There is no other way to put it except that the Bruins simply didn’t show up for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals and were embarrassed 4-0 in front of 17,565 fans trying to cheer them on to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Well, if that’s where they want those fans to be cheering them on in the next, they can secure that with a much better effort in Game 6. Here are Boston’s three keys to success for Game 6.1. Score first and set the tempo.
Yes, the Bruins scored first in Game 4 and lost, and they didn’t score first in Game 3 and won, but with the Flyers still grasping for any bit of hope and momentum they can build off, the Bruins need to take those feelings away before the Flyers can even get a whiff. Lighting the lamp first would do the trick and counterattack what promises to be a rabid Wachovia Center crowd.
2. Stay out of the sin bin.
In Game 5, the Bruins spent an amazing 14:20 killing penalties and yet allowed the Flyers to go only 1-for-10 on the power play. But if the Bruins want any hope of closing out this series in Game 6, they need to avoid losing composure and taking retaliatory penalties. Sure, Marc Savard has a right to be frustrated with being targeted by the Flyers — specifically, Mike Richards. But as his teammate Shawn Thornton pointed out, “Those are the guys that you hate to play against but you’d love to have them on your team. So I think [Richards is] doing what he needs to do to help his team.”
It’s time for Savard and the Bruins to start being one of those guys. If Richards can find a way to do it and not end up in the penalty box, why can’t the B’s?
3. Have fun.
When Bobby Orr spoke at the unveiling of the monument commemorating his 1970 Stanley Cup-winning goal, he repeatedly mentioned his teammates — what a close-knit bunch they were, how much fun they had. That is what the Bruins need to embrace. This is the Stanley Cup playoffs, and this is what every hockey player plays the game for.
Live in the moment, enjoy it and be the tight-knit group they are. Teams don’t get this far every season, so enjoy it while you can!