The Boston Bruins needed some time to wake up and shake off the rust, but when they did, the Bruins never stopped coming at the St. Louis Blues. I noted in the Game 1 article that we might see one of two things happen, or both in Game 1 for the Bruins.
Either they were going to be rusty the entire game and wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the extended layoff they had to get fresh, or be healthy and fresh and be flying around. Both were an option as well, which is what certainly happened. The Bruins were going through the motions in the 1st period and early in the 2nd, but then exploded for every minute of the rest of the game.
There wasn’t a minute that went by without the Bruins winning a battle after the Blues scored the 2-0 goal. The Bruins made an awful turnover for that puck to find the back of the net, but made zero mistakes from then on out. In fact, the Blues were lucky to be in that game late. They had an opportunity to tie the game with the Bruins up 3-2 in the final minutes, though Brad Marchand found an empty net to put Game 1 away for good.
The puck seemed to have a magnet on it for the post whenever the Bruins had it. They hit multiple posts and it could have easily been a 6-goal game for Boston if the puck was an inch over in their favour. Jordan Binnington has been fantastic in the playoffs, but this is a massive stage for the 25-year-old.
Rask has been in this position before and isn’t going to be bothered by the attention on a Stanley Cup Final. Rask made 18 saves having to see 20 shots in Game 1. Head below for our free Blues vs. Bruins Game 2 pick of the Stanley Cup Final.
St. Louis Blues vs. Boston Bruins Game 2 Pick
The Blues looked kind of shell shocked after how hard the Bruins were coming at them after the 2-0 lead. St. Louis thought they were going to be able to put things on cruise control. Immediately after the second goal for the Blues, the changing of the tide happened right away. It felt like the Bruins were destined to win the game despite being down by 2 goals.
The only way the Blues were going to get out with a win is if Binnington went off. He’s done it before, but it’s awfully difficult on this stage on the road. With the win, the Bruins are now 36-11-4 at home in the regular season and playoffs combined. They had 38 shots on net as opposed to just 20 for the Blues in Game 1. After the Bruins got rid of the rust, the Blues had no answer for the Bruins’ physical play.
I expect the Blues to be better prepared for the aggressive onslaught that the Bruins are going to present in Game 2. However, this looks like a replay of what the Bruins did to the Hurricanes in the last round. The Hurricanes had the lead going into the 3rd in Game 1 of that series, and then Carolina fell over and allowed 4 unanswered goals to lose 5-2.
I see the Blues putting up a better fight in this series, but not until it turns to St. Louis in Game 3 and 4. The atmosphere is going to be electric in Game 3. Boston won just two periods in Game 1 and they still should have blew the Blues out of the water. Expect the Bruins to play a complete game in this one at TD Garden. It’s unlikely to be a quick Stanley Cup Final, but I do expect the Bruins to protect their home in Boston.