So now that Andrew Ference is an Edmonton Oiler, there may be some concern that the Bruins’ defense lost a step now that Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug, and Dougie Hamilton are in as permanent fixtures. Each of those players are, for the most part, untested in the regular season and could be a wildcard with a regular 82-game season on deck. Don’t be fooled by their inexperience, because these three could make the defense more dynamic than ever before.
I’m wrong more often than I’m not. I was wrong about how the Boston Bruins would fare in Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. I was wrong about the way the series against the New York Rangers would play out. I was even wrong about how the Bruins’ defense, with Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference, and Wade Redden out, would be the weakest part of the team’s game.
Now, the Bruins look like a team destined for success, playing some of their best hockey all season by rallying in Game 7 to eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs and making quick work of the New York Rangers in five games. For the second time in three years, the Bruins will make a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, becoming one of the final four teams remaining in a shortened, grueling 2013 NHL season. It’s hard to bet against these Bruins.
The only problem is the team that will be lined-up on the other end of the ice.
A lifeless Bruins team rose from mediocrity to play their hearts out for one another and for themselves. They battled back from a three-goal deficit with 10 minutes to play in the game to force an overtime. The confidence and energy of the players on the ice were as high as any time in the playoffs thus far. The Bruins were winning Game 7. And nobody saw it coming. Not even me.
The Boston Bruins can’t play like they did in Game 5 because if they do, there’s going to be a Game 7 and if there’s a Game 7–well, that’s not good.
The team has this problem with complacency. They start out strong, get ahead of their opponents, and then they stop. Everything stops, actually. They stop skating, stop hitting, and stop any type of effort that helps them to maintain a lead. It has been apparent in games this season and now the Bruins are doing it in the playoffs.
So here we go again.