One good thing about this game, though: the Bruins scored more than one goal! In fact, they scored two in a span of 28 seconds and even added a power play goal by Johnny Boychuk in the third period. Yes, a Bruins power play goal, that rarest of creatures in these playoffs–it is possible. But that two quick goals outburst, inspired by the Bruins going down 0-2 midway through the second period, came near the end of the middle stanza and was pretty much diminished after intermission.
More problems continued in this pivotal game.
- Big players are still absent when they need to be present. Tyler Seguin, for example, continues to struggle when taking his shots. David Krejci appears to still be suffering from some bad luck–one of his attempts went just wide–although he did earn the secondary assist on Dennis Seidenberg‘s goal. Brad Marchand got his first goal of the series. These guys should have been showing up more often before now.
- Dirty play went unanswered by a team accustomed to standing up for one another. I counted at least two instances of Capitals players elbowing Bruins in the face and, while the referees missed both of them, teammates could have shown the visitors that that’s not okay. Shawn Thornton working hard during his shift kind of helped bring about the two-goal burst, though he hasn’t been as commanding as I think he could be, which is weird.
- The refereeing was basically a joke. It is still a popular opinion among some to believe the referees are infallible and capable of doing no wrong, but the fact that they missed calling a penalty on something that became worthy of a 25-game suspension shows that they do miss things sometimes. Joe Corvo blocked a shot, fell to the ice, stayed there for some time and then hobbled up to his feet–but the refs had time to blow that play dead and didn’t, leading directly to the first Capitals goal of the afternoon. Back in DC, the refs were eager to stop play when Capitals hit the ice and Bruins had possession. What led to the hesitation here? Furthermore, a questionable slashing call on Benoit Pouliot is what led to the game being untied in regulation.
- One big player was hurt after taking two big third-period hits. Patrice Bergeron didn’t spend much time on the ice in the last period, although he should be able to play in game six, and his presence was missed.
With their playoff lives on the line, the Bruins now travel back to Washington and need to do big, good things. They’ve been in this position before and now it is time for the team to step up and take charge of their destiny. Game six is also a 3 p.m. matinee on NBC. Get ready–this one is going to be big.