Archive for October, 2009

Two Years Ago Today…

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey with tags , on October 27, 2009 by clarencethehorse

I was at my nephew’s wedding, and I still remember the look on my brother’s face as he watched his iPhone and signaled me to come over and see this hit on Patrice Bergeron by the Flyers’ Randy Jones:

bergeronTwo years later, Bergeron is still rounding back into his old form.  Jones got a mere two-game suspension.

Todd Rundgren at The Palace – I Don’t Want to Tie You Down

Posted in Music with tags on October 26, 2009 by clarencethehorse

Todd Rundgren performs his classic “A Wizard, A True Star” album in Stamford, CT on September 9, 2009. This is the end of “Hungry for Love”, into “I Don’t Want to Tie You Down”:

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Todd Rundgren at The Palace – International Feel

Posted in Music with tags , on October 26, 2009 by clarencethehorse

Todd Rundgren performs his classic “A Wizard, A True Star” album in Stamford, CT on September 9, 2009. Opening Track: “International Feel”:

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Ben Folds at the Calvin Theater – Sentimental Guy

Posted in Music with tags , on October 26, 2009 by clarencethehorse

Here’s a clip from Ben at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA October 3, 2009:

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Bob Mould at the Paradise – Wishing Well

Posted in Music with tags , on October 26, 2009 by clarencethehorse

For any Bob Mould/Husker Du/Sugar fans, here’s a clip from Bob at the Paradise on October 7, 2009:

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Bruins Head on the Road in Search of Answers

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey with tags , on October 26, 2009 by clarencethehorse

As the Garden was airing out the leftover stink smelly-g from their opening home stand, the Bruins headed on the road for the first time this season in search of some consistency.  So far, the loss-win-loss-win-loss pattern had not exactly brought back memories of last season’s success. So the first game in Dallas, a truly solid 3-0 victory that featured a beginning to end effort by the Bruins, was a much-needed reminder of a how this team can play.  Marc Savard potted 2 goals, and Patrice Bergeron also beat Stars goalie Marty Turco. Backed by Thomas’ solid workmanlike performance, the game even featured some solid defense by Matt Hunwick. I had been a little hard on Hunwick so far this season, but his play improved steadily as the season has progressed.  So his train-wreck status trainwrk has been rescinded train_old. Hunwick was not the only one picking up their defensive game, as this game featured the kind of defensive effort the Bruins delivered on the road regularly last year.

Apparently ‘the road’ was not the panacea for the Bruins’ inconsistency, as they followed up the Dallas win with a 4-1 defeat in Phoenix. The Coyotes wilee1794664eb8 took over the game early and had a 2-0 lead when Mark Stuart  made it 2-1 about halfway through the second period, but two goals in less than a minute gave Phoenix a 4-1 lead at the end of the second period.  That would be the final score of this one.  A lackluster effort that only reinforced the Bruins Jekyll/Hyde persona jekyll+and+hyde so far this season, it did feature a good bout Between Johnny Boychuk and Paul Bissonnette.

Before this game, the Bruins learned that recently re-signed winger/enforcer Milan Lucic would be out of action for 4-6 weeks with a broken finger handtrauma .  As the Bruins prepared for their return home and a date with Nashville, it was announced that leading scorer and offensive sparklplug Marc Savard would also be out 4-6 weeks with a fractured foot woman-foot-in-stiletto-x-ray .


Lucic was the guy on the team most likely to change the momentum of a game with his physical play, and Savard could do the same with his cerebral offensive skills.  With these two game-changers out, who would step up?

The game against the Predators The Academy showed that Patrice Bergeron, Michael Ryder and Steve Begin were all doing their part to fill the void left by Lucic and Savard’s absence.  In a bit of symmetry not often seen on the statsheet, the Bruins three best players also had the three goals that resulted in a hard-earned 3-2 victory.  Ryder and Bergeron had second period goals, and Steve Begin buried the third period goal that gave the Bruins the win.

The following night, the Bruins traveled to Philadelphia to play the Flyers.  Losers of three straight and going in to the game with 5 days rest, the Flyers potent offense would present a real challenge for the B’s.   Tuukka Rask tuukka_2 was between the pipes for the Bruins as they earned a point in a 4-3 shootout loss.  Rask tuukka was largely responsible for this point, as he stopped a clean breakaway from Jeff Carter in the last-minute of the third that would have given the Flyers the win in regulation.  But nine games into the season, the Bruins had finally managed to get points in consecutive games.

