There’s the easy way, and there’s the Boston Bruins way.
Seriously, what an awful way to lose a game.
The Bruins had the New York Rangers packing their bags while their coach was tuning up his resume, and then spoon-fed them a victory. Here are some observations from a low point in Boston’s postseason.
The award for Most Generous Bruin goes to Tuukka Rask.
For the majority of this postseason, the Finnish net minder has been playing just well enough to keep Boston in every game. He’s looked unbeatable at times, but can occasionally let in a soft one.
But tonight? Yikes.
The Bruins were up 2-0 in the second period, looking very much like a team set to enjoy some days off before playing in the NHL Eastern Conference Finals. However, the Rangers’ Carl Hagelin “scored” to bring New York within one.
The quotes are necessary because it’s tough to credit someone for a goal that went in merely because the goalie tripped over himself.
The Rangers then tied the game when Rask fell asleep and didn’t see Derek Stepan steal the puck behind the net.
If somebody’s putting whiskey in Rask’s water bottle, kindly stop.
Add in a goal from a Ranger power play that had looked like death warmed over, and you’ve got yourself a pretty terrible night for the Boston keeper.
It’s pretty simple, Rask. If you want people to stop asking about the last time you had a 3-0 lead in the playoffs, you’ll have to play better than that in a close out game.
Welcome to the playoffs, Tyler Seguin.
As negative as this post started, there were, believe it or not, some positives from Boston’s perspective. The biggest being Seguin finally getting the monkey off his back and netting his first goal of the playoffs.
It was an impressive play, too, as he grabbed his own rebound and fired a bad angle shot perfectly past Henrik Lundqvist.
You have to hope this is a jump-start for Seguin. He’s generating a ton of opportunities. But for the past 11 games, he just couldn’t put any home.
With his first goal behind him, hopefully Seguin can start contributing more consistently.
Seriously, though. Torey Krug.
I can’t say enough about this kid.
Scoring his third goal in four career playoff games, it’s safe to say Krug is on fire. And it’s not just his scoring touch that’s catching notice.
Was it just me, or did it seem like Krug just played a 67 minute shift? It seemed like every time a puck was loose, the mini-defenseman came out of nowhere to skate it through the neutral zone like a man possessed. It just felt like he never left the ice.
Make no mistake, he definitely has significant offensive talent. Every shot he took was both blistering and well placed.
Tonight should be enough reason to ensure his roster spot is safe once everybody gets healthy.
OK, Boston, are we really doing this again?
Please, we’re begging you, no more deja vu. Not one fan has been clamoring for a sequel to the “well we had it, then gave it back” series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Bruins have been the better team for the majority of this series. The Rangers scoring two crucial goals tonight off insanely bad mental lapses are proof enough.
And yet, you struggle to believe the Bruins didn’t just gift-wrap a sympathy-win for the Rangers.
Sorry Boston, you did indeed win the Stanley Cup two years ago, but the year before that is always going to be remembered just as well. We don’t need to see another 3-0 collapse.
So lick your self-inflicted wounds, get your heads on straight and finish this Saturday night in Game 5 so the fans can finally hide the panic button for a couple days.