First of all, a quick stick tap to The Morning Skate’s very own St. Louis Blue’s guy Preston for that title to describe the play below. The Bruins pissed one away at the Coliseum to even the series with NY at 2 games apiece. The entire game turned when David Pastrnak missed all 24 square feet of an open net to clank one off the post and let the Islanders keep hanging around, hanging around and hand the Bruins a 4-1 loss (2 of those goals were ENG so it wasn’t that lopsided).
Here’s the Pastrnak miss, and somewhere Glen Wesley just said “I woulda had that one”.
The lineup cards remained mostly the same with no changes on the NY side and on the BOS side, Jared Tinordi slid in for injured Brandon Carlo and was paired with Conor Clifton on the 3rd pairing. Mike Reilly and Jeremy Lauzon were the second pair and the BU Boys, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk rounded out the D corp as the top pair. I will say that I like the Lauzon/Reilly pairing. Lauzon looked more comfortable and was able to step in for Reilly when he became targeted by the NY forecheckers. In net it was once again a duel between Tuukka Rask and Semyon Varlamov to see who would blink first.
The pace and nastiness was ramped up from the opening face-off when Patrice Bergeron laid a big hit behind the Islanders net. Follow your leader was the recipe as the Bruins outhit and outshot NY in the opening frame. The first period didn’t have any scoring, but it certainly had some fireworks. First was Taylor Hall (checks notes, yep it was Hallsy) dropping the mitts with Scott Mayfield. As the broadcast noted this was Hall’s first fight in 10 years; and to give fair play to Mayfield, he hasn’t fought since 2019.
Later in the opening frame, Tinordi dropped them with Matt Martin. Might want to check the game notes bud. Martin is someone that I don’t think Tinordi really wanted to tangle with, but the big blue liner held his own against a tough customer. Here’s the fight and the lead up to it.
David Krecji had himself a night as he potted his first goal of the playoffs and gave Mathew Barzal a world class cup check later in the period. During a goal mouth scramble, the puck bounced loose to Krecji at the right post. The Matrix calmly corralled the puck, looked to the net to pick his spot and calmly put it up high far corner behind Varlamov: 1-0 good guys. The Islanders challenged the goal claiming goaltender interference, and the entire “expert” commentators on the NBC feed agreed that it would be overturned. Of course the goal was upheld, showing what dummies were calling the game (apologies Pierre, but get off Barzal’s jock) and the Bruins were awarded a power play.
Funny thing about penalties, if the B’s had scored another, the game was over. Once the Islanders killed it off, they had all the momentum and you could feel the ice tilting the other way. Less than 3 minutes later, Barzal worked the RW wall like a one-man cycle and fed Kyle Palmieri out front to even the score. Low to high as Grz inexplicably delayed and then dropped off his man leaving Palmieri alone at the right post. Tie game. On the replay you can see Charlie Coyle and Curtis Lazar defending in front of the net, and… oh wait, here come’s Lauzon….. eventually.
Once again, Rask kept the Bruins in this game with save after save. Varlamov played excellent too, but Rask was under siege for long stretches. The Bruins weren’t getting the consistent zone time that the Islanders were getting and Rask was the difference maker.
Barzal put the Islanders ahead for good when he fungoed a puck out of mid air at the LW face-off circle past Rask. The puck was redirected before it got to Barzal and Rask had less of a chance on this one than he did on the Palmieri goal. In other words, no chance at all.
The empty net goals were just a little salt in the wound and hopefully the wake up call that the Bruins seem to need. Next game is Monday at 6:30pm back in Boston and hopefully the boys show up on time as The Bruce likes to say.
- Sean Kuraly, Curtis Lazar and Chris Wagner played some of their best hockey tonight, and weren’t just running around. They had chances and established a solid forecheck.
- Tuukka Rask is lights out. No chance on either of the goals and you can’t blame him (although I’m sure some people will) for this game.
- Maybe the goal tonight will get Krecji going. The Hall fight certainly shows that line is bought in.
- Besides Pastrnak’s miss, it felt as if he was disengaged for good portions of the game. Soft on the puck, poor decision making and forcing shots with no lanes. Hopefully it’s just frustration and not something else.
- Playoff Jake DeBrusk has been replaced with Regular Season Jake DeBrusk and he can fuck off. He’s back to doing the fly by on checks and he’s turned into a 1 man turnover machine. His game is once again 10ply. Please for the love of God, turn Trent Frederic loose at TD Garden
- The Erection Line was limp.
I will say that I enjoy seeing the NY Jets pounding beers at the game. As a Raiders fan, the Jets are one of the teams that I get to chirp, but there’s something great about seeing a big guy with a mullet crushing cans off his dome.