The NFL draft started, and Commissioner Goddel stepped onto the stage to greet the audience to a sea of boos. It was great! He just pointed to the crowd and said, “I gotcha.” As most people thought, Cam Newton was the 1st pick in the draft. He received quite a chorus of boos. I assume that they weren’t booing the Panthers, they were booing Newton. He does after all, have a sketchy background (remember the play for money allegations), and is considered to be a conceded egotistical person. I thought the booing was hilarious, because he is egotistical! Now we wait for number 17 and 28, the Pats 2 first round picks.
Alright, the Pats are on the board. They have a lot of options here. D’Quan Bowers and Cameron Jordan are there. Mark Ingram is still available, if they wanted to improve at halfback. Might they do as usual, and trade down? I don’t see that happening. As I stated in my previous post, I feel that Bowers would be the best fit for this team. Jordan would be my second option, if they are too scared of Bowers.
Ok, the pick is in, and they have selected… Nate Solder!!???!! Wow, did not see that coming. To me, this says 2 things. 1: The Pats are afraid he won’t fall to 28. 2: They don’t think Light or Mankins will be around for too long. Everyone remembers the problems that they had with Mankins holding-out last year. That falling out will most likely lead to him being traded soon enough. Matt Light is up for free agency, which means that maybe they don’t re-sign him. It’s a solid pick, but this team has other needs. For Gods sake, they were the worst defense on 3rd down conversions, allowing nearly 50% conversions!! They still have another pick in the 1st round, so lets see what they do with it.
So what do the Pats do with the 28th pick? Like I said earlier, they need to improve their defense. I think they should pick D’Quan Bowers. Cameron Jordan was selected 24th overall by the Saints, so Bowers looks like their best option. Could they take Mark Ingram? He has fallen all they way down. What about trading the pick? Coach Belichick loves to trade down, and stockpile picks.
And with the 28th pick in the 1st round… New England traded it. Of course they did. They didn’t get rid of their first pick, so they might as well get rid of the second one. New England traded the pick to the New Orleans Saints. The Saints would use that pick to select Mark Ingram. The trade resulted in New Orleans taking the 28th pick (obviously), and the Patriots received the 56th pick in the 2nd round tomorrow, and a 1st round pick in 2012. This brings up a big question now. Would you rather have more picks, or Mark Ingram? If I was a Pats fan, I’d rather have Ingram than to just keep stockpiling picks. So, what did you think of the Patriots on the 1st day of the NFL Draft?
Wow, I can’t say it enough times, what a game. This was a great game to watch, providing great, although sometimes unnecessary drama. But, the Bruins came out on top, winning the third OT game of this series, 4-3. Nathan Horton scored 2 of those 3 game-winning goals, and Boston was 3-0 in OT in this series. Going into this game, the Bruins had not won a Game 7 since April 29 1994. And that game was against the Montreal Canadians. To make matters worse, Tim Thomas was 0-2 career in game 7’s, with a 3.45 GAA and a .889 save percentage. All time in game 7’s Montreal 13-8, and Boston was 9-10. Nothing was on the Bruins side, except that they had home ice. But even still, this is a team that plays terrible at home, losing the first 2 games of this series at home in fact. But through it all, the Bruins showed that they are a very resilient team. So, let’s see how we got here.
The game started with Montreal getting the first shot on net. Boston brought the puck into the attacking zone, and Seidenberg got a point shot off for an easy glove save by Price. Boston controlled the tempo of the game early, which was a good sign. If the Bruins want any chance of winning this game, than they need to control the tempo. The B’s can not play a fast paced Canadian type game. Off a face-off win by the Bruins, the puck was brought around the net by Marchand, and passed to Boychuck at the point. He got a slapshot off that gets by Price on the glove side. Boston had a quick 1-0 lead, just 3:31 into the game. Boston was out shooting the Canadians 6-3, just 5 minutes into the game. Montreal won a face-off in their own zone, but pressure from Recchi forced a turnover. Marchand would pick the puck up, and send it around the boards. There it was picked up by Recchi, who passed towards Ference in the near circle. The puck was lost amongst a few bodies, before Ference finally found it. He passed the puck back to Recchi, who got a pea off from the high slot to beat Price high blocker side. Boston had a quick 2-0 lead against Montreal, just 5:33 into the game. Montreal took a time-out, to try to calm things down. This was exactly the type of start the Bruins needed, now they just had to break Montreal’s back with another goal. Montreal seemed to find themselves little by little as the period went on. And at 8:22, we would have our first penalty of the game. Off a dump in by Boychuck, Michael Ryder and Plecanek went into the corner for the puck. Plekanec had his stick lifted, and he fell down. Well, that was enough in the eyes of the officials to warrant a hooking call. The very dangerous Montreal powerplay now had a chance to get right back into this game. Boston did a great job on the penalty kill, quickly eliminating 1:20 of the penalty. But then, Daniel Pallie would lose his stick. Montreal took advantage of this, and set up a man on his side in the slot. Yannick Webber made a tremendous shot, just beating Tim Thomas high glove side. The game was now 2-1, 9:49 into the first. Both teams would start dumping the puck in, not being able to set up any offense. Both defenses stepped up their play, and their was no space for either team to operate. Boston had a chance, as Bergeron brought the puck into the attacking zone. He passed to Marchand, who took a shot from the near circle. The puck was deflected down, and went wide. Recchi would recover the puck on the far boards, and passed around the net to Marchand. Marchand skated to the near circle, and passed down to Bergeron. Bergeron passed back to Marchand at the top of the circle, and he passed to Recchi in the slot. He couldn’t get a shot off though, as he appeared to be hooked by Hamerlik. No call from the officials though. Boston dumped the puck into the corner boards, and Pialle and Sopel went to retrieve it. Thornton hit Sopel from the opposite side, and apparently lead with his elbow. He would go to the box at 16:02 for elbowing. The Montreal powerplay wasn’t doing anything this time around. Boston dumped the puck in, and Subban and Campbell went into the boards for the puck. Subban was pinned against the boards by Gregory Campbell, and he took an absolute dive. When Campbell went to skate away, Subban held onto his hand and fell down. It was just pathetic! The refs need to be looking for these kind of plays, and call a blatant dive when they see one. On they played, with no call to either team. With under 20 seconds remaining in the penalty, Montreal dumped the puck into the Boston zone. Kostitsyn got an inadvertent stick up high on Seidenberg, as he was trying to avoid contact with him. It was now 4-on-4 for 3 seconds, before Boston would go on the powerplay. Boston started with lots of energy, but they cooled off after a clear by the Canadians. Boston had a good set-up in the attacking zone, and were passing the puck around looking for a hole to open up. Seidenberg passed from the point to Kaberle at the top of the far circle. He slap-passed to Kreci at the top of the near circle. He passed to Lucic in the slot, but a great play by Sopel to tie up Lucic didn’t allow him to get the puck. The penalty ended, and Boston ended the 1st period with a 2-1 lead.
