This one is going to hurt for a long time and rightfully so when you have guys in the locker room bawling their eyes out and trying to hold back tears. This team felt they had something special and that the Cup should’ve been theirs but they didn’t show up in the biggest game of their careers. They allowed the Blues to walk in on chances and gave Rask little help. The first period was a “nightmare” according to Rask, when the Bruins had all the chances but couldn’t finish and gave up 2 goals. So who’s to blame?
The veterans and the “Perfection” line has been the blood of this team all year and has carried them through the tough times of the playoffs and regular season but failed to do it in the biggest game on the biggest stage. Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand combined for a minus 13 in the Stanley Cup Finals and came up empty almost the entire series. They looked invisible out there when they are supposed to be the ones carrying you. Brad Marchand and David Krejci called this loss the worst of their careers and it is. These guys have been in the league for a while now and should know how these games feel and what you need to do to win this game; but they choked on the opportunity. Ryan O’Reilly deservingly so won the Conn Smythe as he dominated the Bruins the entire series. Any line that Bruce Cassidy put out there against him, he would dominate. It didn’t matter who was on him, he wanted that Cup more than anyone in the building and it showed. Patrice Bergeron had been shutting down guys like John Tavares, Austin Matthews, Matt Duchene, and Artemi Panarin but couldn’t do it against David Parron, Ryan O’Reilly and Alex Pietrangelo.
This game falls on the vets and Rask shouldn’t be blamed. Yeah his stats don’t look good but the goals he let in he had no chance on. The Bruins let the Blues walk in on Rask and have wide open shots right in front of him. Nothing Rask can do. This game is on all the guys who failed to show up on the biggest stage. They couldn’t put the puck in the net and at the end of the day that’s why they lost, not because of Rask. The Bruins out-chanced and outshot them the entire game and still couldn’t put anything away. It looked like the end of the Claude Julian era when they would do the same things and just couldn’t score. I give some credit to the Blues for winning but I blame the Bruins and their veterans for losing that game.
Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues on winning the Stanley Cup. Treat it well, they’ll be back for it next year.
Photo from the Boston Herald