Saturday, March 8, 2008

Garbage (but hope-inducing garbage)

I wish Comcast would show Bruce Boudreau’s postgame press conference instead of this Duke/Maryland game. It will surely be more exciting, if some of the good coach’s hand/arm motions and lip-read colorful language towards the end of that game are any indication. Seriously, what a crock. Total nonsense.

It was well-established for almost three periods that the Bruins couldn’t score 5-on-5. They certainly couldn’t score 5-on-4, even with a full, uninterrupted five minutes to do it (that call is looking more and more suspect given everything that happened late in the third). But 5-on-3, for two or three minutes at a time? Pretty hard not to score. Making it even less hard is the ability to get away with penalties while they continue to be called on your opponents (hi there, Boyd-Gordon-hooking-and-holding David Krejci).

Sure we can argue all day that Donald Brashear could have kept his cool a little more, perhaps to the level that would have kept him in the box for something less than six minutes, but really four of those minutes were a freak accident, and those other two for roughing could just as easily be chalked up to the drama queen dive by the antagonistic Hnidi). And really, I’m generally not one prone to subscribe to theories involving referee conspiracies. I can’t imagine there’s anyone at NHL headquarters thinking “Hey, you know who would be great in the playoffs, those dynamic 8-and-10-goal-giving-up, no personality Bruins. Make sure they win today.” This one was just a little…inconsistent, and at the worst possible time, giving the Bruins the only possible scenario in which they are capable of scoring anymore.

There, however, is the optimistic lining from all this. Boston’s complete inability to generate anything resembling a worthwhile attack while playing anything less than two men up shows their far inferiority to the Caps, and the tremendous defensive strides the Caps have made. This is also the type of nonsense capable of binding a team together, and getting them good and mad for pummeling the Penguins tomorrow, the Flames mid-week, and those Thrashers and dastardly Bruins again next weekend. It’s a perfect primer for a Redskins-like late season run to the playoffs.

Also, doesn’t it feel good to hate Boston again? I haven’t felt such animosity in my heart towards them since that magical first-round playoff victory ten years ago. Glad Comcast showed us some memorable highlights of that one during the game. Pat Burns. Forgot about that guy. He made Bruce’s in-game outbursts look tame.

What I am upset with the Bruins/refs about is that we really have to root for the Sabres tonight against the Hurricanes. It makes me feel dirty to do so, but we can’t be having a seven point division deficit now. Five is still manageable, especially with two more games against Carolina to make up the ground. If the Caps keep playing like they did up to one of the most bizarre, puzzling, nonsensical, befuddling, mind-numbingly inconsistent, baffling series of penalty calls I’ve ever seen, the Penguins and their sizzling darling superstar can be easily dispatched, and we can count the days until the Bruins come back, ripe to have another ten goals hung on them.

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