The 2nd period started with heavy attacks from the Canadians. Tim Thomas made back-to-back incredible saves seconds into the period. The Bruins brought the puck up ice in a 3-on-2 rush. Lucic passed from the near circle to Kreci in the crease, but the puck went right through without a touch. Montreal started getting tons of pressure on Thomas, but he was stuffing everything. Chara went for the puck in the corner, and took a hit from Eller. Chara appeared to go down a little easily, and was able to coax a cross-checking call at 4:41. Just seconds into the penalty, Montreal cleared the zone. Thomas went to stop the puck behind the net, and Travis Moen poked the puck away from behind him. Thomas scurried back to the net, and was able to stop the puck 5-hole at the near post. Seidenberg brought the puck up ice, and tried to pass back to Mark Recchi. The puck hit his skates, and was picked off by Plecanek. He now had a breakaway, and he beat Thomas shorthanded. Montreal had come from 2 down to tie the game at 2, 5:50 into the 2nd period. The Boston powerplay looked pathetic, and resulted in 1 shot on net. Boston looked like a much better team 5-on-5. Nathan Horton brought the puck into the attacking zone. He skated into the far slot, and passed across to Kreci in the near slot. He got a backhand off, but the shot missed high. It was like the shorthanded goal reminded the Bruins that Montreal is a good team, and they need to finish this game out. Their play started to increase, and they were getting good looks at Price. Boston had upped the tempo, and was attacking furiously. Boston was now caught with men up ice during a line change, and the puck was passed beyond 2 lines to Jeff Halpern. Halpern now had a breakaway, but this time Thomas made the save. Boston came right back with the pressure. Off a neutral zone face-off win by Montreal, Subban skated back towards Price with the puck. Subban then attempted to make a dee pass, but he fanned on the pass. A pressuring Kelly took a stab at the puck, but was unable to make anything happen, and Subban recovered the puck. Montreal brought the puck up ice, and Boychuck hit Halpern in the numbers, and he hit the stanchion. It was a hard hit, but nothing serious. The refs though felt that was enough for a boarding call, and the B’s would now be a man down for the remainder of the 2nd. The Boston pk looked good, able to clear the puck, and block shots before they reached Thomas. The 2nd period would end, and the game was tied 2-2 heading into the 3rd. This was setting up to be a classic.
The 3rd Period started with the Bruins having to kill of the remaning 12 seconds of the Boychuck penalty. They pinned the puck in the corner boards, and we were back to 5-on-5 hockey. Boston was controlling the puck early, getting lots of shots on Price. The 1st line of Lucic, Kreci, Horton looked particularly good. They were controlling the puck, and not allowing quick counter-attacks by the Canadians. Kreci had a great chance of a drop-pass by Horton in the high slot, but Price made a great save. Bergeron brought the puck up the sideboards, and passed back to McQuaid at the point. He got a shot off, and the puck rebounded right to Recchi at the far post. Recchi had 2 chances on the doorstep, but he couldn’t find the back of the net. The first chance bounced on his stick, and the second hit the post. A huge miss for the Bruins, and the game remained tied. Montreal had a couple of chances coming up ice, but some great back checking by the Bruins would negate their chances. As Boston passed the puck out of their own zone, Jeff Haplern skated towards Andrew Ference. Ference didn’t have the puck, nor did he just pass the puck. For some reason, Halpern bumped into him. Ference leaned his shoulder into him a bit, but it didn’t look that harmful. Halpern immediately hit the ice, and stayed down. He was helped off the ice. It was quite an odd play. The game continued without any penalties to either team. The Bruins were taking the puck up ice, when Kelly’s stick rode a bit high on Hamerlik, and poked him in the chin. He hit the ice, trying to draw a penalty from the refs. There was no call, and the Bruins now had numbers up ice. The B’s set up a great triangle, with Peverley bringing the puck through the high slot. He passed to the point to Ference, who got a shot off that hit Chris Kelly in his skates. Kelly picked the puck up in the crease, and buried it in the back of the net. Jack Edwards said it best when referring to Hamerlik, “He dove one time too many!” He really cost his team by diving, and leaving his team outnumbered. Oh, and Jeff Halpern came back off the ice, just 2 minutes after the hit he “suffered”. No 15 minute quite room for him I guess. Boston was playing with a fire in their belly. The offense was getting some great shots on Price, while the D was hitting everything that came near them. Ryder made a great back-check on Gomez. He chipped the puck off the boards, ahead for Kelly. He was in behind the Montreal defense, and he had a clean breakaway. But Price made a tremendous blocker save. The puck flipped just over the net, hitting the top of the net in fact. Montreal had a sense of urgency now in their play. They had a tremendous burst of offense, coming from a face-off win in the Boston zone. The puck was sent back for a point shot, but Thomas made the save. The puck rebounded to Cammalleri, who tried to get a backhand chance off. The puck appeared to bounce on him, and he couldn’t get a clean shot off. Thomas had dived to make a potential stop, and was now in a bad spot. Cammalleri passed the puck to the slot for a one-timer, but it hit Adam McQuaid in the chest. Boston brought the puck up ice, and there was now less than 5 minutes to go in the game. Recchi had the puck in the far circle, with a couple of bodies in the way. He shot across ice to the glove side, but Price made a ridiculous glove save. Boston had a face-off win in the Montreal zone, but Chara couldn’t handle the puck. Cammalleri took the puck, and had a breakaway chance. But great pressure by Seidenberg limited his space, and forced Cammalleri to pull up on his chance, and he lost control of the puck. Bergeron was attacking the puck, controlled by James Wisniewski. Bergeron tried to lift his stick, but instead hit him in the shoulder. Wisniewski swung his head back like he was hit in the face, and he drew the penalty. Watching the replay, you can see the stick hit Wisniewski’s shoulder. Just another fake, from a team built on faking and embellishing hits. Boston was called for a high stick, and Montreal now had a powerplay for 2 of the 3:23 left in the 3rd. And Montreal would get on the board, off a one-timer by P.K. Subban at 18:03. There was now just 1:57 left in the 3rd period, and it was all tied at 3. Boston would control the puck during the last minute, getting tons of pressure in the Montreal zone. But, it would not matter, as this game was headed for sudden death overtime at 3-3.
