Bobby Orr and Derek Sanderson, the compound that spawned The Goal in 1970, were the Bruins' banner captains on Thursday before Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final in TD Garden.
The two Bruins legends were likely to watch as the Bruins lost 2-1 to St. Louis Blues and fall back to 6-2 in St. Louis in the series 3-2.
One has to wonder if they recognized the team in black and gold. The "big, bad bruins" are dead; Long live the "big, bad blues".
The Bruins flew out for Game 5, inspired not only by the return to the home ice at TD Garden, but also by the performance of their captain Zdeno Chara, whose facial injury is protected by a full shield, a jaw guard, in the lineup and in the midst of combat, starting with his hit against Brayden Schenn at the 1
Chara's ability to fight his injury and the last 16:42 Ice Age was personified and his teammates all spoke of how inspiring it was to see him next to him on the bench and on the ice. Why did not they follow his lead and play a mean game? Why did they allow themselves to be pushed around by the blues?
It will be easy to point out Tyler Bozak's "monstrous" missed stumbling penalty to Noel Acciari and say the Bruins lost the game there. After all, the game led to a goal and Boston lost by one. Ivan Barbashev's head shot on Marcus Johansson was hard to miss (but it was), as was Zach Sanford's elbow to Torey Krug's head.
The pipes did not come and everyone was having a hard break. The Bruins responded best by using the missed calls as a motivation to get their offensive play going. The second best way would have been a retaliation. They did not have to throw an elbow for every elbow or a headshot for every head shot. They do not want to spend the game in the box.
But how about a push here, a tonic there? When David Pastrnak is stopped by Jordan Binnington in a detour attempt and then pulled into a sleeping car by Colton Parayko, a Bruins player has to jump into the pile of pigs. After the whistle in St. Louis, the end must be followed by a crush, especially when Binnington freezes the puck. The Bruins should try so hard to face Binnington that the only thing stopping them from contacting him is a blues player getting in their way. Goalkeeping interference would not be the worst thing in the world if it made life difficult for Binnington. The blues in Tuukka Rask set a tone that could pay off now, but the Bruins were not that powerful.
John Moore landed a perfectly placed shot from the blue line on Binnington and one of the many rebounds sat there in the slot in the third period. One, two, three Bruin corpses were sent onto the ice to track the puck while the blues were captured and released from danger.
The blues play hard and angry. They were scored each round from the time they finished last at the Western Conference in January, lagging 2-1 behind the San Jose Shark and the Bruins. You have to prove something.
The Bruins have undergone enough difficulty to know what it takes to overcome difficult obstacles such as larger teams playing with resentment and missed calls. But instead of taking advantage of their anger, the Bruins are too balanced. It's almost as if their experience works against them and they expect what they have achieved in the past to come through. They defeated the game's blues 39-21 after beating them 17-8 in the first period. Not enough of these shots came with bodies in Binningtons Grill or loose pucks in and around the slot. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Pastrnak are all still looking for a first point of equal strength in this series. Nobody looks so angry.
Every pain the blues feel on Friday morning is self-inflicted. Allegedly, the Bruins outnumbered them 43- 34, but the eye test shows the blues were the team with the physical advantage, just as they were at each of their victories. It's not just about distributing the punishment on the foredeck, but also about getting the rebounds in front and incidentally winning the board fights.
"Well, they have long sticks and big defenders, and sometimes it's the timing," said Bruins striker Jake DeBrusk, whose goal was his first steady point in the series when playing in the fourth row. "It's just that sometimes you need it to move, and sometimes you just can not, that's how it felt tonight, I think there were a lot of chances, we even took a few glances at us, and then Their goalkeeper has performed some parries. "
The best way to overcome the terrible job is to make sure it does not come back to bite you. That means scoring more than one goal against a very accessible goalkeeper. This means crashing the net so these bounces have a better chance of going your way. The point is to make sure that the duels and the slightly delayed bumps on the foredeck are accompanied by a steady response that ensures that both sides are equally hurting.
No one is looking for a Terry O & # 39; Reilly-like achievement from any member of the current Bruins. However, a "big, bad Bruins" performance relative to that time would have made Chara's participation in Game 5 more rewarding. And after five games against the blues, we wonder if we'll ever see anything near a big and bad game from the franchise that once defined the term.
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