BOSTON — It’s the four-letter word the best professional hockey teams don’t want to hear this time of year, but the Montreal Canadiens might as well have yelled it from the rooftop of the T.D. Garden.
The Bruins will have time for plenty of it after last night’s 3-1 loss in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference second-round series.
After a promising and dominating series win over the Detroit Red Wings (doesn’t that seem like a month or so ago?), something wasn’t right from the start of this series with the Canadiens.
Posts, cross bars, bounces, five holes and more. If it was bad the Bruins owned it the last two weeks.
Players that were A-list contributors in recent long playoff runs, like David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara, were shells of themselves.
And Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who really is one of the best goalies in the world, didn’t have it in him to make that great save when the guys in front of him failed.
The Canadiens’ second goal last night, when Max Pacioretty had an open net from 35 feet and blasted it in, was similar to Game 4 of the 2011 playoffs in overtime when Brian Gionta appeared to have the game won.
Ex-Bruins goalie Tim Thomas read the play perfectly and barely kicked the save wide, eventually finishing off one of the greatest playoff runs a goalie has ever had. The Bruins won The Cup, yadda, yadda, yadda.
If Rask saves it, do the Bruins win? What if Monday night Lucic doesn’t miss the open net from 15 feet away in the second period. That would’ve tied the game.
Too many ifs.
What was striking was the lack of respect the Canadiens showed the Bruins offense the last period. Before the penalty on Johnny Boychuk with 4:31 remaining in the game, which eventually sealed it for Montreal, the Canadiens had only two shots on goal in the period.