The game started out very scary for Boston. A harmless chip shot by Gionta was deflected by a skate, and went right towards Tim Thomas. Thomas just kicked out the left leg, and then lunged at the puck with his stick. He poked it way away from the net, and Boston survived a quick scare. Kostitsyn had a chance coming into the Boston zone. He got a shot off from the high slot that Thomas stopped. The rebound came out, and trickled just past the far post. Thomas was making some tremendous saves early, with Montreal getting all of the pressure on Boston early. But Boston never gave u, fighting hard to get the puck on Price. Montreal won a face-off back behind their own net. Pressure from Lucic forced the puck around the net, and Subban tried to chip the puck out of Montreal’s zone. Adam McQuaid pinched up the sideboards, and kept the puck in the offensive zone. Lucic gloved the puck down, and brought the puck through the far circle. He passed to Nathan Horton in the high slot. He skated back towards the top of the near circle, and got a shot off. And for the second time in this series, Nathan Horton had scored a game winning goal in overtime. The Bruins had won the game, 4-3 in sudden death overtime, and had now advanced to the Eastern Conference Semi Finals.
This was a classic, easily. Boston had a quick early lead, let it slip away, and then got it back. With under 2 minutes remaining in the 3rd, Montreal was able to tie it. And in an overtime that the Canadians dominated, Boston came away with the win. Just a great game to watch. Boston had plenty of chances to put this game away though, being up by 2 goals just 5:33 into the game. But, a lack of attention and attentiveness allowed Montreal to come right back into this game. The real problem was the special teams for Boston. Boston scored all 4 of their goals at 5-on-5 hockey. The Canadians meanwhile, scored 2 powerplay goals, and 1 shorthanded goal. The Bruins pk unit looked very good, but the Montreal powerplay is too good, and had been extra effective against the Bruins. I do expect the pk to improve going into the next round. Boston will need to improve their powerplay though, which was 0-21 in the series. The first time in NHL history that a team had won a playoff series, when never scoring on the powerplay. I was very impressed by the first line in this game. They looked better in tonight’s game then they had all series. Nathan Horton was of course, very clutch. He had 3 goals in the series, with 2 of them coming in OT. They need to build on this game, and turn it up against the Flyers.
And what an interesting match-up we have now. The Bruins will play against the team that knocked them out last year, after having a 3-0 series lead, and a 3-0 lead in game 7 at home. I feel very confident going into this series though, for several reasons. The Flyers really struggled down the stretch, losing the #1 seed that they held for most of the year. They had a grueling series of against the Sabers, including being shut-out twice by Ryan Miller. The Sabers and Bruins are similar team, so this could be a good thing going into the game. Philly is having some trouble with their goaltending, switching back and forth between Sergie Bobrovsky, and Brian Boucher. If Tim Thomas plays just as good, or better than he did against Montreal, then Boston could come away with a win against Philly. The Bruins did have a 3-0 lead against a very similar team last year, and Boston has made some changes to their lineup. Boston needs to make a few changes to their game though to come out on top. Obviously, they need to change something about the powerplay. Their D needs to continue to make good decisions with the puck, especially when making passes out of their own zone. Tim Thomas needs to keep out those soft goals, and the offense needs to be more consistent. The 1st line showed improvements, and they need to build on tonight’s game. I think that the Bruins will win the series in 6. If it goes to 7 games, then the Bruins will probably lose game 7, since it’s in Philadelphia.
Game 6 is in the books, and one thing is certain. This series will be over tomorrow night. Montreal won game 6 at the Bell Center 2-1. Tim Thomas was 4-0 in his last 4 games at the Bell Center. Carey Price meanwhile hadn’t won a playoff game in the Bell Center since 2008. Thomas was great tonight. Both goals came on a 5-on-3 Montreal advantage. Price certainly played great, and probably should have had a shutout. The goal he allowed to Seidenberg was soft. I don’t know how he snuck it in while Price was holding the post. I’d be scared that Price will have confidence going into tomorrow nights game. Now then, on to the game!
The game started with Boston trying to take a play out of Montreal’s play book. Just past the minute mark, Nathan Horton had the puck in the far circle, and made a pass to Kreci in the slot. The puck was a little bit behind him, and it got in on his skates. He tried to get a shot off, but couldn’t get the puck. He was forced to go behind the net, but nothing surfaced. No quick goal for Boston tonight. Montreal didn’t have anything going, so Eller took a nice dive just past the 2 minute mark. McQuaid had Eller pinned against the boards trying to get the puck. McQuaid gave him a shove maybe 6 inches into the board, and Eller dropped as if he was dead. Seriously, he looked like he was paralyzed. He fell to the ice like dead weight, and then he kept his right arm out straight, and started twisting it. He seemed to imply that he hurt his arm. He gingerly got back up, and skated to the bench. The refs didn’t call it, and on they played. Boston moved the puck up ice. Marchand brought the puck into the slot, and had the puck poked away. It came right to Bergeron in the center of the slot. Gomez hooked Bergeron’s hands, and he was unable to get a shot off. Probably should have been a hooking call, but they played on and Montreal picked the puck up. Gionta brought the puck up ice, and got a shot on net. The puck hit Thomas, and he thought he was covering it up. However, the puck bounced away from Thomas, and Gionta picked the puck up and put it in the back of the net. However, Boston received a quick whistle, as the referee thought Thomas had indeed covered up the puck. The goal was disallowed, and Boston had caught a huge break early. Montreal had no offense going 5:00 minutes into the game, but Boston didn’t look so great either. The B’s were controlling the puck, but not getting any shots on net. This game had a different feel then the other 5. It was very slow to start, with not a lot of offense. The Canadians brought the puck into Boston’s zone. The puck was pinned against the boards behind Thomas, and picked up by Gionta. He tried to get a quick wraparound on the near post, but Thomas scooted over to just hold the post. Off the ensuing face-off, Boston dumped the puck in the attacking zone. For some reason, Adam MqCuaid decided to come off the bench, and he received a too many men call at 8:54. Then, right after the face-off was won by the Habs, Seidenberg snapped the stick of Kostitsyn. He would receive a slashing call at 8:58. It was now a 5-on-3 for 1:56. Montreal took their time on the powerplay. They kept passing the puck around, until they found a good shot. That would be Cammalleri, who got a one-timer off from the far circle, and buried it in the net. Montreal was now up 1-0 at 10:07. Montreal still had a man advantage for 50 seconds, but nothing came of it. The Boston p.k. looked good to start, despite the 5-on-3 goal. Boston seemed to come to life after giving up that goal. They started pressuring the puck in the Montreal zone, and getting some good shots off. Recchi got a bad angle shot on net. The puck was blocked, and came free into the slot. Montreal clamped down on the puck, and didn’t allow any second chance shots. Ference got a shot off from the point that Price stopped. Again, the rebound came out to the slot, and again, the Montreal defense clamped down on the Boston players. In the last 30 seconds of the 1st, Ryder had a puck explode off his stick, and it came right to Hal Gill in the Boston zone. He rushed back to Gill, and poked the puck away. Ryder brought it up ice, and he was tripped up and went to one knee at the Montreal red line by Kostitsyn. Boston was on the powerplay at 19:39, and what a huge time for their man advantage to come alive. But just 13 seconds into the penalty, Bergeron gets a bad call for goaltender interference. Watching the replay, you can see Bergeron jump away from Price as he skates by him, and he makes contact with his glove. Price then proceeds to fall to the ice, off of his glove being touched. Really? It is so frustrating to watch the Canadians flop about sometimes. The 1st period came to an end, and Montreal had a 1-0 lead.
