(Bonus video of Penguins falling down)
A tired-looking Bs team tried like hell to sit on a two-goal lead (off Chara and Seguin tallies) against the explosive Penguins in Pittsburgh last night. And it damn near worked for 53+ minutes, as Anton Khudobin stoned the Pens with some great saves.
But nearly halfway through the lousy Smarch schedule, the tired legs and brains accumulated from three games in four days caught up with the Bs. Because the Pens snuffed them out with three goals in a 4:15 span late in the third to send the Bruins back to Boston pointless. Dennis Seidenberg, he of the typically mistake-free hockey, telegraphed a pass out of his zone that was summarily picked off by Brandon Sutter who then rifled it past a stunned Khudobin. As great as the Kazakh was early, I’m sure he’d like at least one of the two Sutter goals back.
It was a great opportunity for the Bs to grab sole possession of first place in the Wales but they coughed it up late. But, it’s still just their fourth regulation loss in 24 games. If this was the opening game of a road trip, I’d be a lot more concerned. However, it was clear the Bs were skating like they had full diapers on by the third period. Just forget about it and move on. The Bs remain a point behind the conference/division leaders but also hold two games in hand, thus controlling their own fate. They play again tomorrow night at home vs. the Panthers.
A few more buds for your bowl…
*In case you missed it Monday, Shawn Thornton’s second of the year Monday resulted in a some funny celebratory punching with Zdeno Chara.
*I can’t understand why people were actually bitching about a guy trying out a gimmick goal during the gimmick portion of the game on Monday night. God forbid a guy tries something different. It reminded me of this classic scene in “Dr. Strangelove”. Besides, he can’t be all bad if he posed for this.
*Word is that Chris Kelly did not suffer an structural problems with his leg/knee and may just require a handful of games off. Regardless of how long he’s out for, it’s a huge loss on face-offs as the center wins more than 60% of his draws (despite Rich Peverley’s great showing last night). People bitching about him because of his production are missing the point. He was a huge part of the team since he arrived two years ago. This year, the Bs were auditioning a career minor-leaguer on his line and his play, along with Rich Peverley’s, suffered as a result. This is a guy who played 82 games last year, scored 20 goals, and was a +33. And he just lost it all of the sudden? Please. Getting rid of Kelly would create a gaping defensive hole down the middle and give the team a problem it didn’t previously have.
*Congratulations to Claude on becoming the second winningest coach in the nearly 90-year history of the venerable franchise. He’s currently tied with the great Milt Schmidt for #2 but will pass him with his next victory and trail only the legendary Art Ross. Quibble with the man all you like but the results speak for themselves.
*Congratulations also to BU’s Jack Parker, who announced that he’ll be retiring at season’s end after 40 years behind the Terriers bench. Though I don’t know the man, I know plenty of people who know him in both the hockey and non-hockey worlds and nobody has nary a bad word to say about the guy. That might be a better testament than national titles or turning out NHLers for generations. Plenty of names will be bandied about to replace the legendary Parker. But the answer may well be right on the bench right now. Mike Bavis has been a long-time associate head coach under Parker and knows the ins and outs of the program better than anyone. Additionally, the two have been very close since Bavis and his brother Mark lost their dad while playing underneath Parker over 20 years ago and their coach took on a more paternalistic role. The bond was strengthened even further when Mark was killed on 9/11. No, those may not be ’hockey reasons’. But Bavis has certainly put in the time and deserves a shot.
*During every Bruins game on NESN, Twitter blows up about this Dan Duquette Part Deux schma-schmortion. I’m either at the games or I change the channel during periods but I made sure to watch Monday’s segment after Lil Duke caused a Twitter flare-up because of his idiotic comments prior to the Parker interview. During NESN’s dopey segment where he reads Tweets to people who are not and likely don’t want to be on Twitter (because people on Twitter are already seeing them…on Twitter), Duquette actually said, “That’s Jim Craig, Mike Eruzione, and a couple of other gold medal winners”. You shitting me? “A couple of other gold medal winners”? You really couldn’t look up the names of two sons of Massachusetts, Jackie O’Callahan (C’town) and Dave Silk? From arguably the greatest sporting spectacle of the last 40 years? Then he makes sure that everyone knows he went to BC (imagine that?) before really making an asshole out of himself as they were throwing it back to the studio that had Parker in person. “I feel obligated to correct Mr. Whitney (Edmonton Oiler/BU Terrier/Stoolie Ryan Whitney) that BU has only won THREE National Championships and not five but hey, what a couple of championships among friends, right?” To which Parker retorted, “Then I’ll jump in…we had won five, I was an assistant coach on the other two”. So not only was he wrong about Parker, he was wrong about how many titles BU had actually won. But hey, he went to BC. If he’s causing this many aneurysms during Bruins season, I can only imagine the hemorrhaging that will go on once the Red Sox start.
*Rather than end on that note, here’s a heartwarming video with the backstory from Puck Daddy.