BOSTON -- The Bruins might have thought theyd turned the corner after a good effort against the Nashville Predators last weekend, but the shutout loss to the Rangers Tuesday night was a stark reminder there is work to still be done.
New York now has a nine-point lead over Boston in the Eastern Conference standings. It clearly doesnt matter who's the best team in mid-February, but there are things that will need to be tightened up for the Bs to be the best in May or June.
Boston's defense corps, for instance, had a rough night against the Rangers. Some of it is fixable; Zdeno Chara, after all, will be better than the player who took a bad penalty, had a shot bounce off him in front of the Boston net for a goal, and had four giveaways in a careless night handling the puck. But what about Joe Corvo?
Corvo once again foolishly jumped to pinch during a four-on-four situation that hung Dennis Seidenberg out to dry in an odd-man rush that ended with an Artem Anisimov goal early in the third period, giving New York a insurmountable 3-0 lead.
Were a team that thought that if we could get one . . . wed get two, said coach Claude Julien on the B's mindset heading into the third period. But then they came out and scored that third goal. It was a backbreaker."
There are other issues plaguing the Bruins:
Benoit Pouliot has gone AWOL, failing to score a goal in the last 15 games after he appeared to find a home on the third line.
David Krejci is in the midst of a season-worst six-game scoring drought, even as the coaching staff attempted to light a fire under him by dropping him down to the third line.
And, clearly, the Bruins arent the same deep offensive juggernaut with Nathan Horton sidelined because of a concussion. He's been out for eight games and there's no indication when, or if, he'll be able to return this year.