With the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins headed to the NHL’s first Stanley Cup Final Game 7 since 2011, it feels as if it were meant to be.
In Game 1, it seemed as if the series could go either way. Now with the series headed to Boston for a decisive game Wednesday in TD Garden (8 p.m., ET, NBC), it still seems like it could go either way.
“Listen, if you told me four months ago we were going to be in the Finals in Game 7, I think I’d take it,” Blues coach Craig Berube said.
The Bruins downed the Blues 5-1 in Game 6 on Sunday on the strength of goalie Tuukka Rask’s 28 saves. They denied the Blues a chance to celebrate their first Stanley Cup championship in 52 years on home ice.
One point was reinforced in the Bruins’ Game 6 victory: Rask is the team’s clear-cut MVP.
“He just steps up when it matters and we have all the faith in the world in him,” Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy said.
Rask has a 1.98 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage this postseason. When the Bruins have needed a big save, that save percentage is probably even higher.
“He’s been at his best for a while now,” Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said.
The Blues gave Rask some credit, but they also believe they didn’t pressure him the way they can and should. The Blues are already laying out their strategy for Game 7.
“Take a look at it,” Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “I think we can make life a little harder on him.”
Ryan O’Reilly, who had the Blues’ lone goal, said the Blues didn’t do a quality job shooting the puck in Game 6.
“I had a couple of chances and didn’t put them where I wanted to,” O’Reilly said. “I have to put the puck into an area and make it tough on him. We have to do a better job of screening.”
The Blues will have two days before Game 7 to refine that strategy against Rask.