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Dustin Penner is the Man

Well we all know what happened a year ago when the B’s had their honorary trip to the White House, as a guest of the President of the United States for winning the Stanley Cup this past summer.

The Kings are expected to visit the White House today and meet with the President. This year none of the Kings will be choosing not to attend, although, Dustin Penner did have a comment about the trip.

CBS Boston “After careful consideration,” Penner tweeted, “I’ve decided not to visit the White House today for political reasons LOL JK I’m not an idiot!Free trip? I’m in!”

Nothing like having the balls to throw out a jab or two every now and then.

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Pre-game Skate: B’s v. Caps

Its going to hurt for a second but be a man, suck it up and deal with it. Just like taking off a band-aid, one motion, right off.

OK, its over. Just a reminder of what this shitbum team did to our title defense last season. We can move on now.

No better way for the Bruins to bounce back after a tough loss to the Habs the other night than turning right around and taking on the team who knocked them out of the playoffs last season. It also helps that we don’t have Mr. I hate America with us as the team makes a trip to the nations capital.

Washington (8-11-1) currently resides in fourth place in the Southeast Division. Although they are only 6 points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference they still need to leap frog six teams to make the cut.

Hopefully the Bruins are too jealous of how the Caps are playing. Big spot for the B’s tonight, a win will at least keep pace with Montreal who is playing on the Island tonight.

Peace Out Ya Boob

ESPNThe New York Islanders have acquired goaltender Tim Thomas in a trade with the Boston Bruins, the teams said.

The Bruins acquired a conditional second-round pick in 2014 or ’15 in the deal.

The move is believed to be purely a cap-related transaction. While the Bruins receive cap space from clearing the last year of Thomas’ four-year, $20 million contract from the books, the Islanders add some insurance to reach the cap floor.

A source told ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun that Thomas still doesn’t want to play this season. In addition, the Bruins did not need his permission to trade his rights; his no-trade clause disappeared after last season.

“Thomas’ situation is status quo,” Thomas’ agent, Bill Zito, told ESPN The Magazine’s Craig Custance. “As far as I know, none of this had anything to do with Tim. In fact, it was news to us when we learned of it.”

Assuming he does not play, Thomas will remain suspended (as he was by the Bruins), and the Islanders will not have to pay him any actual salary. Because he has a 35-plus contract, his salary-cap charge counts regardless of whether he plays.

Good riddance. Can’t take anything away from what Thomas did during the Bruins Stanley Cup run, if not for him the team probably wouldn’t have won the Cup.

That aside, the guy just took his ball and went home like the slow, fat kid who gets picked last in gym class. Guy, thinks the world is actually going to end on December 2012 so he moves to Colorado to live in a bunker to avoid the “end of the world”.

Have fun with the worst franchise in the league.

Get Ready For The Year of Thomas

Just because Tim Thomas is taking a year off from hockey, doesn’t mean he will fly under the radar and people will have to wonder what he is up to.

We all know he became an interesting media figure last year when he refused to go to the White House and had other political comments he felt he needed to voice. Well Thomas has opened his mouth yet again.

Over the past few weeks, in Boston, the owners of Chick-Fil-A restaurants have been taking heat for their stances on gay marriages. Naturally, Tim Thomas felt the need to chime in;

CBS Boston“I stand with Chick-fil-A,” Thomas wrote. “Chick-fil-A is privately owned by the Cathy family. The company president, Dan Cathy, drew the wrath of gay rights advocates and supporters when he made recent statements that some have alleged are anti-gay.”

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’” Thomas quoted Cathy from The Ken Coleman Show. “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.”

This guy just doesn’t know when to quit. Well, he did know he needed to quit hockey (thank God) but just because he will not be sporting the spoked B this season, I’m going to find it hard to believe we won’t be hearing comments like this during the course of the season.

Thomas is Taking His Ball and Going Home

TSNTim Thomas is seriously considering taking a one-year sabbatical from hockey, and the Boston Bruins are proceeding as if their goalie will do just that, GM Peter Chiarelli said Friday.