The 2nd period started with 1:40 of 4-on-4. Boston controlled the puck in the attacking zone. Off a point shot, the puck tumbled behind Price. Seidenberg who was screening Price, went behind the net to pick the puck up. He wrapped a shot around the net, and in. Boston had tied the game just :48 seconds into the 2nd. Montreal had a brief powerplay, but Boston clogged up the neutral zone for most of it. The penalty ended without any harm done. Marchand took the puck into the Montreal zone, and passed across ice to Recchi at the near circle. He skated up, and passed back to Bergeron in the high slot. He got a one-timer off, but Price made a spectacular glove save. Montreal was brining the puck up ice, when Spacek dumped the puck in from the centerboards. Lucic came in, and laid a good hit into him. Spacek hit the boards face first, and came up bleeding. Lucic would receive a 5 minute major for boarding, and a game misconduct at 4:37. First off, Lucic did deserve the 5 minute major because the guy came up bleeding. It was not an illegal hit in any way. Spacek just turned his head at a bad angle, so that when he was hit, his head met the boards. Secondly, throwing him out of the came was madness! It was not an illegal hit, and Lucic did nothing wrong! I guarantee you the only reason they threw him out of the game, is because the refs were afraid that those loony Canadian fans would call 9-1-1 again, and start a riot. Montreal won the ensuing face-off, and Gionta had a quick chance in the slot off a one-timer, but his shot went high. Bergeron tried to clear the puck out of the zone, and it went over the glass. He received a delay of game at 4:53, and Montreal now had a 5-on-3 for the full 2 minutes. Montreal again took their time to let plays develop. And at 5:48, Brian Gionta scored in the crease off a rebound opportunity. Boston still had over 3 minutes to kill off in Lucic’s major penalty. The Boston pk looked very good. Montreal was not able to cash in during the 5-on-4. Just after the penalty ended, Montreal would get called for interference on Roman Hamerlik at 10:23. Not to worry though, as the Boston powerplay remained ineffective. About a minute after the penalty had ended, Boston went back on the powerplay on a too many men call against Montreal at 13:49. Again, another 2 minutes that Montreal didn’t have to worry about the Bruins scoring. Boston dumped the puck into the Montreal zone, and Carey Price went behind the net to play it. Marchand came from behind the net to take the puck away from Price, and Price now had to hurry to get back to his goal. He was able to hold the post, and then he hit the ice to take away the goal-line. Marchand didn’t get a clean break at the puck though, because he was hooked by Spacek. So, at 16:26, Boston was back on the man advantage. Boston held the puck in the Montreal zone, trying to set up at the points. Chara received a pass in at his skates. While he was looking for the puck, he was checked into the boards. He hit the ice in an effort to milk a call from the officials. Yea, like anything could take down that giant. So, the Canadians now had a chance up ice. The puck was passed down to the corner, and back to the point. It hopped over a Canadians stick, and they tried regroup. Nathan Horton would steal the puck, and he now had a breakaway chance against Price. The play was blown dead though, and Horton was called for a slash at 16:48. The Bruins were back to 4-on-4 hockey, which seemed like a better option than being on the powerplay. Montreal controlled the puck in the Bruins defensive zone, and Cammalleri tried a wraparound attempt. The puck was blocked by Kaberle. He passed the puck up to Kreci, who brought it into the Montreal zone. He was checked off the puck at the near boards, and Kaberle picked the puck up. He passed across ice to Chara, who came right into the slot. He dangled the puck away from Price, and passed it underneath the diving Price to Marchand. Marchand shot the puck into the side of the post/net, and Boston was kept off the board. That would all but end the 4-on-4, and now Montreal had another brief powerplay. Boston kept the puck in Montreal’s zone, and the penalty ended. The 2nd period came to a close, and Montreal had a 2-1 lead.
30 seconds into the period, Boston rushed into the offensive zone. Boston got a shot off from the near circle. Bergeron had a huge rebound attempt, but Price made a spectacular right-to-left move to make the save. Boston had a good tempo early, and were getting shots on Price. Marchand went towards the crease off a point shot that Price saved, and Subban felt that was enough to give him a good shove. After pushing him a but, Subban just calmly skated away. What a punk this guy is. He’s so talented, but is such a puky a-hole. Montreal had some pressure on Thomas, but they were mainly just dumping the puck in on every possession. It was very reminiscent of game 1. The Montreal defense was clamping down on everything, and not allowing the B’s to set up their offense. Boston started focusing their efforts on the point shot. Chara and Horton both had good chances, but Price made the saves. Off a point shot, Johnny Boychuck almost tipped the puck in from the slot, but it trickled wide. Montreal came up ice, and started to attack feverishly. Boston finally got the puck back, but there was just 7 minutes left in the 3rd now. Pialle got a good shot off from the high slot, but it went just wide. He followed his shot, and collected it in the corners. He threw the puck into the crease for Horton, but he had his stick clamped down on. Price saw the puck, and jumped on it for the whistle. Peverley brought the puck around the net, and tried a wraparound attempt. The puck bounced off Price into the crease, and Kelly tried jamming it in. The puck was cleared out, and Boston had to bring the puck back up ice. The puck was sent into the corner boards, and Kelly was called for a high-stick up on Spacek at 16:50. Boston would now be on the penalty kill for 2 minutes of the 3:01 left in the game. Boston did a good job not allowing Montreal any chances, and they created their own in effect. Chara knocked the puck to Kreci in the near corner. He passed long across ice to Peverley at the center line. Peverley skated through the high slot, and passed to Kreci in the crease. His shot was stopped by Price, and the puck now lay in the crease. 3 Bruins were jamming the net, but the puck never got through and the play was whistled dead. Montreal won the face-off, and P.K. Subban went to the back of the net. He seemed to just let the clock wind down. Boston tried to pull Thomas, but Montreal took control of the puck in the neutral zone. Finally, with about 45 seconds left, Thomas got to the bench. The Bruins had a chance with Recchi in the slot, but his stick was clamped down on by. The seconds ticked away, and Montreal had taken game 6, 2-1.
