I hate back-to-backs. Yeah, I know that arenas have other things going on whether it’s a sports team from another league, tournaments, concerts, or Disney on Ice, but it seems that the schedule makers could do something about scheduling so that fans don’t get exhausted trying to watch two games in a row and have days to wait in between. From January 31st-February 29th, the Bruins are scheduled for 5 back-to-backs, of which we have already endured 3. Only games against Montreal this Wednesday and Edmonton the next are stand alone games. Stupid, stupid scheduling.
Saturday, Zdeno Chara was honored for 1500 NHL games, a mark at which he arrived earlier in the season, and for 1000 games as not only a Bruins player but as captain.
Congratulations to Zdeno Chara on his 1500th birthday
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 8, 2020
First, there was a tribute video from fellow captains around the NHL.
Alexander Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, Cam Neely and many others congratulate Zdeno Chara on 1,500 NHL games and 1,000 games as a Bruins captain. pic.twitter.com/McnvGswHOp
— NESN (@NESN) February 8, 2020
Then, the gifts from the Bruins management and teammates.
1,500 NHL games ✅
1,000 games as #NHLBruins captain ✅
Watch yesterday's full pregame ceremony honoring Zdeno Chara for his recent milestones: pic.twitter.com/MSdTSOCxiD
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 9, 2020
View this post on Instagram
The main thing I’m feeling right now is gratitude. Gratitude for the city of Boston and our fans for welcoming me, supporting me, and making me feel home. Gratitude for the Bruins organization for giving me an opportunity to play the sport that I love. Gratitude for all of the coaches, trainers and friends who have helped me get to this point. Gratitude for all of the teammates I’ve ever played with for inspiring me to be my best every single day. And most importantly…gratitude for my parents, my sister, my wife Tatiana and my 3 kids Elliz, Ben and Zack, who have unconditionally supported me and sacrificed so much for me to be able to give my all to this game. Thank you all. I’m so thankful and fortunate to experience this moment. On to the next 1500… 😉 Cítim nesmiernu vďačnosť. Vďačím mestu Boston a jeho fanúšikom, že ma prijali medzi seba, podporili ma a pomohli nám sa cítiť ako doma. Vďačím Boston Bruins organizácii za to, že môžem hrať hru ktorú mám tak veľmi rád. Som vďačný všetkým trénerom, trainers a priateľom ktorí mi pomohli sa dostať až sem. Veľmi ďakujem všetkým mojim spoluhráčom s ktorými som mal možnosť hrať počas mojej kariéry za ich inšpiráciu sa zlepšovať každý deň. Najviac ďakujem mojim rodičom,sestre a hlavne mojej manželke Tatiane, dcérke Ellizke a synom Ben & Zack za ich nesmiernu podporu a obetavosť bez ktorej by som nemohol dávať hokeju tak veľa. Všetkým vám ďakujem že som mohol zažiť tento moment. #dalších1500 😉
After that, they played and won a game against the Arizona Coyotes. The most notable thing about the game had nothing to do with goals, it had everything to do with the rashness of a check. Jeremy Lauzon served a penalty, came out of the box, took a shot on goal, then quickly checked Yotes player Derek Stepan into the glass, after which Stepan needed to leave the game for a short while. Lauzon was called for an Illegal Check to the Head and was served a Match Penalty. The officials reviewed it to make sure it was the correct call and then ejected Lauzon from the game. After the game, the NHL Department of Player Safety notified Lauzon that he would have a hearing the following day. He was suspended for 2 games.
Boston’s Jeremy Lauzon has been suspended for two games for an Illegal Check to the Head on Arizona’s Derek Stepan. Video: https://t.co/DevHoYnnc8
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) February 9, 2020
I have no objection to tossing Lauzon from the game and I expected some sort of suspension, like a game maybe. But 2 games for a little recklessness when a similar hit against a Bruin received a total of 2 minute minor seems ludicrous.
Lawson Crouse hits Charlie McAvoy right in the head.
Only a minor. pic.twitter.com/pTPoepA5mm
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) February 8, 2020
I’ll say it. When @NHLPlayerSafety decides the Jeremy Lauzon hit is worthy of suspension (and I agree) but the Lawson Crouse hit on @CMcAvoy44 was not even worthy of a hearing??? NHL fans are not stupid. They see what they see.
— Dale Arnold (@DaleEArnold) February 9, 2020
So, yeah, NHL DoPS is anything but consistent.
The next day, the Bruins faced the Red Wings, a team that shouldn’t have their number this season but always does. At least 2 times, anyway. God, it feels like they’ve played each other about 5 times already.
I’ll save the suspense, the B’s lost, again. A six-game win streak wiped away with a loss to the Red Wings. The worst part of the loss is that the Bruins had yet another goal taken away for being offside. It took so long I can only guess that the refs looked at all the footage of the game from the start to find out when the Bruins had been offside.
For the love of God. Patrice Bergeron, who had absolutely 0 influence on the puck finding the back of the net, doesn't get his skate off the ice quick enough as he changed and the play is deemed offside. What a league #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/1xiXOL62gl
— Bruins Diehards (@BruinsDiehards) February 9, 2020
After a three-hour delay, the play has been ruled offside…no goal. Still down 1-0 with 7:38 remaining in the second. #NHLBruins
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 9, 2020
Brad Marchand had his goal taken back. The Bruins wouldn’t score again that afternoon.
Well, thankfully only one game to worry about before the weekend.