There’s no doubt that fans of the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens took some pleasure from the plight of the Boston Bruins last weekend. But no matter what happens in April, should the Bruins go 3-0 this week fans of the Black & Gold can experience some Schadenfreude of their own.
The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines the word, thusly…
Main Entry: schaÂ·denÂ·freuÂ·de
Usage: often capitalized
Etymology: German, from Schaden
damage + Freude
: enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others
Any win against the Le Bleu-Blanc-et-Rouge
or the Red, White and Blue, could do considerable damage to both squads’ quest for the playoffs.
This has become familiar, but illustrates the point.#. Team, GP, Pts
7. Carolina, 73, 80
8. Rangers, 72. 79
9. Islanders, 71, 78
10. Toronto, 72, 78
11. Montreal, 73, 78
12. Boston, 71, 73
13. Florida, 72, 73
But, after Saturday’s embarrassing setback, nobody could be blamed for believing that the B’s have packed it in. But B’s goalie Tim Thomas
, in particular, said that isn’t the case.
"I don’t think you throw up the white flag," said Thomas, obviously taken aback by the question. "I don’t think the temptation was even there. It was one team, one game.
"It makes our job more difficult from here on out -- every loss does.
"But now we’ve got another huge game coming up Tuesday in Montreal," said Tim.
Was there anything to be taken from Saturday? For Thomas? For the team?
"In a way, you learn from it," explained Thomas. "But in a way, you put it behind you at the same time. There is nothing you can do. Whether the loss is 1-0, 2-0 or 7-0, it doesn’t matter.
"You’d like to make every save. But I can’t go back and replay (the game).
"I can watch them on video and say, ’If I had done this, then maybe that would have worked.’ But it’s easy to say that on video. So, it’s just another game…there’s nothing you can do about it now," he said.
Coach Lewis was scathing in his critique of Saturday’s game, even in the light of day and with several hours between the end of regulation and the end of Sunday’s practice.
"Why would (my assessment) change?" he said. "We need to pay a bigger price to win."
Lewis continued, and you would have to infer that the coaching staff believes that they are doing their best to break the Bruins cycle of inconsistency.
"I am waiting for a group (of Bruins) or somebody to try (something). Maybe you won’t change it, but at least send the message that you are attempting to," said Lewis. "Your top players are the guys that you look to for a lot of different things, but that’s why they are the top players -- they have to be the guys you look to in the big game.
"That’s really important for success."
And it is not a question of verbal leadership.
"Don’t say anything, just do it," said the coach. "Show me!"
Lewis felt that only one player, out of 20, was deserving of any praise.
"(Jeremy Reich) showed up," said Lewis. "And every game he is in, he shows up.
"I don’t expect him to fight every game -- and he has TWO fights yesterday. Albie (Alberts) had a big turnaround fight the other night (vs. Washington), but what about the other guys. There are some other guys that I want to show up, in a competitive way.
"And it doesn’t have to be a fight.
"But I think we can compete harder and we can be harder to play against," he said.
Boston may have learned their lesson on Saturday night, but hopefully, with 11 games remaining, they have enough time to implement that knowledge.