March 4, 2007

Bruins 4, Devils 1

First Period: Aaron Ward, Bruins (Bochenski, Kessel)
Second Period: Marco Sturm, Bruins (SH) (Bergeron)
Third Period: Mike Rupp, DEVILS (Gionta, Martin)
Brandon Bochenski, Bruins (Kessel, Chistov)

Shots on Goal: 29-27 Bruins

Penalties: Devils - 6 minutes, Bruins - 8 minutes


Devils facing Joey MacDonald in goal tonight. Not sure who the heck that is, but apparently he was just acquired from the Red Wings. Testing him early would be a good idea. Devils have the Chara-killer, Brian Gionta, back tonight. About dang time. This can only help. Devils start out by getting good pressure early, but to no avail and even worse, Paul Martin slashes early to give the Bruins an opportunity right away. Not a big deal, though as the Bruins didn't register a shot on goal with the Devils clamping down on the penalty kill. The Devils don't seem all that motivated ore energized, but they are probably just playing that patient style that pisses everyone off, waiting for opportunities. To their credit, the Bruins don't look much better either. It doesn't seem like they pose much of a threat, but we'll see. A lot of back-and-forth action, with the Devils mostly controlling the flow of the game. The Bruins keep the puck in the Devils zone for quite a while, moving it around and eventually scoring as the captain Aaron Ward throws the puck at Brodeur and it gets in. Disappointing, but I'm not too concerned as it seems the Devils are playing with confidence. That was just not enough pressure in the defensive zone, not enough urgency or collapse on the puck. No time to fret. Ever since the goal, the Bruins have definitely taken the momentum in the period. The action was fairly even, but Boston has the advantage right now. The Devils are somewhat slow to react, but have mounted a couple chances. Nothing too serious, however. Would be good to see some offensive pressure, or at least hanging on to the puck for a while. They haven't had a chance to really set up an offensive scheme. The only highlight for New Jersey was Madden breaking in on MacDonald, but he shot it too high. He was able to draw a hooking call, though. The Bruins were sufficient in killing it off, playing the kill pretty well. It was pretty clear that Boston won the first period, not only in the score but in the general flow of the game. They had twice as many shots on goal, and pretty much every faceoff win. I'll say the Devils will come out strong in the second.


Couldn't be more wrong, as Sturm scores right away on a shorthanded goal. Sickening. The Devils worse than flat right now. Lack of motivation, lack of determination, lack of offense, lack of execution, lack of physicality. LAX. Not much to get excited about. It's as if the Devils, knowing they are good, expect to win. And by expecting to win, they just play with the attitude that they'll win, so why try all that hard? Well, maybe that's too harsh. They have played well all year and that's a pretty big rip. I'm just saying that's how it appears for THIS GAME, it's not a syndrome or anything like that. I'm just getting that vibe as it stands right now, and they are not attempting to prove that notion wrong whatsoever. They are playing like it should be given to them and are not attacking in any way. Devils start picking up the tempo about halfway through, getting some good shots on MacDonald, but not screening well and allowing Joey to see the shots pretty much all the way through. At least something positive is happening. Still turning over the puck and not making sharp passes. If you're MacDonald, you're glad the Devils are not shooting all that much, obviously. But hopefully by picking up the offense, considering it's late, maybe that will throw him off a little bit. We can only hope. Another power play goes awry and the Devils pick up only 2 more shots the final 6 minutes or so. Down by 2 goals with one period left to play - that's not the Devils game. Hard to believe they can come back, but I wouldn't count them out just yet. Their play is attempting to prove me otherwise. Boston is clearly the better team tonight.


The Devils start with some urgency and Parise draws an early penalty. The power play is the best it's been all night with plenty of shots. Problem is the shots aren't on goal, they are all over the place. Not much time to figure things out, but it's not time to panic yet. Just keep firing. As the power play just expires, Paul Martin fires a shot on goal, Gionta tips it, MacDonald saves it, rebound goes right to Mike Rupp who buries it in the empty net. Goal! So basically a power play goal, but it won't stand as one. You can expect the Devils to turn up the heat now. Haha. Get it? If not, you should check your IQ, because it's an easy one to understand. At least MacDonald's shutout bid is history. That would have been embarassing. Bruins still don't have a shot on goal. Good chunk of time left to get another one. We shall see. Sure enough, as soon as something goes right for the Devils, it's back to going wrong as the Bruins score right afterwards and then Jamie Langenbrunner high sticks and draws blood, so he has to sit for 4 minutes. The Devils killed it off, but they're down by 2 goals with not much time left. It's just not their night tonight. Brodeur is pulled and the Bruins throw one in the empty net. It was evident that the Bruins were the better team tonight, but I think the Devils could have been. They didn't seem into it at all, but give the Bruins credit for their solid defensive play tonight. Big loss for the Devils. They better figure things out. On the quick.

Reds 10, Pirates 4

Reds are 4-0 in Spring Training games. Or 5-0, if you count the B Team's 5-0 win today.


Pitching: Homer Bailey has an ERA of 13.50. He's off the team. 2 innings, 3 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 1 K, 2 wild pitches. Eh......Coffey got the win, striking out 2 in his inning. Tom Shearn pitched the final 2 innings, 4 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 2 K's.

Hitting: Josh Hamilton continues to be THE MAN, as he goes 2/3 today with a run scored and an RBI. He's hitting .533. Crosby was 0/3 with a K, but scored twice. ??? Makes limited sense. Hatteberg had another 2-run homer. Janish keeps K'ing it up. Joey Votto had a 2-run blast. Bellhorn has been smart, taking a lot of walks thus far in the year. Denorfia was 3/5 and poor Jeff Keppinger who goes in for the pinch hit and instead takes a pinch shot in the body by the pitcher from Pittsburgh. He's out for a while.

Fielding & such: No errors today, great job. There was a passed ball by Moeller, but Bailey was wild all the way around. Castro had an "SF." Anybody know what that means? Somebody help me out here. Lots of guys left on base again today, many in scoring position. Hard to complain about offense, though.

Mavericks 103, Magic 98

The last time I didn't start with "Mavericks" on the title, that was 15 games ago. 15 straight wins. 50-9. Ridiculous? You be the judge, but only if the answer is yes.

Big 3: Jason Terry led the charge, with 29 points, as well as an astounding 15 points. He was plain aggressive. He was back to his playoff form last year when he went crazy. He was just all over the place, playing a great game. Granted, the guys had to hit their shots for him to get an assist, but he was passing and stroking it well tonight. Nowitzki had his: 24 points and 9 rebounds. Josh Howard rounding out things with 21 points.

For the Magic, you assume Dwight Howard will be the stud and he was, getting 25 and 10. That's points and rebounds.

Nice to know the Mavs can win a gut check game, or back-to-back gut check teams against two good teams from the East. Granted, they beat them both on their home floor, but they played fourth quarters very well against both teams and managed to come out with a lead. This is huge for the playoffs as they are clearly the team to beat and continue to prove so every night.

The retro jerseys looked nice for Orlando, but it just didn't help them.