Well, it’s official. The Boston Bruins Season ends in disappointment. Last night the New York Islanders defeated the Boston Bruins in six games to win the second round series matchup. For the Islanders, this means that they are set to faceoff against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning. For the Bruins, the season ends in disappointment once again. There were many issues happening against Boston, not just one specific player. So what exactly happened in this series?
A good start for Boston
Game 1 ended up being the best game in the series for the Bruins. David Pastrnak started things off with a hat trick in a 5-2 win for the Bruins. Things were looking up after game 1 until the second period of game 2 where the Islanders exploded (in reality got really lucky bounces) for three goals to take a 3-1 lead into the third period. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand scored in the third (Marchand on a power play) to tie the game and send it into overtime. That’s where Casey Cizikas scored the game winner for New York on a breakaway. Both Boston and New York are tied 1-1 heading into game 3.
New York, New York
Games 3 and 4 are a different story from games 1 and 2…. kind of! Game 3 went into overtime with the game tied at 1. Craig Smith for Boston and Mathew Barzal for New York were responsible for the scoring. In overtime, Brad Marchand won it for the Bruins scoring his fifth goal of the playoffs and gave Boston the 2-1 edge in the series. However, this would be the last time Boston would be victorious in the series. After Game 3, the Islanders (with help) took over in the series.
Games 4-6 belonged to the Islanders (with help). Without the help, the Islanders would have struggled. But nonetheless, the Islanders got help and took advantage of it. In Game 4, the shining star for the Islanders was their goalie, Semyon Varlamov. He made 28 saves and allowed one goal. Other than Varlamov, Mathew Barzal took advantage of the gifts the Islanders were given and helped give the Islanders a 2-1 lead in the third period. Cizikas and Jean-Gabriel Pageau put on the final touches in Game 4.
The same would happen in Game 5. The Islanders continued to take advantage of the gifts that were left out on the ice for them. However, the Bruins comeback attempt should be brought up here. The Bruins were down 5-2 early on in the third period. The Islanders had all the momentum. But, here comes Pastrnak scoring his second goal of the night. David Krejci also scored making it 5-4. The Islanders would hold on. In Game 6, the Islanders dominated Boston and that’s how the season would come to a close for the Bruins. This was the only time this season that Boston lost in three straight games. So, what went wrong?
It’s easy to blame the refs in any sport. But here, they deserve a lot of the blame here. Or, they should, at minimum, be held accountable… right NHL? Maybe it’s time to have the refs meet with the media… but that’s a discussion for another day. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was fined $25,000 for his comments about the officiating after game 5. Cassidy said, “This is my take on it: We’re playing a team that has a very well-respected management and coaching staff. But I think they sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders. They play hard and they play the right way, but I feel we’re the same way. And the exact calls that get called on us do not get called on them, and I don’t know why”
Strong, but true comments from Cassidy. The Islanders took a page out of the 2019 Stanley Cup Champions St. Louis Blues book and roughhoused Boston… and got away with it. Nasty hits are part of the game, but cross checking over and over again and never having it called, yeah…. something doesn’t add up there. Even in game 6 Charlie McAvoy took a nasty hit after the whistle and went uncalled… not exactly surprising given how the series went beforehand.
Barry Trotz comments
The Islanders head coach Barry Trotz wanted some attention for no reason. Before Game 5, he called out Patrice Bergeron for cheating. He said, “He’s a veteran guy who knows how to cheat on the faceoffs and I’m relying on our very capable officiating crew and linesmen to make sure the cheating doesn’t go on because he’s good at it, he’s not the only one. Trust me. But he’s good at it and he’s very capable and he’s been a top center and faceoff guy for a long time.” This became a problem because after these ridiculous comments Bergeron was thrown out of multiple faceoffs. Yes, this was a minor issue but still an issue given how proficient Bergeron is at the dot!
One last thing to you Rask haters
Get a life. Stop blaming him for literally everything. Be grateful the Bruins have had him for as long as they have. You’ll miss him when he’s gone. He’s not perfect and never claimed to be. However, his job would have been a lot easier had there not been more turnovers than a bakery and more than two capable defensemen in front of him.
The Boston Bruins season ends in disappointment. This stings in all the wrong ways. Yes there were more issues like bad puck management and overpassing in power plays at times. But, overall, the Bruins will be missed. Hopefully next season we’ll see them hoisting the Stanley Cup in front of thousands of screaming Bruins fans and we can load up on duck boats once again.
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-Matt Burnett (@mattthew_jordan on Twitter)