It’s Sunday and that means it’s time for Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final. The St. Louis Blues have a chance to win the Stanley Cup at home, holding the 3-2 series lead against the Boston Bruins.
And the Bruins, naturally, want to force a Game Seven back in Boston in order to elevate the ultimate prize in sport in front of their home crowd. If necessary, that game will take place Wednesday.
So, the stats.
The Bruins are 14-8-0 in these playoffs and, at one point, looked ready to steamroll the Blues in this Final. By the time the dust settled on Game Three, the Bruins were outscoring St. Louis 13-7 and everything was supposed to end in rather short order.
The Blues charged back to tie the series with a raucous Game Four victory at home, then stunned the Bruins for Game Five in Boston – a controversial game in and of itself. Officiating has predictably become the focus of this Stanley Cup Final, threatening to tarnish what’s going on with the teams and the players and the coaches and, you know, the hockey.
So it stands to reason that Game Six will also feature a tight lens on the officials (rightly so), but it’s also all about how the Bruins bounce back.
The Blues have been billed as the comeback kids thus far and they’ve lived up to it, rarely losing in these playoffs after they were handed a significant defeat.
Goalie Jordan Binnington came alive in all the right moments and he’s now got the better stat line over opponent Tuukka Rask. The Boston netminder, cool as a cucumber through the proceedings as expected, has a .912 save percentage to Binnington’s .927. Rask’s goals against average is a formidable 2.48, but the Richmond Hill native boasts a 1.89.
A lot can change in a few games.
Not only that, the Bruins couldn’t get the job done on the power play in Game Five and that turned the tables. That was once a sure thing for Boston turned into something just kind of, well, normal. Don’t get me wrong: the Bears are still clicking at 33.33 percent on the man-advantage and have seen more power plays than their opponents, but they’ve looked decidedly human as of late.
So as St. Louis looks to win the Cup for the first time in franchise history, the Bruins will have something to say about it. Maybe.
But the cracks are more than showing. They’ve got to cut down on those mistakes, respond to the Blues’ physical play and get that biscuit behind Binnington.
If not, they’ll be watching the scene from the locker room as the Blues become the first team in the last four years to lift Lord Stanley of Preston’s Cup at home.
(Photo credit: CBS Sports screenshot)