WINNIPEG, MB The Bruins have been the NHLs best team in the third period over the last two years, but even that is now failing them.
The Bs were able to withstand the third period collapse against the Montreal Canadiens while still pulling out a shootout win earlier this week, but the bottom dropped out in a 4-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at the DTS Centre on Friday night.
The Bs have been outscored 4-1 over the last two third periods though theyve still outscored the opposition by a 77-45 margin over the course of the entire season. A pair of Bryan Little goals cinched things for the Jets after it appeared David Krejci had awoken the Black and Gold giants with a game-tying strike early in the third. The Bruins dont have enough in the gas tank when it matters most, and thats a concerning development when its only the first two games of a long six-game road trip winding through destinations in both the Eastern and Western Conference.
After failing to score a single point during the month of February perhaps Krejcis score off a Tyler Seguin dish can spark him into a hot stretch creating offensive chances. The Bruins need something to a little more closely resemble the team that was crushing the oppositions spirit in third periods during the months of November and December.
Thats not our game, said David Krejci. Our game is to be the best third period team in the league. The last few games it hasnt happened, you know? Weve got to find a way to be the same Bruins as we used to be.
Its not hard. Its in us. Its in this dressing room, but somehow we have to find it again. We have to start showing that killer instinct in the third period again.
Its time for the Bs to take stock and find some answers, but its going to be challenging when the Bruins are veering so far away from just about everything thats made them successful over the last few years. There is little urgency, flagging physicality and blaring inconsistency for a team thats supposed to be among the best the NHL has to offer in either conference.
We got that big goal in the third period that we thought would give us some momentum, but it really didnt go that way. Were very proud of the way weve always come out in the third. The bottom line is weve got to find a way to get back to our game, lamented Patrice Bergeron. We gave them way too much space in our zone.
Weve got to find a way and find answers. There are way too many ups and downs right now. Its not even close to the effort we need. It hurts us so much when we get away from our game and our system.
The answers for the Bruins lie in simply getting back to the things that have made them successful, and it will be easy to spot when they get there: the Bs will start winning those third periods again that have become a Boston bugaboo over the last few games.