Ovechkin Contributes to Bruins’ Demise
Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals’ power play crumpled the winning aspirations of Boston Bruins at the TD Garden earlier today.
Against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday, the Bruins exploded on the offensive side of the puck while failing to gain stability on the defensive side of the puck. Claude Julien believed that his team easily let the game get away from them.
“We’re a team that expects more, and to me, we should have walked out of here with a win,” Julien said. “We had the game under control, and then we gave them that tying goal. It’s our own mistakes, even on that winning goal, not getting back quick enough. You’ve got to look at yourself and say, ‘We had the game under control with less than a minute left and we gave them that first point and gave them that second one.’”
Recovering from this 5-4 overtime loss, the Boston Bruins were hoping for a strong effort to capture a much-needed victory over a mediocre Eastern Conference squad that boasts Ovechkin, the runaway leader in 2013-14 regular season goals.
Ovechkin lived up to his scoring hype in this one, burying consecutive power play goals to provide his team with a 2-0 advantage early in the second period.
His first goal came off a one-time blast that Rask really had no chance of stopping. His next score was the product of good up-ice puck movement, and Ovi was required to put on the finishing touches, garnering a substantial NHL milestone–his 800th career point.
Without Ovechkin’s goals, the Bruins easily could’ve made this game more interesting, but you cannot place the blame for a loss on one opposing player.
Overall, the Bruins were outskated by every single one of the Capitals’ players. Rask made 27 stops and didn’t let up any cheap goals.
Boston’s defense was the central issue once again. The Caps’ forwards, Ovechkin in particular, maneuvered all over the B’s on their defensive side, either whipping around passes on the power play or stealing lazy passes for an open breakaway and five-hole finish. That’s how you know the Bruins are going to fall short of victory. They don’t have their trademark energy and aggression that sets them apart from many teams in the league, especially in their bottom lines. In the playoffs, it’s easier to notice this specific characteristic because the margin of error is slimmer, and players don’t have to deal with trudging through dozens of regular season games.
Should these two games vs. the Sabres and Capitals be viewed as a casual season stumbles?
Well, the Bruins rarely descend into losing streaks. We have to analyze how they perform against the East’s sixth place New York Rangers on Sunday. A three-game rough patch is a sign of more serious trouble.