Thursday, February 17, 2011

Postgame Recap: February 15 - Kess of Death

And on Tuesday night he came to town along with his Toronto Maple Leafs to take on my beloved Bruins who were coming off back to back losses to the Red Wings as part of a home and home series.

Lets see how it played out:

Just the facts, Jack (Edwards)

  • Regular Season game #57, home game #28
  • Boston Bruins (31-18-7, 1st in Northeast Div.) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (23-27-6, 4th in Northeast Div.)
  • Fourth meeting of the season between these two teams with the Bruins winning 5 out of a possible 6 points thus far (2 wins, 1 shootout loss)

John Blue Plate Special

It being a Tuesday, I had planned on busting out of work at 5:00 with the hope that the Pike traffic wouldn't be too bad, being early in the work week. And everything was going to plan.

Until 10:00 am, that is.

Around that time, one of the principals asked me if I could cover a traffic count for one of my co-workers who was out sick that day. Normally a traffic count takes place from 4:00 to 6:00 in the afternoon.  I've done them all over the state - north shore, south shore, west of Worcester, so I was a bit worried that they would be sending me somewhere fra outside of Boston thus precluding me from making it to the game on time.

Fortunately, this count was in Woburn.  I mioght have to skip out on the pregame, but I was pretty much assured that I could make it to the game no problem.  I texted Heather to give her a heads-up that I probably wouldn't make it to the Fours, but I'd let her know as I made my way into town.

The traffic count went fine, the heavy traffic actually helping to pass the time.  As soon as 6:00 rolled around, I was on the road, taking the back routes through Woburn and Winchester out to route 93 and ultimately Sullivan Square.  At this point, it was 6:25.  Bonus.

I texted Heather that I was on the train and I'd be there in 10 minutes.

10 minutes later, I was at the Fours, a drink waiting for me.  And a plate of buffalo chicken mac & cheese as well.

Did I mention that I have great friends?

Sadly, despite the culinary rapture that is the buffalo mac & cheese, it's becoming apparent that it might be bad luck.  I'm not writing it off just yet (it's just too damn good), but we might have to go back to what was working before.

The Couture Corner

The first time Toronto rolled into town this season, I was ecstatic over what sweaters I might find in the stands. On my subsequent birthday trip to the Great White North, I was pretty much in sweater heaven. But for this game, my hopes were a bit tempered.

Maybe it was the Tuesday night scheduling.  Perhaps it was because we were on the third straight original six matchup and I was getting burned out.  In any case, I wasn't feeling it that night.  And that's how it kind of played out:

Circa 2006 Mats Sundin home

Whatever good was done by wearing this sweater of one of the all-time great Leafs, it was completely shot to hell by the fact that she decided to tuck it in!


Haven't we all seen this PSA by now?

Oh hells no.  No Good.

Circa 2006 Tie Domi Away

I've said it before, but Tie Domi was one of those players that you absolutely hated when he played for the other team, but you would probably love if he played for yours.

Add in the fact that this was one of my favorite looks for the Leafs, especially that this was their final look before Reebok messed up the NHL in 2007-8.

Me likey.

The Row 12 Rundown

Robyn had the honors in seat 11 and we were graced with the presence of not only Chris and Lauren, but Cassie was there as well.  Charla, Kathi and the kids passed on this one.

As for our friends in row 13, Bill and Carol were MIA.  Well, until Heather and I ran into them during the first intermission.  They were selling 50/50 raffle tickets to benefit the Waterville Valley Adaptive Snow Sports Program.  They ended up joining us for the 3rd period.

Doosh of the Day

I could go in a bunch of directions here:  The chick with the tucked in Sundin sweater. The drunk (presumably underage) girls and their drunk-ass mother who had seats in row 10 but migrated to Charla's seats.  The drunk asses who showed up at 7:34 of the second period to claim those seats.

All worthy (unworthy?) candidates.  But I'm going to give it to the Garden usher who didn't show up until midway through the second period.  All during the first period and half of the second period we had people entering while the puck was in play, despite signs asking people to wait for a stoppage.  So when the aforementioned group showed up to claim their rightful seats from the drunk squatters, the usher finally showed up. However, he failed horribly to rectify the problem in a timely fashion, the delay leading to a number of people standing up in the row and aisles, blocking the view for anyone seated behind them.

Frustrated by this, I called him out on his ineptitude. As did a few others in row 13 behind me.

His solution was to get security to come up to our section, presumably to seek me out and possibly have me tossed.  Cassie ended up intercepting him, much to my good fortune.

In any case, it should never have escalated to that point and Garden security only has themselves to blame.

The Clothes Line

Sadly, there wasn't much to choose from.  I know my friend Scott was there in his Vladimir Ruzicka Bruins sweater, but I wasn't able to meet up with him due to the security snafu.

The only sweater that I was able to get a picture of that was of any interest was this:

2009 Byron Bitz Alternate

Yeah, I know, nothing special.  Neither was Bitzy.  A smart guy (he played at Cornell), he was a 4th line grinder when he was here before he was traded to the Panthers in the Dennis Seidenberg trade.

As for my attire, I went with the 1991-2 Cam Neely throwback.  Original Six game.

The Lobel Prize

So here comes Phil Kessel riding a 14 game goal draught.  Phil Kessel - who hadn't scored against the Bruins during play (I'm excluding his shootout goal) since he was traded to the Leafs.  Phil Kessel - the guy who was getting blasted in the Toronto press for his lack of grit and work ethic.

So what happens?  He scores twice.  Fires four shots on net in 18:37 of ice time.  He did finish a -2 on the night.  But that was small consolation given the final score.

I hate him.

As for the other former Bruin on the Leafs' roster, Colton Orr was out with a concussion.

The Home End

This just plain sucked.  The Bruins were swept by the Wings over the weekend and Montreal was catching up in the standings.  Plus the media was all over a potential trade between the Bruins and Leafs that had the home team possibly landing Tomas Kaberle while he was in town.

Kessel had everything going against him - the media hates him, he can't score, his determination is being questioned, etc.  And all he does is score twice.  Mikhail Grabovski netted a pair himself, including the game winner at 18:59 in the third and James Reimer turned in a decent effort in goal.  Meanwhile, the Bruins looked tired and disengaged.  Tim Thomas might be in need of a bit of a break at this point.

Up next is a tilt on the Island on Thursday.  Here's hoping the losing streak ends.

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