BOSTON -- Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments for the Bruins in Tuesday night’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs was the inability to build on what the Bruins thought they’d started on the road in San Jose.
The defense, goaltending and style of play stood dutifully in line with “The Bruins Way” and suffocated the Sharks attack that was missing some top guns in Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl.
Instead, against the Leafs, the Bruins fell 4-3 despite outshooting Toronto by a 41-26 margin.
They saw their penalty kill show leaks and soft goals had returned. Some of it was clearly the difficult nature of a single home game sandwiched in between five road games against the Western Conference teams, but it was disappointing nonetheless.
“We don’t travel a ton. You could tell the grogginess in our players when we came back," said Claude Julien. "It was so important for us, I thought, to win this game [against the Leafs]. It’s just one game [at home] then go back on the road again. But we’ve just got to buckle down here and come back with a successful road trip.”
The road trip goes through a struggling Stars team and a Sunday matinee on NBC against the Chicago Blackhawks that won’t be easy.
But at this point it’s more about the Bruins escaping a stretch where they’ve lost five of eight games, and watched things deteriorate defensively with one of their anchors, Dennis Seidenberg, now gone from the roster.
“It sucks right now losing . . . it never feels good after a loss," said Jarome Iginla. "At times we did some really good things and unfortunately we had some breakdowns and stuff. We lost a close game. Guys were trying to build back a winning streak again, and we had a good game in San Jose. [Tuesday night] wasn’t as good, but we get back at it against Dallas. We try to start it there again.
“By no means is anyone feeling sorry for ourselves, or don’t believe we can’t do it. It’s just a tough stretch. Sometimes when it’s not going your way you got to stay with it. Just like on the power play, you get chances [to win].”
The Bruins need to capitalize on those chances and start another streak, or they may run the risk of getting buried out West this week just as they did in last week’s trip through California.