As tempted as I am to blame that dipshit Tim Peel’s inconsistent idiocy for the Bruins crushing 4-3 OT loss to Ottawa last night, the bottom line is the Bs have nobody to blame but themselves for being in a 2-1 series hole. In their first home playoff game in three years, the Black and Gold inexplicably came out flatter than plywood and found themselves down 3-0 less than 24 minutes into the game. They tallied a fucking measly three (3!) shots on net in the first period and just 20 in the game. Perhaps if their effort was commensurate with the game’s importance, the three goals they scored would’ve been enough for a win.
The roughing penalty called on Riley Nash in overtime was a horseshit call to make. The refs had already ignored a blatant Ottawa cross-check and interference/holding in their own zone. But they whistled Nash for what was more a gloved push to the face than a punch that Bobby Ryan went down quicker than Rollergirl for. What made it infuriating was the blatant head-shot Ryan delivered to Nash right before Nash’s retaliation. That wasn’t called. So rather than coincidentals for the third time in the game, the Sens got a cheap OT PP that gave them the GWG.
Having said all that, Nash needs to not put himself in that position even if he did just get elbowed in the melon. Or rather, not put a shithead referee in the position where he has the option to call a weak-ass penalty to decide a huge game should he be so inclined. It was a classic “original, much worse infraction doesn’t get called but chintzy ‘payback’ does” situation. You know it’s bad when Regis Maguire is making sense.
To his credit, Nash faced the music after the game and the poor sumbitch was basically in tears during the scrum, crestfallen that his “selfish” penalty cost his team dearly. What made it even worse was that Nash was one of the team’s best forwards all night; he had third most ice time among forwards (2:27 on the PK) to go with his second assist of the series. But his one second reaction made it all for naught because peckerhead Peel and Eric Furlatt both somehow missed what provoked the retaliation despite the puck being right by the players.
On the winning goal, Erik Karlsson made one of his patented blue line-to-blue line dishes to Bobby Ryan who dropped the puck back to Kyle Turris and made a beeline to the net for a give-and-go. Bs defenseman Tommy Cross, playing in his first NHL playoff game after being summoned from Providence to shore up the decimated D, turned to watch the puck rather than stick with Ryan which allowed the Senator to get behind him to tip the PPOTGWG past a helpless Tuukka Rask and stun the 17,565 on hand.
What made the loss a particular kick in the balls was the furious second period comeback that the Bruins mounted to erase Ottawa’s 3-0 lead and seemingly put themselves in position to take a series lead. Noel Acciari, David Backes, and David Pastrnak each scored their first of the playoffs as the Bs managed three goals on their first nine shots to erase the deficit in a 7:46 span of the second (they were the first career playoff markers for Acciari and Pasta and 13th for Backes). But they wouldn’t be able to solve Craig Anderson again for the rest of the night, with his best save coming on a David Krejci shot off a Backes feed.
So now the Bs essentially have a must-win tomorrow night at home. Win and it’s a best of three; lose and they’ll have to win three straight to advance. Huge game.
A few more buds for your Tuesday bowl…
*Krejci returned to the line-up for his first game of the series. He played 14:38 with one shot on goal.
*The Bs got dummied at the dot, losing 55% of the game’s face-offs. Patrice Bergeron, who has 1-1–2 totals in three games and played the most of any forward with 22 minutes last night, had an uncharacteristically losing night taking draws. He went just 13 for 29 for a 45% clip.
*Matt Beleskey was scratched along with Sean Kuraly, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Malcolm Subban, and emergency call-up Matt Grzelcyk. Beleskey has really struggled to get anything going and he’s been a pretty big disappointment as a Bruin. Granted, injuries have been a huge factor. But right now, he looks like a guy who has zero confidence. The Bs signed him, in part, because of how he raised his game for Anaheim in the post-season yet they’ve seen nothing resembling that in Black and Gold. Still, it only takes one big goal to J.D. Drew a season and Beleskey can still do that.
*Brad Marchand didn’t exactly make his presence felt last night, notching just one shot on goal in 21:22 of ice time. Simply, he needs to be better if the Bs are going to win this series.
*Former Bruin Chris Kelly was a healthy scratch for the Sens. Despite playing in all 82 regular season games, he has yet to dress for a playoff game.
*Hey Bs, get a stick in Bobby Ryan’s side. Let him know you’re there
*Looks like Anders Bjork isn’t in any hurry to sign with the Bs…
*Load up on your hockey t-shirts:
*Finally, if you missed Mike Commodore on Spittin’ Chiclets last week, you can listen to it here.