JD Owns Fenway

Happy New Year and welcome back Dear Reader! Good to see you, how you been? Hope you had a great holiday season and wishing you all nothing but the best in the 2nd half of the 2022-23 NHL season. Let’s jump in, shall we?

In case you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t know, your Boston Bruins hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins at Historic Fenway Park today for this season’s Winter Classic. The premier tentpole event of the NHL lived up to the hype with pregame events, the picturesque setting with a slate of performers and Boston legends on hand. You had Bell-Biv-Devoe (never trust a big butt and a smile) singing the National Anthem with the game’s house band: the Boston Pops backing them up. Both teams arrived in old-timey baseball setups with the B’s going the extra step with gloves and bats and having a catch on the turf snow white blankets that simulated snow. You had Bobby Orr flipping the first puck (that’s what they’re calling it? Ok then, that’s what it is) to Jason Varitek with Timmy Wakefield, Zdeno Chara and Johnny Bucyck looking on. Wayne Gretzky and the TNT panel were in the building and signed Pesky’s Pole. David Pastrnak and Linus Ullmark had their special edition sticks and Pasta was rocking skates with the Big Papi logo too. There was even a Pastrnak statue made out of spaghetti and red sauce, (wish I was kidding as that thing is still haunting my dreams). Even Keith Jones was out there doing his best Manny being Manny impression in the Green Monster prior to puck drop. I will say that it was refreshing to see that the B’s fans on hand at the ballpark let Fenway Group CEO John Henry know exactly what they think of him as he was resoundingly booed walking to his box. Oh you thought the B’s fans didn’t realize you owned the Pens while running the Sox into the ground? That’s quite the double dip. GTFOH.

The on-ice product? Ehhh. Don’t get me wrong, the B’s pulled an important 2 points out of this one and that’s always important, but man that game was a slog. Choppy and uninspired, neither team had much of an offensive zone set up during the first period as the Pens clogged the neutral with the 1-3-1 that seems to give the Bruins a tough go of it for stretches. The teams skated to gooses for the opening frame and a slow defensive game seemed to favor the visitors as they had 7 defensemen dressed for this one. Late in the first, PGH starter Tristan Jarry exited the sheet with what looked to be a lower leg injury and was replaced by Casey DeSmith.

The 2nd period was more of the same, but the nastiness ramped up a bit as there were scrums after almost every whistle. Brad Marchand was doing his best to get the boys fired up as he was in the midst of every one of the post-whistle meetings. Midway through the period, Kasperi Kapanen got the Pens on the board when he finished off a Jeff Carter feed with a one-timer over Ullmark’s glove. Little bit of a defensive breakdown by the hometown team on this one.

That score held until the 3rd. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the Bruins own the best goal differential in the 3rd period in the NHL, is that good? According to reports after the game, Nick Foligno reminded the boys of that exact fact during the 2nd intermission and I’m not sure how Uncle Nick phrased it, but the pace def picked up and the Bruins were getting better looks as the period progressed. Jake DeBrusk got his first of the afternoon just after a Bruins PP expired: Marchand dog-walked 2 PGH defenders up high as he drove the RW and found DeBrusk at the post coming out from behind the net. DeBrusk carried the puck on his forehand and avoided DeSmith’s poke check to drive it home. Tie game with more than half the period to play.

At this point if you’ve been watching the B’s this year, you knew they were pulling it out.

On the game winner, Hampus Lindholm put an outlet right on David Krejci’s tape at the red line and Krejci went to work. Krejci carried the puck into the zone where he seemed to freeze all 5 PGH defenders with his mastery of time and space as Homeboy Jack likes to call it, before finding Taylor Hall at the LW dot. Hall drove the net on his forehand before pulling it to his backhand looking to tuck one far side on DeSmith. The PGH goalie got his leg on the bid, but the puck tumbled right to DeBrusk at the far post for the GWG. Nice juggling of the lines by HC Jim Montgomery to get that combo out there for the game-winner.

The Pens pulled their goalie with less than 2 mins left which enabled Ullmark to take a shot for an ENG, which would have been EPIC in this setting, but he was unable to cash in. The Pens played tough to the final horn, almost tying the game with less than a second to go, but in the replay, time had clearly expired. Ullmark was a stand out in this one as the score could have easily been 4-0 PGH after the first. The big guy is clearly the Vezina favorite at this point. I’d like to hear from all those (now quiet) Ullmark bashers from last season. Maybe the WIFI in your mom’s basement isn’t up to snuff?

Up next for the B’s is a 3-game/4 day West Coast swing before coming home to host the Kraken a week from Thursday. Tune into our next podcast where I’m sure we’ll have much more from the game. You can find all the podcasts here or wherever you get your podcasts. I’ll leave you with more images/videos from the days prior and gameday. Play the music.

Originally tweeted by Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) on January 2, 2023.

Originally tweeted by Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) on January 2, 2023.

Originally tweeted by Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) on January 2, 2023.

Huggy Bears in the great outdoors…..

You can read more about Brownie in his bio down below or follow him on Twitter @Abrow28

Author: Brownie

A legacy that was born on the frozen rivers in Northern Saskatchewan then forged on the ponds of New England. Plays with the heart of a warrior and the soul of a poet; always living by the credo handed down by generations of beer-league beauties that came before him. Skate Hard - Quick Changes - Win the Parking Lot.

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