Sunday, March 08, 2009
WHEN DID MANNY FERNANDEZ BECOME MANNY RAMIREZ?
What once was a terrific tandem of tenders has turned into a Jekyl and Hyde in between the Bruins' pipes. When Tim Thomas is in net, the Bruins are practically guaranteed an excellent fundamental goaltender, one who makes next to no mistakes, and is capable of amazing athletic saves. When Fernandez is in, the Bruins are guaranteed a pointless night unless they score 5 or 6 goals.
The Bruins lost to the Rangers, in yet another unfortunate display of hockey. To be fair to Fernandez, it wasn't entirely his fault. Just mostly his fault. Byron Bitz was primarily responsible for the first of 4 Ranger goals. He found himself out of position after a faceoff in the defensive zone, allowing Nik Antropov space. Enough space to score a goal.
But Fernandez was responsible for New York goals #2 and 3. The Rangers took advantage of a dreadfully bad hooking call on Marc Savard. They also took advantage of Fernandez's inability to cover the inside of his post. That's Goaltending 101 stuff.
And the 3rd goal was pure blooper reel material. Fernandez gets the puck caught up in his skates, doesn't know it, twirls in the crease, the centrifugal force of the twirl spins the puck into the net.
The Bruins came back, which was nice to see. They seemed to be playing with some confidence and purpose, something that's been lacking as of late. But a big bounce of the endboards served as a perfect set-up pass for Nikolai Zherdev.
It's too bad. Had the Bruins left New York with a point, they could start rebuilding what was their biggest strength: their poised confidence. Instead, for most of them, it might seem like another wasted effort.
Oh, and what the fuck was with the NBC announcers talking about Sean Avery every 5 minutes? The guy's a 2nd or 3rd line forward AT BEST, and he's a cunt. When the word "cunt" was invented, the guy who came up with it had people like Sean Avery in mind.
The Bruins host the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday, another decent team fighting i na tight playoff battle. The B's still have an 8 point lead on New Jersey, but the Devils have 2 extra games in hand.
AP Photo/Stephen Chernin