"Nathan Horton scores! The Bruins lead the series for the first time!"
The best sound you've heard in months.
There are few things better than seeing the joyous burst of emotion following an overtime goal, especially when your team scores it. Grown men suddenly turned into giggling boys. The team pig pile in the corner. The playful face washes. Joy and happiness in its purest form.
What made the victory even sweeter was how cowardly the Habs were. Subban ran his mouth again and refused to drop the gloves and answer for it. He ran, in typical Subban and Habs fashion. Hamrlik ran from Thornton but then acted tough against Marchand. Plekance attacked Marchand while refs held Brad. Montreal dove left and right trying to buy calls. And nothing worked.
Thomas saved more then Jesus. Ryder even made a save. The Bruins did what needed to be done and they are one victory away from moving on.
The Bruins haven't even played their best yet and they are up 3-2. They get better every game. They look hungrier. There's more grit in their game. They're suddenly playing like a team that knows nothing worth having comes easy.
After the jump.... our thoughts on the game......
Faith was hard to find after the first two games of this series. The Bruins play was very reminiscent of the type of play that got them eliminated in back to back Game 7's. Bruins fans everywhere, from your casual fans to your most dedicated, tried to stay positive but it was tough. Boston was getting outclassed in every facet of the game.
Anyone you talked to would just say "if only the Bruins would start playing their game.... they could still take this series." It started in Game 3. Boston was insane for the first 40 minutes. They played Bruins hockey. Tim Thomas atoned for mistakes and locked down the net in the third. Boston held on. But they weren't done learning. Series was still 2-1.
In Game 4 Montreal came out on fire. The Bruins had no answer for them. They looked lost. Frustrated. When they went down 3-1 a lot of TV's in Boston got turned off, or the casual fans flipped back to the Red Sox. As Bruins fans, we hate to see them lose but especially to the Canadiens, especially is such dominating fashion.
But then those of you who believed watched with us as the Bruins came back. When the scoredboard changed to 3-3 you did Rene style fistpumps. You screamed at the TV when the refs called a weak ass penalty on Bergeron and that terrible diving, cowardly, cheap shot artist Subban scored the goal ahead goal. 4-3. You wanted to punch a baby but there were none handy. So you just endlessly cursed at the TV.
Then... when Chris Kelly banged home that rebound late in the third, paying the price to pick up the garbage in front of Price, you jumped off your couch, hugged and high fived everyone in the room with you for ten minutes and just watched. And hoped.
Overtime started awful. Montreal was everywhere. They wanted to end the Bruins hope quickly. But Thomas was there. He made mistakes in that game but he was there when the game was absolutely on the line. Then the Bruins went down to the Montreal end. Kelly, Ryder, Peverley. Ryder had been terrible all series until he scored Boston's first goal of the game. Did he have more magic in store?
We all watched as the puck bounced to Ryder in the overtime. We were all out of our seats, holding our breath, stomach in knots as time slowed down. Ryder was wide open... the net was wide open... the puck came to his stick. He fired. Goal. You could hear Boston collectively celebrate together. All of us united in pure joy. Your productivity in class or worked sucked the next day and you didn't care. The Bruins were coming home tied 2-2 despite how bleak things looked when they left. All you could talk about was Saturday. Game 5. A chance to take hold of the series, to demoralize Montreal.
In Game 5 the Bruins made a collective decision to pay the price. Ryder stopped a goal. The Bruins jumped in front of pucks left and right.
It was an instant classic. The type of game that years later people will ask you if you saw.
We obviously hate the Habs but you have to give Price credit. As good as Thomas was, Price was there to answer for the Canadiens. It was one of the best goalie showdowns we've ever had the pleasure of seeing. And this will probably be the last good thing we ever say about Carey Price.
