By Mike Miccoli, Boston Bruins correspondent
First things first. The Boston Bruins roster, as it stands now, can not be considered as a Stanley Cup contending team. This is perfectly normal. In fact, I can only think of maybe three teams in the entire league that are legitimate threats to win the 2010-11 Stanley Cup; two of which are in the Western Conference. Can the Bruins follow up on their late season success while trying to discard all memories of the four-game collapse against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semi-finals? That might be a trickier question to answer.
The Winter Classic is slowly becoming the Super Bowl of the NHL. Problem is, there are no trophies awarded and everyone knows who’s playing more than two weeks prior. But the hype is there, most importantly. We’ll see the same amount of commercials (so it seems) for the same repeated products or the spots for the same TV shows that the network is trying to push, but moreover, the same excitement, especially since hockey is making its mark yet again in America.
Living in Boston, it’s nice to see everyone wearing their Bruins gear and throwback Classic jerseys. This game, as important as it is to the NHL, is also pretty important to the B’s. What a lot of media outlets and fans are forgetting is that the game is still a, well, game. The win counts in the standings despite all of the glitz and glamour as much as any game played in the Garden this season. The Bruins are in the midst of a division race with the Buffalo Sabres leading and the Ottawa Senators close behind the B’s while the Flyers are attempting to inch into the playoff hunt.
With everyone who’s everyone actually being at the game, here’s a running diary of what those 38,112 in attendance at Fenway missed at home.
I’m 1-0 on running diaries for the season when the Bruins are playing an opponent from last season’s playoffs. Or at least I was before Thursday night’s shootout loss against the Montreal Canadiens.
The Bruins celebrated their first goal in 192 minutes and 6 seconds, a baffling amount of time between tallies if you think about it. In that stretch, the Bruins only allowed four regulation goals, a sign that their defensive abilities have strengthened. But the overall game play of the team? Not the best, especially when injuries are becoming more popular with each passing day now that Byron Bitz and David Krejci have been added to that list