Celtics – Lakers: Regular Season Revenge (For Now)

The Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers yesterday afternoon, returning to the Staples Center for the first time since their heartbreaking defeat in Game 7 of the NBA Finals last June in the same building, yet for this fan it was really a showing that was bittersweet.  The 1st half of the game stayed rather close, of course that is what should be expected in a game between two of the league’s top 5 teams…of course those expectations were helped by Joey Crawford and company giving every call to Derek “Flops Around Like A” Fisher, and creating a new type of foul in the NBA called, “Kobe bitches, get him to the line*.” 

Going from the 1st to the 2nd half was like reading halfway through a really good book and stopping in favor of reading a much better story.  The C’s outscored their biggest rival 54-42 in the 2nd half leading to their impressive 109-96 victory, and dropping the Lakers to a sad 1-5 against the top teams in the league.  Paul Pierce hit a streak circa 2001-2006 where he just could not miss and ended with a team high 32, Ray Allen added 21 including 3 more 3’s to inch closer to Reggie Miller and his record, Rondo somehow had a quiet 16 assists and 10 points, KG did not tap anyone in the package and finished with 18 and 13, and Grown Man Davis made another push for 6th man of the year with 13 and 8 including drawing yet another offensive foul.  Everyone mentioned above played well, but our best offensive weapon was none other than Kobe Bryant, scoring 41 with 0 assists for the game, taking 7 consecutive shots late in the game, with at least two of those leading to fast breaks ending in a KG lay-up and a Ray Allen 3 pushing the lead back up to 12 and sealing the game.  If you would like you may go into the archive and see the last post I made about a week ago under my original name SAKEOFLOGIC…it was about Kendrick Perkins and the difference he would make on the glass.  That difference resulted in the Celtics, ranked in the bottom of the league in rebounds per game, outrebounding the Lakers 43-30…that is not a typo…and while I’m still on my knees in front the Celtics let us not forget that they shot 60% from the field, which will only keep them alone by far at the top of the league**.

Ok I have finally stood up and will discuss what I wanted to really mention and what I was eluding with the word “bittersweet” at the beginning of this post, and I am going to list them the way I have become accustomed to:

1 )  I just looked at the calendar and was utterly disappointed to see that it is only January 31st.  I just take a lot of joy when the Lakers perform poorly, and since it is such a rare thing I need to take my shots when I get the chance.  Trust me that I FULLY believe when it is all said and done there will be a vicious rematch between the Celtics and Lakers when we enter June, only this time we will start and finish in Boston…and by finish, I mean done in 6, banner 18.

2 ) Kobe Bryant has easily been in a certain category for 5 or 6 years now.  That category has a title that one way or another says “List of athletes whose greatness we do not truly appreciate until we do not get to see them anymore.”  If I was not in love with the Celtics, Kobe may just be one of my favorite players to watch because of what the man can do with a basketball, and many, like myself, will not appreciate it until it is gone***.

3 )  Here is the really painful one.  We lost in Game 7 last year for a few reasons****, but while watching the game the glaring difference became rebounds….rebounds, rebounds, rebounds.  That is why Kendrick Perkins has almost become as indispensable as any other member of our starting team.  Grown Man Davis hustles more than anyone, but at the end of the day he ends up being too undersized to compete for all of those boards.  There are always keys to winning titles, a healthy Perkins cleaning up the glass is the lock.

* I would love to show what should be the appropriate hand gesture for this call, but here at NTCF we think about the kids.

**The Celtics, as a team are shooting .501 from the field!  Next closest is Phoenix at .472…then the Lakers, Spurs, and Heat at .471 … that is ridiculous.

***I’m guessing because I just had a Will Ferrell “Old School” moment when he debates James Carville and then blacks out…

****No way will I get into this…after that game I took a 3 month hiatus from this blog and from thinking about the Celtics because they hurt me so badly…but I will always take them back.

From ESPN Boston: A Hockey Purist’s Dream

This is an article about UMass graduate Scott Crowder.  Many people from around the country (including myself) will be playing in this tournament this coming weekend.  It’s an epic weekend of hockey, beer, a small town, friends, and strangers sharing a common bond, a love for the roots of the game of hockey.

Stop by any pond hockey tournament, and you’ll witness a frosty tableau of giddy, puck-loving weekend warriors reliving glory days, enjoying the great outdoors and knocking back a few carbonated beverages. Draw composite pictures of those players, and the images would break into two distinct camps. First is the grizzled 35-year-old or 40-plus hockey veteran, who grew up on the ponds, with a quaint beer belly stretching his jersey but still with good wheels and a good idea of how to use them. The second is the under-30 player raised on indoor ice, drawn more by the sheer novelty of the event.

