Bruins looking to avoid the SI Jinx


Bruins looking to avoid the SI Jinx

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
The game of ice hockey and the Boston Bruins have certainly captivated the local media scene, but theyre also a national story since winning the Stanley Cup over the Vancouver Canucks in a highly entertaining seven-game series last June.

With the NHL season set to begin this week the Bruins graced the New England and Canadian regional covers of Sports Illustrateds Oct. 10, 2011 issue for the first time since Gerry Cheevers, Brad Park and the Big Bad Bruins last ended up on the SI cover back on May 9, 1977.

Tim Thomas stands as the SI cover boy on the front with a photo of the Bs All-Everything goaltender stretching out in front of his net, and the Black and Gold hope theyre not the latest Boston sports icons to fall victim to the infamous Sports Illustrated cover jinx.

Just recently in New England sports history Tom Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury within weeks of gracing the cover during the 2008-09 season, Nomar Garciaparras baseball career started taking a serious nose dive after he posed shirtless for the magazine in 2001, Vince Wilfork made the SI cover in the days leading up to New Englands stunning playoff loss to the New York Jets in the 2011 NFL playoffs, and Dustin Pedroias place on the cover SI with the story of Muddy Chicken preceded the worst regular season collapse in Major League Baseball history for the Red Sox.

Theres a tough track record in Boston, but the Bruins are getting ready to prove theyre not going to acquire the same SI curse thats bedeviled the Patriots and Red Sox franchises.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils


Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting to find out which Walking Dead character got brained by Lucille in last season’s cliffhanger. I’m going with Abraham.

*The SI roundtable talks about the future of Jacob Trouba, and where he’ll end up going when his current situation resolves itself.

*P.K. Subban is apparently getting very comfortable in Nashville, and enjoying life in a city with NFL football.

*Fun conversation between Yahoo’s Josh Cooper and Brad Marchand about a whole range of random topics.

*A cool father-son story where they became the goaltending tandem for the Ontario Reign through a series of dominoes falling after Jonathan Quick went down with injury for the Los Angeles Kings.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Taylor Hall serving as exactly what the New Jersey Devils have needed for the last couple of years.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Shaughnessy says that the MLB playoffs couldn’t have played out any worse for the Boston Red Sox.