I was asked by a beat writer what the most appropriate way to do three or four-hundred words on tonight's game was. My answer was simple: go for four hundred. Make two-hundred of them "Tyler" and the other two-hundred "Seguin."
Sure, he wasn't the only story of the game. But that the kid from Brampton - a hamlet that's actually closer to the Toronto International Airport than Toronto itself - recorded his first career NHL hat trick in the arena just miles (okay, kilometers) from where he grew up, against the team whose traded draft pick became the one used to acquire his rights, while his team - the defending Stanley Cup champions - were off to the worst start in the history of such a team and the team he grew up rooting for was atop the entire League...well, you don't really need to say a whole lot more than that.
Yet, there was Milan Lucic netting two goals, his second and third in two games, and there were Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly playing fundamentally sound hockey. And there was Patrice Bergeron extending his six-game point streak and Brad Marchand getting to the net with ease (that 63 didn't have a goal or two to call his own was a small wonder by game's end). Oh, and there was David Krejci creating space without the puck and there was Gregory Campbell with what could only be called a garbage time goal, albeit for the face that it was scored with almost 14 minutes to go.
And there was Toronto, pesky Toronto, a team full of offensive superstars and not much else, unable to bail Ben Scrivens out of a jam. There was Toronto, whom a 7-0 loss didn't mean nearly as much to as a 7-0 win did to their opposition, skating with their heads hung, spending much of the third period dragging their feet, anxious to get out of the Air Canada Center and on with their season.
And, lest we forget, there was Tim Thomas, earning his first shutout of the season in his eighth game after it took him just one last year. There was Thomas, getting the offensive support he's been looking for for the past five weeks from that brutal, abysmal, offensive, terrible Bruins offense.
That terrible Bruins offense - you know, the one that's scored three, four, five, six and seven goals in its five wins, but hasn't broken two goals in a loss - opened fire on a hapless opponent for the second time in as many games. They've scored twelve times in their last two, a 5-3 win over Ottawa and tonight's 7-0 wash of the Maple Leafs. Twelve goals in two games after just 22 in their first ten.
That hated h-word might be used for the last time by more than a few beat writers tonight, but it'll still be fresh on the minds of the 22 men that wear Black and Gold. Hangovers, as anyone knows who's ever had them, don't just go away with a swig of Gatorade and dose of Advil.
The best cure for a hangover is time. The Bruins got that this week. Now they get the Islanders, then another overperforming young team in Edmonton.
The team that's been looking for full 60-minute efforts, that's been talking about playing a "team game" for almost two months now finally got one. Now it's time to build on it. Let Seguin play as much of a role as he wants - he's earned it and is ready to shine in the NHL. Just remember that hangovers aren't cast off by one good cup of joe.