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Thursday, May 5, 2011

This ain't last year bro, get over it

Some pink hat Bruins fans or just miserable human beings-namely the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy- love to joke now that the Boston Bruins are up 3-0 on the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second year in a row, that Philly finally has the Bs where they want them.

I'm not going to dignify that with much of a response since it's a different year and a completely overhauled team for Boston. Yes, they had one of the biggest choke jobs in sports history last postseason which completely scarred all of us forever but that was by a fraudulent team (that still should have gotten the job done).

The Bruins' best players in this postseason: Tim Thomas, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Dennis Seidenberg, Chris Kelly and Nathan Horton were all for one reason or another (poor play, injuries, not on the team) were not playing for Boston last spring.

Zdeno Chara had two goals and an assist last night as the Bruins beat up the Flyers 5-1 at TD Garden to take a 3-0 series lead. Game 4 is tomorrow night back at TD Garden.

This was one over as fast as you can say Big Z (first of the playoffs) as the captain scored 30 seconds into regulation (from Marchand and Patrice Bergeron) and Krejci (fifth of the playoffs) made it 2-0 at 1:01 (with assists to Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton).

Philadelphia took a timeout after Krejci's goal but the damage had been done to goaltender Brian Boucher's (16 saves) already fragile psyche. For the third straight game in the series, he didn't make it through the entire contest as Sergei Bobrovsky (8 saves) entered in the second period.

Thomas (37 saves) continued to be a brick wall in goal and bar none, the best goaltender in the NHL playoffs. He never let the Flyers jump back into it and has completely neutralized their loaded offense.

The Bruins didn't let up when they got the early lead as Daniel Paille (first of the playoffs) and Horton scored in the second period to make it 4-0. Paille's goal at 13:39 was the direct result of a great transition with linemates Gregory Campbell (who had an assist) and Shawn Thornton (who drove to the net). Johnny Boychuck also assisted.

Horton's tally at 15:14 was Boucher's requisite soft as Kim Kardashian's butt goal that he allows each and every game. Krejci and Chara assisted on Horton's fifth of the playoffs that went right through Boucher's five-hole.

Philadelphia defenseman Andrej Maszaros got his team on the board at 16:26 of the second period. Darroll Powe and Daniel Carcillo assisted on Maszaros' strike that was inevitable since they were getting good pressure on Thomas.

Horton and Sean O'Donnell fought early in the second period. It was the first fight of the playoffs (as far as I know) but it was nice to see Horton step up and not give in to the endless cheap shots by the Flyers.

It was in garbage time but confidence-wise moving forward, Boston's last goal was perhaps its most important of the blowout as Chara broke the Bruins' 0-for-30 slump on the power-play in the playoffs. Yes it was on a 5-on-3 but who cares? Now they don't have to hear about that anymore. With assists to Krejci and Seidenberg, Chara fired a laser over Bobrovsky's shoulder.

One of the biggest misconceptions coming into this series was that the big bad Flyers would push around the Bruins. On second thought, not so much. Marchand, Paille, Boychuk, Lucic and Co. were all flying around last night and landing huge hits on Flyers. It was beautiful to see.

I'm not looking too far ahead but I'm very confident that if the Bruins don't win tomorrow night, they'll win in Game 5. The Flyers are just a mess right now while the Bruins have seven of their last eight playoff games including four in overtime. The best thing to do is get this over in Game 4, sweep the Flyers and get ready to face the Tampa Bay Lightning (who swept the Washington Capitals last night) in the Eastern Conference finals, someplace the Bs haven't been since 1992.

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