Tag: Peter Laviolette

Commentary: Momentum Is On The Boston Bruins’ Side

Craig Smith’s game-winning goal on Wednesday provided the Boston Bruins with a 2-1 series lead against the Washington Capitals. (PHOTO COURTESY: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By Matt Noonan

It’s hard to not think about round two of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, especially after an exciting (and thrilling) 3-2 double-overtime win last night by the Boston Bruins.

Yes, they need to win two more games against the Washington Capitals before advancing further in the postseason, but Wednesday’s hard-fought victory has provided the Black and Gold with all the momentum heading into the fourth game of their opening-round series.

Game four is tomorrow evening at the TD Garden — it is a tremendous opportunity for the Bruins to position themselves for a series-clinching win on Sunday in Washington.

At times, it appeared as if the Bruins had nothing left in the tank last night — to be honest, I was worried that Nic Dowd‘s goal at 18:15 in the second period would wind up being the eventual game-winner, but somehow the Bruins found a way to even the score at 2-2 with a much-needed (and important) power-play goal by Brad Marchand in the third period before Craig Smith sealed the win in the second overtime period.

Smith’s goal will certainly provide the Bruins with a spark tomorrow evening — I wouldn’t be surprised if Friday’s outing results in a non-overtime win by the Black and Gold. Yet, the way this series has gone thus far, a one-goal victory should be expected.

Game four is an important one for both teams, but especially the Capitals — this is a must-win for the Red, White, and Blue. A loss to Boston would present a serious challenge for coach Peter Laviolette‘s squad as they would have to win games five, six, and seven to clinch the series.

Sure, Peter Laviolette has prior experience leading a team past Boston — does anyone remember 2010? — but I don’t think this Washington squad is equipped to win three-straight contests.

As expected, Boston Bruins playoff hockey has been fun, but also nerve-racking at the same time. Sometimes, I just wish most of their shots would sail into the Washington net, so we would not have to play overtime hockey. But after last night’s one-goal victory, I am thinking optimistically about tomorrow’s contest — in fact, I believe we’re going to win.

Let the countdown for Friday’s early evening affair commence — I hope the hometown fans are ready to do their part in helping the Bruins win their third-straight contest so we can possibly celebrate a series-clinching win late Sunday evening.

Boston Wins Game 3, Beats Philadelphia, 5-1

Chara's two goals helped Boston prevail, 5-1 against the Flyers in Game 3!

By Matt Noonan 

The Boston Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday at the TD Garden and now, the question remains, can the men dressed in Black and Gold win one more game? That’s right, can they actually end this series on Friday and move onto the Eastern Conference Finals?

Friends, I am going to say, yes, the Boston Bruins will indeed win Game 4 and put any remaining nightmares from last May to rest.

So, what exactly happened in Game 3? How did the Bruins win and Flyers lose?

Well, the Bruins dominated and scored at least one goal in each period. Zdeno Chara was responsible for two scores, while Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Daniel Paile took care of the rest.

Tim Thomas saved 37-of-38 shots between the pipes and finally, Boston earned their first power play goal of the playoffs, when Chara scored on a 5-on-3 in the closing minutes of the third period.

Yes, they are 1-for-31, but now the monkey is off their back and they can officially say, “we scored on the power play.”

As for the Flyers, well, this wasn’t exactly a perfect game. Both Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Boucher split time defending the cage, while their offense and defense played incredibly timid.

Sure, the Flyers displayed their true grit and toughness, which resulted in five penalties. Andrej Meszaros scored Philadelphia’s only goal of the game, but again, the Flyers appeared un-attentive, which certainly was a major reason for them losing their third game in a row.

Although, while Game 3 was an exciting 5-1 victory, it’s time to turn the page and get ready for yet another “knock-out” game. Boston is [1-0] in the playoffs this year when their opponent is “on the ropes,” so I do wonder if Philadelphia will give it their all on Friday or pack it in for another year?

I believe they can beat the Flyers, but let’s be honest; Philadelphia won’t go down without a fight.

Against the Buffalo Sabres in the opening round, Philadelphia lost Game 5, but battled back to win Games 6 and 7, as well as punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, but against Boston, no one expected the Flyers to play this bad.

Before the puck was dropped at the Garden for Game 3, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette told the media that he was determined that his team would win this series. Although, he’s probably somewhat worried now, especially how his team is starring a 0-3 deficit.

So, I do have to pose the question, which is will the Flyers do what they did last year and win four games in a row or actually let the Bruins win Game 4?

Hockey is a game of momentum and while the Bruins indeed hold the series lead, one goal can really change a series. If Philadelphia wants to play another game on their home ice, as well as sport their ugly Orange Crush uniforms, then they’ll have to win Game 4, as well as steal all the momentum away from Boston.

Who knows what will happen next, but in the meantime, Boston can definitely celebrate the fact that they are one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals.