I’ve noted many times in this space that I am pretty much just a casual hockey fan – though I follow the team closely and keep up with all moves and news – but last night was one of the most entertaining sporting events I’ve witnessed in some time.

Fed up with the antics of the Canucks, and after seeing a cheap shot in the first period send teammate Nathan Horton to the hospital, the Bruins unleashed the fury on Vancouver last night, routing the Canucks 8-1 at TD Garden to get back into the Stanley Cup Finals. Vancouver still leads the series two games to one with game four set for tomorrow night at the Garden. Get the complete links at Bruinslinks.com.

Response team – Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins stepping up their game after Horton was taken out. More game stories and wrapups from Steve Conroy | Paul Kenyon | Amanda Bruno | Mick Colageo | Danny Picard | James Murphy | DJ Bean

Bruins earn redemption in Game 3 – Joe Haggerty has the Bruins getting themselves back into the series. Bob Ryan says that this performance was a long time in coming. Jackie MacMullan has the Bruins responding with force.  Douglas Flynn has the Bruins determined to win after the hit on Horton.

Thomas’s performance is a huge hit – Tim Thomas not only protected his net from the puck last night, he also managed to level Henrik Sedin to the delight of Bruins fans. Michael Whitmer looks at a memorable night for the Bruins goaltender. More on Thomas from Ron Borges | Matt Kalman

Shawn Thornton’s impact play – Stephen Harris has Thornton a big hit in his return to the active lineup. More on Thornton from Joe McDonald | Matt Kalman | Jesse Connolly 

Neely suiting up for different duty – Bob Ryan has the Bruins Hall of Famer reflecting on 25 years in Boston. Bill Burt wants to give Neely full credit for the Bruins resurgence.

Cherry on top of all things Bruins-related – Stephen Harris has the former Bruins coach delighted to see his former team back in the Finals.

Hits still issue they can’t lick – Kevin Paul Dupont has a pair of articles on hits in the NHL and the discipline (or lack thereof) being handed out by the league. The second one is NHL deserves assist on hit.

Marchand not short on the right stuff – Barbara Matson has the rookie showing his electic stuff with a short-handed goal.

Mark Recchi quiets critics – Dan Duggan has the 43-year-old netting a pair of goals in the win.

Bruins’ Ference threw his weight around – Eric McHugh looks at the big contributions from the defenseman.

Funny business by Milan Lucic – Steve Conroy’s notebook has coach Claude Julien not amused by the antics of his forward in taunting the Canucks last night. The Globe notebook from Fluto Shinzawa has more on the contributions of Thornton. The ProJo Bruins Journal has more on the hit on Horton, which will keep him out for the remainder of the series. The CSNNE.com notes have more on Julien chastising his team for their taunting. The New England Hockey Journal has Canucks coach Vigneault subtly insulting Nathan Horton and blaming him for his injury.

The new prospect crop: Sox hope first day of draft yields impact – Alex Speier has a look at the prospects drafted by the Red Sox on the first night of the MLB draft.

Adrian Gonzalez not perfect, yet worth every dime – Gerry Callahan with a column on the Red Sox new slugger, which predictably is not so much a prose of praise for Gonzalez as it is a chance to bash Manny Ramirez, who Callahan says “bilked” the Red Sox out of $160 million.

He’s comfortable with his position – Michael Vega has Jarrod Saltalamacchia coming into his own with the Red Sox.

Jon Lester not rolling with Red Sox – Gordon Edes notes that the Red Sox lefty has been surprisingly average during Boston’s hot streak.

Sox never so eager to go to the Bronx – Tom Caron has the Red Sox looking forward to their series with the AL East leading Yankees.

Red Sox, Yanks renew rivalry with first place on line – Scott Lauber’s notebook has the two teams ready to battle. The Globe notebook from Peter Abraham has more on Lester’s struggles.

