BruinsStars: 5 from the Second

BruinsStars: 5 from the Second

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins throwing a beating on the Dallas Stars while leading 4-1 at the TD Garden after the first 40 minutes of regulation.1)As one might expect after the wildest first period of the season, things got a little ragged in the second period for the Bruins and the Stars. A bevy of penalties on both sides including 10-minute misconducts for Zdeno Chara and Steve Ott for yapping at each other after a whistle. Thats a clear win for Dallas.2)Ugly hit by Daniel Paille on Raymond Sawada in the middle of the second period that earned the winger a match penalty for a head shot in a collision that was pretty clearly ruled a blind sidelateral hit by the refs. He came at him from the side, and then finished up high with a raised elbow while barely showing any interest in playing the puck. Paille is out the game, and should be facing a suspension on a hit that only NESNs Jack Edwards could love.3)Terrible goaltender interference call on Blake Wheeler that wiped out Bostons fifth goal of the night on an Adam McQuaid bomb from the right point with Wheeler providing the screen. Everything about the play was the right way to do things down to Wheeler setting up two feet outside of the crease with no goaltender contact, but the refs still made the call and wiped out a McQuaids first goal of the season.4)Tyler Seguin showed good jump early in the game, but blew a coverage that led to the Stars only goal in the second period. For that hes managed only 3:55 of ice time in a role that continues to shrink in the dog days of the NHL season.5)The Bruins are 24-0-2 when leading a game at any point by two goals. Theyre sitting very pretty with a 4-1 lead headed into the final 20 minutes against the Stars despite Dallas calming things down a bit.

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.