It was turnovers a go-go in last night’s game at the Wells Fargo Center. It was probably one of the worst technical performances of the season as the Flyers easily dispatched the Bruins 5-2. The Bruins can be thankful that Martin Brodeur made life difficult for the Montreal Canadiens. The Devils 3-2 win means the Bruins are somehow still atop the Northeast Division even after dropping four of their last five games. The only good thing that can be said is that the Flyers did put on an impressive and thoughtful “Boston Strong” pre-game presentation for the fans and the Bruins.
The long night started early when David Krejci attempted to send a long pass down the ice for Boston. Unfortunately, that pass went straight to the stick of Scott Hartnell who got it in past Khudobin for a 1-0 lead just 1:40 into the game. The Bruins did come back charging though. Wade Redden was able to tie it up three minutes later thanks to the assistance of Jaromir Jagr. (It was Redden’s first goal as a Bruin.) The majority of the first period showed an aggressive Boston team that just couldn’t keep the momentum going into the later periods.
The last time the Boston Bruins gave up two goals in seven seconds was November 30, 1987. On that day, most of the current Boston roster had never been on skates. Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton (who is probably thankful he was a healthy scratch tonight) weren’t even born. The second of those goals wasn’t so much an Oliver Lauridsen goal as much as it was a Zdeno Chara one. “It was just a dump-in and a lucky bounce but it’s my first NHL goal so I’ll take it.” said Lauridsen after the game.
The Flyers kept on the offensive in the third period with a goal by Jacob Voracek pushing the Flyers even further out ahead with a 4-1 lead. David Krejci did come up with some fantastic puck work a few minutes later to get himself an unassisted goal three minutes later though. For a moment, the Bruins were only down by two, and seemed like they were going to try to make a fight of it. Sadly, the Flyers came back with another goal just thirteen seconds after Krejci shot. After that, the Bruins just seemed resigned to wait for the buzzer.
Bruins’ goaltender Anton Khudobin suffered a mini meltdown after the ‘Lauridsen’ goal and was pulled for Tuukka Rask. Khudobin had allowed three goals on seventeen shots, and was clearly frustrated by the lack of support he had been given by his fellow Bruins. Tuukka himself let in two goals on only thirteen shots on goal.
The Bruins have three games left before the start of the post season. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but maybe it’s best for the team to lose the last Northeast Division title in the NHL to the Montreal Canadiens. We’ve been hoping to see a hungry Bruins squad that wants to fight for a deep playoff run. What we’ve seen was a team that either ran out of gas, or just fell apart due to defensive breakdowns. What scares me is that it looked like the Bruins just quit after that Simon Gagne goal in the third. Maybe a Bruins team that ends up as the fourth seed will use the humiliation of letting themselves lose to Montreal as fuel to get their B’s in gear.
I know we experienced a series of tragedies this last week. I know the Bruins had friends who were affected by all this. I would love the Bruins to take all that anger and confusion and use it as motivation. The Black and Gold will need to be motivated unless they wish to repeat their ‘one and done’ performance of last year. On paper, the talent we have on the roster exceeds the 2011 squad. That squad had courage and heart to burn though. I truly hope they find their fire soon. They play again at home tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.