I don’t watch hockey. In fact, last night’s Bruins vs. Sabres game in Buffalo was the very first hockey contest I’ve watched in its entirety this season. (When it comes to the Bruins, I’m what you might call a bandwagon climber.)
Every day there are hundreds of people around Boston who choose to vent about the Bruins’ lack of heart and passion this season on sports radio. The furor and intensity they identified themselves with when they ultimately achieved a number one seed in the East, for whatever reason, was sapped out of their collective systems in 2010. A most noticeable complaint came when Marc Savard’s season was ended on a blind side hit and no teammates came rushing to his aid until the culprit was lined up opposite the Bruins a couple weeks later. I don’t agree or disagree with this outrage as I have no clue what a teammate is “supposed” to do in that situation, but common sense had me siding with the blood thirsty fans.
Now in regards to game one. What transpired in the third period last night was incredibly frustrating, almost painful to watch. The goaltending of Tuukka Rask (30 saves), who was clearly Boston’s best player, was enchanting, but the way they kept going to the penalty box and stumbling over themselves on scoring opportunities must have felt like one big punch to the stomach for the diehards.
What made the final session so disappointing was how well Boston executed in the second. They outshot the Sabres 24-8 and Mark Recchi scored the team’s only goal. In the third, the Bruins managed just six shots to Buffalo’s 12.
The accusations of listless play need not be made after this game though. Boston’s going up against one of the toughest goalies in the NHL (Ryan Miller) and aren’t favorites in the series. They played hard, smart and are still confident that if they perform as they did in game one throughout the series, a date for the second round should be in order.
And on that note of optimism, we’ll leave you with some good natured hockey related chivalry courtesy of some people in green spandex.