The Wraparound: Bruins need more, especially from second line
The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down each day’s matchups with the all-important television and live streaming information included.
With a few exceptions, namely Tuukka Rask, Sean Kuraly and Charlie Coyle, the Boston Bruins could use a lot more from some of their biggest names heading into a pivot Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBC; live stream).
Rask has seen a pile of shots again. Coyle has scored in three straight games and is now tied for the team lead in goals with Patrice Bergeron at nine. And Kuraly? Well, he’s a welcomed addition to a fourth line, if we’re being fair, that’s been as solid as they come in the playoffs.
[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]
As hockey is a team game and it’s often the sum of the parts that get the job done, the Bruins need better from some of their best.
We’ll start on the second line with Jake DeBrusk, David Krejci and David Backes.
The line has been a bit of a ghost so far in this series with no goals thus far. DeBrusk has two points in the series – his only points in the last 6 games – while Krejci (four games) and Backes (six games) are both on point droughts.
“We got to sit down with them, obviously,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “They got to change the way they’re playing. It hasn’t worked so far to generate offense... We’re going to have to revisit it, sell some different ideas of how they can generate offense.”
The top line Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, meanwhile, need another dominant game, the type where they’re unstoppable and the Bruins are, thus, unbeatable.
We saw some of that in Game 3, where they combined for five points. It’d be better to see it 5-on-5, however. Game 3 sort of skews all the numbers given the lethality of their power play in that one.
A game where they produce in the seven to 10 point range as a line would be a welcomed sight for Boston fans.
The good news for Boston is they get to play Game 5 (and 7, if it’s needed) at TD Garden, where they’ve won seven of 11 in these playoffs.
NHL PR has a couple of stats regarding the Bruins and playing at home.
- “The Perfection Line” of Bergeron (4-2—6), Marchand (3-6—9) and Pastrnak (3-4—7) have accounted for more than one-quarter of Boston’s tallies through 11 home games this postseason (10 of 37; 27.0%).
- Four Boston players are averaging at least one point per game following a loss this postseason: Marchand (4-6—10 in 6 GP), Pastrnak (4-4—8 in 6 GP), Bergeron (4-4—8 in 6 GP) and Torey Krug (2-6—8 in 6 GP).
Another good omen is Tuukka Rask’s ability to bounce back in these playoffs.
Like Jordan Binnington 200 feet the other way, Rask ups the ante following a loss. He’s 5-1 with a 2.01 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage in the game after a loss.
A couple of adjustments might just prevent one team from winning two straight for the first time in this series.
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