Shit, even the Griswolds had a better start to their trip overseas.
Well, that was awful. The Bs started the season today in Prague with a woeful opening 40 minutes that would be too much to overcome, as they dropped a 5-2 decision to the no-longer-a-punchline Phoenix Coyotes.
After stuffing two breakaways, Tuukka Rask, who was a victim of the play in front of him and kept this from being a real blowout, got beat by Radim Vrbata after a funky end boards carom to make it 1-0.
But Phoenix essentially put this one away in the 2nd thanks to three more tallies that came courtesy of terrible defensive breakdowns and, for whatever reason, a mentally unprepared team (that sounds too familiar). Phoenix just vastly outplayed them in the first two periods. Don't be fooled by the 26 SOG, as Ilya Bryzgalov didn't have to be his usual stellar self.
Down 4-0 heading into the 3rd, the Bs showed a some heart. New guy Nate Horton tallied his first two of the year to halve the lead. The first was off of a nice Milan Lucic pass, the second a PP tally. But on both, Horton showed his sniperability when he has time and space. Unfortunately, the Bruins ran out of both and the comeback effort was snuffed when Vrbata's empty-netter with 1:47 left gave him his second on the year and sealed the 'L' for Boston.
At least the Bs get right back at it tomorrow to wash away the stench of today's shitshow. The second and final game of the Euro-trip will give you a nice segue into the 1:00 football games---an early 10:00 a.m. start on NESN (yes, 10:00 a.m. on Sunday is quite early when you're childless).
A few more buds for your bowl...
*Nate Horton was the lone bright spot on the afternoon, though Rask did his job well despite getting a 4-spot hung on him. He found some space, got fed, and made the most of his chances. It's easy to see the kid's a finisher. Two goals in your Bruins debut is always a good way to get into the fans' good graces. Whereas...
*a -3 (Matt Hunwick) and a -2 (the Blues Brothers---Blake Wheeler and Mike Ryder, as in 'these guys gimme the fucking blues') are a quick way to summon the boo-birds before you even hit home ice.
*I'll be surprised, as well as disheartened, if Claude comes right back with the same line-up. Give Ryder a view from up high and let's see what Jordan Caron can do. And Hunwick obviously needs a breather so McQuaid should get his spot, not only to see what he looks like but to spell Hunwick who, though it's very early, gave no indication that his confidence has returned.
*Though Rask certainly didn't do anything to play himself out of the starting line-up, I wouldn't be surprised to see Tim Thomas get the nod tomorrow. After the game, the Bs don't play again until Saturday in New Jersey so Julien might give Thomas a crack at his first real game action since last season's "nobody get hurt" season finale at MSG.
*Nice to see 4th liner Greg Campbell willing to throw down in order to get the team fired up shortly after Horton's first goal. He took on Vernon Fiddler and acquitted himself well for a guy not billed as a scrapper but Shawn Thornton needn't worry about his role. Hey, it's all about showing up. Speaking of which...
*Where the fuck was somebody after---I believe it was him but I'm not positive---Taylor Pyatt recklessly barreled into Rask in the first? Andy Ference gave him a half-assed push to keep him down on the ice. But otherwise, the response was pathetic. Shit like that can ruin a goalie's knee in a snap and should be policed accordingly (and I don't mean look to Greg's dad). Otherwise, your team's gonna look like a bunch of pussies when opponents can run your goalie and not pay a price for it.
*In his pro debut, Tyler Seguin didn't light the world on fire. Of course, Dan Paille and Mike Ryder aren't exactly gasoline and matches either. He made a couple of nice plays, most notably a set-up that Mark Recchi fumbled a bit before getting a shot off. But also looked like a teenager making his pro debut. And to be fair, he was another -2 player. Not great, not bad. But this kid is gonna grow a little bit each game.