Archive for Milan Lucic

Bruins Face Los Angeles Kings Looking to Extend Winning Streak to Four

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

Since last Saturday’s pathetic undertaking against the Senators, a 2-0 loss on home ice, the Bruins have rebounded nicely with three consecutive wins. While the entire team has been playing well, this stretch may prove to be the offensive ‘coming-out’ party for B’s power winger Milan Lucic.

“Looch” had an assist in the 3-0 win over New Jersey, then had the B’s first goal in a 3-2 victory over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, then sent the Boston Garden into a frenzy on Thursday night with a natural hat trick in a 4-0 Bruins win over the Florida Panthers.

Bruins 3, Devils 0 – 11/15/10

Tim Thomas was HUUUGE in the opening minutes of this game, and somehow kept New Jersey off the scoreboard:

Mark Stuart had a particularly strong game, and he buried Mattias Tedenby on this play:

Michael Ryder (5), Nathan Horton (8) and “Bad Blake” Wheeler (3) scored to help improve Tim Thomas‘ record to 9-1-0 on the season. The shutout was Thomas’ fourth on the young season, tops in the NHL.

Bruins 3, Rangers 2 – 11/17/10

Broken record alert: Tim Thomas stood on his head, especially in the third period when the Bruins killed off a 5 on 3 Rangers power play for 1:44, and the Bruins held on for a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Milan Lucic (7), Tyler Seguin (4) and Mark Recchi (2) had the Bruins goals, as Thomas’ record went to an impressive 10-1-0, with a 1.37 GAA and a .959 SV%.

Click on the picture below for highlights:

Bruins 4, Panthers 0 – 11/18/2010

Tuukka Rask, at 0-4-1 on the season, was looking for his first win of the season, as ex-Bruin Dennis Wideman and the Florida Panthers came to the Garden on Thursday night. Nathan Horton, Dennis Seidenberg and Gregory Campbell were also playing against their old Panthers teammates for the first time since arriving to the Bruins.

Milan Lucic‘s hat trick led the B’s…see video above  . Looch scored two goals in 15 seconds in the third period to complete the natural hat trick, and send the hats flying at the Boston Garden.

The highlight of the first two periods was this Shawn Thornton/Darcy Hordichuk heavyweight bout:

So Tuukka finally gets a well-deserved ‘W’ with a shutout, and gets that annoying monkey off his back.

Bruins Notes:

  • The win over the Rangers was Claude Julien’s 143rd win as Bruins coach, passing Tom Johnson and moving him into 5th place for wins all-time by a Bruins coach.
  • Mark Recchi had 2 assists in the New Jersey win, the 391st multi-point game of his career.
  • The Bruins are outscoring their opponents 22-9 in the third period this season.
  • Tuukka’s shutout against the Panthers was the seventh of his career.
  • Longtime Clarence confidant BornAgainBruinsFan was at the game against Florida…good work BABF, 1-0-0 so far!
  • Is it me, or does Panther’s coach Peter DeBoer look like a young Cousin Eddie from “Vacation”?

The 12-6 Los Angeles Kings visit the Boston Garden tonight, and I will make this promise:  If Rene Rancourt sings the national anthems, the Bruins WILL win.

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Bruins Rally; Club Defenseless Penguins 7-4

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

Relax, PETA. Save your misguided vitriol…

And remember one thing: penguins would kill you if they could.

This past Wednesday night, the Bruins entered the third period in Pittsburgh behind 4-2. In a hard-fought first two periods that featured three good fracas:

..as well as Milan Lucic almost taking the dreaded “opposing bench plunge”:

…the Bruins just could not seem to click, and were being beaten to pucks in all zones. One thing for sure: last season’s Boston Bruins would have folded* like a Circus Tent and lost the game without much of a third period fight.

I’m not sure what happened in the Bruins locker room in between the second and third periods, but the Bruins came out for the third period as a team with a purpose…maybe Claude Julien gave his troops a motivational speech:

Whatever the reason, the Bruins turned a 4-2 deficit into a 7-4 runaway victory by throwing a good old-fashioned 5-0 third period on the beaten and stunned Penguins.

The five unanswered third period goals came from Nathan Horton (7), Zdeno Chara (3), Shawn Thornton (3, game winner), “Bad Blake” Wheeler (2) and Milan Lucic (6), as 15 players registered points on the night for the Bruins.  Only Mark Stuart, Andrew Ference and Danielle Paille were held off the scoreboard by the Penguins.

