Written by Dani Toth | 01 June 2011


What a photo Raffi.

And what timing to be in the right place for that pass from Jannik. Just when I thought we were going to be headed to a triple overtime, Kesler starts off the play to Hansen who sets up Torres for the goal to win the game. This third line played phenomenal tonight and may have been the most dangerous on the ice with their breakaways. Let's be honest and admit that no one expected Torres to get the game winner, complete shocker. In an interview with Sportsnet, Jannik Hansen said that he knew to pass the puck to him since Raffi was calling for it the way that Raffi made it known he wanted the puck.

But let's all take a step back and realize that in addition to Torres' goal, Luongo got a shutout.


I don't know if anything will ever end the Luongo critics, but his performance tonight got the job done. He made the saves that he needed to for a 36 goal performance. He looked solid in net, and there was no fear when the Bruins carried the puck into the zone or when they had a chance on the PP (which looked way better than last series). So huge game for Lu tonight.

And we can look at the other end of the rink to the performance of Tim Thomas, who tried everything to keep his team in the game. He was amazing. After watching him stone the Lightning last series, maybe I shouldn't be surprised anymore, but what a performance. There was many profanities yelled at my tv when he stoned the Canucks.

With Game 2 not till Saturday, this will give Hamhuis some time to recover from whatever injury he got from that hipcheck on Hamhuis. No point in seeing what the coach is going to say about his status now since they've got the extra day off to rest, and it's the playoffs so you won't get a straight answer no matter what.

Big game tonight, great win by the boys. Need to work on that PP because if this is what the rest of the series is going to look like, we need to capitalize on those chances.

Game 2 is 5pm Saturday.

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Written by Dani Toth | 01 June 2011

Sometimes the best way to get to know your playoff opponent is to get to know the people that know them the best. Yesterday I had the boys from Days of Y'Orr give me their opinions on the series today just hours before puck drop, Mark Marino from Bruins blog The Hub of Hockey was nice enough to take the time to give his thoughts on the series.


I 'met' Mark last series when the Lightning played the Bruins and we were giving opposition views on the series on The Buzz by the Pulse Network. He knows his Bruins and runs an awesome blog at The Hub of Hockey, you can follow him on twitter here. It doesn't have any gnome photoshops but do check him out because he has some great coverage and previews to the series already.

So here is Mark's take on this series on his confidence in Claude Julien, the travel aspect of this series and of course his three words on Kaberle.

What has be the biggest strength for Boston in this series against the Canucks?

Their "system" which is defense-first. Their blueline has been solid all throughout with Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seideneberg, and even Andrew Ference has really stepped it up. Their forward will need to continue to backcheck on those dangerous Vancouver forwards. Boston's penalty-kill has been very good, and especially good last round against Tampa Bay. And finally, Tim Thomas. He can steal games, and they'll need him to be tip-top, no doubt.

What has be the biggest weakness for Boston in this series against the Canucks?

The biggest weakness without a doubt has been their power play; they're way under 10-percent this post season and had zero PP goals in Round 1 vs. Montreal. They've seemed to rectify that a bit, however, by placing Chara  on the top of the crease, down low, on the man-advantage. If they stick to that -- which has shown some promise -- by making a minor adjustment (replacing Tomas Kaberle for Patrice Bergeron on the point) we should see a better success rate.

Last series people were questioning Julien's coaching ability for not taking a time-out in one game against the Lightning. How confident are you in Julien going into this series?

There's always going to be skepticism and questions surround certain plays. What concerns me the most about the coaching issues is when Boston gets an early lead, north of a one-goal lead, then takes their foot off the gas pedal, plays back on their heels,only one forechecker in deep, and allows the opposition to play their game.

Also he's very rarely made the necessary in-game adjustments, We'll see the occasional tweak of the lines, sometimes, but nothing major. ie: shaking up the PP units, shortening his bench, etc.

But bottom line, he's got them this far. Players bought into  the system and his tactics -- whether we like them or not -- have worked. 

Both teams are getting a long rest before the SCF, how do you think that will affect Boston's momentum?

None at all. It's a couple of more days than Vancouver, so I think it's even. Players whom have been logging killer minutes -- Chara, Seidenberg -- can take a breather...as can 42-year-old Mark Recchi. But I think there are enough veterans and experience on this team to help make the layoff a non-factor.

Three words to describe Kaberle

Soft. Disappointing. Free-agent.

Boston doesn't do a lot of travel out of their own time zone as compared to Vancouver. How will the travel between Boston and Vancouver affect the team?

I think it's going to be big. Very big. Looking at the schedule, Games 1 & 2 won't affect them nearly as much as Games 3 and beyond. They'll fly out tonight for Game 1 on Wednesday, and have two off-days to practice and get even more acclimated for Game 2. They all leave late Saturday night/early Sunday to be back in Boston for Game 3 (Monday) and Game 4 (Wednesday), to only fly right back out West for Game 5 (if nec.) Friday.

