Thursday, May 07, 2009

Where are the Bruins?

As I watched Carolina celebrate their Game 3 victory last night and take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, I couldn't help but wonder what exactly is wrong with the Boston Bruins. I have some theories.

Have the players been kidnapped and replaced with pod people?

Tim Thomas, although he has played well, has given up a lot more rebound opportunities in the last two games, and the Hurricanes have had no problem putting those rebounds into the back of the net. The defense is not clearing the zone and is turning the puck over in their own end, hearkening back to the Hal Gill days. My only explanation is that the real Tim Thomas and Bruins defense is hidden somewhere, but the real question is if Jeremy Jacobs would pony up for the ransom.

Were the Habs so bad that fans and media got there hopes up for no reason?

Let's face it, although it was a lot of fun for the Bruins and their fans to beat up on the Yankees of Canada, the Montreal Canadiens were an absolutely brutal hockey team for the better part of the year. They really got outclassed, outplayed, and out-hit at every turn, and it got so bad at one point the Habs fans turned on their own goalie. Were expectations too high going into round 2 because of this and the fact that the Bruins had owned the Canes during the regular season blurred expectations?

The Bruins are just missing scoring chances.

The Bruins very easily could have beaten Carolina 9-1 in Game one, but consistently missed opportunities in front of the net. Those opportunities have been there, just like last night when Aaron Ward could not poke home a rebound opportunity over Cam Ward's pad last night when the Bruins had a 1-0 lead. They are getting the opportunities, and are just missing centering passes, watching the puck bounce off of their stick, and watching sticks break. They are just missing right now, and if they were able to actually put their foot on the throat of the Hurricanes, this series would be much different.

Carolina's Game 2 win changed the complexion of that team.

I have been in locker rooms after wins and losses, but the Carolina locker room after Game 2 was a completely different atmosphere. Everyone was obviously pretty happy, but there was a sense of relief, a looseness, and listening to Cam Ward, Chad LaRose, and Eric Staal talk to the media there confidence had been renewed.Paul Maurice was even cracking jokes in the press conference, although everyone seemed to be afraid to laugh at them. If this team had gone back to Carolina down 2-0, I don;t think you would have seen a Carolina win in Game 3, but now they are starting to believe in themselves, similar to their series with the Devils.

This much is for certain, if Claude Julien doesn't push the right button soon, another promising Bruins season is going to be lost alot earlier than it should be. So someone find the Bruins we have watched all year, please?



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