The two Eastern Conference finalists could have been determined last night. But they weren't. Neither of them. Although one was close. The other was not.
PHILADELPHIA 4, BOSTON 0 (Bruins lead series 3-2)
The loss of David Krejci, coinciding with the addition of Simon Gagne has flipped the switch and given Philly some momentum. Only twice in NHL history has a team come from 3-0 down to win a series 4-3. But all the Flyers need to do is win 2 more games. The Bruins, on the other hand, look tired, and played without any heart. If they continue to do so, it will be one of their biggest chokes in team history, which is saying something.
MONTREAL 4, PITTSBURGH 3 (Series tied 3-3)
Crosby finally scored in this series. Unfortunately for him and the Penguins, Mike Cammalleri has scored 6 times in this series, including twice last night. Jaroslav Halak stopped 34 shots (M.A. Fleury stopped 21) and pre-rookie (only 2 career NHL games) defenseman P.K. Subban logged 29+ minutes of ice-time. He was +2.
9:30pm: Chicago @ Vancouver - Versus (Blackhawks lead series 3-2)
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The Sox found a new formula for winning, even better than their "run prevention" mumbo jumbo. Just draw 7 walks, get 6 innings from your starter, some decent bullpen work, and you win.
Jays' starter Brandon Morrow issued 6 free passes in his 1.2 innings of work. He also allowed 6 earned runs. Meanwhile, John Lackey only allowed 3 walks. And while he also surrendered 6 runs, at least it was over 6 innings.
victor Martinez had a 3 RBI night. He's racked up 12 RBI in May so far. While his power and average numbers are still unimpressive, at least he's getting hits with runners on.
JD Drew has officially hit rock bottom. He asked out of the lineup claiming "vertigo."
I usually defend Drew, at least relative to most other fans. But this is too much. Your team is in 4th and needs every hand on deck. He's been hitting well in May (batting .469, OBP of .514, slugging .688). But he's sidelined by vertigo. Vertigo to hell, JD.
Daisuke against Dana Eveland tonight.
You can explain the Bruins' 5-4 OT loss on Friday as a close game won by a desperate Flyers team. I characterized it as a wakeup call. But the Bruins apparently hit the snooze button. They didn't hit much else after that.
Trent Whitfield can teach his teammates something. That's an odd statement, but he was the ONLY Bruin who consistently fought hard, won battles, skated strongly, and didn't fuck up. Dennis Wideman relapsed into regular season mode. Michael Ryder was useless. Blake Wheeler also returned to his regular season form. Shawn Thornton didn't play physical (all he's good for in the playoffs). Boychuk and Chara failed to get a shot on goal. Lucic bungled and bobbled the puck.
I'll give credit to the Flyers for playing relatively mistake free, being physical yet disciplined, and for Ville Laino having the game of his life. But they beat a Bruins team that wasn't motivated, wasn't disciplined, and should be ashamed of themselves, except for Trent Whitfield.
The Bruins allowed 9 power plays. They only managed 23 shots on net. And when Brian Boucher got hurt and career backup Michael Leighton replaced him, the Bruins seemingly avoided shooting the puck. They managed 1 shot on him in his first 6 minutes on the ice. Meanwhile, the Flyers got 31 shots on Rask, but had 21 blocked by the Bruins.
Blocked shots are great, but when you're blocking so many, it's indicative of an opponent being allowed to spend far too much time in your zone.
The Bruins lost battles everywhere. Races for pucks, physical battles for loose pucks, battles for position in the crease. They had occasional stretches of intense play, but these were the exceptions, not the rule.
If the Bruins lose this series, I want Claude Julien fired. And Michael Ryder banished.
Game 6 Wednesday night in Philly.