Game Seven. The two words every hockey fan loves to hear. This year the Stanley Cup will come down to one final game, this is the first time since 2011 the Stanley Cup Final has gone to seven games. The Boston Bruins bounced back in game six after falling behind in the series 3-2, with a strong showing and a final of 5-1. The Blues looked sloppy on their home ice but don’t count them out as they have the best road record in these playoffs and were able to take two games in the Garden already this series. The Bruins are looking to seal a Stanley Cup Final win and complete an impressive year for Boston sports by winning three of the four major titles.
The Bruins will be rolling out almost the same lineup with the exception of Matt Gryzelcyk who could be drawing into the lineup for Clifton. Clifton has had some sloppy play in recent games and has looked worse than John Moore so he’s the likely one to come out. Karson Kuhlman certainly earned his ice last time out and provided the second line with a much needed spark, his speed and skill led to a stronger showing from that line and created chances for them. Kuhlman also ripped a shot for a goal on Binnington and was able to help DeBrusk forecheck the puck away from the Blues leading to Carlo’s goal. The Bruins were great on special teams as well as their power play was able to get better looks than they had been and even broke through for the opening goal. Their penalty kill was stingy again and has given the Blues fits all series. The top two lines really got their legs going and were able to finish on some of their chances. Pasta and Marchy both appeared on the score sheet a couple times. In between the pipes Rask has been stellar he stopped 28 of 29 on the night and has backstopped the Bruins to an amazing showing, he’s playing the best hockey of his career. Their gonna need him to come up huge tonight.
The Blues are trying to rebound and win their first Stanley Cup on the road. They’ve been led by Ryan O’Reilly who has been a force during this series. On the back end Pietrangelo and Parayko have been logging impressive minutes and keeping the Bruins offense in check every other night. When the Blues struggle they’ve struggled mightily, every loss has been by in a dominating fashion while their wins have only come by a goal or two. If they want the Cup they need their top lines to step up and Tarasenko needs to find the back of the net for them. He’s a pure goal scorer who has had trouble finding the net lately. The wild card for them is rookie goalie Binnington, who has never faced this much pressure and hasn’t impressed much outside of one or two games these playoffs. If the moment is too big for him we could see a quick game with the Bruins filling the back of the net like they have in much of the series.
For the most part the teams, much like the series, are even. Right now the Blues top lines have outplayed the Bruins top lines, however the depth lines of the Bruins have been able to outplay the Blues depth creating somewhat of a stalemate. On the back end the Blues defense has been strong creating offensive flow for their forwards and at times been able to pin the Bruins in their end and gain a bunch of offensive possession time. The Bruins defense has been involved in the play as well and been able to pot some goals in the series while being stable in their own end. At times they would get frustrated after long shifts and take the occasional bad penalty, they need better discipline tonight. In net the advantage has to be in favor of the Bruins, Rask has more experience and thus far in the series has looked like the better goalie. Binnington hasn’t played poorly but he is young and this is the biggest moment of his career tonight.
The game is set for 8:00 PM tonight on NBC in TD Garden. It’s The Stanley Cup Final Game Seven and anything could happen.
-Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)