The NHL playoff will start on Wednesday night if it were not for the season to be suspended due to a coronavirus pandemic.
Although there is no way to mimic the excitement of what should – and maybe still do – other postseason runs for the promise Bruin team, we hope we can at least restore some good memories by counting the top 10 Bruins playoff games in the last decade over the next few weeks.
We started with the only entry on the list from last year’s postseason. Now, it seems very strange for a playoff game that lasts until Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final to only get one game in the top 10, but 2019 is quite strange for the Bruins in that sense.
As far as springtime is concerned, it is not loaded with classic games of all time and times as we will see as this list goes on. The opening round against Toronto is a competition series and ends with the third Bruins Game 7 victory over Maple Leafs this decade, but most of the games are actually quite one-sided, including the 7-1 Game 7 Bruins victory.
The Eastern Conference finals against Carolina are a total beatdown and four matches. The Stanley Cup final against St. Louis lasted seven games, but it was dominated by talk of the inauguration and the bad hit that could be suspended because it was an impressive goal. The Blues won just two matches one goal in the series, including the only extra time match.
That left the second round against Columbus, which must be the best series from Boston’s perspective in terms of great and competitive play.
Game 1 can also easily make this list. The Bruins led 1-0 after two periods, but then the Blue Jackets scored two goals apart 13 seconds to take the lead. That made Charlie Coyle heroic, when the natives of Weymouth scored a binding goal with 4:35 left in the rules and the 5:15 winning goal was overtime. Game 2 is also amazing, because it doubles overtime and ends with the Blue Jackets that tie the series.
But Game 5 gets the nod here. After the team split Game 3 and 4 in Columbus, the series returned to Boston tied 2-2. This game is a defensive duel type match and tends to go through two periods, with Tuukka Rask and Sergei Bobrovsky making a big save and David Krejci’s goal at the start of the second period stands as a single score.
Then the floodgates opened in a wild third period, with teams joining for six goals, including four in the 3.25 range in the middle of the period, and the Bruins finally led for the good of the late winner David Pastrnak.
Brad Marchand made the Bruins 2-0 early in the period. Then Seth Jones gave Columbus life at the 10:33 mark when his middle pass from an angle was deflected into Matt Grzelcyk’s wand and had just squeaked inside the pole.
Then Pastrnak made it 3-1 just 43 seconds later when he defeated Bobrovsky with 2-on-1. Then Ryan Dzingel scored 51 seconds later to make it 3-2. Then Dean Kukan tied it 1:51 after that in a disposable rocket.
The TD Garden crowd that has gone crazy after Marchand and Pastrnak’s goal is temporarily silent … until Pastrnak attacks again. With a minute and a half left in regulation, Brandon Carlo stepped up and did a good game to force the replacement of Artemi Panarin, then began to rush with a pass to transition to Marchand. Marchand then found Pastrnak streaking towards goal to complete one touch that sent Garden to delirium once again.
Based on the way the period has passed, 1:28 there is still plenty of time for something to happen, and of course, the Blue Jacket did almost score again – several times. Matt Duchene hit the pole with 45 seconds left, Rask made a great save on Cam Atkinson with 16 seconds left, and then Charlie McAvoy got ready to block Panarin who threatened once in the final seconds to secure victory.
In terms of mere rewatchability, this third period (which starts at 3:52 in the video below) is almost as good as it gets, and that is enough to make this game a No. place. 10 on our countdown.
The Bruins will continue to finish the series with Game 6’s 3-0 win at Columbus, sending them to the conference final for the third time in nine years.
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