Thursday, November 11, 2010

Different Team than Last Year

Bruins' comeback shows mental toughness that wasn't there last year

Last night, the Bruins showed just how far they’ve come.

The ‘10 playoffs could not have ended in a worse way. Holding a 3-0 series lead over the Flyers and a 3-0 lead in Game 7 – both were given up. In a way it was typical of that year’s team. The ‘10 Bruins were a team whose toughness was consistently questioned throughout that season. Most notably in two games against the Penguins.

There was the Matt Cooke game on March 7th, when Cooke concussed Marc Savard with a dirty hit to the head – ending his regular season. Instead of retaliating, the Bruins stood idly by. Weeks later when the Penguins traveled to Boston, there was expected to be some more of retaliation.

There was. Once.

Shawn Thornton fought with Cooke in the very beginning of the game, but that was it. The Bruins went on to lose that game miserably, 3-0.

Last night, the B’s showed Pittsburgh that they are a much different team now.

There was a lot of tension in last night’s game, as evidenced by the three fights that broke out. However, Boston showed their fortitude where it was most important – on the ice.

When Sidney Crosby scored a goal to give the Pens a  4-2 lead entering the final period you would’ve thought it was over for Boston. Maybe last year’s team but not this one. The Bruins rallied together to score 5 goals in the third period and take a 7-4 comeback win.

"We said in the locker room [during the second intermission], 'We still have an opportunity to win this game," said right winger, Blake Wheeler. "It speaks to what we have in the room that guys know it's never over until it's over. It certainly helps to get one early because it gives you some confidence, and we took it from there."

Most impressive is that the Bruins did it without David Krejci, who suffered a concussion in Boston’s last game. The last time the team lost Krejci, they blew the 3-0 series lead to the Flyers.

The Bruins proved that they are a tougher team this year. No matter how down they may get, they are never out of the game. It’s just fitting that they did it against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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