These must be warm and fuzzy times for Boston Bruins fans. Their team is sitting pretty, rivalled only by the San Jose Sharks as the league’s best. They’ve won all four games against their biggest rival, the Montreal Canadiens, looked impressive in all four, and are a lofty 18 points better than the Habs. Their goalie, Tim Thomas, is playing like the second coming of Gerry Cheevers.
And best of all for the smiling faces of Bruins’ faithful, their team looks like they could make a serious dent once playoffs rolls around. Fans could be reminded, with a little help from beer, of the late 1960’s, early 1970’s Bruins, when they were an elite team and won a couple of Cups back then, only then they had Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, and Johnny Bucyk instead of Phil Kessel and Dennis Wideman.
More and more, Bruins’ fans are going to be insufferable.
Today, once again, these Bruins beat the Canadiens, this time by a score of 3-1, and although the Habs played fairly well, they made just enough mistakes to lose to this solid bunch in orange and black. The Canadiens gave away the puck way too often throughout, again missed the net far too many times, and lost the little battles for the puck along the boards, which often defines playoff contenders. You have to win those battles.
You also can’t allow the tying goal with six-tenths of a second left in the first period, like the Habs did today. It’s inexcusable. And so is the fact that Mike Komisarek threw a little softy towards the blueline which led to this all-important back-breaking goal.
Alex Kovalev’s play is inexcusable too. Kelly Hrudey pointed it out in the second intermission but it was evident anyway. Kovalev was floating in Montreal’s biggest and most important game of the year. How can that be? How can any player not work hard in such a big game? It doesn’t compute.
Both Robert Lang, Achilles tendon, and Guillaume Latendresse, head-smashed-in-boards, were the casulties of the day. It’s entirely possible Lang is gone for the season. Josh Gorges is just beginning to remember which planet he’s on after an elbow named Gauthier arrived with bad intent.
So far, I’m not liking hockey in February.
Pittsburgh’s in town Tuesday night.