Tuesday, May 04, 2010
JESUS SAVES, SATAN SCORES
Another very close, very tight, very physical game at the Garden. And another late Bruin goal, and another win for the black and gold. Games like these are why God invented 24 ounce cans of beer. Even when there's a TV timeout, you don't want to go to the fridge for a fresh beer. You want to sit back and regather your emotional stamina.
This W was brought to you by the letter U, the letter U, the letter K, and the letter K. Once again, Tuukka had an outstanding game. He was the Bruins' best penalty killer. He prevented several Bruin mistakes from becoming Flyer goals.
Can I bitch about officials for a paragraph? I think the refs have been flat-out awful so far, and this game was even worse than Game 1. And it's been going both ways (thankfully). The 1st period began with the refs throwing everyone out of the faceoff circle. Then Richards gets chased, Bergeron wins an offensive draw cleanly, back to Boychuk, who snipes it blocker side high on Boucher. Later, Dan Carcillo punches Savard repeatedly in the face, then Savard gets 2 minutes for slashing. After the play, Carcillo has the gall to accuse Savard of biting his fingers. You know, when you punch someone's teeth, sometimes your knuckles get cut by them.
But Dan Carcillo is a very clean, respectable player. He only had 207 penalty minutes this season (4th most in the NHL). So if he says Savard bit him, you can believe that the thuggish, brutal, rule-bending Savard snapped his jaw on Carcillo's innocent digits.
End of sarcasm.
But the refs have "participated" in several goals this series. Their distribution of penalties last night was perplexing. Wheeler gets called for hooking early in the 1st. Then Lucic gets tripped up at the end of the period and there's no call. There's the afore-mentioned Savard/Carcillo scrum, which saw Savard going by himself to the box.
But at least it seems to be random, and multidirectional. Flyers fans will moan about the refs, but offsides is offsides, bitches.
Behind Rask, Satan had been the Bruins' best playoff performer. Goal and assist last night, his 4th playoff goal, and 5th assist. He had 9 goals and 5 assists in the regular season. He leads the Bruins in playoff goals, is second in assists (behind Wideman), and leads in +/- (tied with Krejci). And he was just drifting around Europe at mid-season, available to any NHL team that needed a clever forward.
Then there's Boychuk, who has emerged in the postseason as a true force. Defensively, he's played alongside Chara and esteemed himself quite well. He's been out there for 25 minutes a game, typically with Chara against the opponents' scorers. Offensively, he's gotten involved in the play, pinched at appropriate times, scored twice, and registered 3 assists this postseason. Not bad for a guy who started the year in AHL Providence.
But again, let's not look too far ahead. Matchups have been a huge part of Games 1 and 2. And in Philadelphia, the Flyers will have the privilege of last-change. So it'll be hard to put Chara out there when Richards is out there.
And give credit to the Flyers for keeping this game close. Boucher made a massive save in the 1st, stifling Sobotka, and keeping it a 1-0 game. The Flyers also have scorers, which the Bruins still lack. Richards' goal was a result of questionable defensive-zone play, but he still had the wherewithal to snipe through traffic and score. And Briere's goal was pure quality.
I'll compare the Bruins offense to the Flyers offense thusly: the Bruins are Darwinist Evolutionists. The Flyers are Creationists. The Bruins' offense needs time to shape a scoring chance. Then random mutations and variances over time generates the probability of scoring. Lucic's game winner, for example, was hardly a sharpshooter's finish. Lucic just put it on net. And the more you do that, the better your chances of scoring. He got a chance because Krejci won a battle, then Satan won one, then a rebound found Lucic's stick.
But the Flyers, with guys like Richards and Briere, are capable of divinely inspired and instant life-creation. Mike Richards said "let there be a goal," and there was a goal, and it was good (for the Flyers). Up here in Boston, we haven't seen that all season. So we might want to assign blame to Bruins' defensive lapses, but just give credit to the Flyers for possessing some scorers. And that keeps them in games.
Game 3 in Philly Wednesday night. I can't wait.