If the only Bruins games you’d ever seen in your life were the first four of the Bruce Cassidy era you probably would have been shocked watching last nights 4-3 losing performance against the Anaheim Ducks.
The officiating was terrible, the posts were ringing, the puck luck wasn’t there, and still the Bruins had their hands on at least one point before they gave away two of them late. It was a flashback to the December 2016 edition of the Bruins that drove us nuts.
Here are a few quick hits from the game:
- If you didn’t think the Ducks would score late you’re lying. As I watched the clock creep down toward three minutes remaining all I could think was “the Bruins are 100% losing this game in regulation”. You could have waterboarded me like a terrorist and I wouldn’t have told you otherwise.
- The Bruins mistakes are correctable. Was the game a pisser to watch? Yes. But the world isn’t over and no one needs to jump. The slow to react, not heavy on the stick, mental hiccups can be cleaned up with the attention to detail we saw in the previous four games. The one positive from the overall feel of the game was that the Bruins didn’t no-show or look disinterested like they did in bad games in the previous months. But the loss was absolutely self inflicted. Now the B’s have to quickly clean it up to avoid going 2-7 on the year in the second game of back-to-backs tonight in L.A..
- Frank Vatrano will have a 30-goal season at some point. I’m convinced that will happen. His deadly release inside the dots is freakishly quick. And like Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn he just blows it by people. As he develops other areas of his game he’s going to find himself with opportunities to bury more and more.
- The Bruins power play was 0-5. No bueno. David Pastrnak tried forcing some seam passes, point shots weren’t getting through, and it just wasn’t happening. Credit the Ducks for dominating the face off circle and blocking everything, or filling shooting lanes to force shots wide.
- A fight would have gone a long way last night. To me it felt like a good second period scrap would have hit the mental reset button and shaken the cobwebs loose in the B’s d-zone brains. I was waiting for one to happen. Nothing like a few spit chiclets (stick tap to Barstool and Rear Ads) to elevate the senses.
- Matt Beleskey didn’t take advantage of being back in the lineup. I won’t go so far to say he was invisible, but he wasn’t shining. Only Jimmy Hayes had less ice-time and Beleskey’s wrecking ball style just wasn’t there.
- Peter Cehlarik also came back down to earth too after his highlight filled performance in San Jose on Sunday. He was minus-2 and parked on the bench for a good chunk of the 3rd period. It’s the textbook rookie rollercoaster. Everyone gets to take a ride.
- David Krejci‘s stretch pass to spring Vatrano for his 3rd period goal made me feel tingly all over. As it happened I distinctly remember seeing a bright light as the heavens opened up, then it got blurry, and after a 5 second blackout I found drool all over my shirt. It blew my mind.
- David Backes had 2 assists and was a plus-3. He saved the day on the Brandon Carlo clap bomb goal by scooping up a misplayed puck on an o-zone draw and quickly fed it to the rookie blue liner. Mr. Humane Society looks to be enjoying the Cassidy tenure more than the Julien experience.
- Was it just me or did Dominic Moore have a nice game last night? Maybe it was just me. He started the season Crimson red hot (get it??), tapered off, and came back down to earth. But I thought last night he made great plays and was real strong on the puck and forecheck. You tell me.
It’s another late one for us east coasters as the puck drops at 10:30pm tonight against the Los Angelese Kings. Luckily I have a sweet job so they could start at 4am if they wanted and I’d watch. You should probably expect to see Anton Khudobin in net but who the hell knows. As long as the Cassidy led Bruins, not the December 2016 version show up then all is right in the world.
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