The best April Fool’s joke of all took place in Boston last night, where 32-year-old Scott Clemmensen looked more like mid-90’s John Vanbiesbrouk than a career backup. He stopped all 36 shots he faced en route to a 1-0 victory for the Panthers.
What makes the loss even more irritating for the Bruins is not the fact that some Joe Schmo goalie kept the puck out of the net for 60 minutes, but that the B’s controlled the tempo of the game throughout. They outshot Florida 36-19 and had about a dozen solid scoring opportunities. Nevertheless, they just couldn’t hammer one home on Clemmensen, a Boston College product.
In his postgame interview, Mark Recchi said that he didn’t think the Bruins “had 20 guys tonight.” This is something that might be acceptable in October or November, and maybe parts of December, but down the stretch with the playoffs on the line? C’mon! Each game is so important for the Bruins at this juncture, so I can’t fathom why this team can’t get motivated. It is a game they certainly could have won, but they didn’t. None of the pressure they put on Clemmensen means anything because, after 60 minutes, they walked away without any points, still in a three-way tie for the final three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, and with their future still very much in doubt.
The Bruins only break of the night was on the out-of-town scoreboards. Because the Flyers lost to the Islanders and the Thrashers lost to Washington, the Bruins’ playoff status remains unchanged as far the standings go. Unfortunately, the team’s inability to put the puck in the net also remains unchanged. They now have five games left to figure out how to master that very important aspect of the game.