There’s no reason to panic after the first 2 games of the Stanley Cup Final.
But, if there’s one issue that’s a big cause for concern in the series’ opening two games, it’s the fact that the Bruins top line has been a non-factor.
Brad Marchand told Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic that the line needs to be better, and that he has played poorly in the series’ first 2 games.
And No. 63 is right: The ‘Perfection Line’ has not played anywhere near what they are capable of. Through 2 games, the 3 linemates have combined for 2 points. As key cogs of the power play, their ineffectiveness is a major reason as to why it is just 2-for-10. Increasingly, what has magnified their struggles is the steady play of the Blues’ top unit so far.
Although not overly spectacular, Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, and Jaden Schwartz recorded 2 points apiece during the pair of games in Boston. In addition to their offensive contributions, they have been extremely effective in limiting the Bruins’ top line.
In each of the first two games, the Tarasenko, Schenn, Schwartz grouping was pinned up against the David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Marchand combination over 50% of the time it was on the ice. Obviously, the results of that matchup have swayed in St. Louis’ favor so far. As the Bluenotes gain the benefit of last change in Games 3 and 4, there is a decent chance that we see the 2 team’s best units going head-to-head even more.
Despite that looming possibility, Boston’s head coach Bruce Cassidy remains confident in his best offensive unit.
“Any team would tell you when your best players perform you have a better chance to win. We’re not different,” Cassidy said according to Sportnet’s Luke Fox. “I suspect in Game 3 we’ll see their best game of the series.”
If the club’s three star forwards can back up the bench boss’ hunch, then the team should be successful on Saturday night. If the trio has another rough performance though, it would be fair to expect some significant line jumbling to occur.