Bruins beat the demons, win Game 7
A home team had not won an NHL Game 7 since 1999.
The Boston Bruins had not won an NHL Game 7 since 1992.
The Boston Bruins became the demon killers on Wednesday, beating the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in OT at the new Boston Garden.
Honestly, I don’t know what to say right now. The Boston Bruins don’t do this normally. A Game 7 in the Playoffs is just their way of saying “We’re sorry” as they go ahead and rip my heart out of my chest with a steak knife.
It was hard to watch this game without thinking of all the parallels to the past few years. There was the allusions to last year’s Game 7 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers as the Bruins started fast. They rushed the zone, forced turnovers and got two similar goals from Johnny Boychuk and Mark Recchi. It was at this time I got a text message from my friend Matt Florence that read “You know they can blow this lead right?” If you remember, Matt was the same friend I watched Game 7 with last year who, when the Flyers scored to make it 3-1 turned to me and said “You know they can blow this right? I swear to god, when Matt sent me the text message, Yannick Weber scored for the Montreal Canadiens making it 2-1.
I was immediately put on edge. This was exactly the type of goal that would get Montreal going. For a while, the Boston Bruins remained in control of the game, except couldn’t get enough good shots on the net, just like the Carolina series in 2009. Unlike the Carolina series, the Bruins never trailed, but they didn’t put the Habs away like they should of.
They paid for it. When the Bruins awful power-play took the ice about five minutes into the second period, no Bruins fan had any faith that they would score. Instead of the Bruins scoring on the power-play, they gave up a short-handed goal, essentially lowering their power-play success rate to -1-22 for the series (remember this stat for later).The Bruins faithful were stunned as was I and the rest of the Bruins support group on the Day’s of Yorr Live Chat.
It’s a terrible feeling watching your team blow a lead. It’s an even worse feeling when you root for a star-crossed franchise such as the Boston Bruins. Every tie-game, every time you are trailing is another agonizing set of minutes. Nothing seems to go right for the Bruins whenever this happens. It’s the self-fulfilling prophecy I guess. We believe the worst is about to happen and it usually does because it’s the Boston Bruins.
Is it the best way to be a fan? Not really, and I know this. In fact, most Boston fans do. We went through this with the Boston Red Sox before the 2004 World Series. Every time something bad happened in a big series, it was another round of “Here we go again” vibes. Until the Red Sox started having the breaks go their way and started beating the personal demons of being a Red Sox player, the self-fulfilling prophecy existed.
Why am saying this? If you’re a Bruins fan and didn’t expect the worst coming into the third period, you are probably lying. I know I didn’t expect Chris Kelly’s goal to take the one goal lead half-way through the period. That’s not how it works being a Bruins fan. Did I expect the 1979/2010 style shitty penalty with under two minutes to go to give the other team the power play? Of course I did. It’s just a part of being a Bruins fan. Did I expect Montreal to score and that of all people it would P.K Subban the pussiest, diver, piece of shit, defense-man of the Montreal Canadiens? Of course. I wasn’t rooting for it. I was sitting there praying for a penalty kill, praying that Patrice Bergeron wasn’t made the goat. In my heart, I knew we were going to overtime before the goal was even scored.
Well, the Day’s of Yorr chat exploded. Every other message said “Fuck” or something of equal or greater anger. A joke was made that someone needed to give DOY writer Greg a life-alert in case he “Fell and couldn’t get up”.
And here is where I realized why Boston Bruins fans are some of the best fans in sports. What other team would have a bunch of their die-hard fans sitting in a chat room trying to keep the faith, trying to stay together, trying to stay positive despite evidence to the contrary? It’s one of the greatest things in sports. A bunch of random strangers who have bonded together under one goal, who have common ground with something so completely arbitrary, something that is so unexplainable trying to keep everyone sane. Few things compare. It’s one of the reasons I love sports with the passion that I do.
Suddenly, I felt a little bit better about the overtime period. I still was nervous as hell (and the Bruins slow start didn’t help) but something felt different. All of a sudden, there seemed to be hope. Nobody had any reason to believe in this hockey team, but for some stupid reason, we believed that they could put everything behind them and win the game. Maybe it’s what the Boston Bruins have needed. So when Adam Mcquaid went down below the goal line to fight for the puck, Milan Lucic settled the puck and fired a pass to Nathan Horton in the high-slot, maybe there was something else in play.
I believe in sports-superstition. I believe in “ball don’t lie” and the “sports gods”. It’s why I switched to my Milan Lucic jersey today after four games in my Tyler Seguin jersey because clearly that had run out of magic. It’s why I’m maintaining an absolutely horrendous Bruins playoff beard even though I have the babiest baby face this side of Sidney Crosby (and why I’m struggling with the fact that I have to remove it for an upcoming presentation). With the changing karma seeming to come from Bruins fans, I believed for once that the puck was going in the net.
Maybe this Bruins team is different. Think about it. The Boston Bruins had never come back from 0-2 down to win a series. A home team hadn’t won a Game 7 since 1999. The Bruins hadn’t won a Game 7 since 1992. No team had a won a series in which it didn’t score a power-play goal since 1952. Well, these Boston Bruins just put all of those streaks down. Something is different about this Boston Bruins team just like something was different in 2004. They simply don’t give a fuck. They don’t care about the history, they don’t care about failure, they don’t let what the past 39 years have told us about Boston Bruins hockey and how they have come up short. Maybe this team has a chance.
Next up is the Philadelphia Flyers. They have demons to avenge against these guys too.
For once, there is a sign of hope from the Boston Bruins.