Sunday, December 14, 2008

And The Good Times Keep Rolling

Bruins fans were treated another home win last night. That's eleven in a row at the Garden. Best home stretch since '82-'83. You know, back when Barry Pederson and Rick Middleton were piling up points and Pete Peeters was throwing shutouts around like Frisbees. Now, 25 years later a new cast worthy of the name BRUINS has stepped up to carry the mantle. Savard and Kessel are doing their best Pederson and Middleton impersonations. While Michael Ryder is starting to heat the modern day Mike Krushelnyski perhaps? Back in '82-'83, Peeters was "The Man" between the pipes. The '08-'09 Bruins have the advantage of having two goalies playing every bit as well (dare I say better?) than Peeters could have imagined. Both Thomas and Fernande, while maybe not having as many shutouts as Peeters had (8), are atop the league in goals against. While we'll never see another Ray Bourque, the B's do boast an impressive blue line that stacks up pretty well against that '83 team. Instead of Park, O'Connell and Milbury as the supporting cast on D, we now have Wideman, Ward and Hunwick. Yes. I said Hunwick. This kid impresses me more every time I see him. Just when I think he's about to make a bad play, he pulls it off somehow. But that list of defenders doesn't even count guys like Aaron Ward and Andrew Ference (Ference is hopefully only briefly playing the role of Gord Kluzak on the DL). I also didn't include the Captain, Zdeno Chara. Obviously, he can't compare to the legend that is Ray Bourque. But Chara, for all the grief he gets sometimes (some of which is richly deserved by the way), once again last night proved himself worthy of the C on his B's sweater. With Phil Kessel engaged in a hacking, slashing scrum with the 6'7", 240LB Boris Valabik, the Captain came to his rescue. Funny how the big rookie looked very interested in fighting Thornton the other night and in going after Kessel.....but looked like he wanted to be anywhere BUT on the receiving end of Chara's bombs. Best 17 penalty minutes I've seen in a long time. My only gripe with Chara was that he clearly let up on the kid when he could have hammered him. At the end of the fight, Valabik was there for the taking, but Z decided that he had already made his point. No need to hurt anyone I guess. But a touch more nasty wouldn't have bothered me. But that's nit-picking. All in all a fantastic job by Chara to get in there as quickly as he did. Now....I could go on a rant about how much I hate the instigator penalty. But I'll try not to. All I'll say is, if that penalty didn't exist, guys like Varabik wouldn't feel as free to start that garbage with the opposing teams top players. The NHL logic is that by having the instigator penalty, you eliminate/reduce "goonism" and fighting. As usual, the NHL couldn't be more wrong. All it does is allow cheap shots and constant abuse to continue without fear of reprisal. Worst case for a scrub hacking a star player is just like last night. Valabik was getting called for a rough before Chara stepped in......but since Z needed to make sure it didn't escalte with Kess, he had to step in, nullifying the power play. And taking our topdefenseman off the ice for 17 minutes. So the "goonism" tactic works more than ever. It just penalizes the player doing "the right thing". far as the rest of the game went, it was....weird. Very up and down effort. Very uneven flow. At times it was very entertaining. But for most of the second period especially, it was dull. But hey, better a dull win than a thrilling loss. That's the beauty of this Bruins team. They can win ugly. They can win the "pretty" games. They can win close battles, or they can win the wide open affairs. So after 4 games in 6 days they boys get a few well deserved days off before facing the Maple Laughs Thursday. Lets hope the time off allows some time to heal all the various bumps and bruises they've been picking up lately. Go B's-Kynch

No comments:

Post a Comment