Pretty much almost nothing happened. Both sides got chances on each other, but neither were very dangerous. No scoring occurred, so we move to the 2nd period.
Things didn’t start great. A flubbed zone exit allowed Tampa to establish themselves, and Ondrej Palat deflected the puck with some unfair hand-eye coordination to get the Lightning up 1-0.
Not a shift the Krejci line would like to repeat.
After an initial drive, Boston kinda went lethargic, and everyone began to feel some real malaise. It looked like the team had called it. Like everybody had mentally decided they were out of the bubble. People were pissed. I was considering writing something that wasn’t super optimistic.
And then the Bolts took a penalty, and Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci found themselves a fantastic sequence of passing...who got it to David Pastrnak.
1-1. What a fake-out.
After that, Boston pretty clearly controlled play, getting more shots to Vasilevskiy, killing penalties, getting opportunities to transition, it was a very refreshing change of pace given the way that the last three games have gone.
It wouldn’t last.
They did everything right, for the most part.
But hockey isn’t always fair. Sometimes you have to deal with dumb, bad bounces. Sometimes you have to react to the harshness of reality.
Sometimes a puck goes off a guy in front, bounces off Halak’s blocker, and into the net. 2-1 Bruins.
And it really looked like that was it. It really looked like Boston wasn’t gonna make themselves any better. It looked like things were gonna get bad.
And then Zdeno Chara-to-David Krejci happened.
2-2 tie. Going to Overtime.
It took a good, long time. Boston did everything right. They controlled for a good long time. They should’ve had this game.
But not being able to score at 5-on-5 has consequences.
And Victor Hedman made the Bruins pay dearly.
3-2, and the Boston Bruins 2019-20 season is over.
Game Notes, and basics for upcoming content:
- Call the Lightning whiners, arrogant, annoying, lucky, but they were, for at least three of the five games Boston played against them, the better team. Without Stamkos, and without Kucherov for most of this game. They earned their reputation and then some. Annoying, and Good. Good luck to whoever ends up playing them in the ECF.
- Charlie McAvoy played 36 minutes of absolutely incredible hockey today. Even in a losing effort, even in a game he probably had a good chance of (and maybe probably shouldn’t have) finishing, he absolutely ended up cementing himself as the #1 defenseman of the Boston Bruins.
- Hat’s off to David Krejci and David Pastrnak doing their due diligence in getting this team in the position to even try going to double OT. Czechs showed out this playoffs, even if it started rough.
- Hats off to the Charlie Coyle line. Looked good all night, led possession, played like demons, all finished well above 60% in CF% and xGF%. That bodes well for Coyle, who might end up taking David Krejci’s spot at some point.
- This game was more than likely the end of Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug’s tenure as Boston Bruins. Regardless on how you feel about either player, especially after these playoffs, it sucks that they had to play one of the most exhausting and furious efforts for good long stretches of this season only for it to end in such anticlimactic fashion.
- Jaroslav Halak played fine. He wasn’t great this series, and he let up two headscratcher goals today, but it’s what happens. Tampa had all the puck luck in the world, and they capitalized on nearly every shot they got through on him. I would’ve preferred Tuukka Rask in net, but part of the game is expecting at any time that you will lose a player to something, be it injury, personal reasons, or something else. It’s why you have backups in the first place. Boston’s issues are known, and in front of a captive audience, they got exposed to everybody with a pulse. If you still believe after these playoffs that it’s the goaltender, you’re either hate this player for non-hockey reasons, or you need to drink some water.
- Jack Studnicka looks like he’s just about ready for a good long stint as a Boston Bruin. I personally would prefer him as a Center, but if he’s gonna play off the wall like he does, then I’m cool with him being a winger for the time being.
- I am certainly not cool with the return of a number of the depth’s players, both at forward and defense. Plenty of whom who, throughout these playoffs, showed that they straight up are not good enough, or have rapidly run out of excuses as for why they can’t produce. In the playoffs, if your depth gets stuck in their own end for nearly four straight games, then change absolutely has to happen. The Boston Bruins spent almost 180 minutes of this series without an even strength goal. Stretches like that killed them last year, and it’s killed them again this year. A collection of about five/six players did the majority of scoring for the Bruins in this playoffs, and even less in this series. “Next” year, that has to change.
- Be excellent to each other. Except to the people who don’t wear masks. We don’t need anymore of this bubble nonsense in our lives.
- The Draft is on October 9th, but Boston will probably be picking for the first time on the 10th. Free Agency isn’t too far behind.
- Next season begins in December.