I N Y O U R F A C E ! ! ! ! AGAIN!!!!
Since almost everyone picked the Penguins to win the Eastern Conference Finals, there should be A LOT of changed minds after last night’s Game 2 when the Bruins totally dominated and sadly, for Pittsburgh fans, the Penguins gave up. Led by “the two best hockey players in the world,” Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the team laid down.. and in front of their home crowd! That is NOT a championship team. A very telling statistic is that in the 23 minutes of ice time, Crosby only had two shots!
The Bruins began their onslaught early in the game. Brad Marchand made a steal, got a breakaway, and scored 28 seconds in with our first shot of the game. Oh ya, and it was none other than Sidney Crosby who gave away the puck. The Bruins stayed strong after that with great defense and some good scoring chances. The score stayed 1-0 Bruins until about 15 minutes into the first period. At that point the Bruins were working their offense, took a shot, and Nathan Horton scored off of a rebound. Two minutes later, Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton charged into the Penguins’ zone, made some great passes, and Krejci scored. Then, with less than a minute left in the period, the Penguins finally scored their first goal of the series. The Bruins then came right back at them. Jaromir Jagr just ran over the big and tough Brooks Orpik and got the puck to Patrice Bergeron. He then carried the puck forward and passed across to Marchand, who took a wicked wrist shot and scored his second goal of the game with nine seconds left, basically sealing the win. That’s a whopping four goals for the Bruins in just one period.
In the second period, the Bruins continued their strong play on both sides of the ice and the score remained 4-1 Bruins. At this point, the Penguins’ leaders had given up, and the rest of the team followed. Then right in the beginning of the third period, Bergeron did his thing and won an offensive zone faceoff. The Bruins then made a few nifty passes, took a shot, and Bergeron scored off of a rebound, just 27 seconds into the period. The game was so one-sided that by this point that Mike “Doc” Emrick, one of the most excitable commentators (after Jack Edwards), barely raised his voice to announce the Bruins goals. We kept playing well and with 1:24 left in the game, Johnny Boychuk took a one-timer slapshot off of a rebound and scored. The game would end 6-1 Bruins.
Worth noting, the Bruins scored so much that they started a goalie controversy for the Penguins. Tomas Vokoun had started both of these game, but he was pulled after the Bruins scored 3 goals in 12 shots against him. He exited with a miserable .750 save percentage. Marc-Andre Fleury then came in, and he wasn’t much better. We scored on 3 of 17 shots against him and he ended with a crappy .824 save percentage. In the Bruins net, Tuukka Rask has remained solid. He stopped 26 of 27 shots against him last night, including 3 of 3 during Penguins power plays. He ended with a .963 save percentage. He has now stopped 55 of 56 shots in two games.. that’s a .982 save percentage!
Before this series, the Penguins were averaging 4.3 goals per game in the playoffs. Furthermore, they scored 13 goals in their last two games against the Senators, and scored 47 goals in the 11 games of their first two series. Against the Bruins, they are averaging only 0.5 goals per game! We’ve now outscored the Penguins 9 to 1 in two games.. Even the “amazing” Blackhawks have only outscored the Kings 6 to 3 in the West.
The Penguins looked great on paper going into this series, but they certainly don’t now. In Game 2, everyone on the Penguins had a negative +/- rating except a few who were even. On the Bruins, everyone was positive or even. Brad Marchand led with a +4. Patrice Bergeron, Jaromir Jagr, Andrew Ference, and Johnny Boychuk all had a +3. The one and only area in which the Penguins lead the Bruins in is hits. Why, you may ask, when the Bruins are the biggest and toughest team? Well, big and tough doesn’t always mean dishing out hits, it means being able to take hits and keep going, which is exactly what they’ve been doing. The fact that the Bruins are getting hit left and right also means that they have the puck most of the time, and that’s the only thing that the Penguins can do to try to get back control.
In order to win the series, the Penguins now have to win four of five games, three of which are in Boston. Considering how much the Bruins have been dominating and shutting down the Penguins offense, how poorly the Pittsburgh goalies have played, and how great Tuukka Rask has played in the Boston net, this seems highly unlikely. Furthermore, it’s been 68 years since a team has come back to win a Conference Finals series after losing the first two games at home like they did. We may not sweep them or even beat them in five games, but I’m now more confident than ever that the Bruins will win the East and move on for the chance to win their second Stanley Cup in three seasons, and you should feel the same way. Plus, there might be some fate involved. It’s kind of crazy how the Bruins won it in 1939 and 1941, then 1970 and 1972. With our 2011 win, we’ll now likely have the chance to do it again in 2013. We only need two more wins to get to the Stanley Cup Finals, and the next two games are in Boston. We may not win both, but everyone should now feel pretty good about picking the Bruins to win the series. Still, no matter what happens, Bruins fans, remember to always..
Here are some videos from Game 2:
Extended Game 2 highlights (HD):
Short Game 2 highlights (SD):
Full Game 2 (HD):
Brad Marchand scores 28 seconds in (his 3rd of the playoffs):
Nathan Horton scores his 7th playoff goal:
David Krejci scores with a sweet wrister (his 8th of the playoffs):
Marchand scores his 2nd goal of the game with a snipe shot (4th of playoffs):
Patrice Bergeron scores on a great play (his 4th goal of the playoffs):
Tuukka Rask makes a big save on James Neal:
Johnny Boychuk scores with a “Johnny Rocket” (his 5th of the playoffs):
Thanks for reading,