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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Goodnight Red Wings, Bring On The Canadiens!

So it turns out that we all overestimated the Red Wings. Boston only needed five games in the first round to get rid of them. The B's knocked out the Red Wings 4-2 this afternoon at TD Garden to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals vs. Montreal. Even when they cut it to 3-2 late in the third period, you never really felt like Detroit posed that much of a threat to rally either in this particular game or in the series as a whole.

Tuukka Rask (31 saves) had another excellent start, he was one of the main reasons that Boston won so handily (outscoring Detroit 14-6 in the series). Jimmy Howard tapped out in Game 4 with the flu and was never heard from again. Don't blame Jonas Gustavsson though who only allowed three goals in each of his outings and received four goals of support from his overrated, mostly too young or too old teammates.

Boston made sure to never really let Detroit possess much hope in Game 5. Loui Eriksson scored on a backhander during a power play at 3:27 of the first period. His first goal of the postseason (and first since May 2008 with Dallas) was assisted by Dougie Hamilton and Rask.

One of the only Red Wings forwards to show up in the series-Pavel Datsyuk-tied it at 14:41 in the second period on a rebound also during a power play (only their second power play goal of the series). 5:15 after that, Zdeno Chara did what winning captains do as he scored a backbreaking power play goal with 3.8 seconds left in the frame. Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug assisted on Chara's second goal of the postseason.

Milan Lucic scored a goal for the second straight game, putting Boston up 3-1 at 4:27 of the third period. His third goal of the postseason was assisted by Krug who did most of the work by intercepting the puck on a lazy clear by Johan Franzen and passing to Looch who was wide open in front of Gustavsson (29 saves).

Henrik Zetterberg had the honor of scoring Detroit's final goal of 2013-14. It was another rebound after Rask had made an unbelievable save. I suppose that made for a few tense minutes at the Garden but Jarome Iginla kicked off the mild celebrations with an empty netter. All that was left was one of the best traditions in pro sports: the handshake lines after playoff hockey series have ended.

The series with the Canadiens won't start for a while, probably Friday or Saturday at TD Garden due to both teams getting out of the first round so early and Northeastern having graduation there on Thursday. We feared Detroit since they owned Boston in the regular season; Montreal was the only other team to dominate the B's consistently and their recent playoff history with Boston shows that they'll probably be in for another long and frustrating series. Let's get our rest before we lose our minds cheering against those extremely hateable losers.

UPDATE 4/28: Chara is a finalist for the Norris Trophy along with Nashville's Shea Weber and Chicago's Duncan Keith. It is the sixth time that Z has been nominated and he won it in 2009. When is the last time the Bruins had three players nominated for major awards in the same season?

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