WOW!! That was FAST!!! I feel like I hardly had the chance to savior the venom that defines the Bruins v. Canadiens and then in the words of Jack Edwards it was "Have a Nice Summer, Mike!"
The B's advance to round two in convincing fashion, and while awaiting their foe it gives this fan time to reflect on the redemption that was round 1. I think most long time Bruins fans have been holding their breath wondering if the type of team that reflected the hard working, loyal, tenacious fan base would ever return to the Hub. Last year there were certainly indications that the Bruins were returning to form, and after falling at the hands of the hated Habs, and again uttering the all too familar "wait 'til next year" B's fans were cautiously optimistic that this year would be a positive step in the right direction.
Almost from the opening whistle of the 2008-09 season you could FEEL this team was different. There was a decidely LARGE chip on their shoulder which they seemed to remove at will and use to pummel unsuspecting foes (ask Steve Ott and Mike Komisarek). However there was a point in the season where the team seemed to be reading their own press clippings, and lost a bit of that jam and their edge. When things seemed to be teetering on the edge the New Jersey Devils came to town - white hot and on the verge of making a play for the top spot in the East. The Bruins not only swarmed the Devils and the recently anointed "greatest" netminder in NHL history, but their swagger returned and they have yet to look back.
There were many memorable moments for this Bruins' fan, not the least of which was reveling in the electricity of the "Gahden" for games 1 &2. I will truly dred the day Rene retires, I can not imagine anyone else singing the national anthem for the B's in the playoffs! The chants of Caaarrreeey...Caaarrreeey ringing down from the rafters were reminisant of Roy-Roy and Thomas going post to post and making spectaular save after save in the second period of game 1 made me think of Reggie -Reggie (Lemelin of course). But it was the WAY the team played which is what had me floating home on cloud 9 - The BRIUNS were back!! Setting the tone, making the Habs search for answers to Looch, Chara, Thomas, Kess, Savvy, et al. The Centennial Habs tried every dirty trick (ask Hunwick) but the Bruins refused to be swayed from their path.
Hunwick out - Sheriff Shane Hnidy steps in and blasts one past Price. Kess, benched during last year's series, made his impact felt early in the series (and often) as the Hab dmen looked like they're feet are made of cement trying to stay with the talented youngster. Looch's physical forecheck opening up room (time and space) for Krejci and Ryder to operate in the offensive zone with the precision of surgeons, separating the Habs from their very soul. Looch suspended, no worries understudy Bryon Bitz, promptly set up Thorton (the one who shows in the PO's) for a hhuge goal and ground it out with the best 4th line in the NHL , holding the Habs to 5 shots in the 3rd period of a one goal game in game 3.
More?? Patrice Bergeron announcing to the entire NHL that he is BACK and he is not going to take anymore BS!! The southpaw (who knew?) wailed on Josh Gorges (who coincidently had hit Bergy from behind in the regular season finale) in the first fight of his NHL career. Bergy was arguably the best two way player in the series and his pass to send in Phil Kessel alone in game 4 was a thing of beauty. Michael Ryder returning to the city who had no use for him a year ago and tore them limb from limb to end the series tied with the Pens' Malkin for the most goals and points in the first round (IN ONLY 4 GAMES).
It was a memorable and TOTAL team effort - and a thing of beauty to be able to send the Habs off to the first tee in FOUR. This team is deep, talented, plays with grit, jam and discipline and is on a MISSION! As Jack Edwards has said - "Boston is a hockey town again!"
Bruins fans have shown their support and excitement surrounding the team's chace for the Cup by participating in the Right to Play Bruins Playoff Challenge. The fundraiser was established by Bruins fans to support the charitable organization Right to Playt, a truly worth cause embraced by three Bruins, Chara, Ference, and Montador. Fans can join the challenge by making a pledge for a game, a series, or the remainder of the playoffs. For example, some fans, upon hearing of Looch's suspension pledged $5.00 for every Bitz point (bingo an assist and Bitzy's play helps the cause!). Others pledged varying amounts for Kessel's goals, Savvy's assists, a B's sweep...and the list goes on!! Join the fun in for round two, make a pledge, get a friend to match it - challenge a foe...it doesn't matter...have fun celebrating the Bruins' success while supporting Right to Play.
Bruins' player and Right to Play athlete Steve Montador has graciously donated an autographed stick to be given to the largest donation. Also, 2 seats to a selected home Bruins game in 09-10 are up for grabs for the largest donation made in Round 2 of the playoffs. We are looking forward to more exciting prizes to be announced as the Bruins Playoff Challenge continues.
Make your pledge, track your stats and when you are ready to make your donation click on www.righttoplay.com/goto/BruinsPlayoffs to support the cause.