Wow. Well that sucked. What a disaster of a day in Foxboro. The Bruins got blasted by the Canadiens today in the NHL’s outdoor Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium, but what else did you expect?
The Bruins were without David Krejci who is on the IR with an upper body injury and Brad Marchand served the first game of his 3 game suspension for an undisciplined low hit. So instead the Bruins had to dress 2 AHL regulars (Seth Griffith and Alex Khokhlachev) in their lineup for the NHL’s “Super Bowl.” But that may have not mattered either. The Bruins were completely outplayed and outworked and it was a troubling sight to see. It seemed like they had absolutely no urgency or desire at any point. The final result is what they deserved, a 5-1 Habs win in an abomination of a game.
Here are BostonPucks.com’s 3 thoughts:
1. Did the Bruins forget that this game was for first place in the Atlantic?
I know this was a just a regular season game, 1 of 82, but this game is the NHL’s biggest event every year. Regardless of who is missing from the lineup theres no excuse Boston can make for their effort. They should have had the fire and motivation to come out with a ton more energy than they showed. The Bruins showed some push back at times, but they did not do nearly enough. And even when they seemed to improve at moments in the 2nd and 3rd periods the damage was already done.
I thought Bruins coach Claude Julien should have shortened his bench earlier than he did. Griffith and Koko just did not look like they were up to the challenge of the increased intensity of the Winter Classic. The Bruins just could not keep up with the faster Canadiens team and it was ugly.
2. I’m Not Sure What Rinaldo Is Doing In The Lineup
Rinaldo has one goal on the year. Granted he has not been suspended yet, so our “more goals than games suspensions” prediction is still looking good. But I am not sure what he is bringing to the lineup other than hitting everything in sight. He has not shown the speed that he showed in the preseason. Maybe because all the AHLers aren’t around anymore.
Is he only in the lineup because the Bruins gave up a 3rd round pick for him? He is supposed to be able to kill penalties, but I do not think I have seen him out on the penalty kill in a while. I think the lineup would be better served with Tyler Randell in the lineup instead of Rinaldo. What Rinaldo did at the end of the game to Torey Mitchell (sucker punch) was bush league and unnecessary.
Back before Marc Bergevin took over as Canadiens’ GM the Bruins would push them around and intimidate them. The Canadiens are no longer intimidated and it has not worked for the Bruins for the past 3 seasons. They need players that are able to skate with Montreal, which Rinaldo should be able to do, but he is too worried about beating them up.
3. It Would Have Been 10-1 Without Tuukka Rask
How often can you say a goalie gave up 5 goals in a game and looked great? Today was one of those rare occasions.
Tuukka Rask was one of the few in black n’ gold who showed up today. And even though he only had 25 saves, it seemed like every one was huge because of the prime chances the Bruins were giving up. Multiple times he robbed the Habs in tight and even more times he was left high and dry while Canadiens players stood around the crease without fear or consequences. When asked after the game about the way the team played Rask summed it up perfectly stating, “I’d say embarrassed more than disappointed. Yeah, embarrassing loss.” He’s never afraid to tell it like it is, but today was definitely not on him.
- A crushing blow came in the second period when the Bruins were on the power play. Jimmy Hayes poked in a loose puck that would have cut the lead to 2-1 and really changed the momentum of the game. Instead, the ref lost sight of the puck during the scramble and blew his whistle too quick before the puck went in. It was clearly not covered and Boston was robbed of a goal.
- The Joe Morrow and Kevan Miller defensive pairing was a -3 for the day. Joe Morrow has skills that can benefit this Bruins team. I like how he has the ability to skate the puck out of the danger areas and he has started to jump in the play offensively, but he cannot be -3.
- On a positive Matt Beleskey scored the lone Bruins goal. That gives him 4 goals and 5 points in the past 5 games. Here’s a clip of Beleskey’s tip in:
- Thumbs down to the NHL and NBC for their musician selections. I would have liked to see them at least include some local musicians. Instead we got Simple Plan. You could have told me Simple Plan’s bus went off a bridge in a fiery blaze a decade ago and I wouldn’t have known if you were lying or not. This is NHL hockey, not pairs figure skating, and some music from a real rock band with a little edge would have been nice.
- Ryan Spooner had the best chance of the day and Canadiens goalie Mike Condon broke his heart with a fantastic highlight reel save. The play summed up the Bruins game perfectly. Had Spooner been ready to fire it would have been in the net in the blink of an eye. But he hesistated, wasn’t urgent, and allowed Condon to get back to the near post to make the save. Here’s a clip of the save:
It doesn’t get any easier on the schedule either. Next game is against the Washington Capitals. They come into Boston Tuesday night for a 7pm puck drop.