The Boston Bruins will be playing in another Game 7. It will be the sixth of their last seven playoff series where they will have to go to the final game. And, despite a Stanley Cup run in between, the odds are not in their favor. They are 6-12 in closeout games with Claude Julien as they head into Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.
Number Five- James Reimer is Not Elite
James Reimer has a save percentage in this series of .932, tied with Tuukka Rask. I am going to tell you something very surprising. James Reimer is indeed human. He has made two really nice saves on Patrice Bergeron in this series but other than that, he’s been rather average. His rebound control is bad and it has not been exposed by a Bruins team who does not crash the net. This series is the same as last year against Braden Holtby. A lot of shots into the team emblem and not a lot of goals.
Number Four- Closeout Troubles
The Bruins are 6-12 in closeout games under Julien. This includes their four straight losses to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern semifinals in 2010. This also includes the loss to Carolina in Game 7 in 2009, the loss in Game 7 in Montreal in 2008, and Game 7 against Washington last season. Is there a trend here or am I just paranoid? Three of those Game 7s were on home ice, by the way.
Number Three- Game 7s
This comes from the point before this. Other than in 2011, when the Bruins won three Game 7s and then the Stanley Cup, they are 0-4 in Game 7s under Julien. I exclude the Cup run only because they had one of the best seasons from a goalie ever. They won Game 7 against Tampa Bay 1-0 and Game 7 against Vancouver 4-0, while the Game 7 win against Montreal was in overtime. That was a year they won because of Tim Thomas. So without that incredible play from Thomas, the Bruins are 0-4 in Game 7s. And in three of them they had home ice, like they do Monday night.
Number Two- Bergeron Line
The Patrice Bergeron line has three points in this series. One is a power-play goal from Bergeron and two are assists from Brad Marchand. That means Tyler Seguin doesn’t have a point all series. However, I’m not going to pin this whole thing on this line. Both Bergeron and Marchand had concussions this season and we see what that can do. This is concerning because it shows Seguin can’t play without Bergeron and Marchand at their highest level, and he’s been knocked off the puck way too many times in this series.
Number One- Killer Instinct
Where was the killer instinct for the Bruins on Sunday night? They played for about 25 minutes before they just disappeared. It was even worse in Game 5, and yes, I am aware they had nearly 50 shots in that game. But that hardly counts when they are all into the Maple Leafs logo on Reimer’s chest.