That’s what roughly 500 participants and another 1,500 or so spectators found on the seven “rinks” that dotted New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee during the inaugural New England Pond Hockey Championships on a sun-splattered weekend last winter. At the center of this perfect pond hockey storm, corralling these two disparate groups, was a 24-year-old University of Massachusetts graduate, Scott Crowder.

“We had guys who played for Stanley Cups and we had guys who didn’t even play high school hockey,” Crowder said. “I think the common theme is getting together with four or five or six buddies, coming up and having a weekend, playing a little pond hockey, drinking some beers and having some laughs with some friends.

“People are still talking about last year and the experiences they had last year. That’s something I want to capture.”

[+] EnlargePond Hockey Classic  

PondHockeyClassic.comThe Pond Hockey Classic attracts the over-40 beer-leaguer and the younger hotshot intrigued by the challenge of outdoor ice.What Crowder captured was the imaginations of hockey players from coast-to-coast. Though the majority of the participants in the inaugural Pond Hockey Classic came from Greater Boston and Southern New Hampshire, Crowder said he also had teams from Chicago, Colorado, California, Utah and all along the Eastern Seaboard from as far as Florida. The event was such a success that this past fall Crowder received the Lakes Region Association’s Tourism Award, recognizing “an individual or business that has made a difference during the past year to bring visitors into the Lakes Region and Central New Hampshire.” 

“There were two reasons I wanted to do the tournament,” Crowder said. “One was to give the hockey community of the region a big-time pond hockey tournament to call their own. Plus, I also wanted to bring people into the Lakes Region in the winter time, because I know those businesses could definitely use it, and it worked out.”

Turns out, Crowder was the right guy to bring everyone together, even if he’s half the age (or less) than many of the participants. Most players, frankly, resemble his father. Bruce Crowder is a University of New Hampshire graduate who played 248 regular-season and playoff games for the Boston Bruins from 1981 to 1984 (51 goals, 48 assists, 99 points) before embarking on a college coaching career that included three seasons at the helm of UMass-Lowell and nine as Northeastern’s bench boss. But the elder Crowder knew his youngest son, a sports management major at UMass, had the right mix of entrepreneurial spirit and sweat equity to make the Pond Hockey Classic a winner.

“He’s not married, he doesn’t have any commitments, he doesn’t have a mortgage, so he could be a little carefree,” Bruce Crowder said of his son. “But the thing that really worked for him is that he’s a kid who thinks outside the box.”

In 16 months, Scott Crowder has laid claim to the title of New England’s Pond Hockey Impresario. This year, he and his event staff — consisting of sports management interns from Southern New Hampshire University and Plymouth State College — will be running three tournaments over the first three weekends in February, starting with the 2nd annual New England Pond Hockey Classic in Meredith, N.H., on Feb. 4-6.

The following weekend, on Feb. 12, Crowder is running the one-day, 32-team Monarchs Pond Hockey Classic at Dorr’s Pond in Manchester, N.H., on behalf of the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. Then, Feb. 18-20, Crowder is hosting the Lake Champlain Pond Hockey Classic in Burlington, Vt., which can handle upward of 70 teams.

All the games feature teams playing 4-on-4 in two 15-minute running time halves with no nets and no goaltenders. The target is actually two mini-goals, each with a 6-by-12 inch opening, connected by an 18-inch pipe. Last year, Crowder used wooden boxes with roughly the same dimensions, but the tournament proved so popular that he had to buy the pre-fabricated goals produced by Nice Rink.

“I’m extremely passionate about the sport of hockey, and I love hockey in the pure forms,” Crowder said. “Sometimes the game gets carried away; it’s become a circus at all levels. [The outdoor game is] how a lot of people played growing up. When you see the passion that these guys have when they’re out there — there’s no structure, there’s no whistles, there’s no horns, there’s no time — this is just pure. It’s raw.”

Last year’s inaugural event on Lake Winnipesaukee was an unqualified success, exceeding all of Crowder’s expectations. Crowder brought in 77 teams and could have had more than 100. He also got lucky with the weather, as Mother Nature delivered an ideal winter weekend.

