Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes
Goals: Joni Pitkanen (Carolina), Anthony Stewart (Carolina), Tyler Seguin (Boston), Jiri Tlusty (Carolina), Brad Marchand (Boston)
Goalies: Cam Ward (.929%), Tim Thomas (.912%)
Carolina kept getting in the sin bin. Boston only received three penalties, whereas Carolina had five, including two different calls of too many men. So in this instance, Boston was better at counting its helmets!
Another great showing by a top-tier goaltender.
Another speedy, energetic game, as hopefully demonstrated in this photo.
Speaking of one of the Bruins in that above photo, it turns out there doesn’t seem to be much of a sophomore slump for Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand. They scored both of Boston’s goals, Marchand continued embodying his nickname of honey badger by being carefree but effective and the grand experiment of Seguin as the top-line center appeared to work well. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is done again for the next game; he’s speedy, talented and hungry to prove himself to the likes of the Versus talkers who kept hinting that he’s lacking humility and maturity. Sure, the kid’s 19. Sure, he partied a few times over the summer. But look me in the eyes and tell me you never partied a little at his age and I’ll allow you to judge. (I’m waiting. Yeah, I thought so.)
Also, we lost by just one goal this time and we weren’t shut out, so that’s not terrible.
There was some noticeable trouble getting out of our own zone at times.
I continue to notice the power play problem (no, not the overall “we can’t do much of anything on the power play” problem) of Patrice Bergeron being planted at the side of the net, fed passes and tasked with trying to wrap them around into the net. The problem is that this rarely works, partly because it’s difficult as is (how many centering passes have you seen sail merrily out of the blue paint and off to the boards?) and partly because Carolina’s net was thick with traffic more than willing to clear pucks. Bergy is so much more than an attempted net-feeder. Give him a chance to try something else and, wonders of wonders, we might just make something happen on a power play.
Aside from the standout Seguin, the top line seems to be asleep at the sticks. This time, Nathan Horton did manage to get an assist on the Marchand goal, but Milan Lucic looks like he needs a GPS to find the net and he didn’t even hit anyone this game (hits are one of the metrics measured in our fantasy league and I have Looch on my team). What’s it going to take for our top line to start behaving like one again? It needs to happen now.
Adam McQuaid got a crappy birthday present when he took a bad hit and crashed into the boards. At first, he had trouble getting to his feet, but when the play stopped, he could be seen talking to Tim Thomas. Later, Zdeno Chara came out and helped him get back to the bench. There was talk of him visiting the dreaded quiet room. No one had an update on him postgame. I wish him the best!
Speaking of defensemen, what on Earth are ours doing? Especially on Carolina’s first goal; it seemed as if Dennis Seidenberg was so in awe of the tricky stick maneuvering by the guys in black that he just had his eyes glued to the puck and let it whiff on by behind him. But this pattern continued throughout the game. I wasn’t aware all defensemen had to do to win a game is stand there and intimidate the other guys with their bodies and mean muggin’ faces. Oh wait, that’s not all it takes. At some points, I’d drop in on the Philadelphia/Vancouver game and look with interest on the Flyers’ d-men, who kept doing this unusual thing in which the puck was about to visit the back of Ilya Bryzgalov‘s net, but they would use their sticks to do some sort of clearing motion and the puck would go very far away. What is that called? Can Boston’s blueliners learn how to do it…and quick?
We lost and now we’re at the bottom of the division and very near the bottom of the conference. Only a team that, location-wise, doesn’t belong in the conference and is only there because realignment hasn’t happened yet is beneath us. Ouch. I know it is very early yet in the season, and Claude Julien seems to understand what’s going wrong and recognizes the need to fix it, but some things need to be sorted out because people are already carping about a Stanley Cup hangover and it would be really fun to prove them all wrong.
vs. Chicago Blackhawks
October 15, 2011
This game is totally going to try the friendship between Krista and me. We’ve already agreed to be cordial and say may the best team win. We also may do a collaborative gamer for that outing. It’s a good thing this is their only regular-season meetup this year, huh?