This was a tough game to take as a Bruins fan. They played great hockey, and just a couple bad plays did them in. I don’t now what McQuaid was thinking, causing the too many men call. The Seidenberg slash was just unfortunate. If you break a guys stick, they will call it. The Bergeron goaltender interference call was just horrible. Although, it worked in the B’s favor, as it ended their powerplay. I do not want to see Boston with a man advantage ever tomorrow night. The Lucic misconduct was even worse. He didn’t do anything illegal, I don’t know how else to say it! 5 minutes for making the guy bleed, understandable. It was not a bad or dirty hit in any way though. Boston seemed to get an unfair share of penalties, committing 8 to Montreal’s 4. The league needs to work with these refs on penalty calling. Now, the Boston pk may have given up 2 goals, but they looked really good tonight. Both goals were scored during 5-on-3’s, and it’s very tough to keep a team from scoring on those chances. Especially when that team is the Montreal Canadians.
Tomorrow night will be interesting. Montreal will certainly be flopping about like they did tonight, but will they get the calls? Like I said earlier, I think Lucic was given a misconduct because the refs are afraid of the Montreal fans rioting in the arena. If that hit was in Boston, I don’t think the call is made. Boston played a good game, just those unfortunate 5-on-3’s killed them. If they can play more disciplined, and the refs aren’t calling those flops, the Bruins will have a good chance to win tomorrow night. Montreal didn’t do anything that they weren’t expected to do. They finished their game at home. Now, it’s the Bruins turn. Boston must finish this series out with a win tomorrow night, at home. If they do not, it will be the 3rd year in a row that Boston has lost a game 7 on home ice. And if that happens, changes have to be made. Claude may very well be looking at the “want ads” Thursday morning. I think the Bruins will win tomorrow night, but I’m not holding my breath. Remember everybody, this is the same team that blew a 3-0 lead last year to the Flyers. That includes a 3-0 lead, at home in game 7. They have a streak of losing in dramatic fashion. That I think, is what being a Boston fan is all about though.
The NFL players have a victory. Just mere hours ago, a Federal Judge rulled that the NFL had no right to lockout the players. This is a huge victory for the players, who are fighting for their lives basically. The average NFL career is 3 years, and NFL players get paid lower than they should. Well, at least as far as for the physical toll they put their bodies through compared to other sports. They are still overpaid, but not like some of these baseball or basketball players. Lets look at arguably the top 3 athletes in these sports. In 2010, A-Rod made $33 million, LeBron James made $14.41 million and Tom Brady made $26.5 million. And that’s not including all of the sponsorships the first two (specifically LeBron) have. Try to wrap your head around that! This is huge for the players, who all they want is to play football. The owners on the other hand are trying to add 2 more regular season games to increase an already substantial profit, institute a rookie salary cap (which I fully agree with though), want to pay the players less money, and want to take a surplus from T.V. revenue and keep it all for themselves. During mediation talks in March, the NFL did come down from its proposal of keeping 100% of the T.V. surplus. However, something went wrong, and it’s hard for me to blame the players for leaving the table.
After last nights sweep of the Angels, The Red sox are on an 8-1 run. The Sox are now just 1 game below .500, and just 3.5 games behind the 1st place Yankees. WHAT! Seriously, the Red Sox are just 3.5 games behind the Yankees for the best record in the East. Is that not mind-blowing? This team was 2-10 after losing at home to the Blue Jays on April 15. Since then, they have lost only one game, and are 10-11 on the year. Their hitting has improved, but it’s their pitching that has caused such a turnaround. They allowed 1 run in each of the 3 wins against Toronto, 3 runs against the A’s, and 2 runs, 3 runs, and then 2 shutouts against the Angels. The Red Sox pitching staff has a 0.88 ERA over the 9 game span, which is the lowest amount since Babe Ruth was pitching in 1918. But will the Sox be able to keep this up?
Well, no, they won’t. Of course the Sox starters aren’t going to continue to have a team ERA under 1.00 for every 9 game span. But, they will be better than they were to start the season. Lester is off to a hot start, uncharacteristic of him. Beckett looks like he’s back to his ’07 form, which is a huge lift for this team. Dice-K has had back-to-back great starts, allowing just 1 hit in each. I don’t know if he can keep that up, but if he can get back to his 18 win production in the ’08 season, he will provide a huge lift as well. He is capable of such a season, but for some reason, he has never been able to put it all together in the US. Lackey had a good start last night, but don’t expect that again anytime soon. Coming off the win over the Angels, Lackey is now 4-0 against his old team, with an ERA under 4.00. He obviously knows the team very well, and probably has some hatred towards them letting him go to Boston. He has been awful this season, but maybe this could be a catalyst for the rest of his season. He’s not gonna be a 20 game winner, but if he can get to 15 or over, it would be a good season for him. The only pitcher who hasn’t lived up to expectations so far this year is Buchholz. To that I say, look at Lester. He is notorious for having slow starts, especially early in his career. Every year I would wonder if the April Lester was the real Lester. But as the season went on, he would turn into a dominant force. So I hope Buchholz will be like Lester. Because he’s still very early in his career, and hasn’t had great success until last year, I will lean towards this being some growing pains. I feel Buchholz will get better, and then the Red Sox will have a dominant pitching staff. The Sox are not so far away from getting to the top of the AL East as people think. There may yet be hope for this once left for dead team.
Boston swept their first round playoff matchup against the New York Knicks, by the game 4 final score of 101-89. Boston dominated most of the game, except for the final 6 in the 3rd, and opening 6 in the 4th. Boston had a 22 point lead at one point, and the game was never really in jeopardy. Chauncey Billups was out again due to injury, and Amare Stoudemire was a pathetic 5-20 from the field. The Knicks only offense was, again, Carmelo Anthony. Boston had contributions from every one of the “Big 4”, and the bench provided 25 points. It was a good game for Boston, but another terrible game for New York. So how exactly did this game play out?
The game started with a charging penalty against Stoudemire. New York had a much better tempo to start this game. The Knicks were battling early, and the game was tied 10-10 just 4 minutes into the game. In those 4 minutes, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo came up limping after being tripped up. Both players would be fine though, which is a huge sigh of relief for this team. They can’t afford to lose anybody with the way the bench has played. Another scary thing for Boston, is that Amare looked good early. He started looking like himself, and like his back wasn’t going to hinder him. He wasn’t scoring, but he was at least playing more physical. This game looked like it would be a tough one for the Celtics to steal at MSG. Rajon Rondo has been pretty dominant in the 1st quarter, scoring 9 points and getting 5 assists. Carmelo was carrying the Knicks, scoring 15 of the Knicks 23 points. The 1st quarter ended with a slim 29-23 Boston lead. Glen Davis was hot to start the 2nd quarter, hitting his 4th of 5 shot attempts. If he can get going, then Boston might have a man on the bench to provide some life. This would be huge going forward for the C’s. Amare was 0-7 to through the 2nd quarter, which is not good if the Knicks are going to extend this series. Then, off a break, Larry Fields had a chance for a bucket. He was fouled hard by Delonte West, and then he stood over him for a moment underneath the bucket. Stoudemire came in and gave him a shove, and double technicals were issued. Hard fouls are a part of playoff games, but please, don’t stand over the guy like your such a bad man. Just pathetic Delonte. He needs to start scoring some more, and then I won’t care if he decides to take a picture over the next guy he fouls hard. Halfway through the 2nd, Boston went on a 9-1 run, and had a 42-28 lead. The Knicks went around 5 minutes without scoring a bucket. The Knicks look terrible, and Carmelo is the only Knick doing anything. He has 19 points and 5 rebounds, and Amare is just 1-10. Rajon Rondo is leading the Celtics with 13 points and six assists, while Big Baby Davis is providing points off the bench,with 12 points and five rebounds. The 2nd quarter ends, and Boston has a commanding 55-38 lead.