Then again, albeit in the same time zone, they've been pretty solid on the road.

And finally: Predict the series

I'd lose 99.999% of my fans if I don't -- Bruins in 7 no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 31 May 2011


So I asked the boys over at Days of Y'Orr to answer some questions on the series for Benched Whale. They were nice enough to help me out when the Lightning played the Bruins last series, and they were nice enough to help me out again.

They self-proclaim that they are 'just a bunch of Bruins fan schmuks talking about the Bruins like we're drunk at the bar (which is more than likely)', and that sounds like my kind of people. They have quickly become the best Bruins blogs out there. You may know them from the Montreal Canadiens Eulogy on Puck Daddy a few weeks ago or the Sedin gnome photoshops.

Besides checking out their blog for the photoshops, be sure to follow all of them all on twitter: Justin, Jon, Robb, Greg and Patrice Purr-geron (a field reporter who is a cat). I'm sure we'll talk a little smack as the series gets started, so give them a follow on twitter. Many thanks to the guys for taking the time to answer my questions.

What has be the biggest weakness for Boston in this series against the Canucks?

Special teams. Again. Boston has somehow made it through three rounds with a power play so atrocious it makes you sterile just watching it. Against a team like the Canucks the Bruins are REALLY going to need to completely bust their slump on the man advantage if they want to win.

Will Julien play the matchup up game or does he just roll all four Bruins lines?

I'd like to say he'll play the match up game but Julien is a stubborn, stubborn man. I think you'll see him roll four lines for the most part, though towards the end of the third period in Game 7 against Tampa he seemed to be double shifting Krejci and Horton. Would love to see more of that in tight games.

There are so many story lines that Vancouver has going into the series (Malhotra's comback, Bieksa's play, Kesler being unstoppable even on one leg etc), what is the biggest story about Boston that I won't hear about in Vancouver?

You're going to get the obvious stories about Thomas being awesome, Lucic being a home town boy and people in Boston burning Kaberle dolls. What you likely won't hear about, and is kind of corny we admit, is how much of a TEAM these Bruins are. One of the few key things we thought the Bruins were lacking the past few seasons is that sense of togetherness, a team that lived and died with and for each other on the ice. We think they have that now. They're a group of guys that are terribly afraid to let the men on their bench down. We think that is a point that simply can't be overlooked when it comes to winning.


Three words to describe Kaberle

Overrated. Sloppy. Vomit-inducing

Boston doesn't do a lot of travel out of their own time zone as compared to Vancouver. How will the travel between Boston and Vancouver affect the team?

 This part concerns us a bit. During the regular season the Bruins were known to slump a bit and get tired after a long road trip of excessive travel. Going coast to coast could take its toll, especially on dudes like Recchi. We're hoping the fact that there is not guarantee of being back in the Cup finals if they blow it here is motivation enough to help them fight through it.

Milan Lucic has a lot of family and friends in Vancouver that are also Canucks fans. If you were them, are you putting on a B's jersey or Canucks?

We think you'll see his friends and family pop on some black and gold Lucic jerseys, but not be terribly disappointed when the Sedin twins embarrass Kaberle and score.

Predict the series.

Vancouver is a powerhouse. No denying that. By far the most dangerous team the Bruins have faced, top to bottom. But at the beginning of the season we picked the Bruins to go all the way and we're sticking by that.  The Bruins just keep rising to every challenge in these playoffs. Just when you think they're done or falling, they come back and kick you in the balls and give you a Ference finger. We think it is going to be a long series, with a couple of high scoring games and an early, "demoralizing" Canucks in in Game 1 or 2. But we see the Bruins finding a way to win in another Game 7 to end a drought and send us partying in the streets. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 29 May 2011


I've read on some sites that tickets for the home games in Vancouver are going at some astronomical prices. Joe Yerdon from Pro Hockey Talk wrote about it and Katie Maximick ranted about it on the CHB. It seems that talking about the cost of SCF tickets is just one of those things we do in Vancouver, like complaining about the 5pm start times.

I say: that's just the cost of going to a Canucks game if you are going to buy a ticket now.

Look, the cost of Canucks games are high in comparison to other markets, I get that. The cost of facevalue tickets for the playoffs increased as expected as the rounds went by. Obviously the Stanley Cup Finals will be the most expensive, but it's not what everyone is making it out to be. Tickets only cost this much when you are buying it second hand through a ticket broker. It's just based on supply and demand.