“Last year, we proved ourselves. This year we can’t have a sophomore slump,” he says. “I could grow it to 250 this year, if I wanted to. But I’d rather have 150 teams leaving saying they had a great time, instead of 250 saying that we sold out, or that it was shoddy.”

This year’s New England Pond Hockey Classic sold out last June, and as of the second weekend in January Crowder had a wait list of some 90 teams. That makes sense. He has a terrific location and the perfect commodity — one that attracts old and young. For the over-40 beer-leaguer, it’s the nostalgia. For those younger than 40, who grew up playing indoors on the pristine sheets, it’s the originality of outdoor ice.

[+] EnlargePong Hockey Net  

PondHockeyClassic.comThere are no nets or goaltenders in pond hockey but rather two mini-goals, each with a 6-by-12 inch opening, connected by an 18-inch pipe.

“Even when I coached at Northeastern or UMass-Lowell, I’d try to get my teams to go out and skate on the ponds,” Bruce Crowder said. “One year, we took all the kids down to the Frog Pond in Boston. It was a Sunday and we did the whole skates-over-the-sticks thing. They put four teams together and we had little games going, but I was amazed at the number of kids who came up to me and said, ‘Coach, thanks. I’d never skated outside before.'”

However, Bruce Crowder’s son wasn’t one of those kids. Scott Crowder was a rink rat, but he was also a pond rat. Any sheet of ice was a good reason to lace up the skates. Crowder grew up in Nashua, N.H., and was always looking for friends to skate with, inside or out.

“My best friend had a house in Windham [N.H.], and his dad built a phenomenal backyard rink,” Scott Crowder said. “We’d go right from hockey practice in high school to the backyard rink and we’d play into the night. He had lights and music; he had heaters; a bonfire pit. It was heaven. We’d be out there cleaning it off before the first snowflake hit.”

That high school buddy, Chris MacPhee, is still one of Crowder’s closest friends.

“Scott was the kid always trying to make stuff happen, even on the weekends during the hockey season,” said the 24-year-old MacPhee, who played at St. Anselm College in Manchester. “There was this park in Nashua, called Roby Park, and they had a little skating rink, and Scott was always trying to organize pond hockey games there.

“And then I had a rink in my backyard. And even though it was my rink, Scott was always trying to get kids to come over there and play.”

Crowder’s dad sees a direct lineage between his son’s early pickup skates and his role today as a tournament coordinator.

“He was always the kid who was organizing the street hockey game and calling people to play roller hockey, like it was when I was growing up, neighborhood kids getting together,” Bruce Crowder said. “Now, they don’t do that.

“In general, how many kids do you just see outside, period? Whether they get five kids together to play soccer or hoops, you just don’t see that stuff anymore. It’s part of the environment we live in, where parents say, ‘I can’t let Johnny outside, somebody might abduct him,’ or something crazy thing like that. We were never that way. I think that’s why he gets the flavor of both groups.”

The Pond Hockey Classic relies on a simple formula: Get a decent sheet of ice and a bunch of guys together, and drop the puck. The concept is so simple, Scott Crowder said that many would-be entrepreneurs have told him they had the same idea.

“And I tell them, ‘That’s great, but I’m the one doing it,'” he said.

The idea took shape in the summer of 2009, when the newly minted graduate was working on the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee ferrying visitors around the lake or giving water skiing and wake boarding lessons. However, the weather didn’t always cooperate that summer, giving Crowder plenty of down time to consider other ventures.

“I was just thinking, it’d be really neat if there was a pond hockey tournament here,” Crowder said. “The lake freezes solid; the town has hotels and restaurants; people know the area; it’s close to Boston. I had no idea [it would be so successful], I didn’t plan that. It was probably the first of July when the idea popped into my head & ‘Why not here?'”

[+] EnlargeMakeshift Goal 

PondHockeyClassic.comLast year they used wooden boxes for goals, but the tournament proved so popular they bought pre-fabricated ones this year.

First, though, was the matter of a hockey career. After a solid, if unspectacular, four-year career with the Minutemen (6 goals, 14 assists, 20 points), Crowder earned a contract to play with the Stockton Thunder in California, so he went west. Crowder was released at the end of preseason, but Thunder coach Matt Thompson told him there might be a couple of teams on the East Coast interested in him.

“I said, ‘Thanks but no thanks,'” Crowder said. “I was 24 years old and had a good education. I wanted to start my life, and I knew pro hockey wasn’t going to hold much for me. So I ended up coming back from California on Oct. 15 and thought, ‘OK, what am I doing now?'”

Crowder seized on his idea for a pond hockey tournament, even though he had only three months to put it together. Admittedly, he had a few key elements working in his favor right from the get-go. First, he would be dovetailing off the NHL’s Winter Classic, which was set for Fenway Park, focusing even more local attention on the outdoor game. He’s from a hockey family and was able to take advantage of the connections that he and his father had made over the years. Plus, he was familiar with Meredith and the Lakes Region, having visited since he was 8 years old and helping to build a family home on Bear Island during his teens.

“I called the town of Meredith, went to town meetings, met with town managers, met with the fire chief, the police chief, all those people from the town, and pretty much ran with it,” he said. “I made a website; I sent out e-mail blasts. Really pounded the pavement trying to promote it. It was pretty grassroots.”

All those things helped get Crowder’s foot in the door, but it was his determination and willpower that pushed it open. He saw a classic win-win scenario, where summer-based businesses such as restaurants and hotels could get a mid-winter bump. It didn’t hurt that he didn’t know any better. Meredith, Crowder said, is a classic conservative New England town — slow to embrace anything new.

“It was like pulling teeth working with the town of Meredith, trying to tell them I had the vision in my head what this was going to be,” Crowder said. “It’s a small town with a small-town mentality. They don’t always like things that change their way of life.

“Now, the town is great. They’re behind it. Like anything else, the first year, you have to prove yourself.”

But not even Crowder could predict the response he got.

[+] EnlargePond Hockey 

PondHockeyClassic.comTournament founder Scott Crowder, 24, said last year’s inaugural event was a success way beyond his expectations.

“By Thanksgiving he had 20 teams, and the next thing you know he’s got 70, and he had to shut it off and wound up with a lot of people on a waiting list,” said his father, chuckling. “He didn’t want it to get too big the first year, just because he didn’t know what he was doing.”

Crowder still had to convince area merchants to buy into the concept, and it wasn’t always an easy sell. He had lined up a major sponsor in Labatt Blue beer and had to lobby local taverns to stock up enough to keep hundreds of hockey players happy.

“The funny thing was, he was jumping through hoops, left and right, and the town of Meredith didn’t know what to make of this 24-year-old kid saying he was going to do this and that,” Bruce Crowder said. “When it was all said and done, by Monday of that weekend, he could have been mayor of Meredith. I lost count of the number of people who came up to me and said, ‘There’s never been anything like this in Meredith in the winter time, where we’ve had this type of excitement.'”

The response was nothing short of astounding. Teams rushed to sign up. There were old-timers from the over-50 league at Hockeytown in Saugus, Mass., to absolute beginners. Among the old guard were Bruce Crowder and his Essex 73’s squad, named after his old junior team in Ontario.

“In the round-robin, we were 4-0, which wasn’t bad for a bunch of over-50 guys playing in the over-30 division,” Bruce Crowder said, laughing. “But we got our asses kicked in the playoffs and we were gone. We just got too cocky.”

But the elder Crowder will be back, along with two former teammates traveling in for the tournament. So will everyone else, as Scott Crowder said the tournament is boasting a 100 percent return rate. Again, it speaks to the draw of hockey in its purest form — the same hockey that Scott Crowder and MacPhee played as kids.

“It’s sad, because there are so many rinks, and they’re open summer and winter. It’s crazy how many rinks there are now,” MacPhee said. “People don’t need to play on the ponds, which is too bad, because that’s when it’s really a lot of fun.

“You just go out there and have a good time. You can play until it gets dark out or until you get blisters or your hands get numb. It was a great thing. I think everyone felt a little nostalgic going out and playing at Meredith because it is a lost hobby.”

Scott Crowder’s father said he loves the nostalgia, too.

“The best thing about the tournament was watching the smiles on the guys’ faces when they left the rink,” Bruce Crowder said. “There was one competitive division that got a little crazy, but for the most part everybody was just having fun. Winning and losing wasn’t the most important thing. It was just the camaraderie.”

Expect more of the same this February.

“Scott started something special, there’s no doubt about it,” said MacPhee, who is returning to avenge his Winnipesaukee Whalers semifinal loss last year. “This is going to be huge. It’s the weekend of the winter.”

Poll Time! Version 1.0

Clicking around the settings of this blog and trying to make it more fun for the loyal following that we have, I discovered how to create a poll.  Hopefully this is something I can do every once in awhile.  I was originally going to write a post about these three candidates but I think I’d rather hear your feedback.

