Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Eastern Conference Semifinals (Game Seven) - This Is It

Without a doubt, the two greatest words in all of professional sports are "game seven."

In this case, we fully expected the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens to jostle for position all the way to the end of this series. The 34th playoff installment of this rivalry was going to culminate on Wednesday night, and the winner would earn the right to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. 

There was no safety net for either team on this night. One of these teams was moving on and the other would be heading home for the summer. Everything was going to be left out on the ice. Also, it is worth noting that this was the ninth game-seven meeting between these two teams, a record for all sports. 

For all of the jawing, physical play, media bashing, and outright hatred for one another, the Bruins and Habs would play 60 more minutes for least for this season.

Both teams sent out the same lineups, including the goaltenders. This was not a shocker at all, but it is still worth noting. 

In the first period, the Canadiens seized momentum by recording an early goal. The Bruins could never really get on a roll due to the numerous icings that occurred at both ends, but they posted a couple of shots near the end of the period just to keep Carey Price honest. 

The ice was absolutely horrendous throughout the game, but it was especially evident in the second period. The bouncing puck could not settle down for the Bruins, even in the defensive zone. Sure enough, the Habs still cashed in on their chances as they increased their lead. Max Pacioretty is starting to find the hot stick right now, scoring his second goal in two games. The B's FINALLY broke through on the power play as Jarome Iginla tipped the puck past Price to get his team on the board. 

The Bruins held a 22-14 shot advantage heading into the third period. At the end of the day, shots mean nothing if you cannot score. The Habs had no problem doing that in this series, and it was no different in the final 20 minutes. They added a late power-play goal to end the game and the series. 

Congratulations to the Canadiens; they are now in the Eastern Conference Finals. As for the Bruins, the season is over. We will see the Black and Gold next year. In the meantime, this is going to be a long offseason. 

Gold Star: David Krejci...He saved his best game of the series for this one, but nothing came from this. 

Black Star: Matt Bartkowski...Yikes....Good riddance.

Game seven box score.....

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