The Bruins came into tonight’s game riding a 6 game win streak and facing the statistically worst team in the NHL. The Bruins have been perfect against the Sabres this season and had no trouble with Buffalo the other 2 times they played them this week. And get this; the Sabres were starting a rookie goaltender that hadn’t exactly covered himself in glory during his most recent AHL stint (14GP – 3.60GAA – 0.888 Save%).
So of course, the Bruins lose and leave 2 points just sitting there.
So I guess if Bergeron doesn’t play, no one holds anyone accountable? Bergy is out day to day with a lower body injury, (most likely from the shot block last night) and I wonder how the game would’ve been played if he was in there? Kind of tough to come to the bench after another lazy turnover and see Bergy looking at you I would imagine. The B’s played the first 5 and last 5 minutes of the game and besides that they just looked like they couldn’t wait to get the hell out of Buffalo. Trapped in your hotel room in Buffalo, not allowed to go to Chippewa Street, playing an inferior team, the last 4 days must have felt like 4 months. The Bubble in Buffalo sounds like some awful indie movie with subtitles.
With Bergy out, Coyle slotted in as the top line center and Lazar filled his spot on the 3rd line. The Krecji line remained the same and Anton Blidh and Wagner were the 4th line wingers with Kuraly at the pivot. On the back end, Kevan Miller was back in the lineup after 5 games off with a foot infection unrelated to his reconstructed knee; and he was paired with Reilly. The BU Boys were together again as the top tandem and the 3rd pairing was Lauzon and Kampfer with Clifton getting the night off.
Kampfer got the first goal of the night off a sweet feed from Hall when he went bar and in from the top of the circle to beat Luukkonen glove side. The lead didn’t last out of the period as Reinhart got his first of the night on the power play when Rask was a tick slow getting across the crease going left to right. Dahlin and Mittelstadt both tallied in the 2nd and it looked like it was going to get ugly as the Bruins were coasting with no fire and no jam whatsoever. Rask was screened on Dahlin’s goal and had no chance, but he looked off his angle on Mittelstadt’s tuck to me. The Bruins weren’t helping as they were outshot through the first 2 periods by a 26-18 margin and turning over the puck at a pickup skate rate.
Ruotsalainen got one in the opening minutes of the 3rd when he skated left and shot right to beat Rask glove side. And that was the end of Tuukka’s night as Jaro Halak came in for relief. Sometimes the boys get a jump in front of the new goalie, but (like everything else tonight) that wasn’t the case. Halak wasn’t even warmed up before Reinhart popped one over him for his 2nd of the night. Halak came out to play the puck on ANOTHER Bruins turnover deep in their own end and whiffed on the poke check and just like that the Bruins were even deeper in the hole. At this point, let me see DeBrusk out there. Let me see the 4th line on the power play. Let’s keep everyone healthy and get the hell outta here! Cassidy must have had the same thoughts as that’s exactly who he was rolling over the boards for shift after shift. It was the 3rd line who gave us a glimmer of hope when Ritchie stuffed one 5-hole off a Kampfer drive to narrow the gap to 3 with less than 8 minutes left.
Kevan Miller got his first goal just inside the 5 minute mark when he walked down the slot and beat Luukkonen 5-hole and holy shit we gotta game! That was Miller’s first goal in 1,212 days – he hadn’t scored since 12/17/17 – stick tap to Home Boy Jack for that stat on the NESN feed, he had it chambered and ready to go as soon as the red light came on for Miller’s tuck. With just over 3 minutes left to play the Bruins pulled Halak as the B’s worked the puck up ice. McAvoy drove the zone and tossed the puck to Hall on the RW boards where he looked to go back to Chuckie driving the net. Fortunately, Ristolainen was in the slot with his stick on the ice and redirected Hall’s pass into his own net: 5-4 and the boys were buzzing. Another faceoff and once the B’s get possession here comes Halak to the bench, the Bruins gain the zone and were looking to get set up in the O-zone. Krecji at the center of the blue line fed Pastrnak down at the LW circle and Pasta…. bunts it…. to Reinhart? What the actual…? He handed it right to Reinhart who took 2 strides and threw it down the ice for the empty netter and the hatty.
Pass the Pasta I guess?
The Bruins head to the Iron City for 2 against the Penguins who are actually an NHL team. Better bring your A game boys, cause Sid and Co. don’t take nights off.
- Stevie Kampfer’s first career 3 point night. Having a nice run lately.
- Taylor Hall was impacting the game in all 3 zones tonight. As Brick said on the NESN broadcast “That’s a sign that he’s bought in” Hope so.
- I love the BU Boys together as the top tandem. They just compliment each other so well. The addition of Reilly at the deadline has made it so Cassidy can roll Grzelcyk and McAvoy together.
- Tough to limit this to 3, but for starters: Puck management was horrible. Turnovers all over the ice in all zones by top 6 forwards. Unacceptable
- What in the world has to happen to get DeBrusk out of the lineup? Not using his speed, looks disinterested on the back check and is getting pushed around by opposing defense.
- Tuukka was hung out to dry tonight by the team in front of him. Maybe he was not on his angle on the one goal, but he made some sick saves prior to the hook. I think Cassidy may come right back with him on Sunday vs. the Pens.
- Kevan Miller rocking the “A” with Bergy out. The Bruins went with 3 Alternate Captains with Bergeron out of the lineup: Krecji, Marchand and Miller. What this guy has been through and keeps playing at this level, unreal. What a legend.
- Nick Ritchie is the only Bruins to play in all 46 games this season. Bergeron, Coyle and Smith are all at 45 GP.
- Tuukka Rask recorded his first point of the year with a secondary apple on Kampfer’s goal. He only trails DeBrusk by 10 points on the year. Maybe try Tuukka in front of the net on PP2?