By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — You know, now more than ever, the sports world moves on awfully fast. No matter how great or tragic a moment may be, the eyes and ears of sports fans and media tend to look ahead to the next thing.
That’s all fine and dandy, but, well, sometimes, some moments deserve an extra look. And Jake DeBrusk’s dandy of a goal from the Bruins’ 4-2 win in Game 6 in Toronto would qualify as one of them.
The goal came near the midway point of the game, and it was a thing of beauty. The play began when David Pastrnak aggressively pursued a loose puck in his own end, chipping the puck on his backhand out toward the blue line. David Krejci lifted the stick of Andreas Johnsson to gain possession and carry the puck into the neutral zone.
There, Krejci sent a backhand feed to DeBrusk as the winger crossed center ice. It wasn’t the perfect pass, forcing DeBrusk to slow himself at the offensive blue line to gather the puck at his skates. DeBrusk carried it into the zone and, sensing the 2-on-2 opportunity against Johnsson and Jake Gardiner, he left a drop pass for Krejci.
That’s when the magic happened.
Krejci’s vision and skills have been somewhat taken for granted over the years, due to one reason or another. But there is no denying his wizardry with the puck. And while this goal wasn’t the result of the best pass of Krejci’s career — or even the best pass of Krejci’s afternoon — it was nevertheless an A-plus pass in a critical moment of a crucial playoff game.
And of course, the diving effort from DeBrusk to redirect the puck past Frederik Andersen, well, that was pretty good, too.
“I dropped it to Krej, and I understood it’s probably going to come back to me at some point, so I just tried to extend my stick and get there,” DeBrusk said. “I was lucky to cash in on that.”
Also worth noting: Kasperi Kapanen probably wishes he had put in a little more effort on the back-check to maybe try to put some pressure on Krejci:
Granted, he was clearly making sure Krejci didn’t drop a pass to any trailing Bruins at the point. But still. Coasting into the zone and getting a front-row seat to a play like that didn’t help the Leafs.
The goal ended up standing as the game-winner, with Tuukka Rask stopping 16 of 17 Toronto shots over the final 32 minutes of the game. As a result, we’ll all get to see a Game 7 on Tuesday night. Naturally, everyone’s excited for that moment, so it’s worth taking a little bit of time to recall exactly how that moment came to be. Goals like that one are worth taking the time.