Boston Bruins: Still Tweaking The Blueline


The Boston Bruins will have to take a serious look at their defensive core as they prepare to take on their arch rivals tomorrow night.  The B’s made a plethora of errors in last night’s loss (Tuukka Rask‘s sub-.850 save game certainly didn’t help either).  Many of them can be laid at the feet of the blueliners. (Claude Julien should have probably played Colin Miller as well.) The errors just seemed to compound as the evening went on, and the 6-2 drubbing took the life out of the TD Garden.

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Bruins defensemen Zach Trotman(-2) and to a lesser extent Joe Morrow(-1) looked like fish out of water for the last two periods of the game.  Matt Irwin who had such a good preseason looked even more out of place on the ice tonight(and was tied with Ryan Spooner for a team worst -3 performance). Irwin looked lackadaisical with the puck at times, and the Jets capitalized on it. Andrew Ladd stole the puck from Irwin while he was behind the net, and he passed it off to Blake Wheeler, giving the Jets the lead in the second period. From that point on, the Jets didn’t look back.

I was really hoping the young defensemen would have a good game (Ok, I was hoping for something that wasn’t resembling a dumpster fire). By and large, I (and many others) were disappointed.

Still, there are some positives to be taken out of last night’s debacle.

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  • Torey Krug spent the offseason arguing for top four minutes. Out of desperation, the Bruins had no choice but to give him that chance. Torey Krug put up twenty-five minutes plus last night, and he showed the fans and the Bruins that he is the new number three defenseman for Boston.  At the moment, Krug is showing us that he can play top-two minutes right now.

    Kevan Miller‘s game wasn’t bad either. The biggest problem for the B’s was that nearly all six of their defensemen were out of their accustomed positions, and only Torey Krug seemed to rise to the challenge.

    The Bruins are seriously missing Zdeno Chara. While he was on practice for the B’s this morning, he still hasn’t been cleared by the doctors to play. Every game he’s out lessens the B’s long-term chances by an order of magnitude.

    “I mean I’ve said it before, I saw it last year when he was hurt, and how big of a beast he is out there, and obviously when he’s out we need guys to step up, and that’s about it. But yeah, he’s a great presence when he plays,” said Tuukka Rask of the B’s captain. “It’s not just [Chara] being out of the lineup. Guys are going to get hurt. We have to have guys step up, and we have to respect our game plan defensively [and] offensively, and we’ll be okay. When we don’t, these kinds of things happen.”

    This morning, the Bruins defensive pairs were the same as they were last night. The Bruins will have to lock down the fundamentals if they wish to avoid being embarrassed by the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow night.

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