If the Bruins were trying to end their own season last night they couldn’t have tried any harder. And other than physically picking up the puck and throwing it in the net the officials couldn’t have participated in the Bruins demise any more than they did either.
Boston played a sleepy first thirty minutes of Friday’s Game 5, packaged with mind boggling self inflicted wounds and late brain fart filled penalities, yet still managed a 3-2 double overtime victory.
Sean Kuraly played the part of this years Matt Fraser by scoring the B’s OT game winner to go along with his second period game tying goal. They were the first goals of his NHL career.
Here are some key takeaways from last nights miraculous debacle:
- The NHL no longer knows what it is. You can’t fight a player that takes liberties with his stick or hits a player from behind. But can deliberately stick your leg out for knee-on-knee hits without it being called. Forwards can lay on pucks in the crease if they want without a penalty shot called. If there’s a 50/50 loose puck that Sean Kuraly has every right to go get it’s goalie interference now even though it in no way was interference nor affected the play. What’s worse, the refs didn’t even make any initial call on Kuraly’s net drive that should have netted Noel Acciari‘s overtime winner because they didn’t know what to do. There is zero consistency in officiating that is taking control out of the players hands and affecting the outcome of games. It’s a fucking joke. I don’t think it can be fixed because the NHL is happily heading down this road with disregard and has no clue what it’s doing. And some team is going to get bent over a table so hard in a must win Stanley Cup Final game because the NHL can’t even get out of its own fucking way.
- Tuukka Rask was out of this world good last night. Just an absolute monster. The only way he was getting beat was if his defense kept giving up preventable breakaways. Sadly, somewhere a bitter “get off my lawn!” New Englander is still bitching about Rask. I’m over those idiots. Tuukka is fantastic.
- Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari were everything depth players should be. Fast, energetic, physical, and capable of relieving the top players of some stress. Being Kuraly’s first game of the series he clearly had jump in his fresh excited legs. And Acciari cleanly crushes players with his hard, heavy, and compact hits. The duo had a great performance that has me excited about their future in Boston.
- Erik Karlsson was human last night. He was still very very good, but mortal. By the second overtime he started to get ESPN level LeBron James-esque coverage for his leg cramping issue he was dealing with. No more than a minute after hockey analysts everywhere busted out their catch rags over Karlsson’s “grit” did Kuraly easily swat #65’s stick away to bang home the game winner.
- The Bruins looked terrible for a good portion of the game. Absolutely painful to watch. It was like they wanted to throw in the towel. In the first period they had as many icings as shots, and the “pucks for penalties” over the glass delay of game charity drive they’re running needs to stop.
- It’s officially Charlie McAvoy‘s defense now. It’s his group to lead for the next 15 years just 5 games into his career. He finally started showing us his game changing offensive side and he can flat out ball. Add in his smooth D play (outside of one near fatal OT gaffe) and the future is looking so bright I threw on shades for the second overtime.
- If the B’s can’t ride the wave from Game 5’s gutsy win I’d be shocked. The Garden will be nuts Sunday. People will be day drunk. And Patrice Bergeron is definitely going to score tomorrow. We need a Game 7 no matter how boring this series looks a times.
Puck drop at 3pm tomorrow. B’s win 4-2 with an empty net goal in case you don’t want to watch.
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