2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Moran’s Breakdown: Bruins lost because of puck luck … Yeah right, it was puck watching

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(John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

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.


Puck luck. Yeah, the Bruins lost because of puck luck. Don't believe that? Well, I think you should...

Lol ... I'm just kidding.

The Bruins lost because of puck watching and it all started with Tampa's first goal. The Bruins had Tampa trapped in the neutral zone and Tampa has nothing to do but sky dump it. Granted, a sky dump can be difficult and it was. The puck takes a funky bounce and Matt Grzelcyk has a tough time with it. It’s easy to say Riley Nash should have anticipated the bad bounce, but he definitely could have. Instead, when Ondrej Palat scores, Nash is skating back (notice I didn't write backchecking) and watching as a quick two-one-1 develops. Boom ... 90 seconds in and Tampa is up 1-cobb.

So what happens after the goal? The Bruins have a quick shift and then there’s a faceoff in the D-zone on Tuukka Rask’s left. David Krejci’s taking the draw, but shockingly he gets tossed so Jake DeBrusk comes in to take it. It’s no biggie, but he loses it.

Now, I have no idea what Bruce Cassidy wants his centers to do on a D-zone draw if his normal center gets tossed and the Bruins lose it, but I can tell you what he doesn’t want to happen. He does not want DeBrusk and Krejci chasing the puck out to Tampa's point. So what happened? DeBrusk loses the draw .... so who stays with Tampa's center? In this case, nobody. Krejci and DeBrusk both fly out to Tampa's point and there’s a mad scramble when that point shot gets through. The point shot bounces around and ends up at Tampa's other D (Victor Hedman) who fires a very tippable (my word) shot that Palat tips for goal No. 2.

Now right then my phone blows up with “Krug has to do... this” and “Krug has to do that." Well, you know what? Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid are playing a quick 3-on-2 down low and Palat makes a hell of a play. Sure, the replay makes it look like DeBrusk is making it a 3-on-3 but it’s not. It’s a broken 3-on-2 on a mid-wall, one-timer and everyone is heading to center ice immediately afterward, 2-0 Tampa, 3 minutes in.

So from here on out, the teams are trading rushes for the rest of the first period. The difference, Tampa is backchecking like we talked about after Game 2 and the Bruins are backchecking with their sticks at their waists, watching the puck and not picking anyone up. So Bergeron gets a broken power-play goal with 5:48 left in the first and we have a ball game. But we don’t, because two minutes later, Tampa has an odd-man rush, just not the kind you’re thinking, and all of a sudden it’s 3-1.

Every Bruins' player on the ice is watching the puck. Not one guy looked at the Tampa guys and picked them up. Nobody. All five guys were watching the puck and, bang, it’s the ball game. From that point on Tampa sat back and let the Bruins run around. The Bruins accomplished nothing, the last two periods were boring as hell and Tampa is up 2-1 in the series.


  • The power play went 1 for 1. The PP is deadly and Tampa knows it.
  • They gave their coaches some very teachable video to use today.
  • They’re only down 2-1 in the series.
  • They got to sleep in their own beds.