Habs Fans Boo American National Anthem, Bruins Take 3-0 Lead

21 04 2009

By Jim Chandleybsinmontreal

The fans of the Les Habitants de Montreal continued their strange (and slightly offensive) practice of booing the American national anthem last night, as the Canadiens hosted the Bruins in their first home playoff game of 2009.

But more importantly, the B’s took complete control of the situation on the ice.

Boston took a 3-0 lead in the series, putting the two teams in territory where the Bruins have never lost and the Canadiens have never won.

Christopher Higgins scored in the eighth minute of the game, the product of an expected early push by the Habs to try and get an early edge back in their own building.  So the Habs had momentum and a lead.

For the next few minutes, the Bell Centre was rocking as the fans started to get into it.  But Phil Kessel was not interested in hearing anymore “Go Habs, Go” chants.  He tipped in a shot from Dennis Wideman with just over a minute left in the first.

Early in the second, Shawn Thornton scored his first goal in the playoffs to give the B’s a 2-1 lead.  But he would be answered moments later by Yannick Weber.  The score sat at 2-2 for most of the period.  With under three minutes to go in the second, former Canadien Michael Ryder scored on his old team, burying a rebound from the left slot.

Taking a 3-2 lead into the third, Boston knew they would see a barrage of shots from Montreal in the final frame.  And did the barrage ever come.  While the shots were selective, the Canadiens controlled the puck for most of the period.  But the defensive effort was truly superb.  For fans who were wondering where the third period defense was during the regular season, the B’s have answered so far in the playoffs.

When the Habs were forced to pull Carey Price in the final minute (probably a big improvement, given Price’s play of late), they paid for it.  Chuck Kobasew out-hustled the entire team to put in an empty net goal.  The B’s took a 4-2 lead that would stand for the final 30 seconds.

Boston will skate on Montreal’s ice again on Wednesday night, looking to complete the sweep.


Bruins Beat Senators 2-1, Reach 110 Point Mark

2 04 2009

The B's try to best the teams from the old Adams Division this year.

By Jim Chandley

Boston beat lowly Ottawa tonight at the Garden to bring their season point total to 110.  The last time the B’s amassed as many points, they played in the Adams Division (that’s 1982-3 for you kids).

Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson scored in the first period to stake the Sens to the early lead.

That was all the Ottawa fans had to cheer about for the entire evening.  Milan Lucic would score early in the second from David Krejci and Michael Ryder.  After going into the lockerroom tied, the B’s came out and got a quick goal from Marc Savard (P.J. Axelsson on the assist).

This was all they would need as the game ended 2-1.

The Bruins’ 110 points are good for a nine point lead on Washington with five games to play.  This means that the Bruins can clinch the Conference title with a win on Saturday afternoon when they host the Rangers.

Bruins Forget to Lose, Take Five Point Lead in East

22 03 2009

nhl_bruins_devils_412By Jim Chandley

The Boston Bruins hosted the New Jersey Devils in a massive game at the TD BankNorth Garden today.

Boston ultimately prevailed and took a five point lead on the Devils for first place in the East with nine games left to play (the Devils have 10 remaining).

Marc Savard and Mark Recchi set up Michael Ryder on the powerplay in the first for the first goal of the game.  This was the first and only lead change of the game.

Chuck Hobasew and Savard would score early in the second before the Devils finally got on the board with a goal by Andy Greene.  Milan Lucic added another in the the second to close the scoring for the day.

The B’s play seven of their last nine against teams who (at the moment) are not in playoff positions in the standings.  On the other side of the race, New Jersey will play six teams in their last 10 games who are currently in playoff position.

This win puts the Bruins in the driver’s seat to hold home ice throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Bruins Filibuster Senators 5-3

13 03 2009

The man with two goals

By Jim Chandley

The Bruins came out on fire in a bizarre affair at the Garden tonight against Ottawa.  Seven minutes into the game, the Bruins had committed three penalties and killed all three.

In those same seven minutes they scored a short-handed goal from Aaron Ward and an even strength marker from P.J. Axelsson.  (It should be noted, Axelsson’s goal was both beautiful and effortless.  He came out of the box as Michael Ryder was stealing the puck in the neutral zone, 2 on 1, no chance for the keeper on a sweet one-timer).