The Celtics started fast in the 3rd quarter, going on a 7-3 run. Boston pushed their lead to 21. KG was looking great, going 5-6 in the game. The Celtics were cruising in the 3rd, maintaing a 20 point lead midway through the quarter. Carmelo also had 21 points at the midway point. New York got a couple fast breaks off of Boston miscues, and went on a 6-0 run. The Knicks were able to close the lead to 10. New York was able to end the 3rd quarter on a 31-18 run. The Boston lead was 82-72 heading into the 4th, and possibly the final quarter in this series. The Knicks continued their hot play in the 4th, and closed the lead to just 4 points. What was once a forgone conclusion, is now turning into a possible collapse by the C’s. Midway through the 4th, Boston started to get its lead back up. After a 3-pointer from Anthony Carter, Ray Allen hit a 3 of his own. Boston was feeling it, and looked like they might close this game out. Rondo goes up for an around the basket lay-up, and instead passes out to Garnett, who drained the jumper. Garnett hit a couple nice baskets, and Boston didn’t let this one slip away. They finished the game (and the series) 101-89.
This was a good, and bad game for the Celtics. Boston looked dominant at some points in this game, but in the 4th, New York looked much better. If the Knicks played as hard all game as they did in the 4th, I’m not so sure Boston would have won this game. And if they did win, it would have been by 2, not 12 points. KG and Rondo dominated the game. Garnett had 26 points and 10 rebounds. Rondo had 21 points with 12 assists. Carmelo had a great night, scoring 32 points and 3 assists. Stoudemire had 19 points and 12 rebounds. However, Amare was only 5-20 from the field. If he could have hit more shots, the Knicks would have had a much better chance to win (especially with their 4th quarter surge). The bench ended with a pretty good game for the Celtics. They still have much room for improvement, but it was good to see some production. Especially when that production comes from Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who had 14 points. Following the sweep, Boston is now 20-2 against the Knicks in their last 22 meetings, including 8-0 this season. The C’s have also won 13 straight against New York. The Knicks will have to wait an 11th year to see if they can get a playoff win.
Boston has now set themselves up for a likely duel with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semi Finals. This would be a very interesting series, and I think this is a series everyone wants to see. All the people in Boston want to see LeBron James take a giant face-plant with his “Super Team” in Miami, and prove that experience and heart beat pure talent alone. Meanwhile, the people in Miami want to prove that LeBron is the greatest player in league history, and is a part of the greatest team money can buy. I personally am looking forward to watching LeBron take a giant dump in his pants when the going gets tough it that series. If that is the series we see, I predict that Boston wins it in 6, possibly 7 games. Boston should have swept the season series, and with the extra rest for their stars, I feel very confident heading into the potential series.
Wow, what a game… again! This was just a spectacular game, full of drama, and was very thrilling to watch. A shutout game into the 3rd period, and it resulted in a double overtime finish. What more could you ask for. Going into this game NESN had a very interesting stat for each goaltender. They said that Carey Price in Game 5’s, was 0-2 with a 5.00 GAA and .833 save percentage. Tim Thomas meanwhile was 2-0 with a 0.50 GAA and a .980 save percentage with 1 shutout. Well, Thomas definitely lived up to that reputation! Now on to the game that was.
Boston started the game very aggressive, but then turned the puck over. Montreal was able to get the puck on Thomas, but he made the save down-low. Boston brought the puck back into the Montreal zone, and the 1st line got good pressure on Price. An intentionally wide shot came right to Lucic, but he was clamped down on by Wisniewski. Lucic got the puck back though, and got a shot on net that was deflected in front by Kreci and bounced to the corner off the pads. Kreci picked it up and wheeled around a pass to the front of the net, and it went right by Horton. Montreal was able to clear the puck out of there zone. Marchand brought the puck up ice and tried to get a pass to Recchi on his right in the circle. The puck bounced to the corner boards, and was retrieved by Bergeron. Bergeron found Recchi right in front of Price, but the shot stopped by Price. Marchand came flying in on a rebound chance, but Price slammed the door shut making a couple impressive saves in a row. The Bruins were playing very well just 5:00 into the game. They had a lot of energy, and were very physical. Around the 6:40 mark, their was a face-off in the Boston zone. It was a stalemate and the puck trickled towards Thomas. He tried to poke check it away but missed, and it went right towards the post. He went spread-eagle, but was lucky as a Bruin picked up the puck. With 3 Canadians jamming the net, Boston now had numbers coming up ice. It was a 5-on-3, and Kreci passed from the near side to Lucic in the middle. He shot the puck, and it was slowed down by a diving Canadian. Price went to make the save, and was now in an awkward position on his behind, while Bergeron picked the puck up. Subban had back-pressure, and knocked the puck away. Boston had set up in the Montreal zone when Seidenberg attempted a dee pass to Chara. The puck was picked-off by Cammalleri, who now had a breakaway chance coming up the far side. Seidenberg was quick on his feet, and dove to close off his space. Cammalleri was forced to slow down, but he had 2 teammates coming up ice. Thomas being the aggressor, came way out of his crease. Cammalleri deked and passed through the diving Thomas to Plekanec. It looked like a sure goal, except for one thing. Coming down ice to provide back pressure was Michael Ryder. Ryder set himself up in the net when Thomas left. When the shot came in from Plekanec, he threw his right hand up and made an incredible glove save. Montreal was able to keep the puck in the zone, and attacked relentlessly. Boston was able to get the puck, and finally cleared after some great saves by Thomas (and Ryder). Around the 10:30 mark, Boston dumped the puck into the sideboards. Price caught the puck in the trapezoid, but would give it away to Horton on the pass. Horton passed to the slot to Kreci, but Carey Price made a spectacular save of his own with the pads and he covered up. Montreal came back with some tremendous pressure of their own. Plekanec got a shot off from the point, and it was redirected by Cammalleri. Thomas made a ridiculous kick with the left skate to save the goal. Both teams had tremendous energy to start this game, and both goaltenders were superb to start. You could tell from the get-go this was gonna be a good one. Gionta came up ice for Montreal, and headed down the sideboards. Ference was pressuring him, poking at the puck. Gionta decided to skate right into the stick (even though he didn’t have to) for a holding penalty at 14:16. Chris Kelly almost had a shorthanded bid at 15:15. Peverley picked off a pass in the neutral zone, and passed to Kelly coming up ice. Kelly deked out a Canadian defender, and had 3 Canadians behind him. He just couldn’t get the puck on his stick for the backhand attempt. Montreal was attempting to come up ice off the miss, and Desharnais skated right into Boychuck who wasn’t near the play. And with a little bit of acting by Boychuck, he was able to get an interference penalty at 15:47. It would be 4-on-4 for 30 seconds before Boston would go on the powerplay. Boston was able to keep the puck in Montreal’s zone for virtually the whole 30 seconds, denying the Canadians any chances. Boston was bringing the puck up ice, when Kreci found Lucic in-between 2 Canadians. Lucic had a breakaway, and shot the puck right into Prices chest. The Bruins powerplay was up to par (meaning awful), before Rich Peverley would receive a terrible interference call at 17:11. Peverley was knocked into Price by Subban, and Price hit the ice. It was now 4-on-4 for 36 seconds. The B’s were able to control the puck though, and Montreal couldn’t muster anything on the powerplay. The clock wind down, and the game was scoreless heading into the 2nd.
