Boston vs Montreal, Game 7

Monday, April 19th, 2004 @ 11:17 pm | Sports

One shot.

For the first 11 minutes of the third period of game 7, the Boston Bruins dominated the Montreal Canadiens. During that time, the Bruins didn’t allow a single shot to reach Andrew Raycroft.

Then Richard Zednick managed to get the puck in front of the net.

One shot. One goal.

Throw in an empty-netter with scant second remaining and the final was 2-0.

I have to give the Canadiens some credit. After Game 4, I thought they were cooked. Teammates were publicly sniping at each other. Their goaltender was letting in weak goals. Somehow, though, they managed to pull themselves together.

In the final three games of the series, Jose Theodore stopped letting in the weak goals. He cut down on the number of rebounds. In short, he became the goaltender who knocked the Bruins out of the playoffs two years ago. Complicating matters, the Bruins weren’t able to set up the shots that goaltenders can’t save.

As much as I hate to say it, because I know it will sound like sour grapes, but I have to question how come it’s so hard to find an evenly-officiated game in the NHL. Bruins players were getting hauled down all over the ice, but the Bruins had just a single Power Play opportunity.

Of course, the way the Bruins’ Power Play was producing in this series, all of the opportunities in the world might not have helped.

Tonight’s defeat marked the end of the 2003-2004 hockey season for the Bruins. In many ways, this was a team built to win this year. The Bruins gave up their first and second round picks in the upcoming draft to get Sergei Gonchar. Gonchar will be a restricted free agent this off season, as will a handful of other players. Another handful of players will be unrestricted free agents, as Bruins management has planned to have very few players under contract when the current CBA expires.

At this point, nobody knows if there will be an NHL season next winter. That’s about as many people who know what the next edition of the Bruins will look like. After this disappointing finish, it will be a long summer for the Black and Gold.

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