The Bruins got two goals, from Nathan Horton and Johnny Boychuk, but Toronto met them and doubled their output to win 4-2. Among the many issues in the loss, one stood out especially: the team just didn’t seem as sharp. They let the Leafs play their game and couldn’t seem to recognize that fact at the time. For his part, even Milan Lucic took note of it postgame, saying that they can talk all they want to, but they just have to play the way they know they can play. That old chestnut about not bringing the A game was on display again as well.
Today’s practice before the team headed up to Toronto brought another revelation. You know how sometimes you get sick and then start feeling mostly better, but you wouldn’t say you’re back to 100 percent yet? That’s apparently what is going on with Jaromir Jagr right now. Coach said that he’s not all the way back to 100 percent, which could explain why he hasn’t been as dazzling lately as I think people expect. Someone get this guy some Emergen-C packets!
Another thing that has perhaps hindered the great 68, though, is trying to find cohesion with his linemates. A friend of mine likes to imagine what could happen if the two Czech countrymen, Jagr and David Krejci, were somehow placed on a line together. I have to admit, it’s an intriguing thought. Krejci didn’t have a very impressive game last night, which is especially disappointing because he’s known for activating beast mode in the postseason.
There are a few other fellas who could do with a little more production, including the entire second line–they have chances, buckets of them, but haven’t been able to finish yet. Tyler Seguin has especially been trying hard and could very well have another productive game considering game three will be in Toronto.
It should perhaps, sadly, come as no surprise, but Dion Phaneuf won’t have to answer to Brendan Shanahan about his hit on Daniel Paille. Of course, the exact same sort of hit executed by Andrew Ference got him a one-game suspension, but when it’s done to a Bruin, apparently it is okay. Here’s a better look at the hit:
Not only does Phaneuf drive his shoulder into Paille’s face, he then grabs Paille up and gives him a wee shove before heading off down the ice. You can then see Paille trying, unsuccessfully, to get a call out of it while the bridge of his nose bleeds.
On a related note, Ference is back in the lineup and already back in the top six defense lineup, so Dougie Hamilton will most likely be the odd man out again tomorrow.
This is going to be an intense game. I think that’s pretty much the understatement of the century, as young as it is right now, but it is of the utmost importance for this team to tune out the noise around them–which will be cacophonous–and just focus on playing their absolute best. It may also be extra fun for the nine Bruins who hail from the fair province of Ontario.
Previous Boston Bruins Quarterfinal Notes: