NBC Sports NHL analyst Mike Milbury is known for his negative commentary, and he went after Jaromir Jagr during the first intermission of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday while the Boston Bruins were down 1-0 to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Jagr, who was acquired by the Bruins during the regular season, has been a postseason disappointment. Though he registered nine points in 11 regular-season games with the B’s, Jagr has failed to score a goal in 17 playoff games. He does have seven assists, three of which came during the Eastern Conference Finals sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins. But the 41-year-old has been noticeably slow on the ice, which is something Milbury focused on in his analysis.
“He can’t skate in this series. They gotta get him off of this line. If he can do something when he gets the puck standing still, fine. But he can’t forecheck, he can’t participate with this line. He turned the puck over repeatedly. He can’t get anything going here. They can’t sustain anything with him on this line.
“Absolutely lazy in a Stanley Cup Finals … that to me is a guy that is too tired to play in this final. That is a guy that has to be replaced.”
People may not like Milbury’s confrontational style, but it’s hard to disagree with him. Fans have been waiting for Jagr to score in the playoffs and he just hasn’t done it. He is 41, was given the morning skate off, and you can tell he is slower. That doesn’t mean he’s useless, it just means he’s not “Jaromir Jagr” anymore.
If you thought the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins were exhausted and in pain after playing well into a third overtime in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, have a look at Dr. Patricia Higgins. Toward the end of regulation on Wednesday night, Johnny Boychuck ripped the puck from center ice into the Bruins’ zone and it was deflected into the stands. From there, it found Higgins’ face.
According to CBS Chicago, Higgins suffered severe lacerations on her forehead and nose and was left with two black eyes. She reportedly underwent successful surgery on Thursday morning and is resting at home, where she is expected to make a full recovery.
To make matters worse, Higgins didn’t even get to keep the puck. It supposedly skipped into the row in front of where she was sitting and was scooped up by another fan.
Players taking pucks to the face is an all-too-common occurrence, but Higgins’ injury is an unfortunate reminder that the same thing can happen to the audience. The protective netting can only do so much. Hopefully Higgins’ experience won’t discourage her from attending games in the future.
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks was one of the longest games in NHL playoff history. The two teams played well into a third overtime before 21-year-old center Andrew Shaw put himself in a perfect position to deflect a puck past Tuukka Rask.
Shaw was actually the second player to deflect the puck, as defenseman Michal Rozsival snapped a shot from the point that was tipped first by Dave Bolland and then Shaw.
Both teams were visibly exhausted after playing more than 110 minutes of hockey. The Bruins had a number of scoring chances throughout the three overtime periods, but Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford made several timely stops to keep his team alive with 54 saves. Rask was equally effective with 59 saves on 63 shots, but the puck bounced the Blackhawks’ way in the end.
Andrew Shaw deflected the puck into the net for the game-winning goal in triple-overtime of the Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-3 comeback win over the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday, and the hero kept it loose in his postgame interview with NBC’s Pierre McGuire. Maybe too loose.
McGuire asked Shaw to take him through the overtime goal. Shaw began describing what happened. He then casually let a “f—ing” slip out, it seemed.
“It was a great shot, great tip, f—ing … it was unbelievable. All the guys … we deserved this,” said Shaw.
According to FOXSports.com’s A.J. Perez, Shaw admitted after the game that he let the F-bomb slip out accidentally. He apparently said he made a “slip of the tongue” because of exhaustion.
Considering that the teams had played nearly 120 minutes of hockey, it’s hard to get too mad at him for letting down his guard. And we’re guessing that not too many youngsters heard it since it was midnight in the central time zone and 1:00 am on the East Coast by the time the game ended.
Phil Esposito is one of the greatest players in NHL history, and he played for both the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. For that reason, one might assume he would be torn when it comes to choosing a team to root for in this year’s Stanley Cup Final. As it turns out, that could not be further from the truth.
“You want to know the truth?” he said. “This series doesn’t mean s*** to me. I have no feeling for these teams. There’s nothing emotional about it. They both got rid of me, traded me. So screw them.”
Esposito was considered the greatest scorer of his generation, becoming the first ever player to score over 100 points in a season when he recorded a whopping 126 in 1969. He led the NHL in scoring for six straight seasons from 1969-1975, and he and Bobby Orr were the anchors of a Bruins team that won Stanley Cup championships in 1970 and 1972.
Esposito came to Boston from Chicago in 1967, before his career really took off. During the 1975-76 season, he was traded from the Bruins to the New York Rangers when he supposedly made a fuss about having his playing time reduced because of his age.
“I didn’t choose to leave Chicago,” Esposito said. “I didn’t choose to leave Boston. I signed a contract in Boston for less money than I could have gotten from going to the WHA. I could have made millions doing that. And you know how they repaid me? Three weeks later, they traded me (to the New York Rangers).”
The fifth-leading scorer in NHL history went on to coach and become general manager of the Rangers after he retired in 1981. In 1987, the Bruins held an emotional ceremony where they retired Esposito’s No. 7 jersey and had Ray Bourque remove the number from his back to reveal his new No. 77. Esposito was moved by the ceremony and later attended a ceremony in Boston when the Bruins retired Bourque’s number, but apparently he has had no association with the team since then. Talk about a crying shame.
Chicago Blackhawks fan Frank Miller has come up with an idea for those fans who cannot show up to work rocking a playoff beard. Rather than going months without shaving, Miller decided he would let his front lawn grow until the Blackhawks hoist the Stanley Cup. Shaving can be an epic pain in the you-know-what, and so can mowing the grass. That’s what makes the idea so genius.
However, officials from Miller’s suburb of Park Ridge were not on board with the idea. The lawn had gotten incredibly long at one point, and last month a city worker was ordered to put an end to it.
“I was watching the playoffs one night with my son and hear a lawn mower going off, and I come outside, ‘What are you doing?'” Miller told NBC 5 in Chicago on Monday. “The guy was cutting my lawn with a giant industrial-sized mower, and he said that the city had come and paid him to cut my lawn.”
Either the city got sick of looking at it or neighbors called to complain. Despite the lawn being chopped down, the Blackhawks managed to fight their way to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they will face the Boston Bruins in Game 1 on Wednesday night. And Miller is hoping he doesn’t get another unexpected visit from a city employee, because he has been growing the playoff lawn again since they cut it.
“Everybody drives by and beeps at it,” Miller said. “People stop and take pictures. It’s awesome.”
Shaving in the middle of a playoff run is believed to be bad luck, but the trimming of the playoff lawn beard has not cost the Blackhawks just yet. Our very own LB’s epic playoff beard helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup two years ago, and Miller is hoping his lawn can prevent them from doing it again. If not, the town of Park Ridge could be to blame.
The Boston Bruins found a way to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in double-overtime of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night, and they likely demoralized the top-seeded Pens in the process.
The teams played nearly 66 minutes of scoreless hockey until Patrice Bergeron slipped one past Tomas Vokoun at the 15:19 mark in the second overtime. The catalyst on the goal was Jaromir Jagr, who fought Evgeni Malkin for the puck by the boards and flipped it ahead to Brad Marchand, who passed to his linemate for the winner.
It was Bergeron’s third-career playoff overtime goal.
“We found our way I guess. That’s the only way you can look at it,” said Bergeron after the game. “It wasn’t necessarily our best effort in the first 60, but I thought we regrouped well in overtime. We kept battling and we said that we had to find a way somehow, and we did in the second overtime.”
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was outstanding once again for the B’s. He stopped 53 of 54 shots he faced, though he did get lucky on a few shots, such as one by Malkin that hit the post. Despite the loss, Vokoun played well for Pittsburgh and stopped 38 of 40 shots. He bounced back after being pulled following his shameful performance in Game 2 that saw him allow three goals in the first period.
Jagr played a good game for Boston and now has three assists against the team for whom he starred for over a decade. He played aggressively and took four shots in over 26 minutes of ice time.
Now that they’re up 3-0 after taking Pittsburgh’s soul with the double-overtime win, I’d be stunned if the series didn’t end on Friday.
Boston Bruins fans are feeling great these days, and deservedly so. Their Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins is far from over, but the first two games of the series could not have gone any better for Claude Julien’s club. Pens fans had to have been disgusted after their team’s 6-1 loss in Game 2 on Monday night, and one Boston bartender decided to kick them while they were down.
In the following video, you will see a corny play on words turned into a phenomenal prank phone call, mainly because of execution. Some bartender in Boston decided — probably with a little pressure from his patrons — to call a bar in Pittsburgh and ask for “Owen.” Who is Owen? Check out the clip, and keep in mind that there is some incredibly offensive language:
Sidney Crosby is not known as a physical player. In fact, he’s the exact opposite; he’s a skilled player who has accrued just 417 penalty minutes in 470 career games. But as the second period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins came to a close, Crosby got into it with two different Bruins.
The Bruins were up 1-0 and managed to keep the Penguins from scoring despite Pittsburgh being on the power play to end the period. While Evgeni Malkin and Patrice Bergeron got most of the attention for dropping gloves after the period ended, what should not go unnoticed is what happened with Crosby and Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.
Rask was skating off the ice after the period ended and crossed paths with Crosby as the Pens captain was headed over to the pile of players who met in the middle of the ice. Crosby gave Rask a nudge with his elbow, and Rask may have responded because Crosby turned around and went back to confront Rask. Crosby gave him a cross check. As the Bergeron-Malkin fight was being broken up by the officials, Crosby had words with Chara. Maybe it was just two captains trying to stand up for their teams.
“They’re letting a lot go out there, and the more it gets like that, the more it’s going to escalate. You can only control and channel that stuff so much. You keep letting guys do that stuff, you’re just going to push the envelope. That’s something we obviously want to stay away from, but it’s kind of a natural thing when it gets like that,” Crosby said after the game, per Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The teams will play Game 2 on Monday in Pittsburgh. It will be interesting to see how the officials handle things after all the physical play in Game 1. After Matt Cooke’s hit on Adam McQuaid, I can imagine things continuing to be physical.
Alright, that one doesn’t even make sense. The long period of downtime the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins have had to wait before their Eastern Conference Finals series begins has led to a lot of boredom. Saturday night can’t get here quick enough.