All my hardcore fans who check this site 6-10 times per day* have probably noticed that I've been away for a few days. I've had slightly bigger fish to fry this week, with the world's newest hockey fan entering the world:
Indeed, little guy. Indeed.
Unfortunately this caused me to miss some juicy blogging material. Here's a quick summary of the past week in the Bruinsphere:
Thursday, 11/13: As a sign to mankind that the most badass hockey fan is being born unto the world, the Bruins pound the ever-living crap out of the Habs. This cathartic moment was sponsored by Milan Lucic's right fist.
Saturday, 11/15: The Bruins play a nearly complete game against the first-place Rangers, but blow a two-goal lead in the final minute and succumb in the shootout. Nevertheless, getting a point in New York after 3 games in 4 days against some of the league's best competition was no small feat.
Monday, 11/17: In a somewhat ugly affair, the Leafs can't quite rally and the Bruins pick up another 'W' to extend their division lead to 4 points. The Leafs are no laughing matter this season, and that Grabovski guy scored again. He's going to be a real pain.
Scattered thoughts from the weekend:
- This season's All-Star voting process has become a huge embarrassment to the league. There are so many things wrong I don't know where to start. Even after HabGate put a question mark on the validity of the vote totals, we are still looking at 6 Canadiens with leads of more than 100,000 votes, roughly double the total of their nearest competitor. I'm with Cornelius Hardenbergh on this one -- I see no point in continuing to feed traffic to the voting website. The write-in campaign for Tim Thomas is effectively a lost cause from the get-go, meaning it is now impossible for him to appear in the game, and I can't shake the feeling that the whole situation is a slap in the face to the players who actually deserve the honor. This may be the first time in 15 years that I don't feel motivated to tune in.
- On a more positive note, Milan Lucic leads the league in hits. Yes, the entire league. His legend is already starting to trickle into mainstream coverage, which is nothing but great news for the sport of hockey. We can only hope that thousands of squirt players buy Lucic jerseys and try to knock each other out of the rink this winter. Lucic = hockey.
- Manny Fernandez has quitely played some stellar games this season, ringing up an impressive 4-1-1 record. More importantly, he and Thomas are all smiles and there has been zero scuttlebutt about Fernandez moping or complaining. After stopping 59 of 61 shots against Buffalo and Montreal, he deserves a few more cracks at that starting job.
- Guys who need to step it up: Chara, Ryder, Bergeron, Krejci.
- Guys who deserve a gold star for effort: Savard, Wideman, Thornton, Kobasew.
- The Habs game and the Stars game have shown us something very valuable about this Bruins squad, something we haven't seen in a long time: These guys won't be fucked with. They give nobody an undue level of respect. Claude Julien has them melded together in a way you'd expect from a junior team, not a bunch of mercenary professionals. This will be valuable in the playoffs, which are suddenly no longer a question. I'm not positive about the division lead, but these guys are not going to implode and disappear like we all imagined they might.
- Elsewhere in the division: Buffalo is fading after a hot start (think fast: am I talking about the Bills or Sabres?), Montreal is playing inconsistently but will be back, the Leafs are talentless but are nobody's doormat, and the Sens are on the verge of Implosion: The Sequel.
* estimate based on internal polling and delusions of grandeur.