So I’m watching the Hockey game between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens when in the second period there was a series of fights. After Bruins Defenseman Zdeno Chara instigated another fight she chirps “Why do they have to fight? It’s a game!”
And so it goes with the Bruins and Canadiens.
No use to try and explain it, you just have to watch. It’s addicting, I tell her – the speed, the grace, the violence..a bar fight on skates…
…that she understood. “But”‘ she continued, “it looks like that’s all they want to do.”
Hockey is speed, hitting, passing. When these hated rivals get together the game gets faster, the hitting gets harder and the passing crisper – but it looked like the Bruins didn’t get the memo on passing getting crisper – or maybe their focus was too much on roughing up their oldest enemy.
Because in the end it was Montreal’s speed and aggressive skating and constant peppering of Boston’s goal tender Tuukka Rask that won out over the Bruins’ rough and tumble, knock your block off intimidation game, the Canadiens scoring a 4-3 victory at TD Garden on Sunday night.
For sure, the Bruins flexed their muscles and bared their fists. winning the battles along the boards, but they lost the game in the neutral zone and at the point where the Bruins tried living dangerously with sloppy clearing passes that the Canadiens picked off time after time for clear shots at Rask.
David Desharnais scored two goals, including the game winner midway through the final frame when he wristed a puck into an open net as Rask sprawled on the ice during a scramble to the left of the net when the puck found its way to Dasharnais.
Just four minutes earlier Max Pacioretty had tied the game for Montreal with a wicked drive from the high point past a shielded Rask.
Tomas Plekanec started the scoring on a power play tip in as he redirected Michael Ryder’s pass for a 1-0 lead that lasted just 50 seconds before Tyler Seguin redirected a Brad Marchand pass past Canadiens’ goalie Peter Budaj that tied it at one. The tie lasted just seconds as a Desharnais pass slid off defenseman Johnny Boychuck’s stick and into the Boston net.
Things got physical in the second period and the brutish intesity seemed to swing the momentum into the favor of the Bruins. Trailing 2-1 Seguin hit Patrice Bergeron with a cross-ice pass on a 2-1 break and Bergeron slapped in his own rebound for a 2-2 tie.
Five minutes later with the teams skating four a side, the Bruins took the lead at 3-2. Marchand fired a drive at Budaj, the rebound skipping to Dougie Hamilton who tucked in a rebound from a tough angle at the bottom of the left circle.
The rest of the period was dropping gloves and sitting in the penalty box, particularly Zdeno Chara, who came to the defense of Seguin who was cross-checked by Montreal’s Alexi Emelin, Chara shoving Emelin to the ice, then letting him up to take a barrage of rights from the big defenseman…
…but it was his instigation of the brawl along with a fighting major and a ten minute misconduct that left the Bruins shorthanded for much of the third, leading to the 2 goal rally by the Habs.
The loss snapped Boston’s 6 game winning streak and handed Montreal sole possession of first place in the Northeast division and Eastern Conference.
The win was important for the Habs, who started a five games in seven nights road trip that next finds them in Uniondale, New York on Tuesday for a match with the Islanders then Carolina on Thursday then Tampa Bay on Saturday before wrapping it up in Miami with a face off with the Florida Panthers on Sunday.
Boston looks to get back on the winning track Tuesday night in Washington DC against the Capitals before returning home to host the Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday and Saturday respectively.
Perhaps the wifey was right. Perhaps the Bruins were more focused on roughing up their hated rivals than skating and passing and winning the race to the puck – I know my boy was right. The teams just don’t like each other…
But whatever it is, the Bruins need to get rid of it and regain their composure if they want to keep up with the speedy Canadiens in the division.