Coming into the postseason, the Bruins were expected to make another deep run and possibly contend for their third Stanley Cup in four seasons. Unfortunately for them, however, they ran into the red-hot Canadiens and saw their offense go cold at the worst possible time. Despite a heartbreaking loss in Game 7 at the Garden, there were still a lot of memorable moments in the series and, like always, plenty of interesting stats and facts to go around (and, yes, there are a lot). This series featured a record number of Game 7 meetings for the B’s and Habs, one Boston rookie doing something only one other player had done in the last 75 years, a new NHL record concerning consecutive seasons with a Game 7 appearance and Montreal’s netminder joining a goaltending legend as the only two to accomplish one particular feat. This, for the final time in 2013-14, is Boston Bruins: Eastern Conference Semifinals By The Numbers.
The Canadiens frustrated the Bruins in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and earned a series win in seven games.
0: The Canadiens had zero players with a positive rating through Game 2.
0: The Merlot line had zero shots on goal in Game 4. And Game 6. And Game 7. Brutal.
0: Boston’s first line scored zero five-on-five goals in the series.
1: P.K. Subban’s game-winner in Game 1 was the first overtime goal of his postseason career.
1: Matt Fraser made his playoff debut in Game 4 after being called up from Providence earlier in the day. He scored his first postseason goal in the game and it was a pretty big one. In doing so, he became the first player in history to score an overtime goal in both the AHL and NHL playoffs in the same season, according to Elias Sports.
It has been a very exciting last couple of weeks in the hub of hockey as the Bruins went on a tear following the Olympic Break and became the league’s first team to clinch a playoff spot. While their winning streak finally ended at the hands of Montreal, their point streak is still alive. Also happening were a milestone game for a hockey legend, a milestone assist for a Merlot member, another NHL debut for one rookie, the first ever home win against one opponent and the third-longest winning streak in team history. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
Jarome Iginla has been absolutely on fire during the month of March and a major reason the Bruins won 12 games in a row.
1: Last Tuesday’s win over the Wild was the first time the Bruins have beaten Minnesota at TD Garden (1-6-0).
1: Corey Potter played his first game with the Bruins on March 18 in New Jersey.
1: With their win over the Avalanche on March 21, the Bruins became the first team in the league to clinch a playoff berth.
The Bruins faithful were out in full force tonight as most of the night saw many fans shoulder to shoulder, donned in black and gold, just happy to celebrate the return of their beloved Boston Bruins.
CSNNE‘s A. Sherrod Blakely stopped by the party, and despite admitting to only having gone to one Bruins game, was still impressed by the turnout of the fans. “The Bruins are obviously a big deal in Boston” said Blakely “It’s a great, great atmosphere”. He wasn’t kidding, over 600 fans packed into the Harp Thursday night for the event.
“When I used to cover the ACC in North Carolina, the fans were very rowdy” Blakely continued “Bruins fans remind me of that, they become a part of the game”.
Among the many Bruins die-hards in attendance was a man with a Viking’s helmet and a shield sporting the Bruins’ logo, a gentleman with a fake beard and a Winter Classic jersey with Eddie Shore’s number 2 on the back, and an uncountable amount of Bruins jerseys featuring the numbers of current, former, and retired players.
Those in attendance were treated to an early preview of something they knew all too well. Rene Rancourt sang his rendition of the star spangled banner for the crowd prompting them to sing along. He then said he would be singing the Canadian anthem Saturday in French asking “anyone in here speak French?”. One man in the crowd could and Rancourt gave him the mic. After allowing the fan to sing a few lines Rene took the mic back and said to the crowd “Let’s throw this guy out of here”.
It was announced today that Boston bruins goaltender #30 Tim Thomas is planning to take a year off
In one of the more shocking developments in Boston Bruins news, it appears that Stanley Cup MVP Tim Thomas is preparing to sit out next season. Bruins’ General Manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed the rumors regarding the goaltenders’ “Sabbatical” this afternoon in a conference call “I’m approaching this season as if Tim Thomas won’t be playing next year” said Chiarelli “There’s a strong chance he’ll be taking the year off”. I can’t begin to imagine the many reasons and scenarios which would cause this flurry of drama surrounding the organization given all that is has accomplished in a year. It appears as if Thomas is aware of Tuukka Rask’s readiness to take the reigns as the number one starter which means Timmy will be moved to clear cap room for a new team direction.
The thing here that hurts the most is the fact that Thomas signed a 35 plus contract.
In the NHL a 35 plus contract is one that is payable regardless of what happens in a player’s career whether it be injury, retirement, or sabbatical. Thomas’ cap hit will count regardless of what he decides to do which may throw a huge wrench in the Bruins’ off-season plans. Thomas has always been a peculiar figure; this can be seen in the various interviews and appearances he has done throughout his career in Boston. Another interesting bit of news is the recent emergence of information regarding the goaltenders’ abrupt move to Colorado mid-season. It was reported yesterday by CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty that Thomas had moved his family out of the Boston area. A player looking for a new home isn’t a strange thing, but when they do it in the middle of a stressful season surrounded in controversy it raises a few eyebrows.
After he carried the Bruins to their first Championship in 39 years, Thomas was considered a hero among the Boston faithful.
One article even claimed that he was rivaling the New England Patriots Tom Brady as the most popular athlete in New England. Everything started to unravel when the Cup Champions’ visited to the White House without Thomas in attendance. He later that posted this message on his Facebook page “I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government. Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.”
Bruins forward #22 Shawn Thornton and CSNNE Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty at a press event at West End Johnnies last night
Last night many Bruins bloggers and writers throughout New England had the pleasure of attending a Bruins press event sponsored by Comcast Sports Net New England. Held at Boston’s West End Johnnies, the night was filled with great hockey minds coming together with a special focus on Bruins’ enforcer Shawn Thornton. Comcast Sports Net feel they offer some of the best unbiased coverage in professional sports, this event’s purpose was to promote their excellent coverage as well as thanking various bloggers and writers from around the area for their own contributions.
Comcast Marketing Director Skip Perham was the master of ceremonies beginning the festivities by thanking us for all coming and helping promote Comcast by giving us a chance to experience their coverage first hand. After the thankful introduction Perham turned the microphone over to Comcast’s Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty. After Haggerty introduced himself, thanked us for being there, and shared a few jeers with fellow Comcast Analyst Mike Felger he invited Shawn Thornton up on stage. The interview with Thornton was very entertaining considering how much of a character the Bruins enforcer is. Thornton himself was not without his own jeers for Felger.
Some of the most entertaining highlights of the night came from the audience asking Thornton questions of their own. Comcast Television Broadcaster Kevin Walsh was on hand to take the microphone around the audience. One person in attendance asked Shawn if he had any plans about getting into broadcasting and becoming a radio or television analyst, Shawn looked at him and said very dryly “I wouldn’t be doing this for nothing” and had everyone laughing. Another great moment had Thornton expressing his desire to retire a Bruin and quickly laughing about how he forced his hand and hopes Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli isn’t watching.