The Bs were once again owned by Cam Ward and the Hurricanes last night, getting shut out 3-0 to give Carolina their first ever season sweep of the Bruins. Thank the maker these guys won’t be in the playoffs this year.
Ward had a pretty easy time setting a team record with 47 saves, seeing virtually all of the shots as the Bs lacked the requisite net-front jam. Except for a couple of early chances in the first, they certainly didn’t make the stellar Carolina netminder stand on his head—not usually the case when a guy turns back all 47 shots.
But nobody should really be surprised about the Bruins recent downturn. After all, there’s not many teams that can continue the torrid pace that the Bs ripped through November and December with. It was inevitable that they crashed back to Earth. Add in the injuries and concussions that tamper with the consistency of a team and you could see sub-par efforts like this rear their ugly head. The goalies haven’t been great lately either but then, nobody on this team has.
The Bs’ only real major concern right now is the long-term health of ’11 playoff hero Nathan Horton, who was blindsided with a hit to the head by Philly fantasy camper Tom Sestito (who, by the way, didn’t even get a call from Shanny). Horton still hasn’t been able to resume physical activity which is not a good sign for a guy just two months from the playoffs and who suffered a concussion in the Stanley Cup Final.
But other than that, to these eyes, it appears as though the Bs are just having a mid-season valley that all teams go through each season. Before anybody hits the panic button, it’s a good time to remember that the Bs are still very firmly entrenched in the #2 seed in the Wales—they have a nine point lead over #3 Florida and six point lead (with four games in hand) over second place Ottawa in the Northeast. It would take a real Red Soxian effort to piss this lead away.
If they’re still pulling this shit in two more weeks, then there will be cause for concern. I just don’t see that happening. However, expect Peter Chiarelli to make his moves well before the trade deadline at the end of the month, as that has been his very successful M.O. over the years. Look for him to go after a veteran D-man to shore up the Bruins backline as well as a top-six forward, especially if it looks like Horton will be out for awhile.
Bottom line: this is no time to panic. At all. Bs are back at it tomorrow when Geno and the Pens come in for a matinee.
A few quick buds for your Super Bowl, um, bowl…
*I wrote a couple of other things some of you might be interested in. Old school grapplin’ fan? Click here. Profile on kid battling adversity in quest to play college hockey? Try this. Hope you enjoy.
*Ochocinco at 100/1 for SBMVP is a great shits and giggles bet, as is 40/1 for him to get the first TD. Also throwing down on 7/1 for OT, which seems pretty high considering this game is a pick ‘em. It’s only a matter of time before one of these games goes to extra time. I’m going under the 54 as I see a lot of running and good D. I’m already hedged up the ass on the Pats (that’s what happens when you get them at 5/1 in August) so I already have both sides. The pick: Pats 24, Giants 20.