Wednesday, December 31, 2008


At some level, deep down perhaps, the Bruins almost have to feel like exclaiming that famous line by Clarence the Barber from "Coming to America". I mean, they've taken on all comers and walked away with convincing wins, nearly every time (The Caps being the one exception). For the most part, it doesn't matter who you are or how you want to play. The Bruins will find a way to match your skill and effort and come out on top. Be it Detroit or Montreal or Pittsburgh. The B's have taken on the "iron" of the NHL and shown they're more than up to the challenge. But, the answer to the "who's next" question is, the Penguins. And I've always said the hardest thing to do in sports is beat a good NHL team in twice in a row. You can sweep home & home's with lesser teams, but a good team, which Pittsburgh is (at least a very talented team) is a whole other thing. The Pens were not happy with the loss either. They called a players meeting after the game to discuss their "lack of effort" etc. This makes Thursday night's rematch in Boston that much more difficult. Expect to see the Pens bring not only their skill, but a tremendous effort. The physicality and speed of the game will be ratcheted up quite a bit I would expect. And I can't wait. It's been a long time since they boys have been home, and I'm chomping at the bit for this one. As far as last night's game What a complete team effort that was. Thomas was outstanding. Chara was a force, being more physical than he's been in a long time. Savard and Kessel clearly got the message from Julien about working harder. Lucic, although slowed by so much special teams play, got it going pretty well as the game went on, ending his night with a spectacular beat down of Tim Wallace, who probably left the ice feeling like Mike Wallace. (props to Wallace though for A)shedding the helmet/visor and B) for standing in there after taking a few bombs from Looch). Axe seemed revitalized by playing on the top line (which I still hope is very temporary), picking up a pair of assists. The power play showed signs of life, scoring a couple times. And the PK was much improved as well, even collecting a shortie by the shortie, Martin St. Pierre (who's reward was an assignment back to Providence). All in all, this was the best 60 minute effort I've seen form the boys in quite awhile. They'll need at least the same effort Thursday to repeat the results. With St. Pierre being sent down, that must mean that Nokelainen is ready to return. Hopefully he's 100%, because the B's could use his physical presence in the lineup. As I've mentioned, I fully expect a very motivated Pittsburgh team to show up tomorrow. Tough guy Eric Goddard has missed the last couple games with an injury, but if he's healthy enough to go, I'd count on him being in the line-up....and looking for Lucic. No way a guy like him lets that beating go without a response. It also would be a great motivator for the Pens to see a guy like Looch (possibly) lose a bout and, more importantly, be off the ice for 5 minutes. Other than Goddard and Nokelainen being possible additions to the line-up, the only other change will probably be Fernandez in net. Which, as well as Thomas played, I like. Having a classic butterfly guy like Manny in there right after seeing the "battling" Thomas is a lot like calling on the fire-balling closer after your knuckle-baller has baffled batters for eight innings. Just one more little thing for the opposition to think about. Since I'll be wrapped up watching the festivities from Wrigley field all day tomorrow, I'll do a quick prediction/preview now. ROUGH STUFF: IF (and it's a big if) Goddard is in the lineup, expect him to be on the ice for Lucic's first shift. I just can't see how they don't let him get things rolling by "paying back" Milan for beating up Wallace. Again, this could provide the Pens with an early spark. However, the B's also have a savvy veteran tough guy on their roster. So it wouldn't shock me to see Thornton launch a preemptive strike against Goddard and invite him to tangle before he can get to Looch. Either way, Goddard will be involved early if he's playing. That's probably the only action we'll see, unless the game gets out of hand. Although yes, I will be holding out hope that Chara pummels Gill, just for old times sake. PREDICTIONS: I gave up predicting B's losses long ago. I'm not much of a gambler (as I proved once again at Mohegan Sun last night), but I do know when the odds are stacked against me. So, I'm calling for another B's win on New Year's Day. This time, I'm guessing 4-3. Lucic, Ryder, Krejci and Kobasew score. Go B's, and everyone PLEASE have a very happy and SAFE holiday!-Kynch

1 comment:

  1. my old team sure is doing good without me (I got screwed in my tenure with piss/poor goaltending, but thats a rant for another day) but one thing that was true with my time with the red wings and is true now is you can never have too many savvy vets to shore up the team for a playoff run, so i say Mr. Chilly should do whatever he can to get B. Shanahan as a rental for april-june.

    Dave Lewis

    p.s. what you mean wrapped up with the festivities at wrigley all day? what are you with the road crew??