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Blowing in the wind

Posted by Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff  October 31, 2008 03:52 PM

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Thoughts while winging it back from Calgary today, with a stop and layover in Toronto, while the Bruins luxuriate in both a day off (second in three days) and their non-stop, direct, cushy charter jet to Bedford (electronic media always welcome aboard the good ship Black-and-Gold):

  • The inconsistent (read: troubled) Boston penalty-killing unit, again a bottom-feeder in the NHL this season, went a perfect 9 for 9 across the games in Edmonton and Vancouver. But the Flames scorched them on 2 of 4 chances in the Saddledome. Most nights, a 50-percent PK equals defeat.

  • Could be we see at least Vladimir Sobotka dropped into tomorrow night's game against Dallas. The Bruins need his grit, badly. Both Marco Sturm and Patrice Bergeron failed to register either a hit or a blocked shot in the three games in western Canada. This is not a team talented enough to survive on skill alone.

  • The Bruins clicked for 4 goals on 97 shots in the three cities. The opposition connected on 3 of 96 shots. Good thing the NHL mandated a trimming back of goalie equipment in order to increase scoring in 2008-09.

  • From all the action Thursday night, the play I liked most was a mad dash, straight up the ice, by a stickless Calgary defenseman, Mark Giordano. Jolted by a stiff check in Boston's end, Giordano first had the keen sense not to grope for his stick as the Bruins instantly broke up ice with the puck. A flying Giordano, furiously in pursuit of the Boston odd-man attack, made a desperation bellyslide at the last second and broke up Stephane Yelle's short-range shot from the slot. Made me suck wind, just watching the guy (mind you, the air is thinner in Calgary).

  • I was reminded again, and again, and again, Calgary has probably the nicest people in North America, either side of the invisible line that divides our two countries. But Buffalo and St. Louis get well-deserved honorable mentions. Having said that, they might be too nice in St. Louis, where when they politely say, ''Hey, how are you?'', they then actually pause for your answer. Huh?

  • Someone has to tell NHL rinks to dial back on the piped music (or what passes as music in 2008). Loved Bob Dylan the other day, noting he thought it was OK for music to be pirated for free on-line. Heck, he said, no matter, it today's music isn't worth listening to in the first place. That's the paraphrase, folks. He was a little edgier with what he said.

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