Thanks to my girlfriend I was in attendance for Game 3, sitting 16 rows behind Tuukka Rask’s net (or his net for two periods). Between the second and third periods with the Rangers holding a 1-0 lead, I walked to the bottom of my section, where the refs come out, and met my former boss, “Z”, who is the producer for Bruins hockey on NESN (I interned for him during senior year of college and the 2007-08 Bruins season). He was glowing about the Bruins’ 2-0 series lead and told me, “This team hasn’t played this well in a long time.” He wasn’t nervous about the Bruins trailing 1-0 and Henrik Lundqvist standing on his head through 40 minutes. The Rangers went 3-0 against the Capitals at MSG in the first round and they were riding an epic performance from Lundqvist here in Game 3. How could he be confident about the Bruins in the third period? I thought he was nuts. He wasn’t. The Bruins scored 3:10 into the third to tie the game took the lead for good with 3:31 left with a goal from their fourth line.
Looking back on the game it seems like a blur. Maybe because the seats were great (and the Coors Lights were too) or because the game was so significant, but it seemed to go like a CC Sabathia-Felix Hernandez 1-0 game would go. It felt like the whole thing happened in 30 minutes. I feel like I don’t even remember much of what happened, which might be due to the physical, emotional and mental fatigue of worrying about the Rangers clearing the puck out of the zone for an entire game the way I had done for Game 6 of the quarterfinals at the Garden.
The only thing left to do now is take a page out of Curt Schilling’s book and ask, “Why not us?” the way I did after Game 3 of the 2012 ALCS. Maybe this time a New York team will give the correct answer to that question.