"If you want to be a hero, well just follow me" - John Lennon
If there's ever a need for help from the black and gold Gods who look down upon us, it's tonight. For the fourth straight year the Bruins are playing in a Game 7 in the NHL playoffs. Their record in those Game 7's? 0-3. A loss to Montreal in round one, and losses to Carolina and Philadelphia in round two. It's frightening, terrifying and awful all rolled into one. If you haven't read my Gridin Gears piece of Game 6's refereeing, go ahead and read it. I won't be commenting on it much here because I don't want to sound redundant. I also don't want to rile myself up any further than I already was.
This game means so much in the world of hockey it's amazing. The Bruins and the Canadiens are Original 6 franchises who have played each other 32 times in the playoffs. The Canadiens lead the all-time playoff series 24-8, but are just 1-1 against the Bruins in the past four years, which includes a Bruins sweep. Tonight, though, has nothing to do with the past. It has nothing to do with the Bruins 2-4 record against the Canadiens this season. It has nothing to do with Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4, Game 5 or Game 6. It has nothing to do with the abortion known as the officiating last night.
Tonight has to do with two teams looking to extend their season. Both teams have extremely passionate fanbases that will be disappointed in a loss. Fanbases that has been at each others throats all season. Fanbases that have pulled radio media to turn on each other, for TV analysts to show their true colors and for a hockey game to become more than just a game, but a way of life. People in Montreal bleed the blu, blanc and rouge because of history and pride. They have their car flags, their Ole chant and they cheer when a red sweater falls (and boo when there's no call). People in Boston bleed black and yellow. They're drunks. They believe in aggressive, hard woking, blue collar type of hockey. Although these fanbases are completely different, they have one thing in common: Passion.
So tonight is anyone's game. If the Canadiens can continue their fast skating, diving style of hockey, they'll win. If they can coax officials into ghost penalties and stay on the power play, they'll win. If the Bruins can stay 5-on-5 and out hit the Canadiens, they'll win.
We're down to a one game elimination. The time to hold back is over. If Claude Julien wants to win this game and continue to keep his job, he'll need to coach with desperation. If Tomas Kaberle wants to remain a Boston Bruin, he'll need to play with desperation. If the Boston Bruins want to play in May, they'll need to play with a level of desperation we haven't witnessed since Game 3 of this series in Montreal. The Bruins have been the better team since Game 3 and are 3-1 because of it. Lets not forget, the only reason the Habs scored last night was because they were 5-on-3, twice. Without those power plays, it's a different story.
Boston won a lot of the one on one battles last night. but they couldn't finish. They had the chances but, again, they couldn't finish. They are also dreadful on the PP (0-4 last night, 0-19 on the series) and it's been their downfall, especially if they lose by a goal or two tonight.
I'm not going to do the usual stuff. I can't. Bruins need to focus on the task at hand and win this fucking game or heads are going to roll.