I like to keep the homepage fairly short, but didn't want to delete all
of the playoff coverage. This is content about the ECQF series against
Montreal as it appeared on the home page at various times, just without
the embedded YouTubes.)
FERENCE WON'T BE SUSPENDED FOR HIS COLLISION WITH JEFF HALPERN
GAME 7: DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN AS HORTON'S OT STRIKE BURIES THE HABS
Sometimes, history repeating itself isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Blowing a lead in a Game 7? Not a nice repeat. Nathan Horton scoring in
overtime to beat the Canadiens? More repetition, please. Horton's
slapper beat Carey Price 5:43 into overtime to propel the B's to a 4-3 victory both on the scoreboard and in the series, sending the Habs home for the summer. The goal was Horton's third of the series and second OT winner. The win was Bruins captain Zdeno Chara's first-career Game 7 victory, and the B's first as an organization in over a decade.
It wasn't easy: the B's took an early 2-0 lead then gave it back before
the start of the third period. Chris Kelly's goal with ten minutes left
in the game appeared to be the winning strike until PK Subban's power
play rocket beat Tim Thomas with 1:57 left in the game. Suddenly, the
Garden was quiet, and one could feel the overwhelming sense of "NOT
AGAIN!" sweeping through the crowd. But Thomas made a couple of stops
in overtime, and Horton's shot found its way into the back of the net.
For once, the B's managed to NOT let down their fans in a big game. We
could all get used to this, huh? With the win, the B's set up a rematch
of last year's series with the Flyers. Game 1 is at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Philly. REVENGE TIME. Game 7: The Morning Afternoon After
GAME 6: MENTAL MISTAKES DOOM B'S AS HABS FORCE A SEVENTH GAME
It appears that the B's will never learn. Less than a year after one of
the worst collapses in sports history, the Bruins had a chance to put
Montreal away last night. Instead of finishing them off, they gave the
Habs new life, apparently figuring "hey, it's not like anything bad has happened in recent Game 7's at home, right? Right?" Michael
Cammalleri and Brian Gionta each scored a 5-on-3 power play goal to
give the Habs a 2-1 win at the Bell Centre last night, evening the
first-round series at three wins apiece. The job done by the
officiating crew was questionable at best, as fans from both sides were
left seething at a number of bad calls and just plain blown calls.
Gionta's goal came after the B's were whistled for too many men on the
ice in the first period. To compound the problem, Dennis Seidenberg was
whistled for slashing immediately following the power play faceoff.
Cammalleri scored on a bullet of a one-timer shortly after. The Habs'
second goal came after
Milan Lucic had been given "five and a game" for "boarding" Jaroslav
Spacek. Spacek's face was bleeding after the hit, likely from a cut
from his own visor. He hobbled off the ice slowly, but lo and
behold, he came back and took regular shifts in the third period. Can
someone get me whatever they're feeding these guys in Montreal? It's
miraculous. Patrice Bergeron again compounded the problem for the B's,
shooting the puck over the glass during the PK to give the Habs ANOTHER
5-on-3, on which Gionta scored. B's fans have a right to be mad about
the officiating (the Carey Price dive and Nathan Horton "slash" were
particularly atrocious), but the two most critical penalties were the
result of boneheaded mistakes, calls that were easy to make: shooting
the puck over the glass and slashing a player's stick in half are
must-calls. No argument there. Dennis Seidenberg scored the lone Bruin goal.
The B's don't have much time to feel sorry for themselves: Game 7 is
scheduled to start less than 24 hours after the end of Game 6.
Tonight's game is, essentially, this group of Bruins' last stand. If
they bow out early (again) in a Game 7 at home (again), you can be sure
that next year's team will have a very different look. Game 6: The Morning After
MICHAEL RYDER: JACK OF ALL TRADES
Ever since "The Save," Michael Ryder has been all over the place: movie
deals, clothing lines, rap groups...you name it, and everyone's
favorite Newfie-sniper has been doing it. After all, once you show the
kind of versatility Ryder displayed, doors open up for you. BHN had
exclusive access to Ryder's various activities, so be sure to check out
the gallery of his recent exploits. (There are six pictures up now, and
more will be added throughout the day.) BHN: Michael Ryder, Jack of All Trades
GAME 5: HORTON'S DOUBLE-OT STRIKE PUTS B'S WITHIN ONE WIN OF ADVANCING
- 4/24/11: All season long, Nathan Horton has
been ribbed by media members for his smiley demeanor. Multiple media
members often referred to Horton as always ever-smiling and upbeat,
something that occasionally seemed somewhat misplaced, like when he was
mired in a ten-game scoring drought. However, Horton remained positive,
happy to be playing for a good team in a hockey town, free from the
doldrums in Sunrise, always smiling. Last night, Horton put
"Horton Smiles" on the faces of Bruins fans far and wide when his goal
at 9:03 of the second overtime gave the B's a 2-1 win in Game 5 and a
3-2 lead in the series. Horton gathered the rebound of an Andrew Ference shot, kicked it to his stick and slid it past a sprawling Carey Price, sending the packed house at the TD Garden into a state of euphoric bedlam.
