The Boston Bruins find themsleves in a bit of a predicament. My favorite phrases for this are: “I’m up a tree” or “I’m in a pitcher of water here”. Both of those came a from a dear friend’s Gram and while I thought they were charming and funny then, I find them to be completely relatable now. Grandma Neal was prescient and kind.
Anyway, back to the B’s. After winning the first game in the series by dominating and then slowly losing their multi-goal lead, the Bruins have steadily lost their mojo in each game since, now being down 3-1 in this series. Apparently on Saturday, Nick Ritchie showed that he was a dud just like his older brother, Brett, in that bad things happen when they’re on the ice. While we’ve been patiently waiting for Ritchie to have more finish than just brute force, he boarded Yanni Gourde on Saturday and earned himself a five-minute-major allowing Tampa’s Victor Hedman to score on the man-advantage. A few days ago I suggested to some pals of ours that the term for a number of Ritchies be a “Deadweight of Ritchies”.
— Out of Context Boston Bruins™ (@oocbruins) August 29, 2020
He’s not the only player to single out because everyone is playing poorly. Jaro Halak can only stop so many pucks and he definitely requires goal support. The only goal for the B’s came from Jake DeBrusk on the power play. While it’s great that David Pastrnak took 6 shots on goal, he’s being nullified along with the rest of his line. In short: other lines need to perform better. I thought they had finally fixed the secondary scoring issue but it remains a problem, one that will haunt them after falling just short of winning the cup last season.
So, tonight is the night. If the Bruins can’t find their legs, can’t score at even strength and on the power play, and can’t stop the Bolts getting under their skin, then it’s over. Surprisingly, this is not the only series on the line tonight; the Colorado Avalanche is on the verge of being eliminated by the Dallas Stars later in the evening.
As for tonight, we know that Chris Wagner is out. Sean Kuraly might be in. He practiced on Sunday and “is progressing”, whatever that means. We could really use some of that Big Game Sean Kuraly Energy right now.
#NHLBruins updates per coach Bruce Cassidy:
Chris Wagner is unavailable for Game 5.
Sean Kuraly skated today and is progressing. pic.twitter.com/9U3e8jIjOJ
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 30, 2020
Game 5 is tonight at 7pm Eastern.