Thursday, November 20, 2008

Your Goalie, can have him

What was THAT? Didn't Ryan Miller used to be a good goalie? I mean, like a week ago? After giving up 7 last night, in just over two periods, he's now given up 11...yes, ELEVEN, goals in 3 periods plus a minute fifteen. Good thing he made the All Star ballot and Thomas didn't, eh (the only thing those two had in common last night was they both ended up watching from the bench)? Not for nothing, but I haven't seen a horror show like that in the Buffalo net since Clint Malarchuk bled all over the Aud. In Miller's defense....he didn't have a defense in front of him. The Sabres spent the night standing around watching Boston go wherever they wanted and occupy whatever space they wanted. Then again, Miller didn't exactly help them by making any big stops. In fact, he looked down right sieve like on at least two. As bad as Buffalo played, Boston seemed determined in the first to play just as poorly. Defense was a dirty word there for awhile. And despite all the mock cheers Fernandez got, I really can't blame him for any of the goals (MAYBE he was a bit too deep in his crease on Vanek's goal that made it 3-1, but that nit picking I think). He was under siege all period (again, a big save to bail out his mates would have been nice, but...). The GREAT news out of this is the fact that the B's now actually have the firepower to win a game like this, and the mental toughness to hang in there. This was another game that not long ago, they would have been run out of the building. Now, they just go to the break, regroup and come out playing the way they can. As soon as Boston tied it up at 4, you just had the feeling that everything would be ok. At 5-4, you KNEW it was game over. At that point it just became a matter of how many they'd get, and how long Lindy Ruff would leave Miller in there to take the beating. I (happily) blame Lindy Ruff for the loss as much as anyone. Keeping Miller in there for six goals through two periods...then sending him out to start the third....only to pull him 1:16 in after giving up the 7th, is a joke. Then again, when you have Patrick Lalime as your backup maybe it isn't such a bad idea. Seriously though....why make Miller make the "Skate of shame" to the bench after being pulled, instead of letting him start the period on the bench? The most nerve wracking moment had to be when Wideman got his clocked cleaned and was (as Jack Edwards would say, if it was an opponent) "on Queer St" for a bit. Got decked, tried to get up, but spun around and fell down. Scary moment for sure. I was STUNNED to see him back on the bench and skating a regular shift. Speaking of which, I have one very minor issue with Julien last night. It was great to see Wideman back on the ice. They clearly needed him. BUT, once the B's had the 3 goal lead late, and Buffalo was getting a bit chippy, I really wanted Julien to shut him down for the night. Why take a chance? But hey, I guess if he was cleared, he was cleared for the full game. I guess. At any rate, what started out as an ugly night of hockey,which looked an awful lot like the "old" Bruins of recent years turned into a celebration of the "new" Bruins. I guess nobody told these guys they aren't supposed to be very good. I guess they didn't read all those hockey previews that had them, inexplicably, missing the playoffs this year. Apparently, they missed the memo that says they're a boring, dull, trapping team that must win 2-1 to have a chance. No, this isn't a game Julien will use in any teaching videos. But it may be a game they all look back on as a reminder that they're never out of a game. No matter how poorly they start. They're not a dull team anymore. They aren't goal challenged anymore. They're nobody's pushover anymore. They're tough. They're talented. They're the Bruins. And they're back. Go B's-Kynch PS- Where was this big, tough lineup Ruff claimed he was going to ice last night? The only change I noticed from last time they met was Craig Rivet was back in the line up. Typical Ruff, all talk, no action.

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