Playoffs - Day 11 and 12
Many are calling it the greatest game ever played at the new Garden. I only have all the games from the last three years to draw upon, but I imagine given the incredible action, the incredible third period and finish, that most long time hard cores would be hard pressed to find a better game the last dozen years.
The noise was so loud and consistent in the building during the third period that it became the norm’. After twenty or thirty minutes of continuous ooo’s, ahhh’s, screaming and yelling, we actually became used to the intensity of the sound. But it never became less invigorating or exciting. In communicating with my cohorts from CBC and Versus, doing a similar job to mine for their networks in the Zamboni tunnel, we had to yell to talk ... the whole time.
The most bizarre, if you will, moment, came when the Canadiens tied the game 4-to-4 just seconds after the Bruins had taken a four-three lead. It was late third period, about five minutes to go, and when Kessel scored his second goal of the night, the crowd went so berserk, and was so focused on celebrating, I think many people missed the Habs goal. I remember looking out to the blueline from near the glass, with a decent group of TV types and bull-gangers turned in all directions smiling, yelling and reacting to the good news, I had to point over their heads towards the ice and yell “not so fast!” I quickly turned around and ran back to the monitor to catch the replay. I had missed the goal as well but saw Montreal come together in a group hug. The noise in the building was still deafening from the Kessel goal when the Habs scored.
For the Sturm goal, the aforementioned “third men” (ice-level reporters) were all gathering in the hallway waiting to interview players about the upcoming overtime. Myself and Eliote (sorry if it’s two L’s, I know there’s an E on the end) Friedman of “Hockey Night” were poised to each grab a Hab. Then Sturmy lit the lamp. It was a fire drill. Two or three crews relocating reporters, lights, cameras and cables quickly down the hall to the Boston position. Happy mayhem for the Boston crew.
What bodes well for the near and distant future, is the impact the young players have had on the positive results the last couple games. Saturday night, three of the four goal scorers (Kessel had two), are either in, or just out of their teens. Kessel, Sobotka, Lucic, Kessel again, and then of course veteran Marco Sturm finished it off.
I was right about the first four games of the series, right down to predicting the B’s would force overtime in Game-2 down 2-0 after two. I had that little hockey sixth sense working. When game five arrived, that ability disappeared, and I was all wrong. I didn’t think the Bruins were gonna get it done that night in Montreal. Then Game-6: no real feeling at all. And what I like right now, I don’t really have any gut feeling for Game-7 either. I hope it stays that way, and obviously that the result is the same. I think the game’s a toss up, but I like Thomas right now, I like the confidence level, and if the Bruins don’t get overly excited, they should be in good shape. Face it, there will be nerves. I think a couple B’s D-men proved that with some fanned passes and iffy plays in Game-6. But hey, the Habs D-men weren’t exactly Norris Trophy winners all night either. The pressure is on the top seed.
Talk to you after morning skate on Monday. All the best.