Year Number 37 Loss!
As we all sit here waiting for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings to start the Western Conference Finals Sunday afternoon, we can’t help but think about the Boston Bruins and the loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7.Lets face it Bruins fans, after re-watching that series, it was evident that the ‘Canes were better than the Bruins. Not a lot, but yes they were better and faster than Boston. The Carolina forwards were all over the Bruins in five of the seven games, forechecking the B’s into many turnovers, most in their own end. A lot of people say that the Bruins are a better team. Well, in the regular season, sure, they were better than anyone in the East. But once the playoffs start you are supposed to step up and be even better, dogged, hard-nosed, determined. Well I didn’t see that in the second round of the playoffs. The Bruins took two games almost completely and several periods in the other games. Yes, they didn’t have two of their better defensemen in Matt Hunwick and Andrew Ference, but all that did was expose Dennis Wideman and Shane Hnidy as not the best alternatives in defense. Zdeno Chara was effective but only so much as he like the others were stymied in their own end and center ice.As good as he was in the series against his former team, Michael Ryder was a no show in the second round. Marc Savard was just short of great as was Milan Lucic showing maturity in the playoffs far beyond his 20 years on the planet. Phil Kessel, mixed bag in the playoff and still too many giveaways especially when forechecked. David Kreci had a really nice playoff and will be a real star in the NHL. The head coach, who did a brilliant job during the season, did not make the necessary adjustments to try and beat the ‘Canes forecheck or maybe he just didn’t have the horses that could get away from them with said adjustments.What it came down to is what former Caps coach Gary Green loves to say. “Your best players have to be your best players.” There wasn’t enough of that as the Bruins best player the entire series was Tim Thomas. And if you are leaving Thomas to be your best player, you aren’t doing your job in front of him. A lot of time during this 7 game series, the Bruins defense and forwards were not doing their jobs. So here we are again….a long time since 1972 when Wayne Cashman and company were literally dancing on Madison Square Garden ice as they were beating the Rangers in game 6 and winning their second cup in three years. When will this drought end? 86 years?While leaving the garden Thursday after the game, there were several young fans highly emotional screaming at no one in particular, about how this could happen and really in such pain as they had expended so much energy and passion in their team. I was walking to the T and had a wry smile on my face and said to myself of all his pain, ‘you have no idea’!Go Blackhawks!