Red Wings Catch Bruins In Extremely High Scoring Showdown

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Boston Bruins this afternoon, 6-5.  Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Darren Helm each had 2 goals, Zetterberg and Datsyuk got assists.  But the Bruins started the game really well.

Right off the face off, Brett Connolly passed it to Brad Marchand who shot it right in for a goal!!!!  Fastest goal in Bruins history!!!  8 seconds after the opening face off, the Bruins led 1-0.  A couple minutes later, Henrik Zetterberg of the Red Wings answered with a Detroit goal, but they were questioning whether it should have been called offsides.  Claude Julien challenged, but the call stood.  I personally agree with the call despite being a Bruins fan.

The Bruins quickly retrieved it, and seconds later, it was Zach Trotman for the unassisted goal.  2-1 Boston.  About 30 seconds later, Zdeno Chara was called for interference, so the Red Wings were on power play.  But it soon became 4 on 4.  Petr Mrazek, the Detroit goalie was called for a penalty.  Brad Richards served the penalty, and it was 4 on 4.  A couple minutes later, Torey Krug left the game after getting hurt on a body shot.  They already had Adam McQuaid and Patrice Bergeron out, they can’t lose another guy.

Soon though, Loui Eriksson got a pass from David Krejci, and he shot it into the net for a give and go goal.  A couple minutes later, Brad Marchand was called for interference, the Wings had another power play.  This time, it ended fast for a different reason.  Pavel Datsyuk scored a power play goal assisted by Justin Abdelkader and Brad Richards.  It was 3-2 Bruins at the end of the period.

In the 2nd period, Darren Helm scored a quick goal, assisted by Alexei Marchenko and Xavier Oullet.  A minute later, Colin Miller got in a little skirmish with Justin Abdelkader.  He was called for hi-sticking, while Abdelkader called for slashing.  Another couple minutes later, Loui Eriksson was called for tripping, and it was 4 on 3.  On the power play, Pavel Datsyuk scored the goal, and it was the first time the Red Wings had the lead, 4-3.  After a quiet 5 minutes, Darren Helm scored his second goal of the period, and it was 5-3 Detroit.  Right off the face off, Spooner went to Seidenberg, and he scored!!!  Another quick Bruins goal, and it cut the Red Wings’ lead to 1 goal.  Personally my dad and I thought it was bad goal-tending on Petr Mrazek’s end.

Right at the start of the 3rd, rookie Joonas Kemppainen got a quick Boston goal!  The score was tied, 5-5.  But Henrik Zetterberg finished the job with his second goal of the game, Detroit’s 6th.  The Red Wings topped the Bruins 6-5.  However, they dominated all other stats, Brad Marchand has 13 goals in the last 13 games, and Claude Julien has 500 career wins as a coach.

 

 

Northborough Helps Liam Fitzgerald Bump Out Cancer

The Bruins may have been bumped out of the playoffs last night, but today they helped helped bump out cancer with their biggest and most famous fist-bumping fan, Liam Fitzgerald, a cancer survivor.  This event, called “Northborough – Get Your Bump On” was a community fist-bumping event where people could line up to fist-bump Liam.  The event raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphona Society, an organization that raises money for blood cancers.  There were three other cancer survivors: Christian Campero, Max Blasko and William Furgal, who were also recognized at this event.  Event organizer Julie Stanwood, who is also director of Friends of Families in Transition, got the idea to start the event after watching Liam on TV fist-bumping the Bruins players.

“I knew what a supportive community Northborough was.”

Stanwood said.  She was able to get multiple local companies to sponsor the event, such as Uno’s Pizzeria, Berkshire Bank, Wegman’s, TD Bank, Buffalo Wild Wings, Lala Java, Core Connection and many others.  Liz Nolan, founder of Northborough Mom’s and Tots, also helped organize this event and created a Facebook page to spread the word called “Northborough – Get Your Bump On”.

Legislators Harold Naughton Jr., Danielle W. Gregoire and Jamie Eldridge were also there to support Liam and they honored him with a recognition award from the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Adding to the excitement were mascots from various sports teams and organizations including Blades of the Boston Bruins, Jake of the Worcester Bravehearts and the mascots from Buffalo Wild Wings and TD Bank.  A lifesize Mater from the movie “Cars” owned by Jonathan Gabriel from Armory Motor Storage was also there.

Liam’s oncologist, Dr. Ghazali Usmani ,who helped save his life also attended as well as Northborough-Southborough superintendent Christine Johnson, who commented that it was a beautiful day for this event. Liam’s mom Christine Fitzgerald said,

“It was so humbling to see so many people come together from our town: the doctors and nurses at UMass, politicians, old friends and new.  It was just an amazing outpouring of love and kindness.  We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.”

