Category Archives: Uncategorized

THINGS THAT ARE KIND OF A BIG DEAL

So a big change is coming here at Tea Party Throwdown.

Namely, I won’t be posting here anymore.

If you’re sad about this, well…don’t be!

http://somethingsbruin.net is where it’s at. See, I’m really not a huge WordPress fan, and Bloguin, which is the platform that Something’s Bruin is hosted on, ┬áis just so shiny and nice. They host some of the most fun hockey blogs out there, and I’m taking over as the main writer.

Doesn’t really make sense to basically post the same stuff in two places. I’ll still be trying to update as frequently as possible (still trying for the post-a-day for a year thing) but it’ll all be over there.

Click on through to

SOMETHING’S BRUIN

and thanks for reading!

Things that have happened since the Bruins lost.

Note: The offseason is a weird time to start this, but today begins my attempt at blogging once a day for an entire 365 day period in an attempt to use Tumblr less and my actual grownup words more. Let’s see how this goes.

So the team that beat the Bruins is now in the Stanley Cup Finals, down 3-2 to the Blackhawks, and the Bruins’ 2009-2010 season is slowly becoming a distant memory. But fear not – Chiarelli is on his toes with the draft coming up in 18 days, and the Bruins are sort of on their game signing people left and right. (Although not the one we all know we want the most.)

Since the finals, the Bruins have signed three players: Yuri Alexandrov, Shawn Thornton, and Dennis Seidenberg. All three have been minor surprises, and they were even stealth enough with the Seidenberg signing that no one broke the news before the official Bruins press release (I guess that’s what happens when you announce a signing at 10 AM on a Saturday morning.)

Yuri Alexandrov has been a bit of a special case, having been drafted in 2006 and refusing to come play North American hockey until he was good and ready. He looked good at development camp last year and looks to start the year in Providence, though I predict he’ll pull a bit of a Johnny Boychuk and end up finishing the year in Boston if all goes well. He’s the most highly touted defensive prospect in the system right now, so buy your tickets to the P-Bruins’ opening night now – it ought to be a good show down there, what with Alexandrov, Colborne, Caron, Sauve, and others looking to break into the big team’s lineup.

Yuri Alexandrov, at the 2006 draft.

The other two signings give us Shawn Thornton for the next two years at very close to the league minimum, as well as Dennis Seidenberg for the next four years. At this point, the only Bruin who has a longer contract than Seidenberg’s is Marc Savard, signed through 2016-2017. A bit strange considering Seids didn’t even play 20 games for the B’s last season but considering he was a solid upgrade from Derek Morris, Bruins fans should be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt next season.

Shawn Thornton for two more years pretty much rules – he’ll probably be the extra forward, and it means we get two more years of Thorts’ Vlog, so I’m really not complaining.

Aside from three signings…not much else has happened. The Blackhawks are doing awesome, which is fun. As Justin Bourne pointed out, Duncan Keith has the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup, the Norris, the Conn Smythe (maybe?) and Olympic Gold ALL IN THE SAME YEAR. This is not me being the worst Bruins fan ever – but I may need a Duncan Keith jersey when all of this is over. The draft and free agency day are fast approaching, and in coming days this blog will make some sort of vague prediction as to what I think next year’s team will look like.

Cleverly disguised as a…Bears fan?

So the Bruins choked spectacularly? Okay, fine.

There was a period of time between January and February when Bruins fans thought that the team in Black and Gold would never win again. Our playoff hopes and dreams were shot. Yet somehow, this team that couldn’t made the playoffs, demolished the 3rd-seeded Sabres, and somehow scraped their way to a game 7 in round two after losing both David Krejci and Marco Sturm.

