By Mike Miccoli, Boston Bruins correspondent
Here we go again.
Why is it that the Boston Bruins always find themselves in this situation?
You know the one: playing in a series that they can’t close out leading to an ever-crucial Game 7. How does this keep happening?
Unable to wrap up the series in Montreal, the B’s let Game 6 slip out of their hands as the Canadiens forced a final, deciding game in Boston with the win. Granted, the Bruins were never in the lead at any point of the game, nor did they ever have complete control of the momentum. Lest we forget the variable of a one-sided game in Montreal courtesy of some choice calls from the NHL’s officials and it’s hard to figure out how Boston only lost, 2-1.
Game 7 will be on home ice for the Bruins at the TD Garden on Wednesday night. This will be the fourth Game 7 in six playoff series that the Bruins have played since the lockout. They’ve been eliminated in every single Game 7 of which they have appeared. Furthermore in two of those series, (2008-09 against Carolina, 2009-10 against Philadelphia) the Bruins were in a position to control their own destiny–something that they were unable to do in Montreal on Tuesday night.
Professionally, I’m sure it’s hard as hell to play an away game in Montreal, let alone a playoff game with the home team Habs facing elimination. After playing a weekend of youth hockey up north years ago, I could tell you personally just how difficult it is, even if the only things I remember are the poor lighting, crappy boards and the consistent playing of Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping” whenever a whistle blew. Sounds about right, I guess.
For the Bruins, it’s even harder coming into Montreal as public enemies number one. The rabid yet passionate supporters of Les Habitants make sure that every Bruin, captain Zdeno Chara especially, hears it whenever they touch the puck. Even though the Bruins went 2-1 in Montreal this series, the games north of the border certainly play a role.
The B’s power play was anemic yet again, now going 0 for 19 on attempts with an extra skater. The special teams factor has been a constant scapegoat for the Bruins and it’s been magnified once again this postseason. Until the B’s have something, anything, to show for their two minutes with the man advantage, it’ll be hard to find a full 60-minute effort worth praising, let alone a losing one. Being unable to put the puck past Carey Price more than once certainly didn’t do them any favors either.
But here we are once again. Game 7.
Thom Yorke of Radiohead said it best in ’15 Step.’ “How come I end up where I started? How come I end up where I went wrong?” As much as the Bruins would like to forget about their past histories in Game 7, until they win an elimination game, there will always be that doubt. They have been in control of their own destiny this series but haven’t been able to take advantage of the task at hand. Now, they have another opportunity to prove everyone wrong or validate what everyone has been saying all along.
The Bruins are 2-5 in Game 7’s against the Canadiens. The last time Boston won a Game 7 at home was in the 1994 playoffs. Their opponent? The Montreal Canadiens.
It’s going to be a long night.
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