Soft Effort Derails Bruins

The Bruins were back on home ice tonight but they clearly left their best effort on the road. The COVIDevils came into the TD Garden and dominated all aspects of the game to hang a 3-2 loss on the hometown team.  Teddy Bears on parade.

Don’t let the final score fool you, the Bruins only played half of a period tonight and were lucky to be in it at the end.  I’m sure Halak would’ve liked at least one of the Palmieri goals back, but this guy is no slouch (0.60 PPG over his NHL career) and he walked in alone on both of his goals. If you were doling out slices of blame, I’d start with the backcheck and the blueliners before I’d be looking at Halak. And the game winner? Quinn Hughes’ brother crossed the blueline and with the slow spin move (the sundial?), he completely baffled the Bruins man coverage: Pavel Zacha from the circle. 

Grzelcyk and Zboril were both out, so Clifton and Moore were both in the lineup. Cassidy also shuffled the lines “to get things going” up front: He moved Pastrnak to the Krecji line and DeBrusk to the Erection Line (getting softer by the moment). He also swapped Frederic and Bjork to the 3rdand 4threspectively. I gotta say it; I like him, but what the fuck Jake? I’m fairly certain that I could tuck one skating with Bergeron and Marchand and you’re telling me that DeBrusk needs THEM to get HIM going? Give me a fucking break. If Jake really needs something to get him going, how about a box of popcorn and a seat on the 9th floor? He’s got the size and speed and has shown that he can score goals at this level. Get outta your head bud!

The Bruins weren’t undone by line combinations however, they did it all to themselves. The lack of effort, no jump, and poor decision making leading to turnovers plagued them throughout the entire game. They didn’t get it going until the 9:00 minute mark of the 3rd when they killed off a 5 on 3. Actually the Bruins had their best offensive chances during shorthanded play tonight, with a few odd man rushes that unfortunately didn’t pan out. DeBrusk did get on the score sheet with a PP goal off a bad turnover down low in the NJ zone, and that was all the offense the B’s could get going until a late PPG in the 3rd closed the gap to one (McAvoy from Pasta and Ritchie). Prior to that goal, it was more of the same though, it actually took the Bruins more than a minute to get set up in the NJ zone on the PP and they were playing 6 on 4! 

I’m chalking this one up to the layoff and looking ahead to their trip to Lake Tahoe. Watching Cassidy in the postgame coverage, he seemed pissed (rightfully so) and I’m guessing a few tough practices are on the immediate horizon. The B’s are off until Sunday (gametime moved up to 2pm) and then another layoff until the following Thursday. Hopefully this will be a good time to recharge and relax with just the outdoor game on the slate over the next week. 

Plus/Minus

Plus:

  • Faceoffs: The Bruins were dominant at the dot with Bergy currently winning over 62%
  • Penalty Kill: The PK was on it tonight and generated offensive chances
  • Anders Bjork: I like him on the 4th line. He’s skating ability and touch stand out and he’s shown that he’s not afraid to get physical. Drew a double minor tonight by going right at Subban.

Minus:

  • Lack of effort: Home cooking weighing them down?
  • How many times is the off winger going to go offsides?
  • Poor decision making. Handing the puck over in the neutral zone and no sustained attack in the offensive zone, the Bruins looked uninterested and slow. If the Bruins can’t figure out how to handle a teams’ speed, they’re in for an uphill battle the rest of the way.

Game Notes:

  • David Krecji left the game after the first (9 seconds played in the 2nd) and didn’t return. Classified as LBI – day to day
  • Pasta had a couple of big hits out there. Look I know he’s a skill guy, but I think sometimes he needs to establish that he’s capable of sticking up for himself with physical play. I think he did that tonight.
  • If Krecji can’t go: Jack Studnicka or Gregg McKegg are options off the taxi squad.

Author: Brownie

Hockey fan/player from the greater Boston area.

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