The Boston Bruins found themselves up 3-1 midway through the second period with the hopes of being able to put this game away early. However poor defence, sloppy breakouts, and the glaring issue that is the powerplay have finally come back to bite the Bruins firmly in the ass.
Thomas Vanek completed a hat-trick to get a 5 point night and the Sabres played a much tougher and better game than the Bruins have all season and now it’s starting to become a panic button. From the beginning of this game the Bruins did not look comfortable and haven’t in the last few games. If anything can be learned so far from the last couple of games is that the Bruins cannot make a good breakout to save their lives.
From poor passing to lackluster play into the offensive zone and from bad communication on the blue line, everything went wrong for the Bruins this game and have been for the last couple. But I see those as problems that can be fixed in practice, the one problem I don’t see being able to fix however.. is what in the world happened to Tyler Seguin?
The dazzling forward forward from a year ago and the Seguin I saw playing in Europe has vanished in thin air like Yashin in Ottawa. Seriously, he hasn’t been playing to his full potential and seems to be going down the Samsonov road which is putting a lot of worry on me. For a player who last year was on a full on offence tear, seeing him be easily out muscled and out played is very frustrating. It’s obvious when 2 d-men close in on him, he should be able to put the puck between them and dazzle them left,right, and centre.. but he seems to not want to actually pull his weight and is just trying to be physical and is even lacking there. Maybe he is playing injured, which if that is the case he needs to stop and take a rest because there is plenty of depth in Providence we can use if need be (*cough* Carter Camper *cough*).
But the elephant in the room remains the powerplay. Even with Krejci and Horton out on the ice for the PP, nothing is clicking with the man advantage. If the diamond isn’t too spread out, they aren’t making clean passes and are constantly bobbling the puck around. When we do get a shot on goal we don’t make a fast enough effort to recover the puck or step up to keep it in. It seems 9 times out of 10 on the PP , Rask has to either play the puck back down or we are breaking out from our own end over and over. Whatever the problems with the PP are, they need to be sorted out now because not having that man-advantage scoring touch / insurance goal is making our even strength play even more important and if we can’t hold up even strength.. then well what do we have to go on?
But can all the blame be put on the Bruins here? Again, as it’s been this whole season across the league, the officiating was horrific in this game. Lucic’s boarding call was an obvious dive from Tyler Myers (this can be backed up by the fact he looked up at the Reff and once he knew he got the call he got up on his feet and was perfectly fine.) and there were NUMEROUS tripping and interference calls on the Bruins that weren’t called, which I don’t think would have mattered much considering the powerplay is in shambles at the moment.
Hopefully the Bruins can fix whatever happened in tonight’s game for Saturday’s match up against the Leafs. If not.. it’s gonna be a long 48 games.