The Legend of Z can’t inspire the the Bruins to a win
There is simply nothing like the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Where else could The Legend of Z that gripped the Hub of Hockey through most of Thursday get topped by the Non-Call.
But that’s how these Stanley Cup Finals have been. All day the talk was on how Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara would somehow play in Thursday’s Game 5 with a broken jaw, which he did, drawing a huge response from the TD Garden crowd.
But the Bruins couldn’t harness that emotion in a 2-1 loss. They couldn’t get that early goal, and left the ice instead of being inspired by Chara, most likely angry at a non call on an obvious trip of Noel Acciari that led to the second St. Louis Blues call.
A game that began with a roar from the TD Garden crowd last night when Chara was introduced in the starting lineup instead a couple of hours later turned into debris being thrown on the ice.
Unfortunately, instead of Chara’s inspirational appearance, there’s your 2019 Cup Finals signature moment.
“Agregious,” was the word Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We thought we got screwed. But you’ve got to keep playing and we did. And we scored a goal.”
Indeed they did, Jake DeBrusk’s fourth goal of the playoffs that cut things to 2-1 at 13:32 of the third.
Just came a period or two too late.
“I think it was pretty special, the crowd, to start the game, how loud it got in here,” DeBrusk said of Chara’s presence. “To put in a gutsy effort like that, it’s a morale boost, but at the same (time), we didn’t win. It’s one of those things where you want to do it for the guy, but they got the result.”
Because of the non-call? Maybe. The Blues took advantage of Acciari being down and David Perron beat Tuukka Rask to make it 2-0 at 10:36.
“They missed a call,” Acciari said. “I don’t know what else you can say about it.”
It’s a shame, because it was a fabulous hockey game. Chara should have been the story. He is now the symbol for what Bruins fans always love when they get teams like this that stand up to adversity, including the Big Bad Blues.
All St. Louis could do is try to keep a level approach. Their goalie, Jordan Binnington certainly did, with a whopping 38 saves.
Thursday had the chance to be another legendary chapter in Bruins lore. But they wasted it.
“It wasn’t bigger than the game,” Bruin Marcus Johannson said of Chara’s presence. “It’s huge that he can play and that he goes in there and plays. It shows what kind of leader that he is. We’re going to take advantage of that next game.”
They need to take advantage of something. The series hasn’t been the same since Blues coach Craig Berube more or less called out the officials after Game 3. Cassidy tried to do the same last night. “They missed a couple tonight,”he said. “It’s a fast game.”
On to St. Louis. Like they were on to Toronto.
“We’ve been here before,” DeBrusk said, referring to the B’s being down 3-2 to Toronto in the first round. “Obviously the stakes are a little different. We understand what we need to do.”
Do the officials? Game 6 is Sunday night is certainly going to be interesting, as the Bruins now have something different to inspire them.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251, or@Telegraph_TomK, or email@example.com