Stop me if you’ve heard this before; Bruins have a lead, blow it, then lose. Just a disappointing yet recurring theme of a night for the Boston Bruins. Both teams come out and play a wild 1st period that ends 2-2. Then Boston took four penalties in a 5 minute window in the 2nd period. A bad too-many-men penalty (while already short-handed), Spooner carelessly getting his stick caught in Tomas Hertl’s skates, and Tyler Randell taking a dumb roughing penalty as well. That created two power play goals for San Jose to get a 5-3 lead. It was just enough cushion to ride out the Bruins strong 3rd period push. Here are Boston Puck’s 3 thoughts:
1) One Step Forward, Then One Step Back
Man, do the Bruins like to shoot themselves in the foot or what? The game in general was an undisciplined, fast paced, open hockey game for both teams. It was exactly the opposite way the Bruins played in their win against Detroit other night. Yesterday we wrote how the Bruins needed to build off of their recent disciplined and focused performance. Claude Juilen said it best immediately after the game tonight, “There’s reason to be excited about the potential. There’s potential here, if everybody takes charge of their own job every night.” But they don’t. They pick and choose when to do it. Right now they play up to their ability one night, then the next night, sometimes the next period in a great game, they literally shut their brains off. The second period tonight was absolutely brutal. I don’t want to take away from a skilled San Jose team effort because they did win, but the Bruins handed them timely power plays with dumb penalties and also “watched” the Sharks score less than a minute into the game. It just looks like lack of focus at times. Because when the Bruins wanted to go tonight, they dominated.
2) Don’t Put This On Tuukka
Tuukka Rask was hung out to dry tonight. On the first goal tonight Tuukka made a nice save on a Melker Karlsson shot, but no one was there to clear the rebound and it ends up behind him. Then a random flukey bounce off Joonas Donskoi’s arm beat Rask in the 1st period as well. In the 2nd period it appeared Joe Thornton leveraged himself in front of the net with his stick preventing Rask from going to the near post to stop a shot. He couldn’t get there in time and Patrick Marleau buried one (on the power play for too-many-men). Claude Julien challenged the play but the call on the ice stood as a good goal. Rask faced some great chances as the Bruins consistent parade to the penalty box and defense couldn’t make his life easier. I never say this about a goalie who gives up 5 goals in a game but I thought tonight Tuukka actually looked pretty good considering the circus in front of him at times. He looked pretty frustrated with the club after the 2nd period meltdown as it was pretty obvious he suffered for their poor play.
3) Spooner was lost on Claude’s Island
The knock on Bruins Coach, Claude Julien, over the years has been how he deploys some of his players, and how he does not trust young players. That was on full display tonight when Ryan Spooner was stapled to the bench in the third period. He was on the ice, and got the primary assist on Patrice Bergeron’s power play goal. Then Spooner was the extra attacker with 40 seconds left in the game when the Bruins were down by a goal. Other than that I did not see Spooner on the ice. Joonas Kemppainen was centering Matt Beleskey and Brett Connolly. I do not get this decision by Claude. You are losing the game 5-3. In order to have a chance to win you have to score at least 2 goals. So Claude decides to leave a player on the bench who has enough skill go be on his first power play unit and to be the extra attacker when the goalie is pulled, but he cannot play 5 on 5 when you need to score 2 goals? I can see this if you are trying to protect a lead, not when you need to score 2 goals to tie the game.
- David Krejci picked up 2 assists tonight and finished with a +1 rating in almost 22 minutes of ice time. His two helpers put him in a tie for 6th place in the NHL scoring race. The guy continues to roll this season.
- Zach Trotman has played really well since getting back into the lineup. He has been calm with the puck on his stick and he is showing good puck moving ability. He is also show off his strength by tossing around opposing players. R