The B's now have a chance to eliminate the Canadiens on Tuesday night
in Montreal. If they fail, Game 7 will be at the Garden on Wednesday.
Last night's contest was by far the most well-played game of the
series, as the first 40 minutes were played at an excellent pace and
both teams traded chance for chance. Brad Marchand, who was earlier chirped by Max Pacioretty in a since deleted Tweet,
got the B's on the board five minutes into the third period, but Jeff
Halpern's goal eight minutes later evened things up again. The teams
again traded chances in both overtimes, with the B's misfiring on a
power play (surprise!) and Tim Thomas absolutely robbing Brian Gionta on a 2-on-1 in the second overtime. The other big save from this one? Michael Ryder making a glove save on Tomas Plekanec in the first period. Yes, THAT Michael Ryder, who is quickly making fans forget about his regular season slumps.
No "Morning After" for this one; I'm saving my thoughts for tomorrow's
"Monday Musings." Be sure to check in then, and Happy Easter!
GAME 4: B'S "RYDE" THE HOT HAND TO A WIN, EVEN SERIES AT TWO
- 4/22/11: Among certain segments of Bruins fans, frustration about head coach Claude Julien was building up all year:
he only sat the rookies, his system never changed, he played favorites,
etc. No skater played the role of "whipping boy" more often than
Michael Ryder, who seemed, as one of Claude's favorites, to constantly
get ice time, regardless of production. That all changed when Ryder was
scratched a few times towards the end of the regular season, a shot across his bow designed to get him focused in time for the playoffs.
For the first three games of this series, it seemed like that shot had
missed its mark; however, last night the enigmatic Ryder woke up, scoring
twice, including the game-winner just two minutes into overtime to give
the B's a dramatic, come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Habs. The
series is now even at two games apiece, with Game 5 coming at the
Garden tomorrow night. Ryder's goal came after a Rich Peverley shot
missed wide, but Chris Kelly beat his man to the loose puck. Kelly, all
in one motion, turned and threw the back puck through the crease, right
onto the stick of a wide-open Ryder. Ryder gathered the puck, seemed to
hesitate for a moment, and then beat Carey Price with a wrister between
his arm and side to send the Bell Centre crowd home unhappy. Last night
marked the first time all series that the team that scored first didn't
win, as the Habs let advantages of 1-0, 3-1, and a late 4-3 lead slip
away before losing in overtime. Tim Thomas came up huge in extra frame,
as right before the game-winner he stopped a point blank slapper after
a Zdeno Chara turnover. Thomas finished the night with 34 saves, and has now won his last four playoff starts at the Bell Centre.
Andrew Ference, Patrice Bergeron, and Chris Kelly, who notched the
tying marker with just under seven minutes to go, scored the other
Bruin goals. Ference was also fined $2,500 this morning for flipping off the Bell Centre crowd after he scored; YES. He denied that he did it on purpose, but come on. ADMIT IT. EMBRACE IT.
When all was said and done, the B's as a team came up with a huge
effort when they needed it most. It's now a three game series. Game 4: The Morning After
GAME 3: SIGNS OF LIFE AS B'S SCORE EARLY, HOLD ON LATE TO BEAT HABS
GAME 2: EARLY MISTAKES PUT THE B'S IN A BIG HOLE
I said late on Sunday night that we were going to find out last night
if this edition of the Bruins has any teeth, any heart, or any pride.
It appears that the answer is "yes;" not quite a resounding "YES" but a
"yes" nonetheless. The B's showed that they aren't quite ready to go
quietly into the night, as they scored first, second, AND third to jump out to a 3-0 lead (gulp) and then held on down the stretch to defeat the Habs in Montreal by a score of 4-2.
