Wow. In my mind I'd already written an indictment of the Bruins, their coach, their GM, their system, their players. All of this was in my head and ready to disseminate into a tirading blog post. Horton scored to make it 4-2, and my pre-written blog post remained undisturbed. Lucic scored to make it 4-3, and I became partially optimistic. Then with 51 seconds until death, Patrice Bergeron scored and extended the season. An intermission and 6 minutes later, he catapulted the Bruins into the next round. And may have also exonerated Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli. Or at the very least, made them more difficult to fire.
As joy and optimism flows through my veins and courses through my mind, I must also temper myself with the knowledge that the Bruins put themselves in a position to be eliminated. The Bruins blew Game 2, sucked in the 1st period of Game 5, sucked in Game 6, and allowed the series to extend as long as it did. And if the Bruins play at the same level against the New York Rangers, then they will be quickly disposed of. Henrik Lundqvist is not James Reimer.
Give due credit to the Krejci line. Bartkowski scored the first goal, but it was Lucic's physical play that allowed it to happen. Horton and Lucic both scored in the 3rd to make it a 1 goal game.
Marchand and Seguin assisted on the game-winning goal. It was Seguin's first point of the series.
I love how the jubilant Bergeron first hugged Zdeno Chara. These are two of the hungriest players on the team. These are two guys who give 100% on each shift. They drain their reserves in order to win. I hope their teammates pay attention and follow suit.
It's good news and bad news time. The overwhelmingly good news is that the Bruins won and will advance to the Conference Semifinals. The bad news is they will play the New York Rangers.
The Rangers played the Bruins well in the regular season. They have as many offensive weapons as Toronto but also have a defensive capability and a goalie that can be quite difficult to score on. This will be a tougher series. And the Bruins needed 7+ games to get by a weaker opponent. In other words, the Bruins need to shift into a higher gear. All the time. They can't afford to play 2 periods a night anymore.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa