Bruins Drop Game 5 to Maple Leaves, 4-3.

Image result for Bruins Leafs game 5 2018

Supremely fucking frustrating.  The Bruins had the chance to put the final fork into Toronto’s season on Saturday, but a series of miscues will extend this series to a sixth game.  Patrice Bergeron re-entered the lineup, after missing game 5 due to an undisclosed injury.  Bergy’s return wasn’t enough to overcome a shitty 35 minutes of play.

Image result for Patrice Bergeron return

The first period saw both teams come out with energy.   The Bruins had their chances, but were playing too loose.  Guys were making sloppy passes, or taking themselves out of defensive positioning trying to do too much offensively.  The Bruins sloppy play would bite them early on, as Auston Matthews wrap around attempt was stuffed home by Connor Brown to make it 1-0 Toronto.

Adam McQuaid allows Auston Matthews to get behind him easily in the slot, and Matthews has loads of space/time to attempt a wrap-around.  Rask stuffed the puck by hugging his post, but Torey Krug allows Connor Brown to get to the garbage in front and shovel it home.

Just a few minutes later, ex-convict Nazem Kadri fed Andreas Johnsson behind the Bruins defense.  Johnsson received the puck behind all Bruin defenders, quickly shifted the puck to his backhand, and shoveled it home to make it 2-0 Toronto.  This goal was just a pathetic display from two guys you wouldn’t normally expect to fuck up this badly.  Charlie McAvoy basically let Johnsson get behind him, and Zdeno Chara was unable to contest the pass from Kadri.  McAvoy had his worst game as a pro on Saturday.  He was falling all over the place, turning pucks over, and was unable to keep up with the Leaves.  I was calling for his ass to ride the pine for the remainder of the game, but Bruce Cassidy did not throw his prized Rookie into the doghouse.

The first period would end 2-0 Leaves, but early in the second the Bruins started to tighten up.  Finally, nearly 10 minutes into the second period, David Backes notched his second goal of the series to make it 2-1 Leaves.

Meat and potatoes goal there for our man Backes.  The Bruins worked the puck around on the power play, get a shot on goal with Backes providing the screen, and he shovels home the rebound.  Vital goal in the quest for a comeback.  Wouldn’t matter though, as just Tyler Bozak added a third goal for the Leaves.

This would come just a few seconds after Backes’ goal to make it 2-1.  Once again, McAvoy got absolutely torched on the rush.  Both he and Zdeno Chara were getting beat on simple 2 on 2’s all night long.  James van Riemsdyk added yet ANOTHER goal on the power play less than 2 minutes after Bozak made it 3-1.   JVR’s goal would make it 4-1 Leaves.

Garbage effort from all Bruins associated with this goal.  JVR is able to stand free in fron of Tuukka Rask, and easily bang home the rebound for a goal.  There was little resistance from any of the Bruins.  Pathetic effort.  Tuukka Rask would be pulled from the game at this point, and Anton Khudobin came on in relief.

Image result for Anton Khudobin playoffs

The end of the period saw the Bruins turn it on.  They hounded Toronto, and the puck for the remainder of the game.  Towards the end of the second period, Matt Grzelyck flung a centering pass in the offensive zone, and Sean Kuraly fired it past Andersen to Make it 4-2 Toronto.  The garden was finally buzzing again, and the Bruins threw the kitchen sink at Toronto in the third period.   Just 5 minutes in, Noel Acciari slapped home a loose puck in a net front scramble to make it 4-3.  The rest of the game was basically pond hockey.  Both teams went up and down the ice exchanging chances.  Khudobin did his part in keeping the deficit at 1, but Freddy Andersen made enough saves to preserve the win.  The Bruins will be heading back to Air Canada Centre for a game 6.

The first 35 minutes saw the Bruins play like dog-shit and it cost them a series victory in this one.  The Leaves have had a hard time generating much offense off anything other than stretch passes.  It is no secret they would be doing so all series, and last night the Bruins decided they did not want to defend it.  Multiple stupid breakdowns on non odd-man rushes is not very characteristic of a Bruce Cassidy coached Bruins team.  Rask had himself a tough night, as he let in 4 goals on 13 shots.  He will look to rebound tonight, as Bruce Cassidy confirmed he’d be in the pipes for game 6.   Cassidy says he is considering shuffling the forward lines for this one.  I’d like to see Ryan Donato get a crack in the lineup.  Danton Heinen has been a regular since coming up in October, but he has gone bone dry in terms of goal scoring.

Seinfeld gif lol.gif

As always, Let’s go Bruins!  End this fucking thing once and for all tonight in their fuckin’ barn.

Bruins 3 Maple Leaves 1.

OH BOY!! After suffering a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Leaves on Monday night, the Bruins were handed a dose of bad news just before game 4.

Patrice Bergeron was ruled out of Game 4 with an upper body injury about 20 minutes before puck drop. Oddly enough, I wasn’t all too surprised about this. Game 3 saw each member of the Bergeron line take a few shots. The Leaves played them physical all night. It’s alarming that the extra day of rest didn’t give him the time he needs to return. As many know, Patrice Bergeron played game’s 5 and 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals with a pierced day lung, separates shoulder, and broken ribs. If Bergy can’t go, that’s alarming.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but thank Christ for Riley Nash. Nash fills in for Bergy whenever he’s out, and does a fantastic job. He can do just about everything Bergy can, but not nearly as good. Yet again, Nash filled in admirably.

The game started off perfectly. A mere 28 seconds into the game, Torey Krug fired a snap shot over the shoulder of Freddie Andersen.

