have essentially made themselves a very early trade deadline style addition. A veteran scoring presence with one year left on his deal. If Sturm pans out it’s an exellent acquisition for them.

Works pretty well for everyone, eh?

Unless Ryder and Wheeler go completely cold, that is. Then come back here for some blatant hindsight bitching from yours truly.

What? You know by now how shameless I am.

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Looking Forward

November 8, 2010

david krejci boston bruins

The Bruins currently have 14 forwards on their active NHL roster, so finding a live body to fill in David Krejci’s spot in the line-up on Wednesday night can be done without any emergency call-ups from Providence. Daniel Paille and Brian McGrattan are both seasoned NHL pro’s at this point of their careers and one of them can fill the now vacant 12th forward slot against Pittsburgh.

Neither of them can replace Krejci, though. Neither of them can be the creative on ice straw that stirs the offensive drink that is the Bruins’ top line featuring the supremely talented Czech pivot with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton on the wings. It’s no accident that the two of them look to be laying the foundations for career years as they play with Krejci. He is blossoming into a master playmaker. Puck skills, vision. The ability to do the unexpected and the smarts to play at both ends of the ice.

There’s no replacing that.

Hell, neither Paille or McGrattan are centers either. A position thought to be one of depth going into the season now looks a bit bare. Patrice Bergeron continues to shine but behind him are only the extremely raw Tyler Seguin and the always-game Gregory Campbell. The count there is three and none of the above can be said to be a real No. 1 center in the NHL, as Krejci is becoming. Marc Savard is likely weeks away, so that leaves a hole.

There are a number of ways to plug it. The easiest is to shift another forward to the center position and insert Paille into the line-up at wing. Blake Wheeler seems the likliest candidate to me, given that he played the position in college and even in a couple of pre-season games. In fact, you could bump Seguin up to skate with Lucic and Horton for a couple of games, shift Wheeler to centering Michael Ryder and Paille. Or have Wheeler center Caron and Recchi while Bergeron takes that top slot. He’s earned the chance to play there, for sure.

The Seguin flip, however, would enable Claude Julien to keep many of the current line combinations somewhat intact. Like this:

Lucic-Seguin-Horton
Recchi-Bergeron-Caron
Paille-Wheeler-Ryder
Thornton-Campbell-Marchand

It seems extremely risky, however, to put the unnervingly young, and currently somewhat mistake prone, Seguin in a position that would entail so much ice time and responsibility. I have a hard time believing that a defensive minded coach like Julien would do that. Hell, he had Tyler on the bench for the entirety of that 3rd period against St. Louis after Seguin was guilty of a number of miscues on the ice earlier in the game. The kid has a lot to learn.

A solution further down the probability slope, as Neil Asher called it, would be the call up of a true center from Providence. There’s no Trent Whitfield to look to right now but there is blue-chip prospect Joe Colborne who has done well for himself in the AHL so far this season. A steady 5 goals and 5 assists with a +6 in the stats columns. Seems to be developing well. Zach Hamill, however, is not. The former 8th overall pick (2007) has got some folks now wondering if he’ll ever show himself to be a serious NHL prospect.

Regardless, I doubt the B’s will reach down without having at least tried the Wheeler experiment. Krejci might only miss a week or so which could mean anywhere from 4-6 games. More if the concussion is more serious. If the team responds to the situation well and plays fairly decent against Pittsburgh and Montreal, then perhaps no drastic moves will need be made.

Practice this week should sort it all out, I would think, and give us a clearer picture of what Claude Julien and the boys upstairs have in mind.

Update: Brian McGrattan has been waived for the purpose of sending him to Providence. That just leaves Paille at the moment to jump into the line-up for Krejci. We’ll see if this is a precursor to further movement.

Bruins Looking At Yandle

October 26, 2010
keith yandle boston bruins

Keith Yandle: Future Boston Bruin?

Joe Haggerty is reporting that the B’s are once again hot and heavy in the trade market and that they are scouting the Phoenix Coyotes with Milton native Keith Yandle, an offensive minded defenseman, at the top of their want list.

Of course, so would he be for a lot of NHL teams and there’s no indication that the ‘Yotes would be willing to move the 24 year old blueliner so easily. Other names from the Phoenix side that have supposedly come up are Mikkel Boedker and Viktor Tikhonov, both forwards currently playing for the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL.

