Despite being pretty heavily favored to raise the Stanley Cup on Wednesday night, it was the St. Louis Blues who lifted Lord Stanley after prevailing with a dominant 4-1 victory in the winner-takes-all Game 7 in Boston. For the Blues, it’s their first title in franchise history. For the Bruins, it’s the second time in six years that they’ve watched an opponent lift the Cup in their building.
So, where did things go wrong for the Bruins in their quest for a seventh Cup? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why the Blues will be getting their names etched on the trophy instead.
Lack of production from Boston’s top six
Through the first five games of this series, St. Louis did a great job of matching and outplaying the Bruins’ top players at 5-on-5. They were suffocating defensively and the Bruins’ top six wasn’t able to get much done. The only even-strength goal from those top two lines in Games 1-5 came when Jake DeBrusk scored late in Game 5.
Things looked like they might be starting to turn around in Game 6 when Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak finally found some production and a possible breakthrough. The second line also had its best game of the series in that game.
However, the Blues managed to once
again leave those top players frustrated with their defensive pressure and structure in the do-or-die Game 7, and some unforced errors also proved to be costly. A terrible line change from Marchand in Game 7 led to the Blues’ second goal in the opening period. Pastrnak whiffed on a handful of great opportunities. It all looked like a mess again.