Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bruins vs. Thrashers: Resisting A "Sloppy Seconds" Reference...

It was a crazy one last night, with the B's flattening Atlanta 7-3. Can't believe I passed up the opportunity to see this game, in favor of the 12/28 matchup. On the other hand, live games don't have a rewind/slow-motion option for replaying awesome goals and fights.

You've gotta give respect to struggling teams who put up a fight. The Thrashers lost primarily on the basis of awful goaltending; having played a decent first 5 minutes and still finding themselves down 2-0, everything just fell apart from there. Ondrej Pavelec was F-minus bad, Johan Hedberg (what happened to this guy?) looked on the verge of a mental breakdown, and the rest of the team was playing with a pretty large chip on its shoulder. Unlike certain other teams, the Thrashers didn't just fold up their tent and wander off into the night. They played hard and fought hard, and a lot of it felt like old-time hockey.

Hard to know what to expect tonight in Boston. If past blowouts against struggling Dallas and Tampa are any indication, the Thrashers will have an internal meltdown on the team plane and arrive with no desire to play hockey anymore (Hedberg certainly looked like he was heading in that direction). But from what I saw last night, I wouldn't be surprised to see them come out with their foot squarely on the gas -- they've scored 7 goals in 2 games against the Bruins' top-ranked defense, and with an early lead they might stand a chance of pulling off the upset.

Items of interest -- Milan Lucic picked up a Gordie Howe hat trick last night. In his previous game against Atlanta, he scored an actual hat trick. Are there any other kinds of hat trick he could score tonight... perhaps a natural one? Also, the Bruins were the first Eastern team (2nd overall, behind San Jose and beating Detroit by a matter of minutes) to score 100 goals this season.

Other news -- Aaron Ward played only a minute before deciding he wasn't in game condition just yet. After seeing a pretty poor outing from callup Matt Lashoff against the Caps, I'd kinda like to see Johnny Boychuk dress for this one. [update: Patrice Bergeron will take the night off with the flu, which throws a monkeywrench in the Bruins' lines. For one thing, it opens up Bergeron's spot on the PP, where he plays the point. Best guess is Mark Stuart gets a chance, after scoring twice last night. Also, this means that Stephane Yelle will move up to center the second line, and Martins Karsums will make his NHL debut as fourth-line center. Karsums will skate with Shawn Thornton and Vladimir Sobotka, who will replace Petteri Nokelainen, who injured his shoulder last night. Got all that?]

Manny Fernandez starts tonight. He had won 7 straight until losing to the Caps, and Tim Thomas allowed 3 goals to a mediocre offense. Guess why Timmy looked so pissed off after that last goal? Manny is in a great position to pick up a few consecutive starts if he plays well tonight.

You could probably make some money by running a betting pool around who will be starting for the Thrashers tonight. Do they start Pavelec, who gave up 4 goals on 5 shots, or Hedberg, who was the backup AND got pulled in the same game, and went off on his teammates in the process? (anyone else catch his "fucking stupid" directed at Boris Valabik, accidentaly picked up by the NESN mikes?)

The Habs got bad news, as they have been bitten hard by the injury bug. They have lost 2 of 3, have a tought week coming up, and are now 7 points back of the Bruins. But forget all that... check out this awesome blog post from Four Habs Fans.

Meanwhile the Rangers lost a crazy game to the Devils, coming back from 5-1 and still losing 8-5. That puts the Rangers a solid 4 points behind the Bruins, with 4 more games played. Right about now, we should be looking out the corner of our eyes at the Flyers and Pens instead of the slumping Rags. As I type, the Flyers lead the Pens 2-0.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Anonymous said...

This blog sucks donkey dick

Tom said...

Thanks for that. Move along.