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I am sitting here reflecting on what happened last night with the Bruins and Maple Leafs. I still can't believe what we saw. Going along with my last post, the Bruins never like to make it easy on themselves. Boston teams in general always have to make their fans feel terrible before they give the greatest comeback people have seen. First off, the Bruins should have not let this series go to game 7. They should have not let up on the gas after the first goal, which they did. The Bruins gave the Maple Leafs the chance to take a big lead and that should not have happened. With all that said, the 3rd period might have been the greatest 3rd period I have ever seen in my life. On top of that, this all happened to Toronto, just another thing to add to the list of Tuukka Rask and the Phil Kessel trade.
Halfway through the third period, a majority of Boston fans, including myself, were talking about who needs to be fired and what changes need to be for this team. Twitter was blowing up with people just as disgusted, not only were coaches and the GMs being fired on twitter, players were being traded. I was right there with them. I was sitting next to my friend talking about what the Bruins do and how quickly they need to make a change. When Horton scored it was a so what moment and the talks continued. This all changed when Milan Lucic scored with 1:22 left and the goalie pulled. Once Lucic got the goal, mixed with our success of 6 on 5 hockey in game 6 and the goal in game 7, I had a feeling something might happen. There was plenty of time, Toronto was tired and we had all the momentum. When Bergeron scored the tying goal, anyone who was sleeping in the New England area was woken up by a crazy screaming fan somewhere. I was in so much disbelief what happened and couldn't believe how the team fought back after looking so bad. They definitely lived up to their Jekyll and Hyde title that coach Claude Julien gave them.
With a missed chance to win the game with seconds left, the Bruins found themselves in another game 7 overtime. I love the Bruins experience in that situation, I absolutely hate being a fan in that situation. But leave it to Patrice Bergeron, he is the one player who always shows up big in game 7s and is the true Bruins captain in my opinion. For the team to be able to come back and win that game, it is going to be huge for their confidence moving into the next round against a good New York Rangers team.
Nobody should overlook Patrice Bergeron in this game, because he played well and came up with 2 of the biggest goals in Boston Bruins history. But looking at the whole game, Milan Lucic was a difference maker. Lucic looked like the player that we all hoped he would be in the playoffs. He was hitting everything which led to good offensive opportunities. I absolutely loved when he challenged Dion Phaneuf behind the net, regardless if he would have had a scoring chance and he got a penalty. Typical Phaneuf would not do anything and took a punch to the face and skated away like a coward. Phaneuf has been running around taking shots at people all series and he runs away when Lucic challenges him. I know Lucic took a penalty, but that kind of intensity is what we need to see out of him. Not only was he a physical presence, but he set up the Horton goal and went over to the bench and told them, "that's one guys" and encouraged the team to keep fighting. When Milan Lucic scored to make it 4-3 and you could see him check the clock and tell the guys to keep going and keep the pressure, the team knew to jump on his back, and they did.
It is about time Milan Lucic had his coming out party in the playoffs. Bruins fans have been waiting too long for this. He is about to be the highest paid forward on the team and now has been in the league for 6 years. It is time to be the 6 million dollar power forward, and boy did he pick a good time put the team on his shoulders. I am still in awe of what happened, but Bruins fans need to realize that this was only the first round, and the New York Rangers will be a tougher test than the Maple Leafs. If we played like we did for the majority of this series against Toronto, we will not stand a chance. But if we ride this momentum and play like the team that showed up for the last 5 minutes of the 3rd period last night, we can make a deep run. This is still the beginning of what Jaromir Jagr called a marathon. We have seen suspensions, upsets, and one of the greatest comebacks in NHL history. People who are not paying attention to the NHL playoffs yet, need to rethink what they are doing.