I still don’t know which one the Bruins want to be.
Do they want to be like Dr. Jekyll, the mild-mannered English doctor in Victorian London? Or do they want to be the violent and evil Mr. Hyde? After all, both personalities would come in handy in trying to advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Well, I don’t know what you’d call the Bruins who prevailed 5-4 in overtime Monday night despite trailing by three goals with nearly half the third period gone in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Toronto. While Bruins coach Claude Julien has been using the Jekyll-Hyde analogy to describe the difference in his team when it can build a 3-1 series lead and how it struggles when it lets the Maple Leafs tie the series, we saw both personalities during the miraculous comeback.
Maybe you can call the Bruins Mr. Jekyll-Hyde. After all, hyphenated names are all the rage.
We saw the Dr. Jekyll side in the way the Bruins managed to stem the tide with just five healthy defensemen, including NHL playoff novices Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski. Both youthful blueliners skated more than 20 minutes, and Zdeno Chara logged a season-high 35:46 to make up for the absence of Andrew Ference and Wade Redden, and the in-game loss of Dennis Seidenberg to injury.
Mild-mannered, level-headed Dr. Jekyll also showed up in the way the Bruins didn’t panic still down two goals with less than two minutes to play. Assistant coach Geoff Ward, who received postgame credit from Julien, drew up the 6-on-5 plays, and the Bruins executed them. They moved the puck, kept the Maple Leafs on their toes and made sure Toronto goaltender James Reimer’s eye sight was blocked as much as possible.
Even within those two goals that tied the game, and then later on Patrice Bergeron’s overtime winner, we saw Mr. Hyde. It takes a high level of evil to throw the body in the closing seconds the way Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton did in the midst of the tying rally.
And then finally leading up to Bergeron’s series-clincher, Tyler Seguin showed a mean streak in front of the net. He might’ve lose the battle, but at least the battle kept the puck alive for Bergeron to swoop in and light the lamp.
Julien might want the Bruins to pick Jekyll or Hyde going forward. But to me, they should keep both personalities together in order to take down the New York Rangers and whoever is in their way the rest of this postseason.