OT: Boston Choke Job

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on May 14th, 2010 at 9:36 PM

To have a 3-0 series lead. To have a 3-0 lead in game 7. To lose both 4-3. Holy cow. To lose it on a stupid penalty for having too many men on the ice. Wow. Ridiculous.


Mr. Robot

May 14th, 2010 at 9:47 PM ^

I do feel bad that the game winner came on a stupid penalty like that.

This is negated by the fact that, as stated, they blew a 3-0 series lead and a 3-0 Game 7 lead to set that up. I love Matt Hunwick, but boy did the Bruins blow it. At least now I have no conflict of interest in the conference finals. Go Camarelli!

Steve Lorenz

May 16th, 2010 at 12:34 AM ^

I wanna agree and this is what most others I've asked have said.....but in my mind the epic choke in the game 7 itself is what separates this one from any other. I mean could you possibly blow a more pivotal game in a worse fashion?

Edit: and hatred for the Yanks is probably the reason this was plussed so many times. At worst they were equal choke jobs. To blow a three goal lead at home in game 7 and lose it because of a bonehead penalty.....I mean could you write it any better?

Clarence Beeks

May 15th, 2010 at 2:05 PM ^

That was only the fourth time that a team has ever come back from 3-0 in a seven game series all four major sports combined (3 times in hockey (Toronto, NY Islanders, Philadelphia) and 1 time in baseball (Boston)).  That's it.  An absolutely amazing accomplishment by one team and an absolutely horrendous failure by the other.


May 15th, 2010 at 12:36 AM ^

But there are a couple of other things about it that intrigue me.  First, there was another OT posting from today in relation to the Simmons article on LeBron.  I think there are some similarities between the character traits he mentions in the article and Chara.  Zdeno is huge, but he isn't ruthless.  Ovie owned him in the Olympics (was more physical) and he just doesn't have that nasty streak that a guy like Pronger does; I'm not sure that any team with him as their top defenseman is going to make a run all the way to the Cup.

The other thing that I couldn't stop wondering about was why Ville Leino got dealt to the Flyers for only a 5th round pick and some journeyman Norwegian defenseman?  I barely even remember the deal, but the Wings obviously knew he had ridiculous potential.  Why ship him instead of a guy like Miller or Eaves who have relatively little upside by comparison?  Was it purely a cap move?  Anybody with some insight on that I'd love to know about it...


May 15th, 2010 at 1:14 AM ^

Leino couldn't crack the lineup because he sucked so bad. Trade Eaves or Miller? That would be one of the dumbest things to do. Eaves and Miller did a great job this year. Leino was junk. He really hasn't done anything for the Flyers until the last few games in the Bostons series. I'm glad Ken Holland is GM and not you.


May 15th, 2010 at 2:01 AM ^

Ville Leino shows a profound inability to get his "hands dirty" if you will. He's not near the high traffic areas. He doesn't produce a lot of points. Leino is one of those guys that looks better than he is. You don't realize how much talent he's really wasting by not doing the little things until he's on your team.


Philly got HOSED in that deal. And they didn't give up much in return. Think about that.


May 15th, 2010 at 2:13 AM ^

Why in the world would you trade two terrors on the penalty kill when you have a player that only has a role to put up numbers and only put up 7 points in 40 some games...?

BTW, the Wings never said he had "ridiculous" potential.  They basically signed Leino as a consolation prize for losing out on Brunnstrom.  Leino was going to go back to Europe if he was going to be playing in Grand Rapids this year.  The Wings brought him up, he sucked, he got shipped out.  Sure, he might do great things for another team, but he just wasn't a fit on the Wings.  Instead of burying him on the bench, Holland did the classy thing and sent him to a different team to try to spark his NHL career.  As far as I'm concerned, the Wings basically got a 5th round pick for nothing.


May 15th, 2010 at 10:06 AM ^

Yes, I too am glad that Holland is the GM of the Wings and not me, which was the exact reason for my post.

