January 27, 2010

Ready or Not, Here They Come.

Do you want to know why I am afraid of Alexander Ovechkin? It's not because he's scored 33 goals in just 44 games. And its not because he's tallied 37 assists..which totals to a whopping 70 points, already. The reason why I am afraid of Ovechkin, now more than ever, is because his team can slaughter a team 7-2, without a single goal from him. Yup. The Washington Capitals scored 7 goals last night. And not ONE of those goals was from Ovie. That, my friends, is what I like to call..depth.

I have all the respect in the world for Ovie's antics and shenanigans; as well as his unbelievable, somewhat superhuman talent. But they're coming to the TD Garden next week, Tuesday, to be exact, and this frightens me. Can we just... uninvite them? No. Unfortunately, they're coming whether the Black and Gold like it or not. Personally, I don't like it. But hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised. But alas, I'm getting ahead of myself, and I'm sorry. I know that the pesky, and Northeast Division leading Sabres will be a tough contest Friday night. As well as the Kings on Saturday.

Ready or Not, here they come.
And by not, i mean...the B's better be ready to draw some blood and pick up some points.

Have a good Wednesday.
Lots of hockey on tonight for those interested in teams beyond the realm of Bruins.

January 26, 2010

Introducing Myself and Some Unorganized Thoughts

Again, I apologize for just starting out by ranting about the B's...but let's face it. That's what I'm good at. Well, my name is Paula and I'll be posting under P.M. as those are my innitials. I'm 22 years old and I would say I am a die hard Bruins fan, through and through. I can honestly say, as much as I curse at the tv, make false claims about giving up my season tickets, or walk out of the Garden crestfallenly...I refuse to turn my back on this team. Not two years ago when they lost to Montreal in the first round of playoffs. Not last year when they lost in the 2nd round to...excuse me while I cringe, Carolina. And most significantly, I won't lose faith now. The B's may be consistently inconsistent for the time being but they're at rock bottom. There's nowhere to go but up. Metaphorically speaking, of course, because they could actually fall further down in the ranks of the Eastern Conference; and ultimately not make the playoffs, which in that case, I probably wouldn't be blogging..because I'd be too busy being curled up in the fetal position, rocking back and forth listening to Enya, but I digress.

The main point to be taken from that running stream of consciousness is that the B's can, and desperately need, to move forward. If they can pull out some wins over the next few games (a grueling schedule, I may add...Sabres, Ovechkin, Habs..to name a few) then they won't be in dire need for wins come the end of the season. The last thing I need is the B's being a bubble team and needing conditional events to occur in order to clinch a playoff spot.

Again, I have faith. The best thing about the Boston Bruins, in my opinion, is that despite all of the heartbreak and disappointment they can bring, they also bring something else. All it takes is one game. A game in which the big, bad, Bruins are back. As opposed to just...bad. A game in which the players score messy goals, maybe even a pretty one; hard hits; acrobatic yet unorthodox saves; having Lucic rip someone's head off or smash a body through the glass; maybe a line brawl. I don't know when this game will happen, but for the team's sake I hope it's soon. And I can assure you, once this game happens, the Eastern Conference will be in for a rude awakening because the Bruins have potential to be a driving force. And I know they will be.

Thank you and Goodnight. Peace , Love & GO BRUINS.

Weighted Rank Average (WRA): 1/22/10

This is a stat that I do about every week starting in January. It is a slightly weighted average of a team's ranking in five different statistics (goals for/game, goals against/game, power play %, penalty kill %, and save %). The formula is:
with GFA being a team's rank in goals for/game, etc. For example, here's a comparison of San Jose and Carolina*:

San Jose: GFA-2nd GAA-4th PP%-5th PK%-1st SV%-2nd
[(2*2)+(4*2)+5+1+2]/7= 2.86

Carolina: GFA-28th GAA-28th PP%-20th PK%-24th SV%-29th
[(28*2)+(28*2)+20+24+29]/7= 26.43

At the end of the season I do a playoff version (WRAP) that's the same except that I also add their conference standing (and divide by 8). That stat predicted the Stanley Cup winner for three years in a row...until last year. The Bruins had the best numbers I'd ever seen.

Moving on to the last WRA stats, from 1/22.

1. San Jose (2.86)
2. Chicago (4.86)
3. Vancouver (6.29)
4. Buffalo (6.43)
5. New Jersey (8.71)
6. Washington (9.71)
7. Colorado (10.71)
8. NY Rangers (12.29)
9. Philadelphia (12.86)
10. Phoenix (13.43)
11. BOSTON (13.57)
12. Montreal (14.00)
13. Los Angeles (14.86)
14. Calgary (15.71)
15. Pittsburgh (15.86)
16. Detroit (16.43)
17. Florida (16.57)
18. Anaheim (17.00)
19. Atlanta (17.29)
19. St. Louis (17.29)
21. Nashville (18.29)
21. Minnesota (18.29)
23. Ottawa (18.86)
24. Dallas (19.14)
25. Tampa Bay (20.43)
25. Columbus (20.43)
27. NY Islanders (22.57)
28. Edmonton (24.14)
29. Toronto (25.14)
30. Carolina (26.43)

*Did I use this comparison because I'm bitter about losing to Carolina the other night? Yes. Did it make me feel better? Nothing really can.


My name is Paula. I'll explain myself to you later. Forgive me for not taking the time to formally introduce myself, as "1-7-1" has been forcefully etched into my mind and more importantly, my heart. The Bruins are 1-7-1 in their last 9 contests. And I find myself asking, WHY????

Some (probably more than a few..) would say.. "Wideman". During Saturday's tilt at the Garden, an Ottawa Senator scored and someone in my section blamed Wideman. Amusingly enough, he wasn't even on the ice. True, Dennis Wideman has not been the number two defenseman we saw last year. To put it bluntly, he's been absolutely brutal so far this year. In the 08-09 season, Wides put up extraordinary numbers. 50 points- 13 goals and 37 assists. Not to mention an almost-Norris-worthy 32 +/- rating. Where has that man gone?? Now, here we are, 51 games into the season and that number 2 d-man is nowhere to be found. Instead, we find ourselves plagued with a discouraged, disoriented man on skates.. who ends up shooting the puck into the legs of opposing defenders, or breaking the thumbs of his own teammates, or crashing into a ref producing a breakway for Cheechoo..etc etc etc. The list goes on. I feel bad for the guy, I really do. But suprisingly, do I think that Wideman is to blame for this mid-season slump? Nope. I don't.

Ok, maybe I blame Wideman a little....but perhaps only because it is so easy. He's in a rut right now, his game is completely off. However, I have faith he will climb out of it, because I've seen what he can do when his game is on. I think there's a reason why myself, and others, are so quick to blame Wideman. Probably because it is so hard to realize that there is a bigger, deeper problem with the team that we saw skyrocket to the top of the Eastern Conference last season. The injury bug has really hit the B's hard, losing top guys such as Savard, Lucic and Bergeron for long stretches of time has messed with team chemistry. Their passes aren't connecting, they're powerplay is out of order as well as sloppy play in the neutral zone resulting in turnovers. Right now, injured Bruins include Marc Savard, Marco Sturm, Byron Bitz, Steve Begin and Andrew Ference. The replacements from Providence have worked hard and I can't say enough about the work ethic of Vladimir Sobotka who I think deserves a spot on the B's roster, for good this season. (But I'll get to that at another time)

The B's need to start playing with their hearts. But unfortunately, a team can't win on "pure heart" alone. Over the past three games before Sunday's utter disaster in Raleigh, the B's were starting to show some promise. They seemed to be hustling faster, moving the puck with more ease and finally shooting the puck. Still, no dice. The Bruins need to find a way to put the puck in the net, and they need to do it fast. Only time will tell as their injured players are healed and return to the lineup. If the return of Savvy and Sturm doesn't jumpstart the B's offense, I don't know what will. And in that case, I think GM Peter Chiarelli should start making some phone calls. Unless, of course, he wants his summer vacation to start in mid-April..

Welcome to The Bear Necessities!

This blog was going to happen eventually. When it comes to the Bruins, Paula and I are fanatics. She has season tickets and we go to all home games. I take notes and compute pages of statistics when I'm excited. We ramble and commiserate with each other every day, our moods dependent on how the team is doing. In short, we're completely tapped.

That's the best reason we have for starting The Bear Necessities. Somewhere between pride in our history, hope for the future, and bitterness in the present; between lifelong devotion and minimal expectations; between the ecstasy of winning and the crushing defeat that inevitably follows it, lies what it takes to be a Boston Bruins fan.

That and Bear Hat.

About Tizzle: My name is Katie, but most people (including Paula) refer to me as Tizzle. I'm a born and raised Bruins fan and played hockey for 8 years. I enjoy long complicated statistics and criticizing forwards for their defensive zone play. Paula, the Jack to my Brick, will introduce herself.

To all the other fans that are in it for the long run, I hope you can get some entertainment and insight from this blog.