As you all know, the Bruins had their inter-squad scrimmage between the NHL and the AHL teams. The Providence Bruins beat the Boston Bruins 7-5. It was sort of the water cooler discussion at my job today. We have a small cadre of dedicated(alright, fanatical) Bruins fans and we threw around a few things. It eventually came down to my opinion and my quote was straight forward. “Andrew the Bruins fan is not worried. Andrew the analyst however is concerned. “
Don’t get me wrong, there are some bright spots. Some of the players are back to their old form. Johnny Boychuk showed he still had skill in battles and proved his status as a crack defenseman. Brad Marchand was dancing around some of the Providence players like they were standing still, and he was one of the players that didn’t play in Europe. Other people looked like they neeeded a good slap to realize they need to step up. Lucic, was more proverbial, even though the P-squad pushed him to the ice a couple of times. McQuaid, took a more literal slap to the face. Some of the lines showed a lot of progress and look comfortable and ready. Bergy’s line (Bergeron-Marchand-Seguin)was good, as was what I’ll call the Bourque (Bourque-Kelly-Peverly)line. Chris Bourque, wearing #48, had a three point game wearing the family colors. The second line (Krejci-Horton-Lucic) were doing their thing, but I was hoping for a little more oomph. (Krejci’s unassisted goal to get the Bruins back into the game shows there is good things there.) The “Merlot Men” were solid, but I was hoping for something that suited their ‘play style’.
Then there is the goaltending. Tuukka did have me concerned. He played two good periods. Problem is, hockey is a three period game. When your back up is making better saves and showing more skill in the net then your primary…things can seem odd. Maxime Sauve (P-Bruin) had a three point game, and I’ve mentioned him in posts as being a future big Bruin. Bobby Robbins (P-Bruin) was making a case for fighting for McQuaid’s job by literally fighting McQuaid in the third period. I suspect after the game he was given one of those “Are you f**king crazy?!”(of course, I am just paraphrasing.) speeches from someone in the organization.
I think this is one of those times that Thornton really SHOULD have fought. Robbins was chirping Chara in the second period, and for a moment Chara was ready to go when Campbell and Thornton broke it up (Yea, the irony isn’t lost on me either.) Thornton should have thrown down to get himself back into the swing of things(pun intended), and maybe teach one of the AHL’s leading brawlers what a NHL beat down feels like.
Overall, I’d have to give the Bruins a “C” performance. (The “C” is factoring the lack of actual play time, and the rebuilding of the chemistry among the lines.)Bourque, Marchand, and Boychuk get my three stars of the game. As of tonight, the Bruins organization has yet to drop anyone from the provisional roster, and at the moment, it’s Chris Bourque’s job to lose on the third line. We’ll see how this all plays out on Saturday when the Bruins officially begin Operation:Rescue The Cup in their home opener against the New York Rangers.