Boston Bruins at San Jose: The Good, Bad and Ugly


Dec 4, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) takes a shot in front of Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) in the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY

“It’s about being desperate and finding a way. It was far from being good enough, and very disappointing tonight.” – Patrice Bergeron

The Boston Bruins were hoping to turn things around in San Jose and convert their success in practice to last night’s game. As we’ve seen often throughout this road trip, the Bruins had a strong opening period that had them besting the Sharks 2-0 within the first three minutes of the frame.  Though yet again the Bruins began to slip in the second frame and were never able to recover, losing by a final score of 7-4.

Strong Start.  Reilly Smith was able to snap his scoreless streak as he teamed up with some tic-tac-toe passing with Marchand and Bergeron to beat Antti Niemi in the first 29 seconds of the game. Roughly two minutes after that Daniel Paille was able to capitalize in the neutral zone after Justin Braun was unable to make a play off of the boards. Paille was able to dance around the Sharks defense and make a slick pass over to Campbell who put the puck behind Niemi for the 2-0 lead. “It was good getting a lead, and we were happy about that,” Bergeron said. “But it seemed like halfway through that first period everything started going in a negative way. It was a poor effort after that first 10 minutes, an upsetting effort.”

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  • Sloppy Seconds. Despite heading into the second period with a 2-0 lead against the Sharks, the Bruins were outscored 4-2 through the middle frame and outshot 24-7. Their first three goals coming in the first 7:30 of the frame. This has been one of the biggest areas of struggle for the Bruins all season long, a sloppy second period. Their lead was cut just 27 seconds into the frame when Tommy Wingels re-directed a shot past Rask. Instead of coming out ready to dominate in the second, the Bruins acted as if it would be easy street against the Sharks, a team also in desperate need of turning things around. Through the middle frame the Bruins were able to keep things tied up, but were clearly at a lost cause and hanging by a thread.

    PBR Line. The Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith line was reunited at the SAP last night and for good reason as they combined for three of the Bruins four goals on the night. Reilly Smith was able to snap his ten-game scoreless streak and net two goals on the night, tying for the team lead with 6 on the season with linemate Brad Marchand.  Collectively they were able to put 8 shots on net and leave with a pair of goals and four assists (two each to Bergeron and Marchand).

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    All Offense, No Defense. Prior to tonight’s game the theme for the Bruins on this California trip had been all defense, no offense. Against the Sharks the offense brought everything they had to the table while the defense dissipated. Dougie Hamilton finished the night with a -2 after being on the ice for a total of 18:55.  He was on the ice for four of San Jose’s goals, including the Sharks insurance goal from Joe Pavelski. Three of the four goals the Sharks scored in the second period came off of deflections and tips out in front, a result of soft defense. Rather than stepping up and trying to make a difference they sat back and left the job up to Rask who did a good job containing difficult shots against Joe Thornton and Pavelski, but got eaten alive by a hungry Sharks roster in the third.

    The month of December isn’t getting off to a very good start as the Bruins are now 0-3 and 0-4-1 for their last five meetings. They now head to Arizona to take on the Coyotes with a hope of leaving the disappointments in California.