By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Still not over the events that transpired in the third period of Game 4 at TD Garden to help give the Lightning a 3-1 series lead going back to Tampa Bay? Join the club, which is captained by Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy.
"It’s tough," McAvoy, speaking at the Black and Gold's break-up day, said. "I’m still not fully over it. I mean, it sucks."
Hauled down by Nikita Kucherov behind the Boston net without a penalty called, McAvoy lost control of the puck on his tumble down, which paved the way for an immediate Steven Stamkos one-time bomb through Tuukka Rask with 7:04 left in the third period. The Bruins had their chances to regain the lead after that moment, sure, but it was a play that truly changed the dynamic of that game, and then the series when Dan Girardi's overtime goal secured the aforementioned 3-1 series edge.
A point that the 20-year-old McAvoy couldn't deny.
"That’s the turning point of the series," McAvoy said. "I don’t think there’s any way around it. We’re up 3-2, we’re playing winning hockey, been able to it all year, just play smart. You chip pucks in, you try to wear the clock as much as you can and just drag it down to zero, and we’re comfortable in that position. And me, personally, I’m comfortable in that position.
"I like having that lead, being able to play shutdown hockey and just get everything in, get it out, off the glass, off the glass, and just play that winning hockey that last 10 minutes or so, and I think we would’ve been able to close that out. Obviously, you never know, but we were playing good. We had the momentum, and then in a split second right there, coming around the net like that, no call on the play and they tie it up, and then right away it just kind of felt like everything changed there."
The first-year pro also acknowledged that he wishes there was some way to hold those officials responsible for their calls.
"It was really unfortunate," McAvoy offered. "I hope that, somehow, they have to answer for that and realize that it wasn't right, that it should've been a call because instead of being 2-2 going back to Tampa, feeling good, knowing that we can go steal one and then win it at home, instead it’s 3-1. Now we’ve got to go down there and try to fight for our lives.
"It’s tough. It changed everything, but you know, it’s unfortunate, but I’ll get over it at some point."
Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.