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Bruins reach 50 wins

Sunday 3/12/23

I have, as always, been working constantly, and this weekend is no different from any weekend and each day no different from any other day, but I did monitor some recent hockey games. Had on a couple Hockey East match-ups last night as I worked. Saw that the Bruins beat the Red Wings after falling behind 2-0, for their 50th win in 64 games, which produced much hullabaloo going by my quick check of Twitter, because it was the fastest anyone ever reached 50 wins, but also, I don't know, not really, because wins are different now.

There is continuous chatter about the Bruins breaking all-time single season records. Sorry. That's not a thing. That part of the season--or that possibility of the season--is over. You can have the most points ever, you can have the most wins ever, but it doesn't mean anything in my view, other than what that total is.

It's all about those losses. The Bruins have 9 losses with eighteen games to go. The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens had 8 at the end of the regular season. You can't be the best regular season anything, numbers-wise, if you exceed those 8 losses. Not really. It's easier than ever to get wins and points, because of the OT format and the shootout. If it existed in the late 1970s, what do you think would have happened with the 12 ties the Canadiens had? How many of those would have ended up as wins with extra points? It's the loss column that matters. Personally, I don't see how you can beat that Canadiens team. Not for regular season record.

I have concerns about these Bruins. Swayman, for one. I just don't believe in the guy. I don't think he has what I want him to have--that extra bit--which is the significant bit--that the best goalies do. Or clutch goalies do, who might not be the best. I saw that awful soft goal he let in the other day against the Oilers, this half-wrist shot, sans a screen, from the point. He has a bit of the system goalie thing in him, I think. Doesn't have the edge. I want you to have the edge. Tim Thomas had the edge. I don't know enough about Ullman. I have questions. One pertains to workload. And is this just a fluke, career season, or a reasonable representation of the goalie he's grown into being? I don't know. They have a platoon system, and with a platoon system, it can stop a guy from being exposed. It's harder to get a read on a goalie.

Is Ullman just Pete Peeters in 1982-83, a guy having what will be far and away his best year--a classic career year--but with less workload? Peeters became a pumpkin come the playoffs that year. (And Peeters was a fine goalie--a while ago I talked about him on the radio as being closer to Hall of Fame-worthy than people think.) This Bruins team reminds me of that earlier squad. These are the only two Bruins teams in my lifetime that I think of as soup-to-nuts--soup-to-regular season-nuts, that is--representatives of the league's best team. I know they've won the Presidents' Trophy in other years. But these are the only two years where they were having "that" kind of year. One knows what I mean by the that.

Also, I'm sure this will sound strange to someone, but I think there's a chance that Carolina--a team that worries me--will end up with the best record in the league. That sounds unthinkable, right? But it really isn't if you look at that team, their consistency, and how far back they are, which might not be quite as far as one would assume without looking at the standings.

The schedule is officially arduous now. There aren't breaks. It's a lot of games to close out the season, and then the every-other-night grind of the playoffs begins. I thought the Bruins were poor against the Oilers. They blew a 2-0 lead--which they were lucky to have, because they weren't good at any point--and had it taken to them in their own building. And, again, there was that Swayman softie.

Regarding said softie, I saw hockey people on Twitter describe the shot as a "laser." Again, people just say things. They have no clue, no knowledge, no command of language, no understanding; they just let it fly from their ass. Then others, who are the exact same way, follow and like. This is social media. This is being platformed. This is how attention works at every single level of social media and our society, including this one, as pertains to a play in a hockey game. Mediocrity, stupidity, and the ass voice. Those are the things that lead to vocal support. People want to look at what someone else says and think that they could say, and even better if they do already say, and better yet again if they already say it in the exact same language at that. That's where support and praise comes from. And better still furthermore if they can look at that other person and think that they're like them or could be them. It's that simple. Once you understand how it works. How everything is now geared to work. It's off of this principle. Or should I say, premise.

Look. When you flick the puck towards the net, with a shot that begins in front of your front leg, so it's more like a sweep shot than even a wrist shot, it's not a laser. It's a player trying to get a puck towards the net for a deflection, an offensive zone face-off, or just because it's rarely a bad idea to put the puck on goal (this would be different if it was a 2-on-0 and you wound up with a slap shot as soon as you crossed the blue line).

These are just thoughts of concern I have. The Bruins could very well be an all-time team that continues to roll, handles their business, Ullman is the guy, Swayman pitches in, and these were needless worries. Not that they're really worries. I just know that you know less than ever with the NHL. And the regular season and playoffs are very different. That's all. To follow and root for a team is to constantly be evaluating that team. It's just how it works, for the thinking fan.

Bruins and the Red Wings are right back at it this afternoon in Detroit. I'm sure Swayman will be in net. We'll see what happens.


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