By now, you probably know that things haven’t gone the Boston Bruins’ way to this point in the series. From calls to injuries to offensive woes, it seems as though everything is piling up against the team in the Stanley Cup Final.
And for as hard as it is to not think about ‘what if?’ as it pertains to David Perron’s controversial game-winning goal, there’s nothing that can be done to change the result of it now.
Knowing that mulling over the situation will not rectify it, the Bruins have to pull a page out of their opponent’s playbook.
It was just last round (which feels like an eternity ago given the extended time off) that the St. Louis Blues were in a similar conundrum. I’m sure by now, you are familiar with the ‘Hand Pass.’
The Blues’ response to the missed call was three-straight victories against the San Jose Sharks. The team clearly used the bad break as motivation to get past the Western Conference Final.
Now, as the series shifts back to Missouri for Game 6, St. Louis is no longer the victim of officiating. The Bruins are the ones who were wronged by a non-call, and it will be seen on Sunday night if the squad can respond on-ice in a comparable manner.
Additionally, the Bluenotes, who were the worst team in the National Hockey League at the beginning of the year, are no longer the underdogs to take home the Stanley Cup. Naturally, with the club leading the series 3-2, they are also the betting favorites. It is no longer St. Louis, but Boston who is looking to defy the odds in order to take home Lord Stanley.
The courageous story of Zdeno Chara playing despite suffering what has been reported to be a broken jaw will most likely serve as a source of inspiration once again in Game 6. Sure, this was the case in Game 5 and Boston couldn’t pull off the victory, but it’s doubtful that his situation has gotten much better. His willingness to play through such a potentially severe injury will remain a reminder to teammates every time they glance over at his jaw-protected helmet of the sacrifice the 42-year old veteran is making to capture the Cup.
The last one pertains to the members of line 1. Now 5 games into the Stanley Cup Final, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak remain totaled at just 1 even strength point in this series. This lack of production from Boston’s best unit, a trio dubbed the ‘Perfection Line’ at times, should be enough kindling wood to light a fire under this group in what could potentially be their last game of the season.
So yes, the defining sequence from Game 5 was, as bench boss Bruce Cassidy put it, “egregious.” However, there’s no doubt that the team can move forward from the incident and add it to the list of events that can supply them with motivation.
The club standing in their way serves as a prime example on how to do just that.