(Fans pound away on studio glass on Causeway Street during Comcast post-game show. More on that down below.)
Jekyll and Hyde.
Dead and buried.
Alive and well.
Unreal and unbelievable.
Welcome to No. 37 Heaven, Bruins fans.
The Bruins benched their best player of the series, and then went on to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in historic fashion with a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious 5-4 overtime victory at the TD Garden.
Not even Disney or Al Michaels could have dreamed up this "Miracle on Ice."
Even if you don't believe in miracles, it's hard not to believe in the Bruins after what they accomplished Monday night.
With Tuukka Rask pulled for the extra attacker, they scored a pair of goals in 31 seconds in the game's final two minutes that helped to wipe out a 4-1 deficit and forced overtime. Patrice Bergeron's game-tying goal came with 51 seconds left. The Bruins probably could have sat Rask and wrapped it up there. Rich Peverly almost did that anyway.
Bergeron made history 6:05 into overtime with the game-winner. It was the first time ever an NHL team had won a Game 7 after trailing by three goals in the third period.
They may want to think about sitting Rask to start Game 1 against the Rangers.
Tyler Seguin, Bergeron and Milan Lucic all found their inner champion-self at the last and best possible moment and sent the Bruins on to face the New York Rangers in the next round of the playoffs.
After the game, even Lucic admitted that this version of the Bruins was toast had they lost.
Claude Julien was ticketed for unemployment. His first words in his post-game press conference should have been: "Thanks for keeping my job safe for another year, fellas."
Boston had scored just two goals in the previous four days before the start of Game 7 and ended up leading just 4:40 combined during Games 4-7. But they still managed to win two of those contests.
Boston was badly outplayed for a massive chunk of Game 7, didn't have Andrew Ference and had an injured Dennis Seidenberg for only 37 seconds of ice time. The Bruins didn't get to Boston until late Monday morning and looked defeated long before the game was finished. The Bruins even got booed off the ice after the second period. Then there was "the plane" and all the mess that surrounded Boston's trip from Toronto.
So many gave up on the Bruins early in the third period, yours truly included. I now renounce every @RealOBF Tweet from about 8:30 until Lucic's goal a 18:38 of the third period. The TV stayed on, but the venom and disappointment was flowing. At least I didn't leave the Garden.
"Beating the traffic" never sucked as badly as it did Monday night in Boston.
The most important thing Monday was that the Bruins never gave up on the Bruins. And they happened to be playing the Maple Leafs. The players who perhaps personified the frustration of Bruins diehards and bandwagoners - Bergeron, Lucic and Seguin - played the best when it counted the most.
Seguin re-joined his old linemates in overtime, an overtime dominated by Boston, and ended up once again coming out on the better half of the Phil Kessel trade.
Seguin was invisible the entire series until the very end, when he helped to end it by assisting on the game-winner.
Looks like Charlie Brown to me. Except it was Lucic, and not Lucy, who pulled away the football this time.
Those who stuck it out were treated to the most memorable Bruins' comeback since Espo returned to get his No. 7 sent to the rafters in 1987 and Ray Bourque became No. 77 forever.
Those same fans who stayed until the end also delivered an epic post-game performance on the windows of the Comcast Sports New England post-game show studios on Causeway Street.
The pounding on the clear glass was so loud (video above), show hosts Michael Felger and Tony Amonte had to both yell over it, plea for help from the Burlington studio, and eventually, return to some level of regular television once someone summoned the police to break up the delirious masses.
Viewers were even treated to a passionate f-bomb courtesy of Amonte, who was caught saying "they're going to break the f--king window" after the telecast returned from a Dunkin' Donuts commercial. Felger quickly apologized for the profanity, which was understandable given the mayhem going on outside the window and the noise inside the studio.
The window-pounding madness wasn't even the cherry on to the top of this wonderful night. That came thanks to the internwebs, which brought us photos and videos of the throng gathered outside the Air Canada Center in Toronto watching the end of hostilities on the big screen.
So many drunks, so little video after the goal.
Toronto Star photo of Leafs fans as Bergeron tied it 4-4 twitter.com/pang/status/33…— Kevin Pang (@pang) May 14, 2013
It's not like they have to work tomorrow.
The only way this could have been any better is if the guy with the "Toronto Stronger" sign in Game 3 got lost in South Boston.
Enough of the Maple Syrups.
This night belonged to the Bruins, and to the ages. It's already landed on the enormous list of greatest Boston sports comebacks. It's probably somewhere behind Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts and Friends against the Yankees in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS and the Tuck Rule Game, but little more historic and impactful than UMass' win over North Carolina in 1993.
Speaking of miracles on ice, even Mike Eruzione got into the action via Twitter after Boston cut it to 4-2:
Wow wow wow the bruins Have finally realize in order to score you must shoot the puck instead of passing it all around— MIKE ERUZIONE (@MERUZIONE) May 14, 2013
What made this game unique was that the Bruins had no business playing in it, since they had a 3-1 lead in this series at one time, and no business winning it, especially the way things stood with about 12 minutes to play.
It also came four weeks to the day of the Boston Marathon bombings. In just 28 days, Boston has transformed from a city in stunned shock, pain and horror into a city that literally overnight has fallen back in love back its hockey team.
Something special happened in this game. Something that has to carry past this series and beyond the New York Rangers in the next round. The Celtics were never really in it this postseason. They were lost in the post-Marathon sports shuffle. But the Bruins have been there front-and-center since evil crossed the finish line at 4:09 of the Boston Marathon.
Those same Bruins, who carried the burden of being the first team back in action in Boston after the bombings, found sudden life in sudden death.
Toronto Stronger? Like hell it is.
"It was dead out there," said Rask, who played so solid and consistent throughout this season that Tim Thomas was going to apply for joint citizenship in the United States, Glen Beckistan and Finland in honor of his replacement's performance. "It's do or die. You have to make a save. You're either a hero or an a--hole," he added.
We'll go with "hero."
Zdeno Chara found his inner Ivan Drago again Monday and slugged, hit and chipped his way through the Leafs all night, even when things looked bleakest. He logged 35:46 of ice time. Every second vital.
My son strolled into the family room of the OBF residence when the Bruins were losing 4-1. About 10 seconds later, Nathan Horton cut it to 4-2. OBF Jr. did not move for the rest of the game and he won't be getting off the couch until the Stanley Cup returns to Causeway Street, or the Bruins somehow run out of magic ice chips along the way.
Neither will anyone else not at the Garden, or the other Garden, in the next round.
Whomever said "sports doesn't matter" wasn't watching hockey Monday night.
#BostonStrong, as ever.
And so are the Bruins.
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