Palpatine. Only in this version, the Empire wins.
Walker, public enemy number one in Boston, a player many of whom felt should have been suspended after his actions in Game 5, scored his first ever playoff goal at about the most inopportune time imaginable for Bruins fans. A person in the elevator on my way down to the Canes locker room said, "I don't believe in karma anymore."
Kind of sums up the feelings of every Bruins fan in the arena.
Walker's teammates would have none of that though. In each soundbite, in each interview, every one praised Walker as a great teammate, and everyone was legitimately happy for him. Although his actions made many people lose respect for the former Hartford Whalers, there was not a single dissenting voice in that locker room.
"That was his first playoff goal if I am not mistaken," said Chad LaRose. "Pretty good time to get that."
"I tried to catch him after (he scored the game-winner)," said Ray Whitney. "He was fast and I was damn tired, so I figured I would get him in the locker room."
"You guys will look at that event as who Scott Walker is," said Canes head coach Paul Maurice. "He means so much to our locker room, and he has faced alot of adversity this year. He's just a special person and there is not a single person more loved in that locker room than Scotty Walker."
Whitney had more great things to say about Walker.
"I know he's not well-liked around here," said Whitney. "But he's a good guy, an honest guy, and a great teammate. I feel good for him to get that goal."
It was an extremely loose bunch, happy to put up with the bustle of media people as they packed up to leave the Garden. No music, just laughter. Media swarmed the locker of Matt Cullen, and LaRose joked, "Nice game-winner Cully!" Still this team had nothing but respect for the Bruins.
"They play hard all the time," said LaRose. "For them to come back from 3-1 down, and then to come back from 2-1 down in this game, they really had to battle back. It could have gone either way, but I'm glad it went our way."
The biggest difference between the Bruins and Canes was the fact the Bruins had a 9 day lay-off and had clinched a playoff berth early. Carolina had been in playoff mode since March, and it showed.
"If you go back and look at the number of one goal games that we've been in," said head coach Paul Maurice."If we had one advantage over Boston, we had been in that position since January."
There wasn't much for the Bruins to say. Bruins head coach Claude Julien was understandably not a bag of quotes after the game. He gave a "No Comment" about the Walker situation and basically said he would talk to the team later about the season. As he walked off the podium, he headed out into the hallway, and the 2008-2009 season was over, like a galaxy far, far, away.
Notes: Rod Brind'Amour was struck in the head by a puck in overtime and did not return.
Audio of the Paul Maurice Postgame (Matty asks him if wants him to start a wave at the beginning, and then asks questions 2 and 3).
Paul Maurice Game 7 Postgame
Bruins audio will be up later.