2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

BSJ Playoffs Report: Blues 2, Bruins 1 – Brutal officiating, sluggish 2nd period push Bruins to brink

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 2-1 loss against the Blues in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, with BSJ insight and analysis:

Box Score

TWO TAKEAWAYS

Brutal officiating mars Game 5: You can point to a brutal second period that saw the Bruins muster just a 36% share of shot attempts during 5v5 play. You can also point to another poor showing from Boston’s go-to forwards up front.

But man, did the NHL officials fumble this one tonight.

What started with non-calls on high hits against Marcus Johansson and Torey Krug devolved into a complete disaster in the third period, when a non-call for a trip against Noel Acciari allowed the Blues to maintain possession in the offensive zone, leading to the eventual game-winning tally from David Perron just seconds later.

Brutal. And as expected, Bruce Cassidy did not hold back postgame.

“The narrative changed after Game 3, there was a complaint or whatever put forth by the opposition and it just seemed to change everything," he said. "The non-call on Acciari, their player is on his way to the box, it’s right in front of the official, it’s a slew foot. Our guy is gone.  The spotter took him out of the game for a possible concussion. I mean it’s blatant and a big effect on the game. …. That call probably, and there’s time, but it really made it difficult for us to get the win tonight.  So I’m disappointed. So I guess to answer your original question, it was egregious. But we’re moving on and getting ready for Game 6.”

During a Stanley Cup Playoffs already marred by calls such as Timo Meier’s hand pass in the Western Conference Final, this stands as another brutal example of the NHL shooting itself in the foot and putting a black eye on what has been a fantastic series. Now, Boston stands just one loss away from a crushing exit on hockey’s top stage.

Zdeno Chara is a monster - but team can’t build off of heroics: Historically, the recovery timetable from a broken jaw takes about four weeks, at the minimum. Less than 72 hours after taking a puck to the mouth and reportedly suffering said ailment, Zdeno Chara was back out on the ice in a truly Herculean effort for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup.

After drawing a thunderous ovation from the TD Garden when introduced in the starting lineup, Chara opened his first shift with a heavy check and didn’t look back. While he was limited to a little over 16 minutes of ice time (five minutes less than his postseason average) the 42-year-old veteran still limited the Blues to just one high-danger scoring chance over 14:49 of 5v5 TOI.

The return of their captain appeared to give the Bruins a spark out of the gate, as Boston generated 27 shot attempts and held a 17-8 edge in SOG over the first 20 minutes of regulation.

But even with the non-call on Acciari, the Bruins were doomed by a sluggish second period that saw St. Louis take the lead just 55 seconds in off a goal from Ryan O’Reilly, while Boston only landed eight shots on goal. Not the response you want to see when your captain is fighting through a broken jaw, and things quickly snowballed into that disastrous third period

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