Friday, October 31, 2008

60 X 2 + 40 = 4

Sixty minutes. coach Julien has been preaching it since he arrived on Boston. Sixty minutes of sustained effort. Sixty minutes of sticking to the system. Sixty minutes of being a "Bruin". For the first two games of the trip the B's did just that. Two complete sixty minute efforts earned them a much needed four points. last night in Calgary, they came out storming and played a very solid first period. And entered the second with a 1-0 lead to show for it. Then the wheels fell off. Calgary dominated Boston for the entire twenty minutes. A steady stream of B's to the penalty box didn't help matters. More concerning were all the turnovers in their defensive end, and the utter failure to clear pucks when they had the chance. This whole puck clearing thing has me dumbfounded, because it seems like it's been going on for year. How many times can you have full control of a puck, then not get enough steam on it to get it past your own blue line? That is probably the single biggest issue with their dreadful (to borrow a word from the great Fred Cusick) penalty killing. They've been in position to make plays, but for whatever reason rarely seem to be able to finish them. Fortunately, Boston regrouped between periods and came out with a much better effort in the third and made a game of it. So, another coaching opportunity if nothing else. Play sixty minutes-you have a damn good chance to win. Play anything less than that-you probably will fail.

Bottom line on the trip is they took four very big point of a possible six. It would have been great to pull off a sweep, obviously. I really think that would have done wonders for the team confidence. But they still have to feel good about their play, especially defensively (three goals against in three games isn't bad!). I know Chiarelli mentioned he was concerned about the goal scoring. Which is understandable, since his charges only scored four of their own. But, in my opinion, they were just unlucky for the most part. Unlucky in that they ran into Dwayne Rolloson, who played absolutely out of his mind for Edmonton. Then they had to face a couple guys named Luongo and Kiprusoff. Granted, one goal per night isn't a recipe for success, but it's nice to know that they CAN win games like that. Well, at least with Tim Thomas between the pipes. I was THRILLED to see Julien ride the hot hand and go with Timmy three straight games. The first time he's deviated from the every other game rotation this year. My guess is, Manny Freaking Fernandez gets the nod against Dallas tomorrow at the Shawmut/Fleet/TD Banknorth Garden. But, maybe Claude has some left over Halloween treats for us and goes with Thomas again.
(speaking of Halloween, I have a very scary picture I'll share later. I've been debating posting's just too hideous for public consumption. So be warned. I'll post it this afternoon. You've been warned.) Go B's-Kynch

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