Thursday, October 22, 2009
'Aliens' vs the Predators - New kids on the block
Although not having personally witnessed any of the AVP series of Hollywood's "finest" flicks, I did happen to watch some of the Bruins game last night in which the Predators from Nashville invaded Causeway Street (ok, OFFICIALLY Legends Way BUT... it will always be the Bahston Gahden on Causeway to ME !!!!) to take on an "alien" Bruins team.
What a difference 5 days makes as last nights Bruins team was all but a shell of the team that got bitten in the butt by the Coyotes last Saturday.. ok, ok, ok maybe not a shell ... but the line-up was pretty "foreign" to me... I KNOW ... every NHL line-up is mainly foreign.. GEEEEEEEESH !!!
ANYWAY.... topping the changes to the line-up... Milan Lucic, who was actually a scratch from Saturday's game after breaking his right index finger on a check (NOT a Czech) Friday vs Dallas... cripes, the least he could have done was break it on some one's face !!!!... Milan had his finger surgically repaired and will be "riding the pine" (aluminum?) for at least 4 weeks... but I wonder what effect that screw they inserted will have on Milan's play... or someone else's NOSE !!!
Joining Lucic on the injured list is.... last year's leading scorer, Marc Savard !!! HOLY [CRAP] - Is THIS really happening ??? Well yes, yes it is... Savard suffered a broken foot... wait, what??? When the [freak] did THAT happen ?!?!?! Apparently, Savvy took a shot off the foot in a PRE-season PRACTICE - talk about "friendly fire" - although, it was never diagnosed and he just played through the pain. The injury was re-aggravated (uh, re-broken???) in practice the other day and FINALLY they have gotten Savard off his skates - for the next 4-6 weeks !!!!
Ok, ok, ok off to a slow 3-4 start.... their 2 top forwards out for a month+, things are looking grave, but not impossible... certainly Providence has just what the doctor ordered... call a couple up and off we go right ?!?!?
BUT, as so eloquently stated by Bruins' owner Jeremy Jacobs when asked about the start this season... words like "underachieving" "complacent" and "disappointing" flowed.
SOOOOOOOOOO.. the front office has been very busy this week... shaking up the line-up to try to invoke some spark into a very flat squad... Chuck Kobasew was traded to Minnesota for a few reasons.. least of which was to send a message - shape up or ship out !!! Daniel Paille was obtained from Buffalo for 2 draft picks... Providence standouts Vladimir Bobotka and Brad Marchand were called up to add "energy and enthusiasm", Guillaume Lefebvre continues his yo-yo ride between Providence and Boston... and no doubt players like Steve Begin, Michael Ryder, Dennis Wideman, and the rest of the crew were going to need to step up their play.
ALL that being said, the Predators (2-4-1 and having only scored 10 goals this season) appeared to be a good opponent to test the "new look" Bruins' line-up... even with Shawn Thornton being scratched....
NOT SO FAST !!!!!! Be it nerves or inexperience playing together, the Bs came out as flat as ever... back on their heels... and THAT doesn't sound like a good thing when you're on skates !!! The Predators drew "first blood" (oops, WRONG movie - but I DID see that one !!) 5:55 into the game... the rest of the period was all about the "new" Bruins trying to get their skating legs under them.. AND their timing !!!!
Apparently Coach Julien (or MAYBE Jeremy Jacobs paid a visit) had the magic words during the first intermission... 26 seconds into period number 2..... SCOOOOOOOOOOOOORE !!! Michael Ryder put one into the back of the net, with a little help from his friends, NEWLY called up Brad Marchand and Derek Morris!!!!!! It was Brad's very first point (of MANY) at the NHL level... and it knotted the contest at 1....
The tie was short-lived as, despite some very fine network... uh NET-WORK... by Tim Thomas, the Predators went up 2-1 6:17 into the second... can't save em all RIGHT TIM !!!!!!!!!
BUUUUUUUUUUUT.. NOT to be outdone, Patrice Bergeron... NOW moved up to the first line... scored on a tip of a "Z" shot at 12:38 of the same frame... That line had a fantastic shift as Bergy fought tough behind the Predators net, sent a pass out to "Z" and was able to sit in front of the net-minder for Chara's slapper... SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE !!!!! game tied 2-2... whew !!!
The 3rd period saw the Bruins putting it all together.... skating, timing, checking... you name it, they were all on the same page.. but despite this - and Tim Thomas "flashing" (uh......) in the Bs net, the score remained tied.... UNTIL !!!!!!!!! Until 8:33 into the 3rd... Daniel Paille gained control of the puck deep and attempted a wrap-around goal... his shot was thwarted but bounced to Steve Begin... a snapshot - SNAP shot - later and the Bs had their first lead of the game... SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE !!!!!!!!
The Bs continued to gel through the rest of the contest and Tim Thomas held the fort, especially at the end of the game, not allowing any more shots to infiltrate the net... Bs win 3-2 in ANOTHER come from behind victory !!!
So, although it should have been a 1-sided contest, the Bs came out slow... as the game progressed, so did the level and cohesiveness of the their play - DEFINITELY a positive note to build on... The new kids on the block MORE than held their own and certainly have fit in nicely... MUCH needed... the Bs get right back at it and take on the "Broad Street Bullies" (Flyers) tonight in the city of brotherly love...
Surely there will be no love lost tonight - is there EVER when these teams play ?? ... and undoubtedly the Bs will be without their muscle in Shawn Thornton again... BUT, rest assured, hot off this sweet victory, the Bs should be ready to take whatever the Flyers try to dish out...
Thanks for stopping in for a visit. It's just my opinion, so please PAHDON it. Y'all come back now, ya heah !! Nuf Ced