Tag Archives: AHL hockey

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.

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

Lucky Sunday

A random last-minute decision turned into a ticket to the Bruins game today, a game drawing a lot of skepticism after the Bruins’ completely flat performance against the Penguins on Thursday. I’d almost resigned myself to breaking up with the NHL and settling for AHL and QMJHL hockey for the rest of the season.

Not necessary; the Bruins have temporarily won me back.

A 2-1 decision in which the game-winner comes off a Dennis Wideman backhand one-timer has a lot of Bruins fans questioning the tilt of the universe today, especially in a game where the referees seemed determined to break the record for ridiculous not-really-offsides offsides calls. Whatever. Miroslav Satan says no to referee fail by punching in a rebound from an Andy Ference shot in the second period. Dennis Wideman agrees in the third, with an assist from a long-pointless Vladimir Sobotka. Sobotka was a force to be reckoned with against the Rangers, exchanging blows briefly with Sean Avery and laying sweet wrecking-ball style hits on Dubinsky and Drury.

Of course this game was full of its share of stupid penalties; Chara took a double-minor for being too tall (high-sticking); Satan took a stupid one for hooking, but Patrice Bergeron, in the mix seemingly every time there was a scrum, took the best roughing penalty ever in the third period, when this happened:

Bergy, you can do this forever.

Defending your teammate: you’re doing it right. Bergeron stepped in all day long, and so did most of the other Bruins; it was painfully obvious who cared about this game and who didn’t. Bergeron cared. Darn right.

The absolutely chippy play kept this game ridiculously entertaining despite the low score. Mark Stuart got boarded a few moments into the first period, then immediate got up, turned around, and took a roughing penalty. Steve Begin put some monster hits on a few Rangers, taking two of them out in one blow at one point; he got a standing ovation for a fight against Prust about three minutes in the first. Even Satan was checking people into the boards, and we got some brief glimpses of Lucic’s former brilliance in the corner. Del Zotto crept one past Tuukka Rask late in the third, but it was too little too late for New York, and the Bruins got their second home victory of 2010.

Tuuuuuuuuuuuuk!

Three stars:

#1 Tuukka Rask

#2 Steve Begin

#3 Vladimir Sobotka*

*Probably the most hard-earned 3rd star I’ve ever seen. Sobotka worked his heart out today, and it paid off. Personally I’d have given him the 2nd star, but Begin’s fight and two-rangers-one-hit was just way too impressive.

ELSEWHERE IN THE BRUINS SYSTEM:

  • Providence dropped a ridiculously important decision to Hartford today, losing 4-3 in overtime. It’s not all doom and gloom, though; Yannick Riendeau scored the first goal of his pro career. John Lammers and Jeff Penner tallied the other two goals. Unfortunately, Zach Hamill had a really ugly turnover in OT which lead to the game-winning goal; for someone so highly-touted, Hamill is a bit of a disappointment this season. With this loss, Providence is now 6 points out of a playoff spot; Wilkes-Barre and Bridgeport are still ahead.
  • In the QMJHL last night, Jordan Caron’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies dropped Max Sauve’s Val d’Or Foreurs 5-3. Caron had two goals and an assist; Sauve had one goal. Count me in as being excited for when these kids come to Providence! The next game of that series, which is currently tied 1-1, is Tuesday at 7:30PM EST.

Optimism….failing…but wait!

The P-Bruins had a chance to go 3-0 tonight, but instead dropped a 2-1 decision to the Worcester Sharks. The lone goal came from Levi Nelson in the 2nd period; it was a fancy tip-in off a Ned Lukacevic one-timer. Lukacevic might be the greatest decision the P-Bruins have made this year – unfortunately, it might be too little too late at this point.  Angry Levi also got in a fight in the first, and numerous other Peebs took stupid penalties, including Mikko Lehtonen taking a hooking call eight seconds after Nelson and the Sharks’ Ferriero took matching minors. Luckily, the P-Bruins could kill the 4-on-3, but couldn’t muster up the offense in the rest of the game.

Of course, my poor little heart is torn about this loss, because the game winning goal came from one John McCarthy, formerly of – you guessed it – Boston University. Sigh.

Sigh, why do you do this to me, cap'n. Plus bonus Matty G on the right! OH, TO BE BACK IN 2009.

The magic number right now is SEVEN. Seven points. Four wins, barring the fact that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wins too many more games. The P-Bruins are going into a stretch of games where they play some of the top teams in the east, and the two teams ahead of them in the standings have two games in hand. It’s not looking pretty for the Baby Bruins right now.

In  light of this recent turn of events, the fact that the NHL Bruins are one point away from losing their playoff spot, and Boston University being eliminated from a potential NCAA spot, we’re….calling a mulligan.

ISITNEXTSEASONYET.COM

In the meantime, NCAA hockey brackets should be out soon; the Hershey Bears, my backup AHL team, are still owning the rest of the league; Michigan just eked their way into a CCHA championship, thanks to the stalwart goaltending of tiny Shawn Hunwick, Maine just lost 7-6 to Boston College in overtime, and I am officially broken up with Hockey East. Throwing all my support behind this guy, brb.

All my NCAA hopes rest on you, tiny man.

Looking on the bright side

Not even talking about last night. Boston University just dropped a huge fat one to University of Maine. But you know what? Not gonna be a Debbie Downer.

The Providence Bruins, decimated at the beginning of the season by injuries to the Boston Bruins, are fighting for their playoff lives, and after dropping five in a row last week, they’ve got ten games left and a five-point deficit to climb in that time. Beating 11th-place Hartford on Wednesday was a start; beating 6th-place Lowell tonight in an incredibly impressive 4-2 decision keeps the ball rolling.

It was apparent this was going to be an exciting game when even in warmups, the teams were chirping each other; Louie Robitaille (Lowell) and Levi Nelson (Providence) each were the last men on the ice for their respective teams, taking cross-ice shots; Nelson decided to get in front of his net and block all of Robitaille’s shots before they left the ice at the same time. Chippy!

Providence got things started pretty quickly, drawing a penalty about six minutes in. Andrew Bodnarchuk, defenseman extraordinaire, snuck one past Jeff Frazee on the power play. The next one also came in the first period – Jordan Knackstedt from Cody Wild and Zach Hamill. New guy! (Who really actually lived in Providence for a few years before playing for Springfield!) Wild’s clicking pretty well. The P-Bruins took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission, and not only on the power of their goal scorers – those two goals only came on nine shots, while Dany Sabourin shut the door on 16 Devils chances. Sabuuuu!

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