Tag Archives: Chicago Blackhawks

If the Playoffs started tonight, how would the Bruins fare?

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are less than three weeks away, but what if they were to start tonight? The first round would be Boston vs. Detroit, Montreal vs. Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh vs. Columbus, and NY Rangers vs. Philadelphia. So how would the Bruins fare if they started a 7-game series with the Red Wings tonight? Would they be hoisting the Stanley Cup in two months after missing it by just 17 seconds last season? Would they even make it past the first round? Will the first round go to overtime of Game 7? Probably. That just seems to be the Bruins way.

The Bruins have been known to struggle through Round 1 of the Playoffs, especially against the Maple Leafs. The Leafs forced a Game 7 in last year’s first round first round series after the Bruins went up 3-1 in the series. The Bruins went down 4-1 with ten minutes left in the third period, but ended up winning the game and the series in overtime in a game that has been dubbed the “Miracle on Causeway Street.”

Right now, the Bruins are set to face the Red Wings to whom they have lost two of three games so far this season. The Red Wings haven’t had the best season so far though and are just barely sneaking into the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. If the Toronto Maple Leafs can break their six-game losing streak, Detroit will have a difficult time holding off the Leafs for that remaining Wild Card spot. The Bruins travel to Detroit for the last time this season on April 2nd followed by a trip to Toronto the very next day. One of these games will likely be a preview of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Bruins have won two of their three matchups with the Leafs this season, including a 5-2 win on December 8th. This victory came with Chad Johnson in net, Shawn Thornton out on a 15-game suspension for an illegal hit on Brooks Orpik, and Loui Eriksson, Chris Kelly, Adam McQuaid, Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton all out with injuries. This was just the beginning of a long couple of injury-filled months for the Bruins, but the B’s managed to pull out necessary wins even with a lineup cycling through Providence call-ups and a very young defensive core. Staying out of the penalty box has been the key to beating Toronto during the regular season. The B’s had two power-play goals in each of their two victories and the Leafs had a pair of their own in the Bruins 4-3 loss. The Bruins need to find a way to beat Toronto in the Playoffs though.

It isn’t only the Maple Leafs who have given the Bruins some first round challenges though. The first round has been decided by an overtime goal in Game 7 three years in a row. The seventh-seeded Washington Capitals knocked the second-seeded Bruins out of the Playoffs in overtime of Game 7 in 2012. In 2011 before winning the Stanley Cup, the third-seeded Bruins were almost sent home early by the Montreal Canadiens before Nathan Horton scored the game- and series-winning goal in overtime of Game 7. The first round never comes easy for the Black and Gold.

This year, the second round may prove to be just as challenging for the Bruins. Boston fans will be ferociously rooting for the Lightning or whoever finds themselves face-to-face with the Canadiens in the first round. If the Playoffs started tonight, it would be Montreal vs. Tampa Bay. The Lightning are 2-1 against the Canadiens so far this season and have won five of their last seven games. That being said, the Canadiens have had the better season and thrive in do-or-die situations. The Lightning, on the other hand, haven’t made the Playoffs since the Bruins knocked them out in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals on their way to the 2010-2011 Stanley Cup. This was the same series that saw Tyler Seguin’s breakout performance where he tallied three goals and three assists in his first two postseason games in the NHL. Vezina Tropy winner Tim Thomas was in goal for the Bruins and carried them to a 1-0 win in Game 7. A lot has changed since then, but the Bruins won all four games against the Lightning this regular season.

Boston’s biggest threat in the second round would be a meeting with their fierce rivals from Montreal. The Bruins have notoriously struggled against the Canadiens, in the Playoffs and otherwise. The Habs took the regular season series with the Bruins 3-1. The Canadiens embarrassed the Bruins and Tuukka Rask with a 4-1 victory at TD Garden in January. The Bruins were coming off a four-game winning streak; the Canadiens had a four-game losing streak. Rask was pulled after the third goal in favor of Johnson who let up the fourth goal just two minutes into his appearance in the game. The Bruins bounced back in the third game of the series though with a 4-1 win. Rask proved himself early with two huge stops on two early breakaways by the Habs in the first period. He would go on to make 35 saves and help the Bruins to a six-game winning streak.

On Monday night, Montreal proved once again that they thrive in do-or-die situations. The Canadiens are fighting for every point to ensure a playoff berth and stifled the Bruins 12-game winning streak with a 2-1 shootout win. The Bruins played an incredible game though with 29 shots on goal against an impenetrable Peter Budaj. The story may have been different with another 20-minute overtime period.

