Let’s get one thing straight. If the Bruins lose game seven to the Montreal Canadiens tonight, fans in Boston might be the ones dialing 911.
Their beloved Black and Gold will be on life support in a city where they will yet again be the perennial little brother of the sporting family. All those Milan Lucic shirts bought in the past month will be going in the back of the closet ’til next fall at the very least.
A bow out in round one will be the fourth straight Game 7 loss in the past 10 years for the Bruins. Nineteen years without collecting 200 and passing go onto the Eastern Conference finals.
I guess if you want to put it into perspective, the Bruins have technically never even been to the Eastern Conference finals before. The last time they were among the final four teams remaining in the Stanley Cup playoffs it was called the Wales conference.
Last night’s 2-1 loss to Montreal at the Bell Centre indeed featured some questionable calls for both teams, but anyone who tells you that a seven game series is won and lost by referees somehow influenced by the commissioner needs to have their head checked under the league’s new concussion protocol.
It’s an easy way out to believe that there is a higher power holding you back. Some back room NHL dealings where executives and linesmen exchange suitcases of unmarked bills. The referees are an easy scapegoat, especially paired with one of Bruins fans favorite pastimes, stereotyping any time a Canadien’s player falls to the ice as diving.
But last night, though the Bruins did seem to get some inopportune penalties…it sad to say the 5-on-3’s were mostly their own doing.
I can hear the cries in front of televisions around the Boston Metro area.
“Did you see that puck DIVE right at Adam McQuaid’s Skate as he tried to scurry off the ice as the sixth man?”
“Could you believe the puck DOVE right off of Patrice Bergeron’s stick over the glass? Delay of game? It’s rigged!”
Good teams find a way to win. Good teams find a way to overcome adversity. Good teams find a way to finish the job. Good teams are remembered for such characteristics.
Teams that insufferably show up and put out mediocre performances in the playoffs are remembered for just that as well. It’s as simple as that.
Last night the Vancouver Canucks did what the Bruins couldn’t a year ago. They held off a team roaring back with all the momentum in the world from climbing out of a 3-0 partially dug grave. Chicago had nothing to lose, while Vancouver was at risk of having half the city burnt to the ground with a Game 7 loss at home.
Last night Vancouver rose to adversity. Now it’s the Bruins turn. It’s the Bruins turn to rise to the moment. It’s time to earn their spot at least for one more round.
And standing in the way, those pesky Canadiens.
If the Bruins lose tonight it won’t be because of rigged officiating with the interests of NHL television ratings and Habs loyalty. Nor will it be because of the Canadiens ability to fake serious injury.
It will be because the Canadiens found a way to win. It will be because they capitalized on their chances where the Bruins could not. It will be because they know in their minds they have nothing to lose.
So now its up to the Bruins alone. What do you want to give your city?
Something to remember? Or something to forget?
A reason to believe? Or another reason to talk about the Red Sox?