Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bitz and pieces get it done

News faces galore, same result. Raise your hand if you thought, at the beginning of the season, that a lineup that included Byron Bitz, Martin Karsums, Matt Hunwick and Matt Lashoff would hand a team like Carolina a sound 5-1 beating. OK, now the honest people can vote. But there they were in the line-up and playing a big part in the win. Just to complete the AHL feel, Tukka Rask was even the back up goalie for Thomas (Fernandez, undisclosed "minor injury"). Bitz, playing in his first NHL game picked up an assist on Stuarts goal. Karsums picked up his first NHL point on Yelle's goal. And what the heck, while we're talking firsts, Hunwick picked up his first NHL fighting major. As far as Bitz goes, I thought he looked real good on that fourth line. A real big kid (6'5,215lbs), he seemed right at home in the NHL. He flashed some decent puck possession skill and was willing to crash and bang at every opportunity. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing him in the line-up against the Habs Tuesday night. Karsums didn't look out of place either, as he played a fairly simple game and did "all the right things". Just two more examples of Providence providing Boston with a steady supply of "Plug and Play" components. A lot of pro franchises talk about "organizational depth". Chiarelli, Don Sweeney and company have done as good a job of creating that depth as any team in sports. By implementing a system that is followed in the AHL as well as the NHL, and drafting BRUINS to play it, the B's brass has created a situation where if they do have injuries, they can overcome them. And with all the different guys getting call-ups from Providence, there is a healthy competition down there. They all know, play hard, play the may just get your shot at the big time. All in all, a great environment for every player in the system. The game itself, was a huge win for the B's. After their mini losing streak (2 games), a couple wins were needed as they head into their next big showdown with Montreal (Tuesday at the Garden). Montreal comes in on a hot streak of their own, so Boston needed a game or two to start feeling good about themselves. These last two should have done the trick. Now they need to start getting healthy, starting with Looch and Hnidy. Both guys would be huge losses against Montreal. I wouldn't expect the same kind of sideshow Guy (the RODENT) Carbeneau employed last time. But hey, if they really want Laraque on their first line again, I'm all for it. More on the Habs game over the next couple days. For now, I'm going to enjoy yesterday's win. Go B's-Kynch

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