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All Hype – No Substance

Posted By Jim Mulligan On Mar 19 2010 @ 1:48 am In Boston Bruins | 5 Comments

hype1   /haɪp/
verb,hyped, hyp·ing, nounInformal.
–verb (used with object)
1.to stimulate, excite, or agitate (usually fol. by up): She was hyped up at the thought of owning her own car.
2.to create interest in by flamboyant or dramatic methods; promote or publicize showily: a promoter who knows how to hype a prizefight.
3.to intensify (advertising, promotion, or publicity) by ingenious or questionable claims, methods, etc. (usually fol. by up).
4.to trick; gull.
–noun
5.exaggerated publicity; hoopla.
6.an ingenious or questionable claim, method, etc., used in advertising, promotion, or publicity to intensify the effect.
7.a swindle, deception, or trick.

We’re all guilty of it this week. Going into last night’s game, I honestly thought the Bruins were going to come home from their seven game road trip and take the Penguins behind the wood shed and make them collectively pay for Matt Cooke’s season ending cheap shot to Marc Savard. As Pens coach Dan Blysma said afterward, “Experience in games like this where there is hype, it’s not uncommon for the game to unfold like it did. I think the first couple shifts the way they unfolded I think settled the game down a little bit in terms of the emotion.”

On top of the Matt Cooke storyline, the Bruins were honoring the 40th anniversary of the Bobby Orr led Stanley Cup Champion season.

So under the umbrella of all this emotion the Bruins and Pens dropped the puck in a game where both teams needed the two points.

It took Shawn Thornton less than two minutes to defend Savard’s honor. The crowd immediately booed Cooke on his first shift as he jumped over the boards. While Thornton was in the middle of his shift, he jumped at the chance to have a go with Cooke. Cooke obliged and the two danced a bit then started swinging. Thornton got the best of Cooke and he continued to swing at him even while he was on the ice and the linsemen were breaking the two apart. For the extra punches, he earned a ten minute misconduct. The crowd at Thornton’s locker was the biggest I’ve ever seen in the Bruins room. Being one of the vocal leaders in the room, Shawn had a lot to say tonight. “Obviously, we wanted to still play physical, but I think him [Matt Cooke] stepping up and doing the right thing put some water on the fire, I suppose.”

That was a fact.

There were literally two waves of reporters getting Thornton’s first hand account of the night. When all was said and done Thornton joked that he expects the same size crowd after his next bout.

 The Bruins had three or four solid chances after the fight. A Blake Wheeler deflection in the slot and a Zdeno Chara blast from the point both rang the dinner bell behind Fleury. As well, there was a goal mouth scramble where the puck landed on the top of the net. But really, that was it for the night for the Bruins. Julien lamented afterward, “…when we started of the game, we hit a couple of posts. If we score on one of those, is it a different game? Maybe. I guess we’ll never know.”

Tyler Kennedy’s wrist shot over Tuukka Rask’s catching glove gave the Pens a lead they would never give up. Miro Satan, while backing up a pinching Matt Hunwick completely gave up the Bruins blueline allowing an easy entry by Kennedy and his wrist shot was beautifully placed.

The Bruins showed a lack of everything starting the second period. Halfway through the second period, the Pens were outshooting our beloved Bruins 12-1. In the final minute of the period, it was Alex Ponikarovsky doubling the Pens lead to 2-0. Ponikarovsky was camped just outside the crease and deflected Kris Letang’s point shot past Rask’s five hole. Credit the Pens blueliners as they prevented the Bruins from clearing the puck out of their zone while they were pressing the B’s.

Mike Rupp’s unassisted goal closed out the scoring five minutes into the third period. Looked to me like Rask got a little lost in his crease giving up too much of the far side that Rupp found on his shot. Again, it took the Bruins more than nine minutes to generate a shot on goal to start the third period. Absolutely no way to look for a team trying to earn a playoff position.

The only good news tonight is the New York Rangers – the Bruins next opponent – who just happens to be sitting in ninth place lost to St. Louis. The Rangers sit three points behind the Bruins come to Boston Sunday afternoon.

All that hype. Sadly, I fell for it. I didn’t expect a bloodbath but I was expecting a 60 minute effort where the Bruins physically attacked the Penguins. With the Bruins sitting on some “games in hand” with a couple wins, they could jump to the seven seed. If that happens, it’s a good chance they’d see the Penguins in the first round. If they banged some bodies tonight, maybe they would have put a question in the Penguins mind…I fell for it.

See you Sunday

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