NA NA NA HEY HEY HEY GOODBYE! Roared through the Bell Center air and bounced on my eardrums as the cheers blasted through my TV. And so it ended, again. Another season, another miserable ending at the hands of the Montreal Canadians. And so it seems as though the Bruins may never get past their bitter rivals from the north after a bitter 5-0 loss that drove the nail into the Boston Bruins coffin in game 7 in Montreal on Monday night.
As I had been told when I was a little kid watching the Bruins get eliminated from the playoffs season after season the Bruins do not beat the Canadians. Who are very comparable to the New York Yankee’s. Montreal is a very storied franchise and has the most cup titles of anybody, and for some reason they just seem to have the number of the Boston Bruins. And the Bruins just cannot get going in the playoffs, as they have not won a series since 1999. Many fans have deserted the team waiting for the day that the money grubbing owner decides to sell the team. Game 6 however brought a new energy to the TD Banknorth garden, that had people thinking that maybe this was a different year and maybe Montreal would be left in the review mirror. It may not have mattered what the outcome of game 7 was because of the way the Bruins battled in game 6. Unfortunately because of the game 7 loss we will have to wait until next year to see how the fans react to the Bruins intensity. And the game 7 loss was not an awful one. The score was 5-0 however the Bruins seemed to outplay the Canadians for the first 30 minutes of the game, until some unlucky bounces went into the Bruins goal. And at the other end the Bruins could just not catch a break as Carey Price played perhaps his best game of the series.
But this season brought new hope to the Bruins future. Hopefully people will turn out to watch them next year as this team, most of which is made up of young guys will begin a new fight to earn respect. Next year the Bruins will start the season with a new confidence. They may not be given much respect again, but they now know what they can do, and will set the goals even higher. Next years team will feature scoring talent such as Marc Savard who looks to return to be the leagues top set up man, Patrice Bergeron who will be returning from a serious injury that ended his 2007-2008 season about 10 games in. Marco Sturm and Phil Kessel will return next year to give the team a spark. And young guns David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Petteri Nokelainen and Vladimir Sobotka will return to play their first full seasons with the big club. Veterans Glen Metropolit, PJ Axelsson, Peter Schaefer and Glen Murray look as they will all return. On the Defensive side Zdeno Chara will most likely have shoulder surgery in the off-season and then be back to be a force on the blue line once again. Andrew Ference, Aaron Ward, Dennis Wideman, and Shane Hnidy will hopefully all be back. And Andrew Alberts will be back after being in and out of the lineup with injury’s this season, and youngster Mark Stuart will also return. Goaltending could be the trickiest area. Manny Fernandez who was brought here to be the number one goalie last off season will be back from his injury plagued season and Tim Thomas made a big statement on why he should be the number one, with his play this season.
The one need the Bruins need to take care of this off-season is adding a power forward. They have the speedsters in Bergeron, Kessel and Sturm. They also have a set up man in Savard, and it may be nice to add another player like him for the second line. Chara is the force on the blue line for the Bruins, and they have the guys who can get the rough stuff done in Milan Lucic and Shawn Thornton. They have a few veterans in Murray and Axellson, and you could also put Savard into that mix. And the Bruins have goaltending, with a battle between Fernandez and Thomas, and they also have a youngster in Providence named Tuukka Rask who looks as though he could develop nicely. The biggest piece they are missing is a big forward who can pass and score, someone who can make some noise in front of the opposing teams net. If they find that missing piece of the puzzle the Bruins could be a very good team next year.
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