Bit of a comedown last night from Tuesday night’s Fury Road type action, and maybe we all needed it.
Lightning 4 – Bruins 1 (TB Diddlers lead 2-1)
Watching the Bruins more and more these playoffs, I can’t help but think I’m seeing a one-line mirage. Granted, that one line might be the best line we’ve seen in the league in quite some time, and they clearly bandage all of the numerous wounds the Bruins have elsewhere. But even though it’s only 2-1 and it felt like the Bs could get their way back into last night’s game at any moment, they’re still basically getting held at arm’s length like the younger sibling while flailing their too-short arms hilariously nowhere near the target.
Again. Bergeron’s line was mostly great, and because Chara and McAvoy mostly play behind them they came along. And even Krejci’s line was good last night. But the bottom six, because the Lightning are just deeper, are getting turned into chum pretty much every shift, and the Bruins defense behind that top pairing, which just might not be that good to begin with, look like those twisted Little Lungs ads after every shift. And seeing as how Tuukka Rask isn’t doing Marc-Andre Fleury things, the Bruins seem pretty doomed.
All of this could flip, of course. Rask could get hot or Bergeron’s line could get off the chain for a few games and then we’re back to square one. But when that line doesn’t score, whatever their possession numbers might be, and score a lot, this team is waiting for the vacant gapes of Rick Nash and David Backes to contribute. Let’s ask all of their former teams how that’s worked out for them in the past. That weird sound you hear is multiple fanbases curling up into a fetal position simultaneously.
Knights 0 – Sharks 4 (Tied 2-2)
Amazing what happens when Fleury isn’t stopping 98% of the shots he sees, no?
The Sharks womped the Knights last night, which is the first time really they’ve done so this series. While the past three games have seen them at least be able to control the Knights to an extent at evens and then make good with their power play or even at 4-on-4, which is weird because you’d think the Knights would have the advantage there, last night was the first time they were better everywhere. I’d like to believe it was because they finally sent Paul Martin to a farm upstate and inserted Joakim Ryan to give Brent Burns a minder, but that wouldn’t explain all of it. The Sharks 4th line had the best of it again, which isn’t a huge shock because at the end of the day the Knights’ 4th line is still comprised of bottom of the barrel castoffs and rejects, and no amount of chips on shoulders and “revenge on the world” rhetoric is going to change that.
If Fleury is merely good the rest off this series, Vegas will lose. If he goes back to other-worldly, they probably won’t. Sometimes it’s simple.