Since being put into the lineup halfway through the first round he has put up 7 points in only 8 games (2G, 5A) and a +3.  The one valid criticism from the replies above was that with the Wings he might not have been willing to "get his hands dirty" but he certainly seems to be paying the price in the playoffs.

I get it that Eaves and Miller are better defensive players.  I wasn't even trying to pick on them specifically.  However, to quote Babcock directly, "He (Leino) was the most talented player that had ever been sent back to the minors." (by Babcock)  Yes, they wanted Brunnstrom instead, but the ceiling on Leino is far above the other guys mentioned and he finally seems to be paying off.  The fact is that in hockey you can sometimes teach offensive players to be responsible defensively, but scoring ability isn't something a grinder is suddenly going to acquire.  The Wings demand defensive play first and if he wasn't buying in then cool, there's the explanation, but all I was really asking is why they gave up on him so quickly; if you've got some facts and insight other than the obvious then I'd love to know about it, but don't trash me for simply asking if anybody knew if there was a deeper reason on why they gave up on him for a minimal return when he seems to be prospering now.

You're right that Holland did the classy thing to ship him off and give him an opportunity for PT.  And yes, clearly he has some flaws in his game otherwise he wouldn't have been a healthy scratch in the first round.  If you want to make the argument that the Wings value defensive responsibility far more than offensive potential, fine, I can live with that.  I just think that from the way he has been performing lately they may have given up on him a little early or not gotten enough in return.  Holland is a genius, no doubt about it.  However, it's still a valid question because even if Leino is one dimensional, Eaves and Miller are equally one dimensional, just on the other end of the ice and from my perspective it's a lot easier to find a mucker than a sniper.

Lastly, I'm not trying to be a jerk about this - you are also right that they got something for nothing since they signed Leino as a FA...in retrospect it feels like they might have gotten a lot more "something" if he keeps this up. 


May 15th, 2010 at 12:37 PM ^

Evgeni Malkin had .85 PPG in the playoffs.  Are you trying to tell me Leino is better than Malkin?  You keep talking about what he's doing in the playoffs.  It doesn't matter what he's doing in the playoffs, it matter what he did for the Wings.  He has .88 PPG in the PLAYOFFS in basically one series.  He had .17 PPG while with the Wings.

The answer is simple.  He was brought in to be a top 6 forward.  He didn't get the job done.

Wake me up with Leino wins the Conn Smythe. 


May 15th, 2010 at 2:03 PM ^

It's about performance.  And by your logic then Cammalleri is just pedestrian because he only had 50 points for Montreal during the regular season.  Shouldn't matter what he's doing in the playoffs, right?  He's merely an average player.

Who cares about the regular season?  Do you want Franzen from the regular season or Franzen from the playoffs?  They are two entirely different animals.

Leino may have done nothing in Detroit during the regular season, but my original question remains the same - if they brought him in to be a top 6 forward and he's now playing like one, did they let him go for too little or too early?


May 15th, 2010 at 4:57 PM ^

You pretty much lost me when you decided to point out Leino's PPG for the playoffs, but then said it's not about PPG, then to top it off you compare Cammalleri's regular season points.  You're running around in circles now, the answers are right in front of your face.

He has 7 points in 8 games.  Wow.  Wake me up when he wins the Conn Smythe.


May 16th, 2010 at 7:14 PM ^

OK, to clarify, it's not about any particular stat that you can single out, whether it's PPG, Goals, Assists or whatever category you want to pick - it's about all of them in combination.  Right now he's playing like a top 6 forward.  I asked a simple question which was for somebody to shed light on why they dumped him so quickly and for so little?  Your answer seems to be that is was because he sucks and always will.  That's not really insight to me - it's an opinion and one that I believe is becoming unrealistic. 

