Archive for Milan Lucic

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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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 Rake Leafs (twice) after Day Off in Montreal

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2009 by clarencethehorse

On Friday November 4th, the Montreal Canadiens celebrated their 100th anniversary before their game against the Bruins. A sellout crowd of 21,273 filled the building for ceremonies that featured some of the team’s former greats, including Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur and Patrick Roy — and the jersey retirements of the two oldest living Canadiens, Hall of Famers Emile “Butch” Bouchard and Elmer Lach.

And the Bruins didn’t stand a chance.

Carey Price was in a zone, especially in the second period as he stopped 18 Boston shots, including everything the Bruins threw at him on a 5-on-3 advantage for a full two minutes.  In the third period, the Bruins had the rarity of a 6-on-3 for 20-30 seconds (they had a 5-on-3, then Tim Thomas was pulled when there was another delayed penalty called on Montreal), and still could not score.  Ouch. The power play has been very good of late, but it was a complete disaster on this night.  Thomas could not really be blamed for this one, and Vladimir Sobotka at least got the B’s on the board with his second of the year in the third period.  Mike Cammalleri had a hat trick, as the Canadiens rolled over the B’s 5-1.  This game was played on a Friday nite to coincide exactly with the 100th anniversary date: December 4, 1909. It was only the 14th Friday night home game in Montreal franchise history — they’ve now won 10 and tied the other four.  Face it — the Bruins were not going to win this game.

Kesselmania – Pt. 1

The Bruins returned right home to Boston after the game to face Phil Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs the following nite. The Saturday night sellout crowd of 17,565 let Kessel know during warm-ups what they thought of his decision to leave the Bruins for the greener pastures Toronto this past off-season, as he was roundly booed every time he touched the puck.

The “Boos” continued for every touch that Kessel had during the game, and he seemed unnerved at times as he had only two shots for the game and finished at a minus-3 as the Bruins demolished the Maple Leafs 7-2 behind a Marc Savard hat trick . Tuukka Rask returned in net for the B’s, and had 31 saves as his stock continues to rise with each start.  Marco Sturm (9th) and Marc Savard (6th) got things going for the Bruins, scoring goals 33 seconds apart early in the first to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.  After the first goal, Shawn Thornton and Colton Orr dropped the gloves for a real heavyweight joust:

Ex-Bruin Wayne Primeau, who came to the Bruins in the Joe Thornton trade (there go those shivers down my spine again), has surfaced in Toronto…..that’s just a cheap segway to show this picture I have of him from a trip to the Calgary Saddledome in October 2007 after badly injuring his knee:

Rask had several key saves in the first, none better than this one, as the B’s took a 2-0 lead into the locker room. Professional pussy Mike Komisarek has also moved on to Toronto, and he is still a yapper and a gutless invertebrate.  Let’s revisit one of his prouder moments last season when he was with Montreal, as Milan Lucic absolutely punished him in this “fight”:

And yes, he was out for several weeks after this tussle. The Bruins continued their dominating play in the second, as Chara popped home his 2nd goal of the season on a shot from the point and Marc Savard scored his 7th (second of game) on a power-play for a commanding 4-0 Bruins lead.  This was also the period where things started to get pretty chippy; Blake Wheeler slammed the Leafs’ Ian White and got a return face-rake from Toronto’s Colton Orr, and Zdeno Chara tossed down Jason Blake toward the end of the period.  Rask continued to make all the save that he should, as well as few of the spectacular variety — including this save on Lee Stempniak’s shorthanded bid.

The assault continued in the third, as the Bruins built a 7-0 lead on goals by March Recchi (5th, PPG), Johnny Boychuk (1st NHL goal) and Savard (8th, Hat Trick).  Recchi’s goal was the 550th of his career, and was the result of a beautiful rush by Patrice Bergeron.  Tuukka Rask also registered his second assist of the season, and moved past Big Al Pedersen  on the Bruins all-time scoring list. Even before Boychuk’s goal, he had acquitted himself well in this game with his solid, physical defensive play.  His first NHL goal was made possible by David Krejci’s perfectly placed drop pass.  Marc Savard’s hat trick goal (19 seconds after Boychuk’s) would close out the Bruins scoring on the nite, and a couple of late Toronto goals accounted for the 7-2 final.  Niklas Hagman  celebrated his 30th birthday with his 14th goal as Rask lost the shutout with under five minutes remaining. Mikhail Grabovski got his fifth to close out the scoring — although a Russian getting a fifth is nothing unusual:

The third period also featured a bout between Steve Begin and the Leafs’ Jamal Mayers, which ended with a takedown by Begin:

The Leafs also have Christian Hanson  in their lineup.  Why do I mention this?  Hanson is indeed the son of Dave Hanson of the Hanson Brothers from Slap Shot.

