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Rask, Bruins Force Game 7: Game 6 Analysis and Report Card

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Throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask has stolen games for his team and in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final Sunday in St. Louis, he shut the door again with 28 saves in a 5-1 Bruins win over the St. Louis Blues to force a Game 7 Wednesday in Boston.

Rask wasn’t the only one to deliver in the clutch for the Bruins in Game 6 as the first line finally found the scoresheet and Bruce Cassidy’s hunch paid off.

Here’s your Game 6 Report Card and analysis:

Tuukka Rask: A +

Throughout the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Rask has performed his best when his team faced elimination or had a chance to clinch a series. He won Game 6 facing elimination against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round and then Game 7 to help the  Bruins advance to the second round. Rask came up huge in the following rounds against the Blue Jackets and Hurricanes as well and in Game 6 with the Bruins’ season on the line, he stopped 28 of 29 shots to help his team force a Game 7. As is usually the case with Rask, the majority of his saves were boring and to the point, but with the Blues on a powerplay 9:11 into the second period, Rask and Charlie McAvoy teamed up on what may become a defining moment for this Bruins team. With the win, Rask is now 4-0 in elimination games with a .75 GAA and .975 save percentage. He also has two shutouts when his team is facing elimination.

 

 

Perfection Line: A

Gagne-Bergeron Pro-Am

What was arguably the best line in the regular season and at key parts of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, has been an enigma of late. Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak instilled fear through the regular season, but through five games in the Stanley Cup Final, they were invisible. In Gane 6, the big boys for the B’s showed up and delivered. Marchand and Pastrnak had a goal and an assist each and Bergeron went pointless but had six shots on net. The Perfection Line was as close to perfect as they’ve been in this series. A key for the Bruins was Marchand’s power-play goal 8:40 into the first period. Marchand had been under attack from the Blues’ defense and drew the penalty. His discipline paid off and he was able to convert on the man advantage.

Bruce Cassidy: A

I’m not afraid to eat crow and Bruns head coach has made beg for something to ease the bad taste before Game 6, but man I need some honey or something to kill this sour taste.

Cassidy made the right call inserting the speedy, tough rookie Karson Kuhlman into the lineup instead of David Backes. Kuhlman put the Bruins up 3-0 10:15 into the third period and made anyone crying for Backes’ grit and experience eat some major crow. Cassidy also needs to be credited for the way he stuck with what many considered the best line in the NHL during the regular season. They rewarded him for his faith when it mattered most and once again he looks like the Jack Adams candidate he’s not.

 

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

Copyright ©2020 National Hockey Now and Boston Hockey Now.

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