Bruins top line can't cash in on many opportunities

Bruins top line can't cash in on many opportunities
May 2, 2014, 7:30 am
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BOSTON - Some  nights, the puck just doesn't go your way.

Other nights, it doesn't go your way 48 times, plus the times you missed the net completely.

That would be how things shaped up for the Bruins in Thursday night's 4-3 Game 1 loss to the Canadiens in double overtime.

The B's had their chances. Over. And over. And over again. Every period they came knocking, but Carey Price simply wouldn't let them in. Not enough, anyways.

And it was the Bruins' top line - their most important line - that watched lots of those golden opportunities fall by the wayside.

Of course, there's two ways to look at it. 1: They played great! They dominated much of the attack out there, and just barely missed a few great chances, created by themselves. 2: What's wrong with these guys?! As the top line, they have to seal the deal, especially when they've got the puck bouncing around in the crease!

Well, glass-half-empty person, go back to sleep. Yes, you want to see your top line hit pay dirt when they're playing tic-tac-toe in the offensive zone, BUT . . . can you really look at how that line - and the other lines for that matter - played, and be disappointed with it?

Sure, in the first period when Milan Lucic and the top line had a chance to tie things up, you almost pulled your hair out when Torey Krug held onto the puck. But don't forget the nice pass from Lucic to David Krejci, who touched it back to Lucic before he found Krug.

In the second period, Krug found Krejci streaking down the middle of the ice with just Price to beat . . . except he couldn't beat him. Still, another great look right there.

Later that period it was Jarome Iginla's turn to look opportunity in the eye and spit in its face. His shot on the B's power play was somehow saved by Price, and the ensuing attempt on the rebound was wide right.

There were lots of moments like these in Thursday night's game. The top line combined for 11 shots and six missed shots in the loss. The Bruins came to play, but so did the Canadiens - Price, specifically.

"Losing in OT, you know I thought we dominated the game," Iginla said. "I thought even when they got onto the lead, you know we had chance after chance. They were just a little tougher going in tonight – some nights that happens. Tip your hats, goalies were very good tonight. But at the same time we had chances and on other nights they go in. No, it sucks not winning that one, but we played well and like I say I thought we controlled that game and you know, we play that way we’ll get some good results."

What Iginla is trying to say: If the Bruins continue to play how they did Thursday night, they shouldn't have a problem advancing in the series. It doesn't sound like he thinks the B's should make many or any adjustments.

"It is about wins," Iginla said. "And we didn’t get the first one. But at the same time we did a lot of things that we feel are a part of our game, and were effective, and we stay with that. We want a lot of the same things the next game, and we’ll get better results."

The Bruins were outscored in Game 1, but by no means were they outplayed. They seemed to think the same after the game. It was encouraging to see the top line of Lucic, Krejci, and Iginla pick up where they left off towards the end of the Red Wings series.

"They played well," Claude Julien said of the top line. "They’re a line that is a big line that cycles the puck well and hangs onto it and continues to do a good job, like they have all year."