The elder Hanson also had a cup o’ coffee in the WHA and NHL in the late 70’s, but even his ‘fists-o-foil’  could not get him a permanent slot on an NHL team.  Rask (31 saves) also had to savor this victory, as Toronto dealt him to Boston on June 24, 2006 for goaltender Andrew Raycroft (currently with Vancouver).

Kesselmania – Pt. 2

The Bruins enjoyed four days of rest, while Toronto played two games, before these teams met again at the Garden on Thursday, 12/10.  But it was the Leafs who came out strong, and the Rask (in goal again) and the B’s weathered the storm in the first few minutes. The Bruins also clanked 3-4 posts in the first seven minutes, until Mark Stuart’s shot from the point gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead.  In the second period, the Bruins got an early power play and needed only six seconds to increase their lead to 2-0 as defenseman Derek Morris ripped a slap shot that beat Vesa Toskala.  It was then time for Mark Stuart and the Leafs’ Jamal Mayers to do a “Slap Shot” tribute to make Christian Hanson feel at home.  Following matching roughing minors, Stuart and Mayers arranged a second date while still in the penalty boxes, and stepped out of the box right into round 2 of their battle:

They each went back into the box for five minutes each, but Stuart’s pounding had another sellout Garden crowd on their feet.  David Krejci scored his 4th, unassisted, on a beautiful breakaway after a great Tuukka Rask save to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead.

Things got a little too interesting in the third period, as Toronto came out strong scored twice early to make it a 3-2 game.  But the B’s held on, as Mark Recchi scored a power play goal (6th) and an empty-net goal (7th) in the waning minutes to ensure a 5-2 Bruins victory.  So the Bruins win both games, outscoring Toronto 12-4 and getting two power play goals in each game.  The Bruins power play is 8 for its last 23 (34.8%), which has raised them from last (30th) in the league to 21st in the league at 18.3%.  Think the importance of an effective power play is overrated?  The Bruins are 9-0-2 this season when they have a power play goal — and 7-9-3 when they do not.

The Bruins travel to Long Island tonight to face the Islanders.

Odd Fact of the Day

When the Bruins acquired Daniel Paille from Buffalo on October 20, 2009 for a third-round and a conditional fourth-round draft selection, it was the first ever trade/transaction between the Boston and Buffalo organizations.  Buffalo joined the NHL in the 1970-71 season.

Wanna Get Away?

For this week’s “Wanna Get Away?” award winner, there is no heading/caption required:

One last note….

Dan Carcillo was rightfully suspended for 4 games for this:

Bruins are Road Scholars

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey with tags , , , , , , on November 27, 2009 by clarencethehorse

Four road games. Four wins. Eight points.  Sure, it took three OT periods and 2 shootouts, but the Bruins prevailed each game and may have finally shaken off the last of the cobwebs  that had impeded their forward progress so far this season.  In defeating St. Louis 4-2 this past Monday, then going into Minnesota on Wednesday and winning 2-1 in a shootout, the Bruins are currently positioned fifth in the conference (12-8-4, 28 pts) and are only a point out of first in the Northeast division.  The only negative was the injury suffered by winger Milan Lucic in the Minnesota game, and as I write this, the Bruins are preparing to hold a press conference to discuss his condition/prognosis.  Fingers crossed, more to come….

Marc Savard, who had not played since October 17th, returned from a broken foot in the  St. Louis game, and for the second straight game Milan Lucic set the tone in the opening moments with a jarring hit on the Blues’ Barret Jackman.  Tuukka Rask was back between the pipes, and made a great save six minutes into the first to keep the game scoreless.  Mark Recchi then gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead when he batted this puck out of mid-air for a power-play goal.  After St. Louis tied the game, Blake Wheeler scored his sixth of the season on a power play early in the second for a 2-1 B’s lead.  Milan Lucic would break another tie and give the Bruins a 3-2 lead when he tipped home a Zdeno Chara shot from the point at 12:10 of the second period.  St. Louis goalie Chris Mason made the save of the game with 3:51 remaining in the second period to keep St. Louis within a goal. Patrice Bergeron made a nifty steal deep in the St. Louis end and set up Marco Sturm for a shorthanded goal in the third period to ensure a 4-2 win for the Bruins, and also the first three-game winning streak of the season for Boston.

