Posts Tagged ‘Bruins’
In the first round, we predicted six of the eight series correctly. The two we were most unsure about were the two incorrect picks – no surprise at all that New York or Los Angeles won.
Now that the second round is here, the picture becomes a little more clear. Only one of the four series will go the full seven games. Which will it be, and who will move on?
The playoffs have been interesting so far. Some teams have surprised me. Others haven’t at all.
The biggest surprise was the play of the New York Islanders. I thought Pittsburgh would wipe the floor with the Isles and that they should feel lucky if they pick up one game in the series. New York ended up staying with the Penguins in almost every game, and lost two heartbreakers at home in overtime. I never thought I’d say this, but the Islanders look as if they are finally turning things around. (Just in time for their move to Brooklyn!)
Another surprise was the performance of the Minnesota Wild. I’m not surprised that they lost to Chicago, but because they got bounced in only five games. Losing their top goaltender didn’t help, but Minnesota’s offense was stagnant the whole series. The Wild also looked terrible in Game 4 as they got shut out at home and handed the Blackhawks all the momentum in the series. Nevertheless, Minnesota looks stable and if they can add another scorer and fix their inconsistency in the net, they should be a force next season.
Speaking of net consistency, here’s Vancouver. The Canucks’ first-round sweep didn’t surprise me at all. They looked flat-out awful against the Sharks. Roberto Luongo started the first two games in net and didn’t look that bad, but then he was pulled for Cory Schneider, who wasn’t an improvement. Vancouver needs to fix its goaltending problem next season, or else they can kiss their fading Stanley Cup hopes goodbye.
Anyway, we’ve said goodbye to eight teams and are now off to the Conference Semifinals. Here are my predictions for the second round.
What were you doing on this day 37 years ago?
If you were the Toronto Maple Leafs’ statistician, you were scrounging through the NHL record books to find out who had the record for the most points in a single game. (The answer prior to Feb. 7, 1976: Maurice Richard, with 8.)
Darryl Sittler scored 10 in the Leafs’ 11-4 win over the Boston Bruins that night, a record that is virtually unassailable. Consider that when Sam Gagner scored eight points in a single game for the Oilers last season, it was the most by any player since the 1980s.
Sittler had six goals and four assists in the game. To put that in perspective, Scott Gomez had 11 points – two goals and nine assists – all of last season. Link Gaetz had six goals in his entire NHL career.
Enjoy the ultimate goalie’s nightmare:
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
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?