For months the mantra in Bruins land was that they need a scorer.
“Trade the Kessel pick Wheeler and Tuukka and get Kovalchuck” was a demand heard on sports radio almost daily leading up to the trade deadline. “Tim Thomas is a Vezina Trophy winner, we don’t need Tuukka,” yet another call that was frequently heard.
Even yesterday there were these dummies calling up 98.5 The Sports Hub and saying that Thomas should have started last night to give Tuukka a rest. Personally I believe any call that resembles anything like that should be hung up on as soon as the idiot tries to justify his point. Oh to have my own show on sports radio when I could do these things…
Back to my point. The Bruins didn’t make huge deals at the deadline. The snagged Dennis Seidenberg from Florida and made a couple of other minor moves. Moves that were lambasted all across Boston and in this very blog. But it was two moves that were made prior to the deadline that should be getting Peter Chiarelli praise.
The first was acquiring Mark Recchi at last years deadline for a second rounder. Who would’ve thought that Recchi would be a contributor in the playoffs and still have so much left in the tank at 42 years old? Through eight games in the playoffs he has three goals and three assists including a key goal last night that stretched the Bruins to a 3-1 lead in the third period.
The other move Chiarelli made was snagging Miroslav Satan from the scrap heap. After playing for the Stanley Cup winning Penguins a year ago, he was a free agent brought in after the Winter Classic. No one really expected him to be a huge contributor but in nine games this post season he has five goals, five assists and a +5 plus/minus. Oh and three of those goals, game winners. That includes last night’s first period goal that broke the 1-1 tie and proved to be the game winner.
I’m not punching any tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals or anything but you have to really like the way the team has come together in the playoffs. The thing you need in the playoffs above all is a hot goaltender and Tuukka has proven to be exactly that. After giving up the early one nothing lead last night he didn’t allow another puck past him for the rest of the game.
Now the Bruins, who so many people wrote off as a one and done in the playoffs, have a chance to close out the series Friday night and get to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1992. That’s 18 years ago. I was in high school. Holy Balls indeed.
Me, I’m just going to enjoy this ride for as long as it goes.
Which team you ask, how about all of them.
We’ll start with the game that I watched from start to finish. That’s right, the Bruins.
I walked in the door just after the national anthem and was ready for a physical game from Philadelphia. I was greeted with exactly that. Johnny Boychuk got the scoring started about five minutes in and as the period went on you wondered if the goal would stand up.
The Flyers tied the game late in the period and they went into the half tied. After about ten minutes into the second period Miroslav Satan scored yet another goal (thanks Versus for telling us it’s the best 5 game stretch for him since 2001) but once again the Bruins couldn’t hold the lead and gave up the tying goal with 25 seconds left in the period.
Thank God for Milan Lucic and a little luck. Lucic scored the eventual game winner with about three minutes left and the Bruins held off the Flyers flurry with the goalie pulled. Sucked that they couldn’t get the empty netter but Chris Pronger got lucky too.
Bruins take a 2-0 lead in the series and head to Philly Wednesday for game three. Nothing would make me happier than seeing the team take out the Fliers in four but we’ll take it one game at a time.
With the Bruins wrapped up I flipped over to see how the Sox were doing. They were up 7-3 so I figured they had their game at hand. Little did I realize that when I flipped over to catch the end of the Celtics that the Sox would end up hanging 17 on the Angels. Damn. 17-8 your final. Buchholz improves to 3-2.
So I flip on the Celtics and didn’t have my glasses on. I thought the Celtics were up 63-60. Well then the big graphic came on and it was actually 83-60. Wow. The TNT announcers were nice enough to inform me that Rondo had pretty much owned the game with 19 assists in the first three quarters. He actually ended the game with 19.
Celtics end up winning 104-86 and get a split in Cleveland. I think more importantly Rasheed Wallace played better (not counting the missed three at the end of the third). He’s a key cog in the possible playoff run of the Celtics. If he’s the man off the bench and not playing defense, it will effect the rest of the team, and winning will be very difficult.
So a great day Monday. All three teams played and won. Let’s hope that continues.
Couldn’t help it, Jack Edwards nailed it.
When the Bruins had hid the skids in January not too many people had even thought they’d make the playoffs. Myself included. It seemed that every time they stepped on the ice it was another loss. Then they won four straight heading into the Olympic break and that breathed life into the team.
But really the team didn’t come together and rally until the Pittsburgh game after the Savard hit. Sure they lost that game but the team started to play a much more physical brand of hockey. A physical brand that they carried straight into the playoffs.
After a paltry game five in which they let the Sabres run all over them many hoped that the series would end last night and not have to go back to Buffalo. I was in this boat as well. My mind set coming in was; please win tonight I can’t handle the stress of a game seven.
Well, the Bruins came out and for the first time all series took a first period lead. In fact they used a late first period penalty against Buffalo to get a power play goal in the opening minutes of the second to make it 2-0. But Buffalo just wouldn’t go away getting on the board about four minutes later.
The game felt almost like an elastic band. For every time the Bruins would stretch the lead, Buffalo would snap it back to one. After a Dennis Wideman turnover made it 3-2 you had to be on the edge of your seat (I was there most of the game). But Satan (from Wideman) put the Bruins up 4-2 with about five minutes left in the game.
The longest five minutes in the world.
Buffalo pulled their goalie and were able to get within one but a non-icing call wrapped up the game for the Bruins. Bruins win the game 4-3 and the series 4-2.
Of course they don’t know their opponent yet but whoever they draw will make it tough on them. Let’s bask in the win for the time being and let’s also root for the Canadiens Wednesday night.
Several bleary eyed people in the Boston are this morning. A double overtime hockey game and an extra innings Sox game tend to do that.
We’ll start with the Bruins since that’s what I was watching most of the night. After another first period that saw the Bruins go down again, they came out and really dominated the second period again. But similar to game one of the series, Buffalo was the team that scored. With the Bruins down 2-0 and Miller standing on his head for the first two periods, it didn’t look good.
But then the Bruins came out and rallied in the third with goals from Krejci on the power play and a game tying goal from game three hero Patrice Bergeron. The teams stayed tied through one overtime with Buffalo cranking one off the post and Miller playing out of his mind.
Then came the second overtime.
With six men on the ice, the Sabres were penalized setting up a power play for the Bruins. And it was on that power play that Michael Ryder fed Miroslav Satan for the back hand game winner. Holy shit! The Bruins win and take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Meanwhile over at Fenway the Sox went 12 with the Rangers. With runners on first and second and two outs, Kevin Youkilis gave the Sox their second walk off win in as many nights. Sox win 8-7 but more importantly Terry Francona sits David Ortiz who clearly is on the back nine of his career in favor of Mike Lowell who homered as part of his 2-4 night. Much better than a guy that strikes out and fouls out. Just saying.
But the real event I’m focusing on right now is the NFL draft.
The Patriots are rumored to be looking for help at outside linebacker. But the latest mock drafts have them taking a wide receiver at #22. Specifically Dez Bryant. Rumor is that the OK State receiver is falling fast on draft boards and there’s no way the Patriots are going to let him get past them at #22. If that’s the case, I’m excited. Way more excited than Jermaine Gresham the tight end from Oklahoma.
Tonight is only round one. A format I despise. Saturday is draft day and the first three rounds should be Saturday. Then wrap up the rest on Sunday. If they’re obsessed with prime time, they can do round one on Friday night, but not Thursday. By the time the Patriots pick (barring them trading up which I don’t see happening) I’ll be fast asleep.
Back tomorrow with a breakdown.