Remember the date: October 24, 2009.  Not only was my friend Fitzy

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married this day, but if this season evolves the way Bruins optimists are hoping it does and the Bruins go deep into the playoffs, this date may be pointed to as the game in which the Bruins showed they can never be counted out of a game.  Sure, they scored 3 goals in the last 8:01 against the Islanders a few games ago to complete a comeback, but that was nothing.  The Bruins were in Ottawa, and Mark Recchi was playing in his 1500th NHL game.  It appeared as though Recchi’s feat would be the only noteworthy aspect of this game as the Bruins trailed 3-1 with less than two minutes remaining in the third period.  Tim Thomas played arguably his best game thus far this season, the highlight being a gem with 1:39 remaining in the 2nd period.  Thomas was pulled in the waning minutes of the third period, and watched from the bench as Recchi celebrated his landmark game with a beautiful tip-in of a Derek Morris shot with 1:28 remaining in the third.  The Senators’ collapse was completed when David Krejci tipped in another Derek Morris shot/pass with 21.6 seconds left in the third to tie the game at three.  The goal was Krejci’s first, and hopefully getting that monkey monkey off his back will kick-start his much-needed offensive skills.  After a scoreless five-minute overtime, Patrice Bergeron secured two points for the Bruins with the only shootout goal.  As the Senators headed to the locker room throwing up in their mouths, the Bruins celebrated a truly improbable 4-3 victory.


So in three games without Lucic and Savard, the Bruins have gained five out of a possible six points. 4 Thumbs Up

The Bruins have four days of rest to enjoy their nice 2-0-1 streak before they face the Devils on Thursday.

Bruins Struggle in Opening Homestand

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey with tags , on October 13, 2009 by clarencethehorse

I had previously hoped that the Bruins worst game of the season was already behind them after only 2 games.   If I had bet on that, I would have lost….maybe twice.  The Bruins had bounced back nicely from their opening night no-show loss to Washington with a 7-2 spanking of Carolina, but one game does not indicate a turnaround.  Would the Bruins build on the momentum of the Carolina victory, or slide backwards and lay an egg?

In game 3, the Bruins laid an egg that could have made an omelette for Kirstie Alley. kristie alley fat They came out against the (no longer ‘Mighty’) Ducks fast and furious, running up a 15-5 shot advantage early on and registering 19 shots on goal in the first period.  Sadly, only one of those shots beat Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, the pride of Felben Wellhausen, Switzerland; a low slapper of the stick of Marco Sturm.  The Bruins had a 1-0 lead after one period. It was all downhill from there.

Early in the second period, the Bruins took a couple of ill-advised penalties, the Ducks scored two quick goals for a 2-1 lead, and the Bruins fell apart like a Chinese motorcycle.  Hunwick in particular  looked bad, and he’s starting to remind me of Admiral James Stockdale a bit:

The final score of 6-1 was pretty indicative of the lack of resistance that the B’s showed the rest of the way.


Next, the (definitely not ‘Mighty’) Islanders came to town. This would be just the elixir for the seemingly hungover Bruins, right?  Another disaster newcoke seemed imminent, however, when the Islanders led 3-0 with less than ten minutes left in the third period.  Showing their first signs of life in four and a half periods, the Bruins stormed back on goals by Savard, Bitz and Hunwick in the last eight minutes of regulation to tie the game 3-3 and force overtime.  The 4-3 shootout win (Savard – winning SHO goal) was another good sign, as the B’s have been on the losing end of more than their share of shootouts Shoot-out over the past few years.  Those extra points add up, and the Bruins will need every one of  ’em if their play does not improve.  But rallying from a 3-0 deficit in the third period is no blueprint for success, and the Bruins stole two points in this game.

To close out the rare season-opening home stand (5 games), Colorado came into town for the Columbus Day columbus_christopher matinee.   Unfortunately, the Avalanche came out in the first period and treated the Bruins like Columbus treated the Indians.  The Avs took a 2-0 lead, outshooting the Bruins 20-5 in the first stanza.  Awakening briefly from their coma like Sunny Von Bulow martha_von_bulow240 to take another Valium, the Bruins stormed back to tie the game 2-2 on goals by Mark Recchi and Blake Wheeler.  Shall we start to count the games until Wheeler gets another one?  But Ms. Von Bulow quickly lapsed back into unconsciousness and the Bruins were down 4-2 again by the end of period two.  Once again at center stage was Matt  Hunwick, leading the game of Twister twister_1966 that the Bruins were apparently playing in front of the bench.  But Colorado’s David Jones DavyJones cleverly remember it was a hockey game, and he took a feed from T.J. Galiardi and broke in alone from the Scotch ‘n Sirloin to once again provide a two goal cushion for the Avs.  This was also a shorthanded goal.  The fact that Colorado had an O’Reilly in their lineup (Ryan O’Reilly) was also slightly ironic. This was not Terry O’Reilly style Bruins hockey.

