Like children chasing butterflies, last night the Bruins hounded the faster, more talented Montréal Canadians for sixty minutes of breathless playoff hockey. Yeah, it was a nice break from the plodding presidential pundits, but its outcome was from a dusty old blueprint, etched in the ice like a perfect figure eight. The Canadiens always beat the Bruins in the playoffs. Well, almost always. After losing four straight years (‘84-‘87), I was there when the home team finally ousted the bleu, blanc et rouge at the old Garden in 1988.
Just like when we used to bitch about the Yankees and a “curse,” the Habs were just better. The Bruins are a likable team, and hockey like last night will bring back fans to some extent, but until they’re willing to pay for talent that can “light the lamp,” the B’s will be golfing while other teams sip from the Cup.
“29 long years.” That’s what I recall the TV announcer saying after Bobby Orr potted a Cup winner in 1970. At 11 years old, 29 years seemed more than a lifetime, but the sad reality is it’s now been 36 years since their last Cup in 1972.
Since then it’s been one team after another with decent goaltending and defense, but a limited bunch of “muckers” up front who can’t score when it counts. Last night in a furious and scoreless game, Glen Murray had the Bruins’ best chance of the night at 10:55 of the second period, set up dead in the slot, but he shot the puck into the Montreal net minder. About nine minutes later, Montreal got their chance and buried it along with the Bruins, 1-0.
Murray said, “Got to put that in. Big time of the game.” Yeah, we know.