Are the Boston Bruins winning for 37?
The Boston Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes are headed to a Game 7 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series. The Bruins forced a Game 7 with a resounding 5-2 win over the Hurricanes to hold serve on the home ice advantage in the best-of-seven series.
The Bruins and Patrice Bergeron himself have downplayed the idea that Bergeron’s uncertain contract status and talk of retirement is fueling this current Bruins squad but a team source has confirmed otherwise. There was no way the Bruins were going to let Thursday night be their captain’s last home game, and if all goes right, his last.
“Not tonight,” a team source said.
Longtime Bergeron linemate and Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand continued to deliver with a goal and an assist but he wasn’t the only one carrying the weight as the Bruins staved off elimination to send the series back to Raleigh for a do-or-die game on Saturday.
Following the 5-1 loss in Game 5 at PNC Arena, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy sent a Gary Batman signal out to anyone other than Marchand, Bergeron and fellow Perfection Line mate, David Pastrnak.
“We need to get some guys going and it’s on me to find ways to get them going,” a frustrated Cassidy said. “It’s also the time of the year where the inner drive needs to come through and that’s what we’re looking at.
“At the end of the day you need the guys behind [the Perfection Line] following it up and that’s what we’re looking at. The sort of middle of the order, whatever you want to call it, that they can bring more offensively, and if not then they need to be tighter defensively. Get the job done at the other end. Some nights it’s the top guys, special teams and goaltending, and that was the story in Boston. Obviously, the guys that are used to scoring want to contribute in that way, but help us win then if the puck isn’t following you. This isn’t the middle of the year and sort of ‘oh, we’ll get through it.’ This is a short series and maybe things will happen [offensively for them] in the next series, so that’s what being asked of the middle of the lineup right now.”
Message sent, message received.
Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist; Curtis Lazar scored; Erik Haula lit the lamp and Tomas Nosek finished with two helpers. Even defenseman Derek Forbort, who hadn’t scored since Nov. 20 lit the lamp. The scoring depth that Cassidy asked for, showed up.
“(Eric) Haula and (Taylor) Hall, they just play better with (David Pastrnak)? He’s a world-class player,” Cassidy said after Game 6.
In his first game back after being out fo three games with an upper-body injury, Boston Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm brought a world class style as well, breaking up a 2-on-1 that led to a message-sending hit from his d-pairing partner Charlie McAvoy mid-way through the first period.
Hampus Lindholm: “That’s playoff hockey right there.” https://t.co/BTQU3VK4Dq
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 13, 2022
The Boston Bruins may be ready to transition into a new era soon, but right now, there’s a shout out to the past and the present that doesn’t seem ready to begin that transition. Game 7 for BERGERON! BERGERON!