Bruins suffering through an identity crisis


Bruins suffering through an identity crisis

WILMINGTON, Mass. The Bruins placed the bar extraordinarily high by losing only three times in regulation during the months of November and December.So some of the concern surrounding their recent 4-4-1 stretch is a perception issue.
But Brad Marchand made a good point on the heels of Bostons listless 3-0 shutout loss to Carolina on Thursday night.

It doesnt take a few losses for us to know that were not playing our best hockey. We can see it even when we win and play poorly," he said.
"The biggest thing is that we all sit down, regroup and refocus. We need to understand that coming down the stretch we need to be playing our best hockey going into the playoffs. We all know what its like, we know what its about, and weve been through this last year.We just need to make sure we turn it around and play better hockey."
The Bruins arent playing their customary tight defense and have slackened the normally ideal pace of their offensive attack. The emotion has been drained from their game, and the won-loss results have sunk into mediocrity.

"A lot of it is just our focus," said Marchand. "Were having little mental breakdowns that are costing us goals and opportunities. Theyre just little letdowns that are uncharacteristic of us. We have to just clean up some areas.
The Bruins know they must get that focus back if they want to avoid lineuproster adjustments from the coaching staff and management. Everyone knows this group is capable of winning a Stanley Cup if everything goes right, as it did last year.But theres only so long an organization will wait if things go flat.Changes will be made, whether they're simple line changes by coach Claude Julien or deals by general manager Peter Chiarelli.
The only way the Bruins can prevent that is by winning.

They havent been receiving full efforts from the entire 20-man roster over the last 10 games. Work ethic normally isnt a problem for the Bruins, as they so strongly proved in November and December, but it has been lately. And the players sounded embarrassed by their effort after getting shut down by the Hurricanes Thursday night in an inconsistent effort.
That embarrassment was replaced by determination during Fridays practice at Ristuccia Arena.

We all recognize the problem," said Patrice Bergeron. "We know its not going to happen overnight. We need to work through it. We need to make sure we keep working hard, but we need to work smart. We cant just go through the motions and expect that things are going to turn around.

Its obvious when you look at October and the last few games weve played and then look at how we played in November and December that there is a way we need to play and want to play. To get back to that level, we need to make sure we go back to the identity and the foundation that makes up our personality.

If hard work and a defensive mindset serve as that personality, then the Bruins have been grappling with an identity crisis over the last two weeks.
It's time for them to get their identity back.

Andrelton Simmons slugs Angels to 7-3 win over Red Sox


Andrelton Simmons slugs Angels to 7-3 win over Red Sox

Andrelton Simmons drove in three runs, including a go-ahead two-run homer, Albert Pujols went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and the Los Angeles Angels rallied for a 7-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.

Simmons hit his 10th homer of the season to left and put the Angels ahead 4-3 in the third inning after falling behind early. Pujols doubled to score Yunel Escobar and Mike Trout to start the four-run outburst.

Pujols became the 26th player to score 1,700 runs when he touched home plate after Simmons went deep. Pujols joins Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez and Willie Mays in amassing at least 600 home runs and 1,700 runs.

JC Ramirez (9-8) recorded his second win at home in 11 starts, striking out six while allowing one earned run and five hits in six innings.

David Price (5-3) gave up five earned runs and seven hits in five innings, allowing more than three earned runs for only the second time this year.

The Red Sox got off to another fast start after scoring five runs in the first inning on Friday. Hanley Ramirez had an RBI single to start the game, and the Red Sox got two runs in the second after the Angels' franchise-record streak of 14 games without an error ended when Ramirez couldn't make the catch to complete a double play while covering first. Mookie Betts hit his 31st double to knock in a run and then was driven in by Andrew Benintendi for a 3-0 lead.

However, the Angels were able to respond after dropping the series opener. They added two runs in the fifth when Simmons singled, again bringing home Pujols, and he scored on a throwing error by shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

Trout picked up an RBI in the sixth, giving him five in seven games this home stand.


Red Sox: INF Josh Rutledge (concussion) is likely to come off the disabled list on Monday. . Mitch Moreland was in the starting lineup at DH for the first time this season.

Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (strained oblique) pitched four innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Salt Lake, giving up three earned runs and six hits.


Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (4-12, 4.60 ERA) has just one win in his last 10 starts, but it came against the Angels last month. Porcello has allowed two earned runs in 14 innings over his last two starts, striking out 13 without allowing a walk in that span, and still took the loss in both outings.

Angels: RHP Parker Bridwell (3-1, 3.18 ERA) went a career-high 6 2/3 innings to pick up the win against the Red Sox last month. Bridwell has held opponents to two earned runs or fewer in five of his last six starts.


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Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury help Revolution beat Galaxy 4-3


Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury help Revolution beat Galaxy 4-3

Teal Bunbury scored twice, Diego Fagundez had three assists and the New England Revolution beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-3 on Saturday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

Bunbury gave New England (6-9-5) a 3-2 lead in the 70th. His pass down the right side led Kelyn Rowe, who played a perfect cross to a charging Bunbury for a header from the top of the 6-yard box.

Lee Nguyen opened the scoring for Revolution in the 16th, but Daniel Steres tied it in the 22nd. Kei Kamara put New England back on top going into halftime, and Steres made it 2-2 in the 53rd minute.

Bunbury's second goal put New England up 4-2 in the 73rd and Ariel Lassiter added a goal for the Galaxy in the 79th.

Los Angeles (6-10-4) has lost five in a row and has just one win in its last eight games.