MARLBORO, NY – Losing sucks. It just does. Whenever involved in competitive endeavors, I want to win badly. Sometimes the other team is better than you on a given day and sometimes things just don’t bounce your way. At other times, on-field officials determine the outcome of a game and leave you perplexed and frustrated. This is what happened to the Boston Bruins on Friday night.
Allow me to explain.
It was a pivotal Game 4 for my Bruins being down 2-1 in games. The thought of going down in defeat would all but throw dirt on their chances of continuing on in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Again, the B’s found themselves down two goals early in the game but climbed out of that hole and grabbed a 3-2 lead after Patrice Bergeron’s shorthanded goal in the third. Things were looking up as goaltender Tuukka Rask was making some outstanding saves in net whenever the defense broke down and it did often in sloppily fashion.
And then, just like in Game 2, it happened again. An obvious penalty was not called on the Tampa Bay
Rangers Lightning when Bruins defensemen Charlie McAvoy was flushed out from behind his own net with the puck and was subsequently held and dragged down by the face-off circle. He lost control of the puck as he fell, a TB player pounces on the puck, slides a pass to Steven Stamkos and scores on a one-timer to tie the game. Television cameras showed Boston players with hands held in astonishment as to the no-call. The reaction of Bruins President Cam Neely was one of supreme ire. He was livid and so were Grote2DMax and me watching what was transpiring. The game went into overtime and Tampa scored four minutes in.
Game over and series over.
I believe the referees, who have had their heads up their asses all series long, are under a directive from the league office to screw the Bruins over. It happens all too much whether it’s the regular season or the playoffs and some of it I understand. When you have team sports’ best antagonist in Brad Marchand, his dirty play and antics grow short on people and with them the suits in the league offices. Call it what you want from conspiracy to bias to payback. It just stinks and while I have no problem with any of my teams being outplayed and out-coached in defeat, I’d rather players determine the outcome of games instead of a bunch of blind zebras.
So what am I left with? No hockey to be emotionally involved in and that sucks, too. The frustration and what ifs will subside, along with most negative feelings that human beings experience. The Boston Bruins were supposed to be in a rebuild but somehow pieced together an over-100 point season amid a slew of early season injuries to finish second in the Eastern Conference. They were predicted to struggle for a playoff spot. Well, they won a playoff round and have young talent on the horizon that will make further success a sure thing. Don’t Poke The Bear now or in the future. The Boston Bruins will rise again!
Speaking of rising again, come back tomorrow for a pinch-hitter for DJ Eberle, who is on yet another vacation! Feel free to comment below, and it doesn’t have to be about the Bruins or hockey.