The B's got the all-important first goal just seconds after killing an
early too many men on the ice penalty when Dennis Seidenberg made an
excellent play to keep the puck in at the attacking blue line. He then
spun the puck down the wall to Patrice Bergeron, who winged a pass
across the slot to a wide-open David Krejci. Krejci's one-timer beat
Carey Price, and the B's had their first lead of the series. Just ten
minutes later, Nathan Horton scored his first career playoff goal when
he threw a puck from behind the goal line off of Price's back; the puck
then trickled across the goal line just before a Montreal defenseman
swept it out, and it was 2-0 Bruins. Rich Peverley took advantage of a
Price gaffe early in the second, when the Montreal netminder's clearing
attempt hit a pile of bodies and landed right on Peverley's stick; he
snapped the puck into the open net for a 3-0 lead. 3-0? Uh oh...and the
B's nearly broke their fans' hearts again, as Tim Thomas let in two
very soft five-hole goals to cut the Bruin lead to one with just under
16 minutes to go in the game. From then on in, it was "batten down the
hatches" time, as the B's held the fort and
got two sparkling saves from Thomas late in the third (one on Scott
Gomez in the crease and a stellar kick-save on Andrei Kostitsyn) to
preserve the lead. Chris Kelly's empty-netter with 26 seconds left
sealed the deal, and sent the Bell Centre crowd home quietly. It was
the B's first win in Montreal since February of 2010, and it couldn't
have come at a better time. Mark Recchi and Bergeron each had two assists and finished a combined plus-5; Zdeno Chara, playing in his first game back from some kind of illness, chipped in an assist and was a plus-1. Game 3: The Morning After
And you thought B's fans were angry after Game 1. Mike Cammalleri and
Mathieu Darche each scored a goal within the first 2:20 of the game,
and Yannick Weber's goal with under three minutes left in the second
period proved to be the dagger, sending Montreal to a 3-1 win and putting the B's backs to the wall heading up to Montreal.
After so much talk about the importance of getting off to a good start,
Johnny Boychuk's early mistake led directly to the first Montreal goal:
he made a boneheaded pass across the ice that was easily read and
picked off in the neutral zone. James Wisniewski then fired a slapper
on net and Tim Thomas gave up an awful rebound (the start of a trend,
it seemed) that landed right on the stick of Cammalleri for a tap-in.
Just under two minutes later, Darche scored on the power play after
Dennis Seidenberg was penalized on a questionable interference call. Less than three minutes in and two goals down? Not exactly the formula for success.
The B's attempted to battle back, and Patrice Bergeron's goal with 12
minutes left in the second period woke up the Garden. But the Habs were
the beneficiaries of some lucky bounces (the B's hit at least two
posts) and the Bruins inability to finish (David Krejci flubbed the
puck with Carey Price down and the net wide open), and when Thomas gave
up another awful rebound late in the second, Weber was there to
capitalize. The B's were
without Zdeno Chara for this one, as the captain was hospitalized for
dehydration on Friday and attempted to play (he dressed for and
participated in the pre-game skate) but felt dizzy and weak. Claude
Julien lauded his captain for even trying to play through the illness. Two home games, two losses. Awful. No "Morning After" for this one, I'll save my thoughts for the Monday Musings tomorrow.
GAME 1: GIONTA & PRICE PUSH HABS PAST THE B'S
- 4/15/11: One game doesn't make a series, but after one game, parts of the Bruins' fanbase are already lining up on the Tobin Bridge, waiting for the signal to jump. Brian Gionta scored twice, once early in the first and once late in the third, and Carey Price made 31 saves nearly a year to the day after his first career playoff shutout to send the Habs to a 2-0 playoff-opening win at the Garden.
Gionta's first-goal came when Tomas Kaberle misplayed a puck behind his
own net: instead of continuing around the net and sending the puck out
along the wall on his forehand, Kaberle blindly threw a backhand
clearing attempt that went right to Scott Gomez. Gomez threw the puck
to a completely vacant Boston net-front, perhaps intending to hit
Mathieu Darche. But the puck skidded past Darche, right onto the stick of Gionta, who ripped it past a sprawling Tim Thomas.
Gionta struck again late in the third period when, after an awful Milan
Lucic turnover, he blew a slapper between the arm and body of Tim
Thomas. Game over. That was about the only impact Lucic had on this
one, as he and his linemates looked like they forgot the playoffs started last night. Brad Marchand blew
two golden scoring chances, including one tap-in at the side of the net
after a beautiful pass from Kaberle that he somehow muffed. Save
for a few scrambles in the second and one Rich Peverley chance in the
third, Price barely had to break a sweat. Not the start to the playoffs
that the B's or their fans were hoping for. Game 1: The Morning After
YOUR BRUINS-HABS PREVIEW: IN LIMERICKS AND MSPAINT
Yes, the playoffs are finally here. For my series preview, I decided
there wasn't much that hadn't already been said: Thomas vs. Price,
speed vs. strength, etc. I couldn't really come up with something new
and groundbreaking, so I decided to do it a different way: with
limericks and with MSPaint. Limericks are awesome, and there's
something stupidly funny about crudely-drawn MSPaint artwork. So I
combined those two with the Bruins and Habs to make something pretty
outrageous. It's a rhyming preview that also features beautifully-crude
drawings; what could be better? BHN: Bruins-Habs Series Preview