Saturday, November 6, 2010

Game Day VS. Blues

Game day VS. the ST. Louis Blues....AKA; welcome back Vladdy night. Vladimir Sobotka is one of those guys that, even in a very brief Bruins career made quite a name for himself. He quickly developed a cult following, thanks to his constant hustle, energy and willingness to hit anything that moved. Even if everyone seemed to be a foot taller and fifty pounds heaver than himself. But what shouldn't be lost in all of that physical play is the fact that the kid is one of the fastest guys around. He also, in my opinion, has loads of untapped offensive potential. That's not to say he's ever going to be a number one center, or be a 30 goal man. But in the right situation, I could see him approaching the 20 goal mark fairly regularly. Unfortunately for his personal stats, he's yet again on a pretty good team, with good depth. So he'll be limited to fourth line minutes, playing with fourth line caliber wings. Although, if he remains playing with Matt D'agostini, they could form a decent combo. Certainly plenty of speed for a fourth line. Having BJ Crombeen riding shotgun with that pair adds some much needed size. Needed because SOB is definitely going to get under the skin of plenty of players this year, so Crombeen will have his hands full protecting the little fella (think Shawn Thornton & Brad Marchand).

As far as the rest of the Blues, they're playing extremely well in front on last season's prized off season signing, Jaroslav Halak. As you look at their crop of forwards, it's obvious they provide some serious match up issues. Their depth is impressive. Boyes, MacDonald, Backes, Perron, Oshie,Steen....all dangerous. On the back end, they're led by Eric Brewer, Baret Jackman and Eric Johnson. All big bodies, but not the most experienced group in the league. All quality younger players though, so take nothing for granted.
But things really begin and end in net for them, and Halak has been beyond impressive. Finally out of the shadows of "Jesus Price", and the nonsense of the Canadiens franchise, Halak is proving that last year's playoff performance was no fluke. In 9 games, he has a 1.53GAA and a .940 save%. Not too shabby at all. He's a likely Vezina candidate this year, along with our own Timmy Thomas of course.

Thoughts on tonight's game
Losing last night against the Caps should have come as no surprise. I certainly expected a better effort over the first 40 minutes, but I was impressed by the comeback attempt in the third. That "should" bode well for tonight. That effort has shown me that this Bruins team has more heart and pride than perhaps they displayed last year. I fully expect a better start to tonight's game, and if they lose, I doubt it will be because of effort.

It's expected that Tuukka Rask will get the start tonight. He, for his own state of mind, needs to have a good game. Even in a loss, if he plays up to his standard, that will go a long way towards getting him back on track. Of course, the team has to play better in front of him than they have the last couple times out. Having said that, I think he and the team all show up tonight. I'm feeling a 3-1 Bruins win, with Recchi, Bergeron and Chara getting the goals for Boston. And what the hell, I'm seeing Sobotka getting one for the Blues (which would be his first point of the season).

While the Blues aren't looked at as an overly "rough & tumble" team, they certainly have plenty of guys willing and able to throw 'em. BJ Crombeen, Brad Winchester and Cam Jansen are all more than capable fighters. Jansen (when healthy) and Crombeen being the primary tough guys, despite Winchesters size (6'5,230lbs). I don't see any way, after last night's stinker, that Thornton doesn't try getting the boys off to a quick start tonight. Look for Shawn to get the ball rolling early, probably grabbing Crombeen within the first shift or two. Winchester almost certainly will try to get involved as well, and it may be down to a Mark Stuart type to deal with him. I'd say Lucic, but not sure how often those two will be on the ice together.

So, welcome home SOB. There are plenty of us here that miss you, and wish you well. Just not TOO well tonight.
Just skate your wing,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NHL Superheroes? Wa wa what? Love it!

When I first heard about this idea I was like "COME ON!" The NHL trying something that the rest of the Big 4 pro leagues haven't already done twice over? And it will be a mix of pucks heritage & comics? Stan "The Man" Lee's involved...? WTF! Well call me insane (again...) but after seeing what's already been released and will be forthcoming, I for one am pretty "jacked and pumped" and happy to say that it's officially TRUE! As The NHL has announced that its fully collaborating with venerable comic book legend Stan "The Man" Lee on "The Guardian Project" in which each of the NHL's 30 clubs will be represented by it's own "Superhero" entity with the help one of the true giants in the field of superhero related comics, film and other forms of online mutimedia, Stan "The Man" Lee. So the man who gave us Spider-Man, the X-Men, and other now legendary characters has the great responsibility to help co-create these new characters through his newly launched POW! Entertainment company.

