Archive for the Travel and Nature 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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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.

Bruins Fend Off Sabres, Sidestep Lightning, and Tranquilize Panthers – Winning Streak Hits Four

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Music, Television, Travel and Nature with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2010 by clarencethehorse

After ending a 10-game skid with a victory in Montreal last Sunday, the Boston Bruins looked to continue their winning ways in the remaining three games (see below) of their four-game road trip – a road trip that would take them up to the Winter Olympic break.  The bounces are suddenly going the Bruins way, and the solid goaltending of Tuukka Rask (4-0-1 in starting five consecutive games) allowed them to run the table on the road trip, going 4-0-0.

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Click on the SCORE below for Highlights from NHL.com.

Bruins 3, Sabres 2 (Shootout)

In the first period against Buffalo, it was the Daniel Paille show.  Paille, traded to the Bruins from Buffalo earlier this season in the first-ever transaction between the Boston and Buffalo organizations, scored two first period goals – and almost had a natural hat-trick in the period if not for a spectacular save by Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.  Early in the second period, Shawn Thornton and Craig Rivet dropped the gloves and had a spirited fray:

The momentum switched in the second period, though, and goals by Derek Roy and Tyler Myers made it a 2-2 game after two periods. Myers goal was a rare weak moment for Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, as he was fooled and caught flat-footed as Myers surprised him by ripping a quick wrist shot as he crossed into the Bruins’ zone.  There was no scoring in the third period, but it did feature this tussle between Milan Lucic and Buffalo’s Adam Mair:

The Bruins would have won this game in overtime if not for Miller, as the Bruins could not get a puck by him despite numerous high quality scoring chances.  Much like crossing the bridge of death, the Bruins knew they had their work cut out for them in the ensuing shootout.

Miller is one of the best all-time in NHL shootouts (check out the stats), with a 28-19 record and a .709 save percentage.

But – alas – shootout goals by Marco Sturm and David Krejci gave the Bruins the victory, and they had back to back wins for the first time in 2010Tuukka Rask posted a career-high 43 saves, as Tim Thomas bored children with his stories of growing up in Flint, Michigan.

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Click on the SCORE below for Highlights from NHL.com.

Bruins 5, Lightning 4

The Bruins came out of the gate flying against Tampa Bay at the St. Pete Times Forum.

They had built a 4-0 lead at the end of the first period on goals by Miroslav Satan and Milan Lucic, then two from Michael Ryder.  Boston dominated, as they had 21 shots in the first period – conversely, for the last 13 minutes of that period, Tampa Bay had no shots. This was also the first time in 17 games that the Bruins had scored more than three goals in a game, dating back to their 4-1 victory in Ottawa on 1/5. Lucic‘s second goal of the game early in the second period would give the Bruins a (seemingly) comfortable 5-0 lead.  But two goals apiece from Martin St. Louis and Steve Downie brought the Lightning back to within a goal at 5-4 with 3:13 remaining in regulation. Showing some grit late in the game, the Bruins held on for the 5-4 regulation victory, and found themselves back in the playoff hunt tied for the eighth and final playoff spot with – who else – the Tampa Bay Lightning.

GAME MILESTONE: Mark Recchi played in his 1,549th NHL game, tying him  for ninth place on the career list with Alex Delvecchio.

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Click on the SCORE below for Highlights from NHL.com.

Bruins 3, Panthers 2 (Shootout)

Heading into their last game before the Olympic break, the Bruins were facing a Panthers team that had lost five games in a rowNick Tarnasky‘s first goal of the year gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead, but Panther’s goalie Tomas Vokoun allowed a softie to David Krejci, and the score was tied at one.  But Stephen Weissend-to-end highlight film goal, in which he even burned Zdeno Chara, gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead with 1:06 remaining in the first:

There was no scoring in the second stanza, but there was a good bout between Adam McQuaid and the Panthers Victor Oreskovich….click on the picture below to see the fight at hockeyfights.com:

Mark Recchi again proved himself to be the most valuable 42-year old in the NHL by scoring his 12th goal of the season when he deflected home a Dennis Wideman shot with 8:16 remaining in the third period to tie the game at two.  But the best was yet to come from Recchi, who capped off an epic eight-round shootout with a pretty goal to give the Bruins a 3-2 shootout victoryDavid Krejci and Marc Savard had both scored shootout goals to keep the Bruins alive in rounds 3 and 7 before Recchi came in swooping from the right side, then quickly deked and beat Tomas Vokoun high on his right glove side to propel the Bruins to victory.

The Bruins head into the Olympic break in seventh place in the eastern conference, one point ahead of the Montreal Canadiens.

Funny Picture of the Week

“Honey…are you sure this is the right book store?

Don Cherry Night on NESN – March 4, 2010

Random Videos of the Week

Albert Hammond had a hit with this song in 1972; I always think of the seawall in Scituate’s Sand Hills Beach section when I hear this song.  Hammond’s son Albert Hammond Jr. is a guitarist for The Strokes.

