By Ryan McLaughlin- Sports Chowdah Contributor. The Bruins picked the most inopportune of times to morph into a Red Gendron-esque team. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night, a 4-1 St. Louis Blues win, was, in many ways, like watching the UMaine teams of the last several years.
Territorial edge early, but made an inexperienced goaltender look like Ken Dryden. Defensive breakdowns leading to bad goals. The top line not showing up. Keeping the door open for a team that they should’ve beaten on home ice.
It was quite frustrating, to say the least, and unlike earlier in the series, we can’t blame the officials for this one.
The Bruins got caught up in a bad line change late in the first period already trailing 1-0, and the subsequent St. Louis goal took the air out of the crowd.
It reminded me of the buzz going out of Alfond Arena and frustrated fans ditching the balcony in favor of Orono nightclubs.
The Bruins couldn’t solve a 25-year-old rookie, but over the final 40 minutes, the Blues took a page out of the old New Jersey Devils’ playbook.
They clogged up the neutral zone and the Bruins struggled to gain any entry into the offensive zone. They mucked up the game Bob Cimbollek style.
Then there’s Tuukka Rask.
Let’s face it, this is a city where you’re judged by championship performances. Was Tuukka great in Game 6? Yes. Was he great in Game 7? No. And sadly, he won’t be looked at around here the way folks look at guys named Brady, Edelman, Ortiz and Pierce until he wins a championship.
Hats off to St. Louis. You can’t go 1-3 in your building in a championship series the way the Bruins did and expect to win a championship. But you can argue the B’s could very well be back here next June given the young, talented core they have. You could also argue they were a year ahead of schedule.
Even though St. Louis is heading back to Missouri with the Cup, we can take solace that Boston remains titletown. And we have better beer than St. Louis.
Give me Sam Adams over Budweiser any day. And given the Sox stink, we’re on to Patriots training camp the Celtics’ draft and free agency.
By Ryan McLaughlin- Sports Chowdah