Bruins-Lightning Game 6 Scoring Chances

Despite the 5-4 score, this was another defensive struggle and Tampa came up on the winning end of it again. The Lightning won this game because they torched Boston with the man advantage (3-4 on the powerplay). Tampa has not been getting that many chances on the powerplay this series but it is a known that they are better than Boston in that field by a long shot. Having the advantage in the special teams battle can go a long way, especially when your goaltending is struggling. Guy Boucher received a lot of grief for starting Mike Smith in game 5 to “rest” Dwayne Roloson and while Roloson’s team won, he wasn’t that good in net. Let in 4 goals on 20 shots, and one of which wasn’t even from a scoring chance area. I know that there is a 100% chance that Roloson starts the next game but it is interesting to see that Mike Smith has been better than him in this series despite the latter having an awful season. Maybe age and fatigue is setting in for Roli?

*Note: There should be another PP chance for the Bruins in the first period.

The scoring chances by period pretty much display what I was talking about earlier. Tampa turned it on in the 2nd period while Boston fell asleep and they didn’t let up after that. Special teams and goaltending have been one thing, but you’ll see below that Boston’s lack of depth and talent on the blue line might be what’s killing the Bruins more.

Bruins Scoring Chances by Player

Best EV Forward:
Milan Lucic +1

Worst EV Forwards:
Patrice Bergeron, Chris Kelly, Marc Recchi, Brad Marchand -2

Best EV Defensemen:
Tomas Kaberle, Andew Ference EVEN

Worst EV Defensemen:
Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg -2

Lucic-Krejci-Horton have all been struggling all series but they were Boston’s most productive line offensively last night, something that’s good news if you’re a Bruins fan. The bad news? They gave up just as many chances at the other end of the rink and Bergeron’s line was terrible. It seems that these two lines never click at the same time. It’s also bad that Tomas Kaberle and Andrew Ference were their best defensemen at even strength because both gave up as many chances as they had, Ference being AWFUL on the penalty kill. Who else was bad? Johnny Boychuk. Actually that’s being nice. He was abysmal and he’s been on ice for 11 of Tampa’s 21 goals this series. Notice his terrible pinch on Martin St. Louis’ goal in the third period. It is humorous how Tomas Kaberle’s been the one taking the most flack from Boston fans when Boychuk has been much worse and with less ice time. This Bruins defense has been suspect all series and things completely fell out of line in this game with them trying to rely on Tim Thomas to steal another game for them. He’s capable of doing that but it’s become apparent that he can’t do it every game. Every one of these six players need to be better, especially the top pairing of Chara and Seidenberg.

Lightning Scoring Chances by Player

Best EV Forwards
Simon Gagne, Vinny Lecavalier +3

Worst EV Forwards
Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis -2

Best EV Defenseman:
Mike Lundin +4

Worst EV Defenseman:
Eric Brewer -4

I don’t know what is wrong with Eric Brewer but it’s good for Tampa Bay that their other defensemen are picking up the slack. Lundin was very impressive for sure and Brett Clark didn’t allow a scoring chance at even strength all game. Also of note is that Stamkos and St. Louis had the worst rating scoring chance wise but both scored and were super dangerous on the poweplay. Lecavalier, Gagne and Purcell were the Bolts best players, though. Purcell is continuing to make Bruins and Kings fans lives miserable this series. The depth of this Tampa squad is showing and so is the lack of depth on the Bruins.

Head-to-Head

Just about every line for Boston got dominated, except for Lucic-Krejci-Horton while Tampa had a good showing from Purcell-Lecavalier-Gagne. Chara-Seidenberg didn’t get the better of Tampa’s first line and Boychuk-Ference were dominated by Lecavalier’s line. The only Boston defenseman who had a somewhat good night was Kaberle. If Boston wants to take Game 7, they better hope they get this kind of effort from their first line and a much better effort from pretty much everyone else on the team. Sure, Thomas can stand on his head and they win 1-0 but it is looking unlikely that it will happen against this Bolts team which is coming off a very strong performance. However, the Lightning better hope that they get the Dwayne Roloson of the first two rounds even if they can out-score their opponents.

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