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Written by Dani Toth | 05 June 2011

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What I had originally planned was to have a photo expedition from last night's game, but somehow the sun, the beach and some spot prawns got in the way of me uploading any photos. Just a couple quick thoughts here before Game 3 hits tomorrow

1. I love all the people watching the game outside on the street. The enthusiasm has been fantastic and so far I have heard nothing but good things about it.
2. I love to wear shorts to the game. Who knew that people did this?
3. I don't really care if the ratings were crap for Game 2, 5pm starts on Saturdays when it's nice outside means I'm pre-gaming on a patio....or oyster bar as the venue was yesterday
4. I love to walk out between intermissions or after the game and it's STILL BRIGHT OUTSIDE
5. Random high fives after a win are awesome
6. The knowing that every goal scored means so much more because it's the SCF
7. The screams of the arena when Burrows scored the OT winner were really, really loud. I don't think I can explain this well enough because it's one of those you had to be there moments
8. Jersey sales must have been through the roof recently, because there are a LOT of jerseys around the city
9. I would want to punch him in the face if he was on the other team, but Maxim Lapierre has been hilarious. I would also have a good hate on Burrows as well but what an effort in Game 2 by him
10. When Manny first hit the ice, the emotion in Rogers Arena was uncanny. I'm not sure if the camera's caught this but there were so many Manny chants that randomly broke out during the game that just felt right.

Now the best article I've read from the Boston media has come from Joe Haggerty on why the Canucks have beat Boston through two games. He really gets straight to the point saying that speed has killed Boston through two games. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 04 June 2011

When the Boston played Tampa, the Bruins marketing department released some ads featuring their Bruins bear and some views on Lightning fans. The Lightning fans didn't take well to this marketing scheme and forced the Bruins to take down the ads. Weak move there people who did this.

One of the best things is seeing what the opposition team/fans can dish up during the series. So I've compiled some by the Bruins themselves and from some of their blogs. If you have more, email me and I'll run another post about it.

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And because of this photoshop in December when Boston played Vancouver,

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The boys from Days of Y'Orr came up with this one...

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Which The Province it seems didn't love. But then again the writer who wrote that story in The Province, who is he and does he have no sense of humor? It looks he Kent Spencer just wanted to jump on the hockey writing bandwagon and this is all he could come up with.
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Written by Dani Toth | 04 June 2011

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I was musing to myself on what it would have been like if the Lightning had won in that Game 7 instead of the Bruins. I certainly would have developed a blogger split personality because of it and my twitter would have been a mess.

I don't know what it is about playing the Bruins over the Lightning, but it seems just a bit more legitimate. That a win over them would be better than a team like the Lightning. Them being in the East and Vancouver never having the chance to play them a lot makes them a bit of a mythical team. You remember their great years and the idea that they were really tough, but I quite frankly never saw them enough to make a better judgement outside of what I heard of the Bruins growing up. That has changed a lot in the past few years with things like GameCenter, but now that they are competitive, you see them in a similar position to the Canucks. Their team's window to win may be now and their fanbase is giving them support.

Not to disrespect Lightning fans, but we are just coming out of a dark time of being subject to some serious mismanagement of the team. Fans are a little timid in jumping back on the bandwagon and although the support has been fantastic in the playoffs, it's not the same pining that they have had to endure that Canucks and Bruins fans have.

Maybe it's that Boston was an original six team, and that's why it seems like a win over the Bruins is more legitimate. I have a feeling that if Vancouver won over the Lightning, I would forever hear that "Oh but you only beat the Lightning that year", like it was some fluke win.

Or maybe it's just because I didn't want to have to deal with blogging about two competing teams at the exact same time. This way, I can have a full on hate of the opposition team and relish in the win when we do but on the flip side, I'll also be more crushed if we end up losing to them. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 02 June 2011



Via @CanucksHD

Amazing work by HNIC on this intro no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 01 June 2011

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What a photo Raffi.

