For the second time in as many games, the Boston Bruins suffered a gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals. Waking up eight hours after the defeat is never easy, but as is often the case, Sunday morning often gives a fresh perspective on the events of a Saturday night.
1. Do not make excuses! Alex Burrows was not suspended (and I still do not believe he should have been) and there is no point whining about it. How about stopping him from scoring? That would be a better plan. I warned back in my preview of this series Burrows was the guy who steps it up when the game is on the line, and he has proven that to be true in this series. Claude Julien said it best: “If we use that as an excuse, then we’re a lame team” (bostonherald.com).
2. Stop with the Tuukka Time: Sure he made a poor choice coming that far out on Burrows’ game-winner, but Tim Thomas is the team MVP at this point in the playoffs, and it is hardly his fault the Bruins are down 2-0. Game 2 easily could have been 5-2 after regulation had it not been for Thomas. If Tuukka is in goal, the Bruins are out of it by the end of the second period when the Canucks turned their game up a notch. Thomas gave the Bruins a chance to win, again, and they did not, again. If Boston is to win this series, Thomas is going to need to be in goal.
3. Boston needs to play a full game: The Bruins have yet to play a complete game against the Canucks, yet could have won wither of the first two games. Vancouver has been able to rise its level of play late in games and Boston has yet to match that. The B’s will need to if they want to win the Stanley Cup.
4. No more turnovers: The Bruins are killing themselves with turnovers. The OT winner came off a foolish pass and the inability to react to the turnover. Mistakes happen in hockey all the time; it’s the way you react to mistakes that make the difference. Andrew Ference was flat-footed after his turnover, and Chara did not take down Burrows even though it was clear he needed to do so. Thomas has made up for many of the turnovers, even if he did not on the final one of the game.
5. David Krejci and Brad Marchand need to elevate their games: Krejci did not play well last night, turning the puck over a number of times in his own zone. He is not playing like a No. 1 center in this series. Marchand has largely been invisible. He looks like a rookie for the first time since October.
6. Boston’s defensmen were not good: Chara had a weak game overall. In addition to the big blunder against Burrows, he also failed to clear the puck a number of times and made a few head-scratching passes. Tomas Kaberle was brutal, turning the puck over a number of times, including once to Jannik Hansen, which forced Thomas to make an acrobatic save.
7. Quit sitting on leads: The Bruins had the game won with 10 minutes to play. They just needed to keep making plays and skating, but they sat back and turned the puck over a umber of times leading to the tying goal. And how is a Sedin wide-open on the side of the crease?