The names being speculated on from the Bruins’ side are, as you might expect, Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler with Matt Hunwick and Mark Stuart being thrown in for good measure.

How much of this is real? Well, we know the B’s are up against it with the Cap and with Marc Savard and Marco Sturm both skating today and nearing a possible return, the relief they have enjoyed due to injury is shortly due to come to an abrupt end. Wheeler, still young and fairly talented, making $2.2 million, and Ryder, having a hot start and making $4 million, are the obvious choices to move out and make space. The Coyotes apparently have $9 million under the cap right now and could fit some fatter contracts. Both are on 1-year deals.

It could all easily be pie-in-the-sky fantasy for Bruins fans, though. Wheeler and Ryder, neither of whom anyone would really miss, for a budding local star on defense? How realistic is that considering that Phoenix, and every other team in the NHL, knows damn well how desperate the Bruins are going to be to make room. Seems too good to be true, regardless of the “source” behind the the story.

Meanwhile, this 4-day gap between games is killing me. The Rangers game was a tantalizing affair, highly entertaining despite the loss, and I’m eager to see them square off against the Leafs on Thursday. Eager, also, to do more writing here now that my real life schedule, which has been utterly insane of late, will be a bit more relaxed and, hopefully, allow me to start bringing things here up to speed.

After all, I still owe you an article about the three weeks I spent in Japan with Jack Edwards during his whirlwind Haiku-palooza Tour. Suffice to say there were more than a few disturbingly violent and confusing incidents that convinced me that what they say about the man is true. That you don’t drink with Jack Edwards unless you’re cool with random bar brawls and executive class prostitutes.

More on that when the legal aspects have been ironed out.

2010-11 Season Preview

October 6, 2010

tyler seguin boston bruins

It’s been an odd day already today in Boston sports. The Patriots seemingly shooting themselves in the foot by trading Randy Moss. The Red Sox ownership getting into the EPL by spending $500 Million on Liverpool FC. There’s a weird buzz in the air an on the local sports talk airwaves, I tell you.

Seems like a great day to talk hockey, if you ask me.

The Boston Bruins finished off their preseason schedule yesterday with a sound drubbing of Liberec of the Czech Elite league thanks to a 5-point effort from Patrice Bergeron and a goal each from youngsters Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron. Feel free to pencil in each of them to the opening night roster because they will undoubtedly be there.

In my mind, much of the story in the early going might very well be about these two impressive rookies. Not since the team debuted Joe Thornton and Sergei Samsonov in 1997 has there been an infusion of youthful talent as exciting as what we’ll be seeing here this season. Granted, there are no guarantees of success for either of them but the outlook is good and they have shown in the preseason that they belong. With Marc Savard out and a clear dearth of scoring from the wing last season, it’s obvious that both are needed.

Here’s how I see the roster that will start the season. Line combinations based less on what’s happened in the preseason and more on how I configure them in NHL 11. What? 16 years of playing EA Sports hockey games doesn’t qualify me to be an NHL head coach? Whatever.

Forwards

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Blake Wheeler-Tyler Seguin-Mark Recchi
Daniel Paille-Patrice Bergeron-Jordan Caron
Shawn-Thornton-Gregory Campbell-Michael Ryder

Extra: Brad Marchand or Brian McGrattan

Defense

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Mark Stuart-Johnny Boychuk
Andrew Ference-Matt Hunwick

Extra: Adam McQuaid

Goaltenders

Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas

Not much in the way of surprises there. Not much in the way of controversy, either. The only real debate I can see is whether or not McGrattan sticks around as a spare forward, sending Marchand to Providence, or vice versa. Adam McQuaid seems the logical choice to be the bubble d-man but it’s possible Matt Bartkowski could leap over him on the depth chart with a strong preseason.

Actually, the defense is my one area of concern going into the season. At the top, it would seem like an area of real strengh with Zdeno Chara as the anchor but I have to admit to not being sold on the supporting cast. There remain a lot of questions concerning health, depth and ability. Andrew Ference and Mark Stuart have had some serious injury problems over the past few seasons, to the extent that I seriously question the sanity of the contract extension the latter received this past season from Peter Chiarelli, a three year deal for $2.25 each. Especially considering the Bruins’ current salary dilemmas. If either goes down, there are going to be some fresh faced youths having to be called into action because the defensive depth chart now, including McQuaid, consists of youngsters like Bartkowski, Steve Kampfer or someone like Nathan McIver. Yuri Alexandrov and many of the other prospects training in Providence just don’t have enough elite professional experience in their pockets to be totally NHL ready.

