Boston Bruins: Understanding poor production from the ‘Perfection Line’

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 9: Bruins Brad Marchand( c) is congratulated by Patrice Bergeron (l) and David Pastrnak after his first period goal. The St. Louis Blues host the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals at Enterprise Center in St. Louis on June 9, 2019. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 9: Bruins Brad Marchand( c) is congratulated by Patrice Bergeron (l) and David Pastrnak after his first period goal. The St. Louis Blues host the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals at Enterprise Center in St. Louis on June 9, 2019. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /
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The ‘Perfection Line’, as they found themselves known was so often the catalyst for Boston Bruins’ wins all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. However, the trio of Patrice Bergeroln, David Pastrnalk and Brad Marchanld seemed off their game against the St. Louis Blues.

Now that the series is done and dusted and the result is known, unfortunately for the Boston Bruins, it didn’t go the way they hoped; we can begin to unpick where the usual all-round effectiveness of Patrice Bergeron went, why 100-point scorer Brad Marchand‘s production suddenly dried up and why the usually silky mitts of the young Czech winger, David Pastrnak suddenly looked a little cumbersome.

The answer is simple really. All three men were nursing injuries throughout the Stanley Cup Final; some more severe than others.

Patrice Bergeron merely had groin issues; whether that equates to a twinge, a strain or a pulled or otherwise damaged muscle, who knows. Brad Marchand suffered a wrist injury, believed to have been caused in the intra-squad scrimmage as well as other twinges. Finally, it was a re-injuring of his thumb that ailed David Pastrnak. All three specific injuries go some way to explaining the trio’s sudden loss of their usual ‘perfection’.

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You only need look at the final game against the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference final for some comparison. Now, granted, the St. Louis Blues may have played a game that stifled production, but I think the fact that Bergeron netted two goals and an assist just prior suggests that his injury may have occurred, quite possibly in the ten days’ down-time.

Perhaps curiously, his face-off winning percentages only dipped below his usual elite levels in Games 2 and 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. Now, on a face-off he’d have been able to relatively easily work around groin issues; it was actually purely on eye-test that he looked a step or two behind and wasn’t able to make his usual 200-foot plays as easily as usual.

Brad Marchand, to his credit, did still manage to tally points in the Stanley Cup Final. Where we saw impact of his injury was a seeming unwillingness to shoot. If he indeed was nursing a sprained wrist, this could easily be explained by the notion that shooting with any sort of power or pace would’ve been rather painful. His shots on goal totals very noticeably dip, getting zero on net in Game 4.

Likewise, his line mate David Pastrnak was giving the puck away at twice the rate of the next worst player for giveaways in the Boston Bruins line-up.

These giveaways, you could argue, were in part due to having to adjust the way he grips his stick due to his thumb injury. That slight change would’ve very likely meant he wasn’t handling anywhere near as comfortably or indeed, anywhere near as elegantly, resulting in giveaways.

Next. Even more injury revelations. dark

All in all, the injuries suffered by this trio, likely played a large role in the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup Final loss to the St. Louis Blues. No matter how minor they each sound on paper, they all would’ve had an effect on each individual’s game and as a result, the game of the ‘Perfection Line’.