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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why Did the Bruins Even Bother Showing Up for Game 6 in Montreal?

What's that, you thought that the Bruins would make life easier for themselves and eliminate the Canadiens in six games? Oh, well you must be new around here. One of the things you can count on in the last decade is for Boston-Montreal series to go the distance no matter what. After the Canadiens rolled 4-0 over the Bruins tonight in a Game 6 win at Bell Centre that felt more like 10-0, the teams will play a deciding Game 7 on Wednesday (7, NBCSN) at TD Garden. It's the fourth time since 2004 that they've gone seven games against each other.

This never seemed in doubt either as Montreal scored 2:11 into regulation (Lars Eller after a brutal turnover by Kevan Miller in his own end) then added a Max Pacioretty breakaway goal in the second period at 15:24 followed shortly after by Thomas Vanek's power play goal at 17:39. Boston was back to its pop gun ways: Loui Eriksson hit another crossbar, Milan Lucic missed a stunningly easy shot with Carey Price (26 saves; 4th career postseason shutout) out of position and there was even a shot that bounced off Carey and behind him but spun back away from the goal line so it wasn't a goal. I've never seen something like that happen before in my life.

As always with losses by Boston teams, fans were quick to blame someone rather than crediting an opposing team that simply kicked their ass all night. Tuukka Rask (24 saves) actually kept the B's in it for a while including an incredible save with his stick laid on the ice. It's tough to bash him for Eller's goal since it happened in a split second right in front of him. For Pacioretty's, Rask seemed to get caught trying to decide between coming out more to poke it or not with Zdeno Chara skating with Pacioretty. Unfortunately, the B's captain lost the race which was a fitting metaphor for their poopy Game 6 performance.

Vanek's second goal was a de facto empty netter since Rask was still coming off for an extra attacker when the puck went in. After putting together their best win of the series and maybe postseasonin Game 5, it was surprising that the B's laid suck a huge egg in their worst game of the postseason. With any luck, they've already forgotten about this debacle as they try to focus on Game 7. The Bruins earned the President's Trophy which means that the most important game of their season comes on their home ice. Boston has to be happy just to be out of Montreal where they went 1-2 and were outscored 8-3 in this series.

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