Random Stuff

Tuukka Rask returned to the Bruins tonight and beat the Flyers 3-2. Pastrnak scored all three goals. A hat trick for Pasta tonight after a hat trick for Marchand last night. Sweetness all around.

Note to self: you opened a new jug of distilled water for the CPAP machine’s humidifier tonight. Try and keep track of how long it lasts, for future reference and stuff.

Patches is fully back to normal tonight. We can tell because she puked 17 pounds of partially eaten cat food onto Jen’s desk. Right as rain, feline.

I’m sitting up in bed for a little while. Should I rewatch episode 3 of The Book of Boba Fett or should I watch the first episode of The Peacemaker. Or should I just sleep.

You’re right. Sleep it is.

Possible car music in the morning. We will see when the morning gets here.

No Cup for Boston

Tuukka Rask just opted out of the rest of the NHL playoffs. He says he feels bad but there are more important things than hockey and being with his family is more important.

Hockey-ily speaking, I am very sad. Our chances of winning a cup this year are not zero by any stretch, but they are greatly reduced without Tuukka. Still, I 100% support him. Given the state of the universe outside of hockey right now, Tuukka is making the right decision. My hockey-heart is a little broken, but I’m with you, dude. Go do what you have to do.

Long Term Contracts

As a general rule, I do not like seeing professional athletes getting long term contracts. In the NFL contracts are not guaranteed, so the term length is meaningless. In the other major sports contracts are guaranteed so if a player’s performance level drops over time the team is still contractually obligated to pay out the full price. Also, if a players performance level drops off the face of the Earth, you are stuck with the guy for years and no other team is going to take him off your hands. That’s why if I were a major pro sports league general manager no one would ever get more than a three year deal. I might have to fork over Fort Knox to get a player, but it’s better than paying a mint six years down the road and have the guy ride the pine, or play in the minors.

Having said that…

The Boston Bruins this week have given eight year contracts to Tuukka Rask and Patrice Bergeron. Rask gets 56 million over the full term and Bergeron gets 52 million. In both cases, I approve whole heartedly. I’ve made no secret that I am not the worlds biggest Tuukka fan, but given the way he played in the post season, he assuaged many of my fears. Bergeron, on the other hand… well… let’s just say that the only thing I am unhappy about in the announcements of the last two days is that somehow Bergeron is making less than Rask. If Rask makes 56 million over eight years, then Bergeron needs to make 60 million over eight years. He must have given the Bruins a home town discount.

Many hockey fans and pundits will think I am nuts for saying this, but there isn’t a hockey player on Earth right now that I would trade for Patrice Bergeron. You can keep Crosby and Ovetchkin and Stamkos and any other great player you can name. I would rather have Sir Bergy than any of them. Let’s face it, the guys does everything and has been doing everything for 10 years and he’s still only 28 years old! He’s the best defensive forward in the league. His offensive skills are off the hook, and don’t give me that he’s-only-a-20-goals-a-year-guy. He’s topped 30 in the past, and we all know that if the Bruins were an offense first system he would be reaching 40. He’s an animal. He played a game in the Stanley Cup finals with a collapsed lung. A COLLAPSED LUNG! He is matched up against the other teams best players, and he still finds the time and space to be one of our most productive offensive players. He’s the best. There. I said it. Patrice Bergeron is the best. When Zdeno Chara leaves us (hopefully via retirement) he will be Captain Bergy. I would not be opposed to giving him the C even before Chara leaves, and I am willing to bet that Chara would agree with the move.

While I stated that I am not a fan of long term contracts, here are two eight year deals that I am 100% behind. Congratulations Tuukka and Patrice. May you both enjoy long, long productive careers as members of the Boston Bruins. Keep up the good work.

The Bruins Win Game Seven

I don’t know what to say…

Here’s the highlight video from NHL.com

Just… what the hell happened?

I had the game on the radio.  I listened intently and felt very distraught when Kessel made it 3-1.  When the Leafs went up 4-1 in the third I shut it off.

I posted the following on Facebook:

God damn it I hate being right sometimes. I knew this was coming as soon as I saw the match up. Friggin Bruins.

I guess I was wrong.  In this case I am very, very happy to be wrong.

