Archive for January, 2010

Kings Crown Peasant Bruins 2-1 in Shootout

Posted in Boston Bruins, History, Hockey, Music, Television with tags , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2010 by clarencethehorse

Saturday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Kings made it seven straight losses for the Boston Bruinsnow 1-8-2 in their last 11 games.

Talk About Team Chemistry…

Posted in Hockey, Television with tags , , , on January 30, 2010 by clarencethehorse

Bruins Slide Continues in Buffalo; Soupy du Jour

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Television with tags , , , on January 29, 2010 by clarencethehorse

The Bruins lost 2-1 to the Sabres in Buffalo tonight – see previous post for Soupy Sales pledge.

Another Lost Weekend for the Boston Bruins

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Movies, Music, Television with tags , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2010 by clarencethehorse

Things aren’t pretty in the land of the Boston Bruins.

Heading into this past weekend’s games against Ottawa and Carolina, the Bruins were teetering precariously on the verge of being out of the playoff picture in the East. Thanks to losses in both weekend games, the Bruins are now on the outside looking in – in 9th place in the East.  They are only three points from being in 13th place. Wtf happened? Which season is, or was, the fluke – this season, or last season?  There are 33 games remaining for the Bruins this season to help us decide. So far, with Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask being the exceptions, every returning Bruin has been a disappointment this season.

Losers of 8 of their last 9 games, the Bruins are heading downhill with stunning alacrity:

Quick, bitter, synopsis of the two games:

Ottawa: 2-1 loss. Tim Thomas allows another bad goal. B’s offense is AWOL. Daniel Paille had a nice bullet of a goal for the Bruins.

@Carolina: 5-1 loss. Thomas pulled after 4 goals. In the Carolina Hurricanes, the Bruins were facing the worst team in the 30-team NHL. Yikes.

“Serenity Now!”

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That being said – I really am keeping the faith for this year’s Boston Bruins.

I better, because right now, no one else is gonna do it.

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT from CLARENCE:

Until the Bruins win again, it’s nothing but Soupy Sales videos.

– Clarence

“The Nays have it”

Columbus Sticks it to the Bruins, 3-2

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Movies, Music, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2010 by clarencethehorse

Milan Lucic plays it respectfully when asked about the double-minor high-sticking call that referee Dean Morton assessed him with late in a 2-2 game Thursday nite against the Columbus Blue Jackets – an incorrect call that essentially handed the game (and two points) to Columbus.  The problem? It wasn’t Lucic’s stick that clipped Blue Jacket forward Derek Dorsett and drew blood – it was Dorsett’s teammate, defenseman Anton Stralman, whose stick clipped Dorsett.  Unlike this referee incident in the last game against Ottawa, where the game was long since lost and this referee “pick” just added insult to injury:

…the call against Columbus was the injury before the insult.  And giving Lucic four minutes prevented the Bruins any real chance to tie the game after RJ Umberger gave the Blue Jackets a 3-2 lead just 15 seconds into the (gift) power play with 1:16 remaining in regulation.

The second two minutes of Lucic’s double minor then gave Columbus another man advantage for the rest of regulation. The call that Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli received the next day must have been cold comfort, but at least the NHL admitted it blew the call.  Now, let’s make changes to get things correct in the future.  I have seen referees reviewing replays, headsets on, for 3-4 minutes for goal/non-goal calls that seemed fairly cut and dry – surely

officials can spend another few minutes to get a call right in instances where replay will offer that possibility.

Things started off OK for the Bruins, as Michael Ryder scored just 2:11 into the game to give them a 1-0 lead.  Columbus has struggled on the road (9-16-4), and this also marked the sixth consecutive game that they have given up a goal in the first 2:29 of play.  Dennis Wideman‘s struggles continued, and his ill-advised botched one-time pass led to Chris Clark’s goal which tied the game at one.  Milan Lucic got into his first fight since his return from a high-ankle sprain, sparring here with Blue Jacket Jared Boll:

The Bruins would re-gain the lead in the second on a quick wrist shot from Patrice Bergeron that beat Columbus goalie Steve Mason, his 12th goal of the season. If Mason wasn’t sharp on this goal, he made up for it the rest of the night – he would not be beaten again.

In the third period, the Blue Jackets tied the game seven minutes in – then won it on Umberger’s power play goal with 1:16 left in regulation. Mason channeled last season’s Calder trophy form as he stoned the Bruins at every turn.  This save on Zdeno Chara with three seconds left in regulation really encapsulated a day where the Bruins came up short in all areas – including luck.  If Mason returns to form over the rest of the season, this game may be looked back at as when he got his mojo back.

The Bruins have a chance to get back to winning ways this afternoon against the Ottawa Senators.  They also have a chance to avenge the 5-1 flogging that they took at the hands of the Senators this past Monday night at the TD Garden. The Bruins are now tied for the 7th in the conference with the New York Islanders, and are fading fast having lost 6 of their last 7 games.

No time like the present – today against the Senators – to let the opposition know that the Boston Bruins are not dead yet.

…are you listening, Milan?

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Classic Movie Clips of the Week

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Classic Music Clips of the Week

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Senators Impeach Impuissant Bruins, 5-1

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Movies, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2010 by clarencethehorse

There was only one winning Senator in Massachusetts on Tuesday, January 19 – but on January 18, every Senator at the TD Garden could claim victory as the Ottawa Senators filibustered the Boston Bruins, 5-1.  You could say that Tim Thomas‘ luck was due to run out, as he had gone 11-0-0 in his last 11 starts against Ottawa with a 1.43 GAA and .946 save percentage.  In fact, Thomas was pulled in favor of Tuukka Rask after the Senators went up 3-0 in the second period. Daniel Alfredsson was in the Senators’ lineup for his second game after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury, and his ninth career hat trick would lead the way as the Senators dominated the Bruins from the outset.

Daniel Paille‘s sixth goal would account for all the Bruins’ offense on this afternoon.

This goal by Jonathan Cheechoo sums up he afternoon for the B’s, as the referee throws a beautiful pick on Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman to allow Cheechoo to walk in alone and score Ottawa’s fifth goal of the game:

This was a weak effort all around by the Bruins.  I realize they had fatigue issues after catching the red-eye

back from their 3-game west coast trip, but you can’t use that excuse in today’s NHL.  They have now lost five of six games, and stand seventh in the Eastern conference – only six points ahead of 13th place Tampa Bay.  Marc Savard is another couple of weeks away from returning, so the Bruins have to find a way to keep the ship afloat until that time.

Currently they look as confused as Dick Clark  counting down on New Year’s Eve:

The Bruins face the Columbus Blue Jackets this Thursday night at the Garden.  The Blue Jackets coaching staff, and fantasy owners everywhere, are wondering if rookie goaltending phenom Steve Mason will return to last season’s form.

Then, on Saturday afternoon, the Senators will return to the Garden for a re-match matinee.

The Bruins hope to feel more like Scott Brown, and less like Martha Coakley after this game against the Senators.

Good Omen?

The last time a Republican Senator was elected in Massachusetts was 1972Scott Brown repeated this rare feat in 2010.

The last time the Bruins won the Stanley Cup was 1972.

A horse can dream, can’t he?

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Here’s Dick Clark in better days – a cameo on Police Squad from the early 1980’s:

Mixed Results for the Bruins in West Coast Trip

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Movies, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2010 by clarencethehorse

The Boston Bruins return home for their Martin Luther King Day afternoon matinee game against the Ottawa Senators having earned three of a possible six points on their brief West coast road trip.  They sandwiched an improbable shootout win against the San Jose Sharks with two games in which they gave up third period leads, so for the Bruins, it felt like they could/should have come home with more than three points. But this team was playing with so many missing components heading into these three games that a 1-1-1 record has to be seen as at least a semi-successful road trip.

Game 1 – Anaheim 1/13/10

In the first game against Anaheim, Tuukka Rask was in-goal for the Bruins facing NHL player of the week Jonas Hiller between the pipes for the Ducks.

Teemu Selänne was also in the lineup for the Ducks. On the verge of turning 40 next summer,  Selänne had what is still arguably the greatest NHL rookie season of all time in 1992-93 when he had 76 goals and 132 points for the Winnipeg Jets.

He would suffer a broken jaw late in the game that will sideline him for 4-8 weeks:

TRIVIA QUESTION (Answer at bottom): Anaheim Head Coach Randy Carlyle won the Norris trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman in 1980-81.

For what team was he playing that season?

The Ducks took a 1-0 lead late in the first period, a period which featured two pretty good bouts – the first Adam McQuaid/Troy Bodie tussle was one of the best I’ve seen this year:

Byron Bitz and Kyle Chipchura also got pugilistic:

In the second period, goals from Zdeno Chara, Matt Hunwick and Marco Sturm (beautiful tip-in) gave the B’s a 3-2 lead heading into the third.

But, as this video of the Bruins third period shows, they would blow the lead and the game, losing 4-3:

Game 2 – San Jose 1/14/10

The next night in San Jose against the Sharks

the Bruins would have to get right back on the horse against one of the best teams in the NHL.  If not for the Bruins effort in this game, the road trip would have been a complete disaster. Wit David Krejci out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury, the Bruins went into this game with no natural centers in the lineup.  Tim Thomas would make 41 saves, a season high, as the Bruins would upset the Sharks 2-1 in a shootout.

