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Friday, April 22, 2011

Still can't get over you Michael Ryder

Others have made the J.D. Drew comparison for Michael Ryder and it's perfect.

I'm not going to bite another person's style though and I think I've formulated another great analogy for Ryder: he is the ex-girlfriend that your still friends with on Facebook.

You haven't talked for years, she's not all that hot or appealing anymore and yet, you still find yourself looking at her page from time to time for no explainable reason.

Such is the existence of Michael Ryder. He possesses the best shot on the Bruins but he is the definition of a one-dimensional, lazy offensive player.

When I went to bed last night though, Ryder was the number one star in my constellation. He scored two goals, including the overtime winner as the Bs won a bonkers Game 4, 5-4 at the Bell Centre.

The series is evened up at 2 and Game 5 is tomorrow night at TD Garden.

Given the stakes-with Claude Julien's job on the line and other front-office and personnel moves sure to happen-it's not hyperbole to say last night's win for Boston was one of its most memorable and meaningful in our lifetimes.

Montreal came out flying in the first period and grabbed a 1-0 lead on Brent Sopel's seeing-eye shot from the point at 8:13 (from Mike Cammaleri and David Desharnais).

Ryder tied it up with his first goal of the playoffs, an absolute snipe over Carey Price's (30 saves) shoulder, at 2:13 of the second period.

The Canadiens erupted for two goals in 55 seconds as Cammaleri (from Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez) and Andrei Kostitsyn (from Tomas Plekanec and Travis Moen) took advantage of Bruins defensive breakdowns. As true Black and Gold fans, you couldn't help but feel like it was over.

Julien did something he never does, calling a timeout, and the last-ditch effort worked as the Bruins scored not one but two goals to tie it at 3 before the second period was over.

First, Andrew Ference pounced on a loose puck at 9:59 and also put it over Price's shoulder. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron assisted on it. The best part was afterwards as Ference flipped off the Bell Centre Zoo. A juvenile move for sure but how can you not love that if you root for the Bruins? They care, isn't that what we always cry about with pro athletes?

Bergeron tied it at 17:04 from Marchand and Seidenberg. Marchand displayed quick hands as he handed the puck to Bergeron right on the goal line, he couldn't miss from there.

Getting those two goals was huge for Boston but Montreal quickly jumped ahead for the third time, early in the third period, thanks to a bogus hooking call on Bergeron.

P.K. Subban roofed one over Tim Thomas (34 saves) at 1:39 on the power play from James Wisniewski and Cammaleri.

One last time, the Bruins answered and it was Chris Kelly (sporting a full cage to protect his busted up face) who was the unlikely hero. He tied it up with 6:18 left in regulation. Rich Peverley and Ryder assisted on it. Kelly was right in front of the net and poked it home.

Ryder capped off a spectacular night for his third line (3 goals, 5 assists) with the biggest goal of his life. Subban going off for a change at the wrong time led to a 3-on-1 rush. Peverley missed the net as always but it worked out well as Kelly got the rebound and passed it to Ryder, who had one more snipe left in his stick.

What a game and what a win for the franchise. The road team has won every game so far, needless to say the Bruins would like to flip that since they host two out of the last three possible games. Win tomorrow night and they're in great shape. Lose and all the hard work of the last two games gets buried. So yeah, kinda important.

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