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Playing With A Snapshow – No Way To Stop The Inevitable

 

New Puck Daddy: hey, your boy’s on the main Yahoo! sports page today apparently, wwwwwhut’s up. On coaches willingness to adapt, and why Tampa needs to throw a new look at Boston for a few periods in game three. (Puck Daddy – post up a little later than usual today)

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Yesterday, notoriously wise offensive threat Ben Eager played like a moron. (/Reads over post from two days ago, starts fresh).

In last night’s game, Ben Eager took some really un-wise penalties that cost his team, and didn’t represent himself very well in the process (especially the part where he talked smack to Luongo after he pulled his team within four, which is widely considered to be the worst lead in absolutely nothing).

Playing with a meathead teammate is tough, because you know them so well off the ice.  But often, they keep doing things that make you go “y’know, I just never associate Off-Ice You with whoever that guy is.”

Solid beard.

The tough part is, you can often feel it coming, like they just get a look in their eye or something, but you’re still not allowed to Minority Report them and give them shit.  Comments like “take it easy out there, don’t do anything stupid” don’t imply that you respect their level of intelligence or commitment to the team very much, so they get snappy.  As a guy who, 90% of the time was one of the more cool heads on the bench, I’ve been told to shut the truck up more than a few times.

And regardless of if something gets said in advance or not - and again, you can see it coming (hell, we can often see it coming from our homes watching TV) – your Dan Carcillo or Ben Eager or Micheal Haley or Whoever is going to act anyway.  It’s an incredible phenomenon that these guys are almost oblivious to their own very obvious anger.  They just get lost in the moment.

I don’t give those guys a lot of credit, as others do, for “pre-meditating” their madness – I don’t think Eager saw Bieksa fight Marleau and thus vowed to run a Sedin.  I think watching Marleau fight a guy who probably shouldn’t fight him made him angry, and he would’ve thrown that hit on whomever happened to be in his way, because he was upset.  Anger makes logic go bye-bye, and since physical play is part of his role, we end up with stuff like this:

 

 As many of the Canucks said (I think they probably talked about this after the game), they didn’t think the hit was suspension-worthy.  I doubt they say that in the regular season, but given that it’s playoffs?  They WANT that dude in the lineup. 

Sure, he’s scary to play – a man of that size that skates like that is an absolute force, but anytime you have a guy who’s willing to let the Sedins run a powerplay on his short-handed teammates repeatedly, you want him to stay in the lineup.

But anyway, enough about the guy - anyone think the Sharks are going to make this series interesting?

Keith, Eager, Byfuglien… And Sand

 

Hey!  I’m back.

Thanks for your patience over the ten-days-or-so I was filling in over at Puck Daddy during Greg Wyshynski’s absence.  ‘Ol jtbourne.com was a little neglected, I know.

I do have some good news to start the day – my ten day gig was apparently good enough that they’d like to keep me around in some capacity, so I’ll be doing a daily post for them until they figure out what to do with me (I’ve got the post-game wrap-up again today).  ….So I’ve got that goin’ for me.

But let’s get to the major stories from the weekend.  I keep wanting to say “after the jump”, but I still can’t shake the feeling that there’s something douchey about it.  Sooo…. more info after that string of asterisks.

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DUNCAN TEITH

Here’s the story of Duncan Keith playing through the loss of SEVEN TEETH (including one that got LODGED IN THE BACK OF HIS THROAT that he had to cough up) at 12:30 of the second period, and how he came back a few minutes later and assisted on the game tying goal. 

Now he can get in deep-dish pizza just by smiling.

In a post-game interview with Scott Oake he said “my teeth weren’t that great to begin with, so hoepfully I can get some better ones”.  How positive is that?  Did he get novacane or morphine in those dental needles?  I broke half my front tooth during a game at 18 and was ready to quit the sport entirely.

I loved the casual nature of the play-by-play guy at the time too, especially during the replay – “Keith gets hit in the face and you can see his mouthpiece and teeth go flying, BUT LOOK AT MARLEAU!  Streaking to get up ice to join the rush….”

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Won't be penalized 'til someone gets hurt.

BEN EAGER

The guy continually runs out of position trying to line-up big hits, and along the way, puts himself in position for a charging penalty.  But until he’s punished (a goal by his guy, or a penalty from the refs), why stop?  It’s the way he’s most effective, and since they’re not calling it…. You almost can’t blame him for running around.

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DUSTIN BYFUAHHWHATEVER

He’s really done something special here.

No seriously, that's him with Twista. WTF?

I mean, I want to make fun of him – that’s why I have a blog after all: to be cruel to as many people as possible without any repercussions.  Whether I’ve been referencing his apparently mid-prostate exam team picture, his infuriatingly lame nickname, he’s been an easy target.

But if you score three of four game winners in a Conference Finals, you’ve earned yourself a healthy reprieve from the abuse.  Often, game-winners come when you score the fourth goal to make it 4-1, then the other team gets a couple and makes it a 4-3 final.  Not Byfuglien’s.  He was burying those in pressure situations.

I’m actually really impressed with his skating (and of course, his shot), to go with all his other attributes (being gi-mammoth).  There aren’t too many guys that have the body and skills to do what he does, and think how important having that net-presence beast has been to cup teams like Detroit (Johan Franzen, Tomas Holmstrom) and Pittsburgh (Jordan Staal).

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SAND DEBACLE

The sand outside the Flyers dressing room that caused so many skate problems during game four in Montreal was no accident.  On the other hand, it also wasn’t a hired evil henchman intentionally spilling some substance in the middle of the night while wearing a balaclava.

The return of these two makes the finals more interesting.

Whoever is on the crew in charge of clean-up is obviously going to be a Habs fan.  And sometimes they just do an intentionally lazy job.  So it is a little on-purpose and evil, but in general, the road dressing room gets a shoddy sweep job, and tends to be a little beachy (because, y’know, eff the visiting team).  

I’m lazy, so the most I ever did was keep my eyes peeled to avoid stepping on something obvious, but some guys bring mats or wear those soft skate guards until it’s time to hit the ice. 

In typical Bournian pound-of-cure fashion, I’d just rather have the trainer re-buzz my skates than worry about everything all the time.  Apparently Mike Richards felt the same way – he had his skates re-done three times during that game.

(NOTE: Information on how you should be getting your skates sharpened in a second post today.)

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RANDOM PERSONAL FACT

My fiancee and I just discovered that the girl who lives in the apartment above us is Miss Arizona USA and was a Phoenix Suns cheerleader for four years.  That is all.

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I’ll be around all day – let me know if there’s a topic I need to discuss.  I literally made this blog so long I cut the skate sharpening stuff out to run as a second post, soo…. that’ll be up ASAP!

{UPDATE: Crap!  I forgot to mention – today’s the 30th anniversary of the Islanders first cup win.  Congrats to my Dad(s) and the good people of Long Island who are pretty close to paying off the happy debt they built with these years of hockey misery.}

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