Look, it's not like we're bringing about a solution for world peace here.  It's a debate about a former Wings player.  He's not going to win the Conn Smythe, but I'll be happy to remind you if he establishes himself as a top 6 player in Philly.  You go ahead and "wake me up" when Ole-Kristian Tollefsen is anywhere but the AHL or their 5th round choice from next year sees icetime with the Wings before 2015.


May 16th, 2010 at 8:07 PM ^

When Eaves came into the league with Ottawa he had 20 goals and 29 points. Then the next year put up 14 goals and 32 points. Then if I remember correctly he was concussed, and wasn't the same afterwards. He had a rough go in Carolina before he came here. He had 12 goals and 22 points in 65 games. Eaves is a very skilled player, with very good defensive capabilities. Drew Miller had his best year too. He had 10 goals and 19 points. Leino had 7 points in 42 games. And Leino wasn't getting fourth line minutes either. Leino maybe playing good now, but how long will it last? He showed these glimpses for Detroit in the playoffs as well, and when the regular season came along, Leino disappeared. He has the potential, but unless he has a decent regular season next year, I'd bet on him playing in the KHL.

Wake up also. Tollefsen will be playing for MoDo next year, not the AHL.


May 18th, 2010 at 11:36 AM ^

Ha, ha - you got me with the MoDo thing.  I'm awake now...should've been more specific, but he's obviously not going to be on the Wings' NHL roster next year. 

I agree with most everything you wrote.  The ideal mold for a player in the Red Wing organization is Dan Cleary - they got him cheap, he's responsible at both ends of the ice and performs when counted on, for the most part.  I'm sure they're hoping the same for Eaves.

I actually got the lowdown on why Leino was shipped from a friend of mine who is a reliable source.  He told me that it was a numbers game when everybody finally got healthy and they had to get rid of somebody.  They picked Leino because he was a little older than some of the other prospects and his cap hit was bigger due to a more inflated salary.  The thinking of the Wings was that they had comparable guys that were younger and cheaper and at least they got something out of the trade rather than him simply being claimed on the waiver wire.  It all makes sense that way.

And I truly do understand where you guys are coming from on the defensive aspect.  The Wings place a premium on taking care of things in their own end (ironically their inability to execute this philosophy was the reason for their exit this year), so guys like Eaves and Miller have value.  However, my point remains that they might have gotten taken in the deal if Leino ever does put it together because it's a lot easier to teach a guy defense than it is offense.

The first goal of the PHI/MTL series was the direct result of Leino and CBC even singled him out after the game as having a major impact.  Obviously he's a different player now than he was with the Wings and I don't think it's going to turn into an Oates/Federko situation, I just wish they could've kept him a while longer, but that's life under the cap...


May 15th, 2010 at 8:04 AM ^

another hit for the NHL in these playoffs... with ovie, crosby and the wings out the NHL needed something to keep people interested and a bruins/habs conference final would have been it... i was looking forward to reliving my childhood with the habs and the bruins playing each other in the playoffs...


May 15th, 2010 at 1:44 PM ^

But you gotta give the Flyers some credit. They have had to deal with some pretty major injuries, and still found a way to come back and take the series. Not that big of a hockey fan but that was some great playoff hockey!

So on to more important things...is Delonte banging Lebron's mom or what? ha


May 15th, 2010 at 1:57 PM ^

Both Boston and Philadelphia are awful cities with awful fans.  Philly has a slight edge for classy moves like booing Santa Claus and cheering serious spinal injuries.  They also probably take the "most racist big city in America" contest (Boston's bussing issues, treatment of black athletes like Bill Russell, and history of refusing to sign black baseball players are easily trumped by the fact that Philadelphia had to invent a white boxer to cheer for and build a statue of rather than support local product Joe Frazier).

Montreal fans may be annoying too, but at least you can't understand what they're saying.  Go Habs Go!


May 15th, 2010 at 4:15 PM ^

HAHA, Probably one of the dumbest comments I've ever heard. Good research by you...the Santa Claus incident was 42 years ago and Joe Frazier is a legend in Philly. You sound like the rest of the lazy journalists in the National media.