First of all, I don't want to talk about the Bruins getting blanked in game two past this:
Game one was the release of the stircrazy energy that builds up over nine days. Game two, there was none of that stircrazy energy left. Game two was rust. Two days off between games two and three means practice, getting back to what we know, settling back into the groove of hard work and retaliation. The Bruins are nothing if not retaliant, and this is a good thing to bounce back from. (I do not ever want to see Zdeno Chara get a -3 for the night, ever, EVER again.)
Game three in three hours: this kid can't wait.
Other games in the last few days were incredibly lively and dramatic. That's one thing - the fewer teams that remain, the more concentrated the drama seems to get. Canucks/Blackhawks game two was intense (soo intens!) although game three the 'Hawks seemed to lack mojo, dropping that one 3-1. They looked a lot like the Bruins in game 2 - just not a full-force presence on the ice. Red Wings/Ducks game three was a big bowl of crazy - James Wisniewski carted off the ice in a stretcher after taking a puck to the chest, and a Marian Hossa goal that was - and then wasn't. (I am learning the Ways of the Terrible NHL Ref from this playoff round, as well. Good times.)
Also learning about the whole deal with who gets suspended for what, and it seems a little off to me. Like - Brashear gets suspended for six games for a hit on Blair Betts that didn't even seem that bad, but guys like Chris Kunitz and Sean Avery can deck Semyon Varlamov in the head (or cross check him) and...nothing? Or, and this is water under the bridge at this point, but still - Lucic's suspension for crosschecking, but nothing for Komisarek's eye-gouging? Or Mike Brown's hit on Jiri Hudler? I think the NHL needs to sit down, after this season, and take a serious good hard look at how they rule these sorts of penalties. It's not fair to assess a five-minute-major and game misconduct to Brown, and then a two-minute minor and SIX GAME SUSPENSION to Brashear, when both hits are of the same caliber. If the NHL is going to take a harder hand to hits like these, it needs to serve out penalties equally and fairly, not in what appears to be a random, crapshoot-esque manner.
Capitals/Penguins game two was in a league of its own - terrible NBC coverage (although with our Brick!), Ovie and Sid the Kid both scoring hat tricks (pretty sure the media collectively peed themselves as soon as this happened) - with the differences being Dave Steckel and Semyon Varlamov. The Pens need to pull one out, tonight - more of their team needs to show up. Where's Evgeni Malkin been, this series? Did he forget to catch the plane to Washington? Maybe now that they're home tonight, he can find his way to the rink. Oh, Mineral. So faily.
So, game three. Times two. (Dear NHL, why would you schedule two games at the same exact time?) Matt Hunwick and Marco Sturm had private skate sessions yesterday before practice; it's the little things. Maybe it'll help energize their team, seeing their teammates struggling their way back through rehab. Maybe the shocker of dropping a game 3-0 to a team they beat soundly four times in the regular season and once in the postseason, along with seeing that 3-0 drop on video, will be enough to motivate them to step up their game. Whatever the case, look to see a completely different Bruins team tonight.
Oh, and let's go Celts. (And Red Sox, I guess? THERE ARE FOUR SPORTS GAMES ON TONIGHT THAT I HAVE TO COVER. Difficulty: I am having it.)