I am a Canucks ticket holder and I have been one for just under 10 years now. I share my pair of tickets with some friends and had to draw to get the SCF ones. 17,000 of the 18,860 seats in Rogers Arena make up the season ticket base and from I've heard that there is about about a 5-7 year wait when you are on their Blue Line list. The rest of the seats will be released in the next day or two and will likely get snapped up in about 5 minutes. So there is a demand for tickets, a huge demand. The majority of people who own their tickets will want to go to the Stanley Cup Finals. But really, tickets are not in the $1000+ range that these articles are making them out to be, mine were under $200.

Of course tickets cost this much when you are buying them through places like Stubhub. If I were to sell my tickets, I would only sell them if I would make a killing for them. But I'm not going to sell my tickets, because like other people who are not willing to sell their tickets, I really, really want to go to watch an SCF game in person. And thus there is no supply for this great demand.

For people who say that they can just watch it on TV, well yes you can, and yes you'll see the replays and the angles better, but you don't get the experience. You don't get the experience of being in the arena watching it happen. The feeling you get with the other 18,859 people with you watching THE game. I don't want to brag here, but I was lucky enough to be surprised with semi-final tickets to watch Canada play Slovakia during the Olympics. It was one of the greatest games I've ever been to. It was the experience of being there with my Dad, the excitement and cheers that erupt when your team scores that make it all worth it. I can't imagine the feeling of what it would have been like to be at the gold medal match.

So if you want to go buy a ticket through a ticket broker, then yes, tickets are going to be expensive. But that's just how it is, if you want to end up buying tickets now for a Stanley Cup Final game because those people that are selling their tickets to you are only doing it because the money is worth it for them not to go to the game themselves. I'm not one of those people that will be selling my ticket to you, even if the current Stubhub.com price puts that at about $1000 per ticket.
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Written by Dani Toth | 28 May 2011


All times are Eastern so start making up reasons why you need to leave work early. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 27 May 2011

On Tuesday night, me and ticket holder buddy R had tickets to Game 5.

Even though we both had an exam the next day, we were troopers and went to the game hoping it wouldn't go to overtime. As we all know, it did. Well I'm glad to say we both did well on our exams, and now that I've had some time to sort through the photos, here are some from the night:


Arriving at Rogers Arena, even at 5pm, it was super busy.



It's amazing that if there's a both with a mascot on stilts, people want to take a photo with it.

Click here to

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Written by Dani Toth | 22 May 2011


Tonight Today is a huge game. Things will either go one of two ways, 1. The Canucks will give themselves that 3-1 edge in the series giving them a chance to win it at home on Tuesday or 2. The Sharks do what the Lightning did last night and tie it up making for an exciting but nervous series.

Before we jump into the game itself, let's all acknowledge that we hate the noon start time. Ok, maybe hate is a strong word, because I really don't mind eating my brunch this Sunday, while it rains outside, watching the hockey game. Obviously having this at night would be better, because then I could actually do something with my day, but really it's not that big of an inconvenience. But thinking for the players being creatures of habit, no fan loves this. We want optimal scenarios for the team to perform their best. My recollection of previous day games says that the Canucks do not perform well, in fact they injure themselves (think: Pens game where Luongo injured himself). But whatever, NBC is airing the game and like yesterday, they wanted this to be a day game so no amount of complaining will change the start time. Just think, the start times will get even uglier in the SCF.

Lots of stuff went wrong on Friday night, some were in our control, some not. Things not in our control: injuries. The Canucks will be without Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome today due to injury. But that's the reason we carry like 40 defencemen right? So, next up on our depth defencemen has Andrew Alberts and Keith Ballard making up the 3rd pairing.

This article by Tony Gallagher talks about how Ballard is hard on himself for a lacklustre season and the end, Ballard goes on to say that he still has his 'confidence'. The article makes it seem like its just a line he's telling himself and the media, but I hope through all of these games he's had to play with AV that he really hasn't lost his confidence. Christ Tanev joined the team just before practice yesterday in a just in case scenario, but is not expected to jump the depth chart and play.

As for the stuff that went wrong on Friday that was within our control, well that was obviously the penalties that the Canucks took. After praising Bieksa for his play in Game 2, Bieksa just went ahead and took three penalties. He's not the only one either since the team itself took 10 penalties and one game misconduct. And the reason that was a problem was because the Canucks PK couldn't kill any of them off. The Sharks were like 5/5 on penalties bringing me back the PK horrors of the LA series last year. The Canucks finally killed some PK's off, and hopefully this means an end to the Sharks' PP goals.

I expect that all of the Canucks fans that travelled down to San Jose to watch Game 3 will also be at Game 4. Even with the reduced numbers of Sharks fans there on Friday night, when the Sharks scored, the tank was LOUD. Like crazy loud. I'm quite impressed with them. The KB has some really great videos on the number of Canucks fans that were there in San Josesome video of Sharks fans and they also give some props to the Sharks fans as well.

So Game 4 Canucks, let's DO IT no comments