It’s not like last year, not like we came into playoffs as the top seed in the East with the hopes and dreams of nearly forty years without a cup riding high. Nope. We really did expect this, just not as late as it actually happened. There’s a lot to be said about an unexpected playoff run, too. First of all – bonus hockey. Even with the doomed feel to it, it’s nice to get to support your team after 22 other teams have stopped playing. Second – experience. Guys like Tuukka Rask, Johnny Boychuk, David Krejci – all the young guys on the team – can take this experience and run with it. Third….we’ve still got that draft pick.

Thanks, Toronto.

So yeah, that too many men call sucked. Yeah, it was a huge upset, and yes Bruins fans everywhere are still a bit stunned. But don’t wallow. Cry on breakup day (tomorrow), count down the days until Taylor Hall comes to Boston, pray that the Bruins re-sign Johnny Boychuk immediately, and attempt to enjoy the rest of the playoffs. It was a good run. Here’s hoping the cup goes to the Western Conference.

Me, I’ll be driving up to Manchester NH tonight to experience my first game at the Verizon Center up there, Bears vs. Monarchs. Apparently it’s becoming an annual tradition for me to adopt the Hershey Bears as my last team standing. Who knew? MAKE IT 11!

The baby Czech demands that you make it 11, Bears. DO IIIIT. And then trade him to Boston or something.

Snapshots from Ristuccia: Playoffs, baby.

After Sunday night’s effortless mess of a game, the Bruins got back on the ice at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington again Monday morning, some of the Black Aces included. Andy Wozniewski, Jeff Penner, and Andrew Bodnarchuk skated on defense, Dany Sabourin took his turn in nets, and Brad Marchand was the extra forward, while a few other P-Bruins are still skating down in Providence (backstopped by the tiniest goalie in all the land, Bryan Francis!)

According to NESN’s Jimmy Murphy, some Bruins players were heard “yelling ‘et la buuuuuut!’ when scoring goals at practice.” Clearly they’re in the right mindset, but game 6 at Philly will be huge. Luckily, if the team is reverting to how they were in the regular season, they’ll be better on the road than at home. Additionally, Adam McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg skated before the rest of the team today – more incentive to hang on in the playoffs is definitely getting Seidenberg back potentially next round.

Vlad and Brad were two of the first out on the ice.

Michael Ryder is amused.

Savvy was in good spirits as well.

Timmy, that 'stache is epic.

Danny Paille + playoff beard = WIN

As always, check out our Flickr page for more images!

An optimistic eulogy

Well, the time has come – round 1 has ended, eight teams will move on, including four of the Original 6 teams, including the BRUINS, which is nothing if not incredibly sexy. Bruins-Flyers is going to be a teeth-shedding bone-breaking messpile, and I can’t wait. OLD TIME HOCKEY.

Unfortunately, the one team I enjoy who is not an original 6 didn’t make it – the Phoenix Coyotes. I’m not a bandwagoner by any means; that being said, living out west lent itself nicely to me adopting the Coyotes as a second team. They’re chippy and adorable and they never give up, and I fell for that. Somehow, I managed to see them play three times this season; here is a little timeline of my Yotes experience. Muchas gracias to this team for giving me an entertaining time!
9/23/09
The moment I might have fallen – vs. TBL in Loveland, CO
I found out about this preseason game before I even moved to the west. Got super excited originally because Matt Lashoff and Martins Karsums, former P-Bruins, were in the TBL system and would probably play, and sort of excited for the Coyotes because a friend of mine was keeping tabs on Sami Lepisto. The reason this game was played here? The Colorado Eagles, who inhabit the Bud Events Arena in Loveland, began an affiliation with the Lightning this season. Hey, NHL hockey 15 minutes from my house (Denver was an hour)? I wasn’t complaining!

Crap-tastic photo from the game.