She also wanted to thank Julie Stanwood and Liz Nolan for organizing this event.  Over 400 people participated in the fist bump and over $4,800 was raised at today’s event.

Liam with TD mascot and Blades-rs

Liam with his oncologist from UMass Dr. Ghazala Usmani
Liam with his oncologist from UMass Dr. Ghazala Usmani
Liam with Jake, the Worcester Bravehearts mascot
Liam with Jake, the Worcester Bravehearts mascot
Liam receiving award from the Massachusetts House of Representatives
Liam receiving award from the Massachusetts House of Representatives
State Representatives Danielle Gregorie and Harold Naugton, Jr. with Bruins mascot, Blades
State Representatives Danielle Gregorie and Harold Naugton, Jr. with Bruins mascot, Blades
Line for fist bump
Line for fist bump

Bruins Shutout Penguins For Fifth Straight Win

The Bruins shutout the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 5th Boston win in a row, making their record 36-22-10.  The Bruins have won 6 of their last 7 games getting at least one point per game since I went to the game on February 28, making them one of the hottest teams in hockey.  The Bruins would be the 7th seed playoff team if the season ended today.  In the game, Tuukka Rask got 30 saves.  Dennis Seidenberg had the first penalty, tripping against Chris Kunitz.  Then, the first of 2 Boston goals was scored.  Milan Lucic scored a goal assisted by David Pastrnak and Dougie Hamilton.  Soon after, Penguins player David Perron tripped Max Talbot.  The next penalty was on Loui Eriksson, hooking against Paul Martin.  The second period was quiet but penalty infested.  Patric Hornqvist was responsible for the first penalty, interference against Torey Krug.   the second and final 2nd period penalty was Chris Kelly’s hi-sticking penalty against Christian Ehrhoff.  The third period had a penalty about one fourth of the way in.  Ben Lovejoy was called for hooking against Brad Marchand.  With a few minutes left, Tuukka Rask made the save of the game.  He dived out of the net to grab the puck and get it into his glove.  Then, the Penguins took out their goalie, Thomas Greiss with about 40 seconds left.  Greiss is the backup goalie for Pittsburgh, who rested their starting goalie for today’s game.  He wasn’t a scratch, but he wasn’t in the net for the whole game.  Then, one of the best and longest shots I have ever seen for a goal that counted happened.  Zdeno Chara shot the puck all the way across the ice to get an empty net goal assisted by Gregory Campbell to make it 2-0 Bruins.  At the minute the goal was scored, Steve Downie of the Penguins got penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Some funny stuff happened in this final period as well.  At one point, the puck was stuck in Daniel Paille’s shorts, but he got up on his skates to see the puck drop out of his shorts.  Also, somebody shot on the goal but hit the post instead knocking the goalie net off its post.  Also, on a rebound from a Tuukka Rask save, the Penguins shot the puck and saw it go off a player’s leg and continue to bump against the boards.  The Bruins won 2-0.  In the game, Sidney Crosby, the Penguins’ best player was a last minute scratch.  Their next best player, Evgeni Malkin, barely played and did nothing due to an early game injury.  Still, it was still pretty impressive and good for the Bruins that they could shutout the Penguins in Pittsburgh, let alone defeat them in Pittsburgh or even beat them at all, visiting or not.  The Bruins were able to pull off an impressive shutout as visitors to one of the best teams in the entire NHL, but they were fortunate that Crosby and Malkin got injured before and early on in the game.  Either way, the Bruins had a good road win against a top NHL team.

Bruins Very Active at Trade Deadline, Acquiring Four Forwards In Three Trades

The Bruins were very active at the trade deadline.  They made three transactions.  They traded a second round draft pick for 2015 and 2016 away for forward Brett Connolly in return.  Personally, I think this was a fair trade that will help the Bruins in the NHL, but minor league could be a new concern after losing those draft picks.  They will get a first look at Connolly’s skills at TD Garden with the Calgary Flames coming to visit this Thursday.  I think Connolly will boost the Bruins offense.  That was the Bruins main need according to NESN’s fan poll at this past Saturday’s game.   Next, they traded Jordan Caron and a 2016 sixth round draft pick to the Colorado Avalanche for Maxime Talbot and Paul Carey, both forwards.  That brings more offensive depth to the team.  Finally, they traded Jared Knight to the Minnesota Wild for Zack Phillips, yet another forward, although they gave up one.  Talbot played 63 games with Colorado this season scoring 5 goals and 10 assists.  In past seasons he scored an additional 78 goals since 2006.  The trades made will bring a huge impact on the offensive side of things.