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27 thoughts on “Bruins Bark Worse Than Vancouver’s Bite

  1. Guaranteed loss in Game 4 coming. Teams that lay a blowout win upon the opposition always seem to lose the next game.

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    1. Classless · 1 day ago
      "Guaranteed loss in Game 4 coming. Teams that lay a blowout win upon the opposition always seem to lose the next game".

      nice call

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  2. Bruce:

    I too am a casual fan. Last night's game reminded why I dislike the NHL product so much. 145 minutes of penalties. Chippy, immature taunting, no flow to the game. It was horrible. Great the Bruins won a lopsided 8-1 victory. Marchand's goal…awesome! Woohoo! Now what. Horton is in the hospital, more than one player may miss the Stanley Cup finals because he gets suspended for fighting, and tomorrows game will start at 0-0. Compared to the Tampa series all three of these games have been difficult to watch. As far as I can tell the NHL took 2 steps forward during the Tampa series in the Boston market and now is taking at least 1 backward. How old is Milan Lucic…5? What about Mark Recchi? Not that the Bruins are the only ones to blame. What is Rome thinking launching at Horton in the finals. Clearly there was intent to intimidate and injure on the same play. Its bush league. We can blame the NHL for letting the biting incident go unpunished…but the fact is the buck stops with the players.

    Of course the Boston media heads are all over it…the cheap chippy play. The national guys are a little more neutral…maybe it was a clean hit…just late. Come on…the real problem is the thugs seem to be taking over from the skaters. Is it H. Sedine who has not yet had a shot on goal? Its games like last night that alienate fans. That was not entertaining…it was boring. Now before the Big Bad Bruin hockey fans jump all over this post…think about it for a second. I am not arguing against physical play. Nor am I railing against the mucking style the Bruins are playing. I am simply saying that 145 minutes of penalties resulting in 14 power plays slowed the game down immensely. It took about 3 hours to play that game. Game 7 versus Tampa was 2.5 hours. When the top players are ejected from the game for losing their composure…something is wrong.

    One more comment on the game…why would the Vancouver coach leave a goalie (Luongo) in to have 8 goals scored on him? Down 6 wasn't enough to let the back up in and stop the humiliation? Why aren't any of the media asking that question?

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    1. it was mentioned in one of the articles above that the Vancouver coach gave Luongo the option of coming out after the 5th goal, but Luongo opted to stay in and take the beating with the rest of his teammates….I would also argue that while last night's game was wildy entertaining for all of us Bruins fans (and fans of hockey karma as well), the game on the ice was pretty ugly and not something that should be compared to game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. I mean it was a blowout and things turned ugly. That sort of thing happens in every sport when the score gets out of hand.

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      1. I did not see the comment about Luongo electing to stay in and take the beating. If I had I would have said…its not the player's call…its the coach's call. Again…what are we 5 years old…"Dadddddd I don't wanna come out, don't take me out". Do what's best for your team…not the bloated ego of a player.

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          1. It's no different than when a pitcher has a hizzy fit when the manager comes to pull him late in a game. The manager says…you are tired and coming out. The player to prove his manhood says…leave me in coach. I understand why the player says what he says…he has an ego and does not want to admit he failed. Its the coaches job to do what is best for his team. Letting a goalie give up 8 goals…never good for the team. Its like leaving a pitcher in to give up 10 runs. It should never happen.

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          2. I don't think you understand what ego is. Ego is a feeling that you are superior than everyone else. "Proving your manhood" is not the same as ego at all. If I decide I want to skydive even though I'm afraid of heights, does that make me egotistical? Of course not. That's absurd. If I decide I want to be the first out of the door of the plane because all you'll do is get in my f—ing way if you're first — THAT'S ego.

            If Luongo had said "I didn't want to be in net and possibly get injured because my shitty defensemen couldn't take the puck from an uncoordinated PeeWee player tonight," that would be egotistical. If he had said "I don't want to come out of the game because my backup is the shittiest goaltender who ever lived, and I didn't want my teammates to lose 56-1", that would be egotistical. Staying in to take his lumps because the other guys he was letting down by his play also had to stay out on the ice? The OPPOSITE of egotism.

            You're utterly wrong on this one, LTD.

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          3. Dave:

            The Ego of professional athletes is such that they never want to leave a game because they always think being replaced opens the door for someone else to take their job. Tom Brady has said such many times when asked if he should be pulled late in a blowout. Don't kid yourself, Luongo was not suddenly magnanimous, it was his ego that said…leave me in coach. I am not wrong nor am I confused as to how to define the word ego. However I do still read all your posts because they are usually right and interesting…don't know what happened this time 😛

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    2. "Why aren't any of the media asking that question?"

