The Boston Bruins were bounced from their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series with a 6-2 loss against the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.
Here are some takeaways, thoughts and analysis from Game 6:
— Turnovers killed the Bruins throughout the game. Matt Grzelcyk’s pocket was picked before coughing up the puck on Kyle Palmieri’s goal, and Mike Reilly couldn’t settle a questionable pass from Tuukka Rask, to name a few. But during the second period it truly felt as if the B’s continued to turn the puck over and the Islanders capitalized.
— The power play was better, showcased by Brad Marchand’s two goals. But, as the case had been specifically at the beginning of the season, Boston had trouble scoring 5-on-5. Eleven of the Bruins’ 17 goals in the series came on the power play, including four of their last seven in Games 3 through 6.
— The second period was a disaster. New York exploded for three goals and the Bruins just looked as if they had forgotten their season was on the line. The Isles used the middle frame to build a 4-1 lead, adding to an impressive second-period performance in the series, outscoring Boston 11-3 in the second.
On Wednesday, especially, the Bruins had too many missed opportunities, and it came back to bite them.
— Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller’s importance were highlighted in their absence. The Bruins lost their top-four D-man in Carlo and just couldn’t quite recover. Losing the duo seemed like a speed bump the Bruins just couldn’t get over, especially after Carlo went down. Jeremy Lauzon made some costly mistakes and the depth was tested in ways it just wasn’t ready for. Plus, a veteran presence like Miller is tough to replace.
— This is not on Rask, which goes along with the above takeaway in a way. The defense let Rask down — a lot — in this series. When you’re down two of your bigger bodies everyone needs to step up and have the “next man up” mentality. Boston just didn’t seem to have that, and Rask can’t be tasked with carrying the team all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
Even Bruce Cassidy wasn’t going to place the blame solely on Rask because at the end of the day, more needed to be done up and down the lineup.
— Can’t win if you don’t shoot. There have been times the Bruins have been pass-happy or have passed the puck one too many times before getting a shot off. When they did shoot, they struggled getting pucks to the net with just 25 of their 65 shot attempts getting to Semyon Varlamov. Boston registered just five shots on net in the third period. With your season on the line, that’s just not going to cut it.
— There are a lot of questions the Bruins are facing. There’s the future of Rask and David Krejci, who are set to become unrestricted free agents. Will they re-sign Taylor Hall? Who will they protect in the upcoming expansion draft? We’re not going to have the answer to these questions overnight, and it could be a while before we do.