Boston started quickly in the 2nd, getting shots on Price before a minute had passed. Marchand came behind the net, and passed to Bergeron, who sent it to Recchi right in front of the net. Price made another tremendous save to keep the game scoreless. Just 1:53 into the period, Travis Moen received a holding penalty. 10 seconds into the penalty, Kaberle couldn’t handle the puck. It was picked up, and skated up ice by Halpern. He had Plekanec on his right, and Chara in-between them. Chara hit the ice, and stopped the cross-ice pass to deny the shorthanded pass. Another powerplay, another no goal for Boston. The tempo of the game slowed down after the slow-moving powerplay by Boston, and they were suddenly half-way through the 2nd. At the 10:56 mark, and indirect pass by Subban for Kostitsan put the Canadians in a 2-on-1 situation. Kostitsan shot the puck at Thomas, and he closed up the 5-hole, burying the puck underneath him. After that play, Montreal was able to sustain some pressure for a moment, but nothing surfaced. It became a dump and chase game by both teams. 16:15 into the 2nd, Boston won a face-off in the attacking zone. The puck was sent into the corner, and picked up by Kreci. He tried a wraparound attempt, but was stuffed by Price. The puck was picked up by Wisniewski, who tried to flip it out of the zone. It was gloved down by Kreci but he was clamped down on by the Montreal defense before he could get a shot off. Just as the period was winding down, there was a bit of excitement. Peverley tapped a blocked shot to Ryder. Ryder brought it through the neutral zone, and passed back to Peverley who shot wide. Just as the 19:00 mark hit, Seidenberg picked off a Montreal pass at the point. He passed to Marchand all alone in the high slot. He tried to go to the post, but Price held it. As he went behind the net, he passed to the net to try to get some offense. But Price appeared to have covered the puck. Marchand was jamming behind Price, and got the attention of Plekanec. Plekanec took a couple of shots at Marchands face, and drove him into the post. It looked like both wanted to go. Plekanec got a punch off, and Marchand appeared to get a punch or two off before the interfering linesmen forced Marchand to fall to the ice. Recchi then tried pushing Gil away from the pile, and he caught an inadvertent elbow to the head. Recchi didn’t like that, and started swiping at Gil furiously. Bergeron broke up the fight, and then Gionta came over and got Recchi’s attention. Seidenberg grabbed a hold of Gionta, and Subban grabbed Seidenberg. Then it looked like Seidenberg asked Subban if he wanted to go, and Subban nodded. Seidenberg was about to wiggle his gloves off to fight, when Subban backed away and started yapping at him. Brad Marchand and Tomas Plekanec each received roughing penalties at 19:07. It was now 4-on-4 for the last 52 seconds of the 2nd period. The 2nd didn’t provide as much flare as the 1st period did, and the game remained scoreless. This was setting up to be a classic in Boston.
The 3rd period started fast and quick. Dennis Seidenberg brought the puck into the attacking zone, and tried to get a bad angle shot on Price, but he hit the side of the net. The puck was picked up by Kelly, who wheeled around a pass to Peverley. Peverley couldn’t get a shot off, because he was tripped by a diving Subban. For some reason there was no penalty. Gionta took the puck into the Boston zone, and skated around the far circle, and 3 Bruins to get in Tim Thomas’s face. He got a backhand on net, but Thomas made a nice save. The puck was picked up by Boston, and they had a 3-on-2 up ice. Peverley came up the near side, and passed to Chara in the middle. He shot a bomb from the high slot, but Price made the pad save. The puck stayed in the crease, and was picked up Peverley. He shot it right into Price, and the puck trickled by the far post. Coming out of the penalty box, Marchand picked the puck up and shot on net. It was deflected by Bergeron right into Prices gut. Marchand drove hard to the net, and stirred up more trouble. Bergeron came in to help him out by taking hold of Subban, and skating back with him. The two grabbed each others collars, and started yapping back-and-forth. Bergeron was done talking, and gave a little push to the bigger and stronger Subban, who proceeded to fall to the ice. Nice dive ya baby! Anyways, the game continued with no penalties. Off a Montreal dump, Boston took control of the puck and brought it up ice. Ryder skated up the sideboards, and turned back. He dumped the puck behind the net, and it was picked up by Peverley. Peverley came out, and found Ryder in the high slot for a one timer. Price made another great blocker save to keep the game scoreless. Montreal cleared the puck into the Boston zone, and Boston came back up ice. Chara chipped it into the corner, where Marchand retrieved it. He passed back to Recchi in the slot, who tapped it just wide of the post. Recchi retrieved the puck, and got it to Chara who dumped it back in. Marchand picked it up behind the net, and passed to Bergeron in the slot. Bergeron broke his stick on the shot attempt, and it trickled through the crease. Marchand found it, and put it in the back of the net for the games first goal at 4:33. Boston was up 1-0, and with the way Tim Thomas was playing, that might have been all they needed. The intensity of this game had quickly picked up. Montreal started controlling the puck in the Boston zone, and the Bruins were forced to ice the puck twice. Claude Julien even called his time-out to give his players some rest. Montreal continued to pressure Boston, not allowing them to get the offense started. Plekanec came down the sideboards with the puck, and passed back to Subban for the one-timer. The puck hit a mass of bodies in front of Thomas, and Seidenberg made a tremendous poke check to clear the puck from the slot. Boston started playing conservative hockey, which is not smart against a fast rush Canadians team. Boston had a turnover in the center-circle, and Montreal dumped the puck in. It was sent around the boards by McQuaid, but bounced off Lucic’s skates to Darche. His snap-shot hit the post, and Montreal remained goalless. Boston started getting the offense moving, and it was started by Brad Marchand. A bad angle shot was stopped by Price. Montreal couldn’t clear the puck, and Recchi got a shot off from the far circle with Marchand deflecting the puck into Price’s gut. Montreal then came right back, and crashed the net off a shot from the near circle by Plekanec. The puck hit Thomas’s glove, and fluttered into the air. The puck came down, and Thomas hit the ice. Kostitsan got off a shot in the slot that hit Thomas on the ice. Off the ensuing face-off, the puck was pinned along the sideboards. It was chipped behind the net, where Darch passed to Eller, and the puck jumped off his stick to Halpern in the slot. Halpern put the puck over a flopping Thomas at 13:56 to tie the game. Suddenly, things looked very scary in Boston. The B’s went back onto the attack, with Kreci taking the puck around Price. He passed to Chara at the point, who passed to Lucic at the circle. Lucic got a shot through traffic, but Price made the stop. The end of the 3rd was a back-and-forth battle between the teams. The 3rd period ended, and we were headed for sudden death overtime again, this time tied at 1.
