Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Picture Says It All

In my game preview yesterday I said that a win or a loss really wouldn't prove anything for either team. And I'm not going to change my opinion on that, now that the Bruins won. However, the game did confirm a few things, which I'll break down quickly.
1)We received confirmation that Zdeno Chara is playing like a Norris Trophy candidate. Shut down defense, huge physical presence and oh yeah, he also scored two goals for his under manned team. That spells Norris, but it also spells CAPTAIN. A role he has grown into nicely.

2)We were also shown proof that Tim Thomas is at the very least, ONE OF, the elite goalies in the world today. Without some incredible stops last night, it could have been a much different game. He's been doing it all year, but coming up big in a rivalry game (a team he hasn't always had his best nights against) is yet another huge confidence boost for himself and his teammates.)

3)Julien's faith in PJ Axelsson is not misplaced. Everyone, myself included, tends to bemoan the fact that PJ sees so much time on the top PP unit. But that is just another example of the trust Julien has in him. And last night, PJ had one of his best games of the year. Good decisions with and without the puck, as usual. Seemed to have some jump in his step and was generally involved in a good way all night.

4)Shane Hnidy may be the most under rated player on the team (and around the NHL). Once again, the veteran had a nice steady, no panic game. Seemed like every time the Habs started flying around and applying pressure, the puck would end up on Hnidy's stick and he'd calmly clear the zone. Nothing fancy, just effective. Although he looked awkward wearing a visor, he showed no hesitation in playing his usual rugged style, willing to mix it up a bit and block shots as usual.

5)This bruins team is the most "unified" team they've had in many years. When Ashley (or was it Mary-Kate?) Kostitsyn boarded Ward, the first person to respond was Timmy Thomas. He was quickly joined by everyone else n the ice, as we've come to expect.

So those are five things that we already knew about the Bruins. But what, if anything, did we get confirmation on from the Canadien side? Glad you asked.
1) We, as expected, were proven to be right that Mike Komisarek is a complete and total pansy and cheap shot artist. His next hit on an opponent that sees him coming will be his first. How many times can you "low-bridge" opponents before you seriously injure someone? This hit has apparently become his bread and butter, at least against the B's. And just to remain consistent, he was his classic pushing, shoving and chirping after the whistle (while safely separated by the refs) self. The fact that Lucic wasn't in the line-up, and Komi was taking advantage of it was glaring.

2)A. Kostitsyn, is in fact, a woman. This is a player with a history of dirty hits, who has yet to stand up for his actions. While his hit on Ward wasn't the worst I've ever seen, it was clearly avoidable. Ward had his back to him for a long time, but this little weasel targeted him anyway. Absolutely no reason to hit a player in that position. Of course, as soon as the Bruins responded, he hiked up his skirt and practically ran to the safety of the penalty box. I'm not saying every player in the league has to fight. But I AM saying, if you're going to CONSISTENTLY make dangerous hits, you should be willing to stand up for your actions. You're risking people's careers, you should at least be willing to put your nose on the line and take the beating you have coming to you.

3)Canadien fans are still delusional. FIRST comment I saw today from a Habs fan (this means you, Rocket) was that the game was won by the officials. Really? So, the hit on Ward was legal? And the follow up cross check by Hamerlick should have just been ignored? You know, for a city that constantly anoints itself as the center of the hockey universe, some "all knowing bastion of hockey purity", the amount of nonsense and homerism that comes from that Province is dumbfounding. It cracks me up to no end to read such ignorant comments. Oh, and it's not just the constant whining about the refs that is so amusing. SO many of the comments I've seen today are about how "Thomas is lucky" and "we make him look like an All-Star" or "Thomas can't keep being so lucky, and he won't play well in the playoffs". HYSTERICAL. Just what, exactly, do Habs fans need for "proof" that Tim Thomas, IS in fact, an All-Star caliber goalie? Forget the fact that most Habs fans are discounting the loss because of all their injuries, I expected that. Of course, they also don't want to acknowledge that the Bruins were missing as many, if not more, key pieces. But hey, if Habs fans want to make excuses and still claim to be the superior team, despite all the evidence to the contrary, I won't be the one to rain on their parade (Just their Stanley Cup parade, which I'm sure they have all planned already).

Bottom line from last night is this: It was a pretty entertaining game, but not nearly what some Bruins-Canadien games have been. With the number of AHL players involved, I'm not surprised. But nice to see that "our kids" are better than "their kids", at least for one night.
Go B's, and F*ck the Habs-Kynch


  1. Hey Kynch...

    Thanks for the new title: Rocket, the all-seeing, all-knowing, master of hockey, time, space and dimension. Not bad!

