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Ryder makes a glove save, Bruins win it in double OT

April 24, 2011

Nathan Horton’s game-winning goal. 

I should hope that the title says it all. This was a stupendous game. This was a playoff hockey game. And it was magnificent.  A tightly-played, evenly-matched game with stellar goaltending. At the point of double overtime in a 1-1 game, either team could have won or lost an honest game. It was a far finer exhibitions of skill in some respects than those wild, high-scoring games of the regular season.

One notable sight of the evening was the Bruins’ forcing of turnovers as the Habs attempted to exit their own zone. This is not a hallmark move for the Bruins, and perhaps it’s a bit trap-ish, but it was successful when executed.  Setting aside the game-winner, Nathan Horton played a superb game, legs moving. Milan Lucic had several good looks, too.

It was evident that the Bruins were exerting excruciating pressure on the Habs when they inflicted themselves with four consecutive icings in the third period. Also interesting to see how chippy the game got in the second and third after whistles. It was a remarkably well-disciplined game overall, with few “bad penalties” to speak of. Perhaps all of the tension was let out between whistles. And the narrowness of the game inhibited some in terms of taking those penalties–with Marchand getting shoved under the net and the refs screaming “clear the ice” at one point. There was one inexplicably bad call–that of the hook on Patrice Bergeron that should have warranted a penalty shot didn’t. That said, it was an oddly smooth game with few interruptions. Amazing how overtime periods play without commercials.

All that said, the Bruins completed something that hasn’t been done in 59 years by any Bruins team–which is to recover from a two game deficit and win the next three. I don’t really know whether the series back then were five games or seven, because I know the Bruins have never actually come all the way back from a two game deficit either. Presumably it was also seven back in 1952. I don’t know. But the Bruins impressed last night and Tim Thomas excelled under pressure.

The question is whether the momentum will keep in Montreal. There’s a two night break here, but it seems possible if not probable the Bruins be able to maintain their energy level in enemy territory. Perhaps it’s a positive that there’s another longer recess between games here, as there were reports of all sorts of fatigue and cramping from last night’s game. This works. One game at a time though. No need to think any further out. One game.

Also,  I appreciate the below photo mostly because the wide range of facial expressions (and quite frankly, does anyone know where the puck is) is worthy of a Renaissance nativity scene oil painting.

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