Bruins Hit All-Star Break In First Place

Last night, following a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers, the Boston Bruins found themselves sitting atop the Northeast division with 63 points and 4 points ahead of the Montreal Canadiens.  They are also perched in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference.  The best part about this game was not that the Bruins won or that the Bruins head into the All-Star break leading their division but, that I was there in person for the first time since the 08-09 season, and damn did it feel good to be back.  The girlfriend came through hard for my birthday getting seats 5 rows behind the Bruins net and even though she wasn’t feeling well she still went all out to make sure we had fun.  Clutch.  Here is where our seats were…

You can also see me at the 34 second mark on the replay of the Lucic goal sticking my goofy arm up in the air (black shirt, grey long sleeve underneath, on the aisle).

Last night was just an awesome night overall and it was nice to see the Bruins grind out a win, albeit an ugly one.  My upcoming work schedule may prevent me from doing a post on this weekend’s All-Star game/skills competition but I want to try and do one because of the new fantasy draft format.  The NHL doesn’t always do things right but they aren’t the ones threatening a labor stop (I’m looking at you NFL and NBA) so, they may be one of the cleaner dirty shirts out there in terms of professional sports…but they are still cleaner…or something…right?

Big East Game #8: Providence 83 Villanova 68

Last night the Villanova Wildcats came into The Dunk fresh off a win at #3 Syracuse.  They have a game Saturday against #20 Georgetown at home.  Problem is, they had a game last night against a lowly Providence Friars that they didn’t show up for.  The Friars jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the opening minutes and never looked back making it two wins in a row against ranked teams for the first time since 1998.

I had numerous chances to go to the game last night but passed them up to watch the game at home with my father.  He wasn’t prepared for my newfound way of cheering for the Friars.  I have become Randy Quaid from Major League 2.  After faithfully following the Friars for about 15 years, I have gotten to the point where I realized  that PC plays everyone tough for 37 minutes and then blows the game in less than 3.  I have become negative and always looking for what’s wrong and jumping on Keno Davis every chance I get.

Last night, was a night where my father was right and I was wrong.  I was furious in the beginning of the first half with PC’s shot selection.  They took 10 threes in the opening 9 minutes of the game.  I remember saying “Here we go, live by the three, die by the three.” My father came back with: “I like this strategy, it has Villanova back on their toes and now they are trying to mimic what PC is doing.”  Point to pops on that. Villanova definitely fell into the trap of playing some helter skelter basketball, shooting 32% from the field and 18% from downtown.

I also didn’t like Keno going with a four guard set.  I even tweeted, “Well, now we are going to get killed on the boards.”  (Villanova had 21 offensive rebounds).  The problem is that Bilal Dixon has been useless this season and has forced Keno’s hand into playing a lineup that puts Marshon Brooks at the 4.  I was thinking Villanova would be able to handle Gerard Coleman and Vincent Council because they have two of the best guards in the country in Corey Stokes and Corey Fisher.  I was wrong again as the Corey’s were a combined 4-26 from the field, 1-13 from 3, and combined for 14 points.

Marshon Brooks has to be commended for still having a solid game despite being clearly off all night.  He was 0-8 from downtown and 4-15 from the floor but was still able to create offense for himself by getting to the charity stripe 14 times and hitting 12.  He had 20 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals on his 22nd birthday.  A win over the #7 team in the country is a nice way to celebrate.

The next big name in Providence will be Gerard Coleman, if it isn’t already.  He was the offense in the first half of the Louisville game and he played great last night.  It seems every year Providence has one freshman that gets Friartown all excited and sets the pace for the next four years.  I
love this Coleman kid.  He had 16 points last night and is a lot of fun to watch on the break with Vincent Council.

Speaking of Council, (he being that freshman last year that I was excited about) he had a stat stuffing night with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  He was also 3-4 from three point land and although erratic at some points in the game, he overall wasn’t bad.  He is still learning how to control a game and understanding when it push the ball up the court and when to slow things down.

The bottom line after this past week for the PC Friars is that they now know how to win.  They know how to close out ball games.  Something they haven’t done since the days of Ryan Gomes.  It will be sad to see Marshon go, as he was the one constant during a time of turmoil in the PC program.  But otherwise, as Keno reminds us every fifteen minutes, this is a very young team making the present a learning experience but the future very bright.  But hasn’t that been the case the past 4-5 years?

NEXT UP: @SETON HALL, SUNDAY, JANUARY 30, 2PM.