Thomas, 38, has one year left on his contract that carries a $5 million cap hit. That will count against the salary cap regardless of his decision, Chiarelli told reporters on a conference call.

Chiarelli said Thomas’ agent informed him of the possibility in early May, and that Chiarelli wasn’t sure of the reasoning behind it, though he added that Thomas “gave some reasons regarding family.”

“After we won the Cup, he was tired,” Chiarelli said. “With all the stuff that’s been going on the last two years, with the winning and the appearances, I think he’s worn down.”

Go ahead, every one tell me how great he is. Boston icon, legend, class-act. Be a man about it and retire. Nope not Thomas’ m.o. Just like how he avoided all press when it came to the D.C. incident, he is going to run off to Colorado Springs (where he moved his family during the middle of last season) and walk away from the team. Leaving them with $5 mil on the books they will not be able to get rid of next season.

Now, there could be a legitimate reason, family issues or what have you. But until I hear a legit reason from Thomas, he’s a bum.

B’s vs. Capitals; Round One Preview


You ready now?? Does it feel real?? Are you ready?? Because if your not ready after that…well, your just not ready.

Here we are, the true defense of the Stanley Cup begins. Sure the Bruins were the defending champions all season and all roads went through the Bruins in order for someone to claim the Cup. But it is kind of cliche, considering there was the chance the Bruins could miss the playoffs (a very slim chance) but anything can happen in sports.

It is funny how sports works. For months it almost seemed set in stone the Bruins would face-off against division rival Ottawa in the first round of the playoffs, then on the last day of the season Washington leap-frogs Ottawa and gets the no. 7 seed and a trip to Boston.

Of course its Washington in the first round. After the whole Tim Thomas issue with blowing-off the White House back in January. It would be the Capitals coming to town for the playoffs. And don’t worry, the White House issue has already come up.

CBS BostonThomas, who stated shortly after the White House trip that he’d no longer answer any questions about his decision not to attend, was asked Monday about the White House once again.

“Just given the setting, that it’s in D.C., is there any concern on your part about the White House getting kicked up?” asked CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty.

“Thanks, guys,” Thomas quickly replied. “We finally got someone to get me out early. Thank you.

The last time these two teams met in the playoffs was the 1998 season. The Capitals got the best of the Bruins 4-2 in the series. Back when former Bruins were pulling off heart breaks left and right. Joe Juneau, Adam Oates were at the heart of ruining the Bruins season. Although the Bruins did have an overtime goal taken away from them due to the “toe in the crease rule”.

This season, there is a former Bruin on the Caps in Dennis Wideman but we’ll see if the Caps have the same magic they did back in 1998. The Bruins went 1-2-1 against the Capitals this season. Boston was 13-12 in the four games series this season.

The two regulation losses were bad losses for the Bruins. The win was the only highlight in Massachusetts on Super Bowl Sunday. The shootout loss was a good loss, the Bruins showed character. They came back from down 2-0 in the third period to tie the game but unfortunately lost in the shootout.

Here are highlights from the four games this season.

Jan 24 — @ Washington (L 5-3)

Feb 5 — @ Washington (W 4-1)

March 10 — Washington (L 4-3)

March 29 — Washington (L 3-2 SO)

But as for how this series will play out. The Caps caught the B’s amidst a terrible slump when they got their first two wins and like I just said earlier, although the Caps got two points on March 29th, the B’s still played a better game.

In order for the Bruins to win the series they are going to have to let their depth play to their advantage. One of the major reasons why the Bruins won the Cup last year, but are also successful in general, is because there is no break in their lines. They just throw out line after line who will rough you up and can put the puck in the net.

Since Chara has been on the Bruins, he has always done a good job of shutting down Ovechkin. Not to mention the B’s should be able to exploit the lack of back-checking in Ovechkin’s game and cause turnover and odd-man rushes in the offensive zone and score some goals.

The Bruins said today Nathan Horton will be shutdown for the rest of the postseason. Not really a surprise that he won’t play. But bigger news is McQuaid will be out for game one.

ESPN BostonBoston Bruins coach Claude Julien said defenseman Adam McQuaid (eye) will not be in the lineup for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Washington Capitals on Thursday at TD Garden.

