PHILADELPHIA – Here are ten thoughts after the second period with the Bruins trailing the Philadelphia Flyers by a 2-0 score after the first 40 minutes of action at the Wells Fargo Center.
- Bruins started off the period by solidly getting pucks in deep and working the possession game in the offensive zone, but it still doesn’t allow them to jump out to a lead against an opponent. Instead a penalty leads to a power play goal and once again the Bruins are looking up at an opponent.
- Props to Luke Schenn for even trying to tangle with Zdeno Chara. That’s a solid leadership move. But the turtle job after catching a quick upper cut to the face isn’t exactly Broad Street Bullies tough, even though it’s granted that nobody really wants to take on Chara. That’s the difference between a Chris Pronger level of intimidation/toughness that used to flow here in Philly and something less than that as Schenn tries to step into those shoes.
- Five of the 12 shots from David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton in the first period with Krejci’s three shots on net. They’ve clearly brought the good stuff this afternoon against Philadelphia, but Ilya Bryzgalov managed to snuff out all of the chances for them. For that line it’s about scoring rather than holding good chances as proof they’re being effective. Nathan Horton had a perfect scoring chance from the slot after Kurtis Foster coughed it up behind the net, but couldn’t find a way to get it past Ilya Bryzgalov.
- Flyers have scored on their last five power plays and lead the league in power play success percentage. If it turns into a special teams extravaganza today they might be in trouble. A Zdeno Chara holding call led to the power play strike, and both Chara and Bergeron will be in the box to start the second period. Bruins need to hold Philly down as they’ll come out hard out of the first intermission.
- Mike Knuble with the game’s only goal on a Philly power play. Why can’t we get players like that? You can’t convince me that the Bruins couldn’t have utilized a guy like Knuble over the last couple of years by trading/signing him when he’s been available.
- I kind of wondering why Matt Bartkowski didn’t play instead of Aaron Johnson this afternoon in Philly, and I’m really wondering after watching him struggle through 40 minutes against the Flyers. Johnson is the perfect spare defenseman, but he’s had to play way too much lately. Bruins could be better served by feeding Bartkowski more minutes and giving him a chance to gain some confidence at this point in the season.
- Nathan Horton with another missed open net while showing little urgency after catching a rebound of an Andrew Ference in front. He takes too long to jump on those open nets and isn’t showing enough force flinging the puck before the goaltender can recover. Bryz did get a piece of the puck, but only because Horton tries to slide the puck rather than lifting it into the net. Horton showing no urgency and no physicality whatsoever this afternoon when the Bruins need to start bearing down. Maybe he’s pouting because the Bruins haven’t opened contract talks with him and maybe he’s tentative because the concussion cloud looms over him. But he’s a shadow of himself and it’s hurting the Bruins.
- Bruins sloppy defensively today. Losing players behind their defense and giving away way too many odd man rush situations. The Flyers scored their second goal when too many Bruins skaters were caught up ice, and Matt Read almost had his second goal of the game when he got behind Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton. The whole Bruins team looks like they’re sleeping.
- Matt Read. Three shots on net and four registered hits along with a shot off the far post on a breakaway. Been the best guy on the ice today.
- Bruins need a wakeup call in the worst way possible.