Can Khudobin be Mr. Bean(town)?

(courtesy of Getty)

When it comes to drama in one of America’s most demanding sports towns the Boston Bruins are at the bottom of the barrel. It comes as no surprise since they do share the back pages with the Sox, Pats, and Celtics all of whom were relevant to Bostonians before the Bruins won their first Stanley Cup in 39 years last summer. Their bearded hero came in the form of Tim Thomas who not only carried the team on his back at times throughout the post-season but was also awarded MVP honors to boot.
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Habs Re-sign Andrei Markov

Andrei Markov’s tenure with the Montreal Canadiens will continue for another three seasoms as the Voskresensk native re-signed with the team last night. Having spent the last decade manning the Hab’s blue-line, Markov has been hampered by injuries of late as he missed the first 10 games of last season due to his injured knee, thenplayed just seven games before a second knee injury that required season-ending surgery. The deal, which will pay him $17.25-million over the course of three years is pretty large considering the chunk of games he has missed. However this shows the commitment the organization has towards a fan-favorite who also holds Canadian citizenship.
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Sixth Time’s a Charm for Samsonov


(courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

“For me, six times was a charm.”…These must be the words, courtesy of My Cousin Vinny, that were replaying in Sergei Samsonov’s head when he got the phone call from Jim Rutherford.  It’s been quite the roller coaster ride for the once highly sought after, Samsonov.  After his impressive rookie campaign, Samsonov followed up the next two years with consistent numbers, and then exploded onto the scene with 70+ points.
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Comrade of the Night

 ao1(courtesy of Getty)

The NHL Opening Weekend kicked off in style from TD Banknorth Garden, featuring an exhibition of two division champions from a season ago. And if anyone could steal the glory of Boston’s quest for a Stanley Cup, it’s indeed Alex Ovechkin.

The Capitals sniper, who had all summer to ponder what went wrong after a Eastern Conference semifinal loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, was no doubt the most eager man taking the ice. No slow starts for Alex the Great either. Although his first period was anything but stellar, as the powerplay stalled and he missed a few opportunities on net, he was unstoppable in the final 40 minutes of action.

Paired with new linemate, Alexander Semin, the Bruins defense somehow forgot all about him as Semin drifted into the offensive zone. Semin took the puck, found Ovechkin trailing late and the Great 8 made no mistake with his quick snapshot.

Ovechkin wasn’t done yet. After demolishing Bruins veteran Mark Recchi to end the second period, hulking defenseman Zdeno Chara took an undisciplined penalty with two seconds to go, giving the Capitals another powerplay chance. The Caps unit came through, but only a minute after scoring, Ovechkin made a line to the net, beat Boston enforcer Milan Lucic to the puck and buried his 2nd of the evening.

 Two goals, an assist, five shots and three hits. All in a good night’s work for Alex the Great. Below are the two goals courtesy as always of the NHL and NHL.com

A look at the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs (Eastern Conference)

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The NHL playoffs are all set and ready with mouth-watering match up’s for hockey fans to enjoy. Here is a look at the first round match-ups

Eastern Conference

(1) Boston Bruins vs (8) Montreal Canadiens

A rematch from last year with the teams in opposite seeds the Habs enter this series, losers of four of their last five and have been lucky to survive the titanic that was their season. Sub par goal tending and a long list of players on the injured list were keys to their demise. What’s worse is that the season series was all Bruins who went 5-1 winning the last 5 games outscoring the Habs 20-9. This series does not look good for Les Canadiens who will be lucky to win one game. Let’s hope for the sake of the city of Montreal that it’s in Boston so the series sees no riots this time. Boston in 5.

(2) Washington Capitals vs (7) New York Rangers

The second best power play meets the best penalty kill as the Capitals led by the Art Ross Trophy holder Alexander Ovechkin take on a recently confident Rangers team. The season series doesn’t favor the Rangers who went 1-3 versus the Caps. However they are coming off back to back wins over the rival Philadelphia Flyers led by goal keeper Henrik Lundqvist. The Swede could be the difference in the series as Jose Theodore doesn’t have a winning record in the NHL’s second season. However he does have a Vezina and Hart trophy to his credit which can not be said for Lundqvist. The Capitals have too much offense for the Rangers and enough depth for the long haul. Capitals in 6.

(3) New Jersey Devils vs (6) Carolina Hurricanes

Most of the hockey world did not expect the Devils to compete without Martin Brodeur sidelined for 3 months. Now the Devils head into the playoffs after capturing their 8th division title in 12 years. They face a red hot Carolina team who had won 9 straight before two straight losses to round out the season. The latest coming to the Devils 3-2 at New Jersey. Carolina won the series however 3-1.

This will be the fourth postseason series between the teams. Carolina defeated the Devils in five games in their most-recent meeting in the 2006 Eastern Conference Semifinals. The team that won each of the three previous series between the teams went on to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals. Devils in 6.

(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (5) Philadelphia Flyers

The battle of Pennsylvania continues into the playoffs. A rematch of last years conference finals this could be one of the better match ups in the first round. Evgeni Malkin can be the difference maker against a rather untested keeper in Martin Biron. However the Flyers have plenty of fire in Jeff Carter who finished second in the league in goals. The Penguins won the series 4-2 but this one could go either way. Pittsburgh in 7.

Tuukka Rask goes ballistic

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On Friday night in an AHL match up, Bruins young Finnish keeper had two terrible goals count against him forcing the keeper to react like this.

Comrade of the Night

courtesy of the Washington Times.

After a short hiatus, the comrade of the night returns for tonight’s selection. It was slim pickens as most of the former Soviet bloc players failed to make much of a noise on the stat sheet. That is if your name isn’t Sergei Fedorov. The 19-year veteran made his goal count against the Nashville Predators as he clinched the win in overtime for the Caps just two minutes in.

The goal is just his 8th this year as much of his season has been on the injured list. Fedorov calmly beat Dan Ellis with a backhand to keep the Caps in the race for first place in the east. They remain 1 point behind New Jersey for second and 7 behind the slumping Boston Bruins. Below is Fedorov’s winner courtesy as always of the NHL. Watch out for the flying Ovechkin!