Coyotes won in a shootout (which I guess set the tone for their season!) and afterward, my friend and I were the ONLY TWO to go around back to the player entrance to meet both teams! Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis were entertaining, but the moment that made my night was when Bryz signed my program and Prucha came barrelling out of the player entrance juggling two slices of pizza and a diet coke. I sort of just went like OH MAN WHO IS THIS KID and my friend, a Rangers fan, was just like PRUUUUUUU.
And I met Sami. So there you go.
Coyotes 4 Lightning 3 (SO)

10/17/09
Do not wear a black jersey in the desert or you will die – vs. BOS in Glendale
Colorado was depressing and I was homesick so at the beginning of October to counter it I looked up the absolute closest game Boston would play to where I lived. It turned out to be the Coyotes, two weeks later. So on a whim I bought myself glass seats behind the Bruins’ bench and booked it for Phoenix on Friday night after the Bruins vs. Stars game ended. Left at 10PM Friday for a 7PM Saturday game. Fifteen hours of driving through deserts and Indian reservations (where I got the best huevos rancheros wrap I have EVER EVER EVER had) later (and one Dunkin Donuts stop, another thing Colorado lacked)

New Mexico, circa 7am.

I finally made it dying of exhaustion by 3PM, when I was supposed to meet up with Coyotes tailgaters! Now, first of all, I was tired and FORGOT ABOUT THE TIME CHANGE. Um, yeah, it was actually 2PM. Second of all, the tailgate blew my MIND. I had never tailgated before for any sport! We don’t really do that in Boston. I had my Thomas jersey on and nearly died of heat exhaustion (it was 95 degrees out) but managed to enjoy my margarita and walk around Jobing.com to search for other Bruins fans (I FOUND SOME IT WAS AWESOME).

My favorite line, which got broken up on my way home - Kobasew got traded to Minnesota when I was right north of Santa Fe with a fresh cup of Dunks.

Regardless of the fact that my team lost, I couldn’t hate; Coyotes fans are endearing and desperate and they HOWL for their goals and they won 4-1. I left a little bit enchanted with the concept of hockey in the desert: so unnatural but somehow so wonderful.
Coyotes 4 Bruins 1

10/17/09
In which I entertain Shane Doan – vs. COL in Denver

Bryyyyzzzzzzzz!

I wish I could have gotten a photo of Doanface laughing at this sign, because he did. I held it up on the Coyotes end during warmups, wore my Jets shirt (closest thing I had!) and he kept pointing over while he was standing next to Lang, I believe? And laughing. Not sure if Bryz even saw it, but it was worth it to see happy Captain Doan. And……I snuck down to sit behind the coyotes bench during the game! Scandalous.

PRUUUUUU!

They lost this game but I also got to meet @yotesgurl at this game, which was epic. I’m a sucker for cheering for the away team, which was also a bonus!
Coyotes 1 Avalanche 4

So in conclusion: Prague? Prague. Yes. Let’s do it. It’s gonna be a long offseason but it’ll be worth it in October, desert dogs!

Round 1 hangover

Looch: Blocks shots like a boss.

Well, it’s the day after game 6, and Boston as a collective fanbase is exhausted in the best way possible.

Just as no one expects the Spanish Inquisition or Chara’s stickhandling, in no way, shape or form did most people expect the Bruins to rock the Sabres in 6 games in round 1. With a young corps of defensemen in the absence of Seidenberg and Stuart, it was up to Tuukka Rask and the forwards to find some hidden gear within themselves, some fire and will to win that maybe borderline wasn’t there during the regular season.

It’s said that playoff hockey is an entirely different beast. And, okay. Last year the Bruins went in as the #1 seed; expectations were high, of course, the Bruins had swept the season series against the Canadiens, so a playoff sweep, while amazing, wasn’t entirely unexpected. This year was the ultimate flipside; a Bruins/Sabres series, a season series that had been basically split between the two teams. Anything could happen, and doubts ran rampant. Who would be the better goaltender between the two whose stats had basically been identical throughout the season? Whose PK would prevail, two of the best in the league? Whose special teams would be most effective, as that would most likely be where a good deal of goals would be scored?

Playoff hockey is a different beast. Suddenly through six games the Bruins are six for 22 on the powerplay. That’s a jump from 16.3% effectiveness in the regular season to 27.3% in the playoffs, and although six games isn’t the biggest sample size, it’s still incredibly inpressive.

