A week ago at this time, the Bruins held a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven series with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That was huge in a series where the team that scored first had always won the game. The Bruins went the final 187:20 of the series without an even-strength goal.
A few Winnipeg gamers saw that the game while at Nashville and also had many different reactions. Right now I don't really care about it. "Their "D" core is big and they move the puck". The combination of those issues led to the Bruins fourth consecutive loss and a series ending one. The trio of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak have 24 of those points. Tampa Bay had control for nearly the man advantage and it appeared as the Bruins were able to kill off the penalty, but with 19 seconds remaining in the penalty, Chara shot the puck over the glass for a delay of game. All three of Bergeron's shots came in the third period.
The Boston Bruins will be without defenseman Torey Krug for the remainder of of their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning due to an ankle injury, the team announced Saturday. If not, a day may come when Marchand gets seriously injured by a player who's had quite enough of his shenanigans. The team continues to win games in the postseason after a spectacular regular season, and it may take a superior effort from the Sharks or the victor of the Winnipeg Jets-Nashville Predators series to keep the Golden Knights from reaching the Stanley Cup Final. He was fantastic in his 26-plus minutes of ice time.
All of it, though, is really about the Bruins being forced to play close to a flawless game if they hope to prolong the series and live to fight at least a few more days against a team that's been better than them. If Point continues to play as well as he has in Game 2-5, the Lightning will continue to be successful. That win percentage, ranked first in the league so far in this young season, is a solid improvement compared to how the team performed during last year's regular season (42-40).
Backes' departure didn't help the Bruins and their shorthanded bench. It would also have given Bruce Cassidy some flexibility with his defensive pairs. I think our guys are ready.
It will be interesting to see what Marchand pulls next but if he wants to be on the ice and without any repercussions, he will need to keep himself in check. He never did such thing. The Lightning's offence is littered with contenders, whereas the Bruins lacked a supporting cast to back up their top-line of stars. "Preferably by scoring some goals, that would be the best way".
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