From the Vault: Totally Relevant

Cam Neely annihilates Lindy Ruff. I find this wildly appropriate.

My thoughts on the playoffs so far, in bullet-point form:

  • So, Mr. Vanek, you and your fans and I need to have a little chat, and I’ll keep it short. Do not whine about what you think is a “cheap shot” from Johnny Boychuk when you clearly boarded Blake Wheeler in game 1 and didn’t seem to find any fault with that. I’m sorry you got hurt, but man up and get back on the ice.
  • Tuukka Rask educates Sabres fans. Oh, and also he steals a game on Sabres ice.
  • Game two had 99 combined hits, with Mike Grier accounting for 15 of those. Vladimir Sobotka had 6 in the second period alone. This is awesome.
  • Around the league – I’m pulling pretty hard for the Coyotes (they’re just so ENDEARING) and the Blackhawks; if the two teams meet in a later round I’m not sure who I’ll cheer for. In the east, I have just about broken my brain trying to imagine possible matchups. The fact that every single game 1 was an upset was fantastic. BRANDON YIP’S FIRST PLAYOFF GOAL.  If somehow the Preds advance and the Avs do too, and I get a matchup between Colin Wilson and Brandon Yip….I might possibly die. In the East, I hope the Pens crash and burn, and the Caps, too – really primarily JUST to see how NBC will react to having neither of their powerhouse teams in the semifinals. Should be interesting. I am in no way cheering for the Habs, though. No Habs no.
  • Not playoffs-related, but the Terriers named Joe Pereira and Chris Connolly co-captains for 2010-2011, and Dave Warsofsky (American Hero) will wear the A. Congrats, boys. I expect you to rescue the Beanpot from the end of the B-line next year, thanks.

As of right now, the Coyotes lead the Red Wings 2-1 in their series, thanks to a 4-2 game today on goals from these two guys. Go 'Yotes go!

About eighty billion more hours of playoff hockey left today, epic game 3 at home tomorrow. Let’s do this. Go Bruins.

The farewell tour: Lowell Devils 6, P-Bruins 3

Last night was the last game of the season for a playoffs-eliminated Providence Bruins team. Watered down by the callups of Jeff Penner and Adam McQuaid, along with Andrew Bodnarchuk and Zach Hamill, Providence struggled to maintain an offensive presence and was outplayed by a more skilled Lowell squad.

Although this was a disappointing end to the P-Bruins’ season, the future looks bright, and next season promises to be a good one – a team stacked with talent on both the front and back ends. The only questionable factor is the goaltending; although Dany Sabourin has expressed interest in staying, it seems unlikely that he will be re-signed, and Kevin Regan’s injuries make his return a huge question. Will Providence go young, tapping into the talent of Michael Hutchinson and Matt Dalton? Or will they sign an experienced goaltender from elsewhere?

Only time will tell. For now, some highlights from last night’s game:

The PB's signed goalie Bryan Francis to back up Sabu for this game. Yes, he is really small. 5'4, in fact.

Levi Nelson draws smily-faces on his sticks. This is awesome.

Immediately post-goal

At some point, Joe Colborne's face spontaneously started bleeding.

Devin Timberlake makes a quick stop.

View the rest of the photos HERE! For reference, Max Sauve is #16, Joe Colborne is #22, Drew Larman is #11, Steve Kampfer is #5, and they make up the majority of the photos. Enjoy!

Get to know: Adam McQuaid

With his second NHL callup starting today, it’s time for Bruins fans to get familiar with a new-ish face: defenseman Adam McQuaid. Known for being a solid defensive defenseman, McQuaid has seen only 15 NHL games so far this year. Here’s a little primer on the 6’3, 23-year-old blueliner.

Adam McQuaid was born on October 12, 1986 in Cornwall, Prince Edward Island, which is right outside of Charlottetown, the provincial capital of PEI. The only two other PEI-born current NHLers are Steve Ott and Brad Richards; neither are from Charlottetown. The last NHL player originally from McQuaid’s hometown was Al MacAdam; considering that he spent his second-to-last season with the Minnesota North Stars, it’s no surprise that the city holds McQuaid in fairly high regard.

Cool things from PEI: Adam McQuaid and really pretty red sand beaches. Mmmm, iron oxide!

After playing major midget hockey with his hometown Cornwall Thunder of the PEIHA, McQuaid was selected in the third round of the 2003 OHL draft by the Sudbury Wolves, behind Marc Staal and Kyle Lamb. He played for two years, regularly playing paired with Marc Staal. The two were formidable, paired together; while Staal played more offensively-minded, McQuaid became known as “one of the better defensive-defensemen in the OHL.” After a season where he put up 19 points in 66 games, McQuaid was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round of the 2005 NHL entry draft, 55th overall. By comparison, Tuukka Rask was drafted 21st overall in the first round, Boston’s first round pick was the disappointing Matt Lashoff, Vladimir Sobotka went 106th overall in round 4, Jonathan Quick went 72nd, and Nashville’s Patric Hornqvist was picked last.

And Sidney Crosby went first, and Carey Price went fifth. Moving on.

55th pick overall! Not bad, McQuaid.

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Providence 3, Worcester 1

Where to even begin.

