A TD Banknorth Garden State of Mind…
Sunday, 11.05.2006 / 7:32 PM / News
I woke up with a massive hockey headache this morning.
And, hoping to sooth my frazzled nerves, I literally crawled along the bedroom floor, found my music case, rifled through my CD’s (don’t have an iPod yet) and pulled out a somewhat current favorite and a certain guaranteed future classic.
So, this humble blog is best read while listening to the Garden State movie soundtrack…press play and add some music to your victorious “Garden State” of mind, your (hopefully) restful Sunday afternoon and evening, previous to the big Pat’s game.
We live in a beautiful world…
Not sure exactly what I was thinking when Muzz buried the puck last night in OT, but it was probably something like this:
“Oh, thank goodness.”
Plus or minus a colorful metaphor or two thrown into my celebratory dance…
For me, there is nothing like hockey to pull you out of the dumpster and put you into an amazing mood.
Thanks to Murray I had an amazing story to write. That took a long time, but I was happy to do it – what a fun ending to a crazy game.
And, to be a little selfish, I love writing about big wins.
And that was a BIG WIN.
"It’s very important," said Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara after defeating the Lightning. "We know that we have to catch up. We lost some games early in the season, now we are actually improving and we’re getting better in our structure.
"There is a better feeling in the locker room, especially tonight. This will help a lot. We finally get some bounces and tied the game. We used that two-man advantage and it was big for us.
"We’ll enjoy it now, but we know there is another game coming up [with Atlanta]," he said.
"Let’s get back to .500 and go from there," said Assistant Captain Murray. "Obviously, we haven’t given our fans a lot to cheer about -- wins make the fans happy.
"It was a big win for us, so hopefully we can get on a roll.
"Our record could be one game over .500, but it is not…yesterday is yesterday and we have to just keep going forward," said Murray.
"I think we stayed with the program," said Marc Savard, who netted two goals and three assists on the evening. "And we got some breaks tonight and we deserved them. Hopefully this gives us a little confidence and we get on a little run here.
"We just stuck to it all night. We had some bad breaks and we just hung in there."
"It just shows the character on this hockey club," said Savard.
I think I’ll go home and mull this over…
But as I drove home last night, I could not find the proper music to guide my way -- not too many stations play "Nutty" at midnight.
So I made do with "Big Country" by Big Country and something by Tears for Fears.
And as I drove, I just kept thinking about how, before Chara and Murray stepped to the fore, I didn’t want to believe that the B’s would go down in such a dramatic way – again.
I just couldn’t fathom it.
And, just like you, I am sure, I remember that I was wishing that somebody would step up and at least tie the game.
"Anybody," I said out loud as I asked the hockey gods for help.
I wasn’t picky who stepped up.
Many of you were with me, I am sure.
And then it happened.
"Well, the thing that I liked most about the game was that the guys just didn’t back down," said Head Coach Dave Lewis. "They just kept coming and coming, you know?
"Their mindset was strong and they were determined.
"It wasn’t the prettiest game, that’s…a fact. But they found a way to win a hockey game," said Lewis of his troops.
Do you believe in what you see…
As much as I would like to say that the ending did not surprise me, I was totally knocked tuque over teakettle by the Murray goal.
"We knew we had a 5-on-3," said Murray of the game winner. "But it was kind’ve a broken play. I think Z kept it in and made a play to Paulie [Mara].
"He’s just walking in and you try to get open," said a humble Murray.
After Murray’s goal, instead of trashing my desk, I thankfully trashed most of what I had written previous to the shot and ran upstairs to get interviews.
For a change, everyone I passed was smiling.
And the locker room -- the locker room was like Christmas morning; I couldn’t wait to see what the guys would say.
"I feel excellent," exclaimed Marc Savard when I caught up with him in the room. "I am really proud of the guys in here.
"We could have rolled over after the second period, but it just shows the character of the players we have in here.
"And we know…that we have a great hockey club here and tonight we proved that late," he said.
"If you work hard and you skate and do all the things you are supposed to do, usually things happen for you," said Chara. "We tied up the game a few seconds before regulation [ended] and we used our power play."
"We know we made some mistakes in the game and it cost us.
"If you give St. Louis, Lecavalier and Prospal those chances they are going to capitalize. We have to get better at that, but the important thing is that we won," said Chara.
Dawn breaks like a bull through the hall…
I’ll be honest with you though; there is no way I wanted to get out of bed to come to practice today.
I just wanted to savor the victory, go to the store and get the papers, watch Sports Desk and write from the comfort of the Bish Cave.
Let’s face it, there haven’t been that many of these thus far this season.
So, let go…Jump in…Oh well, what you waiting for?
But when I did get to Boston, and the Garden, the smiles had not gone away.
I ran into some Bruins fans on the way in – Nancy, Eddie and Paula, and they were still ecstatic. Their energy fed mine and I felt like sprinting into the office after that.
And so did the Bruins who participated in an open practice for the Bruins Season Ticket Holders, narrated by Dave Lewis.
The players looked particularly relieved after the practice and continued to talk about the win and the fans who had shown up in the Garden.
"First of all you got to bed in the right mood," said Chara of Saturday evening. "You feel much better after a winning game than after a losing game.
"When you win you go to sleep really relieved and relaxed…and you wake up [the next day] with a positive attitude and you’re excited to practice.
"We had the Season Ticket Holders today and they came to see us. It was a really great thing to do and we really enjoyed it and we really thank them," said the Captain.
"Obviously I was happy to win," said Milan Jurcina. "I was happy to be in the lineup and I was enjoying myself a lot…it was a really good feeling in the locker room after we won in overtime."
"Well, I can tell you something, if it had gone the other way, it would have been a tough one to rebound from," said Mark Mowers. "We’ve had some difficult loses and last night would have put the icing on the cake.
"But we persevered through it," he said.
"It was a tough second period and I give credit to the guys in this locker room."
Half a million thoughts are flowing through my mind
Thanks for reading this ramble today. I am not sure I am capable of anything more coherent than the jumble on this page – six cups of joe yesterday, and three this morning and two this afternoon and I am basically seeing through walls.
Anyway, Our Boys left for Atlanta on Sunday at 3. Our hopes for a better season go with them.
I can’t wait for Monday at 7.