Stanley Cup: Rask Stones Blues, Forcing a Game 7
These things happen.
Especially in cities like St Louis, which has been starved for a Stanley Cup to call its own for, like, forever.
So perhaps someone at the local fishwrap could be excused for jumping the gun.
Gotta say, they did do a helluva job on the graphic, even though it's premature by at least one game ...
... and if the Boston Bruins have their way, it'll be irrelevant.
At the professional level of sports, stuff like this shouldn't really be the impetus to go out and stick it to the opponent. In this case, getting one's name engraved on the Cup for all eternity overshadows everything else.
However, it seems the Bruins did take note.
Not sure what Tuukka Rask thought of the whole thing.
Dude's a level-headed Scandinavian and surely an understanding dude in matters such as this. But he is a goalie, and way down deep, all goalies are batshit crazy. So he doesn't need outside stuff to fire him up.
He's already wired to know that when pucks scream like scuds in his general direction, he has to stop them.
That's exactly what he did in Game 6, standing on his head while noted shit-disturber Brad Marchand took time off from his villainy to show how talented he really is.
Dude one-timed his heatseeker from a ridiculous angle to give Boston an early lead that eventually translated into a season-saving 5-1 victory after St Louis had no choice but to gamble in the final minutes by pulling Jordan Binnington.
Rask made 28 saves, and here's one of the best:
Marchand's the centerpiece of an amazing stat that now has the Bruins' record at 25-1 in games where he scores.
Dude added an assist and, of course, the obligatory cheap-ass penalty -- trying to slew-foot Binnington for no good reason, which figures -- as part of his night's work.
The Blues, meanwhile, left the door open for Marchand's strike when Ryan O'Reilly carelessly tried to flip a bouncing puck outta the defensive zone instead of settling it first, which he clearly had time to do.
It was the key mistake that led to a 5-on-3 and put St Louis in a score-chasing situation for the rest of the game, mostly due to Rask:
In a sense, this result went true to form for the Blues. In the playoffs ...
- They're 6-7 at home, and
- They're 9-3 on the road.
While the Bruins had the second-best home record during the regular season -- 29-9-3 -- they've only managed to go 7-4 during the playoffs.
Why would it?
This is for the Cup. Nothing adds up, so anything's possible.
Bring on Game 7!