This would be, by far, the most difficult series for the Bruins. However, if they could come away with four wins against the Canadiens, who have won six of the last seven meetings between the two, the Cup would be theirs for the taking.

The Eastern Conference Finals would likely be a faceoff against the Pittsburgh Penguins or New York Rangers. The Rangers, with Henrik Lundqvist in goal, have been dominant as of late. Lundqvist is on a five-game winning streak and was honored Monday night for breaking the Rangers all-time win record with 305 career wins. Right now, they would be facing the Flyers in the first round, who they decisively beat 3-1 last night with 31 saves by Lundqvist. Pittsburgh shouldn’t have a problem with Columbus, who they swept in the regular season.

If Pittsburgh and the Rangers do face off in the second round, it would be a very close series. They have each have one regulation win and one shootout win in their four-game regular season series. The Penguins have two players in the top ten point-scorers in the League with Sidney Crosby in first and Evgeni Malkin tied for sixth. Pittsburgh’s League-leading offense would have the best chance of getting the puck past King Lundqvist. However, Marc-Andre Fleury has lost his last five games.

The Bruins saw both teams in last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs and breezed by both. The Bruins skipped over the Rangers in just five games in the second round, scoring 14 goals against Lundqvist in just five games to give him a mediocre 2.80 Goals Against Average in the series. The B’s only loss came in a Game 4 overtime decision that almost gave the Bruins the sweep.

Pittsburgh put up even less of a fight. The first-seeded Penguins were swept by the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals and were outscored 12-2. The Bruins have yet to face Fleury in the postseason though. He was replaced with Tomas Vokoun in the first round of the 2013 Playoffs after losing two games to the New York Islanders, giving up six goals in Game 4. Vokoun played the rest of the Playoffs, but has yet to play this season after a pelvic blood clot in September benched him. Head coach Dan Blysma has stated that even if Vokoun were to return before the end of the season, Fleury and Jeff Zatkoff will be between the pipes for the Penguins come the postseason. Zatkoff has gone 12-4-1 his first season in the NHL, but has no postseason experience.

The Bruins have won two of three in the regular season series against Pittsburgh and Fleury, including a last second thriller on November 25th. Crosby tied the game 3-3 with just .3 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, but Torey Krug responded just 34 seconds into overtime to give the Bruins the win. Pittsburgh is another team that the Bruins need to be mindful of giving up penalties to. The Pens have scored three power-play goals in their three meetings this season.

If the Penguins, who have lost five of their last seven games, do fall to the Rangers, the Bruins will be facing a team and a star goalie that they have swept in the regular season. The first win for the B’s against the Rangers this season came on Rasks second game in two nights. He made 43 saves, giving up only one goal. Zdeno Chara brought a natural hat trick to the second win, including the game-winning goal. The third win, a 6-3 decision, forced Rask to make 19 saves in a first period where the Bruins were outshot 20-9. The Bruins definitely know how to beat either of these teams. And they probably wouldn’t need seven games to do it.

Should the Bruins make a repeat appearance to the Stanley Cup Finals, they would most likely be facing the St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks or Chicago Blackhawks. While the San Jose Sharks lead the Pacific Division, they choke every postseason. This team has been Division Champions six times in ten years from 2002 to 2012, but has never won a Stanley Cup or Conference Championship. In the last two seasons, they were knocked out in the first two rounds. They made it to the conference finals in both 2010 and 2011, but lost to Chicago and Vancouver respectively.

The Bruins have never faced St. Louis or Anaheim in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They took two points from the Blues this regular season in two games with a shootout and overtime loss. The B’s split the regular season series with the Ducks, winning at TD Garden and losing in Anaheim. With the way the Bruins are playing as of late and with all of their players healthy, they are more than capable of beating either of these teams, especially with home ice advantage.

A repeat Stanley Cup Final matchup has only happened once in the past century. The Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins faced off in both 2008 and 2009 with the Red Wings taking the first win and the Penguins hoisting the Cup a year later. There’s a good possibility that history could repeat itself this season. If the Bruins meet the Blackhawks in the Finals this year, Patrice Bergeron and the rest of the Black and Gold will be out for blood.

Chicago ripped the Cup out of the Bruins hands in 17 seconds that still haunt the city of Boston. The B’s went up 2-1 in the series, fought through three overtimes, played their star forward with a cracked rib, punctured lung and separated shoulder, and came within 1:16 of forcing a Game 7. However, Bryan Bickell scored with just 1:16 left in Game 6 with the goalie pulled. It looked like another grueling overtime, but the Blackhawks had a different plan. The Bruins defense never recovered from the tying goal and just 17 seconds later Dave Bolland ripped the puck past Rask to suck the life and all hope of hoisting the Cup out of the Bruins.

That’s all in the past though. The Bruins won in shootouts in Chicago earlier this season and face the Blackhawks at TD Garden tonight for the first time since those devastating 17 seconds. Now the Bruins are a different team. Rask has more experience under his belt, Patrice Bergeron is healthy, and Reilly Smith, Carl Soderberg and Eriksson have added more scoring depth to the B’s offense.

If the Playoffs started tonight, the Bruins could be hoisting the Cup by the end of May. But there are three months, 16 wins and two very good Canadian teams that stand between the Bruins and the ultimate redemption.

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It would’ve been perfect…

It would’ve been the perfect ending to a crazy spring in Boston. And a crazy past year for the New England Area. It would’ve been happy.

People would have come from far and wide to get a glimpse of that shiny hunk of medal as it was paraded through the streets of Boston.

The recent absence left behind by the Marathon Bombing Memorial in Copley Square would have been replaced by a sea of Black and Gold.

A city and region that has been through so much tragedy lately would have some newer and happier memories to at least temporarily take their minds off of all of that.

All of New England would have woken up just a little bit happier every day until October.

Game 7 of Round 1 against the Maple Leafs would be looked at again and again and hailed as possibly the greatest comeback in sports history to go on and win the championship.

The series where they swept the #1 team in the conference would have been looked at as the moment that we knew we had something really special going on.

The Boston Bruins would’ve forced a Game 7 in Chicago.

They would’ve shown their true colors in a do-or-die game that they are notoriously the best at.

They would have won the Stanley Cup.

But those things didn’t happen.

The Lockout delayed the season by several months.

Players got injured.

Bad calls were made on both sides.

Really awful periods of hockey were played.

Complete breakdowns that needn’t last more than 17.7 seconds occurred.

Almost six overtimes were played.

An improbable 6-5 game even snuck it’s way in there.

The Stanley Cup made its way to Boston but fans everywhere hoped beyond hope that it would be making one last trip before making its year-long residence here. It didn’t.

The Miracle on the Causeway will be forgotten way too soon just as Bruins fans are appreciating what the Leafs fans went through.

No one will hear much talk about Sidney Crosby for the next several months.

Hockey fans everywhere will slowly start to catch up on their sleep.

And that 35 pounds of metal will be on its way back to Chicago to be paraded through their streets instead of ours.


Words can’t even describe how proud I am of this hockey team. They play with such heart and did everything they could to lift up this city during tragedy. They gave us another reason to stay up into all hours of the night watching TV. Wild police chases through Cambridge and Watertown turned into wild scrambles for the puck from one end of the ice to the other. They brought 17,565 people together to rise to their feet and belt out our National Anthem. They fought like hell to extend their season by 2 extra months to help a lot of the businesses around the Garden regain some of the revenue they lost during a ridiculous lockout. They wore that B proudly on their sweaters and never gave up.

The Boston Bruins did that. And for that I am so proud of this group of men. Only 99 days until the season starts up again. It’s going to be a rough summer and those 17.7 seconds will haunt us all for a long time. What the hell happened? But the boys will be back.

There’s always next year.

But man, it would’ve been perfect.

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The greatest sport in the world

Why did I ever give hockey the power to break me?

What is it about this sport?

I love football. I have always loved football. It was the first sport I fell in love with. Ever since I was a little girl going with my grandpa to see the Syracuse Orangemen (yes, they were the Orangemen back then) to almost every home game. I am crazy every single Sunday during the fall and winter. I don’t let anyone make plans with me if it interferes with game time. I always wear one of my 3 Giants jerseys (usually accompanied by my Giants pajamas, Giants hat, Giants long sleeve shirt, Giants socks…you get the picture). And despite all of the feelings I get after losing a football game, it can’t even compare to the feelings I get after losing a hockey game.

I mean, yeah, I get upset. I jump up and down on my bed. I swear and yell at the TV. But I don’t feel like this. Like I feel right now. Going into Game 6 down 2-3. Completely heartbroken.

Even after the Giants season was abruptly over without even making it to the Playoffs in January. I was upset. I was angry. I didn’t want the season to be over. But I got over it.

I don’t think I could get over a loss on Monday or Wednesday by the Bruins.

To be fair, we’re not in football season right now so maybe I just can’t compare the two sports unbiasedly. Or maybe it’s because the Giants just haven’t really had any dramatic, heart-breaking losses lately (they’ve just been doing it to Tom Brady and the Patriots).

