The Boston Bruins season will be on the line when the puck drops for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final Sunday night after a tough 2-1 loss in Game 5 on home ice to the St.Louis Blues. The Bruins came out fast to start Game 5, and had probably their best start of the series, as they generated numerous opportunities to score on Blues goalie Jordan Binnington. Binnington was equal to the task though and the Bruins and Blues were tied after the first period despite the Bruins completely outplaying the Blues. If they are to string together more periods like that consistently in Game 6 at St. Louis on Sunday and force a Game 7 back in Boston next Wednesday, the Bruins have to establish more offense off the rush. That is when the Bruins have been at the best and most effective.
You could see signs of the Bruins were back to their style of play early in the game as Marcus Johansson just missed on a goal on a wrap-around attempt. The Bruins outshot the Blues 17-8 in the first period and had a lot of scoring chances especially in the high danger areas, that is all because the Bruins established their style off the rush.
A perfect example was at the 7:34 mark of the first period with the Blues pressing, the Bruins were able to have good puck support in the defensive zone. The Bruins have four defenders surround the puck, as David Krejci attacks the Blues player to cause a turnover, which allowed the Bruins to start their breakout.
After Krejci causes the turnover, defenseman John Moore is able to get the puck up to Johansson as the Bruins rush out of the zone on the attack.
As the Bruins enter the neutral zone, the forwards attack the Blues defenders with speed. Johansson will pass the puck off to Jake DeBrusk as he is the speeder of the team players. Notice Brandon Carlo in the back as he will skate up with speed to support Johansson and DeBrusk.
DeBrusk will enter the zone with speed and bring two Blues defenders two him, this allows Johansson to follow behind for a drop pass which opens up options for the Bruins.
DeBrusk will enter the zone with speed as he brings two Blues defenders two him, as Johansson skates behind him for a drop pass which opens up options for the Bruins. Johansson can either pass off to Krejci who is covered or Carlo on the far side.
Johansson, who takes a hit to make a play, does the right thing as he skates a little further into the zone to open up a passing lane to Carlo who has skated all the way from the defensive zone to join the play. Carlo now has multiple options on the table with the puck as he either shoot, pass it to Krejci or DeBrusk.
Carlo decides to shoot the puck on Binnington, as DeBrusk charges the net in hopes of a rebound. The Bruins got multiple chances to score on this play.
The Bruins will need more plays like this in Game 6 in hopes of staving off elimination. When the Bruins have won in this series, they have established goals off the rush. That must be a constant theme come Game 6.