The first of the scheduled seven-part CBC docudrama - with hosts Ron MacLean, Elliotte Friedman, Bob Cole and Garry Galley - aired on a Saturday afternoon which was far too nice (at least in Ottawa) to be sitting in a cold, dark basement watching TV.
But many of us did anyway, if for no other reason than just to make sure it was sticking to script.
When the Boston Bruins held a three-goal lead with less than nine minutes left on the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semi-final, Cole and Galley warned viewers that the outcome wasn’t necessarily settled. If the Flyers could get one now, they took turns saying, then “who knows?”
To those who were vacationing on a small, disconnected island in the Pacific last spring, the suggestion would seem preposterous. Who knows? Had these respected commentators not been watching closely enough? No way were the Flyers getting back in this one.
But only seconds after Cole uttered his “who knows?” did Mike Richards score on Tim Thomas, and suddenly those who missed the 2010 mini-series that was miraculously extended until May 14 would get a hint of what the rest of us realize as fact.
And that is, when it comes to Boston’s playoffs with Philadelphia, leads of three are not safe.
The difference one year later, it would appear, is that the Bruins have a Vezina Trophy favorite between their pipes, not Tuukka Rask, and the Flyers have a spaghetti strainer between theirs. Much of what’s poured toward the Philly goal gets through.
On this nice Saturday afternoon, Brad Marchand and Gregory Campbell pumped a couple of late goals by the second of two sieves in goal for the Flyers to snuff out the potential comeback started by Richards.
Also, it became quite apparent that unless Michael Leighton re-emerges from the rubble that’s in the Flyers crease - and brings with him his 2010 self that was unspectacularly reliable - there’s no chance that the Bruins, once they claim another 3-0 series lead, are going to be part of any CBC rerun.
STARTS AND STOPS: As lifeless as the Canucks were offensively, they should have still won their game in regulation time. Ryan Suter’s shot from behind the net with 1:07 to play had no business going in. “I was just trying to get a whistle,” Suter told CBC’s Scott Oake before the overtime. “We were gassed there.” He got his faceoff all right. He got it because Roberto Luongo couldn’t make one of the simplest of plays ... In his post-game interview, two-goal scorer Brad Marchand agreed that it was as it looked - a tough game and it’s going to be a tough series. “There were a lot of dirty shots from both sides,” noted Marchand, throwing himself and teammates in the same rut under the bus as the Flyers ... Strong addition to the 2011 NHL playoffs has been made by the Vancouver Canucks, who somehow lured Elvis Costello to Rogers Arena for a rendition of “Pump It Up” prior to the opening faceoff of Game 2 ... Glenn Healy mentioned that a former teammate of his by the name of Wayne Gretzky would go “apoplectic” if he went 14 games without a goal, like Henrik Sedin had heading into Saturday’s action. Of course, the most goals that Gretzky fellow had in a season was 92, while this Sedin’s career best was 29 ... H. Sedin’s woes continued when Pekka Rinne made a great save off him early in OT.
THINGS I THINK I THUNK: Daniel Briere’s 7-1 (goals-assists) start to the playoffs are numbers even members of the Phillies outstanding rotation would admire ... Coach’s Corner likes Barry Trotz as coach of the year. Hard to argue that one ... Don Cherry also declared Bruins D-man Andrew Ference “the hypocrite of all-time” for delivering a headshot in the Montreal series after speaking out against them. All time is a long time ... Of Marchand’s first goal, for which he snuck in behind the Flyers defence, Galley declared: “Sometimes you’ve got to lose yourself.” Marshall Mathers would agree ... CBC caught Chris Pronger limping into the rink before the game, prompting Galley to suggest some type of “gamesmanship” by the Flyers defenceman. “(His injury was) his right hand,” said Galley. Added Cole: “(That’s) Pronger, always thinking.” Methinks a guy who is 6-foot-6, weighs 210 pounds and reportedly wears a size 6 skate is limping more often than not ... Flyers fans were given t-shirts that read “Philadelphia Tea Party” as they arrived at the rink. With the goaltending they’re seeing from their team, they need something a lot stronger to drink than that.
-It’s hard to watch hockey without my team in there. I hate the Flyers so I guess you could say I would like to see the Bruins win this series.
Former Habs tough guy Chris “Knuckles” Nilan.
-Boucher REALLY sucks.
HabsBlogger, Montreal Gazette city columnist Mike Boone.
-Beautiful day out here in San Jose. Ill be spending it by not moving from my bed all afternoon #napsaremylife.
Sharks centre Logan Couture.
-If NASH/VAN goes 7, the winning team will have 4 goals and the loser 3.
Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman.