We all know what's at stake here.
The Boston Bruins pulled out a Double-OT victory against Ottawa on Friday, extending their season and seeding some doubt in the Ottawa faithful in the same Sean Kuraly backhand shot. Still down two games in the Conference Quarterfinal series, the B's need to pull another win from the defense-depleted magic hat.
To win, the Bruins need offensive zone time - it worked in Game 5, with two wraparound attempts and a solid cleanup effort in the 2OT. To win, the Bruins need the same yeoman effort from their defensive callups. To win, the Bruins need their top line to come alive in a way we've yet to see in this series.
To win, the Bruins need MAXIMUM. EFFORT.
Just The Facts:
- With Pastrnak's goal to kick off the scoring in Game 5, the renewed top line of Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak was reunited. This line should not part, and David Backes should go back to center on the second line with Drew Stafford and Tim Schaller. Riley Nash and Dominic Moore should center the 3rd and 4th lines, and I nobly volunteer to play wing for either of them.
- Let's not expect the D pairings to change at all - Krug, McQuaid and Carlo need more time to heal, and that's that. The B's can win with their current pairs and they should do it again tonight.
- The B's made a serious attempt to batter and bruise the Senators in Game 5, and that needs to continue. They gained many more zone possessions than in previous games just by forcing their way in - not a bold strategy, but an effective one as of late.
- Shots for both teams in Game 5 were completely scattered - what with the 4.5 periods played, the data would eventually come from everywhere - so the Bruins would do well to fire away, and also to seek some better shot attempts inside the dots. Easier said than done.
- Sticks. Bodies. Faces. Anything between Tuukka and the puck will be helpful here.
- Penalties. FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD, TAKE NO MORE LATE-THIRD-PERIOD PENALTIES. My 30-year-old heart can't take it.