Archive for the History Category

Boston Bruins to face Vancouver Canucks in 2011 Stanley Cup Finals – and Clarence has Returned!

Posted in Boston Bruins, History, Hockey, Television, Travel and Nature with tags , , , , on May 31, 2011 by clarencethehorse

How could I ignore the Bruins going to their first Stanley Cup finals since 1990?

While I may have been away from the blog, I’ve been intently watching this Bruins team as it has placed a stranglehold around it’s fans hearts by winning their first three rounds in the 2011 NHL playoffs.

It’s been a while, and the Finals start tomorrow night in Vancouver, so here’s a quick summary of what has happened since my last post:

  • Blake Wheeler is gone
  • Tyler Seguin is BACK
  • Elizabeth Taylor is Dead
  • After losing the first two games at home, the Bruins beat Montreal in a thrilling game 7 OT classic. A Nathan Horton goal sends fans into a state of nirvana in the streets surrounding the Garden.
  • Osama Bin Laden – DEAD.
  • Bruins then sweep the Flyers in four straight, proving they CAN close out a 3-0 lead. Redemption? Check.
  • Our hometown heroes then knock off the Tampa Bay Lightning in another 7-game instant classic, with Horton again delivering the game 7 winner in a 1-0 thriller.

Sit back and enjoy, Bruins fans…who knows when this may come around again.

Here’s an interesting perspective from a Vancouver TV station…including the demise of the mysteriously-named “Boston Pizza”.

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Boston Bruins Not Doubting Thomas; Goalie Remains Undefeated as Bruins Cool Off

Posted in Boston Bruins, History, Hockey, Movies, Music, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2010 by clarencethehorse

The Boston Bruins started November with three games in four nights, and were hoping to build on the momentum of their 6-2 October.  Goaltender Tim Thomas was a large part of that momentum, as he took a 6-0-0 record into Buffalo to start the three game stretch. The Sabres, at 3-7-1, were struggling like Snooki at a spelling bee….could this be a ‘trap’ game?

The Bruins let it be known that they would be falling for no traps, as they jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead on the strength of shorthanded goals from Brad Marchand (1) and Patrice Bergeron (2). “Bad Blake”  Wheeler added his first of the season, on the strength of a terrific pass from Michael Ryder.

Marchand‘s goal was his first of his career, and the Bruins first shorthanded goal of the season:

Ryder, who seems to have gotten some type of B-12 shot  this season, scored in the second to make it 4-0.  Ryder’s intensity has been a pleasant surprise this season…but he’s still nauseatingly  overpaid at $4 million a season. The Bruins held on for a 5-2 win, as Milan Lucic added an empty netter and Thomas made 33 saves.

Thomas became the first goalie in Boston Bruins franchise history to start the season 7-0-0, and the 2010-11 Boston Bruins team became the first to open the season at 5-0-0 on the road.

Lucic has points in eight of the Bruins’ first nine games, and the comparisons to Cam Neely do not seem as far-fetched as they once did.

Game Notes:

  • This game was the 1,000th NHL game for local product Mike Grier.
  • The Bruins are now 4-0-0 in games in which they are outshot. From the “meaningless stats” file.
  • Word has it that Marco Sturm is making strides in getting back into the Bruins’ lineup. Sources say he should be ready to get back on the ice and re-injure himself in 4-6 weeks.

Clarence had to DVR the Bruins next game against the Washington Capitals, as I was giddily attending the Guided By Voices Classic Lineup Reunion show at the Paradise. But having already beaten Washington twice already this young season, the Bruins should have expected a very tough game. Tim Thomas was back in net for the B’s, and the Bruins left him out to dry for most of the first two periods.  The B’s were behind 3-0 entering the third period, and coach Claude Julien pulled Thomas and put in Tuukka Rask.  From the fast-forward DVR review of the game, the Bruins seemed to be turning the puck over in the neutral zone quite a bit. This was something they had not been doing this season, and an instant-offense team like Washington will take advantage of many of these mistakes.  And they did.  The Bruins mounted an admirable comeback in the third to make it 3-3, but Rask let in a long snapper by John Carlson, then Alex Ovechkin added an empty-netter to make it a 5-3 final and a win for the Capitals.

Since Rask was in net when the Bruins tied the game at three, he became the goalie of record and took the loss….thus keeping Timmy  still undefeated (7-0-0) on the season.

Here’s the highlights of this game courtesy NHL.COM:

CLICK HERE -> http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20102011,2,180&fr=false <- CLICK HERE

The St. Louis Blues came to the Garden leading the NHL’s Central Division with a 7-1-2 record, with ex-Canadien Jaroslav Halak between the pipes. Ex-Bruin Vladimir Sobotka got the Blues out to a 1-0 lead in the first, as the Bruins struggled to beat the omnipresent Halak.  Tuukka was in net for the Bruins, and played well (34 saves).  Nathan Horton hit more posts than Patches Kennedy driving to a 2:00 a.m. House vote, and Mark Stuart had a great hit on Jay McClement followed by a good bout against B.J. Crombeen:

…but the Bruins seemed a step behind all night, and when they did get their chances, Halak stoned them.

Gregory Campbell scored his first as a Bruin to tie it at one in the third, and give the Bruins a chance to get the two points.  The OT period was scoreless, and although the shootout featured Tyler Seguin‘s first shootout goal (a beauty), the Bruins (again) clanked TWO posts and ended up losing the game:

Obviously not the best of stretches for the Bruins, but they still gathered three out of a possible six points over the four night span…far from a disaster .

