In what might be one of the best games played in this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs so far, the Boston Bruins sent a packed Air Canada Centre home in depression for the second game in a row. David Krejci‘s overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs, for the hat trick nonetheless, has given Boston a commanding 3-1 series lead. Here are some observations.
David Krejci. Enough said.
Is there anyone else in this postseason playing better than Krejci right now? He tied the game, took the lead and then ended it in an overtime thriller that left Bruins fans grabbing the defibrillators.
Krejci’s play has reignited his entire line, and his stats are otherworldly just four games into the playoffs. He’s tallied five goals and five assists already.
What’s even more stunning? He only registered ten goals for the entire regular season. At the rate Krejci’s playing, he could quadruple that if the Bruins make a run.
What a night for Bruins special teams.
Was there any hot button issue more troubling for Boston than it’s struggling penalty kill and, at times, impossible to watch power play?
Who would’ve guessed both of those units would be a huge factor in the Bruins’ win tonight?
The much-maligned power play came up big, going 2-for-5 on the night. Both goals came in a second period the Bruins badly needed to win. After falling into a 2-0 deficit, Boston’s power play cut the lead in half, and then took it back.
As for the penalty kill, it went 100% in killing off all four Toronto power plays. Boston looked great at smothering Toronto’s chances on the man advantage, which was a welcome site considering how poorly the unit had been playing.
After giving up at least one Maple Leafs power play goal in each of the first three games, Boston’s penalty kill locked it up in a pivotal Game 4.
Tuukka Rask makes up for an early mistake by playing out of his mind.
Admit it. When Rask let in a softy from Cody Franson, you were panicking about the goalie situation. I can’t blame you, and I’d be willing to bet Rask will tell everyone how badly he wanted that one back.
However, any critics of the Finnish netminder need only watch the third period and overtime to see Rask at his best.
Toronto had multiple opportunities late in the game, and Rask stopped them all. Where Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer was leaving rebounds left and right, Rask remained composed during every Toronto flurry.
Many Boston fans have been clamoring for a game in which Rask’s play is practically the sole reason for a win. I give you exhibit A.
Giddiness aside, it’s time for Tyler Seguin to start burying these chances.
I feel like all four games of this series include a Seguin missed opportunity in their highlight reel. Make no mistake, he’s generating a lot of chances for himself, but he’s so snake-bitten right now and it has to be eating at him.
Seguin has been perfect for someone of his skill level, including an opportunity in Game 3 in which he was breaking away and had Reimer dead to rights. But, he instead made one move too many and it cost him.
This seems to be the common theme with Seguin. He’s either hesitating, which gives Reimer time to set himself up, or he’s trying to get a little cute and make one deke too many. The result is the same for both, an announcer yelling “save by Reimer.”
Maybe in the grand scheme of this series and the much-documented Seguin-Phil Kessel trade saga, we were putting the spotlight on the wrong player.
Everyone knows Kessel has a rough time playing against Boston. But now that this piece of Toronto and Boston history is front and center in the playoffs, is it getting to Seguin, too? Are the pressures of trying to make Boston look like the winner of this trade on a grand stage affecting Seguin’s game?
I would hope not, but something has to explain his bad luck as of late.
Either way, the Bruins come home Friday night with a chance to eliminate the Leafs, so here’s hoping Seguin won’t have to worry about it anymore Saturday morning.