Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk kept a diary for ESPNBoston.com all season. In this postseason edition, he talks about overtime goals, what he did immediately after the game seven win against the Canadiens, tweets from opposing teams, and what he expects from the Flyers.
- (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)
I'm in Philadelphia getting ready for Game 2. Game 1 against the Flyers was a game where we got guys to the net and the pucks were bouncing our way. We did have some really good plays by our forwards to get those pucks to the net. Coming off the Montreal series, it was nice to have a game like this. It helps that the Flyers and Canadiens play the same type of physical game with big offensive plays, which is very similar to how we play.
If there is one memory I will carry with me from our series with Montreal it's Nathan's [Horton] overtime goal in Game 7. What a relief that goal was for our team. It had all the drama you could imagine being Game 7 in overtime. You know if you make a mistake that the puck is going to end up in the wrong net. Luckily that didn't happen.
Looking back on the Montreal series, let's start with Game 2 where Z [Zdeno Chara] was out because of dehydration. At this point, we were down in the series 0-1. We knew with him out, everyone had to come together. While you couldn't do his job, you knew you had to elevate your game. Everybody had to elevate their game. We all know what a big part of our team he is. Unfortunately we couldn't get the puck to the net enough and lost 3-1 and headed to Montreal down 0-2 in the series.
Before game three, Rex [Mark Recchi] gave a talk to the team. He had experienced being down 0-2 to Montreal when he was with Carolina and went on to win the Stanley Cup that year [2005-6 season]. He talked to us about that experience and it kind of helped us to realize that this is the whole year on the line. We have to come together to face this challenge and we did.
I was interested in seeing what Montreal’s crowd would be like in the playoffs. It wasn't too that bad. It certainly wasn't as hostile as we thought it would be. Everyone was actually pretty nice, there weren't too many fans who went overboard. I mean, they were obviously cheering for their team and wanted them to win, but they weren't threatening us or anything.
After Game 3, we went and practiced in Lake Placid, N.Y.. I liked it there. Lake Placid is kind of a low key town. The scenery was really nice with the lake and the mountains around there. I liked getting away to Lake Placid in between games.
Game 4 was quite a game. Even though we went down three goals to one, we could kind of sense that things were going to turn because we were playing good. We knew if we could keep playing the same way that everything would come together. We came all the way back and this game went to overtime and Michael Ryder tied the series up.
We were back in Boston for Game 5, which ended up going to double overtime. You could see in everybody's eyes on both teams that everyone was very tired. Even watching Saturday's double overtime game where Nashville beat Vancouver, you see everyone had the same look like we did. This was also the game where Max Pacioretty tweeted about [Brad] Marchand [Editor's note: @MaxPacioretty 67 tweeted: "This game is longer than Marchands nose." He deleted the tweet soon after and later tweeted an apology.]. We heard about it after the game. You don't hear about anything like that during the game. It didn't really bother us and we didn't really pay too much attention to it. This was also the game where Nathan [Horton] scored the first of his two overtime game winners. Two overtime game winners in one series is unbelievable.
Game 6 was the game Looch [Milan Lucic] got the misconduct, but luckily nothing further happened with that. We played really well in this game five on five. It was the two five-on-three situations that hurt us. It's hard because you know you are playing so well at even strength. Then they get one five on three opportunity and score. Then you play well again at even strength and they get another five on three opportunity and score. It was kind of disheartening because we know we could have won that game if we didn’t take those penalties.
So we had a Game 7 back in Boston and I got to contribute to the scoring right away, with a goal that put us up 1-0 in the first period. It was a pass back from Brad [Marchand] and I was able to shoot it on net while there was a lot of guys around it, so I had a good screen for me and it went in. This game also went to overtime and Nathan did it for us again with the game winner. As soon as the puck went into the net I got on the ice and waited for Timmy [Thomas] because I know the last couple of overtime celebrations Timmy was left out. Everyone always goes to the goal scorer when they score in overtime but I decided to wait for Timmy because he deserved it and was such a big part of why we were heading to round two. I guess we are the first Bruins team in our history to come back from an 0-2 deficit. To come back from an 0-2 deficit isn't easy, but we believed that we could do it and we did.
Now we're getting ready for Game 2 against the Flyers. They're a good team. They have a really good first line that is physical and can score. It's kind of like our team. I'm looking out for [Danny] Briere's line this series. They compete hard. They've got that scoring touch that you have to be aware of. They're big playmakers. We're feeling pretty good so far. We're not focused on Game 1 because we know that they're going to be coming out really hard. We just have to be ready for the challenge against them.
Philadelphia fans have been pretty nice to us so far. They don't even notice us. It's not as crazy as Montreal, that's for sure. Oh and my playoff beard has been successfully achieved. It grew in pretty quickly. Now it's getting pretty bushy.