Haggerty: Bruins find nothing positive in performance


Haggerty: Bruins find nothing positive in performance

By Joe Haggerty

BOSTON If the Bruins wanted to look more like they were chasing the Red Wings around for autographs rather than attempting to play the game of hockey, then they accomplished their goal.

The Bs captured the triple crown of crap in a bogus, effortless 6-1 loss to the legendary Red Wings at TD Garden, and showed exactly why they dont play too many Friday night games at home.

They couldnt score with the puck. They couldnt take the puck away from the fleet, finesse group of Red Wings players. They couldnt keep the Red Wings from putting pucks into their own net.

When all three of those things are going on for a hockey team, thats a sign that dead hockey team skating has taken the ice and thats exactly what the Bruins were on this night.

Well I think you can see tonight they just outplayed us, admitted David Krejci after the loss without any attempt to pretty up the pig of a game they just played. They were just playing another level of hockey today and we just couldnt keep up with them.

But we played bad. Its not like we played good and they just outplayed us. If we play our game, like weve played in the last couple weeks, but we didnt.

Its pretty easy to start counting the ways on this dog of a hockey game, and it all started with Tuukka Rask between the pipes. The Finnish goalie was pulled from a loss to the Buffalo Sabres on New Years Day that didnt seem deserved at the time, and still doesnt upon further review.

But Rask allowed a soft goal to his short side off the stick of Todd Bertuzzi just 70 seconds into the game, and that was symbolic of the impotent brand of hockey that was going to follow.

Rask saw defensive breakdowns in front of him as the Wings simply played keep away from the Bs defenders in their puck possession style, and he also had three different goals hed certainly like to have another crack at stopping.

In all, Rask allowed five goals on 19 shots, and was all kinds of ready to move on after the defeat that dropped him to 5-11-1 on the season.

They come and first two shots are goals, said Rask flatly. Thats something that should never happen when you think about it as a goalie.

Im not going to start analyzing whether I should have been pulled. I thought I deserved to get pulled. I didnt play to my level today.

Rask wasnt the only one, however. There were plenty of Bruins that didnt play to their level.

The normally excellent, grinding line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi couldnt get their tired legs up to speed, and watched as the Detroit Red Wings simply played games with them all night while skating circles around them. The trio finished with a very uncharacteristic minus-9 and had no answers for the Daniel Cleary, Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg line that scored at will against the Black and Gold.

Marchand seemed to understand just how badly his line was performing on the night, and attempted to drop the gloves with a completely disinterested Patrick Eaves in the third period but by then it was way too late and the Bs couldnt even make a third period statement toward their game Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.

It seemed to everyone watching that the Red Wings dictated their finesse, puck control and power play style of play to perfection against the Bruins, but credit the team leaders with acknowledging that they never even got started against the Winged Wheels.

It was obvious, and it was admitted.

They played their game, but we werent even close to half of what we could play, said Bergeron. Yes, they played well but we beat ourselves as well. Like I said, we were watching the whole game.

Several Bruins players have in the past admitted that the best approach to counteracting Bostons size, strength and toughness is to simply let them sleep and not do anything to stir them up and thats exactly what the least controversial team in the NHL did with a no fight, no frills dissection of the Bruins.

For the Bs to taste success in Detroit they quite simply need to wake up, hit a few people, separate a few players from pucks and make things a lot more uncomfortable for big hockey names like Zetterberg, Lidstrom and Holmstrom that tore them apart on their own home ice.

Itll be interesting. Interesting to see how we respond, said Tim Thomas. Weve always responded well in the past to these types of challenges. Id imagine Sunday were looking to get a modicum of respect back, from the Red Wings, too.

Probably the way we played tonight, they dont have too high of an opinion of our game either.

Thomas is right that the Bruins have responded more often that not to these kinds of situations this season, and responded with vigor.

That will have to be the case again Sunday afternoon in Detroit before a national audience on NBC, or they could undo a lot of good things the Bs have cobbled together over the last six weeks.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff


McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.