Monday, October 27, 2008


I was fortunate enough to get free tickets to Saturday's game against Atlanta through a friend who won them but could care less about hockey. Back row loge seats in the corner aren't the best but hey, the price was right! Proved to be one entertaining game and the best part of the evening actually had nothing to do with the game. At one of the many stoppages in play, the announcer started talking about a soldier serving in the army and images of him were being displayed overhead on the jumbotron. Not much of substance was being said at first... your typical thanks for serving etc. What got to me was the fact that the applause slowly built up and kept doing so until a few people started standing up eventually leading to the majority of the Garden being on its feet applauding this soldier for a solid 2-3 minutes. It turns out, he re-upped and is being deployed to Iraq this coming week and the Bruins were honoring the season ticket holder with a custom-made jersey. I couldn't believe the ovation he and his company received from the crowd, especially since most of it came before the announcement that he was even present at the game. Definite goosebump moment... made me proud to be a Bostonian and more over, an American. More info.

As for the game... well, it was definitely a rollercoaster ride. The first period was atrocious with the Bruins being completely outplayed. Atlanta outshot them 16-7 and it honestly seemed worse than that. Just no urgency and no one working to get their shots and making the extra play. The worst of it came in the final minute of the first period when it was 4-4 with Atlanta's penalty due to expire before the period ended. Now I can understand holding the puck in your zone and simply trying to play keepaway when there are only 10-15 seconds left on the clock. The Bruins decided to try this tactic while there were 40+ seconds left and at even strength... needless to say, it backfired and Atlanta potted the PPG with ten seconds remaining in the period. Simply pathetic... there was no effort from Boston to try to clear the zone never mind attempting to start something on offense. As stated elsewhere, its a bad sign when your checking line (Noke, Yelle, Thornton) is your best line for a period...

However, sometimes seemingly bad things can actually prove quite beneficial as was the case when the fourth line (14 total goals last season) potted the first goal for the Bruins. I can only imagine the (well-deserved) dressing down Julien gave his team after that atrocious first period but whatever was said certainly worked. Lucic took it from their and simply dominated the game, scoring three goals (his first career hat trick) and assisting on a fourth. His final tally came with under two minutes to go in regulation and was all effort as he fought for the puck along the boards before being sprung by Savard (who deserves much credit for his forechecking on the play). Lucic had the patience to wait for his shot when he saw Kessel was too covered and then he roofed the rebound to start the hats raining and take the much-needed two points.

It was a unique experience to be present for his first hat trick (and my first attended hat trick) and see the dozens of hats come flying down onto the ice. I had just bought a new Bruins hat and was contemplating adding my old Sox hat to the pile but the netting and 26 rows ahead of me changed my mind. Well, that, and the fact that I can't just throw away a good, broken-in hat... especially one that has witnessed a championship ('07 Sox). Hell, I still have the 'hat' (more like disgusting rag) I wore from '01 to '04 that was retired after the Series win. What made it that much more special was the fact that Lucic became one of my favorite players last preseason when I spotted him on his first shift of a game against Toronto. I immediately turned to my girlfriend and said he was going to be something special... he is quickly proving me correct.

Now the problem is... who's jersey do I buy? I fully intended to buy a black Bergeron before the game but they were all out and would need 2-3 weeks to restock. Now I am questioning that decision... with jerseys being so expensive it is always tough to come to a decision on who to buy. After the 2005 season, I had decided on buying a Brad Boyes (26-43-69 in '05) jersey but never ended up following through on it and its a good thing I didn't given the trade. Now I need to decide again and obvious choices are Lucic and Bergeron but I don't want to be one of the many people wearing the same sweater. So is it the standard 17 or 37 or do I go with the unusual 46...

1 comment:

Rian Murray said...

Thanks guy. I just figured I didn't want to hide behind a nickname. All my buddies still call me "Muzz" though.

17. No question. I was at the game the other night too when he turned the trick. It was awesome. Plus, you'll get at least ten years out of that jersey. Maybe more.