This exactly what the Bruins needed. Come out and score first after a tough loss and missing your best player. From here on out it was all Leaves. They dominated from the 5 minute mark of the first period, to the 18 minute mark of the second. The Leaves dominated, looking to feed of the energy gained in game 3. It wasn’t long after Torey Krug’s opening goal, that an old nemesis came back to haunt the B’s:

Fuck this prick. Seriously fuck this piece of shit. Plekanec was traded from Montreal to Toronto at the deadline, and he hasn’t done shit since. He was in and out of the lineup for the Leaves, simply because he’s old and sucks. Nothing more than a fourth line center. This series saw Leaves Coach, Mike Babcock play him against the Bruins top line, because it’s a familiar matchup. That decision paid off 6 minutes into the first period, as Plekanec fired a wrister home to tie the game.

From this point on, Tuukka Rask stole the show. The Leaves threw the kitchen sink at Rask, and the Bruins for 30 minutes. Rask stayed calm, and stopped 31 of 32 shots when it was all said and done. This game was all him, without Tuukk’s this one is a bloodbath.

Just a few examples right there. He was incredible last night. He often gets shit on for not “Stealing one”, but last night he fucking stole one. Give the man the Starter Jacket!

An old tradition with the Bruins, the players pass around a Bruins Starter Jacket for the duration of the playoffs. The players hand it out each game to the player that was most impactful on the game. Cool little tradition that I hope they continue. Badass jacket, honestly.

With about 2 minutes left in the second period, the Bruins finally broke through.

The Leaves finally cracked late in the second. David Pastrnak made an unbelievable play in his own zone by chipping the puck past the defenseman trying to keep the puck into the offensive zone. The sprung Marchand and Pastrnak on a 2 on 1. Naturally, Pastrnak’s pass was just perfect, and Marchy easily slotted it home.

At this point all life inside Air Canada Centre was sucked out. All the energy expended to try and get a go-ahead goal only to be stoned by Rask. The Marchand goal pretty much iced the game. Just in case, Jake DeBrusk added another goal early in the third to truly ice the game.

Just a disgusting saucer pass from David Krejci, who played like shit again last night. Who the fuck cares? Wouldya look at that fuckin’ pass? Sexy. The game would end 3-1, with the Leaves not really challenging after the DeBrusk goal.

The Bruins will have tonight off, as they travel back to Boston for game 5. They have the chance to eliminate the Leaves on home ice on Saturday. Bergy skated today back in Boston. Let’s hope he’s good to go for Saturday. If not, they have some time to rest up and heal. There are still two additional games if they can’t close the deal tomorrow, but this is a good sign.

Please be ok, Bergy!!!

Bruins Drop Game 3 to Maple Leafs 4-2.

Image result for Bruins Maple Leafs game 3

Just a brutal night up in Toronto for the Boston Bruins.  Coming in, they were looking to put a stranglehold on the series by taking a three games to none lead.  Alas, it wasn’t meant to be as the Leaves broke through for a 4-2 win.  The series now stands at two games to one in favor of the Bruins.

Much of the first period was a feeling out process for both teams.  The Bruins had to weather an early Leaves attacking storm.  Being back on home ice really gave them the jump they needed early on.   The Bruins were able to calm things down, and get some quality chances of their own.  They were even starting to carry the play, when the Officials shoved a Sherwood up the Bruins ass. With 3 minutes left to play, and the puck in his own defensive zone, Riley Nash went to fire the puck off the glass to get it out of the zone.  The puck deflected off the dasher, and went out of play.  Harmless right?  Wrong.  The Bruins were assessed a two minute delay of game penalty.  Normally, the rule is if a defender is clearing the puck and he shoots it over the glass (without it deflecting/ricocheting) it is a penalty.  It prevents players from doing it on purpose to get a whistle.  Video replay CLEARLY showed the puck ricocheting off the dasher and glass before exiting the ice.  They even pretended to review the call, but Nash was inexplicably left in the box.  James Van Riemsdyk would make the Bruins pay just a few seconds later, making it 1-0 Leaves.

So frustrating that time and time again the Bruins get screwed by the officials.  This was the wrong call, it was reviewed, and still ruled incorrectly.  Even with all of this, the Bruins were able to keep the score at 1-0 for the remainder of the first.

The Bruins continued to push through Toronto surges.  When you are on home ice, you are given “Last Change”.  This simply means the home team gets last chance to change lines before a face-off.  This allows Leaves Coach Mike Babcock the match-ups his team needs.  Tomas Plekanec, an ex-Canadien spent most of the evening shadowing Patrice Bergeron.  Plekanec spent the previous 15 seasons in Montreal playing against Bergy.  Plekanec and his linemates stoned the Bruins top line all night.  David Pastrnak coming off one of his best games, had arguably one of his worst last night.  He was trying to do too much, getting run over by opponents, and missing chances he normally doesn’t.  With the top unit getting shut out, it lead to an unlikely goal scorer for the B’s:

Darth Quaider scored on a seeing eye slap-shot just barely three into the second period.  The Bruins were on the board making it 1-1.  New game!  Wrong.  A mere 48 seconds later oldie but goodie, Patrick Marleau scored to make it 2-1 Leaves:

Horrible fucking effort after you just tied the fucking game, and looking to take the lead.  Everyone caught standing around, and the Leaves walk in with an easy odd man rush.  38 year old Patrick Marleau was there to tap it home.   Not an issue for this years Bruins, however.  All year long we have seen them comeback, especially when you think they’re done.  A few minutes after the Marleau goal, Big Z rumbled down the left wing down to almost the goal line.  At a near impossible angle Z flicked the puck over Freddy Andersen’s shoulder.

