Monday, January 23, 2012

Two Days in January (21/22)

Two days: two games, 3 points in the standings, 16 goals, 4 fights, 109 penalty minutes, a natural hat trick, and a three game suspension. That about sums it up.

Sundays game vs. Philly was sloppy, but they won anyhow. I expected it to be bad, given the tough game and loss the day before. In fact, I claimed after the Rangers game that if the Bruins beat the Flyers the next day that would be a sign of an elite team.

The main event was Saturday's game vs. the Rangers. I am very much looking forward to the rest of the season series with them. In fact, I wish the Bruins could play the Rangers more. One of the things I don't like about the proposed re-alignment is that the Bruins would only play the Rangers twice per year.

The Rangers are very impressive--easily the best team the Bruins have faced all year. When you compare them to the Canucks, the Canucks don't come off looking very well. The Rangers are everything the Canucks are not: tough and straight ahead. It was a pleasure to lose to them.

I must say that I felt the Bruins were marginally the better team. Although Rask played very well, particularly in OT, both regulation goals against the Bruins were a bit on the soft side. The Rangers didn't have to work for their goals in the same way the Bruins did.

About the Ference suspension... in short I thought he deserved punishment but three games seems too harsh. The way the Bruins used their defensemen in this game was really rather astounding. I can't recall seeing them lead the rush deep into the offensive zone so often before. It wasn't an accident that both goals were scored by defensemen. But I believe that is what lead to the reckless hit. Ference is usually on the other side in that situation (being chased into the corner at high speed in the offensive zone), which is why he should be the first one to recognize that the hit was extremely reckless. After all, that could be him hitting the boards next time. But he also isn't often in this position. Ference was having probably his best game of the year and had scored an important goal. I think he went into the corner trying to play right to the edge and crossed the line. Nevertheless, McDonaugh wasn't even injured, which seems to matter to the league, and Ference is not a repeat offender. So three games seems like throwing the book at him. It would seem to me that one or two games would have made the leagues point just as well. 

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