The concerns turned out to be well-founded.
The Boston Bruins' 10-day layoff did impact their game early in the Stanley Cup Final, as the St. Louis Blues took a one-goal lead in the first period of Game 1 on Monday night.
Sean Kuraly admitted as much Tuesday in his blog about the series for NHL.com.
"I wasn't feeling it early in the game, my legs weren't there," Kuraly wrote. "I was definitely feeling the effects of the 10-day break between games."
Kuraly wasn't alone, as the B's looked sluggish as an entire unit. But they also didn't panic. Kuraly took fans inside the dressing room, where the club refocused on a new objective.
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"After we didn't play a good first 20, we went in the locker room and just said, 'Hey its behind us now and let's see if we can play a good 40 minutes and start with a good first five minutes,' Kuraly wrote. "That's what we did. To come back in the game, that one felt good."
It got worse before it got better, as Vladimir Tarasenko put the Blues up 2-0 just a minute into the second period. But the Bruins played with noticeably more energy in the second, and it paid off: Connor Clifton scored the response goal 76 seconds after Tarasenko's on a great pass from Kuraly, and Charlie McAvoy tied things up on the power play 10 minutes later.
Boston never looked back, playing 40 minutes of dominant hockey that produced four straight goals and a 4-2 win at TD Garden.
The Bruins' emphatic response after a rough first period was a testament to the team's strong leadership, as Kuraly describes a unit that didn't flinch after the rust feared may hamper them in Game 1 did just that -- until the B's shook it off with authority.
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