Does it get any uglier than that? What a sad showing from the Boston Bruins tonight. The Anaheim Ducks rolled into Boston this evening and pumped the Bruins to the tune of 6-2. Zach Trotman scored just 0:40 seconds in and it looked as though the boys in black were ready to go. But five minutes later Chris Stewart got a hold of Torey Krug in a mismatch of a fight and the complexion of the game changed. The Bruins never responded, had no fight, and until the third period looked pretty disinterested in playing the Ducks at all. Zdeno Chara’s third period goal got the Bruins back on attack but when a Krug shot rang the iron and a Joonas Kemppainen bid in tight didn’t go, all it took was a Trotman delay of game penalty to kill the buzz. Game, set, match.
Here are BostonPucks.com 3 thoughts from the game:
1) Beleskey Wanted This One Badly
Back on July 1 when Matt Beleskey signed for less to come to Boston than what the Ducks had offered him he probably had this game circled on the schedule. Beleskey was all over the ice tonight, and at times was the only Bruin player bringing any energy, but we could literally say this every game Beleskey plays in. This guy does not take nights off. He is maximum energy every night. The goals have not been there for him this year, but with 2 assists tonight he now has 24 points on the season. He is easily going to surpass his regular season career high of 32 points that he set last year. He is a beast and has been well worth the free agent money.
2) I’m Glad Somebody Talked Peter Chiarelli Out Of Trading For Chris Stewart
It was not a secret that Peter Chiarelli had a man crush on Chris Stewart last season and was offering the Buffalo Sabres at the time Ryan Spooner and a second round pick for Stewart. Luckily this trade did not happen because then ol’ Pete would have given him a huge contract and the Bruins would be stuck with this bum. What was Stewart doing fighting Krug tonight? Anyone? I’ve got to give Krug some credit here. One, for having the balls to drop the gloves with a guy that is 5 or 6 inches taller and about 50 pounds heavier, and two, for holding his own. Krug is another guy like Beleskey that comes to play every night but that fight really showed what a plug Stewart is.
3) Time For Spooner To Return To The Third Line Center Role
I’m sorry but after tonight it’s clear Joonas Kemppainen is not the third line center for the Bruins. Well, I’m not sorry but you get the point. The Ryan Spooner experiment at wing needs to come to an end though. Not because Spoons is doing a bad job there, he’s been great while picking up yet another assist tonight, but the Bruins need him to anchor the third line.
Kemppainen logged a respectable 14:39 of ice time and nearly three of those minutes were on the penalty kill. However, he just looks off. There’s this slow, passive, and not really playing with any sort of emotion demeanor to his game right now and that can’t happen, especially when he’s currently slotted in as third line center where his responsibilities increase. I know the Bruins overall were unacceptably flat tonight, and a lot of Finnish players like Kemppainen have that quiet way of carrying themselves on the ice, but something just doesn’t look right. Keep him in a limited fourth line role until he shows he can handle the heavier minutes and duties.
- Jonas Gustavsson left the game after the first period due to an illness and did not return. He was sent to Mass General Hospital for observation while Tuukka Rask came into the game in relief. Despite allowing two goals in the first period Gustavsson faced a high 16 shots. Rask faced 22 shots over the final two periods combined.
- The good news is the Ducks are heating up and now have 51 points and are just 2 points behind the Coyotes and 3 points behind the Sharks with a game in hand. The Sharks play tonight, but lets hope they lose. I want a lottery pick in this year’s draft.
- The Bruins may have played a very uninspiring game tonight but when they had some great chances to change the momentum Frederik Andersen stepped up in goal for the Ducks. He had 32 saves, many of the big variety, and really was tasked to do more than it appeared.
- Montreal lost again tonight, 5-2, to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tonight sucked for any Bruins fan but if you root for the Habs you’re probably looking for a bridge to jump off right now and I couldn’t be happier.
- Before we drink too much just remember that going into the All-Star break the Bruins are 4 points out of first place in the Atlantic Division and 1 point out of second. That’s pretty damn good for a team we knew would have growing pains.
Enjoy the All-Star weekend everyone! And by enjoy it I mean I know none of you are going to watch it. But keep checking back here daily for more on all things NHL.