Slack and Fold: Bruins Didn't Have Enough Fight Against Pens

Joe GillCorrespondent IIMarch 19, 2010

BOSTON - MARCH 18:  Shawn Thornton #22 of the Boston Bruins fights with Matt Cooke #24 of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the TD Garden on March 18, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

I had to sleep on this putrid effort displayed by the Bruins against the Penguins. I went to bed mad, frustrated, and just disappointed being a life long fan of the Black and Gold.

Or should the Bruins be called the Slack And Fold?

The bout with Pittsburgh had been one of the most anticipated regular season games in recent memory. It was time for payback. Old West Justice.

It was time to make Matt Cooke “sleep with the fishes”.

This was the opportunity to avenge their fallen teammate and brother, Marc Savard. The Bruins star offensive player who still hasn’t shown much improvement since the concussion he sustained on Mar. 7.

Cooke’s crime went unpunished by the Bruins during that game. Then to add insult to injury, NHL Director of Operations, Colin Campbell did not suspend Matt Cooke. His ruling was that the hit was legal this year, but will be illegal next year (the rule had since been changed at the NHL GM meetings).

So now it was up to the Bruins to make things right!

Bruins talk was dominating the radio for almost two weeks. The fans of the Black and Gold were in a feeding frenzy. The NHL Brass was in town. Security was increased at the TD Garden.

And for even more motivation, the 1970 Stanley Cup winning Bruins team was in town for their 40th reunion.

The Bruins were poised to seize the moment! Win back their fence sitting fans. Make Boston a hockey town for years to come.

All eyes were on Matt Cooke when he hit the ice. Would Shawn Thornton have “a grilled cheese sandwich with Mr. Cooke”(Thornton’s code name for fight)?

Two minutes into the game, it happened. Gun fight at the TD Garden!

Thornton and Cooke squared off. Thornton shoved the grilled cheese sandwich right down the cowardly Cooke’s throat.  The Pittsburgh cheap shot artist took a couple blows off the head and then was down on the mat.

The crowd exploded and their lust for blood was partially satisfied. They wanted more and I wanted more.

This was not going to be enough. Cooke and Pittsburgh had to pay. It was time for old school hockey. I wanted a bloody scene from the movie, “Slapshot”. Nothing less would be sufficient.

Most Bruins fans were willing to sacrifice the two points if justice was served; we wanted 1970’s Big Bad Bruins hockey.

Well lets just say Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Johnny Bucyk, and Gerry Cheevers must have been embarrassed to see what unfolded or didn’t unfold.

The Bruins effort was lackluster and uninspired for the rest of the game. Even a second period fight between Boston captain, Zdeno Chara and Penguins’ Mike Rupp didn’t even light a small spark under the team.

They barely put up an offensive fight. There were no more fights or thunderous hits.

Matt Cooke was skating around and probably laughing at the Bruins’ lack of backbone.

No fight physically, or in the hockey sense, was in the Bruins. They looked like a team ready for the golf greens rather than fighting for their playoff lives.

Pittsburgh had their way with the Bruins in a 3-0 shutout victory. A team that got smoked the night before by New Jersey, came into Boston and waxed them on their home ice.

The Boston Bruins have reached the lowest of lows. I thought the loss of Game Seven to Carolina last year was bad. This is much worse.

Granted that game in the playoffs ended the Bruins Stanley Cup crusade way too early, but they put up a damn fight.

This Bruins team didn’t battle and couldn’t even seize this moment of possible greatness for the fourth place sports pony in Beantown.

The character of the Black and Gold was being questioned for 11 days. They were called soft. The Bruins were being touted as team that doesn’t defend its teammates.

Well only Shawn Thornton answered the call, but the Penguins needed to pay dearly.

This effort at home was disgusting, disappointed, and downright pathetic (Boston only has one home win since late January).

How are the Bruins supposed to get up for the playoffs if they cant get up for a payback game versus Pittsburgh?

I feel bad for Marc Savard that he is stuck with a team that doesn’t really care about defending his honor or winning.

The Bruins should refund the season ticket holders and pay damages to the Bruins die hards for this farce of a team.

Congratulations to the Slack and Fold for losing the faith of the fans.