Last night, many in the Hub of Hockey need not be forgiven for thinking that the Bruins might enter their summer hibernation the victims of a hard fought, courageous, but futile, battle with the New York Yankees of hockey. And with the Black & Gold down 3-1 in the series and 1-0 in the first period of Game Five to a powerful and skilled Club de Hockey Canadien
, who could blame them?
After all, the sight of a speedy, helmetless, blond haired Montreal forward weaving through the defense of the B's made Alex Kovalev look as if he was channeling Guy Lafleur and left fans shaking their fists at the TV.
And the goalie -- that Price kid. Amazing. Price-less, if you will.
Minus the French accent of Roy and the stick leaning tendencies of Dryden, it is simply his ability to stop the puck, so consistently, at so young an age, which leads to comparisons between himself and the two Hall of Famers.
And for a few agonizing moments it looked over. O-V-A. Over.
But then, everyone, including some of the Bruins, remembered that Game Five was taking place in the Bell Centre, not the Montreal Forum. They remembered that Ken Dryden is a politician and Patrick Roy is coaching in Quebec City. They looked up and saw Jean Beliveau in the stands and Bob Gainey in the press box and Larry Robinson's #19 hanging from the rafters.
Then, they remembered that the banners in the rafters can't shoot, skate or score and that, hey, they never believed in ghosts anyway. And, just for a few minutes, instead of priceless comparisons to great goalies past, a penny for the thoughts of the bleu, blanc et rouge
clad fans in the "Phone Booth" would indicate that the name Steve Penney (look him up) had come to mind as the Boston Bruins past, present and future let slip their offense and forced Game Six in the Hub.
Right now, Phil Kessel is the torchbearer for the Bruins youth movement and, after sitting out three games, he lit the lamp to tie the game [ 700K
Then, throw back Roy Hobbs, er, Glen Metropolit, picked up his stick (is that a lightning bolt on the decal?) and put Price into the thinker's pose as he contemplated how the journeyman forward, who had come to camp without a contract and who had not scored since February, had helped the Bruins, just a period from elimination, take the lead, 2-1.Zdeno Chara
(injury, what injury?) solidified the lead with a power play laser of his own and Marco Sturm beat Price with a shorty.
However, the favorite goal of the night, at least for a Bruins fan, was Vladimir Sobotka's.
Sobie's goal was the exclamation point on a terrific night, and surely sent Bruins fans from Bangor to Bridgeport to their feet as the remaining Habs fans got to their feet and headed to the exit.
On the plane home, the collective sound of determination coalesced into a continuous din of "Can't wait for Saturday" or "Saturday in the Garden" or "Game Six Boys" and, after Bear Force One landed to well wishes from the cockpit and the tower, and as the bus headed for downtown, there was a change in the air.
The Bruins had left the Hub with a dark and depressing cloud on the horizon, and returned home to a city blossoming into springtime.
Instead of the penetrating yap of inevitability there was just the slightest whisper of the word destiny and the promise of a good night's rest.
Let's go Bruins!