Or maybe it’s just this Bruins team that plays with such heart that you can’t help but just want them to succeed. Or maybe it’s this city. Maybe I just really, really want this for the city of Boston. The people of Boston deserve to line the streets once again for a happy coming together of celebration of perseverance and Boston sports. The Bruins represent so much more to me than just a hockey team. Boston is my home. When the Bruins win, the entire city is happier. And I’m happier.

Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful to watch the Giants beat the Patriots in the Superbowl once again as a Giants fan living in Boston. But it’s just not nearly as good when you don’t have your entire city, that you love more than anything, to cheer and be happy with. Have you ever been to an away game for your team? Especially in Foxboro with some of the most dedicated football fans in the country all rooting against you? I have. And I watched the Giants beat the Patriots (with an Eli Manning come from behind in the 4th quarter win) in an amazing game on my birthday weekend. It was perfect. But if you have ever done this, you know that there’s just something incomplete about a win like that. When your team scores the potentially game-winning touchdown with seconds left in the 4th quarter, you jump up and scream and cheer, but you are surrounded by utter silence. At first you think that something’s wrong, that you saw the play incorrectly and it wasn’t actually a touchdown. But then you realize that it really was, you’re just the only one who’s happy about it. It’s just not as fun.

But now here I am, in the city of Boston, with half a million of my closest friends all longing for the same thing. The Stanley Cup back in Boston.

The Giants 2012 Superbowl win was glorious. In so many ways. But it cannot even compare to what it would be like to experience a Bruins Stanley Cup win while living in Boston.

Hockey is just a more passionate sport. It’s a more fun sport to root for. It’s a more exciting sport to watch. And, consequently, it’s a more devastating sport to lose. These men play about 3-4 games a week for nearly 9 months if they make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. That’s insane! Football players play 16-19 games a year. That’s it. Once a week for 4 months.

Football Sundays are great. They really are. Some of the best memories of my childhood and teenagehood are sitting around the TV all day with my mom watching football games from 1 in the afternoon to 10 o’clock at night, eating snacks and just lounging around all day. But hockey season is different. It’s 9 months of ups and downs, good stretches and bad ones, injuries and breakout players, all leading up to the best (and certainly longest) Playoff season in all of sports.

I don’t think there are any athletes tougher than hockey players and in my biased opinion there are no fans more passionate than hockey fans. And it may suck right now. And it really sucked at midnight on Wednesday as I descended the back stairs out of TD Garden after an overtime loss. But their are moments when every single bit of sadness, defeat, nervousness, and heart-attack-inducing stress is worth it.


This is what that moment looked like 2 years ago.

And as much as last night’s game broke our spirits, I know that this team (with or without Bergeron….hopefully with) is capable of bringing us back to a moment just like that one pictured above.

White jerseys and all.

Or the one below:

Boston Bruins Victory Parade

Boylston Street and all.


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The TD Garden walk of shame

Last night was either the best or worst night of my life.

I still haven’t decided.

See…I was at the TD Garden last night. My best friend, a Blackhawks fan, and I decided that this was a once in a lifetime chance and said what the hell, threw our bank accounts to the wind and splurged on $350 last minute tickets yesterday morning.

I was a ball of excitement all day. This would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. (And the only fun I’d have all summer since I can’t allow myself to spend anymore money.)

And then it was there and it was the craziest, most exciting, most back and forth, high-scoring, amazing saves game I have ever seen. For every time my heart was broken by the silence of a thousand Bruins fans spurred by a puck sneaking past Tuukka Rask, there was another time when a thousand diehard fans flew to their feet simultaneously, high-fiving everyone in sight, waving their flags and just screaming for whoever got one past Crawford. But then the dreaded overtime. I went into panic mode.

Allow me to explain….the last time I witnessed overtime in the TD Garden it was the 2012 Beanpot final game between Boston University and Boston College. BU lost with 6.4 seconds left in overtime. It was heartbreaking. Absolutely devastating. One of the only times I’ve ever cried at a sporting event.

Let me tell you a little something about TD Garden, for those of you who don’t know. When you go in you get to take these fancy little escalators all the way up to the top, even if you’re sitting in the very top balcony section. It’s great. But when you leave, everyone is ushered down these never ending cement stairwells. Down and down and down until you swear to God that there is no way you possibly went up that many flights on your way in. You can’t even imagine how tall that damn building is.

And you know what? I’m sure that descent is the freaking best thing in the world after a Bruins win. But after your team loses, whether it be with 6.4 seconds left in overtime in the Beanpot final or 10:09 left in overtime in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final, that stairwell is haunting.