Bruins Treat Me to Greatest Sports Experience of my Life

Last night was a very special night for me. I got to sit in the press box because of getting noticed for my blog.  First, I’d like to thank all the Bruins press and TD Garden staff for getting this together for me. This was the greatest sports experience of my life. That says a lot when I’ve said play ball at Fenway Park and presented the Red Sox line-up on NESN.
To start my experience, I bought a new Bruins cap at the Pro Shop. I came back down to where I had entered to wait for Bruins Communications Specialist Erika Wentzell. Erika gave me a tour of the media areas of the TD Garden. Once I introduced myself and received my very own press pass, we got right in on the tour.

The press passes my Dad and I wore to have access to the press area
The press passes my Dad and I wore to have access to the press area

I first got to go in a huge elevator with supply carts for the game. I got off right in front of a goal waiting to be placed on the ice.

In the net before Tuukka was
In the net before Tuukka was

I then saw the ice and took a picture right in front of it.

In front of the ice before the game
In front of the ice before the game

I then saw the Zambonis waiting outside the area where you could see the ice.

In front of the Zambonis before the game
In front of the Zambonis before the game

We moved on to where the media was. I saw the room where the post-game press conference takes place. While I was there I met Jack Edwards, the Bruins TV announcer. Next, I saw a room where the press worked. I saw the locker room doors while the players were inside.

In front of the locker room before the game
In front of the locker room before the game

Across from the lockers I saw the room where I would meet and interview a player after the game. Then we went on up to the 9th floor press box. I got a tour of the press box including TV and radio announcer rooms. I got to sit in Andy Brickley’s chair while wearing his headphones.

Sitting in Andy Brickley’s NESN seat
Sitting in Andy Brickley’s NESN seat

Before we got to our seats, I got a look at the free food I would have access to including unlimited popcorn and soda. Then Erika walked us to our seats with a great view.

The view from our seats
The view from our seats

Before the game, I met many famous people. First, I met Caryn Switaj, the Bruins Digital Content Specialist. I met Dave Goucher, who remembered me from Play By Play Camps (http://playbyplaycamps.com/). I also met Comcast SportsNet’s Joe Haggerty during warm-ups. Shortly after he introduced me to Dave Goucher’s radio partner Bob Beers, former Bruins star, while getting popcorn and soda. Minutes before the game, I met Joe McDonald.

With ESPN’s Joe McDonald before the game
With ESPN’s Joe McDonald before the game

He tweeted my blog out which was very nice of him and I promised to do the same (https://twitter.com/espnjoeymac). They all told me to keep reading and writing and I plan to. I asked them to read my Boston SportsMania blog and gave them samples and the link (andrewr1008.wordpress.com).
Also before the game, I got game notes that only the press gets and saw my name on the media seating chart and a place card saving my seat at the left end of the press box. I also got lineups minutes before game time and stats before the game and at the end of each period.

Media Seating Chart
Media Seating Chart
Seating Assignments
Seating Assignments

The game started and I enjoyed great seats and free food that was delicious. I kept my own stats on the paper with the lineups. I also had the stats I got at the start of the game. After each period, they handed out updated stats which were very cool.
In the second period, I watched with Caryn Switaj, while watching her tweet out quick game updates to 700,000 followers of http://bruins.nhl.com/.

With Caryn Switaj in between periods
With Caryn Switaj in between periods

She was very nice and invited me to write this post. Joe McDonald also came by in between periods which made me feel special. Both Joe and Caryn taught me things about writing and also told me interesting facts like Zdeno Chara’s fastest shot in the game, 108 MPH! He scored to make it 4-0 Bruins.
As the third period went by I began to prepare to ask the first question to Claude Julien for the post-game press conference. The game ended with the Bruins winning 4-1 over the Arizona Coyotes.
After listening to a quick interview Caryn Switaj did, I left for the press conference. There, I asked Claude Julien, “Who do you think had a great performance in this game?” He answered, saying everyone did well, especially the young guys that were new additions to the lineup, like Ryan Spooner. He said that Milan Lucic was like a father figure to those players like Spooner, who scored his first career goal to win the Bruins the game in overtime on Friday night. Two sports writers complimented on how well I asked the first question and gave me high fives. I got to then practice for a question I would soon ask a player in the press dressing room.
Brad Marchand came in, and we introduced ourselves.

With Bruin Brad Marchand after the game with my Dad in the background taking the photo
With Bruin Brad Marchand after the game with my Dad in the background taking the photo

I asked him, “Thinking about how well you’ve done over the last four games, what do you think your playoff chances are right now?” He answered saying, if we keep playing the way we played tonight, I think we have a pretty good chance. After that, we said goodbye to Erika, and we started on our way home. This was the greatest sports experience of my life!

