Sunday, November 9, 2008

Your First Place Boston Bruins

Yeah yeah yeah.....I know. It's only early November, and a LOT can (and surely will) happen between now and April. But still, doesn't that have a nice ring to it? "The first place Boston Bruins". I like it. They're also second in the Conference to the Rangers (who have played three more games than Boston, and with only a 4 point lead, if Boston wins those games in hand....#1 in the East!). Not bad at all for a team, amazingly, some picked to finish out of the playoffs this year. Congrats guys, now lets keep the momentum going. That and if he keeps playing physically, he'll make space for himself and his line mates. If he ever needed proof of that theory, all he had to do was see Buffalo physicality to their advantage. Savvy has never been known as a dump and chase guy. But as he said, with the way Last nights game at the Garden was a great one. Full house, Military Appreciation night....and an early end to the annoying "Lets go buff-a-lo" chants. Manny Fernandez put in a good nights work. Looked a little shaky on the Sabres goal. He was a bit deep in his net on that one, but he played very well after that. And to be fair, he didn't get much help on that goal. It was pretty much an uncontested shot from close range, so I won't beat him up on that one. If he plays like that consistently, I have no problem (other than his huge price tag) with him spelling Thomas occasionally. But the real story of this game, the absolute force on the ice. The guy that you just couldn't help but notice shift after shift was Lucic. No points, but may have been his best "Milan Lucic" effort of the year. He was a wrecking ball all night. Cam Neely is on record as trying to explain to Looch Defenseman Henrik Tallinder bail out of an easy icing touch up. Tallinder had Lucic beat by a MILE to touch up an icing. But instead of going to the end boards to make the touch, he inexplicably went to the front of the net. Conceding the puck to Lucic. Obviously, Tallinder knew he was going to get punished for making the touch, and wanted no part of it. THAT is what being a constant physical presence can do for you. Marc Savard was quoted in the paper today as saying he's learning to change his style of play, to use Lucic's crashes into corners and wins one on one battles, he knows now all he has to do is get it close to him, and he's probably going to get it back. And if Looch's reputation continues to make guys take the easy way out like Tallinder did, all the better. He'll have uncontested plays out of the corners all night. Tallinder should be embarrassed for being so soft, but I guess that's easy for me to say from the comfort of my seat in the stands. I've been eagerly awaiting seeing a Lucic fight this year, but all the "blame" for his lack of fights thus far can't be put on a lack of willingness. Yet again last night, he offered an opponent to "go" and the invite was cordially declined. This time it was Adam Mair, who had obviously seen enough out of Milan to know that he wanted no part of him. If you look closely enough, you can see this kid's legend grow before your eyes. Even beyond Milan, the game had a certain amount of "spice" to it. It got chippy early, with Sturm and Afinaginov (or however you spell it) exchanging hacks, slashes and shoves at the face off dot. Chucky Kobasew looked ready to play from the outset, offering to drop the gloves with Derek Roy. Patrick Kaleta tried stirring the pot a bit on a couple occasions for the Sabres, but was HAMMERED with a punch to the nose by Chara. That effectively ended that agitator's efforts at provoking the big man, and the rest of the B's (too bad the NESN camera's didn't catch that exchange, because Z really did throw a dandy of a shot at him). I give the refs credit for letting the boys play. There were a ton of "scuffles" behind the play, especially around the benches during changes, and they never blew the whistle. They let the linesmen break it up, but let play continue. Granted, I'd have rather seen the linesmen stay out of it too to see if anything developed, but hey. At least they let the game continue to "flow". Bottom line is, that was another "big win" for the Black & Gold. They enter a very busy stretch of games starting next week in Chicago (followed the next night at home against a certain hated French Canadian team....thanks schedule makers). Every point is valuable. It would be nice to go into the final weeks of the season and worrying about playoff "positioning", not whether they'll make the playoffs at all. That's why this good start is so important. They're finally building in a little buffer for when they do hit the rough spots and injuries that are inevitable. So enjoy this win guys, but be ready for a talented Chicago team on Wednesday. As much as we're all looking forward to Thursday night vs the Habs, the players must stay focused on one game at a time. Handle your business in Chicago, and we'll be here waiting to help you through the battles Thursday night. Go B's- Kynch

No comments:

Post a Comment