Okay, so shoot me for completely missing the Bruins/Panthers encounter. I dropped the ball, got a little busy, but things happen. Besides, Bruins fans should see it as a blessing. They haven't had that kind of offensive explosion since I started writing about them. Silver lining perhaps.
Byron Bitz had the fans chanting "We Want Bitz" during the 6-1 thrashing of the Panthers. Yes, he's been solid since coming up and maybe he'll keep his spot when everybody gets healthy, at least I think he should. However, Bitz needs to play at a high level of physical play each and every night out. He's got the body, there's no reason why he can't dominate battles along the boards and behind the net.
Also, nice to see Mr. Ryder back.
Looking at Mike Millbury's pregame plan. Physical play is number one on his list. Shocking. I remember mentioning that about 50,000 times over the past two weeks.
No Aaron Ward, out with an injury. Matt Hunwick has been recalled from Providence. Probably for the better all around.
Let's see if Milan Lucic's physicality cna spur the team on like it did against Florida. Once he started hitting people, everyone else quickly followed suit.
I'm also hoping Bergeron is not on the power play point with Zdeno Chara. Lost hope is good.
Why does Jack Edwards always have to make a reference to "buzzing around" when he mentions the B's? They're Bruins, Jack. They don't buzz. They maul, rip and maim.
I had to add this in, NESN has a Jack Edwards bingo game. You get a spot when he uses some of his oft-uses spaces. I may have to play along with the live blogs. Just for the fun of it.
To prove I'm not joking...
I'm not sure I know what to say with things like He Bangs Him, Blows a Tire and Cocks and Fires on here, but Jack will be Jack. (Not to mention Reaches Around...)
And we're underway...
18:50 - Savard breaks into the zone with Kessel, 2 on 0, couple of slick passes between them, but Bret Hedican recovers well to break up a pontential shot.
16:20 - Getzlaf makes a brilliant pass ahead to Perry who's wrister from the right is saved by Timmy Thomas. Good flow so far, Bruins dominating the neutral zone and generally looking livelier.
13:36 - Things moving fast but not really a lot to comment on. Thomas makes a nice save and there will be a face off to his right.
13:11 - Bruins Seventh Player voting for fans is back. How can Tim Thomas not win this award?
11:56 - Lucic has Selanne lined up for a hit and whiffs into the Ducks bench. Good stuff. However, Lucic is looking to hit people here and he has caused a couple of turnovers.
10:50 - Mark Stuart's slapper, headed for J.S. Giguere, careens off Bitz's skate. Tough luck shot there for the B's.
10:12 - Delayed call on the Ducks, Yelle has a tough angle shot and rings through the post! Penalty call is slashing on Sheldon Brookbank.
Video Highlights Courtesy Of NHL.com
9:30 - You'd swear the Ducks are on the power play here...
8:20 - Bruins have a couple of chances, Wideman drifted into the slot and had the puck on the tape. Giguere saved the slap shot high off his forearm. Krejci then can't handle a cross-seam pass and the Ducks kill the penalty.
6:45 - Savard sets up in... Gretzky's Office. Ugh.
5:00 - High stick on David Krejci as he crushes Perry in the glass. Maybe not a penalty, hard to tell if the stick made contact. Bruins boo birds are out on the call. Rightly so lads.
2:28 - Bruins kill the penalty, Stephane Yelle made a ballsy move to block the puck off his hip early on in it.
2:06 GOAL! 1-0 Bruins - And it's Matt Hunwick! Recalled from Providence and he makes it happen! Krejci forces a turnover in the neutral zone, passes it to Ryder, kicks it off his skate to himself, backhands it across the seam, Wheeler has a good screen on and Hunwick is to follow it through to goal.
0:00 - Yelle down in the wall throws the puck in front and it just gets by an outstretched Bitz. Giguere's glove side was wiiiiiiiiiide open if Bitz had gotten a stick on it.
To quote Jack Edwards, after the first period, the B's are buzzing. Bzzzz.
A lot of scoring chances for the Bruins, against a lesser goalie they'd probably have a couple in the back of the net at the first intermission.
18:33 - Bruins layering extremely well at the defensive end. They denied Selanne on a wrap around chance and ended with their own scoring chance at the other end.
18:01 GOAL 2-0 Bruins - Michael Ryder with this one! Hnidy waits it out in the back, gets it to Wheeler who finds Krejci, skates into the zone, finds Ryder in stride on the tape, drags a snapper and the Ducks look to be sitting. (Har.)
16:38 - Gotta love the effort Shawn Thornton puts in night in night out. It's too bad his talent doesn't match his effort.
16:17 GOAL 3-0 Bruins - Chuck Kobasew and birthday boy PJ Axelsson have a 2 on 1. Kobasew smartly keeps it himself and rips a snap shot past Giguere.