“He didn’t skate again today, so he’s certainly not going to be part of our lineup tomorrow [Thursday],” Julien said.

The availability of defenseman Johnny Boychuk (knee) will be decided on Thursday, according to Julien. Boychuck hasn’t played since April 3 when he was hurt on a collision with Penguins forward Arron Asham.

“He’s feeling fairly good, so we want to remain optimistic with him,” Julien said.

So what does this mean, it means everyone will be sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for Joe Corvo’s first idiot move in game one. He’s got to play. There’s no way around it. Well, there is, Mottau could play instead. I’d be surprised if Corvo saw more than 10 minutes of ice time tomorrow night.

As for a prediction…well, last season I picked the opposition in every series they played. I never had a good feeling about the opponent. Not much has changed this year. I would have much rather played Ottawa in the first round but he, you can’t get everything you want. A third string goalie, a superstar player who was not on top of the game all season, a head coach who was hated during his career for dirty play, and a team that played you pretty well all season. It has all the makings of a first round upset for the Capitals.

Thomas Saga Continues

Yesterday after practice, Thomas had a slew of media members in front of his locker with one thing on their mind, to ask him about the recent post to his Facebook page. Thomas chose to use his right as an American to answer the questions.

CBS Boston“I say that that’s my personal life, it has absolutely nothing to do with the Bruins or hockey. And I’m going to use my right to remain silent,” said Thomas in response to the first question about his Facebook post.

Thomas used pretty much the same response when asked about whether he’d consider a career in politics after hockey, and when asked whether he thinks his teammates are being impacted by his suddenly attention-grabbing public opinions.

Then Thomas decided to give a lesson in the difference between life and hockey.

“This is my job. Facebook is my personal life. That’s why,” said Thomas about the decision to post things where all the public can read them. “If you guys don’t understand the difference between an individual and what they do as a job, or an athlete and his personal life, then I think there’s a problem.”

Thomas, your absolutely right. Things you post on Facebook is your private life and it does not have anything to do with the Bruins. However…when your Facebook page is public and everyone can read it, now its not really part of your personal life.

In this media driven world anything can blow up in a person’s face. I understand Thomas (in his personal life) can express what ever opinions he would like but at the end of the day when those opinions are put on a public forum someone is going to ask him about his comments.

Now, after a practice, Thomas is spending time in his locker being drilled with questions about his political stances and comments. Instead of being asked how he could help the team get out of their slump in which they have only won 1 game in their last 4 tries and have not won back-to-back games since Jan 12. Coincidentally a week before Thomas blew off the teams White House visit.

Here We Go Again, SHUT UP THOMAS!

Well on the day of a game Tim Thomas decided to open his mouth and voice his opinion about the world views and feelings…from, you guessed it, behind the comfort of his computer screen.

CBS Boston On Wednesday, Thomas’ Facebook page again created some news, as the Bruins’ goaltender issued an unsolicited statement in support of Catholics.

“I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom,” Thomas wrote, followed by a quote from Martin Niemoller.

“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist,” Niemoller’s quote begins. “Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

WHERE IS YOUR HEAD DUDE!!! It clearly doesn’t seem like it’s focused on stopping the puck. Once again your personal opinions is becoming a distraction for the team. Now in no way am I saying that is the reason why the Bruins lost last night. But it doesn’t help when one guy is off voicing his opinions about his political and religious views while the rest of the team is focused on winning games.

And he is doing in behind the comfort of his own computer where he can make his statement absolutely perfect. There is no chance of him stumbling over his words, like if he was speaking in a press conference. Now the rest of the team will be forced to answer questions because your not going to be man enough to stand in front of the mic and talk to the media.

Just cowardly.

Drawing Parallels, B’s Can Repeat Without Thomas

So the other day while I was driving around I got to thinking. Ever since the passing on the White House excursion, Tim Thomas has been under the microscope. Thomas was not playing his best hockey at the time he fell into the spot light for his choice to pass the White House tour.

For those reading this is not another White House rant.

