Boston Bruins’ second straight loss to Avalanche was mostly hard to watch

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 11: Nikita Zadorov
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 11: Nikita Zadorov /

It’s pretty safe to say that the Boston Bruins will be excited to not see the Colorado Avalanche anymore this season, barring two improbable Stanley Cup playoff runs.

Let me preface this with a reminder to Boston Bruins fans:  it’s only three games into the season.  We as a collective fan base are known for (a) our passion, and (b) our ability to quickly hit the abort button and panic.  And obviously, those two things go hand in hand.

For those fans who decided to stay up for the 9:30 pm start-time of the game, the Bruins rewarded you with…not much.  The last 120 minutes of Boston Bruins hockey has been for the most part, as NBA legend Charles Barkley would put it, “turrible.”

The worst thing about it?  The past 120 minutes has been played against the Colorado Avalanche, the team that was embarrassingly bad last season and spent the entire offseason worried about what if anything would happen with Matt Duchene.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 25: Patrice Bergeron /

If it’s not clear to everyone that Patrice Bergeron is one of the most valuable players to his team after the first three games of the Bruins’ season, dust off your old spectacles grandma, it’s time for a trip to the optometrist.  However, as the old saying goes (and by old, I mean originating in 2005), Rule #76, no excuses, play like a champion…a concept the Bruins have not grasped thus far.

The 1st period

The 1st period ended up being the tale of two different 10 minute segments.  The Avalanche came out firing on all cylinders, perhaps energized by Monday’s victory and playing in front of the home crowd.  Quickly, they were out-shooting the Bruins, and their shots seemed to all be scoring opportunities.

After the Bruins’ killed an early Danton Heinen penalty, Matt Beleskey, possibly sensing that his team needed a bit of a spark, decided to throw down with Mark Barberio in a fairly spirited bout.  Well, a spark was lit…for the Avalanche.  Less than two minutes later, Alexander Kerfoot scored his first career NHL goal off a deflection of a Tyson Barrie shot, giving the Avs an early lead.

Boston Bruins
DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 11: Brad Marchand /

The ice then decided to tilt the other direction for the remainder of the period.  The Bruins began coming to life, sparked by some solid puck possession and individual efforts by Jake DeBrusk.  The ultimate individual effort, however, came at 17:06 of the period, when Brad Marchand turned on the jets with the puck down the right wing boards.  A perfectly placed snipe over Semyon Varlamov’s shoulder tied the game.

The 2nd period

Ugh.  Very rarely can three letters sum up 20 minutes of hockey.  I could use a four letter word, but I prefer to keep my content rated PG.  This period was a consistent parade of people wearing Black & Gold to the penalty box.  The Bruins committed 4 minor penalties in the period.

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The home fans were then treated to nearly 2 minutes of zone time for the Avs on their power plays, whereas the Bruins on their own power plays could barely get a shot off and allowed multiple shorthanded scoring chances.

The Avalanche’s scoring continued in the 2nd with goals from Nail Yakupov, Sven Andrighetto (on one of the aforementioned Avs power plays), and Matt Duchene.  Yakupov’s goal (his 3rd against the Bruins in two games) was on a 2-on-1, stemming from a bad pinch in the offensive zone by Torey Krug.  Duchene’s was a bar-down snipe, aided by a strong forecheck by his linemates.

The period did feature a pretty nice heavyweight bout between Adam McQuaid and Nikita Zadorov.  McQuaid put a questionable hit on Avs forward Tyson Jost, and Colorado’s Poor-Man’s Big-Z tried to get retribution.  What he got was a beat down.  Really, the only bright spot for the Bruins.

The Bruins had brief flurries of offensive chances, but at no point did it seem like the Bruins actually intended to score.  DeBrusk and Vatrano had a good chance, and Riley Nash and Charlie McAvoy combined for a solid play.  Other than that, the team just looked aimless.  I’m sure many TVs were turned off at this point.

The 3rd period

Not exactly when fans were hoping to see it, but Anton Khudobin got his first regular season action.  He came out to replace Tuukka Rask at the start of the 3rd period.  Khudobin was peppered with rubber early during the 3rd, and held strong.  Given the back-to-backs this weekend, pencil him in for a start this weekend.

Boston Bruins
DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 11: Torey Krug /

The Bruins started to show some life during the 3rd period.  Tim Schaller buried one behind Varlamov at 11:30 of the period, with Danton Heinen recording his first NHL point with an assist.  Immediately after that, the Bruins went on yet another power play, their 4th of the game.  Torey Krug channeled his inner David Ortiz, and bats one out of the air while down low.  All of a sudden, the Avs lead was cut to 4-3.

The Bruins had a few more chances, and the Avs made Khudobin make some incredible saves.  After a late icing call against the Avs, the Bruins pulled Khudobin, which went as it normally does in the NHL.  Colorado potted two empty-net goals (Andrighetto and Jost), and won their home opener 6-3.

Next: Bruins new sox? Or socks, rather

Takeaways from the game

  • Keep calm, Bruins fans.  It’s only been three games, and three games does not a season make.  The team is still down two veteran leaders in Bergeron and Backes, and the young players are getting acclimated.  If the team can walk out of October with a .500 record, I’ll take it.
  • Anyone else wonder why Don Sweeney was so reluctant to use Brandon Carlo in a trade for Matt Duchene?  He just looks so out of sorts on the ice, and can’t clear the puck on the penalty kill to save his life.  Meanwhile, Duchene’s looking like he’s a man on a mission.
  • Yes, Tuukka allowed 4 goals tonight.  But all of those goals were not on him.  Yakupov’s was a bad pinch by Krug and poor 1-on-2 defense by McQuaid.  Duchene’s goal was bad coverage off a strong Avs forecheck.  Tuukka’s getting hung out to dry more than the sheets of a kid who drinks too much soda before bedtime.
  • The Bruins continue their road trip this weekend against the Arizona Coyotes, and the surprisingly undefeated Vegas Golden Knights.  Here’s hoping for a win or two…they need one badly.