Obnoxious Boston Fan

Deja Vu All Over Again: 'Jekyll and Hyde' Bruins Return As Canadiens Force Game 7

"There's an old saying that victory has 100 fathers and defeat is an orphan."
- John F. Kennedy, April 21, 1962

President Kennedy's words came 52 years and a few weeks before Monday night's Bruins 4-0 capitulation to the Montreal Canadiens at Centre Bell.

If Kennedy was here to offer an assessment of Game 6, the late Commander in Chief might have switched his words around just a bit. Monday's defeat had so much Bruins' paternity Maury Povich would need three shows to cover it all.

There were defensive breakdowns. There was sub-par goaltending. There was a tepid offense. There was some epic stupidity on behalf of the Bruins. There were hit crossbars courtesy of Loui Eriksson. There were missed open nets by Milan Lucic.

Clang, bang, whiff.

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There was aggressive play by the Canadiens from the first puck drop. There was steady play by Montreal goalie Carey Price. There was puck control by Thomas Vanek and friends. There was a bitter and sweet breakaway goal by Max Pacioretty that looked like a bad reenactment of the penalty-box blitz goal scored by Subban in Game 3.

Both of those goals gave Montreal what turned out to be insurmountable two-goal leads.

Monday's Game 6 loss was as complete a defeat as the Bruins could have imagined. Thankfully, no one was injured or arrested. Although, the Montreal fans could have called 9-1-1 and reported Zdeno Chara for loitering in front of the net on Montreal's second and third goals. Somehow, when you're watching No. 33 these days, the word "lumbering" often comes to mind.

Even when the Bruins tried to pull Tuukka Rask with about four minutes to play in the game, Rask couldn't even get off the ice without going down before Montreal scored its fourth goal.

While the Bruins stumbled, bumbled and bungled their way through 60 minutes of hockey, the Canadiens were more disciplined and sharper than the Queen's Palace Guard.

Last year, after the Bruins lost Game 6 to Toronto, Bruins coach Claude Julien talked about the dual personality of his team.

"We've been a Jekyll and Hyde hockey club all year, and that's what you're seeing right now," Julien said. "I think it's important for us to bring the good Bruins team to the table for Game 7."

Julien could have said the same thing after Monday night's game. It remains as true now as it did exactly a year ago Monday night.

They are multiple reasons why on Wednesday there will be a ninth Game 7 between the Bruins and the Canadiens. None of them had anything to do with Shawn Thornton spraying a water bottle on P.K. Subban. History has not been kind to Boston in its Game 7's against Montreal.

The darkest hour in Bruins Game 7 history game 35 years ago last Saturday - don't remind Mike Milbury - thanks to "Too Many Men On The Ice."

The Bruins squelched much of their historic angina against Montreal three years ago when they beat the Canadiens at T.D. Garden in Game 7 in overtime thanks to this goal at 5:43 of overtime by Nathan Horton.

The Bruins would win two more Game 7s en route to their Stanley Cup Duck Boat parade. Thought that might cheer you up, even if Horton is in Columbus.

The reality of a Game 7 in this series is not shocking to many, considering the history of these teams. But given Boston's complete front-to-back dominance in Game 5, it is a bit of a surprise.

Even when the Bruins were able to get the puck on the goal crease in the third period, they could not get it fully across the goal line before David Desharnais covered the puck in the crease and swatted it away from the net.

GIF: Desharnais saves a goal with a sweeping glove juuuust in... on Twitpic
[Via @PeteBlackburn]

All legal. Even more frustrating. It was that kind of night for Boston.

Thankfully, All the President's Cup Men won just that award this season and earned the right to have that Game 7 safety-net at T.D. Garden.

If the Bruins do nearly everything opposite Wednesday night in Game 7 than they did in Game 6, they should land a spot against either New York or Pittsburgh in the conference finals.

These "Jekyll and Hyde" Bruins have returned, just in time to allow Montreal to force a Game 7. Julien was succinct when asked about that Game 7 after Monday's loss. "I expect us to win," he said.

For that to happen, these Bruins will need one more drastic and complete changeover in time for Wednesday night.

The OBF Blog is written by award-winning journalist, Bay State native and Boston.Com columnist Bill Speros. Got a news tip, want to let him know directly what you think, have a complaint or compliment about his "aggressively relevant" content or hate people who speak about themselves in the third person, hit him up on his Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or hit him on at his
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