The Bruins play their first two road games this weekend in Dallas and Phoenix. Hopefully the road brings out better play from a Bruins team that is struggling to find its way in a league full of teams they can no longer surprise.

Definitely not a good opening home stand for the Bruins. Their record was 2-3, but they essentially had four clunkers out of five, and the one win over Carolina  may have been a product of leftover emotion from last year’s playoff loss.  The Bruins need to find a way to tap that emotion for every game, and this home stand showed they have alot of work to do in terms of motivation.

Maybe we would have been better off with the Circus ringling-brothers-circus-performing-elephant-posters in town, like every other year.

The stale air at the Garden couldn’t stink any more than it does right now.

To end on a happy note, here’s a man boxing a kangaroo.

First 2 Games: Jekyll and Hyde

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Music with tags , , , , on October 4, 2009 by clarencethehorse

We are a mere two games into the season, and I already hope that the Bruins worst game of the year is behind them. When the on-ice highlight of the night is YouTube sensation Junior Seau riding the zamboni, you know you’re in deep trouble. Especially against the offensively gifted and opportunistic Washington Capitals.  But that is how bad the Bruins looked hindenburg in losing their season opener 4-1 this past Thursday night.  The Bruins went 55 games last year before losing by more than two goals, but they got that dubious accomplishment out of the way early this season.  Here’s a play that sums up the game: Milan Lucic looking like Lurch lurch-kerry early in the third period as he was caught flat-footed deerheadlights by Alex Ovechkin, who jumped on the loose puck and quickly buried a snap shot past a surprised Tim Thomas to put the game essentially out of reach at 4-0.  Lucic’s play mirrored the entire evening for the Bruins, as they lost battle after battle.  That was the first time I noticed Lucic on the ice all nite, and many of the B’s forwards simply did not show up for this game. Patrice Bergeron, who got the Bruins lone goal, may have been the only exception.  This was not the way the Bruins wanted to perform in their most anxiously awaited opener in years.  For Saturday’s game, they needed to bounce back quickly and decisively, or long suffering Bruins fans would be putting their B’s jersey back into their closets amid cries of “Why did we trade Phil Kessel?!”.

What a difference a game makes.  The Bruins faced Aaron Ward and the Carolina Hurricanes for Game two, and they beat them handily, 7-2, beating them up physically along the way.  Instead of the crowd cheering on Seau riding the zamboni, we had Zdeno Chara Lurch-addams-family-6160640-114-120 riding Tom Kostopoulos like a mechanical bull.  Offensive woes of the season opener? Not anymore, as seven different Bruins dented the twine.  The power play outage against the Capitals?  No worries, as the B’s tallied 4 PPG’s against the Hurricanes.  Their forwards, who were so ineffective against the Caps, were creating offense with crisp break-out passes and aggressive rushes to the net.  After being outshot 34-20 on Thursday nite, the B’s outshot the Hurricanes 42-27.  When the Hurricanes tried to save a show a little life in the fisticuffs department, they got beat up even worse than on the scoreboard.  Milan Lucic was challenged by an ill-advised Jay Harrison in the second, and Lucic made him pay, lucic_harrison as Harrison looked like JFK arriving at Parkland Memorial Hospital as he made his way to the bench.  Ex-Bruin Andrew Alberts, who had sparked a 5-on-5 scrum in period 2 when he threw a questionable high hit on Marco Sturm, was also bloodied by Shawn Thornton in a third period bout.

The Bruins also dedicated the Fred Cusick cusick Broadcast booth at the TD Garden.  Here’s some more classic Fred.

So with a 2.43% sampling of this season in the books, this much is apparent:  the Bruins are NOT as bad as they looked against Washington in game 1, but they are also most likely not as good as they looked in game 2 against Carolina.  Next game:  Thursday at home vs. Anaheim.

Any Ben Folds fans out there?  Here’s a clip from his Saturday show at Calvin Theatre in Northampton