Boston Bruins: B’s blow chance to end series in game 5

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 21: Tuukka Rask
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 21: Tuukka Rask /

The Boston Bruins had a chance to end it all on Saturday night. They came up short and now have to head back to Toronto for game 6.

The Boston Bruins played a hard-fought game on Saturday night, but that doesn’t guarantee a win. The Bruins dominated the puck, outshooting the Maple Leafs and having a boatload of scoring opportunities. If you looked at the shot total you would have thought that the Bruins blew out the Maple Leafs, but that was not the case.

Tuukka Rask stumbles

Boy, oh boy was that an ugly game for Tuukka Rask. Rask had been playing great so far this series. He was standing on his head and making some incredible saves. On Saturday night that all went away.

Rask only made 9 saves on the night and was pulled in the 2nd period. On the first goal, Rask gave up a humongous chunk of the net. On the third goal for the Leafs, Rask had a clear view of the puck and let it sneak by. Finally, the last goal that was scored by the Leafs was a cheap goal. Rask has to do a better job of covering the net.

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These types of games can’t happen in the playoffs. If Rask wants to get the playoff monkey off his back he will have to have a big game on Monday.

The Bruins defense continues to struggle

The Bruins defense has been a weakness for the entire series. They have allowed too many breakaways and 2 on 1 rushes. The Bruins are clearly not the fastest team on the ice.

The Maple Leafs have been able to take advantage of pinching defenseman and have gotten some great opportunities. The second goal of the game was the only goal that wasn’t Rask’s fault. The Bruins allowed Andreas Johnsson to get behind them and he easily scored.

If it wasn’t for the Bruins offensive outburst so far the B’s would have been in a deep hole. The defense needs to step up. They need to keep the Leafs in front of them and not allow these great opportunities. After Rask’s struggles on Saturday, it looks like the defense will have to improve as Rask is no longer standing on his head. If they put up another lackluster performance the B’s may be unable to climb out of the hole they are digging for themselves.

The Merlot was flowing

The only positives to come from Saturday nights loss was the play of the fourth line. Sean Kuraly had a gritty goal in the second period and Noel Acciari put home a loose puck in the third. The Bruins fourth line has played great this season. They are always fighting and always running at 100%. The Bruins haven’t had such a productive fourth line since the Stanley Cup in 2011. They personify what it means to be a big bad Bruin.

Next: Brad Marchand belongs in Boston

Game 6 takes place on Monday and the Bruins will need to have a stronger overall effort if they want to advance to the next round.