Well that was not what Bruins fans where looking for.  The Bruins came out flat in the 1st period and they were never able to recover.  The Predators scored two first period goals and that is all they needed to beat the Bruins tonight.

Here are BostonPucks.com’s 3 thoughts on the game:

1. How do slow starts happen?

How were the Bruins not ready to go tonight?  I do not get it.  Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco said between periods that the “Bruins did not show up to the game on time.”  How does that happen?  

The Bruins were thoroughly outplayed in the 1st period.  At some points it looked like they were just standing around watching the Predators skate around.  Maybe that was their game plan to let the Predators get tired because the Bruins played better in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Or maybe the Predators took their foot off the peddle either way it was better for the Bruins.  Other than the leaky defense, slow starts are a big problem with this team.   Because of the average Eastern Conference the Bruins will still make the playoffs but their lack of killer instinct is not going to get them too far.  They need to find the killer instinct if they want to make any noise in the playoffs.

2. Chara is Struggling

Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me  but Zdeno Chara does not look good.  He is not playing physical and you very rarely see him actually tee up one of his famous slap shots.  He tried a one timer tonight but his stick broke.  Due to the lack of wind up for clappers and physical play it makes me wonder if the upper body injury that kept him out of the first few games of the season is still lingering around.  Back in the day Chara would punish offensive players in the corners.  We all know that he is not moving like he used to and maybe that is due to the minutes he plays. Chara has been on the ice for the last 8 goals scored on the Bruins and that is not counting the penalty shot that he was called for hooking on.

My heart and brain is telling me this should be Chara’s last year in Boston.  I just do not think the Bruins can continue playing him 23 – 25 minutes a game.  But if they play him 18 – 20 minutes a game then his close to $7 million cap hit is going to hurt.  I think they should try to seriously trade him in the off season.  If you have to eat half of his salary to get a better return I would do it.  The Bruins need to get faster on the back end.  You have to look no farther than the Predators tonight and see how much faster their defense is compared to the Bruins.  This also depends on the Bruins finding a replacement for Chara, which is not going to be easy.

3. The Power Play is Starting to Look 2011 Bad

The Bruins power play has looked bad for a while now.  It is getting to the point where if this were football they should decline the penalty.  The power play is too predictable.  Every team knows by now that they feed the points to generate shots so the penalty killers just need to clog the lanes.

It is kind of like in baseball when a rookie hitter gets off to a hot start it takes a little while until for other teams figure out how to get him out.  Then the hitter needs to make an adjustment.  It seems like the Bruins have not made the adjustment and are very predictable.  I said this in the Columbus “3 Thoughts” the other night that they need to work the puck down low and I still feel that way.  They have to move the puck and get the killers to move.  When the penalty killers have to move that is when more shooting lanes and passing lanes will open up.

****Extras****

  • On a positive note, Zach Senyshyn scored his 34th goal of the year against the Windsor Spitfires.
  • I am returning my Kemppainen fan club membership.  He did not do much of anything tonight.  It is time to bring back the energy of Max Talbot to the lineup.
  • If the Bruins play the way they played in the 1st period on Saturday against Dallas our old friend Tyler Seguin might score another hat trick against his old team.