I could be wrong, though. We’ll certainly get the chance to see.

Salary Caps are a bitch, aren’t they, Pete? Pain in the ass.

It’s not an issue you can ignore when discussion the 2010-2011 Boston Bruins. We saw what the Chicago Blackhawks had to do in the offseason. Trade away half your team. No easy task but they managed to do it.

The Bruins, however, did not. Marc Savard was not traded. Tim Thomas was not traded. Michael Ryder (what? a guy can dream, can’t he?) was not traded. Silly contracts like Ference’s were added. It became a tight squeeze to fit under the cap and I ask, as a hardcore Be A GM Mode player on NHL 11, how can you not be prepared for that? Gotta think ahead. Avoid and get rid of bad deals that hamstring your ability to make moves. Add depth.

Wait. Did I say earlier there was no controversy or debate surrounding this year’s version of the team? What was I smoking?

Here are just some of the other issues the team will face this season.

  • Marc Savard. Will he ever be healthy again and if he is, how will they make salary room for him on the team. The elephant in the room is the idea that the star center’s absence might be a bit of a relief for the team because it puts them under the cap temporarily. Before he fell ill, Marc Savard was on the trading block because the Bruins needed salary space. Now they have it. Plus the chance to see what it will be like to play without him, if he ever gets traded which seems unlikely right now, doesn’t it? Makes you think about the seven year deal that he just signed, as well.
  • Tim Thomas. Sitting there as a clear back-up but making $5 million for the next three. I hope he plays well this season, for his own sake. If it means he can be traded then it’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned. My bet is he dying to show folks that he’s still one hell of a competitor no matter his age or what not. The Tank is nothing if not a battler. Meanwhile, Rask remains entrenched as the number one, a potential goaltending star on the rise.
  • Then, of course, there’s the sting of, oh, I don’t know, something we refer to around here as just THE WORST FUCKING LOSS IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. EVER. Up 3-0 in the series. Up 3-0 in game fucking seven at home in your own building. Jesusfuckingchristalmighty. How to live that down when many of the core members of that monumental choke are still on this team. I mean, Dennis Wideman wasn’t to blame for it all, folks.
  • Which leads me to one last controversy. Let’s talk about the so-called Hot Seat.

  • Claude Julien. Should he be on it for what happened in the playoffs last season and in previous campaigns? I’ve heard him making the injury excuse but the truth is his team had a tendency to fall flat and let teams walk all over them at other times during the season, too. Remember Pittsburgh? It was a theme last year. Let us not forget how bad they were at times. Will there be a return of the sort of commitment the team needs to be successful including a commitment to team toughness? Is that a fault of the coaching?
  • peter chiarelli claude julien

    I don’t know. Some might think Chiarelli more deserves the hot seat for his salary cap bumbling and his recent failures in the trade market. Nathan Horton was a nice move and the Phil Kessel deal was inspired but there has been little else for the GM to hang his hat on. Cam Neely is now looking down on him and the Sword of Damocles might very well be raised if his vision of the team does not begin to materialize this season. I’d feel more comfortable leading the charge for Chiarelli than Julien right now but there may come a time when they both go if things get bad again.

    Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen, eh? Let’s watch Seguin and Charon and Rask and see if they can become real players. Same thing goes for Blake Wheeler and Milan Lucic, for that matter. Can they be consistent producers on the wing? Goals, physical play, everything. That’s what the team needs from them, of that I am certain.

    Starting this Saturday in Prague, we’ll get see what happens.

    It won’t be boring I don’t think.

    Nathan Horton To Bruins? Maybe

    June 18, 2010
    nathan horton boston bruins

    Nathan Horton: Soon To Be A Bruin?

    The Bruins might finally have that big right wing they’ve been searching for.

    James Murphy at NESN is reporting that Peter Chiarelli might be on the verge of acquiring RW Nathan Horton from the Florida Panthers for an as yet to be determined price in return.

