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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Are the Bruins ready for one of the worst collapses in sports history?

It's not easy being a Boston Bruins fan and this postseason just confirms that.

After looking like a sure thing a week ago (up 3-0 on the Flyers) to make their first Eastern Conference Final since 1992, Boston is now reeling after Philly embarrassed them 4-0 in Game 5 last night at the TD Garden.

Boston is up 3-2 with Game 6 shifting to the Wachovia Center tomorrow night and the real possibility of Game 7 back at the Garden on Friday night. In pro sports, there's only been three teams that have comeback from down 3-0 in the playoffs: the Maple Leafs in 1942, Islanders in 1945 and the Red Sox in 2004.

It's hard not to panic if you're a Bruins fan since this is a franchise that has continually found ways to bury itself in the past few decades. Just when it looked like they were dawning on a new era of winning hockey this postseason, they go and do this. Ugh.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead 6:41 into the first period as Ville Leino scored from Chris Pronger and Matt Carle.

Flyers goalie Brian Boucher (9 saves) left in the second period with what looked like a serious knee injury. His replacement, Michael Leighton (14 saves), hadn't played since March 18 but you wouldn't know it since the B's made him look like Patrick Roy in his prime.

Scott Hartnell (Danny Briere, Kimmo Timonen) and Simon Gagne (Mike Richards, Leino) on the power play made it 3-0 in the second period, ensuring this series would be extended yet again.

Gagne added a second goal in the third period, unassisted, after Dennis Wideman broke his stick in the offensive zone which led to a breakaway for Gagne.

The Bruins picked an inopportune time to have their worst game of the season, and that's saying a lot for a team that lost 10 in a row during a pedestrian regular season.

None of the goals were really Tuukka Rask's (27 saves) fault but he has given up nine goals in the past two games after being stellar through the first nine games of the playoffs.

Above all, the B's couldn't get out of their own way. They gave Philly nine power plays, a product of a team that was chasing the Flyers around the ice rather than the other way around.

Tomorrow night could go a million different ways and at this point, I have no idea what to expect from this team that looked so good just three games ago.

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