The Boston Bruins just took the first two games of the series against the hockey gods known as the Pittsburgh Penguins? And they did it in Pittsburgh? And they’ve outscored the Penguins 9-1 in the series? Eventually we’re all going to wake up, right?
At least that’s how we’re supposed to react.
And yet, here we are. The Bruins went into a raucous Consol Energy Center and absolutely rocked the Penguins for two straight games. Here are a few observations from Boston hijacking all the momentum in a series they aren’t supposed to win.
Game 2 hardly started the way anyone anticipated.
I said it as much earlier today; it was just assumed the Penguins, fresh off being shut out for the first time in over a year, would come out and show us who they really were. If that was the real Pittsburgh, this series is going to be over quicker than you know it. It took all of 28 seconds for the Bruins to put one in the net, as Brad Marchand stole a sloppy Sidney Crosby turnover and scored on a breakaway. Any enthusiasm in the arena was quickly turned to shock.
In the final six minutes of the first, Boston absolutely blitzed Pittsburgh. Nathan Horton, David Krejci — of course — and Marchand all tallied goals, and before you knew it the Penguins were down 4-1. It was crucial for Pittsburgh to win Game 2, preventing Boston from coming home with all available momentum. But alas, they got absolutely shellacked instead.
Raise your hand if you saw this coming.
Bruins react to Pittsburgh’s first goal of the series by scoring three unanswered.
Pittsburgh is too talented to be shut out over and over. Bruins’ goalie Tuukka Rask even said himself he knew they were going to score goals. So when Brandon Sutter scored late in the first, it was time to see what this meant for the Bruins. His goal cut it to 3-1, and both the Penguins and arena exploded. Was this the beginning of an offensive outburst?
Just 25 seconds later, Marchand put home his second goal of the night, unplugging the building while he was at it. It can’t be stated enough how important this was for Boston. The Bruins couldn’t afford to let the first enemy goal deflate them. When the final score is 6-1 Boston, its safe to say that was avoided.
Where Game 1 featured dirty goals, the Bruins put on an offensive clinic in Game 2.
It was the complete opposite of Game 1. Breakaways, odd man rushes, picture perfect passing. Believe it or not, I’m talking about the Bruins. Isn’t Pittsburgh the offensive juggernaut?
The Penguins were supposed to come at the Bruins from every angle. If somebody told you a game in this series would be won 6-1, your first thought would undoubtedly be “well, Rask must’ve had a rough night.” Instead, it’s Boston who has this series by the throat. And it’s Pittsburgh who can’t seem to find a way to score.
Speaking of which…
As the Penguins unravel in net, Rask continues to shine.
It was a tale of two goalies in Game 2 … actually, scratch that. There were three.
Though you really couldn’t blame any of Saturday’s goals on backup Tomas Vokoun, in the playoffs it never takes long for a goalie controversy to stir up. Sure enough, with the Bruins up 3-1, Vokoun was forced to take the skate of shame as he was subbed out for Marc-Andre Fleury. It made little difference, as he let by three goals of his own.
While Pittsburgh’s net suddenly looks like a field goal upright, Boston’s continues to be on lock down thanks to Rask. Once again, the man facing the most pressure for Boston played with ice water in his veins. The Penguins continued to pressure throughout the game and, except for Sutter’s goal, the results were the same.
Rask’s play is frustrating Pittsburgh beyond belief. Often times you can see Penguins, Crosby specifically, with looks on their faces that scream, “how dare you save that shot.” This is a team who’s supposed to be scoring at will. For the second night in a row, Rask stonewalled a powerhouse.
The Bruins now have their foot on the Penguins’ throat. If Game 3 is a continuation of the trend, the hockey world needs to prep for the shock of its life.