And what timing to be in the right place for that pass from Jannik. Just when I thought we were going to be headed to a triple overtime, Kesler starts off the play to Hansen who sets up Torres for the goal to win the game. This third line played phenomenal tonight and may have been the most dangerous on the ice with their breakaways. Let's be honest and admit that no one expected Torres to get the game winner, complete shocker. In an interview with Sportsnet, Jannik Hansen said that he knew to pass the puck to him since Raffi was calling for it the way that Raffi made it known he wanted the puck.

But let's all take a step back and realize that in addition to Torres' goal, Luongo got a shutout.

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I don't know if anything will ever end the Luongo critics, but his performance tonight got the job done. He made the saves that he needed to for a 36 goal performance. He looked solid in net, and there was no fear when the Bruins carried the puck into the zone or when they had a chance on the PP (which looked way better than last series). So huge game for Lu tonight.

And we can look at the other end of the rink to the performance of Tim Thomas, who tried everything to keep his team in the game. He was amazing. After watching him stone the Lightning last series, maybe I shouldn't be surprised anymore, but what a performance. There was many profanities yelled at my tv when he stoned the Canucks.

With Game 2 not till Saturday, this will give Hamhuis some time to recover from whatever injury he got from that hipcheck on Hamhuis. No point in seeing what the coach is going to say about his status now since they've got the extra day off to rest, and it's the playoffs so you won't get a straight answer no matter what.

Big game tonight, great win by the boys. Need to work on that PP because if this is what the rest of the series is going to look like, we need to capitalize on those chances.

Game 2 is 5pm Saturday.

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Written by Dani Toth | 01 June 2011

Sometimes the best way to get to know your playoff opponent is to get to know the people that know them the best. Yesterday I had the boys from Days of Y'Orr give me their opinions on the series today just hours before puck drop, Mark Marino from Bruins blog The Hub of Hockey was nice enough to take the time to give his thoughts on the series.

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I 'met' Mark last series when the Lightning played the Bruins and we were giving opposition views on the series on The Buzz by the Pulse Network. He knows his Bruins and runs an awesome blog at The Hub of Hockey, you can follow him on twitter here. It doesn't have any gnome photoshops but do check him out because he has some great coverage and previews to the series already.

So here is Mark's take on this series on his confidence in Claude Julien, the travel aspect of this series and of course his three words on Kaberle.

What has be the biggest strength for Boston in this series against the Canucks?

Their "system" which is defense-first. Their blueline has been solid all throughout with Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seideneberg, and even Andrew Ference has really stepped it up. Their forward will need to continue to backcheck on those dangerous Vancouver forwards. Boston's penalty-kill has been very good, and especially good last round against Tampa Bay. And finally, Tim Thomas. He can steal games, and they'll need him to be tip-top, no doubt.

What has be the biggest weakness for Boston in this series against the Canucks?

The biggest weakness without a doubt has been their power play; they're way under 10-percent this post season and had zero PP goals in Round 1 vs. Montreal. They've seemed to rectify that a bit, however, by placing Chara  on the top of the crease, down low, on the man-advantage. If they stick to that -- which has shown some promise -- by making a minor adjustment (replacing Tomas Kaberle for Patrice Bergeron on the point) we should see a better success rate.

Last series people were questioning Julien's coaching ability for not taking a time-out in one game against the Lightning. How confident are you in Julien going into this series?

There's always going to be skepticism and questions surround certain plays. What concerns me the most about the coaching issues is when Boston gets an early lead, north of a one-goal lead, then takes their foot off the gas pedal, plays back on their heels,only one forechecker in deep, and allows the opposition to play their game.

Also he's very rarely made the necessary in-game adjustments, We'll see the occasional tweak of the lines, sometimes, but nothing major. ie: shaking up the PP units, shortening his bench, etc.

But bottom line, he's got them this far. Players bought into  the system and his tactics -- whether we like them or not -- have worked. 

Both teams are getting a long rest before the SCF, how do you think that will affect Boston's momentum?

None at all. It's a couple of more days than Vancouver, so I think it's even. Players whom have been logging killer minutes -- Chara, Seidenberg -- can take a breather...as can 42-year-old Mark Recchi. But I think there are enough veterans and experience on this team to help make the layoff a non-factor.

Three words to describe Kaberle

Soft. Disappointing. Free-agent.

Boston doesn't do a lot of travel out of their own time zone as compared to Vancouver. How will the travel between Boston and Vancouver affect the team?

