When the Boston Bruins have lost this season, it’s typically been in a game they don’t deserve to win. They get outplayed, out-chanced and should lose.
That wasn’t the case on Friday.
The Bruins fell 5-2 to the New York Rangers on the day after Thanksgiving. After getting out to a dominant start, the Bruins couldn’t put together a full 60 minutes and eventually dropped to 10-7-0.
The Bruins completely outplayed the Rangers for most of the period. They outshot the Rangers 17-5 in the opening frame, and got on the board first thanks to a great shot by Smith.
Bouncing puck goes Smith’s way and thanks to a sub-par step-up by Jacob Trouba, Smith was all alone in the slot. He waited, waited, waited and snipe one by Igor Shesterkin.
Boston looked like it was going to have the lead heading into the break. They even got a spectacular save from Swayman to keep it a 1-0 game.
That was until a less than 10 seconds left in the period, and the Bruins just completely forgot to cover Ryan Strome in front.
Three Bruins in front of the net, not one even really a sticks-length away from Strome. After an extremely promising period, it was all for not with a 1-1 game at the end of the first 20.
The Bruins broke the 1-1 tie with an extremely pretty passing sequence from Matt Grzelcyk to Brad Marchand to Bergeron.
What vision from Grzelcyk to find Marchand down low and he one-touched it to Bergeron for the tap-in.
But the Rangers answered a bit later in the period. A shot from the point was saved by Swayman, but he kicked the rebound right to Dryden Hunt.
Doesn’t get much easier than not for Hunt. Not the best rebound given up by Swayman. We’ve seen a few of those lately out of the rookie.
Well, all was forgiven a bit later, as Swayman made his second highlight-reel save of the night minutes later, robbing Mike Zibanejad of a goal.
I mean that’s a wide open net and Swayman successfully makes the desperation save. It kept the score tied heading into the third.
In the third, Chris Kreider almost sent the hockey world into a frenzy when he came inches away from successfully completing a Michigan move.
I mean you don’t want to see the Bruins give up a goal, but if Kreider was successful, it’s hard not to admire the skill. And he’s a Boston College Eagle so that kind of gives him some credit right?
Well, the Rangers did get one past Swayman minutes later.
A few impressive plays here. What a feed from Strome to Gauthier, who makes an excellent move to kick the puck up to his stick. He then sauces one to Artemi Panarin and the Russian winger whacks the puck out of the air to give the Rangers their first lead of the night.
The dagger came with four minutes left, when Gauthier got by Jakib Zboril to create a 2 on 1 with Alexis Lafreniere. He slid it over the 2020 No. 1 pick who buried it past Swayman.
Not the best defensive play by Zboril, but it started with a turnover in the offensive zone and ended up in the back of the net.
Jacob Trouba added an empty-net goal and that sealed a 5-2 victory for the Rangers over the Bruins.
- I’m going to have more of this later in the week, but what is with this team having dominant starts, but an inability to put teams away? It happens way too often. They come out strong in the first, but only get a goal or or two and let a team hang around. It happened in this game and bit them in the butt
- Out of all the losses this year, this was probably the most frustrating. As I said in the intro, more often than not this season, the Bruins deserve to lose in their losses. Not this one. They should have put the Rangers away early and didn’t
- Not the best game from Swayman, but he also had his two best saves of the season. This game isn’t on him
- Stop me if you have heard this before – another game where Boston fails to play for a complete 60 minutes. Have they done that in a single game all season?
- Somehow it feels like Pastrnak should be shooting more. He tried a pass to Bergeron in the third that Bergeron should have put home, but didn’t, however, Pastrnak was in a grade-A spot to shoot and didn’t. It’s weird because he led the teams in shots on goal today and leads the team on the season in shots on goal – by a lot no less – yet he seems to be passing up opportunities to pull the trigger
- This Bruins team really has the feeling of being so painfully average. Not bad, but not good. They beat the teams they should, but can’t against the teams ahead of them in the standings. Not exactly a resume for a Stanley Cup run
- Nice to see Craig Smith get on the board again. 2nd of the season for him. Bruins need hime to contribute on offense
Another step back after a seemingly step forward on Wednesday. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this. It never feels like this team can string together multiple good performances, let alone wins.
We’ll see how things go on Sunday.