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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The NHL playoffs are my drug and the Bruins are my connect

I don't know why exactly but I'm obsessed with the Boston Bruins at the moment and their playoff journey.

Other than doing fantasy hockey, I can't say I pay much attention to other NHL teams during the regular season but now that the playoffs have started I can't look away. Every night there seems to be an incredible game on at all times.

The Bruins took control of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Sabres with a 2-1 Game 3 win last night at the TD Garden. With the win, Boston is up 2-1 with Game 4 tomorrow night at the Garden.

Three of Boston's most consistent players were the three stars of the game: Tuukka Rask (32 saves) outplayed Ryan Miller for the second straight game, Mark Recchi flattened Tim Kennedy and assisted on Patrice Bergeron's game-winner with 7:03 left in the third and Bergeron who one-timed Recchi's perfect feed.

For the third straight game, Buffalo jumped ahead with the first goal as former BU star Mike Grier scored 6:57 into the game from Raffi Torres and Henrik Tallinder.

Former Garden whipping boy Dennis Wideman tied it up (and all is forgiven) with a slap-shot at 15:17 of the first period. Vladimir Sobotka (who has been one of Boston's best players in the series) and Matt Hunwick assisted.

As expected, the goal-scoring has been at a premium with both teams lacking their top offensive players at the moment (Thomas Vanek and Marc Savard) but the games have been very physical and exciting.

Each blocked shot, poke check and pass means something, playoff hockey is one of a kind. I'd go so far as to call it the best, better than the NBA (where the favorites usually win) and MLB (where the same teams usually make the playoffs and the games are ten hours long). NFL playoff games are similarly superb so we'll call it even.

Can't wait for tomorrow night although there's plenty of NHL playoff action tonight to tide me over.

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