This time the Bruins were able to keep the game tied for more than a couple of minutes, but the Leaves kept pressing.  Finally noted Sally, Auston Matthews finally got on the board.  Not much that can be done there.  It wasn’t a shot that is stoppable, but it was still a rocket.  Congrats to Auston Matthews on scoring a goal in the playoffs.

The remainder of the game saw the Bruins battle for a tying goal.  They had numerous chances to tie the game, but choked.  Pastrnak hit two posts, while David Krejci whiffed on a one-time chance set up by Jake Debrusk.

Shoulda had it tied right there, but David Krejci was in one of those “I don’t give a fuck” type moods, and was off all night.   Finally with less than 5 to play in the third period, the Leaves put the game away.

You can’t tell in that clip, but Krejci was working on trying to dangle through three Leaves there.  The puck is stripped from him, and it’s off to the races for Patrick Marleau.

Overall, it really wasn’t the worst game ever.  The Bruins didn’t play great, but they still had plenty of chances to win.  The Leaves expended a massive amount of energy to win a one goal game essentially.  Obviously the blown call in the first period was brutal, but it is no excuse for the loss.  A valid excuse in my book is David Krejci played loaded last night.  Holy shit was he bad.  When Krejci is bad it looks as if he doesn’t care, and when he does care he tried to do too much.  There were multiple instances of this throughout last nights game.  This is a long series luckily, and the Bruins will look to re-gain momentum on Thursday night.  Two days off will allow Matt Grzelyck time to heal, and hopefully he will be good to go.  Nick Holden was just horrible in his place last evening.

Get some much needed rest, and come out balls to the fucking wall on Thursday.  Let’s go Bruins!

Boston Bruins Take Games 1 and 2 From The Leaves… “Shit Happens, That’s Hockey”.

Image result for Bruins vs. Leafs 2018 playoffs

Just an ass kicking through and through.  The Boston Bruins opened up their first round match-up with the Toronto Maple Leaves on Thursday, and they came out with a convincing 5-1 win.  Saturday saw the B’s take the second game of the series 7-3.  They are now up two games to none in this best of 7 playoff series.  A lot has gone down since the Series began, so let’s get after it!

Game 1 saw the Bruins come out and assert themselves into the contest.  The previous 5 games to end the season the team had stalled.  They finally looked tired, and warn out from all the injuries.  They lost the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference on the final day of the season, by losing to the Florida Panthers on the last day of the season.  Had they won the game, they’d be playing the New Jersey Devils.

Luckily for the Bruins, they finally began to roll out a fully healthy lineup for the first time in well over a month, and it showed.  They were the better team in Period One, they were hounding the offensive zone, and firing everything at Freddy Andersen.   Finally, leading a 3 on 2 attack, Torey Krug fed Brad Marchand behind the Leaves Defense.  Marchand took the feed, and slipped it past Andersen.  1-0 Bruins.

What an absolute beauty of a feed from Torey Krug, who is having a monster campaign.  The Toronto Defense is old and slow.  It really showed on this goal.  Roman Polak and Ron Hainsey were out on the ice together.  It doesn’t get much older and slower than those two.   The game stayed 1-0 for most of the period, but as it went along the Leaves really picked up their game.  Soon they were carrying the play.  Eventually, with just under 5 minutes left in the first, Zach Hyman tied the game at 1 for Toronto.

Bad pinch from Zdeno Chara in the Bruins offensive zone.  This sprung Hyman up the right wing side, and he was able to out-muscle Rask and McAvoy for the game tying goal.  The first period ended at 1-1, and Toronto had all the momentum.

The second period saw the Leaves continue to push the play.  They got the better chances, and forced the Bruins to take stupid penalties.  A couple of beautiful saves by Tuukka Rask, and missed empty netters kept the game at 1-1.  The intensity was raising with each passing second.  This is when Nazem Kadri did exactly what I had expected him to do:

Fucking rat.  Not sure what in the shit Kadri was doing here.  Wingles is on his knees, looking down at the puck, and Kadri takes a fucking run at him. This would give the Bruins a 5 minute Power Play, and eventually the game.  The stupid fuck is a 30 goal scorer, and he pulls a busch league move like this? Moronic. This may be the last memory of this series for Kadri, as the NHL Suspended him 3 games for the hit.

From here on out the Bruins meticulously picked apart the Leaves, and their molasses D -corps.

David Backes proved to be a force in front of Andersen, as he parked his ass out front, and shoveled home a garbage goal to make it 2-1.

David Pastrnak ripped home a high-slot one-timer shortly after to make it 3-1 B’s:

Early in the third, David Pastrnak’s breakaway chance was blocked into the air by Freddy Andersen, and Sean Kuraly followed up the play to bunt the puck into the gaping cage.  4-1 Bruins.   David Krejci would slip a puck off the back of Andersen’s legs later on to make it 5-1, and that’s how game 1 would end.

Image result for Bruins Leafs Game 2

Game 2 on Saturday Night saw the Bruins continue to slap around the Maple Leaves.  Game 1 went of the rails for the Maple Leafs towards the end of the second period.  They were able to hem the Bruins in their own zone, and generate quality chances.  Game 2 this was not the case.  The Bruins took it to the Leaves en route to winning 7-3, and taking a 2-0 series lead.  The Maple Leafs were without Center, Nazem Kadri, and will be for an additional 2 games.  Kadri was suspended three games for his blindside hit to Tommy Wingles.

The first period started out a little uneasy for the Bruins.  The Leaves brought an initial surge to start the game, and the boys had to weather it.  Weather it they did, and just five minutes into the game David Pastrnak made it 1-0 Bruins.

Skill level off the fuckin charts here.  Pastrnak would not be done, as we’ll see here later on.  It was the goal the Bruins needed to break the will of the Leaves early on.  You could feel all the momentum tipping to Boston.

A few minutes later Jake DeBrusk notched his first career NHL Playoff goal.  Bit of a lucky bounce off a nice feed from Krug, and it was 2-0 Bruins.

#22 in White, Nikita Zaitsev.  Embarrassing effort my man.  The joke that is the Toronto Maple Leaves Defense corps continues to grow.  If Zaitsev’s nuts had dropped yet, he would not allow DeBrusk free standing room in front of his goalie’s cage.  Pathetic.  Just a few moments later, Kevan Miller decided he wanted to join the party.

Lucky goal to get here.  See kids, flinging the puck to the net is never a bad thing.  Millsy just trying to generate some havoc in front throws the puck there, and it goes in.  Later on a Boston Power Play, Rick Nash added his first of playoffs doing exactly what Rick Nash does.  Parking his ass in front of the net.

Mitch Marner added the Leaves first goal just 1:22 into the second period to make it 4-1, but David Krejci beautifully re-directed a David Pastrnak slap-pass to up the lead to 4 goals once again.

Tyler Bozak made it 4-2 before the end of the second period, but David Pastrnak decided it was time to ice the game.  Pastrnak scored twice in the third period capping off a natural hat-trick.  In between the two third period Pastrnak goals, James Van Riemsdyk added a third goal for the Leaves.  Final score in this one was 7-3 Bruins.

Just a great way to start off the playoffs for the Bruins.  They come out and kick the shit out of a team that I thought would match-up better than it has so far.  Losing Nazem Kadri did not help their chances.  Kadri had 32 goals this year, and much like Brad Marchand, creates energy by being a fucking rat.   Bis loss  in the Leaves lineup.

Toronto’s Holy-Trinity hasn’t shown up AT ALL this series.  Mitch Marner has a goal and one assist, Nylander has none, and Matthews has none.  The best line in hockey (Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak) has amassed 20 points in two games by comparison.

WHAT A FUCKING SALLY.  Screw having to work harder, having to come up with a new game plan, or watching more film.  Shit happens, right golden boy?  That is a worrisome take if I am a Leaves fan going into game 3.  Now, he’s only in his second year, but man.  Your getting your ass beat to hell and back, and “shit happens” is your answer?  (I think I now hate Auston Matthews? What a fucking pussy).

Game 3 is tonight from Air Canada Centre in Toronto.  The Bruins look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.  Riley Nash will be returning to the lineup after missing the last 1-2 weeks with a cut on his ear/concussion like symptoms.   Matt Grzelcyk is doubtful for the Bruins, and Nick Holden will replace him (brace yourselves). Leo Komarov will be out of the Leafs lineup with a lower body injury.

krug and pasta.gif

Lets go Bruins!!

Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview: Bruins vs. Maple Leafs.

Image result for crying leaf square bruins

Well folks, the regular season is finally over, and the best tournament in sports commences.  The Stanley Cup playoffs began with a bang last evening with two Western Conference match-ups, and one in the East.  The Flyers got run out of Pittsburgh by Sidney Crosby 7-0.  The Winnipeg Jets won their first ever playoff game (The current version of the Jets) 3-2 over the Minnesota Wild, and Las Vegas squeaked past L.A. 1-0.  Tonight the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs will commence their first round playoff match-up.

Image result for 2018 Toronto Maple Leafs

Image result for 2018 Boston Bruins

The Maple Leafs come into the series having finished third in the Atlantic Division:

atlantic standings

All last season, and current season everyone has been hyping up the Toronto Maple Leafs.  A young, fast, skilled core of forwards is developing in front of everyone’s eyes.  Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander have all been drafted and inserted into the Maple Leaf lineup within the past two seasons.  Auston Matthews being the most important of any of their forwards.  Matthews was drafted 1st overall in the 2016 NHL Draft.  From the very get go, he has been one of the league’s top players.  Not just young players, all players.  Hell, in his first NHL game he scored 4 fucking goals.  That is how good he is.

 

 

 

Mitch Marner was drafted 4th overall in 2015.  Seen as a flashy, undersized forward, there was a lot of speculation as to whether or not he would succeed at the NHL level.  Not only has he succeeded, he’s been a valuable goal scoring winger for Matthews.  In his two seasons, Marner has amassed 61 and 69 points respectively.  He has contributed since day 1, much like Matthews.

 

William Nylander was drafted 8th overall in 2014, and spent the following 2 seasons in the AHL.  He debuted last season with Marner and Matthews posting 61 points, and helping the leafs reach the playoffs for the first time since 2013.   This season saw Nylander pot 61 points again,  and his Leafs are in the Playoffs in back to back seasons for the first time since 2004-05, thus completing the “Holy Trinity” up in Toronto.  The Leafs looked to take a large step forward this year, and these three were able to do so.  Last year they squeaked into the playoffs as the second Wild Card team, and they were 8th and final seed.    This season they were within the 3 automatic playoff seeds for the duration of the campaign.  This means they will be facing the Boston Bruins, who finished 2nd in the Atlantic.  These two have been on a collision course all season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bruins weren’t playoff favorites coming into the season.  They were inserting youth into the lineup in many places.  It just seemed like it would be a developmental type season.  The Bruins got off to a luke-warm start, as a rash of injuries hit the team.  Under .500 in November, Anton Khudobin saved the season out West.  The Bruins lost the first game in Anaheim on a massive three game California Road Trip.  The Bruins were able to beat both San Jose and L.A. in the following games.  At this point, the season took off.  They kept winning, and winning, and winning some more.  They went on an 18 game point streak that wasn’t snapped until January 30th.  This propelled them above the Leafs in the standings, and gave the 1st place Lightning a run for their money.  In the end, a push for first place was not meant to be.  The Bruins finished 1 point shy of Tampa to secure second place.

