Monday, January 17, 2011

Postgame Recap: January 11 - Naught-awa

A little late, but better late than never...
Just the facts, Jack (Edwards)

  • Regular Season game #41, home game #20
  • Boston Bruins (22-12-7) vs. Ottawa Senators (16-20-6)
  • Third meeting of the season between these teams having split the first two, each team winning on the road (4-0 in Ottawa on 10/30 and 0-2 in Boston on 11/13)
John Blue Plate Special

I left work a bit late and made into town in decent time.  Because of the impending snowstorm, the City of Cambridge had declared a snow emergency starting at 10:00 pm that night.  As such, I didn't want to risk getting a ticket parking in my regular on-street spot, so I sucked it up and paid $5.50 to park in the T lot at Lechmere.

Headed into the Four's where Heather had already set up shop at the bar downstairs.  Thanks to the magic of call-ahead ordering, our order was ready just as I arrived.  Heather was starving and insisted on ordering an appetizer. so we went with the potato skins,  And when I say skin, I mean potato halves deep fried and covered in cheddar cheese and bacon bits.  Delicious.  After that, we split a Larry Bird in a wrap with bacon and onion rings.

The Couture Corner

Ottawa sucks.

Or at least, their fans do.

For the first time all year, there were absolutely no fans wearing interesting sweaters of the oppsoing team.  Nothing. Nada. Bupkus. Not even a decent Daniel Alfredsson or even an original early 90's sweater.
Weak sauce, man. Weak sauce.

Don't even have to think about calling the offices in Toronto for this one:

Not good.  Not even close.

The Row 12 Rundown

Most of the usual crew was here for this one.  And filling seat 11 was the hat-tastic Robin, the first of three straight games for her in the seat of honor.

Doosh of the Day

Anytime you have three home games scheduled for the same week, a good number of season ticket holders will look at going to two out of the three games.  Which means they'll get rid of their tickets for one of them.  Sometimes they'll re-sell them; other times they'll give them away as Christmas presents. In any case, it means that there is an atypical crowd, one that is filled with people making their only trip to the Garden for the season.  And sadly, this also means that there are a lot of hockey neophytes and social gatherers.  And it makes for a poor crowd.

When you have to choose a game to miss among the Senators, Flyers or Penguins, the choice is clear.  If you're a diehard fan, you're not going to miss a revenge match against the best team in the eastern conference (Philly) or a game on a Saturday (albeit a matinee) against a contending team featuring two superstars (Pittsburgh). So you're going to get rid of the Ottawa tickets.

And the end result is that you have fans doing the wave at the Garden.

Now, I know the game was a blowout (in a good way), but by no means does that make it ok to start the wave.

I can understand doing it at Fenway, even if the majority of fans there no longer know when to start it or know that it is supposed to start in Section 34 by the camera well and then wind clockwise around the park.

But it has no place at the Garden. Ever.

That's something on par with what Montreal fans would do.

Think about that Bruins fans.  Is that something you really want to emulate?

So the Doosh of the Day goes to anyone who decided it was a good idea to do the wave, to stand up at intermittent times during play with no regard what was going on down on the ice.

The Clothes Line

Like I said, thing game had an atypical crowd.  And the Bruins left much to be desired, including their apparel.

There was nothing of any interest.  Sure, there were plenty of Neelys, Orrs and Bourques.  But no Kvartalnovs, no Janneys, no Wesleys.

FWIW, I broke out my Ray Bourque one for this game.  It had been a while since I wore it.

The Lobel Prize

The Senators had one Bruins alum on their roster, defenseman Sergei Gonchar.

Gonchar was a late season addition in the 2003-4 season, joining the Bruins at the trade dealine in a trade with the Capitals.  At the time, the move was huge as the Bruins had finally bolstered their roster for a playoff push by spending money on an all-star caliber player after years of failing to do so.

He went 4-5-9 in 12 regular season games for the Bruins, finishing with 58 points on the season to lead all defenseman in scoring.  He then went 1-4-5 in the playoffs as the Bruins lost a heartbreaking seven game series to the hated Montreal Canadiens.

Then the lockout happened.

It was widely assumed that coming out of the lockout, the Bruins were prepared to take advantage of the new economics of the NHL salary system to bolster their roster which was set up to be a contender for the foreseeable future.

And it blew up in their faces.

Contracts that were in place were rolled back 24%.  That alone would have helped the Bruis maintain their roster.  But they knew they'd have to fight other teams for Gonchar and he ended up signing a 5 year, $25 million contract with the Penguins.  And as we all know, he won a cup with the Pens in 2009.

In the offseason, he signed with the Sens when his contract expired.

In this game, he registered a -2, landing 4 shots on net while logging 23:43 of ice time.

So we got that going for us. Which was nice.

The Home End

Coming off an epic comback victory on the road in Pittsburgh, I had every reason to believe that this was going to be a classic letdown game.  An emotional win and tired legs against an underestimated, weaker opponent in the Sens.

Boy was I wrong.

I forgot Ottawa sucks.

Their goaltending is suspect and they were missing notorius Bruins killer Alex Kovalev as well as Jason Spezza for their lineup.

The Bruins rolled 6-0, with Patrice Bergeron picking up his first career hat-trick.

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