Bruins Pull Off Amazing Comeback To Beat Maple Leafs
I remember watching Toronto’s Matt Frattin skate towards Tuukka Rask in the third period on breakaway with the Leafs already up 4-2, and thinking to myself “This ought to do it”. A 2 goal lead with three minutes left to go in regulation is usually enough to win a hockey game, especially when your opponent has simply not played to the best of their abilities. However, Rask turned Frattin aside, and two minutes later the Bruins completed a historic comeback to tie the game.
As all Bruins fans watched the team in the waning minutes of the third period, I am sure thoughts like “are they going to fire Claude”? or “Are they going to trade Lucic and Seguin”? crossed all their minds. The Bruins had something different in mind, they were focused and determined. It might have taken 50 minutes of game time to wake up the bear, but when it did wake up they did something truly special, and I don’t think anyone is ever going to forget it.
The Bruins got on the board first in game 7. Recent call-up Matt Bartkowski wristed home a nice shot from the top of the circles to give the B’s the early lead in the first. From then on it would be all Toronto Maple Leafs heading into the midway point of the third period. With two goals from Cody Franson, Phil Kessel, and Nazem Kadri; the Toronto Maple Leafs squeezed all of the hopes and dreams out of the Bruins faithful.
The B’s would add another goal on an excellent effort from both David Krejci and Milan Lucic, to find Nathan Horton for his 4th of the playoffs so far. This goal got the Bruins going a little bit, and they picked up their play as a result. The only real dark spot on the Bruins’ final ten minutes of play was the above mentioned breakaway by Matt Frattin. With 1:22 to go in the game, Lucic knocked in a Zdeno Chara rebound from the point to put the Bruins within one goal of tying the game. 31 seconds later, Patrice Bergeron would tie the game after some excellent cycle work at the point with Jaromir Jagr and David Krejci. It was truly a site to behold.
The Bruins forced overtime against a team that had had them on the ropes the entire game. In overtime, a great job in front of the net from Tyler Seguin would allow Bergeron to skate onto a bad clear attempt from Jake Gardiner, and win the series for the Black & Gold. The TD Garden lost their minds in a good way, while those Leafs fans watching the game outside the Air Canada Center lost theirs in a bad way. A young inexperienced Toronto Maple Leafs choked in a big way last night, but they should be proud of the way they played. Sometimes a big loss can be a blessing in disguise.
To me, the thing that stands out about this win, is the B’s franchise players that stepped up in the games closing minutes. Patrice Bergeron had 2 goals, an assist, and a +3 rating. Zdeno Chara had an assist, a +2 rating, and logged 35:46 minutes of ice time. Milan Lucic scored 1 goal, an assists, a +1, and 7 hits. David Krejci added 2 assists, and a +2. This is what you need from your very best players. The Boston Bruins best players stepped up in a big way last night, and probably saved the team from getting some major shakeups should they have lost.
This was a game for the ages, which is remarkable given the great history of this Boston Bruins franchise. It is arguably one of the greatest moments in Boston Sports over the last decade. This game is a perfect example of how playoff hockey is simply the best form of sports there is.
The Boston Bruins will take on the New York Rangers in the round two of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. The series starts Thursday, May 16th. Check back tomorrow or my preview of the series.
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