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Talking Points: Boston Bruins Playoff Run Ends in Game 6

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Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 6-2 loss to the New York Islanders in Game 6 at Nassau Coliseum that ended their playoff run.

GOLD STAR: Brock Nelson. The New York Islanders forward scored a pair of goals and both of them were backbreakers for the Boston Bruins. The first was a pickpocket job five minutes into the second period where he stole the puck from Matt Grzelcyk trying to make a play, and then moved in for a breakaway goal that busted open a 1-1 game after the first period. Seven minutes later Nelson scored again when he was able to jump on Grzelcyk with the puck in front of the net after a rebound from Tuukka Rask, and he once again was able to light the lamp. Nelson finished with two goals, a plus-2 rating and six shot attempts in 19:28 of ice time in a strong performance. There were a lot of very strong performances among the Islanders in Game 6, but Nelson was at the top of the list.

BLACK EYE: Matt Grzelcyk picked a bad night to have his worst game of the playoffs. He continuously coughed up the puck under pressure in the second period and those turnovers led directly to a pair of damaging goals for the Islanders. Grzelcyk finished with three giveaways and a minus-3 rating in 20:10 of ice time and was essentially swarmed under by the heavy Islanders pressure. That’s a tough look for a Bruins defenseman relied on to move pucks and avoid those kinds of costly mistakes, but it just wasn’t happening for Grzelcyk and the Bruins on Wednesday night. At the end of the day, it was about puck mismanagement for the Bruins in Game 6 and Grzelcyk was at the top of the list of Black and Gold culprits.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins essentially collapsed in the second period. They played tight and didn’t look all that good in the opening 20 minutes of the elimination game, but they still battled their way to a 1-1 tie after the opening 20 minutes. Then they went out and didn’t get any better in the second period, and instead got worse when the Islanders turned up the heat. The Isles scored three goals to take a commanding lead in the game and the Bruins simply couldn’t overcome some very costly mistakes with the puck. There were a couple Matt Grzelcyk turnovers and a rough Tuukka Rask handoff to Mike Reilly that led to an Islanders score as well. The Bruins managed to close it to 4-2 in the third period, but that’s as close as they would get against an Islanders team that really clamped down defensively on the Black and Gold.

HONORABLE MENTION: Brad Marchand was Boston’s best player throughout these playoffs and he was their best player in the Game 6 loss. Marchand scored both of Boston’s two goals, had four shot attempts, four registered hits and a pair of blocked shots in 18:47 of ice time, but both of those goals came on the power play. The Perfection Line wasn’t able to do anything 5-on-5 in this game for one of the first times in the playoff series, however, and needed some other players to really step up offensively if they were going to win on Wednesday. Marchand finished with eight goals scored in 11 playoff games for the Black and Gold in this postseason and continues to dominate while at the very prime of his career. It’s just unfortunate that both Marchand and Patrice Bergeron had another prime year frittered away with a loss within the first couple rounds of the playoffs.

BY THE NUMBERS: 11-3 – the Boston Bruins were outscored by the Islanders to this extent in the second period over the course of the series, including being outscored 3-to-0 on Wednesday night’s middle 20 minutes in Game 6.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “They were able to win when they didn’t have their ‘A’ game. A couple of games at home they found ways to win. Give them credit. That’s what it’s all about this time of year. It doesn’t have to be pretty. I thought they were definitely more opportunistic than us.” –Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy on the differences between the Bruins and Islanders in the second round series.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Rib

Gryz needs to go, he is a giveaway machine, not just tonight all season long. You cannot win in this league against heavy teams when you have small soft
d-men like Gryz and Reilly, Clifton Isn’t very big either and is inconsistent. Bruins need to sign a couple veteran d-men in the off season and hopefully dump Gryz. Why Bruins management believes Gryz is a #2 defenceman is mind boggling.

Lawrence Maiolo

I didn’t realize it until Felger pointed it out but the B’s only got out of the second round once in the last eight years, and that was with their core group in their prime. Man, they are in trouble. McAvoy, Pastrnak and Swayman are the future of this team, that’s all they’ll have after the next couple of seasons. They can buy some free agents but they’re going to need help up the middle and most YOUNG top centers are hard to aquire. You are headed into one of those dark periods in B’s history.

[…] Boston: The Bruins talking points. It’s not a happy scene in Boston… […]

[…] the Bruins gave up three straight goals in the second period to fall behind 4-1 in an eventual 6-2 elimination loss to the New York Islanders, Bruins social media was already abuzz with what current Bruins players could be hitting the NHL […]

TheBigF

It’s ironic the Bruins lost to the Islanders, given the mismanagement of the 2015 draft when they could have gotten Barzal and Beauvillier (and Chabot) but instead got DeBrusk, Senyshen, and Zboril. The guys they should have drafted beat them. Also, not addressing Chara and Krug leaving in the offseason by picking up some veterena D help was just a gigantic mistake, and it cost them this series. I could never understand this one, there were plenty of D to pick up, they just totally ignored what was obvious to everyone else: Zboril can’t play, Urho isn’t ready, Gryzlyk is… Read more »

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