BLOOMINGBURG, NY – There are momentum swings in all sports. In baseball it’s said that momentum is only as strong as that day’s starting pitcher. Basketball is a game of ebbs and flows or as we know them, “runs.” Big Mo in football is usually swung in one direction as a result of an extraordinary play. Hockey is all together different and we’re seeing a constant shift of momentum in these Stanley Cup Finals on what seems to be a nightly basis.
Game 1 didn’t start so well for the Boston Bruins. There was that eleven day layoff between finishing off the sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes and the rust showed but the B’s got their act together in the 2nd and 3rd periods and wore the Blues down in typical methodical straight line Bruins hockey. Many people thought this series would be a quick one, as Boston rattled off a team record ninth consecutive playoff win. There was a late-game hit when the Bruins were up two goals that I thought may carry over into the next game; the crunching check delivered by Torey Krug on the Blues Robert Thomas knocked the latter out of Games 2 and 3.
The momentum didn’t and wouldn’t go the Black and Gold’s way on that night as one of the Bruins defensemen Matt Grzelcyk was knocked out early in the game and forced Boston to play with five d-men the rest of the evening in a game that went to overtime. The early hit registered by Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist was the turning point in the game as the Music Notes were hitting everything that moved. It was with surgical precision how St. Loo controlled the game from start to finish but they still needed overtime to beat the Bruins in a contest clearly dominated by the Blues. I’d like to add that I thought the suspension of Sundqvist was uncalled for. Grzelcyk was caught leaning down and up against the boards as Sundqvist followed through with his check. Remember who I root for. I’m just being objective here.
As the teams prepared for Game three with the series even, I had an uneasiness about what I witnessed in the previous game. Sure, I understand the score of the game was 3-2 in overtime but it felt as if the Blues steamrolled the Bruins. Plus, I am of the opinion that winning overtime games in the playoffs carries Big
Moe Mo into the following contest. The venue was also moving to St.Louis where the city would experience their first Cup Finals game in forty-nine years. There’s a lot of emotion built up that I was fearful of. But momentum never carried over for the home team and I was surprised. The Bruins scored three in the first and sucked the life out of that building in the process and en route to a 7-2 victory.
What are we left with heading into tonight’s game? I have zero clue as to what to expect. Momentum in hockey sways in a manner like no other sport. It could be a heavy check, a fight, a save by your goalie that keeps you in the game, etc. You get the idea. If I were Butch Cassidy I would tell the troops to get an early goal and see if this Binnington kid isn’t rattled further after being pulled in the previous game. Enjoy the game people. Two down, two to go for the Bruins.