Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Eastern Conference Quarterfinal - Game Seven

You will never succeed unless you risk failure. If you are not afraid to fail, then you have a great chance to succeed. However, you are never going to get there unless you risk everything along the way.

After a clean slate in the series and a quick prayer prior to the opening face-off, the Bruins and Capitals were ready for game seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The sound of the national anthem probes the jitters and a lot of mind racing. The thoughts going through the minds of the players before a game seven must be excruciating. Just play hockey boys.

Wednesday night was the night that one of these two great teams was going home. For the second consecutive game, Shawn Thornton was scratched from the lineup in favor of Jordan Caron. Joe Corvo was not in the lineup as well with a lower-body injury. Hometown veteran Mike Mottau suited up for the Black and Gold in his place.

Stephen Walkom was one of the officials in this game. Why mention something like that? He was one of the officials in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals between the B's and the Tampa Bay Lightning - a penalty-free game. He was also an official for game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals last season. He liked the whistle a little more in this game as four penalties were called but all resulted in unsuccessful power plays.

The Bruins fell behind early in this game once again. Matt Hendricks deflected a shot by John Carlson past Tim Thomas for the only goal of the period. The Bruins were playing dump and chase most of the period, but it seemed that Washington was the more physical team whenever the Bruins possessed the zone. Boston made things difficult for themselves by playing too conservative at times.

The chippy play picked up in the second period. No surprise there. The story in this period, however, was the Bruins' inability to clear the puck out of their defensive zone. This was scary to watch as Thomas literally had to pull his defensemen back from jumping off the ledge. With that being said, Tyler Seguin tied the game at one after putting in the rebound off of a shot by Johnny Boychuk. 

After a scoreless third period, both teams cleaned up their sloppy play and headed for sudden death. Just 2:57 into overtime, fourth liner Joel Ward ended the game with a backhand shot. The Bruins' season ends as the Caps beat the B's in game seven by a score of 2-1. 

Gold Star: Dennis Seidenberg...He poured his heart out in this series. He played like a number one defenseman. Great effort throughout.

Black Star: Rich Peverley...What in the world was he doing at the face-off dot? Taking the place of Patrice Bergeron at the dot is tough to do though, but a lack-luster performance in game seven.

The 2011-12 Boston Bruins season has concluded. I will be posting material consistently throughout the summer via Inside Hockey and occasionally through this blog. Enjoy the offseason. It should be an interesting one.

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