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Boston Bruins More Dejected Than Objective in Shutout Loss

BOSTON - MARCH 18: Mike Rupp #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins fights with Zdeno Cara #33 of the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden on March 18, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Chris MillerCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2010

It took less than two minutes for Matt Cooke to face the wrath of retaliation and revenge.

It took Bruins fans not much longer to switch from booing Cooke, to booing their own team.

The media hype surrounding Thursday nights contest between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins gave fans around the league the impression that "old time hockey" would make its return, if only for one night.

In fact, pregame "old time hockey" showed up when a Boston fan blocked the Penguins' team bus and proceeded to challenge the entire team to fight him.

However, during the game all fans were entertained to was a hockey game that lasted no more than five minutes.

For Penguins fans, all should walk away feeling great about Marc-Andre Fleury's first shutout win since March 2009, and the fact that everyone on the roster skated off the ice following their 3-0 victory intact. A solid team effort, and a great team win following their disappointing and embarrassing defeat to the New Jersey Devils the previous night.

For Boston fans, most will be scratching their heads and wondering what went wrong. Simply put, Boston played most of its game without emotion.

To think Boston would put forth an effort resembling a team fighting for a playoff spot, one might think with the game slowly turning Pittsburgh's way on the scoreboard, the players would make a stand instead of laying down.

The desire to win was lost.

The physical play and dirty work was nowhere to be found.

Zdeno Chara's fight with Mike Rupp midway through the second period was a classic display of a captains attempt to wake up his teammates.

With just over 28 minutes remaining in the game, Chara's message was clear.

It didn't take with anyone.

Boston fans will boo and heckle Cooke for quite some time. Their hatred and disrespect for a player who knocked one of their premier scorers, Marc Savard, for possibly the rest of the year will prevail.

Tonight, and with good reason, Boston fans had a reason to transfer their distaste from Cooke and onto their own team.

The Bruins simply didn't show up, and they allowed Pittsburgh to walk all over them.

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