Mr. Mojo Risin’

by

boston bruins mojo

The Bruins 2-0 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers, accomplished in dramatic fashion with late game heroics in two hotly contested games at TD Garden in Boston, has created a lot of Buzz around the Black and Gold here, now. You could feel it building as they were beating the Buffalo Sabres and the home games were becoming loud, raucus, joyous affairs each night. Something special was in the air. Heroes were being born. It seemed like all the disfunction had been flushed away and it was Band of Brothers time.

Still, after the disappointments of the regular season, people were cautious not to get their hopes up. A six game victory over Buffalo in the first round of the playoffs is nice but it doesn’t mean your team are world beaters. The Sabres just aren’t that good.

But it felt great, didn’t it?

Something intangible seemed to be swirling around the team. A certain mojo.

On to the second round and the Bruins get an astonishingly good draw thanks to arch-rival Montreal pulling off the upset of the year by beating the Washington Capitals in 7 games. Home ice advantage and the seventh seeded, banged up Philadelphia Flyers come to town led by journeyman golatender Brian Boucher. Two fun filled, dramatic games later the Bruins have taken command of the series at 2-0 thanks, once again, to overtime goals seemingly yanked from the pages of a Hollywood script and end of game clutch play from guys who struggled all year long. Things that just never seemed to happen much during the entire regular season are happening every game now.

Mojo.

You can’t deny it. Things have changed around the Boston Bruins and all for the better. Perhaps, when you look at the awful run they endured during the 2009-10 regular season, you might want to think that the pain and suffering and strife somehow made them stronger. Perhaps, to truly enjoy the team’s resurgence, you think that the punishment we fans endured will only make the celebrations that much more enjoyable. All of this could very well be true.

There’s a theory out there, and I’ve heard it put forth by none other than Cam Neely on a weekly radio interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub, that the Matt Cooke/Pittsburgh situation was actually the turning point for the team’s season because that was where they bottomed out. After that March 18th game where the team failed to satisfy universal expectations to rise to the occaision and redeem themselves and were utterly beaten and humiliated, they had reached their absolute low. They heard it from fans, they heard it from media, they heard it from management. It was as bad as it could get.

Meaning, there was no where to go but up.

Is that where they looked into that cliched mirror and decided it was time to grow a pair? Is that where they realized how far they had fallen and that it was time to start clawing their way back?

I’m not sure it was anything that dramatic. I think this Bruins team tends to play best when they need to. You could see that down the stretch when every point became essential to making they playoffs. They won the games they needed to and drove themselves to that sixth seed in the East. They don’t handle success quite as well. The way they played this season suggests that whenever they reach a certain comfort level, they relax and their game suffers. See Game 5 of the Buffalo series. It will be interesting to see how they react to being up 2-0 against the Flyers in that context.

The bottom line is this. The B’s are two wins away from the Eastern Conference Finals and they have five games to do it and home ice advantage. They will, should they advance, face either the Pens or the Habs, either of which will be an explosive series in an almost nuclear sense. Just flat out Huge, folks.

As a hockey fan, these are the times you live for.

And, oh yeah, there’s that matter of the 2nd overall pick in the 2010 draft which guarantees you one of two potential superstar impact forwards, which is exactly what you need. This run right now could just be the beginning. A preview of things to come if the team continues to build as it has. You now have the goalie of your future in Tuukka Rask. You have the best shut down defenseman in the NHL in Zdeno Chara. Stud young centermen like Krejci and Bergeron, both still under 25 years old. Milan Lucic, if he can regain form and continue improving.

The peices of the puzzle are coming together, folks. They are being assembled before our eyes here and the Big Picture is coming into focus and it’s starting to look like a big ol’ Spoked “B”.

So, yeah, without getting too carried away, there certainly is a different feeling over at the Garden these days. Something in the air.

Mojo.

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