Archive for tuukka rask

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.

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

Black Hawks, Rangers Overpower Flat Bruins

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

When the Chicago Black Hawks came to the TD Garden to play the Bruins last Thursday, it was more than a game for Boston – it was a litmus test to see how they stacked up against one of the NHL’s élite teams this year (Black Hawks were 30-10-3 heading into the game). For eight minutes, the Bruins seemed to rise to the occasion, as they built a 2-0 lead on goals by Blake Wheeler and Miroslav Satan (first as a Bruin).  Unfortunately, there was another 52 minutes – which Chicago dominated across the board and won the game 5-2, outshooting the B’s 36-21.  Even Zdeno Chara got flattened on this hit by Patrick Sharp, as the Hawks firmly grasped control of this game.  Tim Thomas was pulled after yielding four of the goals – is it Tuukka (Rask) time yet?

Image courtesy of Captain Mazda

The Bruins should have known this was not going to be their night when Marc Savard went down just 28 seconds into the game with a knee injury:

Savard will be out 3-4 weeks with a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament  in his right knee.  He won’t need surgery.  But he will have plenty of time to watch The Price is Right, for which he and Flyer Scott Hartnell did a promo for the Winter Classic:

Savard’s injury overshadowed the return of Milan Lucic, who missed the last 18 games with a high ankle sprain. Patrice Bergeron is still two weeks away from returning from his thumb injury, and Andrew Ference will be out for six weeks after injuring his groin in the next game against the Rangers.  Playing for the Bruins is suddenly turning into playing keyboards for the  Grateful Dead…your days are numbered.

There was one bout in the game which merits note simply because of the opportunity to say “Down goes Fraser!!”…it took a little prompting from NESN analyst Andy Brickley to get Jack Edwards to take the bait:

The Bruins were about as quick and sharp as Jack was on this night – not a good thing.

In the next game, a Saturday afternoon Garden matinee against the New York Rangers, things got rollicking quickly with this bout between the Bruins’ Shawn Thornton ( 6′ 2″, 217 lbs) and the Rangers’ Donald Brashear (6′ 3″, 237 lbs):

This was probably the high point of the afternoon for the Bruins.  Later in the first period, Marco Sturm became the first player in Bruins’ franchise history to attempt four penalty shots.  Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made the save, and a Michael Del Zotto goal gave the Broadway Blueshirts a 1-0 lead after one period.  The Rangers would lead 2-0 after two periods, and it was miracle it wasn’t more as the Rangers outshot the Bruins 21-3 in that second period.  Dennis Wideman did get his first goal in 17 games (3rd), but the rest of the Bruins offense was dormant once again. The Rangers 3-1 victory should be one of the easiest that Lundqvist and Co. have all season.

Tough times for Bruins fans – but here’s a Homer Top Ten to cheer us up…

HOMER TOP 10 on LATE NITE WITH DAVID LETTERMAN

To celebrate 20 years of The Simpsons, Homer Simpson presents the “Top Ten Things I’ve Learned From the Last 20 Years of Television.”

~ CLICK ON BRAIN ~

…or better yet, I just found the YouTube link:

Enjoy a few classics:

The Bruins head west for games this week against Anaheim, San José and Los Angeles.

The Bruins are currently fifth (22-15-7, 51 pts) in the Eastern Conference, but only four points ahead of ninth-place Philadelphia.

They desperately need someone to step forward and re-energize this team’s offense – Ryder? Lucic? Krejci? Sturm? Wheeler?

We’ll see who, if anyone, is up to the task over the next three games on the left coast.

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.