Well, that was an astoundingly dim way for the Boston Bruins to lose the first game of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final: pile on three goals, including one on the power play (not exactly a common thing for the Bruins to do), then give that lead away to the home team Chicago Blackhawks as the Bruins started to look eerily like the mistake-prone regular season variety again.
Then, follow that game with enough overtime time played to basically equal another game. Take about a million perfectly serviceable scoring chances and flub all of them. Finally, lose the game 4-3 at the stroke of 1 in the morning Eastern or, literally, the stroke of midnight inside the United Center.
Sure, it was only game one, but the fact is that this isn’t the regular season. It’s not okay to just write off a loss, especially one like this, and say “on to the next one” without reflecting on some of the reasons why things went so wrong here. Milan Lucic quite nearly had a hat trick–and, if not for a cruel ping off the post in second overtime, he could very well have gotten it. Patrice Bergeron managed to score on a power play and the team slayed a five-on-three penalty kill that was perhaps undeserved.
But then they started to unravel like a badly-knit sweater, conveniently doing so in the third period. Torey Krug made a humongous mistake that led directly to a Dave Bolland goal and caused 47 to ride the pine for the rest of regulation. The Johnny Oduya goal was so soft, involving so many mistakes on so many Boston levels, that you could actually use it as bedding if you decided to tuck in and go to dreamland before the game’s end. (I wouldn’t blame you.)
This game stretched on and on into overtime, going into the next calendar day on the East Coast, providing Boston with a wealth of beautiful chances: open nets, giant rebounds and so on. Of course, they cashed in on exactly zero of them. Tyler Seguin, slotted up to the top line after Nathan Horton left with an injury, kept on finding ways to disappoint fans by always messing up his great chances. It was agonizing to watch this game go on and on, to watch everyone mess up more and more, all the while remembering that it was 3-1.
So, after that bad-tasting loss, the Bruins will now get some rest and get back at it on Saturday night at 8 p.m. on NBCSN. That will follow the abbreviated presentation of some of the NHL Awards.