BruinsMaple Leafs: 5 from the Second

BruinsMaple Leafs: 5 from the Second

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and Leafs locked in a 2-2 tie at the TD Garden after the first 40 minutes of a game thats taken a back seat to the trade rumor mill.1)Tyler Seguin has 9:21 of ice time thus far in the game, and give him a lot of credit for really continuing to show just committed he is to avoiding the healthy scratch status for the time being. Seguin has been knocked down on multiple occasions while going straight to the front of the net or the lions den as some might call it during possessions in the offensive zone. Seguin got crushed by Keith Aulie before the puck had arrived near the net midway through the second period and drew an interference call that led to a power play. Seguin is really showing some progress since his two-game sit down. 2)The Bs first power play unit hasnt done much tonight, but the second unit is really threatening for more time with the way theyre producing and scrapping for goals. Brad Marchand and Gregory Campbell teamed for a power play goal at the end of the second period when Marchand was crushed right before releasing the shot. James Reimer gave up a high rebound and Gregory Campbell swatted it through for a goal. Theyre not dazzling anyone with their skill, but Campbell and Marchand are muscling pucks past goalies on the PP.3)Mark Stuart played less than two minutes in the second period after throwing around some bodies in the first period and setting up a goal. Wonder if theres a reason the Bruins curbed his ice time and minutes in the second? Hes up front and center in the Bs trade rumors, so do stay tuned.4)Mikhail Grabovski with a little frontier justice on the Bruins when he went after David Krejci in the second period. The Leafs forward was blasted behind the Boston net by a violent Zdeno Chara hit, and Grabovski was slow to get to the Toronto bench afterward. So Grabovski came in high on Krejci with a high stickglove to the head area, and was called for a high-stick as Krejci skated off checking to make sure all his teeth were intact.5)Six shots for Dion Phaneuf over the first two periods in an active game for the Leafs. Meanwhile his brother in combat, Nathan Horton, has one shot on net in 8:14 of ice time and hasnt done a whole heck of a lot.

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

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Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic.