Sunday, May 1, 2011
Bruins get off to a perfect start in Game 1 vs. Flyers
In my Black and Gold tinted world, I honestly can't imagine a much better start to the Eastern Conference semifinals against Philadelphia than the one submitted yesterday by the Boston Bruins.
The Bs embarrassed the Flyers 7-3 at the Wells Fargo Center.
The only real advantage Boston has over Philadelphia is in goaltenders but as my buddy who likes the Flyers said, "goaltending in the playoffs is the great equalizer." His name isn't Nostradamus but damn, that was pretty prophetic.
After their offense was shackled up for most of the quarterfinals vs. Montreal, Boston exploded for seven goals with two in the first period, three in the second period and two in the third period.
Brian Boucher (18 saves, 5 goals allowed) got the start between the pipes for the Flyers but he was pulled in the second period for rookie Sergei Bobrovsky (8 saves, 2 goals allowed). Good luck trying to figure out who starts for Philly in Game 2.
Boston goaltender Tim Thomas (31 saves) gave up three goals and had some sketchy moments as he flopped around but the difference between him and the Flyers goalies was immense. Thomas looks like Dominik Hasek compared to those two graduates of Philly's goaltending clown college.
The Bruins power-play carried over its misery from the first round as it went 0 for 5 yesterday with the Flyers committing numerous dumb penalties. In total, Boston is now 0 for 24 on the power play and getting worse by the game if that's possible.
David Krejci's value was underscored in the playoffs last season when he broke his wrist in Game 3 vs. the Flyers. Not saying it was only because of him but we all remember how the next four games went.
Yesterday, Krejci was all over the ice as he scored two goals and had two assists. Brad Marchand added two goals and an assist, Patrice Bergeron notched three assists while Nathan Horton had a goal and assist while Dennis Seidenberg had two assists.
Claude Giroux was the only Flyer with multiple points as he had two assists.
Krejci (2nd of the playoffs) scored 1:52 into the game as he put a backhander past Boucher. Horton and Seidenberg assisted on that one.
Danny Briere (7th of the playoffs) tied it up at 11:02 as Thomas gave a rebound right to him and Horton failed to cover him properly. Braydon Coburn and Ville Leino assisted.
Horton (4th of the playoffs) gave Boston a late lead, scoring with 36 seconds left in the first period. Krejci and Seidenberg assisted as Horton was able to just flip it by Boucher, who helped out by knocking it into the net with his glove.
Boston came out on fire in the second period, pumping in three goals before Philadelphia could respond.
At 2:34, Mark Recchi (2nd of the playoffs) got his own rebound and squeezed it past Boucher. Bergeron and Marchand had the assists.
Krejci tipped in a shot from the point by Adam McQuaid at 15:26 for a 4-1 Bruins lead. Marchand's (2nd of the playoffs) snipe at 17:14 from in close, signaled the end of the day for Boucher. Bergeron and Andrew Ference assisted.
16 seconds later, James van Riemsdyk (5th of the playoffs) stopped the rally with a goal from Sean O'Donnell and Giroux.
Mike Richards' power-play goal (1st of the playoffs) at 13:02 from Kimmo Timonen and Giroux gave the Flyers a glimmer of hope that maybe they could comeback.
Psyche, not happening with their nightmare of a goaltending situation. Marchand snuck to the post and scored again at 14:59 from Bergeron. Then Gregory Campbell (1st of the season) closed it out with his first of the playoffs at 17:39 after a nice pass from Krejci. Daniel Paille also assisted on Campbell's goal.
No doubt about it, the Flyers will play much better in Game 2 tomorrow night. They can't afford to go back to Boston down 0-2 so they'll throw everything they have at the Bruins. Conversely for the Bruins, there's no way they'll perform as well as they did yesterday but if they can somehow manage another win, they'll be in great shape moving forward.