After losing two straight games, the Bruins showed up in a big way to force a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Red Sox had another up and down week, while the Patriots got their sixth set of Super Bowl Rings this century. It was a really busy week for Boston sports.
When the Bruins won 7-2 on the St. Louis Blues’ home ice in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals, it seemed like they were in the driver’s seat to win the series. Yet, the Blues had other ideas. In Game 4 on Monday, the Blues completely outplayed the Bruins and skated to a 4-2 victory. Ryan O’Reilly scored two goals, including the game-winner with 10 minutes left in the game to break the 2-2 tie. The Blues dominated the Bruins in shots on net 38-23. Brandon Carlo did score his first goal of the playoffs on a shorthanded opportunity in the second period, but that would be the final goal the Bruins would score.
The biggest news from Game 4 was when captain Zdeno Chara left the game after taking a puck off the face. It was later revealed that he broke his jaw, and everyone assumed that he would be done for the series. It seems we all underestimated his toughness, because he was out there to start Game 5 with a full face mask to protect him. The Boston crowd gave him a 30-plus second ovation when he was introduced before the game. However, Chara’s charismatic showing was not enough to swing the series back in Boston’s favor. The Bruins had countless offensive chances, but they failed to capitalize on any of them through the first two periods. The Blues, on the other hand, broke through with a goal a minute into the second period.
The score remained 1-0 until the most controversial play of the series took place. Tyler Bozak clearly stuck his leg out to trip Noel Acciari just seconds before David Perron scored what ended up being the game-winning goal, but there was no call by the refs. So when Jake DeBrusk finally did score a goal on Binnington, who played out of his mind with 38 saves, it was still a 2-1 deficit instead of a 1-1 tie. The referees did not lose the game for the Bruins, but it sure seems like they cost the Bruins a chance to win in overtime.
Regardless, the Bruins then had to go to St. Louis for Game 6 and win in order to avoid elimination. On Sunday night they did just that with an incredible 5-1 victory. The first line, which has been very quiet this series, showed up in a big way with goals by Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. After scoring just one goal in the first two periods, the Bruins exploded for four goals in the third, including the first career playoff goal for rookie Karson Kuhlman, who was a late addition to the lineup. Tuukka Rask made 28 saves to help the Bruins force the 17th Game 7 in Stanley Cup history and the first since 2011, which was coincidentally won by the Bruins.
Game 7 will take place at TD Garden on Wednesday night, and it will be the first Stanley Cup Game 7 ever hosted in Boston. It is sure to be an unbelievable atmosphere, and hopefully the game lives up to its expectations. This is what we live for as hockey and sports fans.
Boston Red Sox
It was a tale of two halves for the Red Sox this week. It started off very well for them, as they went into Kansas City and proved they can still beat the teams that they are supposed to beat like the Royals. The Royals entered the series with the second worst record in the entire MLB, so it is not much of a surprise that the Red Sox swept them. But given how inconsistent the Sox have been this season, three straight wins against any team is far from a guarantee.
That inconsistency showed this weekend, when they lost three out of four games to the Tampa Bay Rays, who are now tied with the New York Yankees for first place in the AL East. After their 4-3 week, the Red Sox are now 34-32 and sit seven games back of both the Rays and Yankees. So they did gain a couple a games in the standings this week, but it could have been even more had they taken care of business against the Rays.
The Red Sox truly dominated the series against the Royals, outscoring them 23-8 in the three games. They won 8-3 on Tuesday behind a solid start by Eduardo Rodriguez. J.D. Martinez got three hits to spark the offense, and Eduardo Nunez smacked a pinch-hit three run home to cement the victory. The next night, Chris Sale pitched arguably his best game of the season, a complete game, three-hit shutout. He struck out 12 Royals batters and threw his second immaculate inning this season, a feat accomplished only once before in history by Lefty Grove in 1928. The Red Sox also got plenty of offense in the 8-0 win, especially from Rafael Devers and Jackie Bradley Jr. who each drove in three runs.
The only game in the Royals series that was even close was on Thursday when they won 7-5. The Red Sox had to use seven different pitchers in a bullpen day, but they got the job done despite allowing 14 hits. The Sox only got nine hits but they were timely ones, and they were able to walk away with the sweep.
Friday night against the Rays was a different story. They had no timely hitting and only scored one run on four hits in a tough 5-1 loss. Then, they split Saturday’s doubleheader by getting blown out 9-2 in the day game and then winning 5-1 in the nightcap behind another great start by David Price. Price is now 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA and is making a strong case for his sixth All-Star team. Marco Hernandez delivered a huge two-run double on his first day back in the big leagues in two years. However, the Red Sox bats were stifled again on Sunday, as they lost 6-1 and dropped to 4-6 this season versus the Rays.
Next, the Red Sox will welcome the Texas Rangers to town for a four-game series. The Rangers have a similar record to the Sox at 34-30, and they sit at second place in the AL West.
In some heartbreaking off-the-field news, Red Sox legend David Ortiz was shot in the back while at a bar in his hometown in the Dominican Republic. The news is that he got through initial surgery and is stable enough to travel back to Boston for further treatment. I know I speak for all of Red Sox nation when I say that we all wish Big Papi the best in his recovery.
New England Patriots
In fairly big news this week, the Patriots cut tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who was expected to play a key role in the team’s adjustment to life after Rob Gronkowski. Seferian-Jenkins is stepping away from the game for personal reasons for a month, but it is yet to be seen whether he will sign elsewhere after that. Now, the Patriots tight ends include Benjamin Watson, Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo, Stephen Anderson and Andrew Beck. A bunch of household names huh?
The Patriots also received their Super Bowl rings last week, which provided a flood of viral pictures and videos including ones of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick each boasting their six and eight rings, respectively. It was a special night where the entire team could be together one last time.
There was not much going on for the Celtics last week other than rumors in the never-ending saga of whether or not Kyrie Irving will re-sign with the team or if the Celtics will make an offer for Anthony Davis or not. Those questions will continue to be asked for the next month until something actually happens.
What we do know is that the Brooklyn Nets traded away Allen Crabbe last week, opening up cap space for them to sign two max players this summer. Whether or not one of those is Kyrie Irving is yet to be seen but it would be far from a surprise at this point.
Also, the Celtics hosted a bunch of first round draft picks for workouts last weekend. Some of the bigger names were Grant Williams from Tennessee, Eric Paschall from Villanova, Nassir Little from North Carolina and Ky Bowman from Boston College. The Celtics currently hold three first round picks at 14, 20 and 22 and a second round pick at 51.
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