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Blues at Bruins Stanley Cup Final Game 2 Preview

The Blues need to tighten things back to first period form.

2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The first twenty two minutes or so of game one was a masterclass in Blues hockey. The remaining 38 minutes? Bruins 101.

Luckily, the same thing happened to the Blues last round, and they bounced back just fine. A learning curve is to be expected here - the Blues only played the Bruins twice in the regular season. But the learning curve is a sharp one and the Blues need to regain control before they wind up in a 2-0 cliff.

Thankfully, that’s not out of grasp. Jordan Binnington was solid in game one, stopping 34 of 37 shots against. Tuukka Rask was barely challenged, and he allowed 2 goals on 20 shots. So, step one? Shoot more. Three shots in the second period isn’t going to win you a Stanley Cup.

Step two: tighten up the defense. There’s a really good chance that Vince Dunn can play tonight, and if he does, he needs to be in for Joel Edmundson. Edmundson’s gaffes weren’t all penalty related (more on that in a bit), but his overall defense was not good, and that was probably because he was focused more on being physical than actually defending. See: the Bruins’ third goal, scored by Sean Kuraly, right in front of Edmundson - who barely reacted.

Step three: figure out how to get out of your own zone and not be smothered by the Bruins. This is why they barely had a SOG in the last 40 minutes of the game. It’s tough to shoot when you’re trapped in your own end.

Step four: ignore their shenanigans. I know that Brad Marchand has a punchable face, but that doesn’t mean you hook him if he annoys you. I know Torey Krug is obnoxious in front of the net. Don’t dry hump him. I am well aware that David Backes instigates and sells things - he played here for a decade, I’ve seen him before - but that doesn’t mean that you get your stick up high in his face. Stay the hell out of the penalty box. Don’t even try to do anything that a ref may look at twice, legal or not. Yes, the Blues’ PK mostly shut down the Bruins’ power play, but that’s playing with fire.

Overall, the Blues are a great bounce-back team and they make adjustments very well after a loss. They played their game against San Jose. and wound up with a 4-2 victory in game two and easily could’ve won the series in five. The Bruins are a much more difficult opponent but there’s no reason that the Blues can’t adjust and come back strong tonight.