Bruins Kuraly Proves He Belongs In The NHL

( Above Photo Credit:  NHL .com )

By Mark Allred             Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

For the past few seasons, Boston Bruins fans have heard this team’s coaching staff and upper management members say the best players are going to play and a perfect example of that came in last night’s game five double overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators. Before last night’s contest from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy made a bold move to subtract forward Ryan Spooner and insert rookie Sean Kuraly. Although Spooner played in all four games in this series prior to last night, he’s shown signs of struggle particularly on the man advantage where he’s relied on heavily contributing 18 power-play points in the regular season but only has two assists, two shots on goal while decreasing minutes in his first four career playoff games.

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The 24-year-old Kuraly appeared in his first eight National Hockey League games before this postseason notching one assist bouncing from the third to fourth line but his time in the American Hockey League was the catalyst for his call up while injuries on the Bruins roster during this first-round also played a key role. In his first year of pro hockey with the Providence Bruins the Dublin, Ohio native had 14-12-26 numbers with the Bruins top-minor Pro Affiliate, but his numbers weren’t the reason for the call-up, but his physical style of play was a factor in a series with the natural matchup between these two Atlantic Division foes.


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Obviously, his role changed in this game with the lower-body injury to center David Krejci who left the in the closing minutes of the first period with him moving up to the Second line after the Senators Chris Wideman “no-call.” knee on knee hit to the veteran forward who’s struggle to stay healthy for a better part of this best-of-seven game series. His placement as a top six forward would go down in the history books as on of coach Cassidy’s best moves as he continues to be the bench boss under the “intern” label.

The Bruins didn’t have the best start to the game as the Senators went up 1-0 after the Bruins neglected to cover forward Mark Stone who received some sweet sauce skating in all alone deking Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period. Yet again, the B’s failed to cover defensively in the second period as the Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau skated in unmolested to find space between Rask’s pads for the five hole tally and a 2-0 lead.

The 8:40 Mark Of The Second Period

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Midway through the second period forward David Pastrnak got the Bruins closer with a sweet goal from a wrap around effort from forward Brad Marchand and seemed the B’s were more involved in the game while exposing a Sens defense that’s been so frustrating to play against this series. The tempo definitely changed as the ice tilted in the Bruins favor but the heroics would come from the former Captain of the University of Miami (Ohio) player in his first year of hockey at this level, and the rest is sweet history as the Bruins stay alive in the series after being down 3-1.

The 17:05 Mark Of The Second Period

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After no third period goals or 20 minutes of the first overtime, the tension in Bruins Nation could be felt worldwide as both teams enter the second overtime where an unlikely hero would continue the belief in this organization playoff effort that hasn’t been seen in the previous two seasons. Yes, Sean Kuraly came through once again…….

The 10:19 Mark Of The Double overtime

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Game six will be tomorrow from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts at 3 pm EST. and can be seen on NBC Sports, TVAS, and SportsNet. You can listen to the game action on 98.5 The Sports Hub.


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