Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rough stuff forecast

Finally, it's GAME DAY! And one thing I always anticipate, try to predict, is the potential for fights or other "rough stuff". I base my guesses on history between the teams (was there an "incident" in the previous game?), the players (do two guys always seem to go after each other, even if it was in the minors?) and lastly, on how the teams have been playing lately (have they been getting pushed around lately? Did they dress a "tougher" lineup than normal, did a coach call them out on "heart" etc?).
Obviously, being the first game of the year and against a Western Conference opponent, there isn't much history here. Last season, Milan Lucic got off to a fast start, by dropping the gloves with Brad Winchester of the Stars, in the Bruins first game. No rookies on the roster this year for Boston that will be looking to establish themselves in that manner though. And as I look at the Av's expected line-up, I don't see a lot of "goon" type guys. Most likely brawler on the Av's would be Ian Lappierre. He led the team in fighting majors last year, with 20. That's an impressive number of fights. But that's about all that's impressive about it. He isn't one to square off with the heavy weights. Or even light heavy's of the NHL (this is a guy that basically fought Marion Gaborik to a DRAW. 'nuf said). So my guess on him would be, IF he drops the gloves, I doubt he'll be seeking out Thornton (one of those light heavy's). Probably not even Lucic, unless he was living in a cave last year and Looches reputation didn't make it to him. More likely match-up would be with a guy like Ference. A guy that will go if need be, but doesn't go looking for it. Also a guy that isn't going to hurt anyone (and remember, Ference fought Sidney Crosby last year.....and didn't fare that well).
Colorado doesn't appear to be dressing the "Sheriff", Scott Parker tonight. He's the one true, big brawler they have.

Things get a LOT more interesting on the cheapness, dirty "what an A-hole this guy is" front. I know, when you read that line, you either think of Ulf, Kasperitus or Darcy Tucker. Since the first two dirt bags are retired, that can only mean Darcy *ucker. We can't get away from this RAT! It would not surprise me in the least to see him in mid-season form, taking liberties with our young players. Don't be shocked if he welcomes Wheeler to the NHL with a cheap shot, then turns tail and runs as usual. Sad to say, but I'd be keeping a close eye on Darcy when Bergeron is on the ice. I could see him "testing" Patrice, to see if he has any hesitation in his game. If that happens, he won't have anywhere to hide, as the entire Bruins bench will be on him.

There are of course a few other minor nuisances to keep an eye on, but "lappy" and *ucker are the two to key on tonight.
Predictions? OK, I'll go with *ucker picking up at least 2 minutes for slashing. I honestly don't expect a bout, but I can hope, right? So, I'll stand by the Lappy-Ference call.

I know of at least one unnamed blogger (ahem, king krej, ahem)who will probably be pulling for a Bruins win, ideally 4-3, with Sakic getting the hat trick. GO B's! - Kynch

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