    While the parameters of the trade are unclear at this point, a very reliable source told NESN.com on Friday that the Bruins are closing in on a trade with the Florida Panthers that would see them acquire winger Nathan Horton, who was drafted third overall by the Panthers in 2003, but in six NHL seasons, has cracked the 30-goal plateau only once and — in the eyes of fans and media — failed to reach his potential and use his 6-foot-2, 229-pound frame properly.

    There were no specifics on what else may come to Boston in the deal or what the return would be to Florida, but it has been well documented that Chiarelli would love to move into the top 5-7 picks overall to get one of the top defensive prospects available, so this could be a package deal involving roster players and picks.

    According to this source, who stressed the Panthers were talking to numerous teams about Horton and could still accept another offer, “the parameters” of the possible trade were still being worked out as of late Friday afternoon, but “Horton believed he could be very close to being a Bruin.”

    Unlike the Savard/Wheeler deal to Columbus, this one might pass the sniff test. A reliable source, a willing trade partner, a player that’s probably in need of a change of scenery and a team (the B’s) very much committed to improving the team, and making a splash, via the trade market. It just feels more realistic. Don’t be surprised, though, if Blake Wheeler is still one of the names from the Boston side. Or, if there are high picks involved, as rumored, I wonder if if Patrice Bergeron might be in the mix. The B’s are going to need to move a center if they do indeed end up with Tyler Seguin as it currently seems will be the case and Bergeron might get the job done.

    I have to say I like this one. Horton is big at 6′-2″, 229 lbs. and plays a fairly rugged style. He scored 20 goals and 57 points last season playing for a miserable team and one wonders what he might do with a world class center like Marc Savard, David Krejci or Seguin playing pivot for him. He has totaled as many as 31 in a season and was drafted 3rd overall in 2003, so the man has some skill for sure, and only just turned 25 a few weeks ago. His career totals are as follows.

  • 422 games, 142 goals, 153 assists, 295 points, + 27 and 382 pims.
  • Sounds like a Bruin to me.

    Little taste of Horton in one of his HGW moments, just for fun:

    Stay tuned because, if multiple picks and players are involved and this thing grows, we could be seeing a blockbuster of sorts here.

    Savard To Columbus? Doubtful

    June 18, 2010

    Puck Daddy does a pretty decent job of sifting through the real possibilities of the recent rumor that Peter Chiarelli could be on the verge of trading Marc Savard and Blake Wheeler to the Columbus Blue Jackets for the 4th overall pick in the draft. It certainly does appear that the possibilities are close to zero but you never know. Is this a case of smoke and fire or just a some media generated hype based on an offhand comment and a distant source?

    I think the latter. Just because it sounds enticing and, on the surface, might fill needs for both teams doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Most trades in the NHL don’t make that level of sense.

    Which brings me to Jaroslav Halak.

    In case you haven’t heard, the Montreal Canadiens traded their heralded post-season wunderkind (the next Ken Dryden/Patrick Roy, remember?) to the St. Louis Blues for two prospects, Lars Eller and Ian Schultz. It’s a head-scratching move as the team dispatches a goaltender who showed flashes of pure brilliance in the post season and re-anoints the troubled Carey Price as the default starter for the club. It certainly looks, at the time of this snapshot, like a deal that could go down as one of the worst in Canadiens history.

    Red Fisher thinks it’s “a nightmare trade”. I imagine many in Habs fandom agree.

    Monster gamble by Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier. I can only assume that Eller and Schultz scored phenomenally on their Entry Level Diving Tests and management just had to have them at any cost.

    Thornton Gets Two

    June 4, 2010

    shawn thornton new contract

    And Kathryn Tappen gets the scoop.

    According to her post on NESN.com, rugged Bruins winger Shawn Thornton has got his wish to remain in Boston and signed a contract for a reported two more years. The 32 year-old was set to become an unrestricted free agent but had not been shy about publicly expressing his desire to remain in Black and Gold.

    It’s a good resigning, not just because of the toughness factor Thornton brings to the table and the fact that he is one of the more intelligent and honorable scrappers in the league. He also showed, throughout all the turmoil on the team during the 2009-10 season, that he was one of the few guys on the team you could rely on for consistent leadership, on and off the ice. His is the sort of character the Bruins need more of. Add in some reasonable talent, for his role, decent defensive sensibilities and this one was a no-brainer.

    The remaining five B’s unrestricted free agents are as follows, with age and last year’s salary included.

