Too many men on the ice.
A mantra that was already a historic punch line for the Boston Bruins came back to haunt them and their fans last night. The Bruins, who had already blown a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers, coughed up a 3-0 lead in Game 7, falling 4-3 thanks to a too many men on the ice penalty late in the third that led to the Flyers' winning power play goal.
For comparison sake, it would be like the ball eking through Kevin Youkilis' legs in Game 6 of the World Series.
The penalty doomed them in 1979 against the Montreal Canadiens. It doomed last night, denying hockey an epic showdown against the Habs in the Eastern Conference finals.
It goes down as one of the greatest chokes in postseason history, but to compare if to the 2004 Yankees isn't fair. The Bruins were a banged-up squad without their most important offensive player - David Krejci. Imagine if the Yankees lost Derek Jeter midway through their epic collapse against the Red Sox. It doesn't serve as an excuse, but one has to believe it wouldn't have come to this had he been healthy.
The Flyers go on to play the Canadiens while Bruins fans are left with the unwanted consolation prize of rooting for Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks. Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin will be something to look forward to in next month's draft, but it's certainly going to be a long few months.