BOSTON – For a team that had been playing its best hockey of the season over the past two weeks, the mood was pretty somber and dissatisfied after a 4-1 loss in late January.
Of course the defeat was to the rival Montreal Canadiens, and the game was a monumental tribute to lack of effort and complacency as the Bruins were never really in the game from beginning to end.
There was a quick two-goal deficit, a poor second period and a final 20 minutes without fight, defiance or emotion, and there was also a goaltending change in the middle period from Tuukka Rask to Chad Johnson to top it all off. It wasn’t the most goals the Bruins have allowed this season or the biggest margin of defeat, but Patrice Bergeron didn’t shy away from calling it “the worst loss of the season” in the B’s dressing room postgame.
So what went wrong?
“I mean, basically everything. Execution and our heads weren’t into it,” said Bergeron. “They deserved to win. We didn’t play anywhere near where we need to play to have success in this league.”
Across the board, the Bruins all agreed in the losing dressing room that they weren’t ready to play when the puck was dropped against the Habs.
“It looked like our minds weren’t into it, but like I said it is what it is. We can’t really do much about it right now,” said David Krejci. “Obviously it’s frustrating. We were on a pretty good roll the last few games, and today it wasn’t a very good game.”
That kind of admittance from the B's playmaking center is shocking given that the hated divisional rivals from Montreal were the opponent.
The Bruins had brief signs of life at the end of the first period when a Dougie Hamilton pulled them to within a single goal deficit at 2-1, the first time they’d trailed at the end of a period dating back to the shootout loss against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Still, the defensive miscues and mindless penalties continued in the second period, and two more goals might have been 20 against a lifeless Black and Gold bunch that have to hope this was a one-game aberration amid a long stretch of quality hockey.