Wow, I am glad that one is finally over. It was like that middle school fight where one of the kids was out matched but the fight seemed like it would never end.
The Bruins will be licking their wounds over the next few days after a 9-2 beat down at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings. I actually thought the Bruins came out and played well in the first period, but had a couple of tough breaks toward the end of the period that put them down 2-1. Then the flood gates opened up for the biggest pounding of the season. I am sure the Bruins are now looking forward to the California road trip in March.
The only good part of this game was the Milan Lucic tribute in the first period:
Here are BostonPucks.com’s 3 Thoughts from tonight’s nightmare:
1) It Is The Same Guys Who Actually Show Up Every Night
It seems like after every game in our “3 thoughts” blog we talk about the same few players every time. Every game it is Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Matt Beleskey and Ryan Spooner. Although Spooner did not do much tonight he has been on a good stretch over the past 30 or so games. Marchand scored a power play goal that would not have happened if it was not for Beleskey’s hard work along the boards and carrying the puck in the zone. Even when the game was 9-2 and the last shift of the game Beleskey was still finishing his checks.
Beleskey is a gamer and he shows up to play everyday. When the game was 5-1 Beleskey had enough of the disaster around him and asked Andy Andreoff to fight to try to spark his team. It did not work, but you have to like the give a shit level in Beleskey’s game. This is probably why he scored 9 goals in last year’s playoff run with the Ducks.
Bottom line other guys on this team need to start showing up to help out the guys that do show up every game.
2) I Need More Tyler Randell
Tyler Randell was an assist away from a Gordie Howe hat trick tonight. He must have read Milan Lucic’s article on the “Player’s Tribune” site because on his first shift in a month (last game was on January 9 against Ottawa) he drops the gloves with Kyle Clifford. I am sure just to calm the nerves just like Lucic did in his first preseason game his rookie year. Randell also scored a goal in the third period.
Randell has had 130:26 of ice time this season and has 5 goals. That is a goal every 26:05 of ice time. Sidney Crosby, who now has 24 goals on the season, has scored a goal every 42:48 of ice time. I am not saying Tyler Randell is Sidney Crosby, but I do think he deserves a little more ice time. Zac Rinaldo, who Randell replaced in the lineup, has scored 1 goal on the season, so that is 1 goal for every 366 minutes of ice time. Randell also brings toughness to the lineup, which includes his 5 fighting majors on the season, the same as Rinaldo. But Randell’s fights do damage. In each one he has been victorious or landed some serious blows. He is a guy that will provide some protection on the ice, but is not a punk like Rinaldo.
3) Kevan Miller Era Over?
I’ll admit I’ve been a huge supporter of Kevan Miller since his first call up to the Boston Bruins. I was blind with appreciation from his time at the University of Vermont where I initially cheered him on. But I think I have to finally throw in the towel.
His turnovers tonight were brutal. Especially on goal #3 for L.A. He laid out the table cloth, lit the candles, and then served up the dish, piping hot, with a no-look soft “pass” right to Kings forward Andreoff for an easy score. And these aren’t his first turnovers of the season. He’s collected a Guiness Book worthy pile of them and they really are of the mental breakdown, momentum killing, type. What’s worse; at the end of the 2nd period Miller was still second in ice time of all Bruins defensemen. Claude Julien keeps running him out there. Yet on opposite benches, like the other night after one single bad turnover by Buffalo’s Cody Franson that set up the Loui Eriksson goal, Sabre coach Dan Bylsma had Franson essentially glued to the bench the rest of the night.
Give me Colin Miller yesterday, and when McQuaid returns that’ll be it for Kevan, period.
- The Bruins gave up 57 shots on net tonight. I have never heard of such a thing for a mid-season game. It is the most shots they have given up since March 18, 1965.
- The first power play unit is not right. They look way off and are not generating any quality scoring opportunities. Claude was at least giving the second unit more looks tonight.
- Lost into tonight’s mess was Brad Marchand’s tally. That now makes it an absurd 10 goals in the last 10 games for #63.
- Joe Morrow looks to be turning the corner in his development. He was the only defenseman who was not a minus player tonight. Somehow with 9 goals scored Morrow managed to be even on the night. He looked good on the power play and looked to have confidence rushing the puck. He got caught pinching once, which created an odd man rush, but it did not result in a goal. To these eyes it does not look like he will be out of the lineup against Winnipeg on Thursday.