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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!

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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

2009-2010 Boston Bruins Overachieve….Collapse

Posted in Boston Bruins, History, Hockey with tags , , , , on July 25, 2010 by clarencethehorse

It has been over two months since the 2010 Boston Bruins joined the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, the 1975 New York Islanders, and the 2004 New York Yankees on the rather infamous list of professional sports teams that have managed to blow three-games-to-none series leads and gone on to lose the playoff series.

For purposes of symmetry (apparently), the Bruins also relinquished a 3-0 lead in the deciding game 7 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Unbelievable.

This one is gonna hurt for a long time, Bruins fans.

It’s taken me this long to even log Clarence back on…he really let himself go in the weeks following this historic Bruins’ collapse:

…but is now back to his old self and ready to move forward, leaving the dismal last stanza of the 2009-2010 Boston Bruins in his rear view mirror:

More to come soon….