A lot has been said about the Leafs young guns, and rightfully so.  That trio lights you up for a lot of goals.  The Bruins have some pretty good youngsters themselves.  They might not be as flashy, but they all contributed to this teams surge up the standings.

Jake DeBrusk has been on the Bruins second line all year long.  It was his first full season in the NHL, after spending all of 2016-2017 in Providence.  That time has really paid off.  While he didn’t score 60 points, he was a solid contributor potting 43 points.  He rode shotgun with David Krejci for most of the year, but Cassidy is not afraid to sit his ass, or play him on a lower line if need be.  A lot to like from this kid, a bit of prime Nate Horton in his game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danton Heinen was an early season call-up from Providence when a rash of early season injuries hit the Bruins hard.  Heinen earned a spot on the third line full time shortly after.  Riley Nash, David Backes, and Danton Heinen has been the Bruins second best line when all parts are healthy.   Problem is, there has rarely been a time when all three are healthy.  The time they were, they went on their 18 game point streak.  Heinen was a major contributor offensively, grabbing 47 points in his first full season with Boston.  He’s creative with the puck on his stick, he can dangle, shoot, and pass at a high level.  Better yet, he’s able to play a physical game and win battles in the dirty the areas.  He will be an important piece moving forward for the B’s.  He’s got a lot of Loui Eriksson in his game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the big one.  Charlie McAvoy.   The Bruins X factor.  Charlie was drafted in 2016 from Boston University, and made his NHL debut in the 2017 playoffs.  This first full season he continued to develop into a future number 1 Defenseman.  He missed a full month due to a MCL sprain, but still was able to notch 32 points in his Rookie Campaign.  He finished with a +20 +/- rating and averaged well over 20 minutes a night when healthy.  This kid is going to be the number 1 Defenseman here for a long ass time.

 

 

 

 

 

Recent history does not bode well for the Boston Bruins when it comes to beating the Leafs.  They are 1-3 against Toronto this season, and 1-7 going back two seasons.  When it comes to dynamic, game-changing forwards the edge goes to the Leafs.  Along with the three kids they have, James Van Riemsdyk, Patrick Marleau, Zach Hyman,  Nazem Kadri, and Tyler Bozak.  These are all forwards who can score, and bring toughness.  Look for Kadri to turn himself into a villain this series.  Dudes a punk.

After the forwards, the Bruins have the just about edge everywhere else.  The Achilles heel for these Leafs is defense.  They have a top 10 bad D-corps.  Morgan Reilly and Jake Gardiner are there two best Defenseman.  They both can skate, and add offense to their game.  Those two will be eating up a lot of minutes for the Leafs.  After them it falls off.  They have veteran Ron Hainsey who is on his last legs.  He is not very mobile at all, and will mostly be used to block shots and kill penalties.  They have 31 year old Roman Polak, who is in the same mold as Hainsey.  He can’t skate whatsoever, but is gritty enough to block shots and kill penalties.

Image result for Roman Polak slow

The Bruins have the edge here with a solid balance of shutdown D-men, and puck movers.  The first pair features Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy.  Despite being 41 Big Z still has plenty left in the tank, and is as good as ever Defensively.  He doesn’t contribute much offensively anymore, but he may surprise with a few clappers.  The second pairing features Torey Krug and Kevan Miller.  Miller has completely transformed his game in the past 2 seasons.  In 2015-2016 he was the team whipping boy.  He was injured for much of the campaign, and when he was healthy he sucked.  This season he is probably the second most valuable D-man on the team.  He allows Torey Krug the freedom to be more creative offensively.   Torey Krug is coming off his best regular season as Bruin posting 59 points.

As for the Goalies:

Rask stats

Anderson stats.JPG

Frederik Andersen will be between the pipes for the Leafs and Tuukka Rask will man the cage for the Bruins.  I wouldn’t say either team has a distinct advantage in Goal, as their stats are almost identical.  Rask has a lower Goals Against Average (2.36), and Andersen has a highers Save Percentage (.918). I’ll give the edge to Rask and the Bruins, largely because Rask has lead the Bruins to the Cup Final in the past.

The Verdict:

This series is going to be as close as it possibly can be.  The Bruins could sweep the Leafs in 4 games and they could lose to the Leafs in 4 games.  I see it going 7, and just based off the heart………………………Bruins in 7.

Fuck the Leafs.  NEVER FORGET:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I look forward to Kayaking through tears in Maple Leaf Square.  Lets go Bruins!!

Sports are the Best.