Bruins Have Big Win Over Coyotes In Back To Back Games

The Bruins played the Arizona Coyotes last night and won 4-1. It all started early in the 1st period. Milan Lucic scored, shooting from behind the goalpost letting it get past Mike Smith. Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak got assists on it. Then, at the halfway mark of the period, Kyle Chipchura was penalized for delay of game, giving the Bruins a power play. It wasn’t a great one, but either way, power plays are good in some ways. Then, late in the period Brad Marchand scored the second Bruins goal assisted by Reilly Smith and Patrice Bergeron. Late in, Shane Doan was penalized for interference, as Boston ended the period ending a power play. In the 2nd period, the B’s didn’t stop. 3 minutes in, Patrice Bergeron scored a goal assited by Zdeno Chara and Reilly Smith. With 9 minutes left, Lauri Korpikoski took a trip to the penalty box for hi-sticking. On the power play, Zdeno Chara scored the fourth Bruins goal. Four goals in two periods after playing a game less than 24 hours ago is impressive. Mike Smith was doing so badly, that the Coyotes brought in Louis Domingue, the backup goalie. Chris Kelly was iin the penalty box as the period came to a close. In the third and final period, it started early on wit a Bruins power play, the penalty being holding on Henrik Samuelsson. Domingue didn’t let any more goals go by though. But Rask blew it for a shutout, just after he had made what might have been the save of the night. Martin Erat scored, assisted by Keith Yandle, former Bostonian and Shane Doan. Tuukka Rask reached 30 saves, finishing with 31. Late in was one final Boston power play. The penalty was unsportmanlike conduct on Kyle Chipchura. Chipchura had two penalties on the night. The game ended with a 4-1 Boston win. The two goal leaders, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, both got their 18th goal. Tuukka Rask had 31 saves! Boston had more shots on the goal than Arizona, 34-32 and more saves, which means more goals, a win. The Bruins now have a 6 game winning streak against the Coyotes, and a 31-22-9 record(71 points). The Coyotes have a 9 game losing streak overall, putting their record at 20-36-7(47 points). The Bruins have some rest before and after the trade deadline, on Monday at 3:00 PM ET. Their next game is at home, against the Calgary Flames. The Bruins ended a February offensive struggle as they enter what could be a good March, which hopefully will lead to playoffs. Brad Marchand said, “If we keep playing the way we played in this game, then I think we have a pretty good chance to make the playoffs”. The Bruins could be looking at an improved team in March, with youngsters Ryan Spooner, Brian Ferlin and David Pastrnak.

Bruins Demolish Blackhawks, Snap 6 Game Losing Streak

The Bruins suprisingly beat the Chicago Blackhawks, and by a lot. They also snapped a depressing 6 game losing streak. The Bruins total record is 29-21-9, looking like a record that’ll get them into the playoffs, but not far. The game was full of penalties, including a fight in the 2nd period between Adam McQuaid and Daniel Carcillo. We also saw early boarding and slashing, two players on each other, Brad Marchand and Michal Rozsival.

For scoring, it all started with an early goal by Patrice Bergeron, 3 minutes in. It appeared as if Reilly Smith scored but Bergeron got passed to by him last minute, to knock it in. Reilly Smith still got an assist for it. Besides a holding penalty, the game was quiet for a while. But that changed when Loui Eriksson scored the second Bruins goal. 2-0 Bruins, five minutes to go in the 1st period. Another memorable penalty came next, hooking on Patrick Kane. Brad Marchand roughed him after the power play though.

Late in the first quarter, Tuukka Rask got penalized for delay of game, and Patrick Kane passed to Jonathan Toews who scored on him after. Rask got penalized for slashing as well less than a second after the goal was scored.

The Bruins were very memorable in the 2nd period, like scoring machines. My favorite Bruin, Milan Lucic, scored the first one after David Pastrnak passed to him. He quickly scored when he gained possession of the puck. 3-1 Bruins. Gregory Campbell was next, making it 4-1. Corey Crawford, the Blackhawks goslie, was having such a bad day at this point, they brought the backup goalie in!

Before those two goals, Chicago had too many men on the ice twice! Jordan Caron and Daniel Carcillo got into a mini fight before another goal was scored, penalizing Caron for slashing and Carcillo for roughing. Then Dougie Hamilton scored a surprise power play goal. To end the 2nd period, and give Boston a rare 6 goal game and 5 goal lead, Reilly Smith scored! An assist and a goal! The Blackhawks scored late in the 1st, but the Bruins got back at them by doing the same shortly before 2nd intermission and ending the 2nd period.

In the 3rd period, it was very quiet. The only action was an easy goal for Chicago by Bryan Bickell. It should be 6-1, but 6-2 will do. The Bruins held on to win, snapping their previous losing streak.

This week, the Bruins will face the Canucks at home on Tuesday, the Devils in New Jersey on Friday, and the Coyotes this Saturday. Saturday’s game is special for me, it’s the first Bruins game I will attend TD Garden for. Be on the lookout for a recap post of the game I went to Saturday night or Sunday.