The Boston Bruins rallied to tie the Stanley Cup final series, 1-1, Saturday because of a strong game from their supporting cast. That is a hallmark of the NHL's new 'Bruins Era.'
There is a saying in hockey that always sprouts at this time of year: "Your best players need to be your best players."
That is to say, if you have a team with Wayne Gretzky, chances are, you'll need Gretzky to be your best player to win a Stanley Cup. If some fourth-line guy who has fewer teeth than fingers is playing better than Gretzky, that's not a good sign.
And it makes sense. On the Pittsburgh Penguins, there is no doubt that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are the two celestial lights around which that constellation of stars swirls. Reggie Jackson might say their sticks stir the drink.
Well, when the Penguins were swept by the Boston Bruins last round, they were dreadful.
And now, with the Stanley Cup final tied at 1-1 heading to Boston Monday night, the Chicago Blackhawks must wonder if Superman is still stuck in his phone booth. Patrick Kane, who once wore a cape during the shootout competition on all-star weekend, has seemed to shrink before the Big Bad Bruins, skirting on the edges of play, pushed to the areas of the ice where there is least resistance – and where he is very little threat.