The label ‘choke’ gets thrown around a lot in sports. Sometimes it is earned, sometimes it’s unfair. In the case of the 2009-2010 Boston Bruins, it was definitely earned. In last year’s Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Philadelphia Flyers, the B’s had a 3-0 lead and it seemed like a mere formality that they’d advance to the conference finals and face one of their biggest rivals, the Montreal Canadiens.
Funny thing happened on the way to the Finals.
The Flyers managed to win Game 4 on their home ice in overtime. A 4-0 drubbing in favor of Philly in Game 5 in Boston, and thoughts of a choke began. The Flyers took Game 6 at home to even the series and send it to Beantown for Game 7.
Within the first 15 minutes of play of Game 7, the Bruins had built a 3-0 lead, and it seemed that history would not be made. But Boston was simply setting the table to choke away the series in epic fashion. The Flyers got one back before the end of the first, then two in the second to tie it. Simon Gagne’s power play goal in the third (off a too many men on the ice penalty), and that was that. It was only the third time a team came back from a 3-0 series deficit in the history of the NHL. Game, set, match, choke.
The two teams get a replay of their series today, with the Flyers having home ice this time. Both teams are coming off seven games series in the first round. The Flyers dominated their game 7 against the Buffalo Sabres, while the still lazy Nathan Horton bailed out the Bruins in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens.
If anything, this will be a physical series. Both teams have some question marks coming in. The Flyers have their annual playoff goaltending questions, while the Bruins are still awaiting for the arrival of Milan Lucic to the playoff goal ledger. The 30 goal scorer during the regular season managed only two assists in the first round.
Game 1 is today at 3pm est. TSN Gamdday is right here.
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