Thursday, April 3, 2008
Blech. What an icky taste in my mouth after that sudden-death shootout loss to the Devils last night. Like waking up the morning after a tequila bender, except I still know where my pants are. Honestly, even a win eked out in a sudden-death shootout (i.e. what happens when a team fails to win after regulation time, a 5-minute OT period, and a 3-round shootout) is a lukewarm accomplishment at best. By comparison, losing after all that is the hockey equivalent of flirting with someone at a bar for a solid three hours and then having them leave when you duck into the powder room to fix your hair.
Perception bias being what it is, it feels like the Bruins are simply incapable of winning in OT/SO situations. At the Florida game I went to earlier this year, I remember getting all amped up for the OT period only to see it end literally 25 seconds in on a Florida goal. I had just gotten a fresh beer, for chrissake. In reality, though, the B's are 3-5 in overtime games (not great, but not awful) and 6-7 in shootouts, leaving them 9-12 in games that go beyond regulation time on the season. What's frustrating about that, of course, is that it does not bode well for the playoffs, which are all about the fast goal and the clutch play.
A win last night would have clinched a playoffs berth for the B's. Now, it'll be up to the black-and-gold to seal the deal against Ottawa on Friday or Buffalo on Saturday. To speak frankly, though, no possible playoffs scenario looks good at this point. The 7th seed we're currently toying with would have us pitted against 2nd-seed Montreal since the Penguins took over the conference lead; given that we're 0-8 against the Habs on the season, I'm less than optimistic about our chances in this series. Slipping to the 8th seed under the Flyers would mean a first-round series against Pittsburgh and a healthy Sidney Crosby and Marion Hossa. Boston is 2-1-1 on the season against the Penguins, but neither of those wins were against a team with Hossa or Wunderkind (the February 28th win, immediately after Hossa was traded, saw Hossa injured after about 5 minutes of play).
In other words: playoffs berth or no, it's highly unlikely the B's are advancing past the first round. Still, a trip to the playoffs coming off a year that saw no playoffs action whatsoever is an important step forward and blah blah blah. Playoffs appearances are important to a franchise, regardless of the outcome. The Phillies got swept in the first round after getting ridiculously lucky last year, and the way they talk you'd think they'd won the damn pennant or something.