The B’s have a few days off before they face the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, followed by home games against Montreal and Ottawa on Thursday and Saturday nights respectively.

Boston Bruins Streak into November

Posted in Boston Bruins, History, Hockey, Music, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2010 by clarencethehorse

There was a moment at the Garden last Thursday that seemed to symbolize the dawn of a new era for Bruins’ hockey:

Phil Kessel, in town with his fellow Maple Leafs and still pointless (in both ways) at the Garden as a Leaf, said he “couldn’t care less” about the crowd’s chant.  Tyler Seguin had just scored his first (of many?) goal at the Garden, and his presence on the Bruins is a result of the draft pick that Toronto gave us for Phil Kessel.

It was a magic early season moment at the Garden. Remember how the Bruins came out of the gate last season?  For whatever reason, they could never gain any traction…and, at times, looked absolutely terrible.

And when they did finally get traction in the playoffs, that ended abruptly…

Well, the Bruins seem to have found their stride much more quickly this season than last.  Last season, they struggled right from the get-go to establish any team identity, especially on home ice. It’s only eight games, but a 6-2 record only tells part of the story.   Following a 1-1 trip to open the season in Prague, the Bruins have gone 5-1.

Some key early season statistics:

  • Following their opening 5-2 loss to Phoenix, the Bruins have allowed 6 goals in 7 games. Wow.
  • Tim Thomas is leading the defensive stampede, going 6-0 with a .984 SV% and a 0.50 GA. He already has three shutouts, and would have four, if he didn’t handle the puck like Diane Wilkerson handles tax returns.
  • The Bruins have the largest GF/GA differential (+13), and have played in the fewest games (8) in the league.
  • Nathan Horton scored 5 goals in his first six games; and his scrap with Dion Phaneuf of the Leafs was the start of a Garden love affair. This guy is a Bruin.
  • The David Krejci, Horton, and Milan Lucic line has combined for 26 points and a +16…in only eight games.
  • Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron both got their first NHL goals out of the way early…and both have scored two more since.
  • Bruins win both ends of a home-and-home series against league powerhouse Washington, in which they outscored the Caps 7-2.
  • After a brief stumble against the Rangers, losing 3-2, the Bruins and Tim Thomas post back to back shutouts against Toronto and Ottawa to close out October at 6-2.

I know.  A small sample indeed.  But the Bruins are hitting all the right notes…which can’t be said of everyone at the Garden so far this season:

In the 3-1 Bruins victory over the Capitals on October 19, Milan Lucic had a “Gordie Howe hat trick“.  Looch had fought, and lost to, John Erskine earlier in his career.  As Brick points out, this one was percolating all night:

Milt Schmidt Night at the Garden

It was also Milt Schmidt Night on Thursday October 28, and Uncle Milty was honored in a pregame ceremony that showed the respect that Bruins fans have for this 92-year old legend, and what he’s done for this organization.  Schmidt played with the Bruins from 1936 to 1942, then again from 1945 to 1955 after serving in World War II in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He put up 229-346-575 totals in 776 games and won Stanley Cups in 1939 and 1941, then helped guide the Bruins to their two most recent championships in 1970 and 1972 as the club’s GM.

The Bruins have a grueling schedule in November. When they face-off against the Sabres in Buffalo tomorrow night, it will begin a stretch of 14 games in 27 days.

So the Bruins have gotten off the tee nicely…let’s see how their fairway game is.

This Week’s “How Did This Happen?” Clip:

And one last reminder for all you politically ambitious kids out there….zip up!

2009-2010 Boston Bruins Overachieve….Collapse

Posted in Boston Bruins, History, Hockey with tags , , , , on July 25, 2010 by clarencethehorse

It has been over two months since the 2010 Boston Bruins joined the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, the 1975 New York Islanders, and the 2004 New York Yankees on the rather infamous list of professional sports teams that have managed to blow three-games-to-none series leads and gone on to lose the playoff series.

For purposes of symmetry (apparently), the Bruins also relinquished a 3-0 lead in the deciding game 7 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Unbelievable.

This one is gonna hurt for a long time, Bruins fans.

It’s taken me this long to even log Clarence back on…he really let himself go in the weeks following this historic Bruins’ collapse:

…but is now back to his old self and ready to move forward, leaving the dismal last stanza of the 2009-2010 Boston Bruins in his rear view mirror:

More to come soon….

Australian Politics – If You Need a Laugh…

Posted in History, Television, Travel and Nature on March 9, 2010 by clarencethehorse

On August 19th 2007, an oil tanker off the coast of Australia split in two, dumping 20,000 tons of crude oilSenator Collins, a member of the Australia Parliament, appeared on a TV news program to reassure the Australian public.  This actual interview is so funny, you’d swear it was a Saturday Night Live, Monty Python or Abbott and Costello skit.

Team USA Faces Canada for the Gold on Sunday

Posted in History, Hockey, Movies, Music, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2010 by clarencethehorse

Olympic Update: Rizzo and U.S. Men’s Hockey

Posted in History, Hockey, Movies, Music with tags , , , , , on February 23, 2010 by clarencethehorse

Immediate Oscar Front-runner Rizzo, all of four years old, delivers the goods in this stirring delivery of Herb Brooks‘ inspirational 1980 speech to his troops at Lake Placid:

Men’s Hockey: USA Defeats Canada, 5-3


…as Canadian Nation Puts Loss Behind Them