The Boston Bruins are in deep, deep trouble. Look, back in my Bruins Second Round Primer, I predicted the Bruins in 6 games. We know now that is not going to happen. It is 7 games or bust at this point, as they head back to Nassau for an absolutely critical Game 6.
Ultimately, this Bruins team could be in some deep trouble after their Game 5 loss at home.
No, I am not talking about the most obvious piece–the fact that they are one loss away from being eliminated. What I am talking about is some of the gaping holes that have reared their ugly head the last two games: defense, and the Fourth Line.
Why the Defense has the Bruins in Deep Deep Trouble
Where do I even begin? This team absolutely needs either Brandon Carlo, Kevin Miller, or even both back for Game 6. Those two being out has left a MASSIVE hole in this Bruins defense. It has looked completely different and shell-shocked compared to the first couple of games in this series.
That alone can be cause for concern since they gave up 5 goals on 19 shots in Monday’s Game 5 loss.
Just place one of them back into the lineup and BOOM, this defense looks so much better as long as they can stay healthy on the ice.
I also do not want to hear it from the Rask haters and how this is all his fault somehow. The dude has been lights out up until this game, and he wasn’t even 100 percent. Let alone a lot of the goals that went in were cheap power-play goals that, once again, the defense just couldn’t stop. I am not saying some of it isn’t his fault, but the blame that has been thrown his way is absurd.
Why the Fourth Line has the Bruins in Deep Deep Trouble
Man oh man has the fourth line put up an absolute stinker the last two games. Outside of Nick Ritchie, who looks like he finally showed up in Game 5, this fourth line has been atrocious. Kuraly has been an absolute liability, especially on defense, and Lazar has been subpar at best. Add on the fact you lost him to injury in Game 5 and now his Game 6 status is in the air.
So what do you do? Do you try to move Frederic in? Do you take Kuraly out? There are so many questions about this line that need to be answered in the short amount of time that this team has before Game 6. With so few options to choose from, it is going to be very hard to makeshift a line. It’s possible Cassidy might even have to pull from other lines just to make the fourth line happen.
There are some other aspects I could discuss here and go on a rant about, but I choose not to in this article. So, we will just stick with the top 2 reasons.
What’s Next for this Team to Stave off Elimination?
Outside of the so-called “Perfection Line” as the fellas on NBCSN like to call it, not much has been seen from the other scorers. Outside of David Krejci –2 goals in his last two games–not much has been produced from that second line. Don’t get me wrong, it is okay that Taylor Hall hasn’t gotten a goal. He is contributing in other ways. But, to pull this series off you are going to need help from every level of this team, including more from the likes of Charlie Coyle, Craig Smith, and even Taylor Hall.
Charlie McAvoy said after Game 5 “The Fourth One is the hardest to win.” That is very true. And at the end of the day, I think this Bruins team turns it around and forces this series back to Boston for one more game. After that, who knows. You just gotta take it one game at a time for now.
-Jeff Hoak (@JeffHoak1)
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