Boston Strong. That’s been the message surrounding the city that was attacked on marathon Monday that left the city with more questions than answers. Wednesday provided the Boston Bruins their first opportunity to get back on the ice in front of their always passionate fans since the attacks and needless to say it was an emotional game from start to finish as they paid tribute to the victims.
While the result didn’t go as planned for the Bruins, dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to the rival Buffalo Sabres, the players, fans and everyone involved were reminded that in situations like the one on Monday, sports help to heal us all. Boston Strong. Damn rights.
Boston has already clinched a playoff berth, but they are still fighting for the division title which would give them the second seed in the east. The one point they secured in the loss was enough to pull them even with the Montreal Canadiens but because Boston has a game in hand, they are currently slotted in second place.
It will get easier for the Bruins, their fans and all those affected by the tragedy on Monday, it will just take a little time. Last night’s game is the first step in using sports as an outlet to help everyone recover.
The Canadiens, as mentioned failed to take advantage of the Boston loss by dropping their own decision to the Pittsburgh Penguins by a 6-4 margin. While the loss can be accepted, after all, it is the mighty Pens, the real issue for the Habs is their goaltending.
Peter Budaj got the start in goal after Carey Price has been shaky of late. Budaj was no better on the night, giving up three goals on nine shots before giving way to Price who would allow three goals on twenty shots. He was also saddled with the loss.
So a team that has surprised many around the league with their consistent, winning ways this year have suddenly hit a road bump. They’ve dropped four of their last five games at a time when most clubs are trying to ensure they have things in order with the playoffs on the horizon. With somewhat of a goalie controversy potentially brewing and not the good kind of goalie controversy, the Habs can’t afford to stumble much more. With five games left, the Canadiens suddenly find themselves just four points up on the Maple Leafs in what could become a battle for home ice advantage. Of course the Habs can still win the division, they just better get their act together.
The Penguins meanwhile inched closer to securing the top seed in the east and appear ready to wrap up home ice throughout the first three rounds of the postseason in the next few games.
In Calgary it was an emotional night for Flames on a much different scale. Their beloved Miikka Kiprusoff appears to have played his last game at home in front of the Flames faithful. With retirement said to be on his mind after the season, Kipper gave the home town crowd a 36-save effort en route to a 3-2 win.
For the Red Wings, it’s a costly loss in that they failed to remain ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Wings had a game in hand but lately they’ve had a hard time stringing together consecutive wins as was the case tonight. All good things must come to an end and maybe this is the year that the Wings playoff streak will be stopped.
On the Blue Jackets, they beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in overtime to pull even with Detroit. Is this Columbus team for real? It would appear so. Could they be a dangerous team in the postseason? You never know.