BruinsOilers: 5 from the First

BruinsOilers: 5 from the First

By Joe HaggertyCSNNE.comEDMONTON, AB Here are five thoughts from the first period between the Bruins and the Oilers with the Bs leading Edmonton by a 2-1 score at the end of the first 20 minutes at Rexall Place.1) Looks like the Milan LucicNathan HortonDavid Krejci line is finishing the season in much the same fashion that they started everything out. Horton pots his 17th goal of the season and his third in the last five games after collecting one of Krejcis best passes of the season from the other side of the ice. It all started with Horton getting involved in the game and going after Edmontons Theo Peckham after he got a little rough with Krejci a few moments prior.2) Peckham is a pretty tough guy, but it looks like Horton knocked him out of the game with a strong right hand directly to the face and nose of Peckham. Tonights game is the kind of effort the Bruins have been waiting for out of Horton for quite a while.3) Brian McGrattan dealt to the Anaheim Ducks for an unknown hockey asset in return. Good deal or the Bruins as it didnt appear that McGrattan was going to be anything more than a black ace for the Bs during a playoff run.4) Good bounce back effort for the Bruins after letting the Oilers take a quick lead just a minute into the first period on an Ales Hemsky goal. This game had trap written all over it, and it appears the Bs have managed to avoid that by pulling themselves out of the early hole.5) Bruins outshot the Oilers 15-5 over the period. Guess theyre not taking the Oil all that lightly, eh?

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.

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.