Boston Bruins: Talking Points from the Canadian road trip.


Nov 13, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Boston Bruins defenseman

Dougie Hamilton

(27) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against Montreal Canadiens goalie

Carey Price

(31) during the first period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins gave up only nine goals in their five game win streak. They knew they would be facing significantly stronger opponents in both Montreal and Toronto. With the loss of David Krejci and Zdeno Chara, the Bruins lost some serious skill on their top lines. With the loss of Kevan Miller and the departure of Johnny Boychuk and Shawn Thornton, the Bruins lost players who could play serious hockey while being physically intimidating at the same time. Now, the Bruins are playing with half an AHL team on the blue line. While they worked against lesser teams in the league, it cost them dearly playing against teams with defined identities as a finesse team.

(I can’t believe I’m saying that about the Maple Leafs.)

Where are the Big Bad Bruins? To be honest, most of them are injured or traded. Gregory Campbell is usually a go for a fight, and was willing to throw down with Montreal’s Dale Weise after Weise put him in the boards early in the game. Weise got in the first hit, and like the early whistle that stopped a pair of goals against New Jersey, the refs killed the fight before Campbell could continue.  (Once again, crap call by the refs.)Weise’s playing style is akin to Shawn Thornton (Weise played only 8:50), and he ended up with a Gordie Howe hat trick, and first Star of the Night honors. (Are you missing Shawn Thornton now, Peter Chiarelli?)

In the other fight Matt Fraser received a solid punch from Nathan Beaulieu, and it sent a shaky Fraser down the tunnel. The Canadiens clearly won that fight. The Boston Bruins usually play to their identity, which is physical, defensive minded hockey.  That identity wasn’t present in either game. In both games the Bruins had strong first periods. In both games the defense became totally disintegrated in the second period, letting in seven goals in those forty minutes.

Perhaps the Bruins should call up Bobby Robins for a couple of games.

Don’t blame Svedberg for the Montreal loss. Svedberg ended up stopping 29 of 34 (,853) last night. Once again, the Bruins netminder found themselves under siege in the second period. The Canadiens out shot the Bruins by a vast 16-5 margin. Ok, you can hold him accountable for the penalty shot. You might even tag him for the second Max Pacioretty goal. The Bruins failed in their defensive zone, and it left the Bruins wide open in both games.

The Bruins blueliners are struggling. With the loss of so many defensemen, Dougie Hamilton and Dennis Seidenberg have now become the top pair for Boston. Last night, they both were a -3 in the 5-1 loss to Montreal. At times they weren’t in sync, and it caused holes that the Canadiens were easily able to exploit. Here are a few quotes from the Bruins top line.

Dennis Seidenberg – “Obviously we were way too loose. We had way too many breakdowns in the defensive zone where we were giving up shots in the slot. We didn’t help out [Svedberg] at all. We had a pretty good first period, but after that it wasn’t close to good enough.”

Dougie Hamilton – “We had a good first period, but then all of the sudden in the second it was downhill with penalties and mistakes, and that was basically game over. It’s just frustrating that we could play so hard in the first, and then let it all slip away. They were three mistakes and I have to be better. The first [goal allowed] I probably can’t go to that puck, and I got caught and misread it. The second one I need a gap. The third one I thought I had a good block out going on, but obviously it wasn’t good enough. As a whole team and as a unit we’re struggling. It’s definitely a pretty upsetting and frustrating road trip.”

The only upside to this is that Hamilton and Seidenberg were the two players who found the back of the crease for Boston.

O, Canada! The Bruins got hammered there. The Bruins were plastered by both Canadian teams on the road trip, being outscored by the Leafs and the Habs 11-2. The Bruins found themselves struggling on both sides of the ice, and even the Bergeron line found themselves being outmaneuvered by the other teams’ top lines. Patrice Bergeron‘s  line all went -3 against the Habs (and they were a colletive -5 against the Leafs). Bergeron was under 50% in the face off circle as well.

The Bruins are 10-8, and now head home to lick their wounds and push this road trip out of their heads. They next take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.