BruinsCanucks: 5 from the First

BruinsCanucks: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comVANCOUVER Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena after the first 20 minutes of action.1)The first period felt very much like a pair of heavyweight hockey teams feeling each other out rather than making a strong move. The shots were 8-7 in favor of the Canucks with a few hard hits thrown by the Canucks at the Bs for good measure. Jannik Hansen decked Mark Recchi right at the end of the first period, and that was a pretty good indicator of what went down for the majority of time.2)The only downside of Tomas Kaberles game with the Bruins was in evidence as the Vancouver Canucks pounced all over the front of the net for their only goal of the period. Tomas Kaberle was nowhere near the front of the net as rebounds were being battled for and both Raffi Torres and Manny Malhotra outnumbered Dennis Seidenberg in front of Tim Thomas. Kaberle tackling Torres after Malhotra had already put the puck in the net is a late on the draw, dont you think?3)Strange to Tomas Kaberle take a bevy of shots from the right point on Bostons power play early in the game. Scouting report is that he does the exact opposite most of the time, so not sure why they wouldnt work to get Zdeno Chara his one-timers. Stay turned to that one as Kaberle was badly off the mark with his shots.4)The Bruins had seven shots, but only one really good scoring chance on the PP. David Krejci and Milan Lucic used a little interior passing to get Nathan Horton a chance right by the left post, but Horton couldnt lift the puck over Roberto Luongos pads. Missing great chances like that can bite you against a good squad like the Canucks.5)A shot on net and a couple of hits for Johnny Boychuk in the first period. Id expect to see his game go up a notch or two now that Shane Hnidy is being thrown into the mix going forward. Love the signing of Hnidy, by the way: theres no downside to picking up a gritty blueliner with playoff experience and influence in the Boston dressing room and for roughly the league veteran minimum at that.

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

BOSTON – The Bruins didn’t show anything on the ice in Monday afternoon’s 4-0 matinee loss, and that’s not really any kind of an overstatement.

The scoring chances were almost nonexistent despite 32 shots on net, the second period was dreadful as the Bruins gave up three goals over the course of a six minute span and there was zero added urgency in the third period once the B’s fell behind. The emotion was missing from the drop of the puck to open the game and it never showed up once the Islanders began taking control of the game.

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It was a bitterly disappointing result after the Black and Gold had played so well in their previous five games, and put in strong, winning efforts against the Panthers, Blues and Flyers.

On Monday afternoon, the passes were sloppy and errant all over the ice, there was zero physicality and the Bruins buckled once the Isles turned the intensity up just a little bit in the second period. The game was basically over once Nikolay Kulemin snapped one home wide open from the slot area with Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid and David Krejci all blowing their defensive assignments, and then Tuukka Rask followed it up by allowing a softie to Josh Bailey from a bad angle close to net.  

So Bruins head coach Claude Julien termed it a “flat” performance once it was all over with, and openly wondered whether it was fatigue-related result linked to the compacted schedule Boston has played through this season. Monday marked the seventh straight day that the Bruins held some kind of formal skate, though most of the veteran B's players stayed off the ice during last week's Wednesday off-day practice in Nashville.   

“We were flat tonight, obviously, flat from the get-go. I think that first half of the game, we didn’t give much until they scored that first goal. We were able to stay in, but we certainly weren’t generating much ourselves, from that point of view,” said Claude Julien. “His is really the first year, for me as well, going through a condensed schedule, and I’m certainly not using that as an excuse, is it fatigue?. . . But we were flat tonight. How do you explain it? I don’t know. I know that it’s frustrating. I know that it’s disappointing. That’s all I can say.

“Whether it’s mental fatigue, whatever it is. We made some mistakes tonight like, from the goals you look at, we weren’t even in the position that we’re normally in. So we were totally out of whack, as far as even defending. When you give that first goal that much room in the middle of the ice, your D’s go on the wrong side, your weak-side forward is way on the other side, and you open up the slot area, that’s something I haven’t seen much of this year. I think it said a lot from our game tonight.”

The compacted schedule certainly could be a factor for a Bruins team that’s played more games than anybody else in the Eastern Conference to this point, but the B’s also had 48 hours to recharge after winning a Saturday matinee over the Flyers. So the fatigue excuse seems a little far-fetched for a hockey club that’s no-showed a few too many times this season, and did it again on Monday afternoon against one of the worst teams in the NHL.