Joe Thornton would get the lone Sharks’ goal.

Captain Zdeno Chara blasted home a rare shootout slap-shot for the deciding goal:

TheBostonBruinsShow sums up the BIG win for the Bruins nicely:

Here’s the complete game highlights from NHL.com:

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Game 3 – Los Angeles 1/16/10

Coinciding with the regional Northeast holiday of Hamfest,


the Bruins wrapped up their brief western road trip with a Saturday afternoon game  at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  Could the Bruins carry over the momentum fromwin over San Jose?

The game marked the return of center David Krejci.

Less than three minutes into the game, Adam McQuaid and Brandon Segal dropped the gloves:

McQuaid is showing a rugged side that could well earn him a place on a team that is really still searching for it’s identity.

Shawn Thornton earned his 13th fighting major in 45 games this season when he squared off with Raitis Ivanans just after the Kings took a 1-0 lead:

Before the end of the first period, Miroslav Satan would get his second goal since signing with the Bruins to tie the game at 1.  A pair of goals 11 seconds apart by Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder would give the Bruins a 3-1 lead after two periods of play.  But another third period collapse would allow the Kings to come away with a 4-3 shootout victory.

Here’s the full NHL.com highlights from this disappointing game for the Bruins:

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20092010,2,710

While they earned a point with the shootout loss, they should have come back to Boston with a win and two-points.  Any momentum from the win over the Sharks is gone, and the Bruins have now lost four of theri last five contests.  The B’s remain in fifth place in the conference, a mere four points from being out of the playoff picture. Patrice Bergeron could return as soon as tomorrow against the Senators, while Marc Savard is 2-3 weeks from a return from a knee injury.  Milan Lucic has had some major cobwebs since his return, and the Bruins need him to return his Tasmanian Devil form of old (with all due respect to Terry O’Reilly).

The Bleacher Report

Here’s an interesting article from the Bleacher Report

“This is a compilation of the Boston Bruins’ top acquisitions via trade or free agency of all time. All of these players had an impact on the franchise, but not all of them resulted in championships.

These players skated for the Bruins for many years or a short while. However, they are listed here because they all helped the Boston Bruins for the better during their stay.”

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TRIVIA ANSWER: The Pittsburgh Penguins

Black Hawks, Rangers Overpower Flat Bruins

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Music, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2010 by clarencethehorse

When the Chicago Black Hawks came to the TD Garden to play the Bruins last Thursday, it was more than a game for Boston – it was a litmus test to see how they stacked up against one of the NHL’s élite teams this year (Black Hawks were 30-10-3 heading into the game). For eight minutes, the Bruins seemed to rise to the occasion, as they built a 2-0 lead on goals by Blake Wheeler and Miroslav Satan (first as a Bruin).  Unfortunately, there was another 52 minutes – which Chicago dominated across the board and won the game 5-2, outshooting the B’s 36-21.  Even Zdeno Chara got flattened on this hit by Patrick Sharp, as the Hawks firmly grasped control of this game.  Tim Thomas was pulled after yielding four of the goals – is it Tuukka (Rask) time yet?

Image courtesy of Captain Mazda

The Bruins should have known this was not going to be their night when Marc Savard went down just 28 seconds into the game with a knee injury:

Savard will be out 3-4 weeks with a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament  in his right knee.  He won’t need surgery.  But he will have plenty of time to watch The Price is Right, for which he and Flyer Scott Hartnell did a promo for the Winter Classic:

Savard’s injury overshadowed the return of Milan Lucic, who missed the last 18 games with a high ankle sprain. Patrice Bergeron is still two weeks away from returning from his thumb injury, and Andrew Ference will be out for six weeks after injuring his groin in the next game against the Rangers.  Playing for the Bruins is suddenly turning into playing keyboards for the  Grateful Dead…your days are numbered.

There was one bout in the game which merits note simply because of the opportunity to say “Down goes Fraser!!”…it took a little prompting from NESN analyst Andy Brickley to get Jack Edwards to take the bait:

The Bruins were about as quick and sharp as Jack was on this night – not a good thing.

In the next game, a Saturday afternoon Garden matinee against the New York Rangers, things got rollicking quickly with this bout between the Bruins’ Shawn Thornton ( 6′ 2″, 217 lbs) and the Rangers’ Donald Brashear (6′ 3″, 237 lbs):

This was probably the high point of the afternoon for the Bruins.  Later in the first period, Marco Sturm became the first player in Bruins’ franchise history to attempt four penalty shots.  Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made the save, and a Michael Del Zotto goal gave the Broadway Blueshirts a 1-0 lead after one period.  The Rangers would lead 2-0 after two periods, and it was miracle it wasn’t more as the Rangers outshot the Bruins 21-3 in that second period.  Dennis Wideman did get his first goal in 17 games (3rd), but the rest of the Bruins offense was dormant once again. The Rangers 3-1 victory should be one of the easiest that Lundqvist and Co. have all season.