      They did. The Vancouver coach asked the goalie if he wanted to come out and said something to the effect of "Not on your life".

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        1. Yeah, I know. Alex and I posted it at roughly the same time and our posts were approved by Bruce (or whoever) and appeared at the same time. If he post was there before I wrote mine, I wouldn't have wrote it.

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    3. As a non-casual fan, I invite you to stop commenting on something you know nothing about and have little interest in.

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  3. Bruce, I was as rabid a B's fan as there could be from about 1974-1994. After the new building opened in '95 and, at the same time, I finally had my eyes opened to how Jacobs simply wasn't willing to spend the money necessary to win a Cup, I soured, though I remained a "casual" fan and also attended games whenever I could score some freebies through work or acquaintences; I haven't actually paid to see a Bruins game more than two or three times in the last 10 years. That said, since the salary cap went into place Jacobs has done what's been necessary to put the team on a competitive footing, but I have to admit that only recently have I begun to get back into the game of hockey at close to the same level as before. These playoff games have been a reminder of how great the sport can be when it's played at its highest level. Yes, the goonishness of this series has been offputting, but believe me, it's nothing compared to what old time hockey fans like me remember seeing back in the mid-70s, when the Flyers and their fists ruled the league.

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  4. Good points LTD, but remember that the high number of penalty minutes is a rarity for a Stanley Cup Final game (think I heard it was the second highest number ever assessed). Of course Game 7 vs. Tampa Bay was just as rare for having zero infractions called.

    If the league had clamped down on handling the Burrows situation the way he clamped down on Bergeron’s digit it’s likely that last night’s game plays out differently and we’re having a completely different discussion, because the thugs you referenced don’t take over and try doling out their own brand of NHL vigilante justice. Campbell having to recuse himself for this series set the stage for this possibility to occur.

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  5. Just caught a couple of minutes of Felger & Mazz – did I hear correctly, that Tony is now saying the league made a mistake not suspending Burrows, when last week following Game 1 he kept ranting that players shouldn’t miss games for these offenses because otherwise the league would have had to suspend Horton for his actions during Game 6 of the Lightning series?

    Guess if I was going to try and answer my own question, the correct response would be YARM (you’re absolutely right Mazz)!

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  6. A Few Stanley Cup Media Notes:

    1) Michael Felger must have felt a little awkward interviewing Jeremy Roenick yesterday during CSNNE's pre-game show. Felger has ripped Roenick numerous times for gambling transgressions and for being someone who is full of himself.( I guess it takes one to know one.) Felger did call Roenick "Styles" but backed away from wising off.

    2) Felger and Maz did have a good interview with the always interesting Harry Sinden. Felger did call out Sinden for not spending money. Sinden said the Bruins were not going to be irresponsible financially like Detroit or New York. Felger told Sinden that the Bruins should have been one of the bullies in the NHL and the Bruins fiscal policy is why the team became second class citizens in New England. Felger is correct. It was very frustrating as a fan to see players like Mark Messier, Paul Coffey and Brendan Shannahan become available and you knew your team was not even going to try to get them. Felger conducted the interview in an honest manner without acting like a tool. Maz got Sinden to say that 1969 and 1974 were the two toughest losses for him to take. As much as Sinden frustrated me, he is without a doubt one of the best story tellers you will hear.

    3) I know there are a lot of people on this site who dislike Mutnansky and Merloni but they are much better than blowhard Andy Gresh. Gresh has looked completely foolish during the playoffs. He said that Tyler Seguin should not see the light of day because he will be like a deer in the headlights. Seguin in his first two games had three goals and three assists. He then said Shawn Thornton will give you nothing if he is brought in. Thornton in game three was terrific using both physical ability and mental intimidation. After looking foolish, Gresh did what many in the BSM do, he made something up. He said that people are saying Shawn Thornton was the reason the Bruins won 8-1. Really? Who are these people Andy? Maybe they are ghosts whispering in your head. I have not heard anyone say this. By the way, Mut and Lew had Brian Leetch and Mike Milbury on this afternoon and it was good radio. Leetch was very impressive.

    4) Speaking of Shawn Thornton, CBC's Coaches Corner with Don Cherry shows why it is some of the best five to ten minutes there is on television. Cherry explained how Thornton might have been the fuel that led to the Nathan Horton hit. The CBC had an isolated camera on Thornton. Thornton hit Alex Burrows around the five minute mark in the first period. As Thornton started to come off the ice, he was chirping at the Vancouver bench. The person who was in his cross-hairs was Aaron Rome. Rome's next shift was the Nathan Horton hit. Cherry says players should avoid talking to the opponents bench because you can pump up the players. You can see Rome is visibly upset at Thornton and became way too aggressive on the ice.
    Here is clip from the CBC. http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Sports/CBC's_Hocke

    5) It is amazing how many people in the BSM treat Claude Julien like a piñata. The media still says the same things like the Bruins are winning despite Julien. Felger actually complained about the Bruins game seven victory over Tampa because they did not score enough. It seems like every button Julien has pushed has worked. I know the power play has been bad, with the exception of last night, but it is not for lack of trying. They have tried different combinations, and putting Chara at the net. Nothing seems to work.

    6) Amanda Grace wearing a Bruins t-shirt, verrrrry nniiiiccceee.

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    1. Not that I ever had much respect for Gresh to begin with, but he completely lost me last year when he and Zolak tweeted about Jacoby Ellsbury's ability to come back from injury, and I'm pretty sure I don't have to repeat the exact word he used. I don't care if he did that on the internet – to me that ranked about as unprofessional and indefensible as anything I have heard or read from someone in the media. He and Zolak are just barely above tolerable during football season because they know the subject, but the rest of the year they act like two spazzed-out junior high school bullies.

      BTW isn't Amanda Grace originally from Vancouver? Pretty impressive she's adopted the Bruins as her hockey team, even if she's living here now.

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      1. Gresh and Zo were some of the many BSM who did not acquit themselves very well during the Ellsbury situation. Gresh though was the worst with his disgraceful tweet. He then has the nerve to say he speaks for the fan. Baloney, he speaks for himself. The guys at the Maine Sports Network (mainesportsnetwork.com) did a great job covering Ellsbury. They knew just how bad Ellsbury was hurt.

        As despicable as the Canucks are, there must be something in the water with regards to nice looking reporters from Vancouver. Erin Hawksworth, former Fox 25 reporter, is also from the city. She has a twitpic of her at the finals. There is one word to describe it. WOW.

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  7. Awesome post mandb…. I do have two comments.

    1) Comparing Mutt and Merloni to Gresch is the PROBLEM. There used to be good sportstalk in that slot…now there isn't. Gresch does not know hockey…its not a newsflash. He will be much better than Mutt and Merloni in football season. Its great the M&M boys had a great segment or two. On the whole the show is unlistenable…and I really want it to work as I drive a lot while they are on the radio.

    2) I have always looked at Harry Sinden and Lou Gorman the same way…while Red Auerbach was doing everything he could to win championships…the two of them were more than happy to entertain the media, tell stories, and be rigidly incompetent because they knew, knew, knew their fan bases would never abandon them no matter how poorly they were treated. So it does not surprise me he does an entertaining 10 minutes of radio. It was when he was doing his real job that we had the problems.

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    1. Thanks Late,

      I agree with you that Mutt and Merloni are not as good as Dale and Holley, but I do not think they are that bad. I think that there may be some potential. Gresh though is just so obnoxious and loud and frankly not overly intelligent. He may know football but his boorishness trumps it. I still remember him defending Miami Dolphin GM, Jeff Ireland, after he asked Dallas Cowboy WR Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. Gresh said that the Dolphins are investing millions so they need to know everything. How does knowing that tell you whether a guy can run proper routes or make a catch? I wonder if Gresh, who is divorced, would like to be asked during an interview if he beat his wife? Did he screw around on her? I mean after all 98.5 is investing six figures on him. They should know everything.

      With regards to Sinden and Gorman, I think there is a slight difference. Sinden went along with the Jacobs corporate belief of cost certainty. He told Felger and Maz that they were not going to spend anymore than $56 million in total salaries per year. It was short sighted because revenues would have increased as the product was steadily great. Gorman I think really wanted to win and would do whatever he could within the confines of the Yawkey regime. He came close but no cigar.

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  8. "Put the puck in the damn net!" "Let's get this thing done!" "Go Boston!"

    Random hockey analysis from Zo the last few weeks.

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