By Kevin Flanagan
BSD Bruins Senior Staff Writer
As they have done so many times over the past couple of years, the Bruins stepped up in the face of adversity and showed why they have been one of the best teams in the NHL by pasting the Blues in St. Louis 7-2 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
And frankly, the final score – as lopsided as it may look – doesn’t do justice to the manhandling the boys in Black and Gold put on the inferior team with the musical tune on the front of their sweater.
It was clearly evident in Game 1 – a 4-2 win by Boston that, again, wasn’t as close as the scoreboard read – that the better team was the Original Six franchise, and if not for a mailed-in effort in Game 2 this series would likely be over come Monday night.
“We were ready to play. I felt we would be because of the [veteran] guys who have been here and done it because we tend to respond well after a loss (in Game2 in overtime by a 3-2 score), said an obviously confident Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy following his club’s decisive victory. “Did I think we’d score three goals in the first period? No, but I thought we’d be ready to play.”
As to the physical approach the obviously less talented Blues took in the blowout B’s victory, the future shutdown defenseman of the Black and Gold, Brandon Carlo, was candid in his comments regarding St. Louis’ unsuccessful tactics during the one-sided contest.
They tried to back us down physically for sure,” said the likely backbone of the Bruins backline for the next several years, along with Charlie McAvoy. “You could see the stuff a little bit more so after the whistles after we got up a couple of goals. But we did a great job of not buying into that kind of behavior and whatnot after the whistles and just focusing on our game in between the whistles.
“It starts with our leadership telling us to kind of play that way and stay composed and as long as we listen to them, I think we’re good.”
Boston’s beatdown of the Blues shouldn’t have been unexpected. Once they scraped the rust off their game after an 11-day layoff in Game 1, they showed that they were by far the better team. And while they may have read their own press clippings enter the 3-2 overtime loss in Game 2, the veteran leadership in the dressing room no doubt led to the undressing of the Blues on their home ice in Game 3.
“We simplified our game and we executed,” said Patrice Bergeron when asked about the resurgent dominance of the best forward line in the NHL over the past two seasons in Game 3. “We stayed close to each other in their zone and that’s about it.”
That’s pretty much what you would expect to hear from the most humble underrated future Hall of Famer in hockey when it comes to what was an obvious statement of supremacy by his team.
Truth be told, if the Bruins didn’t sleepwalk, Game 4 would be a formality. And for as much as the top line struggled through the first two games, they were on a mission once the puck dropped in Missouri.
The Blues are done and they know it. It is only a matter of time until the gentleman sweep is complete and the Bruins hoist the Stanley Cup in Boston since Bobby Orr famously flew across the ice after scoring the winning goal in Game 4 on Mother’s Day at the old Boston Garden some 49 years ago.
Get the duck boats ready.