The Bruins travel to the "hockey hotbed" of Atlanta tonight. This team has managed to put together a pretty good season so far under the tutelage of new coach Craig Ramsey. I miss having his scrawny ass behind the bench, but it's good to see him having success. It's just too bad that the majority of folks down in this area don't seem to know what hockey is and are therefore avoiding the games.
Last time they met, it got nasty at the end. I think that tonight, the choice of whether this game gets nasty will be Atlanta's decision. Looch will obviously be looking for someone to come and "even" the score after he popped that midget last game, but he'll be ready.
Of course, they might also decide to try and let the Bruins sleep. As I've said before and as shown in the game against the Lightning, the boys just don't get into the game unless it's chippy. UFC fighter Forrest Griffin once said that as soon as the fight starts, he likes to get hit in the nose. It wakes him up and lets him know that he's in a fight. I think that the Bruins play in a similar manner. Unfortunately, sometimes they are just too content to lay back. If you watch alot of their games (including the majority of their losses), you will notice one common thread: the lack of any physical play. This version of the Bruins isn't the kind that can remain aloof and coast through the games (like the Red Wings did so often). They need to get the anger juices flowing and get nasty.
-Kampfer has impressed me with his offensive skills and willingness to jump into the play. It'll be interesting to see what they do once Caveman Stuart is healthy.
-Great to see Marchand back. That little fucker fills a spot on the roster that has been vacant for waaaaaay to long.
-I'm looking for Savvy to finally shake off the rest of the rust and begin putting up serious points. It's about time and we've seen him making his vintage passes that make you think "how the fuck did he just get that puck through?"
-It wouldn't surprise me if Tuukka gets the start tonight. They still have a few road games left and Timmy will be due a rest at some point. I'm hoping that Tuukka will rediscover his touch.
-Fake Wheeler has begun to impress me on the PK. He's a big, fast dude and he's managed to show some good effort. I liked when he was playing center, as this gave him more duties and he couldn't get out there and just coast through his shift.
-I know that Seguin is young, but his effort hasn't been impressing me lately. I know that I'm just some random dude with an internet connection and a blog, but come on. I say throw the kid back on a line with Patty Cake and Ol' Man Recchi and their good habits will rub off on the boot.
So I guess we'll see how it goes tonight. Either way, it should be entertaining.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
In an early season that has already seen several peaks and valleys, the Bruins responded with a hell of an effort against the Predators. Once more, the vultures were circling high above, spewing rumors of trades and coaching changes. The tone was set early by Shawn Thornton, taking on a hell of a tough customer, Eric Boulton.
For those that don't watch hockey (and many that do), fights are supposedly one of the reasons why the sport will never be as big as football or baseball. I've never understood their line of reasoning: hockey fights are generally one on one, whereas fights in baseball and football look like some type of jailhouse riot/shower gangrape, with what looks like 50 plus people running all over the place. I'm a proponent for fighting, as I believe it can sway the course of a game. Thornton once again already has quite a few majors this year...but with that has come an upswing in his production. There are truly few "goons" left in the game. Today's fighter needs to be able to skate and can't be a liability. I'm still a bit shocked that guys like Derek Boogaard and Colton Orr have a place on their teams. They routinely get less than five minutes a game and are absolute defensive nightmares.
The "4th line" has been the consistently best line for the Bruins this year. Campbell, Marchand and Thornton bring the effort every single goddamn shift and they're always exhausted when they get back to the bench (looking at you, Wheeler).
It was great to see Thornton play out of his mind the other night. He must have wanted to put on a show for his parents, who were in attendance. When the Garden crowd started chanting for him to get out on the ice so he could try for the hatter, I'm sure they had cold chills. I know we did.
I'm not quite sure what Meyers was thinking when he went up high with his hit on Looch, but that was a bad fucking choice. Andrew "Recycle, Motherfucker!" Ference came charging in and gave him a whatfer. Looch ended up drawing the match penalty for his little popshot on Meyers once things had settled a bit, but I'm glad the NHL only fined him instead of giving him a game or two. You could see Looch pull his punch a bit and Meyers would have been hurt badly if he had given him all of it.
I think that this game will help pull the team together and show them (once again), that they play the best when they're nasty and hit everything in sight. It worked a few years ago against the Stars, and I'm thinking that it will have the same result this time.
B's have a few days off and will be back on the ice tomorrow night against the Panthers. Until then, happy holidays to all and as always, Go B's.