BruinsIslanders: 5 from the First

BruinsIslanders: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comUNIONDALE, N.Y. Here are five thoughts from the first period of BruinsIslanders at Nassau Coliseum with the Bs leading the Isles by a 3-0 score.1)Mark Stuart was a healthy scratch tonight after playing pretty well in the last two games for the Bruins. Have to think that hes being held back because the Bruins are close to working out a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks for the Bs defenseman. Likely that Stuart would only net the Bs a draft pick in return, but its been clear for a while that the Blackhawks have been looking for a solid stay-at-home, penalty-killing defenseman, and Stuart fits that bill.2)Adam McQuaid played exactly 39 seconds of ice time in the first period and appeared to catch a punch right to the eye from Zenon Konopka that immediately swelled his eye up as he headed to the penalty box. McQuaid wasnt seen again on the ice after the fight, and there appears to be some question as to whether hell return in the game.3)Bruins outshooting the Islanders by a 15-4 margin, and it appears that the game plan against rookie goalie Nathan Lawson was to simply throw as many pucks as possible at the first-year goalie. Weird bounces and lots of real estate in the net to work with for a young goalie thats scrambling all over the crease, and the Bs are taking full advantage.4)Really good energy early in this game from Blake Wheeler, who managed to convert a Tyler Seguin pass for his 11th goal of the season and has showed some signs of putting things together again for the Bruins. Just in time to pump up Wheelers trade value a little bit as the Bs look to shed some salary.5)Good bounce back effort from the Bruins tonight with goals from three different lines (Paille, Wheeler, Recchi) and a rare strong team offensive performance from the Bruins with Tuukka Rask in between the pipes. There have been too few times Rask has been able to relax and simply stop the puck with a comfortable lead, but this looks like one of those nights.

Bruins admit they 'just weren't ready' to play Isles in shutout loss

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Bruins admit they 'just weren't ready' to play Isles in shutout loss

BOSTON – The Bruins are starting to run out of adjectives and descriptors for these “no-show” performances on home ice.

The Bruins made it twice in two months that they’ve dropped a disappointing dud to one of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams when they came out flat, and never showed any signs of life in a 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders. The lack of effort and pitiful results were particularly disappointing coming off a solid five game stretch where they’d engineered high effort wins over Florida, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

Patrice Bergeron finished a minus-3 on the afternoon, and said in quasi-disgust that he knew five minutes into the game that his team didn’t have “it” on Monday.

“Something that we talked [headed into Monday was] about building from the last few weeks, and how good it felt around the room, I guess, with winning games basically,” said Bergeron. “[The shutout loss] just shows that you have to show up every night and not take things for granted. I think we did [take things for granted] this afternoon.

“It was about finding someone to get us a shift to get us going basically. We had a few good shifts there, and we sustained a little bit of pressure there. But then we just couldn’t keep that for the next lines after going, we couldn’t sustain that or build from that. It was really the whole team throughout the lineup that didn’t show up and, you know, it’s obviously inexcusable, unacceptable.”

Claude Julien mentioned the compacted schedule and potential fatigue playing into the Bruins looking “flat” on Monday against the Islanders, and perhaps that is partially to blame for an uncharacteristically lifeless performance from the Black and Gold. But the B’s essentially did nothing for 60 minutes after not having played for 48 hours dating back to a Saturday afternoon matinee win over the Flyers, so the fatigue excuse is difficult to swallow.

Instead it looked like a Bruins team that thought they were going to roll out the pucks and beat the worst team in the Metro Division that had lost four-of-five games. Instead a defensive zone breakdown led to a Nikolay Kulemin goal midway through the second period, and the Bruins collapsed after that. Josh Bailey tucked a short side goal past a late-reacting Tuukka Rask for a soft serve special allowed by Boston’s ace goaltender, and Kulemin scored again in the second period once the Bruins began cheating at the offensive end of the ice.

To make matters worse, the Bruins showed zero fight or willingness to scratch and claw their way back into the game in the third period. Instead it looked like they quit on two points that could end up being extremely important at the end of the season.

It also looked like the Bruins weren’t ready to play, and that they overlooked the downtrodden Islanders for the second time in as many months.

“Maybe we took them a little lightly, but we just weren’t ready [to play],” said Brad Marchand. “We have to look ourselves in the mirror and all be a little bit better. We all have to be prepared for every game. You can’t look at the guy besides us and think he’s going to do the job. We have to take a little onus on ourselves and all be a little bit better. As a team, again, we have to play the system together and we have to back each other up. We have to play as one unit and we didn’t do that.”

It’s long past the point where the words even matter that the Bruins are uttering after games like Monday afternoon. Instead it’s about results and nothing else, and the B’s were nothing short of putrid in that category against the Islanders with points at a premium this time of year.