They came out with serious energy in the first.  I was pleased by that.  They did not have that kind of energy in games five or six.  I thought they were going to be different in game seven, but instead of playing with the necessary intensity they went overboard and took bad penalties.  That took them out of the game, and then it was back to the blah blah blah of the previous two games.  They uninterestedly floated their way into the third period and the Leafs lit them up.  It’s the same garbage we’ve been seeing from them for more than two months now.  At 4-1 I was done.  I couldn’t take it anymore and I shut the radio off.  The hell with them.

That’s when they started playing for real.  Three goals in the last 10 minutes.  Where the hell was that Bruins team for the previous 2.66 games?  They had sucked like no 4th seed should ever suck and then, boom.  They are playing like contenders again.  What the hell?  Why didn’t they play that way all series?  What’s wrong with them that allows them to coast their way to the brink and then suddenly play like an all time great team?  I don’t get it.

To recap though, I have to give Tuukka Rask a break.  He did make some gigantic saves last night, and they did win a must win game with him in net.  I am not going to let him off the choke hook until they win a Cup with him as the number one goalie, the choke against Philly in 2010 will not be forgotten so easily, but he came through when we needed him to hold it together in a big game.  Granted, four goals against is a crappy game for any goalie, but he did what was necessary.

Also, Patrice Bergeron is the best player we have, and he’s been the best player we’ve had since the day he was drafted.  No offense to Joe Thornton, or Marc Savard, or Zdeno Chara, or Tim Thomas, or anyone else.  Patrice Bergeron is our best.  Watch that highlights video.  You can see it in his face.  He just decided the bullshit had to end, and he scored the game tying and game winning goals.  As we move forward in these playoffs it will be how Bergeron goes, the Bruins go.

Bring on the Rangers.

Go Bruins.

Is Tuukka Rask Jinxed?

Let me preface this post by saying that I do not believe that Tuukka Rask is responsible for the Boston Bruins blowing a three games to one lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs in this year’s first round of the NHL playoffs.  Again, the losses in games five and six, and the necessity of a game seven later tonight are not Tuukka’s fault.  The Bruins lost those two games as a team.  No one player bares any more blame than any others (although Seguin and Marchand might have made a difference if they’d actually bothered showing up).  I am just commenting on a trend.

The Boston Bruins are currently playing their third playoff series with Tuukka Rask as their number one goalie.  In 2010 they played and beat the Buffalo Sabers in the first round with Tuukka in net.  In the second round they took a three games to none lead over the Philadelphia Flyers before blowing the series in epic fashion by losing four consecutive potential clinching games.  This year they are facing the Toronto Maple Leafs and jumped out to a three games to one lead.  In games five and six this weekend they had two opportunities to clinch the series and lost them both.

Do the math there and you will see that the Boston Bruins have lost SIX consecutive potential series clinching games IN A ROW with Tuukka Rask in net.
Why?

What is it about having Tuukka in net that makes the Bruins unable to win the most important games?

I recall having a similar discussion last year.  Tuukka’s goals against average and save percentage stats were stellar, but his win/loss record was pretty bad.  Why was it that the Bruins couldn’t, or wouldn’t, win in front of Rask?  I couldn’t answer that.  I thought that maybe he was just an asshole and maybe the rest of the team was seriously unmotivated when he was in net, but then we found out that Tim Thomas was a complete nut job and the team played like animals in front of him.

What is it about Rask?

I can’t think of a time when I saw Tuukka actually steal a game for the Bruins.  If I’m wrong about that please leave a comment with an example.  I want to be wrong.  Tim Thomas used to do it once in a while.  The Bruins would be outplayed for a solid stretch of time and Thomas would make saves that he had no business making and the Bruins would sneak in a goal or something and steal the game.  Tuukka makes big saves, but does he ever make super human saves the way Thomas could?  I don’t think so.  The Bruins needed huge saves to make up for their painful defensive lapses last night, and on at least two occasions Rask wasn’t up to the challenge.  Again, the goals were not his fault, but on a team that is contending for the Cup (which I do not believe for a second that the Bruins are) they sometimes need their goal tender to be a superman.  Rask doesn’t seem to have that ability.  At least not to my untrained eye.

Tuukka Rask reminds me a little of Roberto Luongo.  A fantastic goalie who is just. not. quite. fantastic. enough.

Game seven is tonight.  We shall see.  We shall see.

Go Bruins.