Boston Bruins: A Nightmare On Causeway Street


By the time I had stepped outside the doors of TD Garden last night, the only feeling I had was waking up from a nightmare that would never end. What I’m talking about of course is the Boston Bruins inability to do virtually anything right against the Montreal Canadiens and strengthening the argument that these Bruins could be in for inevitable failure come April.

Although the final score of the game was 2-1 and a lot of the statistics such as hits, shots, and face-offs were close; but anyone watching this game could easily see this game was a mismatch from the get go. Montreal dictated the tempo from the first face-off and coupled with the Hart trophy caliber winning play of Carey Price, Boston never seemed able to sustain any real momentum in the offensive end.

David Pastrnak may have breathed life into the Garden with his commitment to playing around the net and breaking Price’s shutout streak, however looking further into that statistic and seeing the fact that before Pastrnak’s tally the Bruins had not scored for nearly eight periods against Price demonstrates the dominance he possesses over this team.

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Price’s dominance is a pill I can swallow though for now, the more disheartening piece I took away from last night’s game was the Bruins once again coming out of their shells. Only this time it wasn’t Milan Lucic threatening someone’s life; rather it was egregious errors from Zdeno Chara who seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time more than once and Daniel Paille adding more fuel to the belief the Bruins can’t maintain a breakaway to save their lives.

Heading into this game, there was a lot of speculation on whether or not Claude Julien would give Malcolm Subban his first start in net but in the end Tuukka Rask was selected to see if he could find a way to change the story of what has been his much talked about struggles against the Canadiens. After last night’s game, it would be hard pressed for someone to pin that loss on the play of Rask.

“Not good enough,” Julien said of Boston’s lackluster effort. “We lost too many battles and you can’t beat a team like that if you’re not going to win your battles, which is what we should be good at. When we did push our game on them in spurts, we were getting some success, but if you can’t sustain it you’re not going to get the results.”

I’ve pointed out the Bruins faults on an individual level, however the biggest issue across the board was once against the Bruins lack of physicality and toughness. Claude Julien pointed out the Bruins inability to win puck battles in his post game press conference last night. It would have been one thing if Montreal had been skating circles but there were plenty of opportunities for Boston to crash the boards and make them pay each and every time they touched the puck.

One of the skills that allowed the Bruins to conquer the Canadiens in years past was their ability to sustain a gritty and nasty tone while staying composed. Well that team has seemingly disappeared and while a trade could improve their position in the standings, this whole team is going to have a long look in the mirror because it’s their missing identity that will continue to plague them against the Canadiens this April.