After a sluggish start at home on Tuesday against the desperate NJ Devils, the Bruins seemed to find their way and take a step toward returning to playing, “Bruins Hockey”. As former player, and Bruins’ color analyst, Derek Sanderson often said to win games you need a “fluke a pretty goal, and a PP goal”, and given the Bruins PP has been noticeably absent for the better part of TWO seasons, Turk’s recipe has been an ingredient short. However, the Shawn Thornton goal was certainly on the fluky side, but full marks to Thorts for being a better door than a window, despite being a giant “PAINE” in Marty Brodeur’s butt. Zedno Chara’s PPG on a cross ice feed from Milan Lucic was the secured ingredient, and Patrice Bergeron’s beauty of a drop pass feed for Lucic’s 30th of the season sealed the deal, and has the Devils on the verge of setting up their tee times.
What should not go unnoticed on is the apprehension which was bottled up tightly among the Garden faithful, and seemed to be released simultaneously with Chara’s PP strike. See the Bruins had been struggling, no doubt, but for two seasons have seemed to struggle even more in front of the home crowd. Bruins have also been iced at home in consecutive 2nd round game 7 debacles, leaving many Boston fans scratching their heads.
Bruins fans have long taken pride in being the team’s 7th player, and making opponents squirm. After a monstrous run at home in 08-09, the last two seasons the Bruins seem to be struggling a bit, maybe even pressing a bit too hard under the weighty expectations of the Bruins’ fans. The mantra of 08-09 was “WE Want it”, and Bruins fans spontaneously showered e Bruins with it In the emotional game 7 vs. The Canes. What has happened since is something that simply drives Bruins fans crazy, the Bruins seemingly have forgotten how to play at home.
There is a symbiotic relationship between this team and its fans; take the body, and the crowd gets amped; the crowd stars singing to opposing net minders, players, or rising in unison with “Let’s Go Bruins” chants…the team feeds off of that energy. But it takes two to tango, and tonight, in a game against two bitter rivals the Bruins need the fans to be involved, and the crowd needs their team to embrace the moment!
Tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens will be a glimpse into the heart and soul of the Bruins. Not because of the pot stirring media, not because of the rhetoric flying on both sides of the border, but because if this team is SERIOUS about winning a Cup, THIS GAME, is their galvanizing moment.
The Habs are fast, very fast, have had tremendous goalkeeping from Carey Price, and have battled the “Injury Ninja” and remain on the Bruins’ heels for the Northeast Division lead. For generations, he Bruins have been the equivalent to the Habs little brother, living in the shadow of sustained tradition and excellence, never quite able to do what is necessary to grab the spotlight for themselves.
To the “so-called” Bruins fans who sold their tickets for a quick buck to Habs fans, looking to even out the home ice advantage of the Garden, you should feel shame. The lack of team pride is and deplorable and your willingness to sell-out your team and fellow fans is regrettable. Those actions are making every other Bruins fan in attendance work twice as hard and personally, you don’t deserve to be in the Garden tonight.
Tonight, at home, he Bruins need to embrace the moment, and make a statement…no, not a smash you in the mouth statement, but a “we are in this, to WIN this” statement. Empower their fans, who have been waiting for decades, to KNOW their team was willing to make whatever sacrifice necessary to raise the silver chalice.
Yes Bruins, this is your moment, the playoffs begin TONIGHT, in Boston, this is NOT just one of the 82 games you can shrug off when the post-season begins. Take control of your destiny, and help us fans blow the roof off the Garden tonight!!
About the Author: NHL Blogger, a fan of the Boston Bruins for 40 years, mom to the famous/notorious Bruins dog blogger, The Pup. The Pup is a savvy hockey dog in search of cookies (the jar is on the top shelf).