Exactly what the Bruins didn’t need. Yet again. Alas, this is the NHL where no quarter is given. Just two games after losing captain and monster D-man Zdeno Chara to a PCL tear in his left knee after his hit on Islanders’ superstar John Tavares, the Bs lost their best offensive defenseman Torey Krug [...]
Exactly what the Bruins didn’t need. Yet again. Alas, this is the NHL where no quarter is given.
Just two games after losing captain and monster D-man Zdeno Chara to a PCL tear in his left knee after his hit on Islanders’ superstar John Tavares, the Bs lost their best offensive defenseman Torey Krug for just two to three weeks after a slash gave him this nasty injury. (Yeah, “just” a few weeks after losing the worst game of Just the Tip ever is a pretty quick turnaround). The loss will challenge the team’s defensive depth even further but it also gives Dougie Hamilton a chance to become even more of a key performer and potentially a young leader as he’ll be playing #1 minutes and in all situations. In short, Chara’s absence may increase both Dougie’s stock and his game.
But the team will miss Krug’s passing and shooting on the power play and his ability to skate the puck out of the Bs zone and into the opposing zone. After searching so long for their coveted PMD, the Bruins will now go without him until his finger grows back like a starfish or some shit. To help fill the void, the Bs called up Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky. And similar to Z’s absence helping Dougie grow his game, whoever plays in Krug’s stead will get a chance to prove he belongs in the NHL.
In their first game without Chara, the Bruins played perhaps their best game of the year Saturday night in Toronto in a thorough 4-1 win. But they choked away a 3-1 lead against Minnesota on Tuesday night by giving up three goals in the third to lose 4-3 in regulation. One bright spot, however, was the spirited play of Seth Griffith. He had two goals and an assist and has hardly looked out of place playing with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. It was also great to see him going hard to the net to make plays. Of course, when you get passes like that, it does make it look that much easier.
The loss of Krug simply presents another bump in the road for a team that has been more than used to them. Historically under Claude, they’ve show great resiliency in overcoming similar adversary so there’s no reason to think they won’t survive Krug’s loss for a few weeks.
A few more buds for your bowl…
*Saw a couple of great Halloween costumes from some hockey players. First, P.K. Subban absolutely nails pre-Propofol MJ with this unreal “Thriller” get up. It’s really tough to emphasize just how enormous Jackson was in the ’80s. There’s currently nobody that even approaches the Beatles-like reaction that he induced when “Thriller” (album, song, and video) was murdering the charts like Ola Ray murdered those pants. (And no, that little hoser making pre-pubescent girls pee themselves doesn’t come close.) H/T to Wysh.
Second, Norwood’s noted Stoolie Matt Brown had me and stitches here as he and his boy went as Forrest Gump and Lt. Dan. Hysterical.
*Best wishes to 2011 folk hero Nathan Horton. Horty left here for one of the two NHL cities with a Civil War-inspired nickname (and $37M). Due to a variety of injuries (including a tear in his shoulder suffered as a Bruin, first reported here), he’s only been able to suit up for 35 Blue Jackets games. But he was recently diagnosed with the dreaded “degeneration” of the lumbar region, which could potentially keep him from ever playing again. And that would be a real shame. Horton’s one of the NHL’s good guys and it’d be too bad to see the 29-year-old have his career end prematurely and before he could truly lead Columbus to the promised land.
*Non-Bruins Blog Item, Vol. 1. Warning: Spoilers ahead. HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” aired its series finale Sunday night and as a series-long devotee, I was pretty pleased with the finish (though the first 30-40 minutes dragged ass for a finale). The final sequence alternating between the older, drained-of-much-power Nucky Thompson warily eyeing a couple of mugs on the boardwalk and his younger self about to aid in a deplorable act that will forever alter, and eventually end, his life was expertly done. It reminded the viewer that young Enoch Thompson was a decent man trying to make his lot in life but fell under the sway of the Commodore and dragged a poor 12-year-old-girl down with him. As young Nucky reaches out his hand to Gillian to deliver her to the scumbag commodore and a ruined life, the older Nucky is accosted then shot by Tommy Darmody, the son of Jimmy Darmody (Nucky’s surrogate and Gillian’s son that he had whacked early in the series). His sin had finally come back to haunt him. Though hardly a perfect show, “Boardwalk” was better than most things on TV (I know, not saying much) and had impeccable production and talent. It was never able to reach the stratospheric levels reached by “The Sopranos”, “The Wire”, “Breaking Bad”, or “Deadwood”. And that’s just fine because not many are going to. It was just a very good, high-quality, beautiful-looking show that told a colorful tale from a colorful place during a colorful time. If you’re looking for a a new show to watch that blends history with fiction, give it a whirl. Overall grade, B+.
*Non-Bruins Blog Item, Vol. 2. It’s still not even November yet but the Academy may want to confirm the spelling of Michael Keaton’s name. Because though it’s early, the Best Actor Ocsar is his to lose right now thanks to his bravura, sensational performance as faded actor Riggan Thomson in “Birdman”. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s unique, high-wire act that gives the sense the movie is one long take is unlike any movie you’ve ever seen before. A jazzy, riffy drum score plays throughout and provides aural atmosphere. And it feels as though it was written specifically for Keaton, who can relate to Thomson probably more than anyone in Hollywood thanks to his playing the title role in Tim Burton’s wildly successful “Batman” (1989) and its sequel “Batman Returns” (1992) before slowly fading, though not disappearing, into the background; in 1992, Thomson was world-famous for playing “Birdman”. Suddenly, Thomson wants to produce, direct, and star in a Broadway play to prove his worth as an actor, that he wasn’t some hack in a bird suit. But those are just the mechanics to provide us with one of the best-acted pictures in years that takes place, more or less, in and around the St. James Theater. That said, this movie can hardly be pigeon-holed as a “theater picture”. Or any kind, for that matter. But it’s certainly a technical marvel with unreal cinematography. Unlike his previous features, Inarritu has some fun here as he satirically deals with and/or skewers ego, insecurity, aging, comic book movies, how children are a reflection of their parents, Hollywood, super hero culture, assholes, vanity, depression, sensitive actors, and a handful of other themes. He also throws in a dash of supernatural just to keep you guessing. In short, it’s like a roller-coaster ride. And you’re in the front seat with Michael Keaton riding shotgun. Ed Norton (who pokes fun at his Method persona), Naomi Watts, and Zach Galifianakis all turn in excellent work and each may warrant a Supporting nom depending on how the rest of the year plays out. But Emma Stone, who plays Riggan’s daughter/personal assistant, was fantastic and she should be a slam-dunk for a Best Supporting Actress nom because this is the best work of her young career. I’d also expect noms for Director, Picture, and Original Screenplay. “Birdman” is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and gets an A.