Well that was not a very kind homecoming back to the east coast for the Bruins.  The energy was there all night, but a few bad calls against them that resulted in two first period power play goals for the Rangers was pretty much the ball game.  The Bruins also had 2 goals called back upon review.  One was legit and the second one was not.  But more on that later.  Boston got goals from Lee Stempniak and Frank Vatrano.

Here are BostonPucks.com’s 3 thoughts:

1) Refs Are At It Again

The Rangers had 3 power plays in the 1st period.  The Bruins had……. zero.  The Rangers scored twice on those three man advantage opportunities.  And all three were bad calls.  Patrice Bergeron’s tripping penalty was a light tap on the skates of the Ranger’s player.  Jimmy Hayes was trying to cover Eric Staal in front of the net and came down on Staal’s stick, which Staal just dropped his stick.  Then the Krejci holding penalty was just brutal.  To make matters worse, on the Ranger’s first goal the Bruins were complaining that the puck hit the netting above the glass.  NBC Sports never showed a good enough replay to determine if the Bruins complaint was valid.

In the second period Jimmy Hayes drew a goalie interference, which it seemed Lundqvist sold.  I get it he “interfered” with the goalie, but it was not on a scoring play, and he was trying to stop.  If players go hard to the net sometimes there is going to be contact.  I feel the NHL needs to stop treating the goalies like they are cheerleaders.  Unless it is a complete take out of the goalie and/or on a scoring play they should just play on.

Then, the second Stempniak goal that was called no goal.  From these eyes it looked like the puck completely crossed the line.  Since it was called no goal on the ice the review was inconclusive.  I thought it was a little weird that the ref said there was no evidence that the puck crossed the line.  The puck was a hair shy of crossing the line before it enters Lundqvist’s glove, then his glove goes into the net.  In years past we’ve seen that called a goal many times:

 We can complain about the refs for whatever it is worth, and we all know the Bruins are one of the least penalized teams in the NHL, but in my opinion the Bruins do not do a great job at generating opportunities either.  So while they can get hosed on one end of the stick they do not possess the puck enough to get the opposing team to draw penalties, legit or not, on them.  If they move their feet with or without the puck the opposing team will need to hold, hook, and slash far more often.

2) Why is Jimmy Hayes Still in the Lineup?

It makes no sense to me why Jimmy Hayes is still in the lineup.  He does absolutely nothing on the ice.  He does not generate opportunities for himself or his line mates.  Jimmy Hayes is who he has always been.  A big, non-physical guy who’s just kind of out there.  He never has been physically dominant with that frame and there was hope that maybe being in Claude’s system, in this environment, it’d come out more.  Bruins fans are always too hung up on the “big bad Bruins” theme, which Jimmy is not, but he could give something.  He does not have to put people through the glass but it would be nice if he would use his size to create and make more space for his line mates.

I know we are in the minority here but I really believe that Brett Connolly is a better option then Jimmy Hayes.  Connolly, Accairi and Ferraro formed a nice fourth line that used their speed and they were getting opportunities to score.  To these eyes I think Connolly is more skilled than Hayes.  Hayes took a seat for a game out west but it does not seem to have lit a fire in him.

3) Vatrano Just Buries

That’s it, man.  That’s what he does.  He’s a goal scorer and it’s fantastic.  I always worry when we see guys light it up in the AHL and people over estimate just what that means in the NHL.  But Vatrano isn’t a fluke like Chris Bourque.  He can play.

Tonight he only had 3 shots on net (not that only is a bad thing) and his goal was a true scorers goal.  He delayed, stay patient in finding the open passing seam, and when the puck came he wasted no time in hammering it by King Henrik:

 The Bruins desperately need scoring from Vatrano as he should stick with the B’s down the stretch.  And he may have to move up to the third line with Spooner to have a shot at generating consistent offense because as we stated earlier, Hayes just isn’t cutting it up there.  Vatrano’s skating and touch around the net will be a welcomed addition alongside 39 and 51.  Brett Connolly can slot back in on the fourth line and let #11 hammer down some popcorn in the press box.

****Extras****

  • Tuukka was pulled after the first period due to not feeling well.  He missed practice yesterday because of an illness and that is why Jeremy Smith was called up on emergency.
  • David Krejci flat out got smoked up the ice by Rick Nash for the Rangers empty net goal.  Krejci needs to win that race since he had about a 10-foot head start.
  • The Bruins out shot the Rangers 41-24 (and had 18 shots blocked), had 2 goals called back, and gave up 2 power play goals.  That’s about as frustrating of a loss as you can have.