Last week, the Bruins were unstoppable.
Tuesday, February 24, the Bruins began their first home stand in two weeks with an enormous victory, one that the Florida Panthers didn’t see coming until it hit them in the head with a whopping 6-1 Bruins victory.
Michael Ryder made his return to the ice with a power play goal in the third period.
However, rookie Biron Bitz was the fan favorite as he racked up his second and third NHL goals.
Most notably, it was the first multi-goal game of Bitz’s career.
Two nights later, the Anaheim Ducks pulled into North Station, ready to bring some West Coast hockey to Beantown. Unfortunately for them, things got ugly fairly quickly.
The Bruins ended up shutting out Teemu and the rest of his gang 6-0. Along with Thomas’s 35 save shutout, the fourth of his career, the Boston offense exhibited its own scoring talent. Michael Ryder continued to flourish after his return from injury with two goals. Chuck Kobasew, one of the many unsung heroes Boston has to boast to the competition, notched two goals of his own.
Bitz also slammed one in, continuing to draw attention among the younger players.
It was quite a thrilling way to head into the big game on Saturday, for undoubtedly, this was the week they were waiting for.
The week they’d turn it around.
The week they’d beat the Caps.
The week they’d stick it to that dirty little Russian and wipe his smug smile off his face.
Saturday: Everyone who saw it knows of what I speak. Alexander Semin dropped a bomb on Boston’s hopes with one swipe of his stick from the blue line. Overtime goal. Washington 4, Boston 3.
Semin dropped the bomb, and the bomb certainly went off, but the Bruins managed to yank a big portion of their hope out of the debris in the aftermath. There was still hope.
Tuesday night: Philadelphia.
Once again, they’re efforts weren’t enough. By the end of the game, Manny Fernandez had given up four goals while Boston was still struggling for their second. They lost at home again, 4-2.
So what does this mean for the Bruins?
They’ve got the Coyotes on Thursday night, respectfully led by the Great One.
After that, the kids come to town—the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
Then they head to Madison Square Gardenfor the NBC Game of the Week against the Rangers. It’d be nice to see Milan Lucic slam one into that rat Sean Avery’s ugly mug, but who knows if Julien will even put “Looch” in. Unexplainably, we haven’t seen him for a couple games at least. Regardless, playing New York in New York is a big game, no matter what.
If there are any Bruins fans who are doubting, who fear that this is the end of what was a beautiful run, I have one thing to say to you:
Quit your whining.
While the Bruins have been “slumping”, have the standings changed at all? Neither Washington nor New Jersey has overcome this five-point lead that the Bruins have had over the East in the past two months. Even San Jose is yet run away with the best record in the NHL.
This team is playoff bound in a way New England hasn’t seen in years. What Claude Julien is leading into April is unlike any other team in the NHL.
It is a playoff machine.
If I’m wrong, I welcome anyone to mock me. I’ll just walk out onto my back porch and scream into the NH woodlands like I have year after year. I’m from New England, so you can bet I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again.
The Bruins will be in the Eastern Conference Finals. God help the team they have to face.