The re-emergence of Patrice Bergeron as an elite two-way player is a truly gratifying sight for Bruins fans; in this game, Bergeron assisted on all four Bruins goals.  This 4-assist game comes on the heels of his game-winning shootout goal against Atlanta, then his game-winning OT goal against Buffalo.  Even with Savard back, it is becoming apparent that Bergeron may be just as valuable a piece of the offensive puzzle for this year’s Bruins team.  Anyone who remembers the events of October 27, 2007, when Bergeron was viciously boarded by the Flyers Randy Jones, can attest that Bergeron’s comeback should make him the early frontrunner for this season’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

Two nights later, the Bruins headed into the Wild  game knowing that in their previous nine meetings with Minnesota, they had escaped with only one win.  Tuukka Rask was again in net  (I love his mask), and the Bruins Byron Bitz gave him a 1-0 lead when he tipped home a Derek Morris shot from the point.  Andrew Ebbett tied the game for Minnesota with a power-play goal in the second, and Rask helped himself with this spectacular save in the third off the Wild’s Cal Clutterbuck….my new favorite hockey name, btw.  It was a typical tightly played, defense-dominated game against the Wild, and regulation ended with the teams knotted at one goal each.  Tuukka Rask was at his best for the Bruins in the waning minutes of regulation and in the five-minute OT period, and at this time (backup?) goalie Tim Thomas is in no danger of being ‘rushed back’ from whatever upper-body injury  currently ails him. In the shootout, Bergeron scored for the Bruins first, and then David Krejci scored the deciding shootout goal as Rask stopped 3-out-of-4 Wild shooters for a 2-1 Bruins shootout victory.

MILAN LUCIC UPDATE: He has a left high-ankle sprain and will be lost up to four weeks.  Bad, but could be worse (check out the video):

The Bruins have their first four-game winning streak of the season, and return home today to face the New Jersey Devils (9-2-1 road record) for their annual day-after-Thanksgiving Black Friday noon matinee.  We’ll see if “Tuukka time” continues, and more importantly, if the Bruins solid overall team play continues.

Bruins Solid in Consecutive Road Wins

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey with tags , , , on November 22, 2009 by clarencethehorse

The Bruins took a significant step toward righting their heavily listing ship  with road wins against Atlanta and Buffalo on consecutive nights (Nov. 19 – 20).  Was the return of rugged winger Milan Lucic the sole reason?  No.  But his presence in the lineup really does seem to inject this Bruins team with some sort of  B-12 shot.  With Lucic back, Marc Savard’s return imminent (possibly Monday night in St. Louis), and the impressive play of backup(?) goalie Tuukka Rask (started and won in net for both games), there is reason to believe the Bruins team of last season is finally rousing  from an extended summer hibernation.

Against Atlanta, the Bruins came out strong and built a 2-0 lead after the first period on goals by Marco Sturm and Michael Ryder.  Nik Antropov and Ilya Kovalchuk (power play goal) scored to get Atlanta back tied at 2-2, but the B’s got a power play goal of their own from Michael Ryder, his second of the night, with 3:15 remaining in the second period to give the Bruins the lead again at 3-2.  Ryder appears ready to go on one of his goal-scoring  streaks, and it couldn’t come at a better time for the Bruins recently floundering offense.  Rask was also sharp, and this save during an Atlanta power play in the third period was one of his best.  In the third period, the Bruins took five minor penalties, and the inevitable happened with 41.4 seconds remaining, as the Thrashers pulled their goalie for the extra man and Maxim Afinogenov tied the game at three against an exhausted Bruins team.  But the Bruins prevailed in the shootout, as Rask stopped all three of the Atlanta shooters, and Patrice Bergeron scored on a nifty deke, and the Bruins had the road win.  Bergeron  continues to round back towards his pre-concussion form, and has arguably been the Bruins best player this season on both ends of the ice.

The next night in Buffalo, Rask was back between the pipes for the injured Tim Thomas, and Milan Lucic made sure that the Sabres knew the Bruins meant business with this jarring hit on Henrik Tallinder just 29 seconds into the game. Lucic also got his first goal of the season on a beautifully executed 2-on-1 with Byron Bitz, which tied the game at one in the second period.  Goaltending ruled the third period, and this game would go to overtime.  It was just 47 seconds into OT that Patrice Bergeron deftly tipped in Zdeno Chara’s shot from the blue line to give the Bruins the 2-1 win, and another two points.  It was Bergeron’s second game-winning goal in 24 hours, and the back to back wins vaulted the Bruins into sole possession of 7th place in the Eastern Conference, and only two points behind Buffalo for the Northeast division lead.

Will the Bruins be able to continue their road success in St. Louis on Monday and Minnesota on Wednesday?  With the pieces falling slowly back into place, Clarence  is cautiously optimistic.

Bruins Head on the Road in Search of Answers

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey with tags , on October 26, 2009 by clarencethehorse

As the Garden was airing out the leftover stink smelly-g from their opening home stand, the Bruins headed on the road for the first time this season in search of some consistency.  So far, the loss-win-loss-win-loss pattern had not exactly brought back memories of last season’s success. So the first game in Dallas, a truly solid 3-0 victory that featured a beginning to end effort by the Bruins, was a much-needed reminder of a how this team can play.  Marc Savard potted 2 goals, and Patrice Bergeron also beat Stars goalie Marty Turco. Backed by Thomas’ solid workmanlike performance, the game even featured some solid defense by Matt Hunwick. I had been a little hard on Hunwick so far this season, but his play improved steadily as the season has progressed.  So his train-wreck status trainwrk has been rescinded train_old. Hunwick was not the only one picking up their defensive game, as this game featured the kind of defensive effort the Bruins delivered on the road regularly last year.

Apparently ‘the road’ was not the panacea for the Bruins’ inconsistency, as they followed up the Dallas win with a 4-1 defeat in Phoenix. The Coyotes wilee1794664eb8 took over the game early and had a 2-0 lead when Mark Stuart  made it 2-1 about halfway through the second period, but two goals in less than a minute gave Phoenix a 4-1 lead at the end of the second period.  That would be the final score of this one.  A lackluster effort that only reinforced the Bruins Jekyll/Hyde persona jekyll+and+hyde so far this season, it did feature a good bout Between Johnny Boychuk and Paul Bissonnette.

Before this game, the Bruins learned that recently re-signed winger/enforcer Milan Lucic would be out of action for 4-6 weeks with a broken finger handtrauma .  As the Bruins prepared for their return home and a date with Nashville, it was announced that leading scorer and offensive sparklplug Marc Savard would also be out 4-6 weeks with a fractured foot woman-foot-in-stiletto-x-ray .

Ouch.

Lucic was the guy on the team most likely to change the momentum of a game with his physical play, and Savard could do the same with his cerebral offensive skills.  With these two game-changers out, who would step up?

The game against the Predators The Academy showed that Patrice Bergeron, Michael Ryder and Steve Begin were all doing their part to fill the void left by Lucic and Savard’s absence.  In a bit of symmetry not often seen on the statsheet, the Bruins three best players also had the three goals that resulted in a hard-earned 3-2 victory.  Ryder and Bergeron had second period goals, and Steve Begin buried the third period goal that gave the Bruins the win.

The following night, the Bruins traveled to Philadelphia to play the Flyers.  Losers of three straight and going in to the game with 5 days rest, the Flyers potent offense would present a real challenge for the B’s.   Tuukka Rask tuukka_2 was between the pipes for the Bruins as they earned a point in a 4-3 shootout loss.  Rask tuukka was largely responsible for this point, as he stopped a clean breakaway from Jeff Carter in the last-minute of the third that would have given the Flyers the win in regulation.  But nine games into the season, the Bruins had finally managed to get points in consecutive games.

Remember the date: October 24, 2009.  Not only was my friend Fitzy

Fitzy_Wedding 025

married this day, but if this season evolves the way Bruins optimists are hoping it does and the Bruins go deep into the playoffs, this date may be pointed to as the game in which the Bruins showed they can never be counted out of a game.  Sure, they scored 3 goals in the last 8:01 against the Islanders a few games ago to complete a comeback, but that was nothing.  The Bruins were in Ottawa, and Mark Recchi was playing in his 1500th NHL game.  It appeared as though Recchi’s feat would be the only noteworthy aspect of this game as the Bruins trailed 3-1 with less than two minutes remaining in the third period.  Tim Thomas played arguably his best game thus far this season, the highlight being a gem with 1:39 remaining in the 2nd period.  Thomas was pulled in the waning minutes of the third period, and watched from the bench as Recchi celebrated his landmark game with a beautiful tip-in of a Derek Morris shot with 1:28 remaining in the third.  The Senators’ collapse was completed when David Krejci tipped in another Derek Morris shot/pass with 21.6 seconds left in the third to tie the game at three.  The goal was Krejci’s first, and hopefully getting that monkey monkey off his back will kick-start his much-needed offensive skills.  After a scoreless five-minute overtime, Patrice Bergeron secured two points for the Bruins with the only shootout goal.  As the Senators headed to the locker room throwing up in their mouths, the Bruins celebrated a truly improbable 4-3 victory.

borat_success

So in three games without Lucic and Savard, the Bruins have gained five out of a possible six points. 4 Thumbs Up

The Bruins have four days of rest to enjoy their nice 2-0-1 streak before they face the Devils on Thursday.

First 2 Games: Jekyll and Hyde

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Music with tags , , , , on October 4, 2009 by clarencethehorse

We are a mere two games into the season, and I already hope that the Bruins worst game of the year is behind them. When the on-ice highlight of the night is YouTube sensation Junior Seau riding the zamboni, you know you’re in deep trouble. Especially against the offensively gifted and opportunistic Washington Capitals.  But that is how bad the Bruins looked hindenburg in losing their season opener 4-1 this past Thursday night.  The Bruins went 55 games last year before losing by more than two goals, but they got that dubious accomplishment out of the way early this season.  Here’s a play that sums up the game: Milan Lucic looking like Lurch lurch-kerry early in the third period as he was caught flat-footed deerheadlights by Alex Ovechkin, who jumped on the loose puck and quickly buried a snap shot past a surprised Tim Thomas to put the game essentially out of reach at 4-0.  Lucic’s play mirrored the entire evening for the Bruins, as they lost battle after battle.  That was the first time I noticed Lucic on the ice all nite, and many of the B’s forwards simply did not show up for this game. Patrice Bergeron, who got the Bruins lone goal, may have been the only exception.  This was not the way the Bruins wanted to perform in their most anxiously awaited opener in years.  For Saturday’s game, they needed to bounce back quickly and decisively, or long suffering Bruins fans would be putting their B’s jersey back into their closets amid cries of “Why did we trade Phil Kessel?!”.

What a difference a game makes.  The Bruins faced Aaron Ward and the Carolina Hurricanes for Game two, and they beat them handily, 7-2, beating them up physically along the way.  Instead of the crowd cheering on Seau riding the zamboni, we had Zdeno Chara Lurch-addams-family-6160640-114-120 riding Tom Kostopoulos like a mechanical bull.  Offensive woes of the season opener? Not anymore, as seven different Bruins dented the twine.  The power play outage against the Capitals?  No worries, as the B’s tallied 4 PPG’s against the Hurricanes.  Their forwards, who were so ineffective against the Caps, were creating offense with crisp break-out passes and aggressive rushes to the net.  After being outshot 34-20 on Thursday nite, the B’s outshot the Hurricanes 42-27.  When the Hurricanes tried to save a show a little life in the fisticuffs department, they got beat up even worse than on the scoreboard.  Milan Lucic was challenged by an ill-advised Jay Harrison in the second, and Lucic made him pay, lucic_harrison as Harrison looked like JFK arriving at Parkland Memorial Hospital as he made his way to the bench.  Ex-Bruin Andrew Alberts, who had sparked a 5-on-5 scrum in period 2 when he threw a questionable high hit on Marco Sturm, was also bloodied by Shawn Thornton in a third period bout.

The Bruins also dedicated the Fred Cusick cusick Broadcast booth at the TD Garden.  Here’s some more classic Fred.

So with a 2.43% sampling of this season in the books, this much is apparent:  the Bruins are NOT as bad as they looked against Washington in game 1, but they are also most likely not as good as they looked in game 2 against Carolina.  Next game:  Thursday at home vs. Anaheim.

Any Ben Folds fans out there?  Here’s a clip from his Saturday show at Calvin Theatre in Northampton

ben_folds_626x352