    To answer your question simply: yes. I've watched the hit many times and still don't see anything that warranted a major penalty for Kostitsyn. The clip is on my blog. Come see for yourself at All Habs.

    Do Bruins fans truly want to advertise that Ward is that fragile and brittle?

    I don't think you want to get into a debate about homerism. Fred Cusick and Derek Sanderson?? Enough said...the worst ever, for any team...any sport!


  2. Funny thing is, there were tons of Canadiennes fans harassing Boston fans on ESPN forums for complaining about the officiating in the Minnesota game and how it cost us the game (it didn't). Now those same fans are whining about the boarding call... gotta love it!

    Quite simply, blaming a loss on officiating is pathetic and the last resort of poor sports. If Montreal deserved to win, they would have fought back from the one goal deficit instead of just giving up.

  3. Take a look at my game review on All Habs, Tard. It is titled "Bruins team up with Refs..." If you read it, I have given the Bruins full credit for what they were able to do in the third period, particularly Julien's in-game adjustments.

    It just would have been interesting to see what would have happened had the Bruins not be the beneficiaries of the huge momentum change when a bogus 5 minute penalty for boarding was called. Look again at the video. You cannot honestly argue that it was anything close to a major penalty.


  4. Dear Mr. Rocket,

    These referee complaints are getting quite tedious. I explained very succinctly in a previous post as to why it is incumbent on us to assign biased refs for Habs games...its for the good of the NHL.

    We threw you a bone by having the all star game in your fair city, and then turned the other cheek regarding the online voting skullduggery until it got to obscene proportions.

    I'll have you note that I also personally rejected a proposal by Mr. Jacobs to have all English speaking players in the Maritimes be the sole propriety of the Boston Bruins organeyezation. I looked him straight in the eye and said that would be discriminatory and morally reprehensible and no league or team would ever have the temerity to do something so callous and expect to get away with it, so I reject completely your accusation that I am somehow anti-Canadien.

    Must be off now to try and shoehorn an expansion team into Vegas - kaching!

    Gary Bettman

    p.s. Why would someone living in Mount Royal be such a huge Roger Clemens fan anyway? the rocket will never be going to Cooperstown, deal with it.

  5. Hey Gary,

    Good to hear from you again. Given your total lack of interest in the history of the game, it's not suprising that you have a case of mistaken identity. Believe me, Mr. Clemens not getting into Cooperstown, isn't worthy of a riot. Mark it down, Gary. March 17, 1955.

    Sadly, it seems that you are out of touch Gary. Given the marginal nature of Andrei Kostitsyn's 'penalty', the NHL has decided to expunge his name from the repeat offenders list for major infractions.

    Apparently the league has been trying to get this information to you, but I guess you are still having problems with your Blackberry. Perhaps Mr. Ballsillie can help you with that.

    While you are busy playing with your shoehorn, you might find a cobbler to install some lifts. It's really embarassing when you are on the ice and you can't see over the boards. We do have the phone books you requested ready for your seat at the All-Star game. See you there!

    Your pal,


  6. Quote:Rocket

    "Apparently the league has been trying to get this information to you, but I guess you are still having problems with your Blackberry. Perhaps Mr. Ballsillie can help you with that."

    That was hilarious.

    Now the game review wasn't really a review. It was more of an ego boosting sort of thing. I'll admit on some things from this article and the preview. Thomas over Halak not any day of the week, EVERYDAY. But I'd still take Price over Fernanadez.

    This year Chara is playing like a Norris contender. Of course he won't get it, Lidstrom name was written on it before the season started but I'd be very surprised if he isn't in the top 3 in voting.

    The Bruins are unified and playing the best hockey I've seen from them in a very long time.

    However, Komisarek being a cheap shot artist and a coward? He hit oten, he hit hard and loves to go for a momentum changer type of hit, especially the hip check but so was Larry Robinson and I sure as hel wouldn't call his a cheap shot artist. Hell, Chara hitting Kovalev to the head and then dropping the gloves on Latendresse is a lot more "cheap shot" than Komi ever was.

    And Komi being a coward? Did he drop the gloves against Lucic? Or did he pussy out? He dropped them. Now did Lucic had the guts to drop them against Laraque? Nope, he acted like the pussy he is and went for Tom Kostopoulos.