Archive for Marco Sturm

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.

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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.

Bruins Finally Get a Win – Losing Streak is Over

Posted in Boston Bruins, History, Hockey, Movies, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by clarencethehorse

Boston Bruins fans collectively exhaled on Sunday afternoon, as the Bruins beat Montreal 3-0 to end their losing streak at 10 games.

Tuukka Rask was in net and made 36 saves for his third shutout of the season, and Marco Sturm scored twice to lead the B’s at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

It was the Bruins first home victory since their New Year’s Day victory in the Winter Classic at Fenway Park.

The game also featured the first NHL goal of Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid:

…as well as the first NHL fight for Blake (don’t call me Bob Sweeney) Wheeler:

It looks like that off-season training regimen finally paid off:

Rask was huge in this game, especially in the second period when the Canadiens outshot the Bruins 15-3, as he earned his third shutout of the season and added fuel to the Bruins goaltender debate.  Rumors are also swirling about the Bruins making Tim Thomas available as the March 3rd NHL trade deadline approaches.

The Bruins (24-22-11) stand two points out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the eastern conference as they head into tonight’s game in Buffalo.  Road games will follow in Tampa Bay on Thursday, then in Sunrise, FL  against the Florida Panthers on Saturday.  Then, they enter the two-week break for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

After losing 10 games in a row, the Bruins are only two points out of the playoff race?  Wow….Bruins fans really should:

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

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

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.

Bruins Pluck Thrashers for Ninth Consecutive Time

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Music with tags , , , , , , , on January 2, 2010 by clarencethehorse

The Boston Bruins dominance over the Atlanta Thrashers is not quite yet at Harlem Globetrottters/Washington Generals proportions, but the Bruins defeated Atlanta 4-0 in their final game before the NHL’s Winter Classic against the Flyers on New Year’s Day for their ninth consecutive victory against the Thrashers.  But the Washington Generals did not have Ilya Kovalchuk, the Russian sniper who will be changing jerseys before the NHL trading deadline of March 3.  In his last 5+ seasons, Kovalchuk has 254 goals, 97 of them on the power-play.  Sounds like a couple of areas (goals…PP goals) the Bruins are sorely lacking in. Even if the Bruins need to part with Ellsbury and Buchholz, I say make the deal.  But neither Kovalchuk or any of his teammates emitted much power on this nite, as the Bruins put the Thrashers on the verge of extinction with three first period goals by Byron Bitz (4th), Marco Sturm (13th) and Steve Begin (3rd) for a commanding 3-0 lead at the end of the first.  The goal for Begin was his first in 30 games, a slump that was more than balanced out by Begin’s hard-nosed play game in and game out.  People were concerned about replacing Phil Kessel’s goals and P.J. Axelson’s defense this season, but there was also a void left with the departure of Stephane Yelle, whose veteran leadership made Boston’s fourth line last year (with Shawn Thornton and Bitz) arguably the best (Read: toughest to play against) in the league.  The same can be said this year with Begin in Yelle’s place, and his +2 rating (with only 12 points) on a team with the 4th fewest goals in the conference speaks volumes about his defensive play.

These three goals chased starting goalie Ondrej Pavelec (GAA of 13.00 in last 2 games at Garden) from the game for the second straight Wednesday nite at the TD Garden, and Johan Hedberg stepped in and kept it respectable by stopping 19 of 20 shots the remainder of the way.  Only a Patrice Bergeron second period shot beat him, but the Bruins could have easily won this game 8-0 if not for  Hedberg.  Andrew Ference thought he had his long-awaited first goal of the season on this play in the second period, but Hedberg came up with the save….and once again Ference gets the “Nelson Muntz treatment”:

Tuukka Rask was back in goal for the Bruins, and he earned his second shutout of the season with saves like this one in the third period.

Game Notes:

  • This was Atlanta’s sixth straight loss, and they have no PPG’s in their last three games.
  • This game also marked the first time this season that Atlanta has been shutout.
  • Is Kerry Fraser the real Benjamin Button?  This guy has been doing NHL games for as long as I can remember, and he still moves as well around the ice as any NHL official.

As the Bruins were shutting out the Thrashers 4-0, the Flyers were stomping the Rangers 6-0 – so both of these teams head into the Winter Classic playing some of their best hockey of the season.

Clarence’s Winter Classic posting will be soon….