BOSTON -- P.K. Subban couldn't say for sure who squirted him in the visor with water during the final minutes of Boston's 4-2 win over the Canadiens in Game 5. It could have been a Bruins player or, he joked, TV analyst Pierre McGuire from between the benches.
Two things though he was quite sure about.
It was definitely water impeding his vision and if he was the one doing the squirting, it's all people would be talking about the next few days.
"I knew it was water because it didn't stick. Some of it got on my face. Some of it got in my visor. Maybe at that point, I was a little bit heated because we're losing the game, trying to score," Subban said after the game of the squirt aimed at him from the bench by the Bruins' Shawn Thornton. "I don't know if it's part of the game. I'm sure if that was me that did it, it would be a different story. It would probably be on the news for the next three days. I don't expect that to be a story. Listen, whatever it takes to win, right?"
Or at least cause a distraction. In a way, this essentially meaningless incident that Subban tried to downplay ("Listen, they beat us. That's not the reason why we lost today," he said.) while elaborating on his version of the story ("Somebody squirted water twice at the end of the game there. Hit me in the visor. I couldn't even see the last minute and a half out there.") provided some nice cover for the Canadiens.
It was the dominant topic of discussion for Subban following the game, rather than the reality of the Canadiens' worsening situation. (Thornton was not made available by the Bruins after the game.)
That 2-1 series lead that really should have been a 3-0 series lead? That's wiped out. Gone. The opportunity to bury the favored Bruins now a distant memory.
Instead, Matt Fraser scores the frozen yogurt goal in Game 4. The Bruins power play awakens in Game 5, mix in a strong performance from Boston's third line and now the Canadiens are one loss away from summer vacation.
It's an amazing turn of events from a series that was so close to tilting heavily in the Canadiens favor.
After a slow start, the Bruins machine is starting to churn. Their forward depth is capitalizing on the lack thereof on the Canadiens defense, and they've tightened up their own defensive play. This is the Bruins team that everybody expected from the outset.
"If we didn't tighten up, soon we knew it would be a different situation coming to Boston," said Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk. "Both teams played well last game. It was 0-0 for the whole game, nobody made too many mistakes and it was a lucky bounce. We didn't want to come back [down] 3-1 to Boston. Instead, now we're going to Montreal 3-2."
The Bruins have shown their resilience during this series, pulling ahead without the usual production from David Krejci. They've pulled ahead despite Tuukka Rask being outplayed for stretches by Carey Price. They've done it even though Subban has been the defenseman having the most impact all over the ice.
Now, we find out what kind of resilience this Canadiens team has. Is this the start of a Bruins runaway train with Montreal's best shot at eliminating its rival completely vanished or is the counterpunch coming in Montreal?