These players, these Bruins who lost ten straight games in the regular season, they’ve been infected with something. Hope. Determination. Defiance. Underdog grit. Whatever you want to call it. It’s playoffs. It’s the reason Johnny Boychuk’s hits are even more impressive than they were in the regular season. It’s the reason Vladimir Sobotka’s getting increased ice time, and the reason Dennis Wideman is starting to connect, the reason David Krejci has begun to score, and maybe most impressively, it’s the reason Blake freaking Wheeler is starting to use his 6 foot 5 inch, 210 lb frame to actually HIT people. The combination of hitting and his insane puck moving abilities may have only combined to get him a ridiculously failed open-net attempt last night, but it’s building up, it’s getting better.

Oh Looch, don't dump the goal-scorer on the ice, that's not polite.

Tuukka Rask is living up to the hype, improving during games instead of tiring out. Baby Adam McQuaid is keeping up with the play, making a name for himself, always in the scrums after the whistle. Michael Ryder’s picked it up, and what more can I say about Miro Satan that hasn’t already been said? It’s like the bear woke up in October, was sort of groggy for the whole season, and then someone annoyed him at the end of the season. He’s awake now, and he’s putting the fear of Boston into the NHL.

Marc Savard will be back for round 2. That means 3 or 4 days to work him back into the lineup. The big question now is who sits for Savvy? Thornton and Begin seem like automatic options, but are their intangibles actually necessary to the lineup? What about sitting Sturm, or Wheeler? (note: I am not advocating these things) Does it depend on whether we play the Penguins or the Flyers?

After tomorrow night, we’ll know who the Bruins will face. For now we’re in tiny limbo, and all that can be done right now is wait and hope….and cheer for the Coyotes!

Sami Lepisto, I'm not sure what you're doing here but please rock face tonight.

Do you know how hard it was for me to not just make this a giant party post of photos? No, self, that is what tumblr is for.

Sabres: slain. My love for Mike Grier has emerged unscathed. I hate Ryan Miller a little more now. But most importantly it was a hard-fought, well-won series. Round 2, here we come.

POST-ROUND READING:

Double-Edged Sabres: Good Morning Buffalo (a great recap from the other side)

The Good, the Bad, the Coyotes: We Made it 7 (just…read this whole blog. Funniest Coyotes blog out there.)

A PSA for Washington DC

Hey. Psst. Caps fan. Yeah, you. I see you creepin’. Come here, I have an idea for you.

Once upon a time, Montreal booed the USA national anthem during a Habs-Bruins game. The series then traveled to Boston. Did we follow suit and jeer during the Canadian anthem? Did we yell “LET’S GO BRUINS!” or sing some ungodly version of that stupid OLE song?

No. We stood, cheered, and sang along as Rene Rancourt belted out the lyrics to the anthem of America’s Fancy Hat. And then the Bruins kicked some Canadien butt.

Look, guys, we all know your team can handle the butt-kicking. We all saw the score of the game tonight; we know that Ovie, Backstrom, Laich and Crew should have no problem annihilating the Habs in the last two games of the series.

But HOW COOL WOULD IT BE if Washington DC welcomed Les Habitants with a rousing cheer for Canada’s anthem?

And if you don’t know the words but you want to sing along, just follow the example of the LA Kings’ anthem singer and look it up on your Blackberry. I’m sure somewhere Jim Balsillie is fist-pumping with glee.

Oh, and – just because this post can’t be all about the Habs and the Caps, since there was in fact another game 3 tonight…

DENNIS WIDEMAN: Throwing his own snakes since April 2010.

Game 4 is Wednesday.

Rask is on fire (2.01 GAA).

Boychuk and Sobotka have developed a taste for Buffalo. Mmm, delicious hits. Specifically, this one.

Playoffs, the playoffs what. GO BRUINS.