I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a brief moment to address what can only be called a challenging few weeks in America regarding stereotypes and preconceived notions of individuals based solely upon their physical characteristics. This period, of course, culminated a few nights back with Cam Neely releasing a statement on behalf of the entire Boston Bruins organization trying to douse a small fire before it burned out of control and cast a permanent cloud over this playoff series between two long time NHL rivals. But, it’s honesty time. In this day and age of people being overly P.C., beliefs and ideas are frequently swept aside in favor of not hurting people’s feelings or insulting entire groups of individuals. But I’m not going to hold back anymore. I don’t know if what I’m going to say will be construed as hurtful, nor do I really care. The thing is, there ARE differences among us, and there’s just that ONE glaring observation I make each time I watch Montreal on TV. And the truth is, we all have our biases and…yes…our prejudices. One of the Canadiens just looks…wrong. Disgustingly wrong…but it’s about time that someone said this:
Michel Therrien just looks like he smells.
I mean, REALLY bad. Maybe it’s his big, stupid face…complete with flappy skin around his neck? Maybe that big, fat nose? Or the way he looks like he’s struggling to stay awake whenever he’s on the bench – regardless of circumstances within the game? That hair doesn’t help matters any…just let it go already. You can grow it down to the middle of your back, and it’s still going to be thinning. His whole vibe is the smelly, French hockey coach. He looks like the personification of an airplane fart.
Now that I’ve said all of that…let the healing begin.
There is no way around it…Saturday’s game was a must win. While teams have successfully overcome 2-0 deficits throughout the playoffs over the past few years, going to Montreal in an 0-2 hole would have been as daunting a challenge as any during the NHL playoffs. A similar performance to Game 1…a game in which Boston dominated in every aspect of the game other than the scoreboard…would have been a crushing blow to team morale.
As for other performances that I didn’t want to see duplicated…how about NBC’s coverage of the game? The broadcast was so unabashedly Montreal-centric that there were times where I forgot who was even in the lineup for Boston. But while Pierre McGuire is the frequent butt of jokes at DOY and from most hockey fans in general, he’s been remarkable during this series. In fact, I’d go so far as to call him a modern day Demosthenes. For those of you not in the know, Demosthenes was a Greek philosopher and orator who overcame a childhood speech impediment by practicing speaking with pebbles in his mouth. In doing so, he was able to become one of the most renowned public speakers in Greece. Similarly, I have great respect for Pierre. Why? Because he’s able to spew his inane bullshit so clearly while having PK Subban’s entire cock and balls in his mouth. Seriously…I feel bad who has to clean up ‘behind the glass’ after Pierre gets to watch Subban…or any Montreal player, for that matter.
In what can only be described as a busy day for the officials, Torey Krug and Rene Bourque were both called for penalties barely a minute into the first period. After the Canadiens were able take advantage of two costly Bruins penalties in Game 1, this was NOT the start the team was looking for in their efforts to even the series. Penalties aside, though, the Bruins looked hungry, and it showed on the scoreboard a bit after thirteen minutes into the first period, when Danny Paille was able to convert on a beautiful pass from Carl Soderberg to put the Bruins up, 1-0. The Mez was credited with the second assist, as it was his purposefully wide shot and carom that allowed Soderberg and Paille to capitalize.
Montreal would get the equalizer early in the second, after a costly Brad Marchand turnover in the neutral zone resulted in what can only be described as a cluster fuck in front of the Bruins net. Despite the presence of what seemed like four Bruins in the crease, Mike Weaver was able to put a relatively weak shot past Tuukka Rask to tie the score at 1-1.
Milan Lucic would then break the tie…eh, nevermind. It wasn’t even close.
The second period as a whole looked a lot like Game 1, which meant a lot of frustration for B’s fans. Boston had more than double the scoring opportunities of Montreal, yet were stymied each time by Carey Price. The last four minutes of the second period were nothing more than a showcase for the officials. A four on four turned into a four on three PP for Montreal on a call against Andrej Meszaros that straddled the very fine line between ‘idiotic’ and ‘brain dead’, and noted
pedophile Bruin killer Thomas Vanek was able to deflect a shot by PK Subban past Tuukka to put Montreal ahead, 2-1. Through the first two periods, FOURTEEN penalties had been called in the game.
