With all that's being said and written about the playoffs it is difficult to have something to say that hasn't already been beaten to death. But here goes.
Tyler Seguin: I think sitting upstairs watching the games helped him in two ways. Obviously as a competitor it brought out the desire to make a difference. But less obviously I think he saw what many of us watching have seen: the Bruins have been a little too tentative, a little too slow to enter the zone and too unwilling to carry the puck to the front of the net. Tyler's game was speedy, straight-up north and south, and it reaped him big rewards. This was never so obvious as when one of the Bruins (I didn't catch who) approached the offensive blue line. As he did he slowed and looked around. The puck was poked away and it fell on Seguin's stick. The moment the puck touched his stick Seguin rocketed into the zone at full speed, forcing the Bolts defense to backpedal or get bypassed. We also saw this same straight ahead style of play from Lucic, who was a monster out there. It didn't always work. Sometime he turned the puck over at the blue line, but the Bolts defense had to respect his speed and strength and started backing off. After that it really paid dividends.
Tim Thomas: I think people are being a bit harsh in describing some of the goals as "soft." But if you are the best goaltender in the game you are going to be held to a higher standard. Yes, he got beat by a great shot. But it is easy for Bruins fans to forget, because our goaltending has been so good for so long, but a player with a great shot is going to be even the best goaltender cleanly once in a while. And that five-hole goal: I think it hit a stick and dipped. Versus needs to buy their guys in the booth bigger HD monitors. There were several times last night that they didn't seem to be watching the same replays I was watching. At one point Olczyk claimed the puck had gone over the goal line when the overhead shot had clearly shown that it hadn't gotten anywhere close to being completely over it. I doubt that he doesn't know that the puck has to be completely over the line so I have to assume he didn't have a good view of the replay. And all the while this was going on, I had seen the puck go off Tim Thomas' face with his mask off and it took them several minutes to realize it!
And what a great story that's going to make for the grandkids. (Old codger's voice) "It was the conference finals and we were playin' the old Litnin' team. There was a wild scramble in front of the net. I'm sprawled on the ice with a defenseman on top of me and I see the puck first hit one post, travel down the goal line, and then hit the other. I'm scrambling to get up and my mask comes off. The next thing I know a high shot comes from beside the goal and hits me just over the eye! Just like the olden days before goalies had masks. You didn't know that did ya? Yep, they once played without any face protection at all! And kids, wouldn't ya know it bounced off my forehead and into the net! I shook it off and put my mask back on and we finished the game. We went on ta win that series and the Stanley Cup."
Tomas Kaberle: Keven Paul Dupont recently called Kaberle a "joke" after his mistake behind the net that lead to a goal on game one. He also stopped just short of calling Chiarelli an idiot for trading for him. But as usual, KPD is more about being obnoxious than writing something worthwhile. Sure, his article likely struck a chord with the fans who were angry about the loss and Kaberle made a great scapegoat. But how cheap is it that? Any blogger could have done that.
The truth is that after a terrible start against Montreal, Kaberle has actually played pretty well. Yes, he didn't have his strongest game in game one against the Bolts. But anyone can make a mistake. How many times has KPD been wrong about the Bruins, for instance? More than I can count... Should he be roasted for it? I wonder sometimes if this guy has even laced up a pair of skates? I see little evidence of it in his commentary. Anyhow, Kaberle said he could play better and last night he did. He brought something the Bruins lack: a bit of cleverness and trickery. Credit where credit is due: there were many times Kaberle was the key to the Bruins gaining entry to the zone and without that you can't score.
Shame on Versus: I've said it here before. Shame on any network for telling us about how the crowd was pumped up by the national anthem rather than showing us. The anthem is part of the game. Show it dammit!
Shame on the Officiating: is it just me or has the officiating been terrible this playoffs? Inconsistent calls. Refs out of position and missing obvious penalties. Head scratchers where you watch the replay again and again and wonder what the ref could possibly have seen. For once the calls seemed to go the Bruins way last night, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating.
Marc Savard: it was so great to see him in the building!