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Panthers pummel Bruins, creep up on Boston’s No. 2 seed

Mar 15, 2012, 10:52 PM EDT

Tomas Kopecky, Ed Jovanovski, Tim Thomas, Shawn Matthias AP

For much of the last month or more, the Boston Bruins’ biggest worry was losing their division lead to the Ottawa Senators. Now there might be concern that the Northeast Division title might not equal the second seed.

That’s because the current third-ranked Florida Panthers absolutely handed it to the Bruins tonight, beating them 6-2. That loss narrows the gap between the two teams to just two points, as Boston has 83 standings points and Florida has 81.

(Sure, the Bruins hold tiebreaker advantages that mean that the Panthers will almost certainly need to finish with one more point to take the second seed, but that doesn’t seem unrealistic right now.)

Of course, the bigger threat is losing the Northeast altogether. Boston has just one point and one game on hand on the Ottawa Senators, with the only good news being that the Sens have struggled a bit recently too (a pedestrian 5-3-2 in their last 10 games).

Tumbling Thomas

It might be too easy to point to Tim Thomas‘ White House snub as the turning point, but either way, the unorthodox goalie has been struggling – which is especially troubling since Tuukka Rask is far from returning.

Thomas carried an atrocious set of March stats into tonight’s game (.852 save percentage and 3.74 GAA) and allowed six goals on 30 shots against the Panthers.


It’s not fair to lay it all on Thomas’ feet – surely Boston’s offense and defense carry plenty of blame – but the bottom line is that the Bruins need to figure things out fast or their mid-season domination will be nothing but a distant memory.

  1. solador78 - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    At least the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl. That was pretty good after the Red Sox lost every game in September and gave away their sure playoff spot.

    Maybe the Jeremy Jacobs can get the board to change the playoff system like the MLB did to ensure that the networks’ playoff promo spots don’t go to waste.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:31 PM

      Trolling…the last resort for a fan whose team is in the cellar.

      • solador78 - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:50 PM

        I’ve been a NYG fan since back when they were winning multiple Super Bowls with Bill Belichick while the Patriots were the worst team in the history NFL (not counting the Bucs, Saints and Falcons).

        You can thank us for all of your Super Bowls since even Belichick will always think of himself as a NYG first.

      • drewzducks - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:02 AM

        Pay no attention to soladork…have no idea what the G-Men have to do with a HOCKEY posting. Apparently Collie Campbell rules the world ! Pathetic .

      • jdubs21 - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:53 AM

        Wow Solodar, maybe you should stick with hockey since you clearly have no idea about the Giants. Bill Parcells coached the Giants to 2 Superbowl victories in 1986 and 1990, Bill Belichek was an assistant coach and later the defensive coodinator.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:32 AM

        Saying that solador knows anything about hockey either is a bit of a stretch.

      • solador78 - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:12 AM

        Hey guys, if you didn’t feel threatened by the TRUTH, you wouldn’t put so much passion into your two sentence argumentums ad hominem.

        For the guy with the masters in blogging and web design:

        An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it. Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as a logical fallacy.

        Ad hominem arguments work via the halo effect, a human cognitive bias in which the perception of one trait is influenced by the perception of an unrelated trait, e.g. treating an attractive person as more intelligent or more honest. People tend to see others as tending to all good or tending to all bad. Thus, if you can attribute a bad trait to your opponent, others will tend to doubt the quality of their arguments, even if the bad trait is irrelevant to the arguments.

        Abusive ad hominem (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to attack his claim or invalidate his argument, but can also involve pointing out true character flaws or actions that are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and negative facts about the opponent’s personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent’s arguments or assertions. However, verbal abuse in the absence of an argument is neither ad hominem nor a fallacy.[5]

        “You can’t believe John when he says the proposed policy would help the economy. He doesn’t even have a job.”
        “Candidate Jane’s proposal about zoning is ridiculous. She was caught cheating on her taxes in 2003.”
        “What would Mary know about fixing cars? She is a woman.” (an example of Ad feminam)
        An abusive ad hominem can apply to a judgment of cultural works or academic efforts based on the behavior or unconventional political beliefs of an artist, author, or musician, or the taste of an infamous person who loved a certain work.

        Jimi Hendrix died of a drug overdose, so his music was worthless.
        Leni Riefenstahl was a Nazi, so her film The Triumph of the Will is devoid of merit.
        Sylvia Plath was a depressive who eventually committed suicide, so her works are unreadable.
        What Ted Kaczynski wrote about boundary conditions in mathematics is shown false due to his crimes.
        Brutal autocrat Joseph Stalin’s favorite opera was Boris Godunov, so the opera must offend decent sensibilities.