The officiating crew largely swallowed their whistles for the third period. Only one penalty was called…an interference call on Dougie Hamilton a little more than five minutes into the period. Unfortunately for Boston, the Canadiens were able to score on the ensuing powerplay when Vanek again deflected a Subban shot to put Montreal up, 3-1.
This goal, coming after Shawn Thornton had left the game with an apparent knee injury caused by a turtling Subban, had me convinced that the Bruins would be heading to Montreal in a very deep hole. As it was a Dougie penalty that gave Montreal the man advantage…and Meszaros was in the midst of what can only be described as a horrible game…all I could think about was how I missed Dennis Seidenberg. I was willing to place most of the blame for two losses squarely on the group that was finally playing true to the predictions of the ‘experts’ who claimed the Bruins didn’t do enough at the deadline to address the loss of The German Hammer. I had already thought of a title for the recap…”I Buried My Heart in Seidenberg’s Knee” (catchy, right?!).
However, something happened nearly midway into the third. Whether this emotional shift was caused by the return of Shawn Thornton to the B’s bench, or just the team’s realization that they had to wake the fuck up lest they be behind the 8 ball going to Montreal, the Bruins started playing like, well, the Bruins. The final eleven minutes were eerily similar to last year’s Game 7 miracle against Toronto. While perhaps not carrying the same gravitas as a series clincher, the Bruins would unleash an offensive flurry that can only be described as stunning. And also boner inducing, if I may be so bold.
Seeking to atone for his earlier penalty, Douglas Hamilton returned to send a long snapshot past a well screened Price to pull Boston within one, 3-2.
Three minutes later, Patrice Bergeron was able to throw a shot off of Montreal defenseman Beef Bouillon and past Price to knot the score at 3-3.
The near epic comeback was completed when Reilly Smith was able to put a crossing pass from Torey Krug past a sprawling Carey Price to put the Bruins ahead for good, 4-3.
In the game’s waning moments, Milan Lucic was able to just sneak a puck into the empty Montreal net to complete the comeback.
Final score: Boston 5 – The Poo, Blanc & Rouge 3
– Boston defensemen named Zdeno Chara. Big Z was the only consistent defenseman for Boston today. Not only did he chew up minutes (26:59), but he added an assist and was a surreal +5.
– Patrice Bergeron. Other than just being his normal, dreamy self, Bergeron chipped in a goal and an assist centering his line today – the line that generated the most offensive opportunities against the Canadiens today. On top of that, he won 58% of the draws he took.
– NBC. Hey! Thanks for reminding folks that Boston was the first NHL team to break the color barrier with the debut of Willie O’Ree. Luckily you didn’t spend more than 20 seconds of the broadcast talking about it! You know…to undo the narrative you’ve been stoking over the past few days regarding the Subban tweets. (sarcasm…off)
– PK Subban. Yes, I hate the guy, and most Bruins fans do, as well. But the only color involved in said hatred is the red, white, and blue of his uniform. Subban was a standup guy after Game 2 in defending the Bruins and their fanbase in response to the Twitter uproar after Game 1. Like most reasonable people, Subban understands that there are always going to be assholes who ruin things for everyone else, and it’s wrong to paint an entire fanbase with such broad strokes.
– Boston defensemen NOT named Zdeno Chara. The play of the other Boston rearguards was either up and down (Hamilton, Krug, Miller) or a downright turd factory (Meszaros). Now keep in mind that ALL of them (even Meszaros) made positive impacts on the final outcome today, but the effort has to be more consistent. Is this group going to rebound from these first two games, or will they continue to be the ‘weak link’ on the team? Also note, Boychuk played a solid game and is NOT included in this list.
– The Krejci Line. Lucic’s EN goal aside, this group needs to step up more. Over the first two games, they’re just not converting on NUMEROUS scoring opportunities for all three players.
– Bruins Special Teams. After looking simply dominant against the Red Wings, Claude Julien has GOT to find answers for his team’s depressing performance in the Montreal series thus far.
– Who will be the sixth defenseman for the Bruins in Game 3? Meszaros all but assured that he’ll be back in the press box. But does that mean a return for Matt Bartkowski, or a ‘Let’s see what’s behind Door #3’ and Corey Potter?
– Was today’s comeback enough to light a fire under Boston to allow them to roll throughout the rest of the series? Or are we bound to see more inconsistency?