2010 NHL Winter Classic an Instant Classic

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Music, Travel and Nature with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2010 by clarencethehorse

It was January 1, 2010 in Boston – but to a Boston Bruins fan, it felt more like 1972.

Yawkey Way, and all the streets surrounding Boston’s Fenway Park, were painted in blotches of black and gold – with a smattering of orange from a good number of bold Flyer fans.

But no matter what colors you were wearing, there was an air of anticipation that hockey fans were about to see something special.

“Dirty Water” was a recurring theme for Clarence in 2009.  I saw it covered by Dave Matthews at Fenway in May last year, then by Billy Joel at Gillette Stadium and Steely Dan at the Wang Center on consecutive weekends in July.  With all due respect to the Standells, I was actually aching for some “Brass Bonanza” when I first saw the band:

Boston was a hockey town on this day, and you’ll find little argument to the contrary from any Boston sports fan.

After a bit of a logjam getting situated in the park:

I got into my seats in the right field roof deck for a pretty cool view of the on-field festivities.  Prep work on the main ice surface was overshadowed by the Pee-wee hockey game in right-center field.  Helicopters hovered overhead as Flyers fans around me debated whether or not Daniel Carcillo would get into the first fight in Winter Classic history (he did).

The biggest piece of the most recent 1972 Stanley Cup for the Bruins was there – the celestial Bobby Orr, skating slowly but effortlessly to center ice to take the ceremonial face-off with former Flyers nemesis Bobby Clarke.  The appearance of Bobby Orr on the ice at Fenway Park put the capacity crowd of 38,112 into a frenzy:

It was a three-ring circus on the field leading up to the game, featuring the Dropkick Murphys:

…and native son James Taylor, delivering his smoothest national anthem yet at Fenway Park:

Being at Fenway, I thought JT may play this song in honor of Dice-K:

…but I digress…

A B-2 stealth bomber did a flyover following Taylor’s anthem…and fireworks behind home plate lit up the gray skies of a winter day unlike any other before at Fenway Park:

Once the action got underway, both teams struggled to find their rhythms. Speculation about whether or not Fenway would provide the backdrop for the first fight in Winter Classic ended at 12:01 of the first period.  Usual suspects Shawn Thornton (Bruins) and Dan Carcillo (Flyers) dropped the gloves, with Carcillo gaining a decision:

At 4:42 of the second period, Tim Thomas lost his composure and left his crease to cross-check perennial pest Scott Hartnell.  Only problem was Flyers defenseman Danny Syvret put a shot on net at that moment, and the Flyers had a 1-0 lead.  The second period flowed into the third, and Flyers goalie Michael Leighton continued to stone the Bruins – it appeared that Thomas would be the goat of the 2010 Winter Classic.  As the clock hit five minutes left in the third, I started to get a sick feeling in my stomach that this long-awaited Winter Classic may come and go without anyone ever knowing what the Bruins crowd would sound like in Fenway after the Bruins scored a goal.

But with the Bruins on a power play late in the third, Mark Recchi tipped home a Derek Morris shot to tie the score at one, and the Fenway crowd exploded like an underwear bomb with 2:18 remaining in regulation.  In the OT period, Marco Sturm completed the Bruins’ Winter Classic comeback when he deflected home a Patrice Bergeron shot 1:57 into the overtime period.

The Bruins had an improbable 2-1 victory, and Bruins fans spilled out into the streets surrounding Fenway in a state of nirvana.

The work of Tim Thomas in OT cannot be overlooked – the Bruins could have easily lost this game several times if not for Thomas.  And after the game, Thomas found out he had been named the 2010 U.S. Olympic team.  So instead of being the scapegoat du jour, Tim Thomas had a day that most professional athletes can only dream of.

No matter how you slice it, the 2010 Winter Classic was an unqualified success.

Here’s a nice compilation of all the highlights/hoopla from the 2010 Winter Classic:

Check out the highlights from the game and all the surrounding events at NHL.com:

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=14&id=55973

Sure, it’s been a long 37.5 years since the Bruins last drank from Lord Stanley’s chalice.  But the 2010 Winter Classic only made the Bruins fans more anxious for their team to slake that thirst once again.

Vivid Sunset after the Storm – Norwood, MA

Posted in Travel and Nature with tags , on December 20, 2009 by clarencethehorse

Town of Banff at Dawn Today 12/20/2009

Posted in Travel and Nature with tags on December 20, 2009 by clarencethehorse

Here’s a nice shot from Banff’s webcam this morning…..2158 miles (3473 kilometers) from Boston; the town is below the clouds:

Here’s the link for the current image:

http://www.explorerockies.com/banff-webcam/

And here’s a couple of shots I took from the same location on a visit to Banff in October 2007: