Friday, November 21, 2008

Puttin' on the foil

OK OK, even though the Bruins marketing team has come up with a "ode to Slapshot" theme for tonight's tilt against the Florida Panthers, I don't expect a return to the brawl filled days the film depicts. But I can dream, can't I? On paper this looks like a game the B's should breeze through. Which is the only thing that worries me. Normally I wouldn't be too concerned about it, but with a game in Montreal tomorrow, you never know. The Bruins *could* get caught looking past Florida. I don't really expect it, but it is something to keep an eye on. Best thing for the B's could be for Florida to get caught up in the "Old time hockey" vibe and play a rough & tumble game. That will get the Bruins attention in a hurry. I assume we'll be seeing the Panthers backup goalie, Craig Anderson tonight. Their starter, Tomas Vokoun played last night. But don't get too excited. Anderson actually has much better numbers than Vokoun, albeit in about half the games played. For a last place team, they have two pretty good goalies (both have sub 3GAA and well over .900save%). Florida has a few decent "name" players, but no stars, especially up front. Their D is "decent", but their forwards won't scare too many. Their pop-cap offense is a big reason why they're the bottom feeders of the Eastern Conference. They've only managed 42 goals this season, a full 20 behind Boston's output. Old friend Nick Boynton is now a Panther (hey, he may play for crap teams, but at least he's been playing in nice weather since he left Boston). They also have the ever waiting to blossom Jay Bouwmeester on the back end. In my opinion, the jury is still out on Bouwmeester. Hard to say how good he is, or can be, since he's always played on bad teams. And honestly....who watches many Panthers games? The rumor mill still suggests Boston may be a player for Bouwmeester if Florida continues to stink it up and Boston stays in contention. He may be that "puck moving defenseman" they keep talking about bringing in. He's a very good player, so he's worth keeping an eye on tonight. Nathan Horton is Florida's leading scorer, with 6G & 5A. He's also a minus 6 though. ROUGH STUFF PREVIEW: If the game starts to resemble Eddie Shore hockey with Steve Hanson in town, the Panthers have a few willing guys. We all know Boynton will stand up for his teammates and drop the gloves if needed. He also still plays that very physical style. So Boston's forwards better keep their heads up crossing the Florida blue line. Former Leaf Wade Belak is also wasting away in Miami (talk about culture shock...Toronto to Miami?). Belak had one memorable bout in October with heavyweight Derek Boogard.....and clearly got the better of him. Keith Ballard is also willing and able. So hey, you never know. Maybe nobody gets jumped before the anthem, but we could see some fire works after all. Predictions: I think Boston is just so clearly better than Florida in every facet of the game, that they shouldn't be in trouble. I say Boston wins it 4-1. Your goal scorers tonight? I'll go with Lucic, Kessel. Wheeler and.......Wideman? Thornton and Belak give us a Hanson-Oglethorpe worthy bout. Go B's-Kynch (By the way, I some may have predicted Boston would have given up the fewest goals in the East to this point, but who would have predicted they'd be tied for the conference lead in goals scored? LOVE IT)


  1. look past florida? what are you, nuts? B's were 0 fer the year last year against these guys. what the hell is this blogsite smoking??

  2. No smokes here just the realistic thought that the B's "MIGHT" have taken the Panther's a bit lightly given that the night after would bring them back to Montreal on a Saturday night, on Patrick Roy Night & as a follow up match to what was previously a statement game at home by the Bruins? Is this too tough to possibly understand or...? Seriously... The B's are a young, WIP team that are facing new challenges and situations every time out now that they're the Top Dogs in the Division and Conferance, which for 85% of this time is a 1st time thing thus the statement... Anyone still there..? Anyone... OK then you obvious dummy...