Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Canadiens


Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Canadiens

MONTREAL Here are 15 thoughts after the third period with the Bruins taking the Canadiens by a 2-1 score after 60 minutes of rivalry hockey action at the Bell Centre.
1) The regrettable Bs defense from the Buffalo loss has returned. They allowed several 2-on-1 situations one that was stopped on a good back-check by Chris Bourque as he crashed into the net and a goal was saved on another when Dougie Hamilton used his stick to block a puck from getting past Rask way outside his crease and Rask stopped Lars Eller cold on a breakaway chance later in the period. Tyler Seguin also took a holding penalty on another potential shorthanded breakaway chance for Brandon Prust, so things were sloppy in the first for Boston defensively.2) Eleven saves for Tuukka Rask in the first period including several high degree of difficulty stops like the Eller breakaway and a stuff shot for Rene Bourque at the front of the net during a wild scramble. This a period that Rask stole for the Bruins where they should be down at least 2-0 given their overall defensive effort.3) Good job in limited action by the Bs fourth line. Jamie Tardif drew a hooking call on P.K. Subban that led to a Boston power play and the Bruins are allowing Ryan Spooner to get some time on the Bs second power play unit. They only totaled a couple of minutes of actual ice time, but thats all they need to do without mistakes per period tonight for the Bruins.4) The Bruins didnt have a shot on goal until 12 minutes into the period and finished with four for the first period. Not enough jump or life to the Bruins breakout and theyre getting beaten in one-on-one battles all over the ice. They look like theyre having trouble keeping pace with the Habs, and its not surprising given that injuries have taken away two of their fastest skaters in Brad Marchand Daniel Paille.5) Chris Kelly went down the runway before the first period was over. Not sure if its an injury or an equipment issue, but stay turned on that one. Not good if hes also banged up.

1) One shot on net between Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic after two periods of hockey tonight. There isnt enough net-front presence for the big bodies or sustained offensive possession in the attack zone to let them get there. Lucic has also been whistled for a couple of penalties that have broken up the shift-by-shift flow that most players like to build up through the game.2) No shots on net and a penalty that wiped out a Boston power play in the first period for Tyler Seguin. At one point in the second he took a nice cross-ice dish from Lucic as he darted in toward the net, but pulled up to fire a shot rather than taking the puck toward the open lane to the net. Seguins shot hit the outside of the net and the Bruins got nothing for what should have been a great scoring chance with their most gifted goal-scorer. Seguin is one period away from having one empty net goal in his first nine games of the season and thats not good enough.3) P.K. Subban has reportedly made some enemies within his own dressing room after his holdout, but hell win them back quickly if he keeps playing like he is right now. A team-high three blocked shots for Subban and the games only goal to give the Canadiens a 1-0 lead. Subban took a half-swing from the right point that rocked off the blade of Rich Peverleys stick and carried over Tuukka Rask for Subbans first goal of the season.4) Milan Lucic is one angry bear tonight. He whacked Andrei Markov with a high stick and then hit Markov with a slash in the second period after both players got their sticks up in the air during a shoving match. Lucic then looked like he was about to get whistled for another penalty right at the end of the second period when he again zeroed in on a Habs skater. Wonder who told him they thought he was out of shape this morning?5) Five of the 15 shots for the Bruins have come from the third line tonight. Doing a good job of at least generating some offense and Chris Bourque saved a goal with a hustling back-check in the first period. They continue to play at a pretty solid level for the Bruins after a slow start.

1) Great coaching move by Claude Julien getting Tyler Seguin together with David Krejci and Milan Lucic on a line together to start the third period. That line scores goals on each of their first two shifts of the third period and helps give the Bruins just enough offense for the victory. Watching Seguin and Krejci work the puck together is a treat given their natural offensive skills.2) Not a coincidence that the Zdeno CharaJohnny Boychuk pairing was out on the ice for both the goals as well. Chara made a nice play with two fore-checkers on him to break the puck out of the Bruins zone that eventually led to the second Bruins goal of the night.3) One shot on net and 0-for-4 on face-offs in about six minutes of ice time for Ryan Spooner in his NHL debut. That sounds about right for the 21-year-old playing the biggest game of his life. Welcome to the NHL.4) The PlekanecBourqueGionta line along with Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin got torched on both of those Bruins goals to start the third period. Worth noting as they couldnt keep up with the speed Boston was bringing entering into the offensive zone.5) The Habs had at least two or three chances to tie things up in the third period but couldnt bury a couple of open scoring chances. David Desharnais, in particular, missed one wide left after being set up with a wide open look in front of the net.

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 


Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic.