But as entertaining and exciting as the game may have been (no matter the result), the fireworks didn't conclude with Alex Galchenyuk's game-winner in extra innings.
Emelin and the Habs put an end to Boston's amazing streak (via J. Wickerman/AP)
Multiple Bruins payers speaking to the assembled media post-game did not hold back in letting their true feelings out, and who can blame them? They just lost an emotional game versus their hated rivals that snapped their almost month-long winning rampage through the NHL.
Milan Lucic delivered the most poignant comments on the night, calling out Habs defenseman Alexei Emelin for his hipcheck that he delivered on Lucic in the first period of last night's game, calling him a "chicken." He also denied spearing Emelin in the third period.
Whether it's air, legal or whatever you want to call it, if he wasn't scared, he would stand up and hit me and not go after my knees...It just shows how big of a chicken he is that he needs to go down like that to take me down. It shows what kind of player he is, and on my end, you know you've got to keep your guard up at all times.
I thought it was a clean hit on Lucic by Emelin. Yet I can understand Lucic getting ticked at the play, as players will always be sensitive when hit in the knee/hip area, not to mention being flipped over and into the boards.
That being said, it was Lucic who ended Emelin's season last year when Emelin took a run at Lucic, tearing his knee up. Maybe Emelin wanted to dish out some retaliation and send Lucic for a spin with the hit last year in the back of his head.
On if or not Lucic speared Emelin, Lucic replied:
I just skated by him and that's all. People are trying to say I speared him. I did not spear him, so that's it.
Let's get something clear: Lucic did in fact put his stick in between Emelin's legs. But was it violent? Was it spearing? Not a chance. Emelin felt the contact and hit the deck trying to draw a penalty. It did not cause any bodily harm for the Russian defenseman. Players deal out harder crosschecks after the whistle every game.
Coach Claude Julien stressed staying disciplined in the face of antics, and admitted that the Bruins got pulled into taking stupid penalties. And of course touched on the fact that the Black and Gold still hate shootouts, to no one's surprise:
We were just a little bit off the mark...Typical, I guess, start from a team that comes back from a road trip and plays its first game at home. Took us a while to get going. But you know, early penalties kind of just took the momentum from us and gave them some momentum.
Eventually we got ourselves back in the game and unfortunately, got settled in a shootout...We managed to get that point, and I guess, you know, if we have a weakness, it's pretty obvious - it's in the shootouts...[but] I don't care about that, because that doesn't happen in the playoffs.
The Bruins have employed the four-forward, one-defenseman style of play in overtime periods this season in hopes of ending the game before it got to a shootout.
The Bruins hate going to shootouts. For one reason or another, the Bruins have some sort of mental block when it comes to the skills competition. The Bruins have been in six shootouts this season. They're record is 2-4. Out of 25 total shot attempts, they've scored 5 goals. Total. In six shootouts.
No wonder they hate them.
Patrice Bergeron wasn't blaming anybody but himself and his teammates for their lack of execution on the night, citing being baited into the Habs' tactics and missing the multiple chances the B's had to put the game away:
It's always a huge game and a tough game to play, and fun to be a part of, also. It was a bit more of a playoff atmosphere...It's a team that has a lot of speed and they try to get under your skin, and a couple times we kinda played into their hands a bit and got too many penalties. But in the third we had a lot of chances to tie and win the game and we should've done that.
As is often the case in these games, whoever wins comes down to who keeps the cooler head. Staying disciplined versus the Habs is the key to winning, and the Bruins didn't do a good enough job of it. Johnny Boychuck taking down P.K. Subban after more of his typical B.S. wasn't smart, no matter how much Subban deserved it.
So the streak ends at the hands of the hated Habs. But the Bruins can't wait around and pout, as they have the Blackhawks to deal with come Thursday night.