I think it's going to be big. Very big. Looking at the schedule, Games 1 & 2 won't affect them nearly as much as Games 3 and beyond. They'll fly out tonight for Game 1 on Wednesday, and have two off-days to practice and get even more acclimated for Game 2. They all leave late Saturday night/early Sunday to be back in Boston for Game 3 (Monday) and Game 4 (Wednesday), to only fly right back out West for Game 5 (if nec.) Friday.

Then again, albeit in the same time zone, they've been pretty solid on the road.

And finally: Predict the series

I'd lose 99.999% of my fans if I don't -- Bruins in 7 no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 31 May 2011

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So I asked the boys over at Days of Y'Orr to answer some questions on the series for Benched Whale. They were nice enough to help me out when the Lightning played the Bruins last series, and they were nice enough to help me out again.

They self-proclaim that they are 'just a bunch of Bruins fan schmuks talking about the Bruins like we're drunk at the bar (which is more than likely)', and that sounds like my kind of people. They have quickly become the best Bruins blogs out there. You may know them from the Montreal Canadiens Eulogy on Puck Daddy a few weeks ago or the Sedin gnome photoshops.

Besides checking out their blog for the photoshops, be sure to follow all of them all on twitter: Justin, Jon, Robb, Greg and Patrice Purr-geron (a field reporter who is a cat). I'm sure we'll talk a little smack as the series gets started, so give them a follow on twitter. Many thanks to the guys for taking the time to answer my questions.

What has be the biggest weakness for Boston in this series against the Canucks?


Special teams. Again. Boston has somehow made it through three rounds with a power play so atrocious it makes you sterile just watching it. Against a team like the Canucks the Bruins are REALLY going to need to completely bust their slump on the man advantage if they want to win.

Will Julien play the matchup up game or does he just roll all four Bruins lines?

I'd like to say he'll play the match up game but Julien is a stubborn, stubborn man. I think you'll see him roll four lines for the most part, though towards the end of the third period in Game 7 against Tampa he seemed to be double shifting Krejci and Horton. Would love to see more of that in tight games.

There are so many story lines that Vancouver has going into the series (Malhotra's comback, Bieksa's play, Kesler being unstoppable even on one leg etc), what is the biggest story about Boston that I won't hear about in Vancouver?

You're going to get the obvious stories about Thomas being awesome, Lucic being a home town boy and people in Boston burning Kaberle dolls. What you likely won't hear about, and is kind of corny we admit, is how much of a TEAM these Bruins are. One of the few key things we thought the Bruins were lacking the past few seasons is that sense of togetherness, a team that lived and died with and for each other on the ice. We think they have that now. They're a group of guys that are terribly afraid to let the men on their bench down. We think that is a point that simply can't be overlooked when it comes to winning.

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Three words to describe Kaberle


Overrated. Sloppy. Vomit-inducing

Boston doesn't do a lot of travel out of their own time zone as compared to Vancouver. How will the travel between Boston and Vancouver affect the team?

 This part concerns us a bit. During the regular season the Bruins were known to slump a bit and get tired after a long road trip of excessive travel. Going coast to coast could take its toll, especially on dudes like Recchi. We're hoping the fact that there is not guarantee of being back in the Cup finals if they blow it here is motivation enough to help them fight through it.

Milan Lucic has a lot of family and friends in Vancouver that are also Canucks fans. If you were them, are you putting on a B's jersey or Canucks?

We think you'll see his friends and family pop on some black and gold Lucic jerseys, but not be terribly disappointed when the Sedin twins embarrass Kaberle and score.

Predict the series.

Vancouver is a powerhouse. No denying that. By far the most dangerous team the Bruins have faced, top to bottom. But at the beginning of the season we picked the Bruins to go all the way and we're sticking by that.  The Bruins just keep rising to every challenge in these playoffs. Just when you think they're done or falling, they come back and kick you in the balls and give you a Ference finger. We think it is going to be a long series, with a couple of high scoring games and an early, "demoralizing" Canucks in in Game 1 or 2. But we see the Bruins finding a way to win in another Game 7 to end a drought and send us partying in the streets. no comments