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.
— Pucking Off (Jason Scales) (@PuckingOff) June 10, 2021
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.