By: Maria from Watertown | Follow me on Twitter @mariaofh2otown
The moment we were all waiting for finally arrived nearly a week ago when the Boston Bruins started their quest for the 2020 Stanley Cup against the Carolina Hurricanes. If fans had been able to buy a ticket Game 4 of the series, the third period alone would have been well worth the price of admission! One play can be the catalyst to change the momentum of a game. Charlie McAvoy served that moment up on a silver platter with his textbook clean hit on Jordan Staal. The Bruins erased a two-goal deficit and went on to score 4 unanswered goals in the comeback victory in Game 4. The Bruins took that momentum into Game 5 to finish off the Hurricanes, and now they move on to Round 2 to face the Tampa Bay Lightning.
From over-time games galore, big hits, spectacular saves, controversial officiating, and colorful remarks by coaches that sometimes lighten the wallet, there is never a shortage of on-ice drama during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For me, this is what makes the Stanley Cup Playoffs the greatest show on turf.
The Bruins, however, found themselves at the forefront of off-ice drama during Round 1 when shortly before Game 3 against the Hurricanes, the organization issued a statement from Tuukka Rask that he would leave the bubble to return home to be with his family.
Within a matter of minutes, Jaroslav Halak would not only get the start for Game 3, but he was also immediately propelled to the status of number one goalie for the Bruins. Halak had a bit of an adventure during one play in particular of that game, but I think we can cut the guy a bit of slack considering he had very little time to process that he was going to get the start in net.
It might have been easy for the Bruins to fold like a deck of cards considering the shocking news that led up to Game 3. Instead, the Bruins rallied around Halak and the Bruins played one of their best games of the entire series.
While the Bruins begin preparing for the difficult task of facing the Lightening, the logical question on the minds of Bruins fans is “Can the Bruins win a Cup with Halak?” The immediate response for me is “yes.” Beyond the well-documented facts that Halak has been a very good NHL goalie throughout his career, there are also the intangibles that I believe go hand-in-hand with the Bruins’ ability to make a long and deep Stanley Cup run.
Jaroslav Halak now seems to be the man in the crease for the Bruins for the rest of the playoffs, so how has he done in past postseasons?— Bryan Murphy (@bryan_murphy10) August 17, 2020
My latest for @BlackNGoldPod, give it a read! ⬇️#NHLBruins #HockeyTwitter #NHLPlayoffs https://t.co/r9GaGltmHU
There are moments in professional sports that can galvanize a team and provide the inspiration to accomplish a common goal, not the least of which is winning a championship. That moment for the Bruins may very well have occurred on Saturday, August 15. We then need to be reminded that time is not on the side of the Bruins core. There is no guarantee that Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Brad Marchand will all be together for another season and the championship opportunities for this group are dwindling.
Whether the motivation is to play in support of Jaroslav Halak, who is now the Bruins “ride or die” guy, or for a core group who has been through the good, the bad and the ugly together, or all of the above, I believe that this Bruins team has enough talent, determination and leadership to go the distance.