 

I can be followed on Twitter at ScottieNTCF

Kendrick Perkins and What This All Means

Last night Kendrick Perkins returned to the Celtics line up for the first time since the devastating knee injury he suffered last year in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.  Unfortunately I was unable to enjoy watching his return because I was preoccupied with trying to be an all-pro rec league volleyball player, but from what I’ve heard, and from the limited time I was able to see him on the court, all signs point to something great.

At first we were told that the earliest Perk would be back was the January 28th game against the Suns in Phoenix.  That was pushed back to the Feruary 4th game against Dallas back in Boston.  So unless you had not been listening to the reports before the game, seeing Perk take the floor in the first quarter to a standing ovation may have come as somewhat of a shock, but it was necessary.  Neither O’Neal, Jermaine or Shaq, was going to be available last night, with visual evidence showing that Shaq may have thought he was supposed to suit up for the Bruins in goal.  That meant that the Turkish Terror (work in progress), Semi Erden, was going to be the only “big guy” in uniform.  Now I believe in Semi, but that is something frightening to hear even if you are playing the lowly Cavs (those same Cavs that beat us in the beginning of the season…you know, the kind of games that you are SUPPOSED to win…the kind of games that make the difference between having and not having homecourt in the playoffs and most importantly the Finals…I will not even get started on the Wizards).

Having Perkins back means only good things for this team:

1) The Celtics fans out there can only be satisified and appreciative of the performance that Shaq has given us so far this season when he has been able to stay on the court…as for Jermaine O’Neal, we wish he would channel his inner 2002-2004 player.  Perkins is going to give Shaq the rest that he needs at his age so that he will be serviceable when we need him most in the playoffs.  He is also going to make it so Jermaine O’Neal can start fouling out in the 4th quarter, not the 3rd…that is if he sees the court.  Ok, correction, he is going to make it so that we can see Jermaine O’Neal help us the only way he probably can; changing the Garden over after a Bruins game…although he will still obviously get hurt and miss some time.

2) As well as Semi “The Turkish Tyrannosaurus*” Erden has been playing, you have to think that he is the future center, possibly starting, more possibly back up.  We are not going to have to rely and ask to much of a rookie when it comes playoff time, that is a major relief.

3) The Lakers, Spurs, Magic, and Heat should all begin to worry.  Along with us, the Lakers know that if Perkins does not go down in that series the Celtics win their 2nd title in 3 years.

4) The Celtics are no longer go to be ranked 30th in the league in rebounds per game.  If there was one thing that Perkins did well it was go after the boards and rip them down with his brute Perk strength…now if Tommy can just teach him to keep the ball high instead of bringing the ball down and trying to dribble…why does bring the ball down and try to dribble…

5) Championship**

*I apologize for this.

**There are probably a few more points than four, feel free to comment and add, I just see these as the most important.

Bruins Stifled In LA- Savard Out Indefinitely

I just wanted to make a couple quick points in regards to the Bruins and Marc Savard. I’ll start with the Bruins game last night in Los Angeles.  This team has struggled with the Kings lately and I don’t know what it is.  Even when the Bruins are playing well they can’t figure out the Kings.  The Bruins even stopped by LA last night with the Kings on a cold streak and couldn’t solve UMass’s own Jon Quick, losing 2-0.  The weird thing was, the Bruins didn’t play horrible, just not well enough to win (obviously).  Tim Thomas stood on his head once again but Quick and the Kings were slightly better snuffing any strong chances the Bruins could develop.  The Bruins have now lost their last five games to Los Angeles.  If I had time to look it up I would, but I am curious, do the Bruins hold a current drought longer than five games to any other teams?  I’d be willing to bet next week’s paycheck on “no” here.

Onto Savard.  Savard was again diagnosed with a concussion on a hard (but clean) hit from former Bruin Matt Hunwick the other night in Colorado.  I don’t know what’s more puzzling, Savard going down again or Hunwick actually throwing a hard hit.  I digress.  The Marc Savard concussion raises many eyebrows.  I believe he should be put on LTIR and be done for the rest of the season.  Every time I see him on the ice I think of Eric Lindros, a career cut short via the concussion.  It literally brings up so much anger toward Matt Cooke for laying the original dirty hit on Savard and taking out the Bruins biggest potential point producer over the past few years and for years to come.  Marc Savard was an assist machine until that hit and now Matt Cooke is still flying around night after night playing dirty and aggravating the league…I hope he gets his some day, I really do.