2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Moran’s Breakdown: Bergeron’s return to form keyed win, Gardiner’s rough game, Grading Tuukka

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(Adam Richins for BSJ)

By Ian Moran

Special to BostonSportsJournal.com

Ian Moran played in over 500 NHL games, including 66 in the postseason, in 15 years as a defenseman with the Penguins, Bruins, and Ducks before retiring in 2008. The Acton native attended Belmont Hill and Boston College before being a sixth-round pick of the Penguins in 1990. The Duxbury resident is currently the head New England scout for Neutral Zone, a first-of-its-kind hockey scouting and news site which identifies, ranks and profiles NCAA and Ontario Hockey League (OHL) prospects from across North America. Ian will be breaking down each Bruins playoff game for BostonSportsJournal.com. You can follow Ian on Twitter at @IMHockeySkills.

WHY THE BRUINS WON GAME 7

Patrice Bergeron looked like himself for the first time since his injury. He’s what makes the top six or, for that matter, the top nine forwards go. He’s so smart, strong and dependable that he allows all the other forwards to be themselves. He can win draws on either side and at both ends of the ice, so Bruce Cassidy can put the right guys out there for face-offs. Honestly, he’s won the Selke for a reason, but Bergeron belongs in the MVP talk. He’s a Hall of Famer, his number will be in the rafters and Wednesday night he dominated the Leafs no matter what the situation was. The guy is a stud.

OTHER THINGS THAT JUMPED OUT

Poor Jake Gardiner picked up a helper on Patrick Marleau’s first goal and then was a minus-6 after that. I feel bad even writing that, but he earned them all. His only positive was that he didn’t get Zdeno Chara’s slapper in the face. Good luck moving on from that one.

Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen were on the scoresheet a lot more than Auston Matthews and Kazem Kadri. Like I said, Captain Obvious stuff here but, Matthews and Kadri needed to score if Toronto was going to win.

Chara and Charlie McAvoy looked like a shutdown pair. I think both of them are playing injured and probably wouldn’t be playing in the regular season, yet last night they were excellent.

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS

DeBrusk’s first goal was an incredible pass from David Pastrnak, but David Backes was massive in front of Freddie Andersen ... so much so Andersen was looking around Backes to the left as the pass was going to his right. That goal doesn’t happen without Backes’ big butt out front.

B's dominated 4-on-4. You’d think Toronto's speed would give them the advantage, but the B's creativity and smarts mattered more.

Kasperi Kapanen’s goal was insane. Not only did he win the race to the puck and out-muscle Brad Marchand but he used his foot to gather control of the puck at full speed, then had the poise to cut back hard on Tuukka. Career highlight goal for him.

David Krejci is as patient as anyone with the puck and his sauce is De—Li—Cious...Delicious. It’s never chunky... it’s always smooth. He’s got serious hands and poise.

Was Rick Nash’s penalty stupid? Yes. Did it bother me? Not at all.