The Boston Bruins are in big, big trouble.
Understandably, saying a team that’s now one loss away from their season coming to an end is in trouble is no revelation. But with the way this Bruins team lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of the2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, confidence has to be at an all-time low.
But first, let’s talk about all the positives from this game for Boston.
Carl Söderberg looked good in his playoff debut.
And that was all the positives the Bruins can take home from Game 5.
Find me something Boston can look at from Game 5 and feel okay about their chances in this series. Sorry, that well is bone dry.
First of all, the Bruins top defensive pairing of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg was once again a liability. And when the word “liability” is used around those two, there’s not one good thing to come from it.
I refuse to see the fact they’re playing against a line containing Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as an excuse. Chara and Seidenberg always face a team’s top talent, so tough luck. If the key to beating these two defensemen is really “just play your best guys against them,” Boston would’ve been eliminated a long time ago. That it is now destroying the bedrock of this team is way too much concern for one to handle.
A lot of people claimed Toews was talking way too much when claiming the Blackhawks were now in Chara’s head. Looks like he was dead on with this remark.
Another big issue for the Bruins was the unbelievable fact that they barely tested Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, and this I just don’t understand.
As mentioned earlier this week, Boston has been peppering his glove side all series. Crawford admitted it was becoming a concern. So, what better way to take advantage of this then barely putting any shots towards his glove? Crawford hardly put up a sweat tonight, as the Bruins lead an absolutely weak effort against a goalie who was struggling with his confidence. Allowing one goal and now a win away from a Stanley Cup, I’m pretty sure Crawford isn’t feeling so shaky any more.
But let’s get to the big issue of the night: Patrice Bergeron is hurt. And this is the worst news Boston can receive at the worst possible time.
It is unclear just exactly how Bergeron got injured or what it is specifically that’s bothering him, but he left the game in an ambulance. Yes, the Bruins’ best all-around player finished Game 5 in a hospital.
If this is indeed a serious injury and Bergeron has to miss even one game, this is a death blow for Boston. Sorry to sound defeatist, but you can’t lose such an important piece to a team that’s already started back-to-back games in a lifeless fashion and claim they can win a Cup. Can’t be done.
A lot of Bruins fans will claim Boston faced the same situation two years ago against the Vancouver Canucks. The team returned home for Game 6 down 3-2 in the series and then rallied to win the next two games and a Stanley Cup.
This is not the same situation at all. Yes, the series is in the same predicament, but consider the differences. Boston absolutely dominated the Canucks at home in 2011, so there was a reason to feel okay about their chances against a Vancouver team who looked solid in their own arena but intimidated at the TD Garden.
Chicago, on the other hand, is coming off back-to-back wins – away and at home. There’s no fear in this Blackhawks team, especially now that they’ve put up an insane amount of goals against the best defensive line Boston can present.
Oh, and Bergeron was still active in 2011′s Game 6.
Things are about as bleak as ever for the Bruins right now. They’re facing elimination and not looking at all like a team that can figure out a way to avoid it for two games, much less the next one.
Boston needs to figure out what to do, and fast. Otherwise, they’ll force Bruins fans to watch Chicago hoist the Cup right in front of them Monday night.