You cannot complain with the Bruins effort tonight after playing last night in New Jersey. The Bruins had chances to score the game winning goal in both the 3rd period and in overtime. Loui Eriksson had a breakaway and he also hit the post on another bid. Mark Stone scored for Ottawa on a rebound after his wrap around chance. It’s just the way it goes sometimes. But the Bruins did get their lone goal from David Pastrnak with a nice tip of a Chara shot.
Here are Bostonpucks.com’s 3 thoughts:
1. Brett Connolly Was A Healthy Scratch
I think we all saw this coming. Although I do not completely agree with the move by Claude it is not a complete surprise either. At first I thought Rinaldo and Randell were in the lineup and I could not wrap my head around that, but then I realized Rinaldo was scratched as well and it lessened my frustration. We all know that Connolly is in a crazy goal scoring drought. He has not scored a goal since Thanksgiving, which spans 17 games. All in all he has scored 1 goal in the last 29 games. The effort is there with Connolly and he gets his chances to score. I just think it is a lack of confidence and the game speeds up on him when he has the puck on this stick with a chance to score. Bottom line when you are in a scoring drought you have to get to the net. That is where the puck is going and getting a garbage goal would go a long way for Connolly. I just do not see enough of that from him. Claude is most likely trying to light a fire in him. The last time Connolly was a healthy scratch (in Arizona) he came out and scored 4 goals in 5 games. Hopefully that will be the case this time as well.
2. Pastrnak Looked Better Tonight
I thought David Pastrnak played better tonight than he did in New Jersey last night. He seemed like he was making more of a difference in the game. He was using his speed and getting in on the forecheck and also laid a hit on an Ottawa player driving to the net from the corner. He also scored on a nice tip in by going to the front of the net (see Connolly, it does work). What I do not get is why Claude did not put him out on the ice for the 3-on-3 overtime. He is maybe one of your most dynamic offensive players and he does not see time on 3-on-3? I do not understand the thought process there. Although it does seem like Claude is learning a little because Zdeno Chara did not see any ice time in overtime. Overall I thought tonight was progress for Pastrnak and he is trending in the right direction.
3. Why Does Craig Anderson Look So Much Bigger Than Tuukka?
Craig Anderson is listed as 6’2″ and 183 pounds. Tuukka is listed at 6’3″ and 176 pounds. So just from the height and weight one could say they are similar size. But to me, Craig Anderson looks so much bigger than Tuukka. I guess this is what the NHL is going to look into over the summer to make the chest and shoulder pad equipment for the goalies smaller. Just look at the below pictures and decide for yourself. Look how baggy Tuukka’s arms are compared to Anderson and how much more broad Anderson’s shoulders are compared to Tuukka. This is not the reason the Bruins lost the game. It is just something I noticed during the game.
- You have to love the 3-on-3 overtime format. The overtime period tonight was back and forth and Erik Karlsson was on the ice almost the entire time. It is a lot of fun to watch.
- Brad Marchand looked good after serving his 3 game suspension. He had a lot of energy, which he should after sitting out 3 games, and he had a few opportunities to score. The Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak line was the best line for the Bruins tonight.
- Next up the Rangers in New York. Just like the previous game between the two teams the day after Thanksgiving this will be a good test for the Bruins. It just would be nice to have Krejci back for the game, but we know for the time being that is not going to happen.