Anyone watching last night’s game got to see some vintage John Tortorella. Thankfully, he wasn’t mic’d up. Part of Tortorella’s frustration is that(at the moment) he and the Rangers have no real counter to Claude Julien’s four rolling line system. He expressed his frustration after the game. Thankfully, none of it had to be beeped out.
“We just didn’t spend enough time in their end zone,’’ said Tortorella. “We didn’t get enough forecheck. At times, we struggled to get through, and when we got through, we just didn’t sustain our forecheck. A team that’s rolling their lines they way they are, you need to have some time in their end zone. As the game went on, we were there less and less, so it mounts up on you.”
The Merlot Men came through for us again. When I first got into hockey, it was insinuated that the fourth line was for players who were skilled, but did not possess the elite level of skill most starters have. Well, that’s certainly not the case for the Bruins. In fact, it’s rare to see announcers call the trio of Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, and Shawn Thornton the “Bruins’ fourth line.” They’re the ‘Merlot Line’ or the ‘Energy Line’.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien was once again pleased with the performance of that trio. “They were working hard. They’ve scored some big goals for us in the playoffs. We have confidence in that line; we’ve said it a million times,” Julien said. “Tonight was no exception. We utilize them because they’re good, not because we have to.”
Daniel Paille earned the team’s ‘Star of the Game’ army jacket last night. He got an assist on Boychuk’s goal, and scored the game winner(and his second of the postseason) in the same period. He appreciates the team and the coach not labeling his line with any particular number. “It’s a huge compliment to say that, and we’re truly flattered,” Paille said. “Soup[Campbell] and I and Thorty[Thornton], we realize what we need to do and we try to do it the best way we can. Some nights we’re going to play more minutes and some nights we’re not. We’ve accepted that, and that’s why we’ve learned to try to be as successful as we can be.”
With the Bruins 2-1 win last night, they now have a commanding 3-0 lead over the Rangers. To date, only three NHL teams have rallied from an 0-3 deficit to advance. However, the Philadelphia Flyers overcame that very problem against the Bruins in 2010. Game four is tomorrow night in Madison Square Garden.