The Boston Bruins have eliminated the Carolina Hurricanes in five games to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There were a lot of story lines during the duration of the first round but today we’ll look at who was Boston’s Most Valuable Player.
Before the series started, you probably would’ve expected for Tuukka Rask to be the MVP because he is one of the best goalies in the NHL and so he would give the Carolina offense some headaches.
But then he shocked the hockey world and opted out in the middle of the series prior to Game 3. And Jaroslav Halak stepped in and while he had some struggles early he still didn’t let the Canes win another game in the series.
So if I were deciding who would win the first round MVP, he would have gotten second place and the only reason is because of who’s in front of him.
Patrice Bergeron deserves to be the MVP for this series.
First off, Boston’s most productive offensive player, David Pastrnak, was out for three straight games (games 2, 3, and 4) so it placed an extra burden on the 35-year-old to create more goal scoring opportunities. He certainly did his job while Pasta was missing, as he recorded an assist in Game 2 and combined for 14 shots on goal in the three games Pastrnak was unfit to play.
Secondly and most importantly, Bergeron scored two game-winning goals over the course of the five game series.
In Game 1, it looked like the Bruins and the Hurricanes were going to be playing forever but then Pastrnak made a great backhand pass to Bergeron for the 2OT game-winner.
In Game 5, Bergeron got the game winner in the second period with less than five seconds remaining thanks to another Pastrnak assist. He got the puck off the glass from behind the net and scored off G Petr Mrazek’s left skate.
Who knows what would’ve happened if Bergeron didn’t come through in 2OT and the last few seconds of Game 5’s second period.
But what we do know is Bergeron was irreplaceable in the first round and he certainly was the most valuable player on the ice in round one.
(Photo: Nathan Denette/AP via Boston Globe)