I had mixed emotions about attending the Bruins playoff game last night against Montreal. Don't get me wrong - I love the Bruins, I have since I was 3 years old. But I didn't want anything to dampen my enthusiasm from Saturday night, and the Bruins are very, very good at being buzzkills.
In the end, though, the Bruins game proved to be a fitting finale to an amazing hockey weekend.
I wore my beautiful, brand new national champs 2008 shirt to the game and got lots of comments for it. I was amazed by the amount of people in BC gear at the game - I even met someone who graduated from BC in '51 and knew guys from the '49 championship team. The Garden organ even played "For Boston" late in the third period.
And the game itself? Incredible. I've never experienced a more electric atmosphere at a pro game. It was an absolutely intense, carnival atmosphere, with the 6,000 or so Hab fans trying to take over the Garden and the Bruins fans fighting hard to drown them out.
The battle in the stands seemed to reflect the battle on the ice - the Habs clearly had more talent, seeming to glide down the ice and set up wave after wave of attack with relative ease, but the Bruins - led by Tim Thomas's outstanding performance in net - withstood the Canadiens' surge early in overtime, worked hard, and earned a game winning goal to pull themselves back into the series.
Marc Savard truly is an amazing player. In the 2nd period, he fed two absolutely gorgeous passes to Milan Lucic, but Lucic was unable to finish. I wonder how many assists Savard would have if he actually had people to pass to who could finish? It was only fitting that Savard finished this one off himself (with the help of a sweet feed from Dennis Wideman).
The march out of the Garden was awesome, with fans chanting, clapping, and ragging on Montreal fans all the way out the door. It was a small glimmer of what hockey in Boston once was - and, despite what the doubters say, could be again, if the Bruins become a contender over the next few seasons.
Championship rally tonight at Conte - pics to follow.
Savard's sweet game winner:
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