Posts Tagged ‘Boston’
You wouldn’t have been out of bounds if you had wondered, after the first half of the National Hockey League season, if Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula was going to ask for a refund.
After all, $189 million isn’t supposed to buy you last place in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. Isn’t supposed to buy you 20-24-5. Isn’t supposed to buy you a 12-game road losing streak. Isn’t supposed to buy you howls from the faithful at the First Niagara Center calling for the heads of coach Lindy Ruff or GM Darcy Regier or trades of Ryan Miller, Derek Roy or Drew Stafford …
Yet at the All-Star break that’s exactly where Pegula found his newly-minted hockey toy.
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Muhammad Ali also said, on the topic of interracial marriage, “No intelligent black man or black woman in his or her right black mind wants white boys and white girls coming to their homes to marry their black sons and daughters.”
At the peak of his boxing career, the former Cassius Clay was equally candid about black nationalism: “Why don’t we get out and build our own nation? White people just don’t want their slaves to be free. That’s the whole thing. Why not let us go and build ourselves a nation?”
Maybe the biggest difference between Muhammad Ali and Tim Thomas is this: Ali didn’t pretend that it wasn’t about politics.
There are little things that annoy me such as bad driving habits, people who are frequently late, and the fact that there isn’t a Taco Bell in the town that I live in.
And then there are things that really “grind my gears,” to quote Peter Griffin.
One of those things occurred a couple of days ago when Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas decided he wasn’t going to join his teammates for their White House invitation after the won the Stanley Cup last June.
So who would own a copy of “Killer B’s: The Incredible Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins” (Triumph Books, 2011)?
Matt Damon? Maybe.
Stephen Tyler? Perhaps.
Denis Leary? Probably.
Like the word “stanchion,” the term “quiet room” has managed to worm its way into the hockey conversation.
While each of the NHL teams have now had to set aside a spot of serenity for suspected concussion sufferers, no such measure is really necessary in Boston’s TD Garden.
These days, the quietest room in the joint, and maybe all of New England, is the visiting team’s dressing room.
I love hockey.
Not just the 60-minute game, which ticks away one second at a time.
I love the process of hockey.
The parts of the game that attacks the five senses – the unique smell of the dressing room, the unmistakable sound of sharp steel making slivers of crisp ice.
And the parts of the game that mostly go unnoticed, but are really worth paying attention to.
Eleven days ago, Boston’s Milan Lucic delivered a bull-rushing charge of Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, a devastating hit that resulted in a concussion, whiplash and an immediate need for retribution. The Sabres should’ve pounded Lucic when the hit occurred in the first period – yet they failed miserably. Ask Buffalo’s Paul Gaustad, the poster boy for a cowering effort who, afterward, pointed the finger toward his own face. Ask Buffalo GM Darcy Regier, who spoke to reporters and vowed his team will “deal with it differently in the future.”
Well, that “future” is today, as Boston visits Buffalo. A season-shifting opportunity is knocking upon the Sabres’ door, and it’s Lucic on the other side, pounding his Fred Flintstone-sized fist. The burning question: Is Lucic knocking as the grim reaper, someone who will kill Buffalo’s team unity? Or can the Sabres kick him to the curb like a pestering solicitor, and earn the defending Stanley Cup Champions’ respect as they battle atop the Northeast Division?
So, we all know that money can’t buy love, right?
What about a Stanley Cup?
Turns out that’s the million-dollar, well make that the $64 million, … awww, what the hell – make that the $189 million question they’ve been asking about the struggling Buffalo Sabres since the start of the NHL season.
OK, “struggling” is sort of a misrepresentation. Sort of. At 12-8-0, the Sabres are still tied atop the NHL’s Northeast Division with the Boston Bruins (whom they will face in an epic rematch Wednesday night) and fifth in the Eastern Conference.
This week I’m going to try something different. I’ll address a topic in the NHL and then a topic in college hockey. Respectively: a cheap shot and the rise of a powerhouse.
Saturday night in Boston, Bruins winger Milan Lucic plowed into Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller and sent him flying, knocking Miller out indefinitely with a concussion. On Monday the NHL announced that Lucic would not receive any disciplinary action, its decision based on a lack of intent on Lucic’s part.
Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff was outraged by the hit saying that if Lucic wasn’t suspended that it would be “fair game on goaltenders.”
Just hours after the ruling, Ruff was proven prophetic as his backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth was run over by Montreal Canadiens forward Erik Cole.