Lost in the brevity of the run and the disappointing way it finished was a dominant postseason performance by Brad Marchand.
In a series where many of his teammates were rendered ineffective, Marchand kept the Bruins’ afloat against the Islanders over the last two games.
The veteran forward, who had a highlight-reel goal in Game 5 and scored the Bruins’ only two goals on power plays in Wednesday’s season-ending 6-2 loss in Game 6. He’ll take a six-game playoff point streak into his next postseason.
Marchand finished the playoffs with 10 goals and four assists for 14 points in 11 games. He now has 45 goals and 62 assists in 132 career playoff games, which leaves him fourth all-time in franchise history. In the past four years he put up 66 points in 61 games, but the numbers didn’t cushion the fall from losing.
“It’s disappointing. We expected a longer run,” Marchand said.
RASK MAY NEED SURGERY: Tuukka Rask was deemed healthy enough to play in Game 6 on Wednesday. But after the Bruins bowed out of the series with a 6-2 loss, both he and Coach Bruce Cassidy said that there is a possibility for offseason surgery.
It has not been divulged exactly what’s been bothering Rask in the series. He missed almost all of five weeks in March and early April after he was seen putting his hand to his lower back at the end of a March 7 game against the Devils. He was also seen later in the year with an ice pack on his right hip.
After Wednesday’s loss, he was not ready to divulge what exactly was wrong with him.
“I don’t want to get into that right now,” said Rask. “We’re going to have our exit meetings in a few days and we can talk about it then. I promise I’ll give you a full lowdown on that.”
Rask acknowledged the possibility of surgery. He admitted the work load took its toll.
“It definitely wasn’t getting easier,” said Rask. “You battle, you maintain your health as good as possible and you take those days off in between. But when you play every other day, the deeper you go the more physical it gets. The training staff did a great job keeping me out there playing.”
Cassidy defended the decision to stick with Rask.
“He had an injury earlier in the year, kind of one of those nagging ones that the medical team will assess at the end of the year,” said Cassidy. “He was healthy enough to play. He wasn’t 100%. I can’t answer whether he was 95 or 92 (%) or whatever. … He’s our starting goalie, he told us he was ready to go and that’s that. So that’s where it’s at. Only he can tell you going forward, there may be surgery, there may not. That’ll be his decision and the medical staff’s decision.”
McAVOY INJURY: Charlie McAvoy had to go to the dressing room and missed six minutes of action after taking an after-the-whistle elbow from Kyle Palmieri to the face just 14 seconds into the second period.
The NHL’s independent monitor pulled McAvoy aside to make sure he wasn’t suffering from a concussion. The Bruins were outplayed for most of the game and were especially overmatched in the second period, but the Islanders did score against Boston’s already thin defense while McAvoy was unavailable and the Bruins didn’t handle it well.
Cassidy, who’d been fined in this series for his comments about officiating, thought there should have been a penalty on the play.
“That was a tough one. That was a missed one there. It happened to be on a guy we rely on to play big minutes,” Cassidy said. “That hurt. It was a clear infraction that got missed after the play. We could have used him in that six minutes. Did it make a difference in the game? I can’t sit here and say it did. He came back. In those situations, you have to rely on other people to step up. That’s playoff hockey.”
MILLER IN GAME 7: The Bruins’ defense dropped off drastically with both Kevan Miller and Brandon Carlo unavailable for Games 5 and 6. Miller suffered a head injury in Game 4 against Washington, while Carlo did the same in Game 4 against the Islanders. Cassidy was asked if either had been close to returning.
“I don’t think Brandon would have played Game 7. Miller was skating and had an opportunity,” he said. “We’ll never know now and I don’t want to speak for Kevin, but he was trending well. If we got to Game 7, he had an opportunity. Carlo? No.”