A week and a half ago, when the Eastern Conference Semifinals matchups were decided, and we knew the Bruins would be up against the Rangers, you would absolutely not have found anyone who predicted the Bruins would win in five games and almost sweep. Last night, the Bruins did just that. They eliminated the Rangers from the playoffs and earned themselves an entry to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Once again, they had to play from behind as the Rangers were the first score about halfway through the first period. Still, they also showed, as they have been, that you can never count them out until the clock hits zero. They never lost focus and maintained strong offense throughout the whole game. It paid off in the second period when they scored twice to take the lead. They held this lead until the end of the game. With about a minute and a half left in regulation, the Rangers pulled Henrik Lundqvist out of their goal for an extra attacker. We held them off and eventually Gregory Campbell won a puck battle and knocked it into their net to make it 3-1, as it would remain.
The Bruins first goal came on the power play, which has much improved. They’ve gotten it to the point where they work the power play offense as well as their full strength offense, which they’re great at. They got a number of scoring chances and eventually Brad Marchand got it to Tyler Seguin, who passed across to Torey Krug for a one-timer. Krug again showcased his amazing shooting skills as he shot it just past Lundqvist’s glove-side shoulder and in. What an insane start to a player’s playoff career! This was Krug’s fourth career NHL goal in only his fifth career NHL playoff game! He is the first rookie defenseman in the history of the NHL to accomplish this!! He has done so well that the team has given him a nickname: “Freddy” as in Freddy KRUeGer.. And know you’ve really made your place on a Boston sports team when the fans start chanting your name just because you have the puck. In the second half of this game, even when he wasn’t doing anything, whenever Krug had the puck, the fans cheered “Kruuuuuuuug!”
Our second goal came from who else put our fourth line, the best fourth line in the league. Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton were forechecking and putting on pressure when the Rangers made a few stupid moves and gave up the puck to Paille. He carried the puck in, tried to pass across to Thornton, but he got knocked away.. then Campbell came in and knocked the loose puck just past Lundqvist’s arm and into the net for the lead. This was his second goal of the 2013 playoffs, and he would later get his third with the empty-netter near the end of regulation, assisted by Nathan Horton.
Now a few other notes.. Shawn Thornton fought Rangers douchebag Derek Dorsett, who has been trying to pick fights with everyone. Thornton won, though it wasn’t much of a fight, and surprisingly, considering that these are two very physical teams, this was only the second fight of the series. Still, there was plenty of hitting, and the Bruins dished out some pretty huge ones, like in Game 3 when Milan Lucic hit Anton Stralman so hard that he did not return in Game 4 or Game 5. We also had a continued great performance from Rask in net. He stopped 28 of 29 shots and ended with a .966 save percentage. Even after a very shaky game in Game 4, he was focused. This is a great sign because he could easily have struggled with a lack of confidence after falling down both literally and metaphorically in the last game. But he was solid, as he has been in these playoffs.
The Bruins have shown improvement and promising play in many areas:
* Once again, we came from behind to win.
* We have an effective power play that scored three times in the last two games.
* Tuukka Rask has been solid, even after making a few big mistakes in the last game.
* Our fourth line is better than the majority of other lines in the league.
* Our young, rookie defensemen are playing surprisingly well.
* Our roster has incredible depth.
* The Bruins that had been underperforming have all stepped up.
* We beat the “legendary” Henrik Lundqvist.
This all means that we are a very strong team. I think there’s a pretty good chance that we will beat the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals and get a chance to win two Stanley Cups in three years as we did in 1970 and ’72. Even though the Penguins have a very high powered offense, you have to remember 2011, when we faced the Canucks in the Finals. They lead the league in points on the standings, offense, defense, and power plays. They also had the top scorer and a bunch in the top 10. But the Bruins still beat them. Still, the biggest help to us will be how weak their goaltending has been. But the points mentioned above are all valid reasons why we should be able to beat them. Even if we fall behind in games or the series, and even if it takes overtime in Game 7, I think we can win the East. And remember, Bruins fans, no matter what happens, you must always..
Extended Game 5 Highlights (HD):
Short Game 5 Highlights (SD):
Full Game 5 (HD):
Shawn Thornton fights Derek Dorsett:
Torey Krug ties the game with a power play goal:
Gregory Campbell scores his second goal of 2013 playoffs:
Tuukka Rask makes game-changing save against Ryan Callahan:
Gregory Campbell seals the game with an empty netter:
Thanks for reading,