Defying Expectations: The Bruins Battle for the Cup

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Defying Expectations: The Bruins Battle for the Cup

Cole Schildkraut and Stephen Restuccia

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It’s an exciting time to be a Boston Bruins fan. After finishing the season third overall, the Bruins have been taking care of business in their quest for the Stanley Cup by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games, the Columbus Blue Jackets in six and the Carolina Hurricanes in four. As Jim Restuccia said, “This year they weren’t really projected to go that far. A lot of people thought that they would make the playoffs, but it definitely wasn’t guaranteed. So to have them in the position they are in now is remarkable and you really could not ask for better.”

The Bruins had a rough start in game one versus the Maple Leafs. Goaltender Frederik Anderson made 37 saves to put Toronto up 1-0 in the series. Boston tied up the series with four players scoring in a 4-1 win in game two. Toronto won game three. The Bruins took game four to make the series even. The Leafs got the better of the Bruins in game five with a 2-1 win. Facing elimination, the Bruins won game six and forced a game seven. “The team just wasn’t expected to go that far. But I definitely believe in them. They have just shown such heart and dedication. I really think that they got this,” said Trevor Doolan. With a 4-2 win in a rocking TD Garden, the Bruins turned the Leafs to mulch. It was on to face the Columbus Blue Jackets.

A short-handed goal by Noel Acciari and two goals by Coyle led the Bruins to an overtime win in game one versus Columbus. The Bruins out shot the Blue Jackets 37 to 22. Turnovers and passing on shot attempts made it difficult for the Bruins in game two with the Bruins suffering a tough double overtime loss. Bergeron was called for tripping in the second overtime, and the Blue Jackets capitalized. DeBrusk scored the only Bruins goal as the Bruins fell to the Blue Jackets 2-1 in game three. They faced a hot goaltender in Bobrovsky and could not produce on the power play. Bobrovsky stopped 36 shots in the final 20 minutes. 3:43 into the first period of game four, Pastrnak beat Bobrovsky. Kuraly scored once and Bergeron scored twice to lead the Bruins to a 4-1 win. Columbus got on the board despite having the puck bounce off the protective netting. After two straight losses, the Bruins tied the series at two games apiece. It was 0-0 after one period and with just 1:39 into the second, Krejci gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead in game five. Marchand scored on a second chance rebound making it 2-0. After video reversing a no-goal call, the Blue Jackets were down by one. Pastrnak scored twice and the Bruins hung on for a 4-3 win.

The six and final game at Nationwide Arena had neither team scoring in the first period. The Bruins first goal was overturned by goalie interference. With 7:47 to go in the second, a quick strike by Krejci put the Bruins on top 1-0. Johansson snapped a shot through the legs of Bobrovsky to make it 2-0 in the third. Backus scored just one minute and forty-one seconds after Johansson. Although Columbus out-hit the Bruins 43-19 in game six, the Bruins shut out the Blue Jackets. Rask continued his stellar play and saved 39 shots for the 3-0 win. It was clear that Rask was the difference maker in the series.

The Bruins faced the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals. If the Bruins continue with their physical play, protect the puck, and can ride the hot hand of their goalie, the Stanley Cup will be within reach. As Trevor said, “We’ve definitely got a good team this year. It didn’t look too promising at the beginning of the season but after watching them play I can really see that this team is full of talent and potential.”

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