At the recent New York Comic Con that was held couple weeks ago, Lee himself was on hand to present "The Guardian Project" as part of a panel discussion along with NHL commish Gary Bettman. The above image served as nothing more than a teaser for the project but a closer look reveals more than a few clues on each of these soon to be reveled team-influenced heroes.

Coming up, the full details on what the Hell this project really is, as some glimpses of Stan Lee's NHL superheroes; a.k.a. You'll Believe That a Man Can Flyer. The description of "The Guardian Project," which will no doubt inspire confidence about the chances for its massive success included a statement to the effect of "This unprecedented partnership, deemed Guardian Media Entertainment (GME), takes a cutting-edge approach to animation as all content is being designed for multi platform media applications. The plans for the project include "comic books, a novel, mobile applications, TV and film"

According to a recent article from USA Today on the project; Organizers are keeping a lid for now on the powers and likenesses of The Guardians, with plans to reveal them individually over time on the enterprise's website ( before presenting them together at January's NHL All-Star game with each of the teams having a role in designing their clubs hero to reflect themselves, city and fan base.

Based on what's already been announced and that I've seen first hand, each hero will reflect the team itself, such as the Flyers being characterized by toughness (cheap shotting) the Montreal Canadiens by speed (and I assume the ability to flop at a moments notice...) the Toronto Maple Leafs by size and strength (and delusional fans) etc.,
Overall its been positioned that these NHL superheroes will work together and separately, although there will be friction between those representing traditional rivalries, such as that between the Flyers and the New York Rangers. With this in mind you've got to think that "Leafs Mans" superpower must be something like having the ability to massively disappoint for decades but somehow still lead the league in merchandise sales.

Personally I'm thinking that this innovative multi property effort will either be a HUGE hit or will quickly disappear with little notice but regardless I'll be sure to post more on this as well as any other info and photos of each of the individual teams "Heroes" as they are introduced. Until then though; Lets Go Broons! & "Excelsior! Bitches” -KingKrej46

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Game Day- VS Washington

I know what you're thinking....."finally, a damn game preview blog. What the hell has this slacker Kynch been doing?". Simple answer is, I've been slacking. Longer answer is, I was in Prague for the first two games, and let's just say internet availability there is a little sketchy (plus I really didn't feel like blogging from my phone, my sole source of internet access). Saturday, I was totally slacking, playing some golf on the Cape (Cape Cod for you out of towners!). But hey, that's the past. I'm here now and ready to give this a whirl. So let's jump right into it, shall we?

Let's see, when you play against the Caps, what is your first priority? Obviously, it's containing that Norris trophy shoe-in Karl Alzner, right? No? Oh, that's right. They DO have some kid named Ovechkin, who I think is going to turn into a decent NHL prospect one of these days. Maybe the B's should focus on him. And from all indications, that is exactly what coach Julien is doing. Looks like Chara and Seidenberg will be the top pairing again tonight, to slow down the Caps top line (just as they were paired together to stop New Jersey's top heavy first line). "OV" is off to his usual hot start, potting 4G & 4A in Washington's first 5 games. He has a point in every contest. As goes Ovechkin, so go the Caps. As Tim Thomas (tonight's likely starter) mentioned, it seems as though when Ovechkin is flying, the rest of his team follows suit. If you slow him down, the others tend to lose a step as well. Sounds like a simple plan, but it's easier said than done. On the bright side, even if Washington, as the home team, is able to avoid Chara/Seidenberg with creative line changes, the Bruins may still be OK. In the preseason game, where the B's played very short handed, Johnny Boychuck had a HUGE game against Ovechkin. I lost track of how many times OV was thwarted in one on one situations against Johnny B. Even the Caps announcers were raving about his play. Let's hope that translates to tonight.

But Ovechkin, despite being the ring leader of that circus, is far from the only threat. Semin and Backstrum are both deadly in their own right. The B's catch something of a break, as it appears Mike Green will sit this one out. Not that I'm a fan of Green, as I think he is HORRIBLE in his own end, but some of the Caps fast break offense is missing without him in the lineup. However, the Caps have a suitable replacement for him, in Natick Ma.'s own John Carlson. The rookie is second in team scoring, with 1G & 5A.

From the Boston side of things, you can't ask for much more balance than they got Saturday against the Devils. After playing a sloppy first period, the B's rallied with four goals in the second period. One from each line. Tough to beat that, and makes for some match-up issues for Bruce Boudreau & company. If the Bruins play their simple, defense first style, they can absolutely beat the Caps, or anyone else. When they fail to pay attention to detail, like game one in Prague, they're very beatable. I expect nothing short of a solid effort from them tonight, as they're well aware this is their first real"test". They've played a struggling Devils squad, and a hit or miss Coyotes team. Tonight, they get to prove themselves against some of the iron in the Eastern conference.

Washington went out and got tough guy DJ King from St. Louis this off season. King is a legit middle-heavyweight. IF he's in the Caps lineup tonight, you can bank on him paying Shawn Thornton a visit. This is one of those match-ups that I love for Thornton. Should be a very entertaining bout when (and if) these two get together. Both love to trade punches, and in my book are fairly evenly matched. DJ King, while tough, isn't the kind of guy I was talking about when I praised the B's for signing McGrattan. This is the type of fighter Thornton should handle (or possibly Lucic, depending on the situation).
Whether King is in the lineup or not, I also wouldn't be surprised if former B's prospect Matt Hendricks drops the gloves as well. Hendricks is no heavyweight, but has definitely shown a willingness to "go". My gut tells me he does tonight, and Mark Stuart is the one to oblige him.


Well, since I've always been SO accurate with my predictions, I figured I'd keep it going this year. I see the Bruins winning this one (shocking, I know). Look for a 3-2 game, with Horton, Bergeron and Chara your scorers for the good guys. On the other side, old friend Mike Knuble scores against us, if for no other reason than he ALWAYS seems to score against the B's. Going off the map a bit with their other goal, but I see Eric Fehr getting it.
Keep your elbow tucked,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pucks & Pivo

Well, it's been awhile since I've posted anything, so I apologize for that. I was hoping to have a report from the Belfast game, but it looks like my Irish correspondent is still recovering (or still drunk). If he's able to give us the Irish perspective on that game, I'll post it. For now, I'll jump into my Prague experience a bit.

As everyone who has ever been to Prague will tell you, it is an absolutely beautiful city. The architecture, the history...all amazing. The people, while not exactly the "warmest" you'll ever meet are certainly not threatening in any way. You may not always feel "welcome", but neither do you feel overly "unwanted". But a funny thing happens when you get away from the heavily touristy areas. The people, especially late at night in one of the pubs, which seem to be every fifty feet or so, let their hair down in a big way. The gruff exterior of a long oppressed people is gone. Replaced with a fun loving attitude that can only come from a people who have known life when freedom, self expression and simple joys were a foreign idea. Bottom line, this is a population making up for lost time. Boy oh boy, are they making up for lost time.

It can feel at times that you've stepped into a time warp, and landed in a suburban mall somewhere in the US in the mid-80's. The fashion, the hair (they're HUGE fans of the mullet) and the music all scream 80's. Of course, like all their music, every 80's song they play seems to have the same annoying "dance mix-techno pop" treatment applied to it. Oddly, though most places etc played that awful techno garbage, the pubs with live music featured American jazz and blues. Let's just say I was a bit surprised walking into a neighborhood pub only to find a Dixieland Jazz band playing. Should have known then that things were going to be "interesting".

American "culture" is taking hold here, as evidenced by our most prominent food. Everywhere you look, KFC (some serving beer of course), McDonalds & Subway are intermingled with the more traditional Czech establishments. Shame too, because the Czech's actually have some very good food of their own.....albeit a bit heavy. Seems every menu item is tailor made to cure a hangover. Not surprising for a country that consumes more beer, by a mile, than any other. When incredibly tasty and fresh beer literally costs less than a soda, you can see why (roughly $1-$1.50USD).

OK, enough of the Travel Channel stuff. What about the game experience? Well, I only went to game one. I think we can all agree that from a hockey entertainment standpoint, that was pretty pathetic. I don't know who those guys in the B's jerseys were, but they certainly the team I was expecting to see.

As far as experience, it was great. The first thing that stands out is how many NHL fans were there. Not Bruins or Coyote fans (although to their credit, Phoenix did have a very large representation). I think every team in the NHL was represented by local Czech (and other Eastern Europeans) fans. So many different game jerseys, with their wearers proudly sporting painted faces, it was a bit bizarre. But they were hugely into hockey, no matter who was playing. Shame the NHL charged their usual NHL rates for the game, as this left the average Czech fan out in the cold. In my section, we were probably the only four speaking English. The rest was a mix of Czech, German, Austrian and any number of other languages. Many in attendance owed their allegiance to one team or another based solely on which, if any, of their countrymen played for them. Which explains how the Austrian next to me felt no hesitation being a Bruins fan, yet also being a big Sabres fan....because Tomas Vanek is "our best player" (as in, Austria's best). My attempt to sway him based on the behavior of Buffalo players and fans was futile. Oh well.

The O2 arena itself is very nice. It's sort of in the middle of nowhere, but the area seems to be going through some development, so there may be more pre and post-game eating and drinking options soon. I hope so, because the "bowling club" we had a beer at was a bit....sketchy.The pub where we ate was also one of the very few where NOBODY spoke or understood a word of English. But at least it's right off the train stop, so it's easy to get to (the Prague transit system is great...once you get the hang of it).

Having every person entering the building go through a metal detector is a little time consuming, and makes getting in a pain, but safety first I guess. Once inside, it wasn't much different than any other arena. The concourses all seemed like they could be slightly larger, and the beer was the much more expensive than at the bars (of course "expensive" is a relative term. Arena beers cost roughly $2.25....still much better than the Garden's $7-$8!).You know you're in Europe, when between periods the place absolutely empties out.....yet the concourse is oddly quiet. Yep, everyone was in the smoking area.

As far as game presentation, I'm kind of torn. Was it cool that the Bruins, as the "home team", were able to have their PA announcer present? Sure. But I also was looking forward to a 100% "Czech experience". They did announce everything in English and Czech, so that was OK. One thing I did enjoy was, no matter how hard they tried getting the crowd going with those foolish "noise" or "get loud" signs on the score board, the locals wouldn't bite. Give them a REASON to cheer, they will. TELL them to, not going to happen. But I really enjoyed it when they took THEIR chants, and applied them to OUR teams. Let's just say, the four of us at least, will be doing everything we can to carry their "Bos-TONE (clap clap clap)" chant to the Garden this season....and yes, you do have to do it with the accent.

Game two saw us watching from a downtown pub. When looking for a bar to watch a hockey game, I guess you can't do much better than a place called "Hockey Bar". So that's where we went. It wasn't as busy as we had expected, but before long we did have the various Czech, Germans, Austrian's and whoever else was there cheering for our beloved boys in Black & Gold. Fortunately, they gave us reason to be proud. THAT is how they have to play to be successful.

So what did I take away from the actual games? Let's see...
1)If they don't play a smart, aggressive style they have no chance. Soft passes, poor decisions and defensive confusion reigned in game one. And they blown out because of it.

2)when they skate, they win. Game 2 was a complete 180 from the previous day. They outworked the 'Yotes, so they won. Simple as that.

3)Nathan Horton could very well be everything the scouts thought he was supposed to be when he was drafted. Put him in a stable environment, with solid teammates and a focused coach and he could be one of the top scorers in the NHL. Deadly wrist shot, quick release, good size and the willingness to use it. He makes Boston a dangerous team, and should open things up for other lines.

4)I'm going to like the B's 4th line. I already like Thornton, that's obvious. But Campbell, I think, is a guy we're all going to learn to love. Hard worker, stand up guy, and has more skill than most 4th liners. He should be fun to watch. And with any of Paille, Marchand or McGrattan riding the other wing spot, there are a few different looks Julien could throw out there night to night. Personally, I'm already looking forward to McGrattan's first game as a Bruin.

5)The Tuukka-Timmy "situation" is going to be interesting to watch. While Tuukka certainly didn't get any help in his start, he also wasn't exactly on his game. Worse, his little tantrum after the second period (not sure if it was visible on TV) shows me that he's still got a good dose of that petulant, whiny little kid in him. Has anyone ever heard him say ANYTHING was his fault? Didn't think so, yet I've heard him plenty of times talk about the team in front of him. Timmy, on the other hand, looked sharp all day. And contrary to Tuukka, when Timmy gets pissed off, he plays better. He handles it himself, and takes ownership. This battle is going to be fun, and yes's actually OK to pull for BOTH of them. They're both trying to do the same job for our team, no reason to hate one or the other.

6)The kids are alright (wow....that's an over used line, even by my standards). Seguin's speed is impressive to say the least (not nearly as impressive as Kynch's Korner contributor Angela's timing though...she no sooner got the words "has anyone else been impressed by Seguin's speed?" out her mouth when he broke away for his first NHL goal). He'll make his share of mistakes, but his pure talent will get him off the hook for a lot of it. Jordan Caron may also open a lot of eyes. He's looked like a veteran since day one of camp. Now, I'm not trying to say he's going to be a Rookie Of The Year candidate or anything, but I can't help but think back to Joe Thornton's rookie year. All the hype (rightfully so) was on "Jumbo Joe". But Sergei Samsonov walked away with ROY honors. Again, NO...I don't think Caron will even be in that conversation. I just think at the end of the year, he may make a much bigger impact than most expected.

7)I didn't think it was possible, but I like Patrice Bergeron even more now. Everything about him oozes class. From the way he works on the ice, to the way he's clearly mentoring Seguin. From his vast community involvement, to his desire to remain a Bruin, and his willingness to take less money to stay here. This kid is the kind of guy every franchise needs, but most will never know. Take a moment to enjoy this guy folks, he's a special one.

Well, that's it for now. Still trying to get back on Boston time. With the next game not until Saturday, I should be fully recovered by then. In the mean time, I'll gather my thoughts and try to put something a bit more coherent for my next post. What can I say? Too many Pivo's!

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Most Hated NHL players

As anyone that knows me, or reads this blog regularly knows, it doesn't take much for me to ratchet up the "hate" during any NHL season. The mere sight of a Canadiens jersey is enough to fire me up, and long for the days of the good old bench-clearing brawl. Ditto for Sabres, Leafs, Flyers and to a lesser extent, Rangers gear. As a Bruins fan, the "hatred" of those teams is obvious, and understandable. Particularly when it comes to Montreal, as there is a level of respect for the way they've managed to break my heart over the years. "Back in the day", the losses, while heartbreaking, were somewhat tempered by the fact that they were just good teams, with "honorable" players, for the most part. hate them as you may, it was pretty tough to disrespect guys like Larry Robinson, who was a class act. Sure, Guy Carbonneau was/is easy to hate, but every team in every era has guys like that. Of course, over the years some weird metamorphosis has taken place in La Belle Province. Now diving, cheating, hit and run cheap shot artistry has taken hold. Shame really.

But that's a team thing. My question is, who are the individual players that just get your blood boiling? The one guy in an enemy jersey that single handedly revs up the rivalry to the point where a win is nearly a secondary goal. A guy that, is so low, dirty and flat our embarrassing, despite relative "productivity", you would never want to see in a Bruins jersey? Here's my list, I'd be interested to see how it stacks up to yours. In no particular order (other that number one perhaps), I present the ten CURRENT NHL players I despise.

10: Jarko Ruutu- This guy is the ultimate cheap shot artist, a guy that is never afraid to take advantage of an unsuspecting, vulnerable player. The bigger the star, the more likely he is to unload a "questionable" hit. As evidenced by the brutal hit on Jaromir jagr in the 2006 Olympics, and the cheap shot, after the whistle knee-on-knee hit of Ilya Kovalchuck in 2008. The only thing that keeps this bum from being higher on my list, is because he will *sometimes* drop the gloves and actually answer for his actions. And by sometimes, I mean once or twice per year. Normally, he can be seen instigating a brawl, then hiding behind the refs flashing his goofy Joker-esque grin.

9:Steve Downie- This clown is an accident waiting to happen. From his blatant attempt to injure Sidney Crosby this past March, to the vicious head shot delivered to Ottawa's Dean McAmmond in a PRESEASON game in 2007 (a hit that earned him a 20 game suspension), Downie has demonstrated his lack of class wherever he's played. But at least he's an equal opportunity dirt bag. Downie has also served a 20 game suspension in the AHL, for slashing an official. Not to mention the 5 game suspension he received for a fight/hazing incident with a TEAMMATE in the OHL. He'd be much much higher on this list if he played in the division, or was still a member of the Flyers, as opposed to Tampa.

8:Patrick Kaleta- This pest probably deserves to be higher on the list, but frankly he's so pathetic to watch, I don't want to give him the honor of ranking any higher than 8. The fact that the ever delusional Sabres fan base considers him an "enforcer" is equally pathetic.....and yet another example of why I hate Buffalo. Their fans are beyond ridiculous. But hey, I guess living in that hell-hole, complete with exactly zero championships in anything, is enough to make anyone a little loopy. Kaleta, is generally the first guy to run his mouth....then run to the bench. He's also a world-class diver, which should come as no surprise. Buffalo seems to be taking a page out of the Montreal playbook in recent years. The slightest contact with Kaleta will send him sprawling. Plays and players like this need to be removed from the NHL. It's embarrassing.

7:Chris Neil- Neil is one of those tough choices. He's a guy you hate, but can't always put a finger on exactly why. Then, you watch him play and it all comes back to you. A decent fighter, who stands out from the others on this list in that he will fight anyone, any time. But his constant yapping, whining and inexcusable diving are just too much to leave him off any "pest" list. Neil has come full circle in his career. When he first broke into the NHL, he was nothing more than a fighter. A few years in, he suddenly decided he could score a little. He topped out at 16 goals in 2006, while adding 204PIMS. Decent production to be sure. But still, I prefer my "enforcers" to let their game do the talking, something Neil has never been able to do. His full time mouth, combined with his over acting ways earn him a spot here. Congrats.

6:Scott Walker- Do I really need to mention how Walker earned his spot on this list? Yes, sometimes all it takes is one despicable act to earn a lifetime in my dog house. And there haven't been many acts more gutless than the absolute sucker punch Walker threw on our (beloved) Aaron Ward in the playoffs in 2009. How he didn't get suspended is beyond me, and pretty much sums up what is wrong with the NHL's supplementary discipline system. Even before throwing that punch, he was essentially the third man in, and made his entrance by elbowing Ward square in the face. What a hero you are, Mr. Walker. Not enough bad things can happen to this punk as far as I'm concerned. (and yes, maybe I'm still a little bitter that he, of all people, scored the series clinching goal for Carolina).

At the half way point, and I'm already FIRED UP....the regular season can't get here fast enough!

5: Dan Carcillo. A RAT, period. Carcillo piled up 17 fighting majors last year, which on the surface would seem to remove him from the "pest" discussion. But since this is my "most hated", not "biggest pest" list, he's easily top 5 material. The fact that he only ranks 5th surprises even me. But as usual, this list is fluid, and any of these guys can rise & fall with the tides of the season. The number of bouts this dirt bag piled up last year is slightly skewed once you take a look at some of his hand picked dance partners. There was of course the blatant sucker punch of renowned heavyweight Matt Bradley. And lets not forget his monumental achievement in taking on legendary goon Marion Gaborik. Please. This guy picks his spots with the best of them. Not a fighter? He's your guy. At the end of a long shift? He'll be your huckleberry. Got your head down, and have no idea you're even in a fight? Yep, dance reservation is booked. Beyond the selective fighting is his history of questionable hits, and so many dives it would make a Canadiens fan blush is the fact that EVERYTHING this piece of dirt does is for show. He's an extremely selfish player, who will run his mouth, play to the crowd and take foolish penalties at the worst times. How and why he's considered by some to be a "good teammate" is beyond me. Not sure he knows the meaning of "team", and I'd never want him on mine.

4:Sean Avery- I know, 4 does seem low, doesn't it? But this ass hat's act has gotten so old and tiresome, that it almost seems like old news to rank him any higher. Avery's long list of, shall we say, "unfortunate incidents", has been well documented. From his cheap shotting, constant yapping, turtling and generally running away from nearly every incident he incites, to his ridiculous "look at me" comments off the ice. every part of him and his whole act are just plain played out. Another guy that somehow is considered a decent teammate.....until his act wears thin there, then it's on to the next. I have to believe his act wouldn't play well in Boston, where we prefer our guys to actually back up their words. Shame, because if he lost the circus side-show aspect of his game, he is a decent player. But one not worth all the negatives he brings.

