A puck to the mouth despatched Zdeno Chara crashing to the ice, saved him out of the competition and would possibly see him miss Recreation 5 and past. How the Bruins deal with their harm troubles on the blueline may dictate the winner of the Stanley Cup remaining.Zdeno Chara|Tim Spyers/Icon Sportswire through Getty ImagesST. LOUIS – Going into the Stanley Cup remaining, the St. Louis Blues have been seen by many as having a slight edge over the Boston Bruins on the blueline. Dealing with the prospect of getting a 6-foot-9, 250-pound gap of their lineup, the Bruins could possibly be taking a look at a chasm between the 2 groups in that division that is perhaps too troublesome to beat.
The lengthy and the in need of it’s that there’s an actual likelihood that Zdeno Chara could possibly be executed for the collection and Matt Grzelcyk, who’s a full foot shorter than Chara, may stay out with a possible concussion. With human pincushion Kevan Miller already out of the lineup, that’s principally half the Bruins’ top-six that is perhaps unavailable for the remainder of the Stanley Cup remaining.
“This matchup just isn’t good with ‘Z’ out, let’s face it,” stated Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “(The Blues) are a giant, heavy staff, so we lose that component. However another person goes to should step up and I believe we are able to do it as a bunch.”
Cassidy didn’t have an replace on Chara, who took a Brayden Schenn shot to the mouth within the second interval of Recreation four and spent the remainder of the sport watching from the bench carrying a full visor. However whether it is certainly a damaged jaw, nicely, that’s not nice. Blues defenseman Vince Dunn had his jaw damaged by a Brenden Dillon shot in Recreation three of the Western Convention remaining Could 15 and wasn’t in a position to return to the St. Louis lineup till Recreation four, a span of 19 days.
A lot of it will change into clearer previous to puck drop Thursday evening, however for the time being, the Bruins have to organize for the likelihood they gained’t have both Chara or Grzelcyk again. If that’s the case, Steven Kampfer is the subsequent man up, however Cassidy acknowledged that the Bruins would possibly go together with seven defensemen for Recreation 5. And which may make sense. Each the video games within the collection they’ve misplaced, they’ve needed to play with solely 5 defensemen for greater than half the sport. If Cassidy goes that route, the most certainly candidate to come back out could be veteran David Backes. The seventh defenseman would possible be certainly one of 22-year-old Jeremy Lauzon, who performed 16 video games for the Bruins when accidents hit earlier within the season, or 20-year-old Urho Vaakanainen.
“We’d be placing guys in there who haven’t performed a ton, so perhaps we’ve bought to have a look at, ‘OK, how does this greatest work out for us utilizing guys situationally?’ ” Cassidy stated. “We’d be reaching into an space the place a younger child hasn’t performed within the playoffs in any respect for us, so we’ve bought to watch out there. Eleven forwards, I believe we are able to handle. Completely different guys have double shifted all year long, in order that half doesn’t fear me as a lot.”
A few issues are fairly clear. If the Bruins blueline corps is lacking these key components, gamers akin to Charlie McAvoy and Connor Clifton are going to should be a lot better than they have been in Recreation four. And will probably be incumbent on the Bruins’ forwards to offer higher back-pressure to help their defensemen in defending and getting the puck out of their finish. However the optimistic for the Bruins in that is that they’re a veteran staff that has gone by means of harm troubles up to now and persevered.
“Right now of yr, there aren’t any excuses,” stated Bruins winger Brad Marchand. “You’ll be able to’t have a look at that and say, ‘You’ll be able to write that off as a result of we’re lacking a participant or two.’ It’s a must to come collectively, it’s important to do no matter you possibly can to make it work and so they’re not going to cease attempting, they’re going to proceed to push, and we’ve to do the identical.”
And within the normal jousting that comes at the moment of the yr relating to officiating, Cassidy was requested what he considered the refereeing in Recreation four, in gentle of counterpart Craig Berube’s feedback previous to the sport about his usually-disciplined staff being whistled for therefore many penalties. “You’ve bought one of the best refs and so they undergo the method,” Cassidy stated. “I might anticipate they wouldn’t get baited into anyone’s feedback. They need to be higher than that in the event that they did. I definitely didn’t anticipate them to. They need to have a level of professionalism. Name the calls they see. I believe (Berube’s remark) was a little bit of a ruse.”
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Tags: boston bruins, st. louis blues, stanley cup playoffsConnect: In regards to the AuthorKen CampbellKen Campbell, The Hockey Information’ senior author, is in his second tour with the model after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native as soon as tried out for the Ontario League’s Wolves as a 30-year-old. For sure, it did not work out.