The Boston Bruins will look to stay in the driver’s seat as the puck drops for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues.
For that to happen, the Bruins will need to clean up a few things, mainly the start. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said it best after the Bruins 4-2 win in Game 1, “Start on time, we pride ourselves on that. I didn’t think we were bad, but you know, at home, you want to be the dominant team.”
Throughout the playoffs, the Bruins have been a team that has played well in the first period. In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins showed signs of rust after 11 days off. A team can practice so much in that time off before the players get bored and want to play real games again. Even though the Bruins held an intrasquad scrimmage to get back into the routine of this before the Stanley Cup Final, how many players would play hard in that type of atmosphere and want to hurt a key player on the team? Not too many.
“We’ve been really good in the playoffs first period, so that’s one thing,” Cassidy said. “I thought we were bad at the blue lines in terms of being hard on pucks early on. I think that had to do with, you don’t like to talk about it, but the time off. You’re not – you don’t have your edge yet to battle. You try to replicate it in practice but it’s just not going to happen, you’re risking injury too much.”
Cassidy hopes his team can get started on the right foot in Game 2 and do the little things right they did so well in the second and third periods of Game 1. Once the players found their skating legs, the Bruins resembled the dominant team that steamrolled through Carolina in the Eastern Conference Final.
“So those things should come a little more naturally on Wednesday, I hope. You know, they’re a heavy team and if you’re not willing to battle you’re going to lose pucks all night. They reload well, so I think – the third part was that when we did win a battle we didn’t move our feet to get going up ice, we kind of looked around to make a play so, at the end of the day, we’re playing right to their strength, which you know, they work hard, they reload, they’re strong on the pucks and as soon as we seemed to win it, we gave I right back. I think that was the problem in the first period and we figured it out in the second.”
The Bruins were lucky enough to escape Game 1 after such a poor start, but to win two games in a row after another bad start, especially against a good St. Louis team at this point of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is pretty tough to accomplish. Even with all the comebacks in the NHL this season, the Bruins cannot let a team like St. Louis get up two goals again. Yes, the Bruins are on home ice, but the Blues have an excellent road record, so the Bruins will want to carry that momentum from the end of Game 1 into the start of Game 2.
Game 2 of the Stanley Cup happens Wednesday at 8 pm inside TD Garden.