Image result for scott foster

Last night something amazing happened in Chicago during the Blackhawks vs. Jets clash.   It was one of those moments that make everyone realize why we love sports, it was just the best.  The Blackhawks are down a bunch of goalies due to injury this season, so they signed 37 year old Scott Foster to be the teams EBUG (Emergency Backup Goalie)

They were down so many goalies, the starter (Collin Delia) was making his own NHL debut.   A little background on Scott, he is an accountant that plays in a Men’s League nightly.  It is not uncommon for a Men’s League Goalie to practice almost daily with an NHL team.  Sometimes, you’re farm team is too far away to call any one up, and an average Joe gets to step in.  Scott has been the teams Emergency Backup before, but watches the games from the Press Box, and leaves right after the game has concluded.  Occasionally they have to suit up, and park their ass on the bench to sit there and be the backup.

Image result for emergency backup goalie

Image result for emergency backup goalie

All these guys look the part, but none of them really get to play.  Once in awhile, you’ll see one get in for the last face-off.  Last night with about 13 minutes left to go in the third period, Delia had to leave the game with cramps.  In Scott Foster, Accountant.  With the Hawks leading 6-2 Foster had to come int the game, and close it down.  Close it down he did.  He stopped all 7 Winnipeg shot attempts keeping the 4 goal Hawk lead in tact.   He will retire with the NHL’s best all-time save percentage of 1000.  The guy will go down as an all time great EBUG.

I mean this is just fucking awesome.  This every single Hockey Goalie’s dream.  Stopping shots from beer leaguers they picture themselves shutting down Sidney Crosby.  Foster was able to live a dream of millions of hockey players out there.  Here’s to average Joe’s out there!  The Blackhawk regulars really seemed like they embraced the moment, and really rallied with their new teammate.  They even gave him “The Belt” a wrestling belt that the players pass around after each win.   In this dark season for Chicago this is a moment I’m sure they will never forget.  Again, this is why I love sports.  Look at his fucking Men’s League teammates watching him play!

“I think I am just hitting my prime” -Beauty.

You Can’t Beat Us!

Image result for Bruins Lightning 3/29

Bruins fans were treated to another win over the Big Bad Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night, at TD Garden.  With the 4-2 victory the Bruins move into first place in the Atlantic Division, and Eastern Conference.  It is the first time since October 18th that a team not named the Tampa Bay Lightning are in first place.  This is the third time the Bruins have beaten the Lightning this season, and they haven’t lost to them since 2016.

Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara were both game time decisions, and Butchy decided to give them both one more day to rest.  Neither suited up for this one, but David Backes returned to the lineup after missing about a week due to a cut on his leg.  Matt Grzelyck surprisingly suited up for this one after taking the brutal hit from Josh Morrisey just two nights prior.

Image result for matt grzelcyk

The first period saw the Bruins come out with major jump in their step.  They were all over Tampa, generating turnovers, and quality scoring chances.  The Bruins out-shot the Lightning 17-6 in the first period.  Finally with less than a minute to go, Tim Schaller buried home a rebound that was sitting behind Andrei Vasilevskiy to make it 1-0 Bruins.

Less than 40 seconds later David Pastrnak added another Power Play goal to make it 2-0 Bruins.  At the end of the period the Bruins scored two back breaking goals.

The two goals lit a fire under Tampa’s ass, as they picked up their skating in the second period, and the game got physical.  Just under 2 minutes into the Second Period J.T. Miller re-directed a gorgeous Nikita Kucherov cross-ice slap pass to make it 2-1.

This is where this one got interesting.  Both teams ramped up the physicality in the second period, and this lead to tempers flaring.  Bruce Cassidy has had a motto throughout the season which is, “No Passengers” .  Everyone must contribute, everyone must be emotionally invested.  Boy, did Tuukka Rask every show that he was emotionally invested into this one:

AHL MVP Cory Conacher overstayed his welcome in Rask’s crease, and well, Rask lost it.  A mini melee ensued, and Vasilevskiy even tried to get down to the Bruins end of the Ice to challenge Rask, but the officials would not let it happen.  There’s an unwritten rule in hockey that when there is a brawl/scrum, there should never be an odd man situation (one guy standing free).  That’s generally when the goalie from the opposing team has to skate down and challenge the other goalie.  We were robbed of a goalie fight here thanks to the fucking stripes.  Although, it is good to see there is a hatred brewing between these two teams.  Hell, David Backes challenged Bolt players on their own fucking bench!

The kicker?  David Pastrnak dropped the mitts with Lightning Defenseman, Dan Girardi.  Girardi leveled Bergeron in the Neutral Zone, and Pasta was willing to go with a much bigger, more experienced fighter in Giradi.  It was Pastrnak’s first career fight, and it would top off his Gordie Howe Hat-trick(goal, assist, and fight in same game). Pastrnak had never fought before, and obviously isn’t expected to be good at it.  Well he isn’t.  It wasn’t much of a fight, but it showed these guys are more than willing to stick up for one another.

With 8 minutes left to play in the third, and the teams playing 4 on 4 hockey, the Bruins completed the sexiest passing play I have seen in my 25 years:

Just a beautiful fucking goal, in which the Bruins toyed with the Big Bad Lightning.  A beautiful triangle passing play ending in a goal to make it 3-1.  First place was within sight late in the third.  The Bolts wouldn’t make it easy, as Victor Hedman squeaked home a wrist shot to make is 3-2.   This coming mere minute after the Bergeron goal.

Brutal fucking goal to give up.  Rask was locked in all game giving up that goal through his armpit is inexcusable.  The B’s would hold on to win 4-2 and take over first place in conference and division.

