(The title is a quote I said last night at a bar. See? The Bruins don’t even have to be in Boston to be talked about. I’m just a little wicked Bruins dedicated right here.)
Naps are good. Shopping is also good. Not knowing what’s going on in Buffalo is not good. Fluto is on vacation and took his blog updates at the Globe blog with him. Bish is in Boston and while he has a Buffalo mole called Spicy Chicken, there isn’t much info there. The Ice Den blog was last updated when the Bruins were still in Boston. And the Bruins Insider at the Herald went to Providence last night. Information is in short supply and I do not like it one bit.
Here is what I know before the pre-game show: Tim Thomas is starting. Mark Stuart might get into the line-up. Patrice Bergeron is questionable. The Providence Bruins are on FSN New England because they’re playing in Hartford tonight. (This is the time I wish I went to the bar so I could watch both games at the same time!) And I have lots of IM chimes chiming.
Pre-Game Show: Bergeron is out of the line-up. Twenty minutes until the puck drops. I love the little countdown clock that NESN has. Twenty minutes is a lot of time. I could pop a French bread pizza in the oven if I was hungry, but then I would miss Andrew Ference’s interview with Rob Simpson. It’s a good thing I am still stuffed from lunch at Bertucci’s. I’m hearing “Vertigo” by U2 during warm-ups for the second consecutive road game. The Cross-Check segment of the pre-game show was led off with an interesting question. I’m not sure if this is new and debuting tonight, but I like it. The first question was about what the Bruins need to get back in the playoff race. Rick Middleton said more forward depth because they aren’t scoring a lot of goals. Gord Kluzak said a defense that can make the outlet pass to the forwards to create the offense. I’ll jump in with my two cents and say a new coach because that would handle both of those problems. That’s called looking at the “bigger picture” for those unfamiliar with it.
Starters: Thomas, Mowers, Donovan, Reich, Alberts, Ference. Miller is starting for Buffalo. Mark Stuart is the healthy scratch and that doesn’t make me happy. Bergeron is out of course.
First Period: Reich and Mair fought less than three minutes into the game, and I did not like Jack Edwards’ play-by-play there. On a delayed penalty, the Bruins scored! Woo! The Bruins had the extra attacker out there and got themselves a goal. Sturm gets the goal, with Chara and Savard getting the assists at 3:59. (+1 Sturm, Savard, Chara, Kessel, Murray, Allen.) Ference picks up a holding penalty at 12:47. With 33 seconds left on the penalty, Buffalo scores to tie it 1-1 at 14:13. There was a Murray slashing penalty later, and then a fight between Ference and Hecht and that sums up the rest of the period. (Providence is currently losing 3-1 and former Bruin Brad Isbister (!) was interviewed during intermission!) The Boston game is tied 1-1 at the end of the period.
Second Period: The sound of a clink or a clang is one of the worst feelings a fan can hear if it comes from the team you’re rooting for. If it happens to the team you’re rooting against, it’s music to your ears. Murray hit the post after an offensive rush with Savard and Axelsson. That was the worst sound in the world right there. Buffalo got a penalty. Kessel did some great back-checking on Drury while on the power play. Mair had a little bit of contact made on him from Chara and fell, sliding into the net, nearly taking Thomas out. Chara had this expression on the replay as if to say, “Are you kidding me?” and even spoke with Mair after he got up. After a shift that saw Axelsson hitting anything in a Slugs jersey, Donovan (yes, Shean Donovan!) scores at 5:12 to give the Bruins the lead again. The assist went to Allen. (+1 Donovan, Mowers, Reich, Allen, Chara.) Boyes is having a strong shift right now with some nice takeaways. And there’s the annual Chara delay of game penalty at 12:51. What a shorthanded goal that was! Savard was set up in front of the net by Donovan and scored at 13:43. The other assist went to York. (+1 Savard, Donovan, York, Allen.) Well the Bruins got a couple of penalties now to give the Sabres a two-man advantage for 54 seconds. Savard got the initial slashing penalty (15:41), and then when Tenkrat got his tripping penalty (16:47), Savard picked up another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Chara was shaken up after blocking a shot that deflected into the netting. Drury scores while they were 5-on-3. Blah.
Bruins still lead 3-2 after two periods. (I was doing a little Predators research for a friend who is at the Preds game while the Bruins killed off the remaining time on Savard’s penalty.) Donovan is now one goal shy of his 100th NHL goal. He’s been stuck on goal #98 for quite some time… And here’s where I was about to copy and paste to post. Thank goodness I didn’t.
