Normally I wouldn’t be so eager to write about a Bruins loss, but this was no normal loss.. and it wasn’t a regulation loss either. Even though we didn’t come out with a win, this game was a great sign for Bruins fans. It showed us that you can never count the Bruins out and that it isn’t over until the time runs out.
With only 11 minutes left in regulation, the Bruins were down 3-0 to the New York Rangers and almost everyone was calling it a loss, even my superfan friends. Even I was worried, but I’ve learned to be optimistic with the Bruins. They’ve fought back from so many deficits that you truly can’t count them out until the game clock hits zero.
With about 13 minutes left in the game, the Bruins went on the power play. We all know how ineffective their power play has been, but this was different. They were moving around and rotating like they should, as well as fighting hard to keep the puck in the offensive zone when necessary. Finally, right as the power play ended, David Krejci found himself in the perfect position to grab Dennis Seidenberg’s rebound and knock it into the net with a quick backhand shot. While the goal occurred about one second after the power play ended, it was still the effective power play offense that lead to it. So I think Bruins fans can feel a little better about our power play.
At this point I was getting the feeling that they would be able to come back and tie the game, but my friends were still saying it was too late. Well, with about 90 seconds left in the game, we were still down 3-1. But remember, Bruins fans, never lose hope. They pulled Tuukka Rask from the goal for an extra attacker. Now it was 6-on-5, which you could think of as a power play. Once again, we did some great offensive work (as we had throughout the game). Andrew Ference took a long shot and once again we were well positioned.. Nathan Horton got the rebound right in front of the net and knocked it in quickly for a goal. That was amazing, but with such little time, and with no goalie in our net, could we score again? Damn straight! With about 45 seconds left, Brad Marchand gave a perfect pass from the corner, right between two defenders, to Patrice Bergeron out in front. Bergeron shot it, then Marchand took a super quick shot off of the rebound and elevated it past Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist for the game-tying goal!
They did it!! With only 11 minutes left in the game, the Bruins came back from a three goal deficit to tie the game, send it to overtime, and earn a point in the standings. That’s amazing in and of itself, but even more so was the fact that they scored two goals within a 48 second span while their net was empty and the clock was ticking. They are the only team this season that has come back to tie the game after being down by three goals. I seriously can’t express how proud I am of this team. They’ve been running some very good offense and have been getting tons of great scoring chances. In this game, we had a ridiculous 40 shots on goal. If Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist hadn’t been playing out of his mind, we probably would’ve won the game, and probably in regulation.
So the game went to overtime and we continued our offensive push, but nobody scored. It then went to a shootout. Our first two shooters were stopped, as was their first. Then the Rangers’ newly acquired scorer extraordinaire, Rick Nash, faked out Rask and scored. So we were down to our last shooter, Brad Marchand, who had to score to keep it going. Guess what? He did! He had such a quick release that I almost missed it. This kid is tearing it up! He’s not just a goon/instigator with some decent offensive skill anymore.. he has become a true goal scorer. He has dramatically improved his shooting and offensive play. Even though he missed a game, he currently leads the Bruins in goals with seven and is second in points with eight. Now here’s an awesome stat for you: Marchand’s seven goals have come from only 16 shots on goal.. that’s a whopping 43.8 shooting percentage! Oh ya, here’s an even better stat: Marchand has scored on 100% of his shootout attempts (only 2 of 2, but still). Hats off to you, Marchand!
So now it came down to the Rangers’ last shooter, Brad Richards, who has a good shootout scoring percentage at 38%. Well that percentage is lower now because Rask, under tremendous pressure, made a big save to extend the shootout. Unfortunately, we lost it in the next round as David Krejci made a mistake on his shot and lost control of the puck. Then Rangers captain Ryan Callahan went and scored with a shot that gave Rask no chance.. rather than getting close and making a move like everyone else, he just took a laser of a shot from pretty far out, catching Rask off-guard.
While we eventually lost, we put up a fight to extend the game all the way to a second round shootout after being down by 3 goals with only 11 minutes left in regulation. We didn’t get the win, but we still got a point out of it, as well as some experience coming back from being behind and a whole lot of confidence that we can do it again. As for our goalie, Tuukka Rask, while he did let some soft goals past him, he will learn from them. Plus, he had some huge saves too. I saw him make saves on shots that I was certain were going to be goals. So I think we can still feel good about Rask. Also, to all the Bruins fans, I absolutely love all of the Tuukka chants and we need to keep them going. Even when it looked like this was going to be a regulation loss, the crowd was still chanting “Tuu-kka” at the end of the “here we go Bruins, here we go..” chant and doing the “Tuuuuuuuuuuk” chant whenever he made a save. This is totally awesome. I think it goes a long way towards keeping his confidence up and letting him know that we are behind him no matter what. Keep it up Bruins fans! Now we just have to figure out how to chant for Anton Khudobin. Maybe “An-ton” or “Khuuuuuuuuu.”
So, as I said, while we didn’t get the win, we did get a whole lot out of this game. We got the confidence that we can never be counted out, no matter what the score is and how much time is left. We also improved our already well run offense and got our power play to where it’s giving us good scoring chances. Lastly, we got a point in the standings, putting us in second place in the Eastern Conference, only one point behind the New Jersey Devils (and we’ve played two fewer games than them). We’re also still at the top of the Northeast Division. We still have only one regulation loss! This team and this season is looking more and more promising. Stick with it, Bruins fans, and never lose hope!
On a side note, the referees were pretty awful this game. There were way too many non-calls, mostly on the Rangers icing the puck or hooking our players. Get with it refs!
On another side note, our local NESN announcer, Jack Edwards, is the best announcer anywhere in the league. Everyone tries to put him down, saying he’s a homer. He’s on a local sports network, he’s supposed to be a homer you idiots! I love the homerism.. and the energy too.. he’s always dramatic and loud. Even he doesn’t care what people say about him.. check out the end of this video where he calls everyone out who has been calling him a homer..
Here’s a video recap of the game:
Here’s a video of the shootout:
Thanks for reading,