By Mike Miccoli, Boston Bruins correspondent
The Bruins won’t be remembered for upsetting the Sabres in the first round nor for their inspired play through the first three games against the Flyers. Instead, until Boston wins a Stanley Cup or another team pulls off this horrible feat, the Bruins will be associated with being the latest NHL team to choke (epically) in the playoffs. This is what we get to hear about all throughout the offseason and whenever the Bruins next hold a comfortable lead in a playoffs series. Being up three games? That’s just not enough anymore.
The Winter Classic is slowly becoming the Super Bowl of the NHL. Problem is, there are no trophies awarded and everyone knows who’s playing more than two weeks prior. But the hype is there, most importantly. We’ll see the same amount of commercials (so it seems) for the same repeated products or the spots for the same TV shows that the network is trying to push, but moreover, the same excitement, especially since hockey is making its mark yet again in America.
Living in Boston, it’s nice to see everyone wearing their Bruins gear and throwback Classic jerseys. This game, as important as it is to the NHL, is also pretty important to the B’s. What a lot of media outlets and fans are forgetting is that the game is still a, well, game. The win counts in the standings despite all of the glitz and glamour as much as any game played in the Garden this season. The Bruins are in the midst of a division race with the Buffalo Sabres leading and the Ottawa Senators close behind the B’s while the Flyers are attempting to inch into the playoff hunt.
With everyone who’s everyone actually being at the game, here’s a running diary of what those 38,112 in attendance at Fenway missed at home.
I’m 1-0 on running diaries for the season when the Bruins are playing an opponent from last season’s playoffs. Or at least I was before Thursday night’s shootout loss against the Montreal Canadiens.
The Bruins celebrated their first goal in 192 minutes and 6 seconds, a baffling amount of time between tallies if you think about it. In that stretch, the Bruins only allowed four regulation goals, a sign that their defensive abilities have strengthened. But the overall game play of the team? Not the best, especially when injuries are becoming more popular with each passing day now that Byron Bitz and David Krejci have been added to that list
The season may be winding down, but there’s still the playoffs lurking right around the corner. It may seem like a short time, but the offseason is a long way off. While some teams will undoubtedly be looking at the 09-10 season sooner than others one thing is certain; the elite teams that have spent up to the salary cap ceiling will have to do some creative work to hold together for next year.