After losing 2-1 to the St. Louis Blues in Game 5, Tuukka Rask was asked for a summary of the game. He laughed and said, “Summary? Probably could’ve stopped more pucks with my eyes closed. That’s about it. It’s on me, but we’re on to the next one.”
It’s an admirable statement, but it’s also false. We can talk about how the first goal was scored while St. Louis had too many men on the ice. We can talk about how the second goal came seconds after Tyler Bozak took down Noel Acciari with a slew foot that wasn’t called, despite happening directly in front of referee Kelly Sutherland. We can talk about Ivan Barbashev hitting Marcus Johansson with a shoulder to the head and Zach Sanford hitting Torey Krug with an elbow to the head. None of those were called. In fact, the Blues haven’t had many calls against them since Blues Coach Craig Berube complained about the calls they received in Game 3. It’s also no coincidence that Game 3 was the best-called game of the series and the Bruins dominated, 7-2.
The officiating can’t be held completely responsible though, and neither can Rask. The Bruins have depth that has yet to show up in force. The power play was ferocious in Game 3, but seemed to disappear in the last two games. The zone possession hasn’t been steady by any means, and the first two lines have yet to truly show up. In short, the Boston Bruins need a hero to step up.
Boosts to Morale
Captain Zdeno Chara took a puck to the face, breaking his jaw in Game 4. In Game 5 he was back on the ice on the starting line and even had the first hit of the game. At one point the Blues were shooting on net and Rask ended up flat, too far out. David Krejci jumped in the crease and stopped a puck with his chest. Those are huge steps and great confidence boosters for the team. Now down 3-2 in the series, the Bruins have to win both of the remaining games. With their backs against the wall, they have to prevent the Blues from winning Game 6 in St. Louis and force a Game 7 back in Boston.
The Bruins have been here before. They were down 3 games to 2 in the first round against Toronto. They’ve shown they have the fortitude, strength, confidence, and downright grittiness to win against tough odds. So who will it be? It has to be the first two lines. Krejci had that amazing save, reminiscent of Michael Ryder in Game 5 against the Montreal Canadiens in the 2011 playoffs, but his line hasn’t been effective in scoring. The Perfection Line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak has been well defended, but it’s time to break through that defense. They have to persevere and find a way and it has to happen now. There’s no longer a tomorrow.