Monday, March 22, 2010
BC Assistant Captain Matt Lombardi entered Saturday night's Hockey East title game with 3 goals on the season. He had 3 goals in the game, as the high-flying BC offense held off a hungry Maine side that refused to go down without a fight.
I'm a BC fan, but I'll admit to wanting to see Maine win here. They've had a solid year after back-to-back dismal 13 win seasons, and a win would've given them an automatic berth in the NCAAs. Their resume is not good enough for an at-large bid.
The Black Bears never led the game, but they never trailed by more than 2 goals. Three of their scores came on the very next shift after BC had scored. They never let the Eagles get out of sight. But the Eagles were too good, too loaded.
BC has potential to do some serious damage on a national level. They've earned a #1 seed, along with the privilege of playing the first two rounds in nearby Worcester. They're a fast, deep team with ample experience at several key positions. This will be the 3rd NCAA Tournament for some of BC's seniors.
I won't get too excited over Sunday's 2-1 victory over the Rangers. The game can be summed up thusly: a solid Bruins team with good goaltending took advantage of two Rangers' missteps to score twice and beat a 10th place team.
The Rangers are almost as offensively inept as the Bruins, averaging just 2.58 goals per game. Despite having some recognizable names on their roster, they've been a disappointment all season, failing to fully function as a team. And you saw that yesterday when their defencemen were easily "mesmerized by the puck" and drawn out of position, allowing Miroslav Satan, then Dennis Wideman time and space to score.
You know every time the Bruins' power play fails, I not only miss Marc Savard, I think to myself "The loss of this unit's effectiveness resulted in only 11 seconds of retribution?" I'm still not over Thursday night's shortcomings, at least in the revenge department.
But this win is what the Bruins must do if they want to make the playoffs. It's what they must do to control their own destiny. It's what they must do to maintain hope of avoiding Washington in the 1st round.
The Bruins are a mere 3 points behind 5th, 6th, and 7th placed Ottawa, Philadelphia, and Montreal. The Bruins also have an extra game remaining. Unfortunately, the B's are also only 1 point ahead of 9th place Atlanta, who they play Tuesday night in Atlanta. The Thrashers have won 4 straight.