I was fortunate (?) enough to be in attendance at today’s matinee tilt between the Bruins and Colorado. It was certainly not as exciting as the last game I attended (Game 6 vs. Vancouver), nor did I expect it to be. However, I do expect that a team as talented as the Bruins appear to be to show up to play and beat a team as bad as Colorado. You can tell me all day that Semyon Varlamov was great. I’d agree he played well, but then again, the Bruins did not exactly test him. A 1-0 loss to Colorado at any time is unacceptable. A few observations:
1. The first line of Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, and Dabid Krejci was invisible yet again. It has been well documented that Horton has just one shot in three games. But that’s just part of the problem, as Horton has not thrown a hit or battled in front of the net – things he does as well as anyone. Lucic has been brutal. He looked completely lost at times during today’s game, and has not played a physical style in awhile. Krejci? He just has been invisible. He disappeared at points last year, so the hope is it is just a stretch.
If I were in charge, I would shake things up for a few games. Maybe switch Lucic with Tyler Seguin, who despite being a defensive liability, looks to be a much more confident player. His speed would be a great addition to the top line, and his ability to create should provide opportunities for Horton and Krejci.
Playing with Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot, Lucic would be forced to start mixing it up again and getting back to the basics of the game: skating, hitting, shooting, working the wall, and defense. He has gotten way from those things, and those are what got him to where he is.
Oh, and to the guy sitting next to me today, the reason why Claude Julien did not put out the first line more was because they were by far the worst line on the ice all game. I would have played Sean Thornton, Daniel Paiile, and Gregory Campbell over them too – they played better and created far more scoring chances.
2. Tuukka Rask will be a good goalie in this league. He may never be a two-time Vezina winner like Tim Thomas, but there is no reason to think he cannot be a top-flight NHL goalie. Sure the goal was not a great goal, but the score could have been 3-0 within the first five minutes of the game had it not been for Rask. He gave his team an opportunity to win. Look for him to get between 32 and 37 starts this season and look good doing it.
3. Pouliot has been playing well. He isn’t doing anything dirty, but he is playing physical, forechecking hard, and playing good defense. Claude Julien is the perfect coach for a guy like Pouliot, and my hope is he can be a solid contributor this season.
4. The power play still stinks. I am not sure how to fix it, but I do know it is not good. Today, it looked apathetic at best. Peter Chiarelli may have to go out and find a guy who can snipe for the purpose of reviving the dead power play.
5. The line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and Rich Peverley looks good. Marchand appears to have sobered up from his summer of sin, and Peverley is working hard and creating chances. Bergeron,w ell, is Bergeron.
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