So at seven minutes in the 1st, the B’s were up 2-0 despite three Ottawa powerplays…  Needless to say it was a wild one.

Kobasew scored for Boston as did Jason Spezza to finish the period at 3-1 Boston.

Granted, it had to calm down from there, and it did.  The 2nd period was rather uneventful.

Phil Kessel scored two goals in the 3rd, one an empty netter at the very end of the game.  Spezza had scored again along with teammate Christoph Schubert to make it worth pulling the goalie.

But in the end, Ottawa was outclassed by Boston.

The B’s will host the Islanders at 1PM Saturday.

Bruins Lose to Rangers in Matinee

8 03 2009

Bruins goalie Manny Fernandez in the locker room; a place he may wish he had stayed this afternoon

By Jim Chandley

The Bruins put forth a good team effort in New York this afternoon but came up short, falling 4-3 to the Rangers.  Coach Claude Julien would probably tell you, (as he often does) that they lost as a team.

But this didn’t seem to be as much of a team loss as other recent defeats.  “You can’t win with that,” commentator Mike Millbury said during today’s broadcast.  He spoke almost accidentally and sounded rather harsh but clarified without sugar coating it, “You can not win with goal tending like Manny Fernandez has given the Bruins here today.”

Indeed, Fernandez gave up some soft goals in today’s contest.  When the Rangers drew first blood early in the 2nd, they did so on a legitimate goal by Nik Antropov.  Kobasew scored two minutes later and one could argue that the Rangers should never have seen the lead again.

Later in the period, on the powerplay, Scott Gomez found the back of the net on a wrap-around shot where Fernandez didn’t cover the entire post and let the puck sneak inside his skate.  Minutes later, Fernandez stood up when a shot was blocked in front of him.  He spun 360 degrees in the crease looking for the puck while Ryan Callahan was busy finding it and burying it.

Chara andRyder would both score early in the 3rd, clearing the way for Fernandez to leave his mistakes in the past.  Unfortunately, it was not Fernandez’s day.  With six minutes left in the game, Fernandez lost sight of a rebound andcame out entirely too far to the right slot.  The rebound had in fact gone to the left and Nikolai Zherdev put it away for what would be the game winner.

It was a tough break for the team that Fernandez had such a bad day today.  The skaters came out with some fire, hitting hard and taking part in a few scraps along the way.  They put plenty of pressure on New York’s Henrik Lundquist.  But the miscues in goal were too much to overcome.  The B’s will try again Tuesday at the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Bruins Skate Past Ducks, 6-0

26 02 2009

Bruins defenseman Matt Hunwick who scored the winning goal early in the game Thursday

By Jim Chandley

Boston brought intensity that we haven’t seen in some time tonight as they hosted Anaheim at the Garden.  Tim Thomas stopped 35 shots and recorded his 4th shutout of the season.

Matt Hunwick scored at 17:54 in the first.  Michael Ryder and Chuck Kobasew each netted two goals in the Second period, effectively ending the game.  Byron Bitz tacked one on in the middle of the third.

The Bruins will host Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon at 1.  The Bruins still lead the Eastern Conference with 92 points and have the second best record in all of hockey.

Bruins Stomp Panthers

25 02 2009

Boston's Chuck Kobasew

Boston's Chuck Kobasew

By Jim Chandley

After a 1-3-1 road trip, the Bruins just needed to sleep in their own beds for a night.  Back at the Garden on Tuesday, Boston dominated the Florida Panthers in every aspect of the game.

The Bruins were clearly a better team all night, taking a 3-1 lead into the 3rd period.  But in the 3rd, things just got out of hand.  Byron Bitz, Aaron Ward and Michael Ryder (back from injury) all netted goals in the third.

Between the fourth and fifth goals, Chuck Kobasew destroyed the Panthers Keith Ballard along the boards in the Panthers zone.  Ballard got up looking for a piece of Kobasew and didn’t get much.  The two danced, Kobasew landed a few shots and Ballard fell to his knees.  The fight was not one-sided, but Ballard had already lost when his clocked was cleaned seconds earlier.

Tim Thomas stopped 24 of 25 shots from Florida for his 26th win of the season.

The B’s will host the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night at the Garden.