BruinsRangers: 5 from the First

BruinsRangers: 5 from the First

By Joe HaggertyCSNNE.comNEW YORK CITY Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins dominating the Rangers to a 2-0 score after the first 20 minutes of play at Madison Square Garden.1) Been talking quite a bit about Daniel Paille lately, and he continues his recent strong play with another very good first period against the Rangers. The Bs came out flat against the Rangers in the first the last time out in Boston, and it appears the Bruins were determined to not let that happen again. Paille got behind the Blueshirts defense for a breakaway bid that was turned away, but he scored his third goal in the last six games when he redirected a shot pass from Johnny Boychuk to the front of the net. Doing a lot of dirty work in front of the net that the Bs will need come playoff-time, and the Bs coaching staff notices that kind of work ethic. Paille, Dennis Seidenberg and David Krejci all had three shots on net for the period.2) Milan Lucic took a puck off the head during pregame warm-ups and needed a handful of stitches before hopping out on the ice to start the game. But Lucic wouldnt be stopped from playing in the game against the Rangers, and notched an assist on Nathan Hortons goal in the first period. Hes definitely a hockey player.3) Johnny Boychuk makes a play on the Daniel Paille goal to start things out, and is another of many Bruins players to be kicking into high gear with the playoffs right around the corner. Boychuk is a plus-2 in the game and has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) along with a plus-8 in his last 10 games.4) Bruins seem to be proving a point to the Rangers tonight if they do end up playing them in the playoffs. They dominated the first period and outshot the Rags by an overwhelming 19-5 total over the first 20 minutes.5) No worry about the Bs letting up with only four games to go. They can get within two points of the Eastern Conferences top teams tonight, and they look like they want it.

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.