It's partially injures. It's partially scoring lines going cold while the depth scoring continues to not be a factor. It's partially an interim coach (whose only playoff series experience at the NHL level came back in 2002-03) trying to scheme against a veteran one with a tricky system. It's partially just the numerous small ways that the game of hockey can find to be infuriating when your team's running cold. It's partially Craig Anderson--as he did for most of the season--frustrating the Bruins. And it's a whole lot of Erik Karlsson playing a series that belongs on his Hall of Fame reel.
However many underlying causes exist, and whatever size the elephants in the room are, the Bruins go into Game 5 tonight needing a win to stay in the series, and desperately needing some way to turn things around; the Bruins went into this series with the significant qualifier of missing both Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo for game one, but it's still hard to believe that they're managed the fewest SOG of any team in the playoffs--Ottawa was probably the weakest 5-on-5 team to make it this year, but you wouldn't know from the last couple games. Especially as the Bruins have seemed to get less effective as these games progress.
Do they have answers for all of this? Probably not. Do they have enough answers to win Game 5 on the road to extend the series? We'll see...
Just The Facts:
The Time: 7:30 PM EST
The Place: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa
The Series: Ottawa leads 3 games to 1, having won three in a row.
The Places To Watch: NESN, USA, TVAS
The Place To Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub
- The Bruins did not practice today (which frankly makes sense, given how many players are banged up). Cassidy says it's not likely that we see either Krug or Carlo in tonight's game. Likely won't know about any line-up tweaks until after the morning skate.
- Frank Vatrano joined the list of the wounded, leaving TD Garden in a walking boot after Game 4.
- Charlie McAvoy continues to log a lot of TOI, averaging 25:26 in this series. Second only to Zdeno Chara.
- The Bruins still have zero players who've scored more than one goal in this series, if you were wondering. Pastrnak leads the team with 3 points. Obviously still feeling his injury, David Krejci is one of three forwards who haven't registered a point in the series to date--the others are Matt Beleskey and Sean Kuraly.