Boston Bruins Need To Be Better Than Average This Season


Boston Bruins Need To Be Better Than Average This Season If They Want To Make a Playoff Run

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins lost their first game since November 17th to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night on the road. The Bruins entered the game riding a five-game win streak which was one short of their longest run of consecutive wins since March of 2014 when they won 12 straight games. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers had just returned from a very unsuccessful Eastern Conference road trip which resulted in a 1-3-1 record. In their final two games of that road trip, the Oilers totaled only two goals total; two against the Carolina Hurricanes, and a shutout loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs. “We weren’t at all pleased with how our road trip ended in Toronto,” said Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan. “To come back and play and engage in a game against a big, physical team, was something we needed.”

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While the Oilers needed a win to put their poor road trip behind them, the Bruins needed to continue their winning ways to justify to both the fans and to themselves that they were finally getting head coach Claude Julien’s message of consistency. It isn’t uncommon for a good team to lose to a bad team in the NHL, but the Bruins certainly didn’t do themselves any favors starting the road trip with a loss. “We didn’t have our best game. We need to be better,” said Zdeno Chara. “We certainly need to work much harder, and win more battles and races. We just weren’t doing that.” 

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  • When asked about his thoughts on the Bruins game, Claude Julien didn’t mince words. “Very average…I think we were very average tonight,” he said. “I think our skating game was there, but we didn’t play a real hard game tonight. That’s what we needed to go. We needed to skate and we needed to play hard against this team, and we chose instead to play a little more of their type of game.” The Bruins gave up the first goal of the game while on the power play with Mark Letestu scoring his third goal of the season with the assists coming from Matt Hendricks and Andrej Sekera. This marked the first shorthanded goal against for the Bruins in the 2015-16 season. During another power play opportunity for Boston, the team almost gave up another short handed goal when Hendricks once again getting a break down the ice. The Bruins power play has struggled as of late and that trend didn’t change against the Oilers with the Bruins going 0-for-2 with the man advantage. The Bruins penalty kill has been trending upwards, however, and the team killed off all five of their penalties against in the game, including one occurring in the final 1:06 of overtime.

    “We were going up and down, and there were a lot of chances being made. But we were also trading them off, and that’s not the way that we play. I thought when we tied the game at 2-2 in the last five minutes we all of a sudden started playing our game. Had we played that game the whole way then we probably would have a better result.” The Bruins did manage to salvage a point in the game, but Zdeno Chara made it clear that one point isn’t enough in a game like this where they could have realistically played a more complete game and captured two points. “We got a point out of it, but I think we have to realize that if we keep playing like this, it’s just a matter of time before we’re going to burn ourselves,”

    The Bruins can relish in the fact that Tuukka Rask was outstanding with a 34 save outing. With multiple big saves in the game, the Bruins were able to hold the Oilers to only two goals against. With the Bruins falling flat in this game, it was crucial for Rask to step up in a big way and he did.

    Follow Brandon Share-Cohen on Twitter @BShareCohen to discuss all things Bruins and sports

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