BOSTON -- Here we are: the Toronto Maple Leafs' first do or die game in nine years. If they defeat the Boston Bruins tonight, they live to play one more game. If they lose, it will be time to hit the golf course.
Let the jokes begin.
In all seriousness, this game is a big one for the city of Toronto and fans of the Maple Leafs. The last time people were so invested in the Blue and White was when the team sat above the Eastern Conference standings early in the 2011-2012 season only to crash and burn to a 13th place finish. Fans hope the team will come away with a better result but history isn't o...
For most of the 2013 season it seemed the bounces just weren't go the Flyers' way.
Bad bounces led to opponents' goals while they stayed out of the nets when the Flyers were on the offensive. Along with a complicated mixture of other factors, it kept the Flyers out of the post season for just the second time in the last 18 years.
That luck would finally change for the Flyers when it didn't really matter, but it felt good anyway.
In a 60-minute game for the Flyers, a minuscule seven-second window produced two goals which lead to the Flyers' eventual 5-2 win over the Bruins.
(Pictured: Matt Read during warm-ups before his game against the Bruins. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
The New York Islanders will take on the Boston Bruins at 7pm at the TD Garden in Boston. The Islanders (20-16-4) are looking to continue their success in the most serious playoff push the team has had in years, going 7-1-1 in their last 9 games.
Despite their recent point streak that has carried the Isles into the top 8 in the East, the Bruins (26-9-4) have been no walk in the park for the New York club this season. The Northeast Division leaders have won both meetings between the two this season and have outscored the Isles 8-3. (Photo Credit: Hazboy/Flickr)
At the end of every season, every player in the NHL sits down with his coach to discuss his previous performance, basically the equivalent of an annual review for everyday people like us. At the end of the 2011-2012 season, Coach Julien and Brad Marchand sat down and discussed how even though the "Little Ball of Hate" had made a name for himself as one of the NHL's toughest agitators, he did have the ability and skill to be a big time scorer as well. Coach was right, despite missing a game due to a shoulder injury, Marshy currently leads the Bruins in goals with seven.
If the Islanders won all of their remaining games and the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres lost their remaininga games, then the Isles would have done the unthinkable and made the playoffs for the first time in years. However, miraculous combinations of wins and losses are hard to come by these days, especially when you are playing against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Bruins scored six goals this afternoon for the third time this season against the Islanders, taking the season series with a 3-1-0 record. The loss finally elimanted the Islanders from playoff contention, concluding the thoughts of even the most hopeless fan that thought somehow they would squeak in. The focus now will shift to finishing the season with a winning record for the first time since Ted Nolan was the head coach and ending up somewhere between 9th and 11th place.
The Flyers went into Boston needing to get two points. They left with one, and they should be lucky to have gotten that much.
The Bruins managed to hold off a Flyers comeback for a 3-2 win in the shootout, and more importantly, a much needed two points in the Eastern Conference standings.
Outplayed for much of the game, Philadelphia did manage to get a couple goals past Boston goalie Tim Thomas in the second and third periods but other than that, they were out-muscled by Boston's pressure for much of the game's 60 minutes.
For starters, luck wasn't on the Flyers side early, especially for goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
By now, you've probably all heard about Brad Marchand's ill-fated attempt to hip check Habs hitting machine Alexei Yemelin, in the dying seconds of the second period in last night's 4-3 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins. You've probably also heard that the hit will go unpunished by Brendan Shanahan and the NHL.
But the hit, and the lack of punishment at the NHL level raises many questions about how Shanahan and his staff judge these sorts of things, and what the criteria really is for repeat offenders and people who clearly can't get a message.
But first, the hit itself. As the second period came to a close, Marchan...
Rich Peverley (49) bangs home a first period goal to put the Bruins on top.
We’ll never know exactly how GM Dean Lombardi pictured this game playing out, a mere 24 hours removed from a change at head coach—but I think it would be safe to say he hoped for better than this.
The Kings were shutout by Tukka Rask and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins earlier tonight in Boston by a score of 3-0. The goals were provided by the combined efforts of Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand, who netted two for his tenth and eleventh tallies on the season. Rask stopped all 41 (!) (more later on that) shots that came...
The Winnipeg Jets closed out their 3-game road trip on Saturday night with a visit to the defending Stanely Cup Champion Boston Bruins.
The Jets would generate some quality chances early on in the first, as the Bruins took a bench minor for too many men. Winnipeg managed 4 shots on the power-play but Tim Thomas made sure the Jets stayed off the scoreboard.
Momentum was still in the favor of Winnipeg as they opened the scoring midway through the first when Evander Kane stuffed home a pass from Dustin Byfuglien to take the lead, something that has become the norm for the Jets this season.
39 seconds later, Byfuglien fired a shot from the point to put the Jets up by 2 goals...
And the Montreal Canadiens are on the verge of winning the Stanley Cup…again. Yes, we all have been taught not to start a sentence with “and” but this week has just seems like one big long game. If you could go back to Wednesday morning and ask anyone if the Habs would be on the verge of winning three in a row come Saturday you would get some laughs, some snickers and the occasional French swear word.
It’s Saturday and believe it or not the Habs do have a chance to win three in a row beating both the hated Bruins and Flyers. As we bask in the glow of a glorious week...