Even without one of their best players, the Boston Bruins were able to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in game 4 and are now one win away from advancing to the next round of the playoffs.
The Boston Bruins have proven all year that they have heart. They have battled through tons of injuries and were able to finish 2nd in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins hurdled over another obstacle on Thursday night.
It was announced prior to the game that Patrice Bergeron would not be playing due to an upper-body injury. Bruce Cassidy said after game 4 that it was a game-time decision. This is a huge blow as Bergeron is the foundation of the Bruins offense. Riley Nash replaced Bergeron on the first line, while Sean Kuraly became the third line center, and Noel Acciari centered the fourth line.
There was a positive out of all of this as Tommy Wingels made his return to the ice. After Nazem Kadri’s grotesque hit, I thought Wingels may be done for the rest of the year. Gladly he is okay and back playing with the team.
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Jake DeBrusk had a phenomenal game on Thursday. He was easily the best player on the second line. When David Krejci was struggling, DeBrusk was getting some good scoring chances and playing well. He was rewarded with a goal in the third period. The goal showed off just how much DeBrusk has matured this season.
DeBrusk waited for Frederik Andersen to make a move and as he was going down DeBrusk was able to rifle the puck into the net. Throughout the year the Bruins got great production from their younger players. That hasn’t stopped in the playoffs.
A picture perfect play
The Bruins go-ahead goal was a work of art. Adam McQuaid played the puck off the boards, and David Pastrnak poked the puck past a Maple Leafs defender. This created a 2 on 1 opportunity for Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. “Pasta” made a great pass and Marchand had a wide open net.
This is the type of effort that will lead to a long run in the playoffs. Everyone involved made the right decision and the Bruins were rewarded.
Tuukka Rask comes up clutch
The Tuukka haters are having a rough week. The goaltender has been playing great so far in the playoffs and was the main reason the Bruins won on Thursday night. when the Bruins weren’t playing well Rask was able to make some big saves. Mitch Marner had a breakaway opportunity and Rask stonewalled him. Tuukka ended up with 31 saves on the night.
It was obvious tonight that the Boston Bruins missed Bergeron. Hopefully, he will be back for game 5, and the Bruins will be able to put the Maple Leafs out of their misery.
The Bruins have a chance to lock up the series at home on Saturday night. Hopefully, they will give fans something to cheer about.