This was an embarassing way to go out. Deciding game, and the Boston Bruins came out and laid a game seven egg in their own building before their shocked fans. The team that was on the ice in the first period resembled NOTHING like a Presidents Trophy Winner, nor a team that wanted to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Nothing the Bruins did in the first period made you think that it was gonna work out and they would somehow come away with a win against the hated Habs. Chasing the lead in playoff hockey is losing hockey.
All season long, Boston has been better than any other team when they are playing five on five. Wednesday and really, this entire series, the Bruins looked like a team that was put together for a weekend over-30 tournament. The Canadiens used their speed and passing and sent the Bruins to a premature vacation. The “Best” team during the regular season was hardly that. Their was no intimidation factor, they couldn’t slow down the smaller, but oh so much quicker Canadien forwards. They could not resist taking stupid and ill-timed penalties. And last but certainly not least, they could not put the puck in the net. When Carey Price wasn’t standing up to most Bruins shots, the Bruins were shooting themselves in the foot with missed open nets, a dozen or so posts & crossbars and just not getting a shot at all.
In the end, it was what we thought it would be. A really bad matchup for the Boston Bruins. They couldn’t handle the speed and they seemed timid and jittery far too often, especially in the first period of game seven. Before the Bruins would register their first shot on net, less than three minutes into the game, Montreal would have the lead on a Dale Weiss netmouth tip in pass from playoff veteran Daniel Briere. Somehow, as early in the game as it was, you had a feeling that most of us had seen this bad movie way too many times, and once again, it was gonna end badly.
Bruins top line of David Krejc, (zero goals in playoffs), Milan Lucic, (an empty net goal) & Jerome Iginla were virtually invisible. In games 5-6-7, Lucic had 2 shots on goal, both coming in game six when the Bruins were shut out trying to eliminate Montreal. I would say Brad Marchand looked like an overwhelmed rookie, but he was pretty damn good his rookie year when Boston won it all. Marchand has not scored a goal in 20 playoff games dating back to last post season. He took too many penalties and like his teammates, he looked lost – a lot!
Everyone loves to blame the goaltender when things go wrong. Sure Tuukka Rask could have and NEEDS to be better when playoff time comes around, he was just OK. But this massive failure was a joint mission. A Team effort in frustration and disappointing expectations.
However, give the Canadiens full marks. They used the ever popular “disrespect” card and played it to the hilt. Not sure who was disrespecting them because everyone knows that when it comes to this heated and hated rivalry, there shouldn’t be any disrepect on either side. But the Habs played their game with speed, passing and not letting Boston get out of their own end and through the neutral zone. Montreal’s power play also played a big role is the Bruins demise. With the skill and cannon shots of PK Subban & Andre Markov on the points and perennial Bruin “killer” Tomas Vanek down low, the Habs had eight goals with the man advantage, (4 for Vanek) while the Bruins had 3. Montreal sacrificed the body blocking many Boston shots or deflecting passes, negating several potential threats.
So quickly it seems the Bruins season has come to an end with two round of playoffs left. There should have been more. So much will be said about the 2013-2014 Bruins and what will next years team look like. Which players have played their final game with the spoked B on their chest. Right now, it’s stunned silence-the anticipation of getting ready for the next game is gone. Time for summer. Next stop, Cape Cod!