Hits and Misses: Bruins-Senators

Hits and Misses: Bruins-Senators
December 29, 2013, 12:30 am
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Jarome Iginla sets up for a shot against the Ottawa Senators.

(USA Today Sports Images)

Here are the hits and misses from the Bruins 4-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre after a dizzying day of announcements, injuries and roster call-ups.
 
HITS
*David Warsofsky finished with one beauty of a goal for his first NHL marker by dangling through the Ottawa defense, and then sizzled a shot top shelf from the outside of the right face-off circle past Craig Anderson. He finished with a pair of shots on net, a plus-1 rating, a hit and three blocked shots in 18:23 of ice time after an emergency trip to Ottawa this morning, and continues to show the ability to play at the NHL level.
 
*Patrice Bergeron had the second-most ice time of any player with 22:39 just behind Matt Bartkowski, won 18-of-26 face-offs, collected one assist and generated six shot attempts, although four of them missed their intended target. As long as the Bruins are missing key players from their lineup, it will mean that guys like Bergeron will need to shoulder a much heavier portion of the burden.
 
*Jarome Iginla had a couple of giveaways – including falling down with the puck on his stick on the second period power play that turned into Zack Smith’s shorthanded goal – but also potted his seventh goal in the last 10 days. He also had a potential go-ahead goal wiped off the board when he punted the puck into the net while attempting to kick the puck to his stick for a shot. He had eight shot attempts and a handful of scoring chances in 19:31 of ice time.
 
*Chad Johnson played well enough while stopping Clarke MacArthur and Bobby Ryan in the closing minutes of the second period, and made 17 saves after coming in relief of Tuukka Rask in the second period. He couldn’t make the big save on Ryan in the third period on a breakaway that ended up becoming the game-winner, but one has to wonder if Rask would have stopped that shot should he have stayed in the game.
 
*Credit Jordan Caron for stepping up to 6-foot-4, 230-pound Matt Kassian in the first period when the Ottawa tough guy slammed Johnny Boychuk and David Warsofsky on consecutive shifts while daring the Bruins to do something about it. Caron essentially gave Kassian an angry noogie before getting tossed to the ice, but it stopped the running around early in the game. Caron showed plenty of courage stepping to the much bigger, more experienced Kassian, and that is appreciated by the rest of his teammates.
 
*Johnny Boychuk played a solid 20:20 of ice time while stepping up for his injured fellow defensemen, and will need to be good every single night for the Black and Gold.
 
*Solid NHL debut for Zach Trotman with three shots on net and a pair of hits in 16:41 of ice time.
 
MISSES
*Torey Krug finished with a game-worst minus-3, and kicked away the puck that Bobby Ryan took for the game-winning breakaway shot. Krug had a rough weekend in the home-and-home series against the Senators, and Saturday night might have been his worst NHL game in the last two years. The talented youngster is definitely fighting the puck a little bit.
 
*Matt Fraser had zero shots on net and a minus-2 in 9:03 of ice time, and failed to hustle back for back-checking on Ottawa’s first goal of the game. He was steps behind Cody Ceci when the Senators defenseman started the scoring play that ended with Patrick Weircioch firing a shot past Tuukka Rask. I have serious reservations about whether Fraser is an NHL winger based on his inability to free himself up for shots in scoring areas, and anything less than optimal hustle on a back-check is unacceptable for a player looking to establish himself.
 
*Tuukka Rask was pulled after giving up a shorthanded goal to Zack Smith to start the second period, and has now been pulled twice this month after getting yanked zero times in the first two months of the season.
 
*The Bruins missed Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg – only the second time in franchise history the B’s have played with both of those key defensemen out of the lineup – and will be without the German defenseman for the rest of the season. That’s a big miss that can’t be filled no matter which player is the replacement.
 
*Some have mentioned the name of Michael Del Zotto as a potential trade replacement for the fallen Seidenberg. Acquiring the struggling New York Rangers defenseman is a definite miss from every way of looking at it.