After getting shut out in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final — the second time they failed to score against Vancouver in the series — the Bruins know they must be better at everything when they take the ice for do-or-die Game 6 Monday night.
“It just didn’t seem like we had our energy,” admitted Brad Marchand today. “Everyone seemed a little slow, and our legs just weren’t going. So we just have to make sure we leave everything on the ice next game, and if we go down, we go down fighting.”
The Bruins could’ve used a fight in Game 5 because maybe that would’ve discouraged the Canucks from throwing the body so much. Vancouver out-hit the Bruins, 47-27, including 23-13 in the first period.
A team built like the Bruins has to assert itself physically in order for the other parts of its game, including scoring, to thrive.
“Let’s not hide behind the fact that they outhit us and they seemed hungrier,” said head coach Claude Julien. “That’s where we should have been able to push back and we didn’t do that well enough. We’re aware of that and we certainly would like to have another crack at it. We have to show that in our building here next game and hopefully, again, having another crack at going down there and showing that we can push back as well.”
The short turnaround between games with a cross-continent flight mixed in could’ve taken its toll on the Bruins, who are not as experienced with the travel as the Canucks. Shawn Thornton, who in 2007 played in the Ottawa-Anaheim Cup Final, said that cannot be an excuse. In fact, he doesn’t want the Bruins to look for any alibis.
“I don’t want to take anything away from them, they’re a really good hockey team, but I don’t think we’ve … I know we weren’t as good as we needed to be yesterday and I don’t think there’s any excuse for that either,” said Thornton.
It’s kind of weird that at this point of the season we’re talking about the Bruins’ effort in a Cup Final game the way we would a loss to Ottawa in February. The only way for the Bruins not to regret these missed opportunities is to make sure the next two games have a difference result with a better effort level.
“I think we’re a team and I think we’ve consistently said that we really need everybody to be firing on all cylinders and to bring their ‘A’ game to succeed,” said defenseman Andrew Ference. “And I think that’s true when everybody is skating well and playing hard and doing their job, everything works a lot more smoothly. You see more hits, you see better forechecks and you see a more consistent game, so I can’t sit up here and argue that our game was as consistent as it has been in other parts of this playoffs.
“You know it’s definitely a reflection of not having everybody going at their best for whatever reason. And it’s just not because of desire or want or anything like that, it’s just the way it is.”