The Boston Bruins need an all-world performance from Tuukka Rask in Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.
I thought Rask was amazing in Game 5, but he has to be all-world in Game 6 on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). You can expect the Chicago Blackhawks to be unbelievable knowing that the Stanley Cup is on the line. I think Rask is going to have to be unbelievable and steal the game for the Bruins.
Boston as a team has to be really good defensively, and they've kind of gotten away from it in the past couple games. The Bruins have gotten away from some of the little things.
It is not just in the defensive zone, but starting there, it begins with sealing off in front of the net. Sealing out Chicago forwards in front of Rask, and making sure they front those guys, has to be a priority. They can???t allow the Chicago forwards two and three opportunities off an initial point shot or a deflection.
At the same time, Boston???s forwards have to do a better job on the Chicago points. They're not doing as a good of a job, they're not getting in the lanes enough. I'm not saying they have to block every shot, but you have to least try to contest or influence shots, which they're not doing nearly enough.
Deflect some shots, block some shots -- give the Chicago defensemen something to think about. Force the Blackhawks to have to make some decisions. Don't make it easy on them.
At times it has been, "Oh, OK, let's go D-to-D, then maybe I'll walk the puck for three strides and eh, I don't like that angle so I'll just find this one and get my shot through to the net." Then all of a sudden it goes from being a one-shot to now maybe a two- or three-shot opportunity where the Blackhawks get two or three chances.
In addition to that, another thing the Bruins need to do is manage the puck better. Boston had some very uncustomary turnovers in the neutral zone that we don't typically see from them. We saw them the last couple of games, though.
They can't afford to have those things happen in their game tonight if they want to win.
Lastly, on Boston's mindset tonight -- I would be leaning on the crowd. Lean on it being a home game, the city, the energy here in Boston. I'd be using that to my advantage, and I think they will try to use it to theirs. Use the crowd, the buzz, the city to your advantage.
Come into with the idea that, "Hey, we only have to win one game," Don't think about Game 7. It is all about this one game and giving yourself a chance to even get to a Game 7. If Boston comes in with that mindset, that, "we need to win one game" idea, then it kind of breaks it down a little bit of making it seem so insurmountable.