Watch and enjoy:

The Penguins peppered Bruins goalie Tim Thomas with 46 shots on the night, but Thomas continued his white-hot (and historic) start to improve to 8-0-0.

Random Bruins Notes:

  • Toronto has lost seven straight games as of Wednesday.  Bruins fans can only hope those struggles continue, as the Bruins hold Toronto’s first round pick in next summer’s draft from the Phil Kessel signing. Another high first-rounder for the Bruins perhaps?
  • The Bruins suffered a pretty bad hangover the next night against Montreal at the Garden, as the lost 3-1 with Tuukka Rask in goal for the B’s. Carey Price started in goal for Montreal, and frustrated the B’s at every turn. Tied at one entering the third, Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez scored third period goals to help Montreal defeat the Bruins 3-1.
  • The Montreal loss put Rask at 0-4-1 on the season. This is no indication of how Rask has been playing, but it’ll be nice to get Tuukka that first ‘W’ of the season.

The Bruins play an always dangerous Ottawa Senators team at the Garden tonight…here’s hoping that my old friend Rene Rancourt performs the national anthems before tonight’s game.

If Rene does the honors tonight, Clarence guarantees a win for the Bruins against the Senators.

* Folding:

Bob Mould at the Met in Pawtucket this past Monday performing “Wishing Well”:

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!

2010-2011 Boston Bruins Season Opens with a Split in Prague, and a Win in New Jersey; Bruins Write Big Czechs for Bergeron and Chara

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Movies, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by clarencethehorse

 

The Boston Bruins’ 2010-2011 NHL season opened in Prague (Czech Republic) on October 9-10 with a pair of games against the Phoenix Coyotes, and neither team earned Prague-ing rights, as they split the games.

In “Prague: Game One”, the Bruins looked lethargic at best in losing the opener, 5-2Tuukka Rask was in net, but not always at the right times…lone bright spot was newcomer Nathan Horton:

…who potted both Boston goals in the third period to make the final score slightly less one-sided.

Goalie Tim Thomas started and  frustrated the Coyotes in “Prague: Game Two”…although the 10:00 a.m. ET Sunday morning local start time did conflict with the Three Stooges:

….and, of course, church:

…but I digress. The Bruins would put forth a solid team effort, winning 3-0.  Thomas’ shut-out performance was supported by another goal from Horton, as well as Tyler Seguin‘s first NHL goal…a beauty:

Milan Lucic also scored to account for the 3-0 final, making for a happy Lucic and Thomas.

The Bruins returned to North American soil following their European sojourn, and after 5 days without a game they visited New Jersey for game 3 of the season. Tim Thomas was rewarded for his shutout effort in Prague with the start, and he was at his best in the first period, allowing the B’s to escape the first stanza with a 0-0 tie.  In the second period, the Bruins allowed the Devils a goal before scoring four consecutive goals to take a 4-1 lead. That would be the final score…the highlight of the night was yet another first NHL goal, this time from the B’s Jordan Caron:

CLICK on the poster below for complete game highlights (I was at this concert, so I didn’t  see the game LIVE):

Bruins Re-Sign Bergeron and Chara

Leading up to the season opener, the Bruins signed two players that are keys to the future of the team: forward Patrice Bergeron:


and Defenseman (and Captain) Zdeno Chara:

to long term contracts.

Click on the Bergeron and Chara pictures above for details on their new deals with the Bruins.

“This is Gonna Be Hard on the Beaver…”

Clarence was saddened to hear of the death of America’s Jive-Talking Mom, Barbara Billingsley, at 94.

 

Finally….The answers to these questions will go a long way to determining the Bruins success this season:

  • Can Tuukka Rask take the next step and become a No. 1 goaltender?
  • Will Tyler Seguin step right in and become a regular offensive contributor?
  • Will Marc Savard even play this season?
  • Will Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler continue to suck?
  • How does Jack Edwards keep his job?
  • Can Milan Lucic get back on track after an injury-riddled 2009-10?
  • Where the hell is the records room?
  • Will Nathan Horton become the next Garden crowd favorite?
  • How improved will the B’s defense be, with the first full season from Dennis Seidenberg and the emergence of Mark Stuart and Johnny Boychuk?

Back to back games against the Washington Capitals starting tomorrow night….Home Opener Thursday night

Don Cherry Back in Boston on NESN – 3/4/2010; Bruins Beat Leafs in Shootout, 3-2

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Music, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2010 by clarencethehorse

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.