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Bruins vs. Canes Game 5 RECAP: Bruins can’t hang with a resurging Canes, face elimination in Game 6

A wall-to-wall brutal game

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Whoo boy.

First Period:

It started bad...

Second Period:

Stayed bad, and got weird with this act of a malicious and ancient god right here..

Third Period:

...And then kept going bad from then on out. Even Conor Clifton’s goal didn’t make anything better.

also there was an ENG but you don’t care about that.

Bruins lose 5-1, Carolina takes a 3-2 series lead

Game Notes:

  • Charlie McAvoy was the B’s leader in TOI at all situations, and at Even Strength.
  • It was a very bad night to be a depth defensemen for the Bruins, even if Conor Clifton managed to be the only goalscorer for the team last night. Carlo, Clifton, and Forbort got absolutely run down at evens by the Canes; dropping all three below 43% in most major possession-metrics, and you could very easily see why: they got outskated and outbattled at almost every shift. Gryz didn’t have a great one either, he was fighting it constantly.
  • Jeremy Swayman had a night of contrasts. He absolutely kept them in the game for large swathes of the first two periods...but when the floodgates opened, they really opened, up to and including that act of god goal. The Bruins now face a very precarious decision to make for Game 6: do you keep going with Swayman, knowing he’s just had a rough night in front of that defense? Or do you go to Linus Ullmark, knowing he didn’t start the series well at all?
  • What should be a minute of concern for the Bruins is that throughout the 2nd and 3rd period, a very troubling decision by Bruce Cassidy was to begin double-shifting David Pastrnak, who finished the game with the highest 5v5 time on ice of any forward: 2 minutes more than Marchand, almost 6 more than Bergeron. Granted, Bergeron and Marchand had other duties (namely the amount of penalties that needed killing), but this is the kind of thing that happened last year in their elimination game against Tampa: in the desperate search for offense, just keep playing Pasta until something goes their way. That’s not a sustainable strategy, and the Canes knew it.
  • While yes, losing a game this badly falls on everybody, it cannot be overstated that the Bruins need their depth to finally actually come through and in a huge way. Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak are fighting it, sure, but they’re also still players 1, 2, and 3 in playoff scoring for the Boston Bruins in 2022, right on schedule. You need Erik Haula to score. You need Taylor Hall to be more of a dynamic presence. You need Craig Smith to start scoring. You need more out of your fourth line than just efforting hard. You need that effort to matter. Because the Canes are getting their effort across the lineup to matter. Coyle’s shown up, which is great for him. Jake’s not been able to get the puck to go in more than once but he’s been trying to make something happen. You got some of that in Game 3 and 4, we need more of that in Game 6 and 7.
  • Oh yeah, and the Refereeing in this series, but last night especially, has just been putrid. In lieu of actual change that could make the sport as a whole better like re-training or hiring different refs, I suggest next year before the playoffs we don’t say a goddamn word about how the rules are called in the postseason because if say...Charlie Coyle’s uncalled hold and Derek Forbort’s roughing penalty were any indication, you just can’t trust these guys to start calling the book. Or maybe Bruce should just winge for calls like Brind’Amour does. At least Rod showed that it worked.
  • Lot to think about and decide upon come Thursday evening.

Game 6 is at TD Garden on Thursday, with puck drop at 7pm.

Let’s even this thing up again.