About 1:30 into the OT, Boston came up ice with the 1st line. Kreci was on the far side, and he passed to Lucic in the middle. Lucic got a great shot off, but Carey Price made a terrific save to keep the OT going. This game wouldn’t receive a quick OT goal like the last game did. Montreal started getting pressure in the Bruins zone. Subban passed from the point to Gionta at the far circle. He passed across ice to Desharnais who had an open net, but the puck bounced off his stick. He passed back to Subban, who was able to get it Gionta, but the puck exploded on him as well. He was able to pass back to Hamerlik at the point, who shot for the net, and Thomas gloved it down. That was a huge break for the Bruins. The tempo was picking up, creating a back-and-forth environment. Boston dumped the puck into the attacking zone. Price picked the puck up right to next to the post. Price attempted to make a play on the puck, but he fanned on the pass. A charging Marchand now had a play on the puck, and almost put it in the net. Price was inadvertently tripped by Marchand, and he fell on the puck to cover it up. Montreal brought the puck back up ice with numbers. Darch passed from the near side through the crease looking for a redirection, but there was no one there. These offenses just kept going back and forth midway through the OT. At the 13:40 mark, Bergeron went behind and around Price. He passed back to Recchi, who hit the far post. Montreal took the puck back up ice. Kostitsan passed from the near sideboards across ice to Plekanec. He came slowly down the far slot, and Thomas came out to meet him like always. He deked, and went to the back of the goal and passed through a diving Thomas to Cammalleri. 4 Bruins were in on the play, and 3 were in front of the net to support the diving Thomas. When Cammalleri shot at the net, it hit Bergeron’s back, and then Chara’s skate to bounce away from the goal. That was as lucky as you can get. Boston came up ice with their own counter-attack. Peverley shot the puck intentionally wide. It bounced off the boards to Ryder, who passed from behind the net to Kelly in the slot. Kelly was tripped by P.K. Subban’s skate, and couldn’t make a play. For some reason though, no penalty. Chara brought the puck back up ice, and made some swift moves to get by the Canadians defense. He threw a shot on net, and Price held the near post. The puck came back to Sopel, who through it to the sideboards. It was picked up by Eller, who had it knocked away by Marchand. The puck was picked up by Bergeron, who had a clear 1-on-1 with Price in the slot, but he was tripped by Sopel. A clear scoring chance denied, and it resulted in a tripping penalty on Sopel at 16:12. I don’t think it was worthy of a penalty shot, but I would have much rather seen that than another failed powerplay by Boston. The game remained 1-1. As the seconds waned away, it was time to head to the 2nd overtime of the night.
Montreal started the 2nd OT aggressive. Darche had a point shot off a face-off in the Boston zone, but Thomas made the save. Cammalleri had a good shot from the far circle, but Thomas made another great save. Off another face-off in the Bruins zone, Montreal took possession of the puck. Kelly broke his stick, and the puck went to Hamerlik at the point. He took a shot, and it was tipped by Halpern right in front of Thomas who made the save. Boston started getting its offense started. Seidenberg brought the puck behind the net, and passed to Kreci in front. His shot went wide. Later, Kaberle would dump the puck in to the near boards, and it was fetched by Peverley. He passed to Ryder at the circle who got a shot off, and Price made a tremendous save. Montreal cleared, and Boston came back up ice. Marchand took the puck to the near boards, and passed back to Boychuck at the point. His blast was saved by Price, and ricocheted out to Gionta. Gionta passed to Moen, and Montreal had a 2-on-1. Moen passed back to Gionta in the slot, and Thomas made an absolutely ridiculous save. He went right to left, and robbed Gionta with the left pad. It would prove to be his biggest save of the night. Boston was feeling it now, and they were able to control the puck for once in this overtime. Horton passed through the neutral zone to Lucic. He went down into the corner, and took a bad angle shot at Price. The puck came out, and was picked up by Horton. He went back to the point, and passed to Lucic, who passed to Ference. From the point, Ference took a shot on net, and it was tipped by Kreci. The puck hit Price, and bounced right to Nathan Horton in the crease. And at 9:03, Horton buried the puck in the back of the net, and the Boston Bruins won game 5 in double overtime 2-1.
Whew, I am sweating. Sometimes, things are just too close for comfort. With the way that this Bruins team plays, I was wondering if they were going to blow it at some point. But, they played great hockey, and Thomas was spectacular. For once, there isn’t much to criticizes about this team. They played great, hung in there when things got tough, and pulled out a huge win. Going into game 6, I feel very confident about this team. I want to think that they’ve flipped the switch, so-to-speak, and have figured out how to finish. This is a very different team than played in games 1 and 2. This is a much better road than home team. So, even though the Bell Center is a tough place to play, I give the Bruins a big chance to come out on top in game 6. If the Bruins lose game 6, I wouldn’t be surprised either. Montreal certainly doesn’t want to lose to their most hated rival, in their own arena. If the Bruins do lose, it would depend on how they lost on the chances they have going into game 7. If it’s another game like this, then I’d say they have a great chance to win. Both goaltenders were outstanding, and sometimes you just can’t beat a hot goalie. So if the offense can get 2 or even 3 goals, and they lose, I wouldn’t be as worried if they lose 1-0. One things for sure, the B’s man-advantage sucks. They are 0-fer in the series, and need to fix that. Even if they do win this series without scoring a powerplay goal, they won’t fair well in the next round playing that way. Changes have to be made, and I don’t care if it’s moving players around, or changing up the approach. Something just has to change, because they are not going to score the way their powerplay is trying to score! Heading into game 6, I feel good though. It’s a toss-up game, as both teams have reasons why they could or should win. But, I do feel a lot better now that Boston is up 3-2 heading to Montreal, instead of down 3-2.