They may not finish the season in first place as they are only 1 point ahead of the Lightning, but the Bruins showed that they are ready for postseason play, and are in the Bolts heads.  You could see the frustration as the game went along.  The Bruins bullied them, and I cannot wait for the playoffs to start.  Initially I had thought the Lightning were a shoe-in to win the Eastern Conference and Stanley Cup.  Tampa Bay is fucking soft.  The Bruins beat them soundly in each of the three match-ups this season, and haven’t lost since 2016.  For whatever reason, the Bruins have always matched up well with Tampa no matter how good or bad they are.  Tampa looks like a team that is starting to slowly run out of gas.  It will be interesting to see how far they are able to go.  They absolutely 100% have the talent to make it to the Cup finals.  It’s whether or not they have the balls.  The Bruins certainly showed they have the balls to beat you physically and on the scoreboard.

Bruins will take on the Florida Panthers tomorrow at TD Garden.   It looks like Cassidy is going to sit Chara and McAvoy again on Saturday, but they will travel to with the team to Philadelphia on Sunday.  Jake DeBrusk is slated to return per Butchy:

The Panthers are fighting for playoff position, as they come in 6 points out of the final playoff spot.  Should be a good one, let’s go Bruins!

Bruins Re-Sign Captain, Zdeno Chara.

Early Wednesday morning the Boston Bruins announced that team Captain, Zdeno Chara re-signed with the team. The deal is a 1 year $5 million dollar deal with incentives.

This move doesn’t come at much of surprise. Many of the beat writers had been hinting all season that the belief was an extension was imminent. It’s great news for Bruins fans, and Zdeno Chara. The captain has had an enormous (pun kind of intended) impact on the Bruins since arriving in 2006-2007. The man has been team captain since Day fucking one.

For most of his Bruins tenure, Zdeno Chara has been a top 10 defenseman in the NHL. His size helps him be one of the best shutdown Defenders out there, and being one of the biggest dudes out there has helped him offensively:

In his prime, Big Z could launch missile’s topping at 108 mph. Up until a few years ago, Z was a regular 40-50 Point getter. He won the Norris Trophy (NHL’s best Defenseman) one time in 2009, and has of been nominated an additional 5 times. Of course, Z’s best achievement is the award he brought us all in 2011:

Big Z isn’t a top 10 Defenseman in the NHL anymore at his young age of 41, but he’s still in the top 30. He’s not going to get 40-50 points, and he doesn’t fire it 108 MPH any more. That all doesn’t mean Big Z isn’t still a fucking monster. He still shuts guys down, kills penalties, and occasionally chips in with a goal or two. The main thing is he averages 23 minutes TOI this season. That’s insanity! Chara biking to work all these years has really paid off

I am so glad they reached this extension. Hopefully, the team will Queue up a 1 year extension every April, until Z decides to hang em up.

He won’t be in the lineup tonight, as he’s still recovering from an Upper-Body Injury. Tune in to catch the Bruins take on the Lightning tonight from TD Garden. First place on the line.

Let’s go Bruins!

What a Fucking Gong-Show.

Image result for jets beat bruins

It was a spirited game last night in the Great White North.  The Bruins lost a barn burner 5-4 to the surging Winnipeg Jets in a shootout. A lot happened in this game, most of it wasn’t positive either. The Bruins got torched by the league video review center in Toronto, and lost another key player to injury.

Let’s start it off with the guys in Black and White.  They worked hard to earn the Jets first goal of the game.  Jet fourth liner, Brandon Tanev was banging the puck against Khudobin’s pad on a wrap around attempt.  Dobby held strong and the puck NEVER crossed the goal line completely.  For some unknown reason the Linesman patrolling the Blueline WAY away from the play, decided to call it a goal.  There is 0% chance a linesman standing at the Blueline or even Redline could clearly see if the puck went it.  The referee next to Khudobin called it no goal, but he was over ruled. Technically the original call on the ice was a good goal.

To break it down simply:  1-Tanev was banging the puck on Dobby’s pad, and the ref with the best angle waived “No Goal”. 2-A linesman in no mans land overruled the referee, calling it a goal. 3- The play was reviewed, and the goal stood because there is no conclusive evidence that the puck stayed out. It’s also pretty clear it didn’t go in, as the ENTIRE puck has to cross the line. You must see white between the goal line and puck.

The Bruins managed to keep their cool, and continue to play their game despite piss poor officiating. Later in the first period, the Bruins forechecking/tenacity really paid dividends.

What a great play by all of those involved here.  Savy David Krejci pressured the Jets defender, won the puck inside the attacking blue line, and tapped the puck to a streaking Ryan Donato.  Donato undressed Joe Morrow with a forehand to backhand fake, and fired a backhanded seed top corner.  It was 1-1 in the final minute of the first period.

The second period saw the Jets take a 3-1 lead.  Brandon Tanev added his second of the game and ex-Bruin, Joe Morrow netted his 6th of season.  The story of this period came at the very end of it:

Josh Morrisey slammed Grzelcyk into from behind in a textbook cheap-shot.  Not only did he launch himself into the back of Grzelyck , he turtled like a fucking fairy when Kevan Miller wanted to rip his head off. The NHL is so focused on removing fighting from hockey that players never have to worry about standing up for themselves after taking a cheapshot.  Morrisey should’ve had the piss beaten out of him by multiple Bruins but the stripes got in the way. Morrisey received a 5 minute major penalty and a game misconduct.  This meant the Bruins would start the third period with a 5 minute power play.  Josh Morrisey will not receive any sort of discipline for his hit.  Why? Who the fuck knows.  It was a dirty hit plain and simple.  Matt Grzelyck has been diagnosed with an Upper-Body Injury, and there have not been many updates to that diagnosis.  It’s a shame he got run like that, because Gryz was having a great season, quietly molding himself into a key defender.  He plays power play, penalty kill, and 5 on 5.  The kid can skate, and has incredible passing vision.  He will be missed.