3:Steve Ott- What in the world were the Dallas Stars thinking a couple years ago when they had both Ott and Avery on the same team. I feel bad for every player on that roster that had to put up with their nonsense. And more often than not, pay the price for their shenanigans (just think of poor Matt Niskanen getting filled in by Sheriff Shane Hnidy after Ott spent the night stirring the pot, and not answering for his own actions. To recap that night: Ott threw at least three dirty, very low hits (Yelle, Lucic and Savard). He flat out ran away from and refused to drop the gloves with Thornton, Hnidy or Lucic. That one game is a perfect microcosm of this ass's career. He's been cheap and dirty his entire career. And honestly, he isn't a good enough hockey player to get away with it. I'm still stunned he's been able to stick around as long as he has. A complete embarrassment, not only to the NHL, but to anyone with any shred of pride.

2: Matt Cooke- Obviously his gutless, predatory cheap shot hit on Marc Savard vaulted this gutless, worthless puke to the #2 spot on my list. For sheer violence of action, he should probably be ranked #1. Even without the Savard hit on his resume, he has a long enough history to be a top 5 most hated around the league. In an eerily similar hit to the Savard one, Cooke was suspended two games for a "targeted blow to the head" of Sergei Anisimov of the NY Rangers. Another blind side, head high elbow on a player that had already released the puck. Makes it even more amazing that this piece of trash wasn't suspended for the Savard hit. But Cooke isn't just a one trick pony. In addition to a series of head shots, he's also a bigfan of knee on knee hits (as Eric Cole), Slew Foots (see; Colin Fraser) and extremely late hits on players doing such threatening things as making a line change (as in, Zach Parise). Look these incidents, among many others, up on youtube. It's amazing he's still standing. Although I have to admit, I became a huge Evander Kane fan the day Kane scored a one-punch knock out on Cooke. Good times, should happen on a nightly basis. If anyone deserves to feel the effects of post concussion syndrome themselves, it's this head hunting coward.

Well, after all that ranting through the first 9, who could possibly earn my coveted #1 most hated player in the NHL? It may or may not surprise you....

1: Mike Komisarek- Now, don't let the fact that "Komi" wasn't around to cause much trouble last season cloud your memory of this gutless puke. One of my main criteria is, if you're going to run your mouth, take liberties and "act tough" out there, you had damn well better be willing to answer the bell every time. Komisarek, unfortunately doesn't believe he should be held responsible for anything he says or does out there. And as much as little guys running around acting tough drives me crazy, it's even more infuriating when a big kid acts like a coward. And Komisarek, at 6'4" 225lbs is certainly big enough to go with the big boys. If he's going to play "on the edge", he needs to step up. At the very least, if you aren't going to drop the gloves, SHUT YOUR MOUTH. He's constantly chirping and whining about something. He's big on waiting for the refs to get between him and whoever want to "talk" with him, then start making bug gestures like he's actually interested in going. Please. Everyone knows that is all for show. He really needs to just skate away with his tail between his legs like the beaten dog he is. Even after Lucic pounded him (FINALLY), Komisarek refused to let go of his jersey after the refs stepped in, in some lame attempt to look like he didn't just get his teeth kicked in or something. Of course the fact that all of this transpired while he was wearing a Canadiens sweater made it all the more entertaining. I can only pray that he's healthy this year, because that will put the Bruins-Leafs games over the top. With Komi "doing his thing", and Lucic looking to repent for last season's down year, things could get very interesting. (and with Colton Orr on the prowl protecting "komi", my man McGrattan would be well utilized freeing up Thornton, Lucic, Stuart or anyone else that can get a hold of Komisarek.)

Man, it's only September and I'm already in mid-season hatred form. So that's my top ten as of today. As I said, that's subject to change as the season goes on. Perhaps a new "villain" will appear, or one of these chumps does something even more outrageous. If they do, it's obviously an attempt on their part to climb higher on my list.
Man up and answer the bell,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Read all about it!

A lot going on hockey wise these days (it's wonderful isn't it?) Here are some random hockey news stories worth checking out while you avoid doing any work on this lovely Friday afternoon:

** Interesting read. Bob Probert's brain has been donated to a research project at Boston University.
No really, it has. The study focuses on head trauma and the possible lingering effects for athletes. Obviously this has been a hot topic here in Boston, especially earlier this week when it was discovered Marc Savard is still suffering from post concussion symptoms.

** Sick of the Sid VS Ovie business? Yeah me too. As we all know, this season's Winter Classic will feature The Capitals taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins. HBO and the NHL are both looking to cash in on the "rivalry" as much as possible by airing a special 4 week long documentary series leading up to it.

Personally I have mixed feelings about this. I have pretty much had my fill of the Pens and Caps being continually paraded around by the league. However, hockey being the "red headed stepchild" of the sporting world is not just a Boston phenomenon. Aside from your larger markets, your typical American sports fan doesn't pay much attention to the game. It also doesn't help that the NHL has been terrible at marketing it's product over the years. (Incredibly terrible)

A show like this is placing the entire league in the spotlight, and the possibilities are endless. I'm not personally familiar with the Hard Knocks show, which is the blue print for this series. How will it be executed, and what sort of audience are they targeting? Does "uncensored" mean I'll get to aquire an arsenal of Russian swear words? Guess we'll have to wait and see.

** Cue the Brass Bonanza! The Whale is returning! Sort of...This isn't really the return of the Whale as much as a clever marketing push to sell more tickets for the Rangers AHL affiliate. But hey, I'm sure the Whalers booster club is pumped they're getting an AHL team instead of the NHL team they were after. (Also, does anyone else find it strange they are waiting until mid season to make the name change?)

** "Score: A Hockey Musical" did not go over well at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month. I know. I was shocked to hear this myself. I mean what could possibly go wrong having Olivia Newton John Star in a musical about hockey?

Hm. Apparently a lot could go wrong.

Let's hope "The Goon", which started the pre-production process earlier this month, fares a bit better.

** Finally, let's all just take a moment to be jealous of the fans over in Phoenix. Not only will they get the opportunity to partake in special giveaway nights that include camo hats and wearable blankets, but they also get a special 80's night! (and I thought the Rene Rancornament night at the Garden was going to be awesome) Ah, hockey in the desert. It never ceases to amaze me.

Alright, that's all I've got for you. Enjoy your weekend folks! Please don't forget that NESN is actually going to be airing the pre-season game against the Panthers this Saturday night. If you can't make it over to the Garden to heckle Dennis Wideman in person, be sure to tune in. Puck drops at 7.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hello fellow puck heads!

Apparently the boys here at Kynch's Bruins Korner were in need of a lady's touch to keep this blog up and running. (I kid, I kid...) To be honest, I'm not really sure why I was invited, but whatever the reason may be, here I am ready and raring to go!

Let's get some of the awkward introductions out of the way so we can get down to business, shall we?

My name is Angela and I'm a lifelong Bruins fan (bet you've never heard that line before). Fact is, I love the game. Period. This season will mark my 4th year as a season ticket holder, and on any given game night I can be found yelling/cheering/complaining from section 316. If you're in the neighborhood, feel free to stop by and say hello. (bring beer!) People over at Sully's sometimes call me Chucky and I'm pretty sure it won't take you long to figure out why. Personally, I like players who crash the net and aren't afraid to get nasty in the corners. I also prefer my defensemen to come from the stay at home breed. (Not the sexy choice, I know.) I enjoy long walks on the beach and....wait. Wrong blog.

Let's move on.

When Kynchie asked me to join in the fun I asked myself "What could I possibly add to this fabulous blog?" Then it hit me. I've noticed a lot of the local fans I'm running into these days aren't staying up to date with the ongoings around the NHL. So I am going to take it upon myself to try and keep you lovely people informed. Remember kids, when going into any battle it's essential to know your enemy! Who knows, you might also get some fun fact sheets and rants/tirades from me as well. (Who am I kidding, you'll probably get A LOT of rants and tirades.)

It's important for you to know that I'm a newbie with this blogging business, so please bare with me. I'll do my best to update somewhat regularly, and hopefully keep it all "readable" as well as kid friendly (although I make no promises here).

Until next time, here's a little something to keep you busy:

Our old pal Nick Boynton got a one game suspension for this little show after his fight with Blair Jones during a pre-season game with the Bolts last night.

Your call: Classless and worth punishment, or just some old time hockey?