Despite the overwhelming enthusiasm of NESN’s Jack Edwards about the Bruins’ Eastern Conference semifinal series with Philadelphia going the distance, the Bruins will not be heading into Friday night’s Game 7 with much momentum or positive feelings after losing their third straight in this series.
We might be headed toward the best hockey game of Boston’s season, and maybe a rare dose of history if the Flyers become the third team ever to overcome a 3-0 series hole, but no one associated with the Bruins should be proud of the fact that they’ve put themselves in a do-or-die situation when they could’ve been resting the past week before hosting Montreal this weekend.
It took a Milan Lucic extra-attacker goal to end Boston’s score-less drought at 134:12. But it was too little too late. And now the Bruins are going to have to muster some actual even-strength offense if they’re going to meet the Canadiens in the next round.
Here are a couple postgame quick hits:
•Once again, Tuukka Rask did all he could to keep his offensively impotent teammates in the game. Twenty-five saves on 27 shots, including a great stop on Ville Leino’s penalty shot, should’ve been enough for the Bruins to earn a clinching win. Instead, the offense wasted another brilliant night by the rookie.
•The crash line might’ve been the Bruins’ best unit from the start of the game to the end. Trent Whitfield hit a post and was also stopped on a shorthanded breakaway. Steve Begin and Shawn Thornton (three hits on just seven shifts) also had solid evenings.
•Patrice Bergeron also hit a post, but didn’t register a shot on net. The Bruins need more from their alternate captain who seems a step slow right now.
•Any day now the Bruins’ defenseman can feel free to fake a shot or chip pucks deep more often. The Flyers blocked 30 shots on the night. The Bruins were credited with just 10 blocks. In Game 5, the Flyers were credited with just six blocks, but it sure seemed like a lot more.
It wasn’t that long ago that those numbers were reversed in Boston’s favor. But the Bruins have yet to match Philly’s desperation since taking their 3-0 series lead.