JS Giguere has been pulled from the game, Jonas Hiller will take his place.
Bruins have three goals on just eight shots.
14:20 - Bruins smell blood. Wheeler is called for tripping and the Ducks need to score a goal here.
11:40 - Shawn Thornton and George Parros! Two heavyweights banging lefts and rights. Parros has Thornton manhandled, but Thornton fights and fights and gets the takedown! Score one for Shawn Thornton! It started when Parros laid a huge hit into Marc Savard, it was clean, but Thornton felt the need to stick up for his teammate.
10:00 - I feel like I'm watching a completely different hockey team from the one I saw on the road trip.
6:05 - It's been a dull four minutes, though I have been amusing myself with Jack Edwards bingo. So far I've got Off Glass, In Gretzky's Office, D to D, Wing to Wing and Mid-Air Fungo Job. Nothing close to giving me the ole Jack Bingo though.
5:38 - Huge save from Thomas as he stops Parros and squeezes the puck between his legs. A near melee ensues before the ref points to the dot for a face off.
Parros has an epic mustache/soul patch combination. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
5:11 - Mike Brown sucker punches Milan Lucic and that is the end of his world. Lucic unleashes right handed barrels on Brown, knocks him to the ice and continues to wail on him.
Sheldon Brookbank has been ejected for going after Lucic had taken care of business.
Lucic has some bloody knuckles. Well worth the effort I'm inclined to think.
Jack is speculating that Lucic meant to go after Brookbank, but Brown happened to be in the wrong place and the right time.
And there's a Bruins power play after an instigating call. I guess it worked out pretty well for all involved.
4:27 - Savard and Scott Neidermayer jousting for position along the blue line. Savard takes exception, off comes the gloves and Neidermayer plants him to the ice. Say hello to Milan for me, Marc.
3:35 - Montador called for a leg trip on David Krejci. Things are getting extremely chippy here toward the end of the second. Bruins have a 5 on 3 for... well they screwed up on the scoreboard, so nobody is quite sure of how long.
1:59 GOAL 4-0 Bruins - It's a power play goal for Phil Kessel! Thomas turns it cross eyes, gets Ryder onside, drags it across the left circle and the shot bounces off Kessel's skate! Timmy Thomas pitching a shut out and adds an assist to his sheet.
:52.7 - George Parros is angry as he's called for a hold on Chara. No reason to be upset, it's very obvious. Parros jaws with the ref and is lucky it's only a two minute penalty.
:15.6 GOAL 5-0 Bruins - It's a power play goal for Chuck Kobasew! Chuck's second goal comes from the umbrella, Wideman gets it over to Kobasew who slots it past Hiller on the short side. The Bruins are on a feeding frenzy.
At the end of two and the Bruins have scored four goals, have gotten into a couple of scraps and are firing on absolutely every single cylinder. With the Ducks having little to play for in the third I could see some fisticuffs as things get tenser than they were in this period.
All I know is that I'm excited for it. I'm also sick of hearing Zombie Nation, so the B's can stop scoring any time.
19:20 - I think Chara has put Corey Perry on the ice about 15 times tonight.
15:37 - Thomas robs Bobby Ryan! What a save.
Bruins have 19 players who have registered a point between tonight and the Florida game.
13:15 - Mark Stuart to the box for cross-checking. Can the Ducks claw their way back!?
11:33 - And Bitz "Pounds it down the river." Mark it off on your bingo scorecards, kids.
The Bruins are 3/3 killing the penalty tonight.
10:12 - Kessel skates through and glides across the zone, takes a nice shot that's covered by Hiller.
Won't it be pathetic when we're looking at Bingo cards and hoping Jack says one of his ridiculous phrases? Oh NESN! You've sucked us in!
6:19 GOAL 6-0 Bruins - It's Byron Bitz! Ference makes a long pass to Bitz, uses his strength to beat the skater, Neidermayer's poke check is avoided and he wrists it past Hiller.
3:40 - Jack just made a good point. Chara will be in studio for an interview with Shoe-Bangin' Millbury after the game and Jack goes "the man who traded Chara from the Isles." Wonder if that's why Mike's got a cushy NESN job these days.
And in 62 games this year the Bruins have won 42 games. They won 41 all of last season.
The B's were confident, intense, physical, everything you could have wanted from them tonight. They executed the game plan, the defense stepped up huge in the offensive aspect of the game.
Michael Ryder has 5 points in his first two games back, you've got to think that is huge for the Bruins who will need all the confidence they can get with the Capitals coming to town on Saturday afternoon.
Twelve goals and two games, let's see if the tempo remains on Saturday...