After last season Thomas was looked at as a God of sorts among Bostonians. Talks of repeats and greatness began to emerge with the core of the team returning the following season (this year). Now, a repeat is something that has not been done in the NHL since the Red Wings won the Cup in the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons.

So what parallels could one draw from those Red Wings teams and this current Bruins team, a team which is in the middle of defending their championship. I chose to look at goaltending. So if you will, follow me on my little journey through the statistics that are the goaltenders of the defending champions.

Red Wings goalies 1996-97
Mike Vernon
Chris Osgood

Bruins goalies 2010-11
Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

Throughout the playoffs last season it was said over and over again how Tim Thomas had a postseason no goalie had ever had in recent history. Well I guess recent history doesn’t include the years 1996-1998.

Stats:

NAME GP W-L GAA SO AGE
THOMAS 25 16-9 1.98 4 37
VERNON 20 16-4 1.76 1 34

So, Mike Vernon, who led the Red Wings to a championship with a better GAA than “the savior” Tim Thomas. Now I know what some of you are saying well he didn’t have as many shutouts as Thomas and he played in five less games than Thomas.

Well luck for you I left that stat out on purpose. In Tim Thomas’ 25 playoff games last season he allowed 51 goals. Vernon allowed just 36 in his 20 games. So, if Vernon played in five more games would he have given up 15 more goals. Possibly it is only three goals a game. Well…In the 20 post season games the Red Wings played that season, only ONE TIME did they give up three goals in a game. Oh yeah, the game Vernon gave up three goals…it was a triple OT game, so in five-plus periods he only let three by.

After a tremendous post season by both tenders, if would seem like the smart thing to do put the same goaltender back between the pipes in the following season while trying to defend the Cup.

Well, the Red Wings got rid of Vernon, he moved on to San Jose the following year. Vernon played six more NHL seasons (until age 40) and in his three more post season appearances his lowest GAA was 2.41 and he never made it out of the first round.

The reason for Vernon’s departure was for the young stud, Chris Osgood. Surprisingly the 24 year-old played more games in the regular season than Vernon did during the Wings cup run in 1996. The season before he was the back-up while the Red Wings were winning a Stanley Cup he (Osgood) played 50 games in a season where the Wings lost in the Conf. Finals.

Hmm, sounds familiar. Oh yeah, the Bruins have Tuukka Rask, who played 45 games in 2009-10 as a 22 year-old.

Comparisons:
-As starting goalies

NAME GP W-L GAA SO SV%
RASK 45 22-12-5 1.97 5 .931
OSGOOD 50 39-6-5 2.17 5 .911

–This is the season before becoming back-ups in the playoffs.

In the playoffs the year before their teams won the Cup:

NAME GP W-L GAA SO SV%
RASK 13 7-6 2.61 0 .912
OSGOOD 16 8-6 2.12 2 .898

The season after their teams won the Cup:

NAME GP W-L GAA SO SV%
RASK* 25 11-6-2 1.88 3 .936
OSGOOD 64 33-20-11 2.21 6 .913

*Currently in mid-season

Post-season, the year after their team won the Cup:

NAME GP W-L GAA SO SV%
OSGOOD 22 16-6 2.12 2 .918

So looking at the big picture, Rask (currently 24) is one year younger than Osgood was when he took over the Red Wings in the season when they repeated as Cup champions. The last team to do so.

Main Point:
The Bruins can repeat without Tim Thomas, the goalie who had a career year leading the team to a championship the season before.

Team Chara Takes Victory


A day after Big Z blew the competition away with his 108.8 MPH slap shot, his team took the ice against team Alfredsson for the All-Star game in Ottawa. Team Chara took down Team Alfredsson 12-9.

The game was pretty evenly matched, each team scored three goals in each of the first two periods. Tim Thomas held Team Alfredsson to three goals in the third while Team Chara exploded for six third period goals. Thomas also had the save of the day.

Highlights of the game, in the video above are at Evgeni Malkin’s goal (0:30), Marian Gaborik’s goal (1:07), Daniel Alfredsson’s goal (3:30), Phil Kessel’s goal (4:35), Marian Hossa (5:37), Zdeno Chara (5:50),