BUFFALO In the greatest piece of evidence yet that the Bruins are experiencing some serious issues, the Black and Gold skaters marched into Buffalo and suffered their worst beating of the season at the hands of the Sabres.
The Bruins were robbed of a Milan Lucic goal on a poor goalie interference call in the first period, but didnt respond at all to an aggressive, desperate Sabres bunch in a 6-0 loss at the First Niagara Center.
If the Sabres didnt get their revenge on the Bs the first time they played after the LucicRyan Miller incident, they certainly got it this time around.
For the Bruins, it marked the 11th time in their 17 losses this season that they dropped a game to a team down and out of the playoff race. That screams out focus problems against the bad teams for a Stanley Cup-level squad like the Bruins, and that was again in Buffalo.
There was serious trouble brewing when the Bs defense was burned for a couple of goals to Christian Ehrhoff and Jason Pominville in the first period, and then Tuukka Rask was yanked in the second period on a Tyler Ennis score. Milan Lucic dropped the gloves with Patrick Kaleta and Shawn Thornton fought twice attempting to keep the Bruins emotionally invested into a contest slipping away from them.
But it was all for naught by the time the villainous Patrick Kaleta beat Tim Thomas with a five-hole goal to spot the Sabres a four-goal lead heading into the third period. All that was left was for Kaleta to act up in the final minutes of the third period and draw 10-minute misconducts from Milan Lucic and Adam McQuaid during a line brawl donnybrook in front of the Boston bench.
The Bruins are now 3-4-1 in their last eight games and havent put two solid, victorious efforts together back-to-back since prior to Christmas.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply shaking my head at David Price. What a typically soft, boorish ballplayer not meant for a big market where more is expected of those wearing the Red Sox uniform.
*There are tempered expectations for rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev as he gets things going with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
*Keith Yandle believes that Dale Tallon being back in charge of the Florida Panthers is going to bring unity and solidarity to the Panthers once again.
*Kevin Shattenkirk believes that the New York Rangers are right on the cusp of challenging for a Stanley Cup title.
*Here 20 thoughts from the just-concluded Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp, where there’s some pretty strong, young talent.
*Even as the highest-paid player in the NHL, Connor McDavid is underpaid for what he brings to the table, says Ron MacLean.
*Interesting look at the Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog situation in Colorado, where both players have watched their performance fall off a bit. This is why I’d be very nervous about giving up the farm to trade for either of these players if I’m the Bruins. The jury is out on whether they’re in decline as players, or if it’s simply the mess in Colorado getting them down.
*For something completely different: What a sweet interaction between "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot and a young, emotional fan all decked out in WW gear.
Celtics fans aren’t the only ones thinking of ways Kyrie Irving could end up in Boston.
Even though it would be hard to imagine last season’s No. 2 seed in the East trading one of the best players in the league to last season’s No. 1 seed in the East, ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote Monday that the Celtics have indeed called the Cavs about the 25-year-old point guard.
Most teams, including the asset-rich Celtics, have placed the obligatory call letting Cleveland know they would like to be kept in the loop, sources say. Boston could offer Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and one of their golden picks -- Brooklyn's pick next season, or the Lakers/Kings pick they got from Philly in the Markelle Fultz deal. It's unclear if they would dangle all of that, but those picks could represent the young stud Cleveland needs. Regardless, a deal between the East's two best teams seems unlikely.
While nobody’s counting on Irving joining the Celtics, a trade of Irving elsewhere could still swing the balance in the East in Boston’s favor depending on what Cleveland gets back. Irving reportedly requested a trade from Cleveland earlier this month.