Archive for Zdeno Chara

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”:

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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

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.

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