      Mark Recchi, 42, $1,000,000

      Miroslav Satan, 35, $700,000

      Steve Begin, 31, $850,000

      Dennis Seidenberg, 28, $2,250,000

      Johnny Boychuk, 26, $500,000

    I think the focus here has to be on the two defensemen, if they can be had at reasonable prices. The danger is that a guy like Boychuk, who showed dramatic improvement in his all around game this season and into the playoffs, will draw some serious attention around the league because of his age. Seidenberg, as well, will not be cheap but he was a steadying influence on the blue line playing with Zdeno Chara when he came on board at the trade deadline and the vibe is that Chiarelli wants him back.

    It’s not going to be easy considering the fact that the Bruins have an estimated $10 million to spend under the cap and some restricted free agents like Mark Stuart, Blake Wheeler, Vladimir Sobotka and Daniel Paille to sign. They remain saddled with some fairly hefty contracts like those of Michael Ryder, Marco Sturm and Tim Thomas and likely few trading partners for said contracts thanks to the age, health and performance of those players.

    As a result, there will be some tough choices to be made and any way you slice it as things will be extremely tight. They desperately need help on the wing and are not likely to have much bank available for free agent signings. I’m not sure bringing back Recchi or Satan at this point in their careers is a great option, as much as I enjoyed what they did in the post-season. However, that level of pay, under $1 million, is likely the range the Bruins will be shopping in for help at forward and I’m just not sure what other serviceable help might be out there at those prices.

    All in all, it makes the upcoming entry draft all that more crucial.

    We want Hall.

    Dreaming of a Seventh Heaven

    May 14, 2010
    milan lucic hat trick

    Milan Lucic Celebrates His Hat Trick Goal In The Third Period of the Bruins Dramatic Game Seven Win Over The Flyers in Boston

    Just an amazing game at the Garden tonight as the Boston Bruins came out with hearts on fire to a loud, jubilant, rowdy home crowd who cheered them on to a resounding 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Boston tonight. The streets of the Hub remain filled with celebrating Bruins fans as they bask in the glow of a Game 7 win and look forward to a historic match-up in the Eastern Conference Finals against bitter rivals the Montreal Canadiens.

    The B’s came out flying in the first buoyed by early goals, first one from Michael Ryder and then two from surging power forward Milan Lucic. They punished the Flyers at every opportunity and took the offensive play to them wave after wave with seemingly every line going hard and getting chances. The roar inside TD Garden just never let up. Every shot, every hit. The sound was thunderous. This was what we had been waiting for. This was the team we bled Black and Gold for.

    And they responded. In the second, they bore down even more, putting a late 1st period goal by James Van Riemsdyk easily behind them and focusing on the task ahead like hell-bent demons. The hitting continued relentlessy led by tower of strength Zdeno Chara, as mean as he is big, knocking anyone in orange and black who dared ender his sphere sprawling to the ice. Led by their Captain, the defense crushed chance after chance just as they crushed the hopes of a floundering Flyers team.

    On offense, Marc Savard came alive and laid out a sweet dish to beleaguered wing Blake Wheeler on a rush up ice and Wheels buried the one timer to put the B’s up 4-1. The sagging on the Flyers bench was visible as they began to sense they were beaten. On came the Bruins. It was like they never missed David Krejci at all as all four lines picked up the slack. Begin and Thornton grinding their way to the net and causing goal crease scrum after scrum, getting right in the Flyers faces. Bergeron and Recchi winning battles along the boards with no regard for their own bodies. Every forward crashing against the Philly D like rabid badgers. It was an awe inspiring sight to see.

    It was like they were saying, “This is our house. You don’t come into our house and push us around. No way.”

    More of the same in the third. The Bruins pressure never relented and the desperate Flyers pulled Michael Leighton for an extra attacker and that’s when Looch picked up the hat trick as he took an unselfish feed from Patrice Bergeron and buried the puck into an open net.

    The building goes wild. The hats come raining down on the ice like falling rose petals to honor the valiant victors who have struggled so hard for those faithful people in the stands, the ones who adore them so much.

    The old, hard core devotees. The youngsters who look up to them in admiration. Die hard middle aged adults who have never, in their lifetime, felt the joy of a Bruins championship despite the years of blood and soul and heartfelt emotion they have invested in this team. Only to have their hopes crushed year after year in the most debilitating fashion possible.

    But not this year, boys.