This game had you pumped up from the second the first dropped the puck. Both teams were on their games. The Bruins had their strongest start of the series. Immediately you were engaged. End to end action. Great saves being handed out like candy. You had pizza in front of you and you couldn't eat it. You were too busy yelling at the TV, going back and forth between joy and rage. That is what the playoffs do to you.
Then the text messages flowed in from friends and family. Pacioretty was talking smack on Twitter. Making fun of Marchand. If you had any lingering sympathy for him it was instantly gone.
Apparently, Marchand was listening....
There it was. The all important first goal. The Bruins were flying and they finally got rewarded. Bergeron and Marchand have been the Bruins best players, hands down. When Marchand was being a beast before he scored that goal, you just looked at your friends watching with you and nodded. You almost knew Marchand was going to score.
Then you watched the amazing action continue to unfold all while BEGGING for an insurance goal. The way Thomas and Price were playing, you knew goals weren't going to come easy. This was going to be a vicious fight until the last whistle and you just strapped yourself in for the ride.
In the third when Halpern scored your heart sank. You felt like you just got punched in the stomach. No, your faith and confidence in the Bruins wasn't gone. But every playoff goal against your team hurts but they hurt even worse in a tight game like this. For a couple minutes you were probably silent. But the Bruins continued to press. There were scary moments for each team and then the scary/exciting realization set it... we're going to overtime. Again.
The first overtime felt like the first period of a series. Both teams were feeling the other out, waiting for the other to make mistakes. It was an on ice chess match but neither team was able to end it. Second overtime.
When Moen and Gionta skated down on that 2 on 1 you probably crapped yourself. When Moen fed Gionta you cursed the hockey gods and waited to throw something at the TV. But there was Thomas. Doing what he does best, coming through once again when Boston needed him the most. As much as you love Thomas and believe in him, you sat there for a few seconds in disbelief. The red light was not on. The Bruins were alive to continue fighting. This game was not over.
Every shot, every save made your heart skip a beat. You kept one of these handy.
And then it happened. Just like Game 4. The Bruins were pressing. You saw Horton going to the front of the net. The shot. The rebound. Horton there, the game on his stick. Again, your ass slowly left your seat before Horton even shot. Was this it?
Half a second later Horton's arms, and your arms, were in the air! There were no words coming out of your mouth. Just sounds. You couldn't wait for the replay. You NEEDED to see that again. Four plus periods of hockey. Hours of living and dying with every shot, every bounce, every hit, every save. And the Bruins had won. They won. Now it was three games to two. Two chances remaining to close out the series. Now it is time to see how the Bruins play when their backs are not against the wall, how they play when they are in control. The redemption story continues to write itself and this chapter isn't even over.
We're sorry if you came here today expecting a lot of funny, but poorly done, photoshops or more Habs jokes. There will be time for that between now and Tuesday. For now we're just too happy. We're still high fiving anyone with a Bruins shirt. We're still playing the clips of that huge Thomas save and that Horton goal over and over and over.
We're still getting goosebumps when we hear Jack lose it after Horton scores.
We're not cocky. We know the Bruins aren't guaranteed anything. The Bruins won three games in a row. Montreal could easily win the next two. That is just how the playoffs go. Now the Canadiens backs are against the wall and nothing fights harder than a wounded animal. Ask the Bruins. But for now, we're going to enjoy this feeling. We're going to live off the high of back to back overtime wins until puck drop on Tuesday.
We're going to get high off the knowledge that it looks like the Bruins finally get it. You can't take one minute off in the playoffs. No matter how good you are, all it takes is one little mistake and you're going home. But we're not going to think about that either. The only image in our heads is this:
The Bruins are one win away from the second round. Making it to the second round isn't the goal. It is just another step on their road to redemption. But they're hungry. Thomas realizes he hasn't been at his best and he's again showing why he is going to win his second Vezina. Bergeron is carrying the team on his back. They're starting to pay the price with every shift. That is all we can ask of them. Get ready for Tuesday boys and girls because it is going to be crazy.