This game was far from pretty, folks. The Bruins managed to let themselves get down 3-0 before they even thought about waking up.
Once again, the Bruins thought going through the motions would be enough to win them a game. The problem is, the Leafs are actually a pretty good team this year. I know, surprising, but it’s the truth.
Let’s do a rundown of everything that went wrong in this game. Get comfortable, this may take a while.
Milan Lucic was plain awful in this game. I’m sure you all will get sick of me ragging on him at some point, if you aren’t already, but it’s hard not to pick on the guy when he’s playing this poorly.
Lucic had one hit in this game. One. Measly. Hit. Isn’t his job to hit people and create space for Krejci and Horton? He also didn’t have one single shot tonight. How do people expect him to score goals when he isn’t shooting? He was also horrendously out of position on a David Krejci opportunity in the second period. Instead of crashing the net for a possible rebound, he stood around in the corner and didn’t move until the play had already been blown dead. And did I mention he got caught horribly flat footed on the second Leafs goal?
Why is Matt Bartkowski in the NHL right now? He was awfully bad tonight. Here’s how I know:
Matt Bartkowski is so goddamn bad.
— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) March 24, 2013
This is one of the biggest reasons the Bruins need to make a move, and fast. When you’re down two D and you’re dressing Matt freaking Bartkowski, hockey’s equivalent of a AAAA player in baseball, you’re really asking for trouble. The second goal all started because Bartkowski made a pinch into the offensive zone. While that’s all well and good, he went in as tentative as can be. As a defenseman, when you’re pinching, either go all in or don’t go at all. hesitation leads to opportunities. Opportunities lead to goals. Just as it did for the Leafs on that chance.
Did the third line even play tonight? I saw many spurts where Ryan Spooner played very well, but Jay Pandolfo and Rich Peverley were virtually non existent. Hell, I think I saw Manti Te’o's girlfriend more than I did Pandolfo and Peverley.
The Bruins are doing far more than just slumping right now, and it’s getting to be a major problem.
On the bright side, however, the desperation and urgency the Bruins showed late in the third period worked well for them, as they managed to score two unanswered to bring it to within one, but it was too little too late.
The Bergeron line played well too, but when the merlot line is basically your second line, something is wrong. The Krejci line and the third line are just plain ineffective and awful this year, posing major problems for the B’s as they get closer and closer to the postseason.
To end on a good note, Shawn Thornton had a great bout early on with Leafs tough guy Colton Orr. I personally give Orr the edge, but I’m sure many Bruins fans would disagree with that.