Boston Bruins: More Jekyll-and-Hyde Hockey

Dec 20, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller (86) loses his balance in front of goalie Anton Khudobin (35) while New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (29) looks for the puck during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 20, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller (86) loses his balance in front of goalie Anton Khudobin (35) while New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (29) looks for the puck during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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With a 4-2 loss to New York Islanders, the Boston Bruins once again find themselves playing sub-par hockey against the sub-par teams in the National Hockey League.

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The Boston Bruins can be a maddening team to love at times. The team can play Olympic-caliber hockey against some of the best teams in the NHL. Then the team can turn around and play some truly abysmal hockey the next night against a team that should be an easy two points for the Black and Gold. As a B’s fan, it can be tough to watch them take the ice.

To be fair, the Bruins did have a few liabilities over their head tonight. First, they played at home. For whatever reason, the B’s are once again a better team on the road than they are at the TD Garden. Secondly, the Bruins were without the services of David Pastrnak, one of the top scorers in the league. Finally, the Bruins thought it would be a good idea to give Anton Khudobin yet another chance to prove he can handle the number two net job in Boston.

I’m not sure what empowers the Bruins to take their foot off the pedals when playing weaker teams.  They haven’t had much luck against the uglier teams this year. It could be overconfidence. It could even be misplaced faith in players who aren’t getting the job done (i,e. Khudobin).

Tonight the Bruins were man-handled by the worst team in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins decided to show up in the third period and almost made a game of it. Then, Kevan Miller got called for tripping, and Anton Khudobin let the puck get past his pads, and Anders Lee stole all the momentum in the game, and sucked all the air out of the TD Garden.

Next: Boston Bruins: No Rask, No Win

It’s a shame to see a great team not play to their potential. It’s even worse to see a team that can play well play so poorly against a team that has all but thrown away its playoff chances before the end of the first half of the season. I’m not sure what the B’s need to do to right the ship, but they need to right it to avoid more embarrassing losses like this in the future.