The Bruins managed to score twice on the 5 minute Power Play to start the third period. Danton Heinen and David Pastrnak each scored to tie the game at 3 with a mere 2 minutes gone in the third.

Then, Nick Holden finally decided to show up.  It’s been almost a full month since the trade deadline, and Nick Holden was able to control himself for the most part:

While still on the Power Play from the Morrisey hit, Anton Khudobin was behind his own goal looking to stop a puck that was dumped in behind the net. Dobby fired it around the boards for Nick Holden at the hashmarks, and Nick Holden proceeded to handle the puck like a frag grenade. Winnipeg pounced on the loose puck, and scored short handed. Less than a minute after the tying goal from Pastrnak. The Bruins managed to secure another Power Play with about 13 minutes left to play, when Torey Krug stepped into a howitzer:

The two teams exchanged scoring chances for the remainder of the regulation, and overtime. The game would move on to a shootout.

Mark Schiefele scored on Winnipeg’s second shot attempt, and then Bruins Rookie, Ryan Donato showed he belongs by burying his first NHL shootout attempt:

Finally Patrik Laine ended the game by slipping a backhander through Khudobin’s pads:

Overall the Bruins battled hard against a team that’s just as good if not better. It’s a shame the game turned into a yard sale because of the officials, and someone like Matt Grzelcyk got hurt because of it. The officiating is still no excuse for the short handed goal that was given up in the third, or the other two legitimate goals the Jets scored.

Tune in on Thursday to watch the Bruins take on the Tampa Bay Lighting from TD Garden. Tampa has 106 points, and Boston has 105. Can the Bruins continue to slap around the Bolts? Let’s go Bruins! First place on the line!

Nothing is Coming Easy.

Image result for Bruins comeback stars

The Bruins continued to limp around the country during their late season Road-trip, and had a clash with the Dallas Stars on Friday Night.  This reunites us with old Friend, Tyler Seguin (I am not going to go any further into Tyler Seguin).  Anyway,  it was yet another third period comeback for the Black and Gold.  This time they were missing a total of 8 regular skaters for this one, and they still won.   Dallas booked their tee-times for early April, as this loss puts them out of Playoff contention.

Just 2:26 minutes into the game Stars Defenseman Esa Lindell fired home a Snap-Shot through traffic to beat Tuukka Rask.  The Bruins were caught running around in there own end.  The Forwards and Defense all got sucked in below the Face-off dots, and Lindell had all day to fire a shot once the puck was given to him at the Left Point.

Things got much worse for the Bruins in the second period with the Bruins on the Power Play:

Brutal goal for the Bruins to give up with just barely over a minute left in the second period.  Hoping to tie the game up before the start of the third, Grzelyck fell at his own attacking Blueline.  The puck slipped free, and Jamie Benn took it Coast to Coast to make it 2-0 Stars at the end of the 2nd period.  Seemed like this one was over, as a Short Handed goal in the final minute of a period is just back breaking.  Once again the 2018 Boston Bruins slapped us all across the face.

Just barely over 1 minute into the 3rd period the Bruins got on the board thanks to Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak:

Great work by David Pastrnak skating through virtually the entire Stars defense, and Brad Marchand was doing Brad Marchand things.  Going to the net drawing bodies his way.  Initially rules Pastrnak’s goal, it re-directed off Marchand prior to going in.  Early on in the 3rd it was 2-1 Stars.

The Bruins continued to press hard for a tying goal, but Dallas was hanging on by a thread.  Later on in the period Dallas was on a 5-4 Power Play, when Marchand got the puck with a head of steam.  Marchand generated a 2 on 1 with Tim Schaller on his left.  The Stars Defenseman tried their damnedest to get between the puck, and Schaller.  It found Schallers stick, who made a little move to tuck the puck into the net.  Tie game.

Looking like overtime was coming, the Bruins amped up the attacking pressure in the final minute of the third.  Any time a Star’s Defenseman touched the puck behind his goal, they were being hounded.   This would pay off as the Stars began to ware down, and David Pastrnak was wide open in front of goal with the puck on his stick.  Patiently he wrapped the puck around Kari Lehtonen’s leg to win the game with 11 seconds to go.

That should just about do it for the Dallas Stars, who were fighting for their playoff lives.  They sit 5 points out of the last Wild Card spot with 6 games remaining.  They’re going to have to win-out, and get some help from others.  The Bruins would continue their road-trip on Sunday Night in Minnesota.

The Bruins were welcomed with the return of Mr. Perfect Hockey Player-Patrice Bergeron.  Boy did he not miss a beat.  Nearly 20 minutes played, flawless in the dot, and two points to go along with the win.  Just an incredible hockey player.  Sounds like more of the M.A.S.H. will be returning in due time as McAvoy, Chara, Debrusk, and Backes have all resumed skating.

Late Sunday evening the Bruins played an overtime period against the Wild.  Much of this one was a fucking snoozer.  With the game tied at 1 just seconds into overtime Brad Marchand and Tory Krug will do all talking for me:

They keep on winning in ugly fashion and I do not care.  Winning is winning, and this team sits at 104 points.  It is crazy to think the past two-three seasons the Bruins have been like this seasons Dallas Stars.  They were hovering around 80 points with less than 10 to play, and having to win out to get in.  This year being comfortably in has allowed injured guys to take a few days off and get healed.  They may be winning ugly now, but when they finally get healthy……look out.

Go Bruins!