      • davebabychreturns - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM

        Thought you looked down your nose at what you like to call plagiary, solador?

      • solador78 - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        I never rewrote it and passed it off as my own, like you’ve been known to do. It was pretty obvious that I copy/pasted it to save you the trouble of googling it.

        You’d be surprised what you can find with google… like online dating profiles for example.

        But it’s nice to know that you remember me. I missed you too big guy.

  2. gotampabay52 - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    boston sucks their teams aren’t good anymore boston all the trash talking you all do karma is a b#%*h so glad you all are losing big these days

    • drewsylvania - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:30 PM

      Grow up.

    • itsallniceonice - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:39 PM


  3. kingkreg12 - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    O good call man- Stanley cup last year, made it to the SB this year. They are awful— not everyone talks smack from NE man, and for those who did they had a good reason since they took down 7 titles in ten years.

    • solador78 - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:27 PM

      Chairman of the NHL Board
      And the Red Sox stole signs for years using tv cameras.

      Nothing but a bunch of cheaters…

      • drewsylvania - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:29 PM

        You’re an absolute joke and internet coward.

      • solador78 - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:34 PM

        Okcupid… 😉

        Seems like you’re really good at listening but not so great at comebacks. It’s more like inappropriate comments in mixed company.

        If it makes you feel better, I like Ghostbusters too. Maybe we can be friends.

  4. comradeast - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    “It might be too easy to point to Tim Thomas‘ White House snub as the turning point, but…”.

    Yes James O’Brien, it is too easy to blame the Bruins struggles on a photo-op. Glad you pointed out the fact that you’re lazy with an agenda. You’re a jackass.

    • comradeast - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      BTW…I’m a Devil’s fan

  5. drewsylvania - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    The Bruins also beat their wives and skewer innocent babes while in their cups.

    • habsman - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM

      Like Lucic roughing up his girlfriend?

  6. kingkreg12 - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Don’t let the haters get to you- If any of this”cheating” really affected the outcome the respective leagues would have stripped their title- but alas, since every team was doing the same thing they could not.

    On another note- you can’t only blame Thomas- but he has really not stepped up, and they have a legit shot at missing the playoffs.

  7. robertterwilliger - Mar 16, 2012 at 6:29 AM

    the secondary scoring has evaporated and they’re missing two of their top six guys.

    the top guys on defense are exhausted and the bottom guys are not that good.

    thomas/rask/turco aren’t this bad. the team in front of them has been terrible lately. it’s pretty hard to stop constant deflections and shots from the low slot on a consistent basis.

    basically, throw all those things together and have them happen all at once…and toss in a powerplay that couldn’t score with a 5-on-1 advantage because they’re incapable of moving around the offensive zone. powerplays built on stationary players passing the puck between themselves rarely work.

    it’s kind of a perfect storm.

    • odj810 - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      its a lack of will right now. It seems like some players are just packing it in for a few weeks. The defense is not battling for loose pucks in front of the goalies. How many times are we gonna see loose pucks in front go in the back of the net instead of cleared out. And tim thomas won us a cup thank you, but you’ve been the worst goalie in the league for the last 2 months. Part of that is on the D but what happened to the scrappy goalie who never quit. I continually see him give up on pucks in his crease. He looks like he’s in slow motion and when a goal goes in instead of re concentrating he feels sorry for himself. NOT GOOD. They still have time to turn it around though.

      Was there some sort of witchcraft used on bryz and thomas?

  8. gallyhatch - Mar 16, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    I agree with kingkreg12, if these were real egregious offenses, titles would have been stripped. But losers have to employ whatever cognitive dissonance they can so they can sleep at night. (“There’s NO WAY they beat my team fair & square, they had to have cheated or had help from the league, IT’S THE ONLY POSSIBLE EXPLANATION!!!!!”)

    I for one love seeing all these comments about Spygate & the Red Sox collapse…. on a hockey site no less! It means that New England & Boston are the foremost thoughts in the minds of these losers.

    Success breeds contempt, and all this hate is proof of that.

    Enjoy the rest of the season clowns, I’m glad I don’t have the loser mentality of having to sit around waiting for another team to lose so I can enjoy myself.

    • solador78 - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Now that’s a comeback. You guys could learn a thing or two from this.

  9. brian32556 - Mar 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    We started it in 1978 and it always seems appropriate:

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1622)
  2. P. Kane (1596)
  3. M. Richards (1365)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1212)
  5. N. Backstrom (1100)