The Winter Classic has come and gone, and for any self respecting Bruins fan, they are thrilled that it’s done. The Bruins came into the game losers of three of their last four, but the win came in classic Boston fashion against the Ottawa Senators, with seven goals and four fights happening in an impressive win.
For those who didn’t have a chance to watch the Winter Classic on television or in person, allow me to recap why you shouldn’t be in a hurry to watch the replay. To start off, the best part of the entire day came when the two teams entered into Gillette Stadium in a Star Wars-themed musical by the Boston Pops. It was difficult to determine if you were watching a hockey game or a theatre performance, but it was still cool nonetheless.
When the teams stood in classic side-by-side fashion, it came time for the National Anthems of the respected countries. It was clear from the first moment that NBC did not listen to the fans and still had their crap performances lined up. As Jack Edwards put it, thank god our neighbors to the north are friendly after what was done to their National Anthem. When it came time for the Star Spangled Banner, the 67,000+ in attendance rained down boo’s on the non-Rene Rancourt, but allowed the song to be sung and cheered after.
As if the anthems weren’t enough, NBC decided to really kill the buzz by having absolutely horrendous musical performances throughout the day. You can’t go from ACDC and hard rock to Nate Ruess from the band “Fun”, it doesn’t work, but NBC doesn’t know that.
Anyways, now to the hockey. If you’re one for the Canadiens then you are in luck, this game was all you! It took just a minute and thirteen seconds for the Canadiens to put one past Rask. The goal could be described in a few words, but possibly the best one would be gross. Rask was beaten flat out of position and the Canadiens held early control of the momentum.
There are a lot of ways for people to describe the Bruins style of play in the first period. The best way in my opinion would be to say they were overwhelmed. I mean, how else can you explain being held to three shots in the entire period? The Bruins went fifteen minutes without a single shot on net in the first period. That is so beyond unacceptable that there aren’t even words to describe it. This isn’t Columbus. We aren’t okay with a period like the first period from this game.
Tuukka Rask absolutely kept the Bruins’ hopes alive going into the second. Even though the Canadiens scored two minutes in, you can’t place a single bit of blame on Rask. The defensive pairs that were in front of him absolutely let him down. He was hung out to dry on multiple occasions, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard “TUUUUKKKKKK” screamed out so many times in two periods.
The Canadiens made it 3-0 going into the third period before Matt Beleskey put one home to cut the lead to two. It was great to hear the horn sounding at Gillette for an actual reason besides a third down for once. That would prove to be the single highlight of a devastating and embarrassing loss for the Bruins. The final score was 5-1.
In a scarier moment of the game, Rask finally learned why goalies wear throat protection shields around their necks. A slap shot was diverted in front of the Boston net in the third period, sending Rask turning away to protect himself. Instead of protecting himself, he caught the puck square on the right side of his neck. A scary moment for all fans watching as well as trainers spent several minutes massaging his neck to regain feeling. In the end, he did stay in the net for the duration, but one has to wonder if this will signify the start of a throat guard? Probably not, but one can hope.
The Bruins all famous power-play was given two chances to make a dent in the Winter Classic. Both times they failed to do so. The first power-play wasn’t even a power play to be honest. Montreal had three perfectly timed clears and the Bruins barely got anything going before it was sent flying out of the zone. The second power-play was better, but still had no result for the Bruins.
This game will have you scratching your head for a long time. Here’s hoping that the Bruins didn’t put a hex on Gillette, since the Patriots still need to win some playoff games to complete Tom Brady’s Revenge Tour. If someone asks you about the game, it’s best not to tell them, because odds are they won’t believe you when you do tell them.