It never ends. It’s dead silent. Everyone’s heads just hang as they continue on and on and on. (And then you get the few Eagles fans thrown in there and it really becomes unbearable, but luckily I didn’t have to face that last night.)

That stairwell will forever haunt my nightmares. As soon as we went into overtime last night I started panicking. Major PTSD from the last overtime I had witnessed in that building. But you know what else? I was freaking excited! And that’s the worst part.

I know I saw an awesome game. I know I certainly got my money’s worth with the number of goals scored and the amount of time played. And I know that that’s about as good as it gets for an exciting game of hockey, but it is absolutely impossible for me to see it that way. I honestly think I would rather have seen a 6-0 Blackhawks win than go through that. (Okay, maybe 6-1 so I could experience at least one building-shaking, deafening Bruins goal celebration.)

But that’s the thing. Going into overtime, I was obviously nervous as all hell, but I got excited. Really excited. These are the Bruins. That’s what they do. They fight back again and again during difficult times and always pull through. It’s the Bruins. They are overtime pros and almost never disappoint. And I was there. Most likely the only time I’ll ever get to see a Stanley Cup Final game. How could they not win? What would it be like in this building when that overtime winner slipped past Crawford and the boys in Black and Gold went crazy? How loud would it be as thousands of fans started screaming and jumping up and down and waving their towels and singing that song? THAT would be a once in a lifetime experience.

But as you know, that didn’t happen. Brent Seabrook sent one past Rask 9 minutes and 51 seconds into a nerve-wracking, heart attack-inducing overtime. And that was that. The Garden went silent. Fans leapt from their seats and were halfway out the door in an instant. The Bruins were off the ice before I could blink. And Game 4 was over. My once in a lifetime chance was over.

So I guess I’ll never get to experience the TD Garden go crazy after an overtime win in the Stanley Cup FInals, but I’m still pulling for the chance to experience those boys parade down the streets of Boston in the duck boats past that Boston Marathon finish line. There’s still plenty of hope left for that.

Here’re my pictures from the game:









Marathon victims waving the Boston Strong flag and the giant Bruins flag getting sent around the stadium.


Rene Rancourt singing the National Anthem.





I guess I can keep being his friend for now. As long as the boys in Black and Gold are holding that Cup over their heads by the end of all this.

It really was a great experience. I know that. And it cheered me up a little bit to get home and scroll through Twitter and see all the ‘WHAT IS THIS GAME’ and ‘holy hockey!’ and ‘what is happening?’ Tweets. And I mean, I did get to see Tyler Seguin of all people lay someone out.

But it still seems like every awesome memory I had from last night, at least for right now, is still somewhere back at the top of that long, slow, never ending descent down the cement stairs in the back of the TD Garden.


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It’s only game 1…

…and I already can’t take this.

My heart is shattered.

I’m exhausted.

I’m in denial.

I can’t wait 3 days!

We’ve been pretty spoiled as of late. Aside from that one shit show of a game against the Rangers, we haven’t really had any overtime losses. And we certainly haven’t had any DEVASTATING overtime losses like that. (At least we can console ourselves with the knowledge that the Maple Leafs did, in fact, suffer a little more than we are right now.)

But that sucked.

As 1am rolled around I just started thinking, I’m waking up in 4 hours for my busiest day of the week. What if they lose? Staying up for 3 overtimes is one thing. Having to face defeat and then just go to bed disappointed? The worst!

But there we were. 3 overtimes in. It was like watching a hockey game slowed down a few clicks like in some big Hollywood movie right before they score the winning goal. It became pretty obvious that it was going to just come down to a really stupid mistake or some shit luck.

Double. Deflection.

And seriously, all of those Bruins chances couldn’t go in? Really universe??

I hate being this person, but they deserved it after ALL OF THOSE CHANCES! TYLER. SEGUIN.

And don’t even say, ‘Yeah, Crawford was amazing.’

Yes, he was.

But shit luck, man. Shit luck.

Luckily, we are all Boston fans and are accustomed to dealing with this kind of crushing disappointment in some sport or another every year.

This is only Game 1.

Sure, the city of Boston will be moving just a little bit slower this morning. And that’s not even taking into account the giant traffic jam I just walked by all the way up Comm Ave. Take a power nap during your lunch break. Grab that extra cup of Dunkin and power through. It’s only Game 1.

These boys are used to coming from behind. Six more nail-biting games where at least 4 of those shit luck game-winning goals has to get behind Crawford. Not a problem!

But if that’s how Game 1 played out, who knows what we have in store for the next 6?

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