Tough times for Bruins fans – but here’s a Homer Top Ten to cheer us up…

HOMER TOP 10 on LATE NITE WITH DAVID LETTERMAN

To celebrate 20 years of The Simpsons, Homer Simpson presents the “Top Ten Things I’ve Learned From the Last 20 Years of Television.”

~ CLICK ON BRAIN ~

…or better yet, I just found the YouTube link:

Enjoy a few classics:

The Bruins head west for games this week against Anaheim, San José and Los Angeles.

The Bruins are currently fifth (22-15-7, 51 pts) in the Eastern Conference, but only four points ahead of ninth-place Philadelphia.

They desperately need someone to step forward and re-energize this team’s offense – Ryder? Lucic? Krejci? Sturm? Wheeler?

We’ll see who, if anyone, is up to the task over the next three games on the left coast.

Rangers Beat Bruins 3-2; Senators Lose Galluccio, and Game to Bruins 4-1

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2010 by clarencethehorse

It would appear the Bruins fell victim to a classic case of Post Fenway Winter Classic letdown

against the Rangers in New York on Monday, losing 3-2 when Chris Higgins scored his first goal at Madison Square Garden this season with 1:29 left in regulation. Despite a pair of goals in the waning minutes to tie the Rangers at two before Higgins’ game-winner, the Bruins did not show up for this game.  Word on the street is that coach Claude Julien  went all Elin Nordegren on the B’s troops following what he saw as a pathetic showing by the Bruins.  Another disturbing stat: in the Bruins last nine road games, they were 0 for 29 on the power play.  Tuukka Rask was in-goal, and while solid for the majority of the game, Higgins’ winning goal was one he would like to have back.  The Bruins would have a chance just 24 hours later to show that, despite the sluggish showing against the Rangers, they did not go into their hibernaculum for the winter just yet. And Claude  had made it clear he was looking for results, not rhetoric.

It was a different team that took the ice in Ottawa on Tuesday nite, and before Tim Thomas could sing Sweet Caroline, the Bruins had given him a 4-0 lead 13:45 into the first.  Breaking another undesirable trend, two of the goals were on the power play.

The Bruins were in command

the rest of the way, and won a 4-1 decision that was quite combative at times.

Shawn Thornton and Matt (don’t call me Terry) Carkner had this skirmish in the second period:

…and here’s some closure for the Terry Carkner reference:

It’s good to hear Fred Cusick‘s voice in the above video…I’m sure Fred was calling the Winter Classic from that big play-booth in the sky.  Just like Jack Edwards will be the play-by-play man in hell.

The good news from these two games: Blake Wheeler‘s five points (3 G, 2 A).  The bad news: Patrice Bergeron is out for 2-3 weeks (fractured thumb, non-displaced) and Andrew Ference is out six weeks (groin).  Bergeron’s loss especially hurts, as he was the Bruins leader in points and in presence.  Milan Lucic (possible Saturday return against the Rangers)

can’t return fast enough, as the Bruins forwards will need a boost with Bergeron’s loss. Ference’s injury, while unfortunate, will allow young B’s blueliners Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid to get some much-needed ice-time to develop.

Someone will step up to fill the void left by Ference’s zero goals in 42 games.

The Bruins (22-13-7, 51 pts, 5th in Eastern Conference) play their next 2 games against teams that are a combined 15-3-2 in their last 10 games. The Western Conference leading Chicago Blackhawks (30-10-3, 63 pts) make their lone TD Garden visit of the season on Thursday nite.  And the New York Rangers (7-1-2 in last 10 games) come to Boston on Saturday for a 1:00 matinee game.

 

Bruins FanFest at Fenway – Goodbye 2009

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2010 by clarencethehorse

The Boston Bruins FanFest was held the day before this year’s Winter Classic at Fenway Park.

The snow started to fall just as the gates opened.

Mikey Adams tent was a hoppin’ place to be, and with Mikey apparently tripping on South American toad bellies, he was even more loquacious than usual.

But he never expected Travis the skating Monkey!!

NHL Hall of Famer Johnny “Chief” Bucyk

Boston Bruins 1957 – 1978

Rick “Nifty” Middleton

Boston Bruins 1976 – 1988

Lyndon Byers (“L.B.”)

Boston Bruins 1983 – 1992

A choice of Three Stooges marathons must mean the year is almost over.

~ Here’s to 2010 ~