Can the Bruins sign up to just play the Flyers the rest of the year?
Coming off their Lake Tahoe trip, the Bruins traveled to Long Island to lose (again) to the Islanders. They’ve dropped 3 out of their last 4 and haven’t beaten the Islanders yet this year. Not a good look. The Bruins played a solid 40 minutes, but the wheels came off in the 3rd as they gave up 5 unanswered to lose 7-2 at the Nausea Coliseum.
The Bruins got on the board first with Nick Ritchie converting about a minute into the game. A smart play by David Pastrnak (that won’t show up on the score sheet) when he was going for a change; he banked the puck off the wall to Charlie Coyle instead of just dumping it into the zone. Coyle drove into the zone to the left wing and fed Jakub Zboril back against the grain. Zboril motored down the slot and found Ritchie standing at the paint with a pretty backhand pass: 1-0 Bruins.
Adam Pelech tied it up when he got lost in coverage down low and had the whole net in front of him. The Bruins were hemmed in their own zone by the Isles’ 4th line, which was tasked to sheath The Erection Line all night. That gameplan def worked on this shift as the Bruins could not work it out of their own end. Replays showed that the Isles’ whole offensive zone time looked as if it was set up by what should have been an icing call, but there are no icing reviews allowed so the goal stood.
Later in the first Mathew Barzal put the Islanders ahead when Nick Leddy found him up the pipe and Barzal split the defenders and sniped Halak over the glove. If only the Bruins had
3 consecutive picks that they passed over a chance to draft and develop young players like that…..
There was good tempo and pace throughout the first and second periods, and Craig Smith tied it up late in the 2nd stanza. Pretty slick play by Smith as he caught an aerial pass from Jake DeBrusk in the neutral zone and in one motion tossed the puck around his back to his blade in stride. Looking for Jack Studnicka driving the net, the puck bounced off an Islander’s stick and went up and over for the tie goal. It was most likely a penalty for closing his hand on the puck, but again, not a reviewable play so the goal stood. Good effort by Studnicka to keep from getting whistled for goaltender interference on the play.
Tied up heading into the 3rdand Trent Frederic showed his inexperience. A puck bounced off the end boards and landed on Frederic’s stick in front of Jaro Halak. Without showing much sense of urgency, Frederic gets his stick lifted and Anthony Beauvillier tucks it home on the backhand and the Islanders didn’t look back. On the NESN feed Andy Brickley commented the Bruins started looking ahead to the Rangers game once that 3rd goal went in.
Bruins jump back into the gear tomorrow night with only their 2nd back to back of the year when they travel to Madison Square Garden. It will be a different atmosphere when they take on the Rangers since there will be limited fans allowed in the building.
- With Krecji still out, Coyle was between Ritchie and Smith and they did all the damage tonight. The chemistry had been building with Coyle and Smith and Ritchie plays that straight line game, so it’s been a good fit.
- Anders Bjork with another strong game. Impacted the game in the neutral zone and with his forecheck and led the team with 7 hits tonight.
- Team adjustment to the NYI style of forecheck: quick D to D and a forward coming low proved effective. On the backcheck the forwards kept tight gaps to help out the D. At least it worked for 2 periods
- Once it was 4-2, I thought the Bruins played with little emotion. They basically rolled over and showed the Islanders their tummies.
- Power play again proved ineffective. No Krecji or Grz certainly hurt, but it’s been anemic at best, and nothing like a giving up a shortie for a team wide dick-kick.
- Halak’s going to run out of sticks if he keeps tomahawking them off the pipes.
- Pasta played in his 400th career game. This weapon has 189g – 204a for 393pts, that’s a whopping .9825 points per game average you peasant.
- Halak broke out a new mask tonight, probably burned to a crisp in the Coliseum parking lot by now.
- Brandon Carlo rocking the A for the 2nd straight game without Krecji. Speaks to his growth and maturity. Carlo called it the “greatest honor of his life”, a good young leader for the Bruins going forward.