BruinsThrashers: 5 from the Second

BruinsThrashers: 5 from the Second

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and Thrashers tied at 2-2 after the first 40 minutes of play on a day the Bs can clinch the Northeast Division with one point.1)Another strange defensive zone coverage situation with the Patrice Bergeron line where the opponent takes advantage for a goal. This time its Evander Kane that takes advantage early in the second period, but you dont see the reliable, responsible Bergeron line run around like that on a regular basis.2)Mark Stuart hasnt lost any of his intimidating game after going to Atlanta. His play in Boston came rushing forward in a flashback when he leveled Tomas Kaberle in front of the Boston bench near the end of the first period with one of his signature bone-rattling hits. The Bruins might miss his toughness around the net a bit, but he was never a guy that played significant minutes in the playoffs anyway.3)Shane Hnidy looked like he was kicking some rust off in the first couple of periods played this season. He was having a few issues keeping up with bodies flying around the net, and did take a delay of game penalty when he flinged a puck into the stands under some pressure from Atlanta.4)Daniel Paille has two goals and an assist in his last five games, and is really making a strong statement that he wants to be a part of the playoff roster once the postseason gets going. The play to intercept a Zach Bogosian pass while shorthanded and fight off Dustin Byfuglien while roofing a wrist shot gives a glimpse of what Paille can do as a member of the penalty kill unit when hes going well.5)Looked like Tyler Seguin was taken off the Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly after watching them skate around for two periods without getting any production and Michael Ryder was put in his place. Thats a sign that Claude Julien is looking for goals out of that line, and thats his first experimentation with it.

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.