Archive for Patrice Bergeron

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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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

Norwood, MA Pulling for Injured High School Hockey Player Matt Brown #3

Posted in Boston Bruins, Hockey, Television with tags , , , , , on March 25, 2010 by clarencethehorse

In late January, Norwood High School hockey player Matt Brown (#3) was injured in a game crashing into the boards.  Currently paralyzed from the chest down, Matt faces a long battle ahead of him.  As you’ll see in Mike Lynch’s High 5 below, he and his family are strong in the face of adversity – as are his coach and teammates.

Click on Norwood High School below to see Mike’s report:

Please consider a donation to help the Brown family in their time of need – every dollar will help, so click on the Norwood Mustang below to visit Matt’s official web site and donate to help the Browns.

Here’s the Norwood High JV Hockey team at this year’s Beanpot raisng funds for Matt…

…and another report from Channel 5:

Boston Bruin Patrice Bergeron visited Matt at his Atlanta rehab facility – click below for the NESN report:

Support Matt and his family…click on the Norwood Mustang:

Pray for Matt Brown #3 Facebook Page

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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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

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….

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.