That “save” that Thomas look he made was actually a goal, so scratch that Bruins still leading stuff. The Bruins, who went to the locker room for intermission, have to come back out and play the remaining time of the period. The goal was officially marked at 19:07. The Bruins still have not come back out yet. The Sabres are all sitting on the bench waiting for them. Alberts was the only one who came out, and I say he can play by himself. That would be an entertaining 52 seconds. Rob Simpson reports the Bruins were told by the refs to come out and they are not moving. Simpson said the ref told them they’ll be blowing the whistle in two minutes even if they aren’t out there, and Thomas finally emerges from the room. Well now, this was a little entertaining. Chara looks like he was limping a little bit walking. Ha, the Bruins really only needed to send out six players, not the whole team because Chara, Axelsson, Savard, Murray, Ference and Thomas were the only ones who played during the remaining time. Now it’s the end of the period officially and it’s tied 3-3. Oy.
Third Period: The Bruins were told to go to the locker room while the review was going on, so that settles that. They’re not really that evil. Sabres got an interference penalty at 3:38. I should mention that was Allen’s first NHL point when he assisted on the Donovan goal. He is also leading the team +3 in tonight’s game. Boyes got a holding penalty at 7:31. Bruins killed off the penalty. One thing I noticed is the Bruins don’t look confident when they’re handling the puck. It’s like they can’t wait to get rid of it, either by dumping it in or rushing the pass to another Bruin. Another thing I noticed is there haven’t really been any concrete defense pairs for the game, which confuses me more than it should. But that could be my current hunger talking because now I’m hungry. Ha, on that play where Ference might have saved a goal, Jack Edwards says, “The officials are going to call us back while we’re on the plane.” Now that was funny! Allen was having a strong game (also leading the team with 5 hits) until his high-sticking penalty at 16:39. It was during a race for an icing call that would’ve been against the Sabres. It’s a tough penalty to take, but it was a penalty. Allen still had a great game though. Buffalo gets a penalty while on the power play. A Sabres player (Hecht) tripped Ference at 18:08, but it looked to lack the actual trip. Bruins are now on the power play. Sabres were in the Bruins zone shorthanded and that was a little scary. Sturm was hooked while he was attempting to keep the puck inside the Sabres zone and the Sabres get called for a penalty at 19:30. Bruins call the timeout. Bruins have a 5-on-3. And regulation comes to an end.
Overtime: The Bruins will start overtime 5-on-3 and that didn’t last long. Bruins are now 5-on-4. Bruins got off two shots on Miller. Since there was a whistle, which the Bruins clearly wanted, the overtime goes to 4-on-3 now. The last penalty has expired, and Ference faked the shot so many times, I was tired of watching him. There was some nice pressure by Kessel and Bochenski on their shift. Bruins iced the puck. Thomas coming out of his net, twice so far, has not been comforting. The second time was a little bit better than the first though. And here we go to another shootout.
Shootout: Rally helmet time! Sturm, Murray and Kessel will be shooting for the Bruins. Sabres are shooting first. Briere first and Thomas made the save. Sturm is up and he hit the post! ARG! Second time tonight the post sound has killed Bruins fans. Stafford next and he lost control of the puck, but still managed a shot that Thomas saved. Murray now and Miller made the save. Vanek up next and Thomas made the save! Clutch Kessel coming up next and Miller made the save. Sudden death shootout time. I’m really glad the Sabres picked to shoot first. Pominville is up and Thomas got a piece of it. Bochenski is next and Miller makes the easy save. Drury is up now and Thomas made the save. Savard is next and he missed the net. The 6th round is coming up. Roy next and save by Thomas. Unbelievable. Chara is next; exactly as Brickley says he was looking for him, and saved by Miller. McArthur next and save by Thomas. Boyes up now for Boston, and saved by Miller. Hecht is next, and Thomas made the save. Tenkrat coming up next and the puck did go into the net, but they called it no goal on the ice, but a review should make it count. It’s a goal and the Bruins win the shootout 1-0 and 4-3 for the game. I believe that was 9 rounds for the shootout too, if I counted correctly.
What a game. Time for food and more hockey.
10:54 p.m. When I said more hockey, I should have said, NORMAL hockey. Seriously.