Ok, not the most original title, I know. Yes, I am back, my three readers. And of course, so are the Bruins--back, in black, and, oh man, are they back!
Where to start. Hmm... maybe my return would be a good excuse for a recap of the season so far.
The season started out normally enough. The post I had planned to start the season would have gone something like, "They've come this far but can they take it to yet another level?" And in the early going it looked like more of the same as last year: good, but not great hockey. The home loss to the Leafs was disappointing, but you can't win them all, right?
And then something happened. The Stars came to town and they brought their goons with them. Sean Avery and Steve Ott may have been the best things to happen to the Boston Bruins since the last time we beat the Habs in a playoff series. Imagine the very idea of coming into Boston and trying to intimidate the Bruins with cheap shots. The Stars tried it with the result that nobody is likely to try it again for a very long time. The Bruins beat the Stars in every sense of the word. During that game the Bruins came together as a team. I will long recall seeing Savvy pounding on Avery at the end of the game. Sure, it may have been more symbolic than pugilistic, but the gesture held great meaning.
Prior to that game the Bruins were 5-3-2. Since the drop of the puck against the Stars on Saturday, November 1st, the Bruins have gone 14-1-1. Thank you, Dallas. And thank you Mr. Avery. Good luck to you in your next profession. I don't know what you will do, but I'm sure it will be sleazy.
The next highlight has to be a 6-1 stomping of Montreal at home. That felt oh so good.
Unfortunately the next memorable game wasn't nearly so sweet. Those Rangers are pretty darned good. The Bruins lost in a shootout in New York. This was a tough game where for one of the few times since November 1st the opposing team seemed of similar caliber.
Speaking of teams of similar caliber, the home game against the Red Wings has to be the second most memorable game of the season so far. What made this game truly awe inspiring was that the Wings played very well. Unlike other opponents they didn't let the B's into their zone like water through a chain link fence. The Bruins had to really work to win this one. The score may have been a lopsided 4-1, but the play was much closer. You really got the feeling that the Wings had brought their A game and still lost.
Lastly, the low point of the season, at least for me, came on November 26th, in Buffalo. Not only was this the only regulation loss in November, but it was an awful game to watch. This was made worse for me by the fact that The Dish Network failed to pick up the NESN broadcast for Center Ice so I had to watch the Buffalo broadcast. Now, I'm not such a die-hard fan that I can't watch another teams' broadcast. In some cases it's a welcome change. But the Buffalo broadcast team is just awful! They do it old school and it's about as much fun as watching a puck dry after a game. Give me Jack Edwards. He may be partisan to the point of silliness sometimes, but at least he's always having fun. And his fun is contagious. And Brick, of course, is the perfect counterpoint. I really think those two are the best broadcast team in the NHL. But I digress.
I have way more thoughts, but I'll save them for another post or two or three.