    This year, you did it. This year you kept the dream alive. This year you rewarded our faithfulness and devotion.

    You did it. For us.

    Thank you, Boston Bruins. Thank you so much.

    What’s that song I keep hearing in the distance…? Like a faint echo… sort of haunting…? Can’t quite make it out…

    Braaaa-ziiil…

    Oh, well.

    Bring on them Habs!

    History Will Not Be Made

    May 14, 2010

    My prediction for this series was Bruins in 7.

    I’m sticking with it.

    The Philadelphia Flyers will not be the third team in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. The Boston Bruins will use home ice advantage for all it’s worth tonight for an emotional, high energy win that will blow the roof off the building and this town. Tonight the Mojo Returns.

    You hear me, NHL? Put away the sappy piano music and the reverse motion film machine. There will be no, “What if the Flyers gave up?” needed. They will lose tonight.

    I truly believe this. I have to. I’m not even going to mention things like B’s record in 7th games or the home teams’ record in 7th games in the 2010 playoffs. None of that matters. Tonight will be different.

    They can’t let us down again. They just can’t.

    I implore every fan attending the game to be completely insane all night long no matter what happens. I ask every B’s fan on Earth watching the game to summon from the ether all the Mojo they can find and send it toward TD Garden. Wear your lucky shirt or your lucky socks. Eat your lucky meal during the game. Sit in that lucky chair.

    I implore the Bruins players to come out with a fire like none they have ever felt. Zdeno Chara, you’ve got to be a monster out there. Did you take note of how no Flyer could stop you when you made that rush into their offensive zone in the last game? Drive that shit right to the net. See if they can stop 260 lbs. of psychotic Slovakian on a mission. Same goes for you, Milan Lucic. Did you see where you scored that goal from in the waning minutes of Game 6? In front of the goddamned net. That’s where you need to park yourself tonight. Get in there and get ugly. Play like your hair is on fire.

    It goes for all of you. Tuukka, you need to be a wall. Marc Savard, we need more magic. Patrice Bergeron, be the puck. Wheeler and Ryder, maybe not whiff on quite so many one-timers tonight. Recchi and Satan, it ain’t over yet, guys, it just ain’t. Begin, Thornton, Sobotka. It’s high grade sandpaper time. Daniel Paille? If there’s an open net, for the love of god, bury that fucker. All of you. Please. This is the night to show up.

    Don’t let us down.

    Don’t let it end tonight.

    We need this.

    Short and Sweet

    April 10, 2010

    boston bruins short handed

    File this one under “Fucking Astonishing”.

    The Boston Bruins scored three short handed goals on the same penalty kill in the space of 1:04 minutes at the start of the second period to take a 3-0 lead over the Carolina Hurricanes at the TD Garden this afternoon.

    Daniel Paille, Blake Wheeler and Steve Begin all scored for team while killing off Matt Hunwick’s hooking penalty.

    boston bruins short handed goals

    As far as I can tell, no team has ever done this before.

    Not even the 80’s Edmonton Oilers. Many teams have scored two, of course, including Gretzky and Co. but it does seem that this is indeed a new NHL record for Most Shorthanded Goals Scored on One Penalty.

    Unfortunately, the ‘Canes later scored twice to bring the score back to 3-2 and make it a game again but if the B’s can hold on and take the two points they will guarantee themselves a spot no lower than 7th in the East, significant because it would allow them to avoid the powerhouse Caps in the first round of the playoffs.

    Amazing game.

    Patrice Bergeron saves an own goal on a delayed penalty call as he scoops the puck literally right off of the goal line as it was headed into the empty net vacated by Tuukka Rask.

    Milan Lucic scores an empty netter at the end for a 4-2 victory and the Bruins clinch their spot in the 2010 Playoffs, no lower than 7th in the East. Great game with a little of everything and a rousing celebration for the fans at the end as the team clinches. All on Fan Appreciation Day when the team will give the shirts off their backs to select fans after the game.

    A fitting thank-you to those who have remained loyal throughout what has been a very difficult season, to say the least.

    Props to Jack Edwards who called the conclusion with his usual awkwardly dramatic flair but summed things up quite neatly in the end

    This season the Boston Bruins have been through NHL Hell but they’ve earned themselves a snowball’s chance to play for the Stanley Cup.

    Not bad, Jack. Not bad.