Friday, March 19, 2010
I am not entertained in the least.
It started off beautifully. Shawn Thornton, as if imbued (inspired/possessed) by the '70 Bruins who were honored pregame, totally whaled on Matt Cooke. It was more than a fight, it was a beatdown, and Thornton got in a few shots after the linesmen tried breaking it up. He got an extra 10 minutes for it, but it well was worth it.
What happened to Cooke after that?
Seidenberg sort of hit him with a bodycheck I guess. Krejci, to his credit, tried to rattle his cage a bit with a forgettable "check." But nobody dropped the gloves with him again, nobody took aim at him. I guess losing your best player for the season is only worth 11 seconds of fisticuffs.
But in the 1st period, at least, the Bruins were physical and fought well. Lucic looked like the Lucic from last year. And the play was generally even, if not favoring the B's. They allowed a silly breakaway and a goal, but so what? They hit some posts, and M.A. Fleury was flailing about like the utter spaz he is. Goals were imminent.
But things seemed to change after the 1st intermission (thanks for the unpep-talk, Claude). The Bruins left Cooke alone. NESN's announcers kept saying that there was a "dance card of guys willing to tangle with him." Stuart, Lucic, Begin, Chara, and Sobotka are the names that come to mind. But Cooke was just sort of left to his own antagonistic devices.
It was as if Luke, Obi-Wan, and Leia decided to go to the mall in the middle of Star Wars instead of trying to destroy the Death Star. "Yeah, they blew up Alderaan, but we destroyed 6 of their anonymous fighter pilots, so we're done. Let's shop!"
Even when the game was 3-0 and out of hand, the Bruins were more focused on being embarrassed by the Penguins on the ice, than piledriving Matt Cooke through the ice. They were still trying to claim points in a game that was by then pointless.
When the game was about revenge, the Bruins played focused hockey. They all had the same fire, the same goal, the same ideals. They were still limited by their own physical (Krejci) and mental (Satan) shortcomings, but they appeared to be playing at their best levels, and playing together.
Then when Julien tried to refocus the Bruins on getting 2 points, not so mysteriously they lost focus on their jobs. They were focused on moving a number in the standings, not on getting to loose pucks or making tape-to-tape passes. The result was then made inevitable.
Michael "Appendix" (because he serves no purpose) Ryder has another new nickname: It's Michael Bystander. At the start of the 3rd period, he's lined up with Cooke on the wing for the faceoff. Not even a nudge when the puck drops. He actually gave Cooke 2 or 3 feet to maneuver. Michael Bystander is completely useless, and I'd rather see Tim Thomas play right wing. Or sign Glen Murray again!
So even though the headlines are saying "The Bruins Got Revenge, but Lost the Game," I obnoxiously disagree. The Bruins got no revenge. Do you think Cooke will think twice the next time some premier centreman is vulnerable in their backswing? Do you think the next goon will have any apprehension when he has Patrice Bergeron in his crosshairs?
Nope. Cuz all they'll have to endure is 11 seconds of hell with Shawn Thornton, and that's it. Is that vengeance enough? Is it retribution, "payback," repayment, retaliation. Does it even things up? Is it justice? Is it fair?
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, did we bomb Tokyo just once? No, we bombed it until we obliterated it. Then we bombed other cities.
If someone steals $1,000 from you, are you satisfied if they give you $100 back?
If a dog attacks a human, does the human get to bite the dog? No, the dog gets destroyed. That didn't happen to Matt Cooke.
Bruins will get shutout by the Rangers Sunday afternoon, and they will either miss the playoffs or get swept out in 4 games. This team has no heart, no soul, no chance. I feel as depressed and cynical as Randy Quaid in the middle of Major League II.
Thankfully, at least Shawn Thornton had the right idea.