Amid all the controversies, missed calls, holdings, and trips, the Boston Bruins are now focused at the task at hand. With their backs against the walls, Boston faces elimination tonight in St. Louis, or they send the series back home to Boston.
The Bruins have been in this position before when they were down 3-2 in the series against Toronto and won both Games 6 and 7. And if you look even further back to 2011, Boston also dropped Game 5 of the series against the Vancouver Canucks. And as every Bruins fan knows, the boys in Black and Gold won the Stanley Cup that year.
It was recently announced Matt Grzelcyk has not been cleared to play. That means Karson Kuhlman will be in the lineup, leaving David Backes out as a healthy scratch. With this move, Coach Bruce Cassidy is looking to bring more speed for tonight’s tilt. In a crucial Game 6, the Bruins need to elevate their game. The attention will be on the first line, who has been extremely quiet post-season, much to the frustration of loyal fans. Boston will need to bring their special teams up to par, after going 4-for-4 in Game 3.
“We know what’s at stake in terms of if it doesn’t go our way. We’re packing and that it. It’s over. I think our guys have responded well all year. This is a group that plays hard… I’m not concerned at all about what our effort will be or that part. It’s can we execute well enough? Can we play our game better than they play theirs to keep playing”Boston Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy
It was announced yesterday that St. Louis’s Ivan Barbashev has been suspended for Game 6 for an illegal check to the head of Marcus Johannson in Game 5. This is the second suspension for the Blues team in this series. Zdeno Chara was carefully guarded as he spoke with reports yesterday for the first since fracturing his jaw. Chara played roughly 16 minutes in Game 5, and stated he felt fine playing with no limitations.
Call it what you want, the St. Louis Blues are a tough team that relays heavily on their hard forechecking. The question is though, how much more can they rely on those high-hard hits? And how much longer will officials let those hits step over boundaries? So far it has worked in their favor (whether they are “cheap” or “dirty”). Whatever fence you reside on, there’s no skirting the issue that officiating in the NHL has become an issue, and the lack of inconsistent calls is extremely frustrating to players and fans alike. And it has not only affected this series, but earlier rounds were not immune to some missed, egregious calls. It will be interesting to see how officiating will affect tonight’s game after earlier statements from both Cassidy and Berube.
There no sugar-coating when it comes to the Stanley Cup Finals. The season is on the line and the Boston Bruins need to bring everything they have out on the ice. All lines need to step up, and the time to get fancy with the puck is over and should’ve been over since Game 1. Legacies are on the line and for Boston, it’s win or go home.
WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight with puck drop after 8:00 pm
WHERE TO WATCH: NBC
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