Bruins 5 – Panthers 1 | The importance of supporting actors

Life is funny, all the same.

While the Toronto Maple Leafs and their multi-million dollar stars are at home still wondering what happened, the Boston Bruins players continue to win hand in hand.

The Bruins therefore arrived Monday evening at Sunrise dominating from one end to the other, or almost. Their clear 5-1 victory should remind the Panthers that it may not be so easy after all.

Many of us believed that these fresh and fit Panthers – they had not played since April 29 – were going to exhaust these Bruins who had barely returned from the triumph that we know against the Leafs. It didn’t happen, and in fact, the Panthers looked like a club rusted by this long absence.

From a purely aesthetic standpoint, the Bruins aren’t the most stylish in the hockey world. But they reminded us Monday evening that to win in this new National League which has been new for at least 20 years now, it takes everyone, including the support players.

Thus, the winning goal was scored by a defender, Mason Lohrei, who scored the first goal of his young career in the playoffs. The Bruins’ fourth goal, the one that sawed the legs of Florida’s opponents in the third period, came from the nimble hands of Justin Brazeau, an undrafted 26-year-old forward who played the first 19 games of his life in the NHL this season. We are far from Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews here…

But it always takes a little sandpaper in the playoffs, and if the Bruins find themselves with a 1-0 lead in this series, it’s because the supporting cast played an important role.

Brazeau’s goal, by the way, came on what was only the visitors’ second shot of the third period, and it’s probably a good time to remind ourselves that the Panthers are going to need much better collaboration from from Sergei Bobrovsky.

It’s not as if the Panthers goalie was solely responsible for this bad evening in Florida, but we remind you here that it is he who is nominated for the Vezina Trophy, and not his face-to-face Jeremy Swayman. It didn’t seem too obvious, and one would have thought that it was the Bruins goaltender who was nominated.


Justin Brazeau (55) beating goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72)

Obviously it’s not over. Maybe the Bruins were still in a state of ecstasy following their big win Saturday night against the Leafs, and maybe the Panthers had a bad one in the system. It happens.

But the Bruins will at least have been able to take advantage of this Monday evening to sow doubt, in a context where almost everyone agreed that they were not going to be up to the task. On TV, the Panthers’ home seemed to be very quiet at the end of the match…

Doubt in someone else’s head doesn’t allow you to win series, but it at least allows you to believe in it. Especially when the supporting cast can contribute like that.


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