Over the last few days, it’s been well-documented by sources around the country that Joe Colborne was to arrive in Providence from Denver on Wednesday and begin training with the P-Bruins. Likewise, it was stated here on this blog that were Maxime Sauve to finish his season with Val d’Or in a timely manner, that he could be in Providence on a similar schedule. No one really mentioned Steve Kampfer, but as Michigan’s season drew to a close, it was assumed he’d head to Providence as well.

Brian Roloff was signed today. Devin Timberlake was signed several days ago. Colborne, Kampfer, and Sauve arrived prepared to play tonight. Providence is being flooded by new talent, and the kids have shown up in style.

In a 3-1 victory over Worcester, Sauve had two goals, both assisted by Colborne, and both coming on the powerplay. Another new face, Devin Timberlake (signed to a tryout contract before the last game) scored the third goal, assisted by Brian Roloff, the newcomer signed today from University of Vermont. Despite being outshot 49-26, the P-Bruins capitalized on their chances and leaned heavily on Dany Sabourin, who stood tall. The new kids are going to make Zach Hamill irrelevant, and indeed Hamill was a -1 on the night with only two shots on net.

The Colborne-to-Sauve connection is the P-Bruins’ new hotness, and if both of them stay in the AHL next year along with Caron, it’ll be safe to expect great things out of this club.

3 Stars:

1. Maxime Sauve
2. Dany Sabourin
3. Joe Colborne

Worcester Sharks @ Providence Bruins

We’re liveblogging Joe Colborne, Steve Kampfer, and Max Sauve’s AHL debut tonight at 7:05 PM….the P-Bruins, who are mathematically eliminated from playoffs at this point, still have the chance to get these young players some exposure to hockey at the professional level.

Click Here to join in!

Cuts for a Cause

Yes, Tuukka, you're amazing.

I had the privilege of attending the 2010 Bruins Cuts for a Cause, where 12 Bruins players shaved their heads for charity. Not only did the rain finally break for a while, but the venue was fantastic and we were all able to take some great photos and interact with the players.

You can check out 160 photos from the day HERE on our Flickr account!

Five things to ponder

Things to ponder on this rainy Monday:

1. The NHL’s newest playoff preview video. We’ve already been treated to “What if Bobby didn’t fly?” and now this:

If this doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, then I don’t know why you’re reading this blog right now.

2. How’s your NCAA bracket looking? If you’re me, it’s looking drastic and unfortunate. I’d picked Denver (who was ousted in round one) and Michigan (defeated by Miami-Ohio last night) to go to the championship. Guess I’m done. The Michigan/Miami game was the story of the night, last night, going to 2OT before Alden Hirschfeld beat Shawn Hunwick to win the game. Hunwick, to his credit, stopped over 30 shots; the 5’7 junior walk-on is the reason his team was even in the NCAA tourney in the first place. Major props, and here’s hoping he gets the starter spot next season. Go little Hunwick go!

3. Tonight’s Bruins game is ridiculously huge. Tim Thomas vs. Ryan Miller. A chance to make the Leaf’s microscopic playoff chances officially nil. The potential to move into a tie for 6th place with the Flyers, with a game in hand on that team. And, possibly most ridiculous of all, there’s a magic number of goals allowed that could move us into the #1 spot for Jennings contention. Remember the Jennings trophy? Remember who won it last year?

Tuukka may not have a wife for Timmy to thank this year, but how epic would this be? As far as I can tell, a rookie has never won the Jennings. Keep sieve-ing it up, Marty Brodeur, the B’s want a trophy to take home. We may have the worst offense, but we make up for it with the BEST DEFENSE IN THE LEAGUE.

4. Eric Gryba signed with the Senators today. Although he will probably play in Binghamton, this is incredibly good news for the holder of BU’s single-season penalty minutes record.

We'll miss you, Grybs.

It also means the dismantling of the 2008-2009 championship team is continuing on it’s merry way. Colin Wilson in Nashville, Matt Gilroy in New York, and Brandon Yip in Colorado have already seen significant ice time this year; Kevin Shattenkirk, Zach Cohen, and Colby Cohen are Colorado-bound (or at least Lake Erie, Colorado’s affiliate, where Zach has already seen ice time since BU was ousted from the Hockey East semifinals). John McCarthy, Brian Strait, and Jason Lawrence are tearing it up in the minors, and Nick Bonino leapfrogged over the AHL straight to the pros, where he’s already logged a game for the Ducks since leaving BU this year.

Life moves on, though; names like Warsofsky and Saponari and Chiasson will replace the Cohen, Gilroy, and Wilson of late. Goalie Kieran Millan will remain for at least another year before shipping west to Colorado. And the new incoming class of freshmen will bring a wealth of new talent and names we’ve never even considered. It’s not the end of the world, but there’s no denying it’s sad to see a team like the 08-09 Terriers break apart.

5. Game 6 of Rouyn-Noranda and Val d’Or’s playoff series ended in a 5-1 Huskies win. Jordan Caron leads the QMJHL in scoring (awesome) and Max Sauve’s junior career is officially over. Will we see him in Providence, now that the baby Bruins’ playoff hopes are all but quashed? Only time will tell. In other P-Bruins news, in the first game since Ned Lukacevic was released from his PTO, new signee Devin Timberlake scored in his first game out of Brown University, and ex-BU product Kenny Roche scored as well, although the Peebs lost in OT. It’s almost certain now that Providence will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1998. How depressing.