Thursday, 13 November 2014

Game Seventeen: Bruins vs. Habs


- Hard to believe how far the Bruins' defense has fallen this year. Pacioretty allowed soft access right to Rask, Hamilton feebly checking him, soft pass by Desharnais goes off Hamilton's skate and in. 4-1.

- Cue the Bruins dives. Desperate times.

- One more on Boston would be nice. Just to make it an official blowout. 

- That 4th goal awarded to Patches, his second of the game. He started strong, so it's not entirely surprising.

- Chara's return will help, but it won't fully adress the fundamental shortcomings of this Bruins defense, which hasn't looked this soft and slow in years. 

- Rubbing eyes. A powerplay goal? Sekac. Blowout status achieved.

- Admittedly, the Bruins were tired team tonight, but still an impressive win nontheless for the Habs, who followed their season-long pattern tonight to the letter. Slow first, big bounce-back second, and controlled third period. I'm not sure if any torch has yet been passed, but we may have had another glimpse tonight of two organizations headed in different competitive directions.


- Weise gets a penalty shot and buries a chance. Hope Pacioretty was watching.

- Powerplay!!! DRINK.

- Subban blasts a shot off the back of Galchenyuk's leg. At this point, Habs should just decline the powerplay.

- Powerplay!!! Find the highest bridge near you.

- Nothing. Lots of passing, the two shot attempts on Svedberg harmlessly wide. It doesn't need to be a prefect goal. Just get it somewhere around the net and drive it home. The uglier the better.

- Habs bench management has been a mess tonight. Players who need to be played are stapled to the bench. Madness.

- 4th line Beaulieu just took Matt Fraser to the cleaners. Wondering if Beaulieu was visualizing Therrien's face on Fraser's head.

- Habs have played a much better forecheck this period, and Gallagher creates the turnover at Seidenberg and Hamilton's expense to feed Eller for the go ahead goal. Poor Bruins defense especially costly on that play.

- Bergeven so far has had a night he'd probably gladly forget.

- More soft Bruins defense off the Habs rush creates plenty of open ice to allow Wiese to slide a pass to Patches, his one timer totally freezing Svedberg in the headlights. 3-1.

- Pretty much a disasterous period for Boston. Unable to keep pace, Campbell hooks. POWERPLAY!!!!

- Good lord. Plekanec with the widest of open nets, and from five feet out, he somehow misses. On the powerplay. I'm speechless.

- More goonery by Lucic, this time on Sekac. P.K. chases him down and gives him a little taste back. More, please.

- Habs owned that period. Completely owned it. Bruins defense was overwhelmed by a fierce forecheck, and Habs legs went into some otherworldly gear that forced Boston into a series of chase infractions. Net result, three well deserved goals. Really should have been four.


- Well I guess that's one way of ensuring Rask doesn't have another disasterous night at the Bell. Simply don't start him.

- So far, not exactly overwhelmed by Gonchar. Yeah, I know he's 40, but was he always this slow?

- Seems as though Therrien has Beaulieu already below Gonchar on the pecking list. Of course.

- Boston kinda pretty much totally dominating Habs, possession wise. Another terrible first period for the Habs. 17 games into the season, they haven't had a single good start to any game. Amazing.

- Habs powerplay!! AND DRINK.

- Desperate times. Subban and Markov are split up with the man advantage.

- Another man advantage, another adventure in nothingness. It's incredible how badly this unit is functioning, how little seems to be done to improve it. The coaches just stand around, shrug shoulders. How can Bergevin tolerate this?

- Habs forwards mainly playing on their heels, just standing back, not attacking, not taking any imitative. They look awful.

- 3 seconds. It took three seconds for the Bruins to score on their powerplay. That's salt in the wounds. Really deep wounds. Also, Desharnais on first line PK? Yeah, okay.

- Svedberg robs Pacioretty on a break. Max one of the few Habs players with any semblance of legs in this period.

- Bruins outshooting Habs 11-6 in the period. It was even worse than that. Habs have far too talented a roster to continually play this poorly to start their game, each and every game.


Hahaha ... the Boston Bruins.

Oh Tuukka. Poor Tuukka. You and your team got destroyed last night. To the Toronto Maple Leafs. Let's just think about that for a moment. Your team got whooped. By the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Hoo boy. Oh, the humanity!


Aw, the poor guy. But he's clearly a great Bruins fan in the making! Actually, he's pretty much nailed it down, at least emotionally.

So what's the deal with the Bruins? In a word, it's defense. It's not been very good this season. Yes, it's not helped that Boston lost their captain and arguably still their best defenseman in Zdeno Chara, who's out indefinitely with a leg injury. With Chara out, the Bruins have leaned heavily on the capable Dougie Hamilton, but he's only one guy, and he's no Chara. Other components to the Boston defense have struggled, including the slow footed Dennis Seidenberg, the relatively inexperienced Torey Krug, and the really inexperienced Joe Morrow. 

Let's cut to the chase about this - the Boston Bruins are not a particularly strong defensive team - certainly not among the League elite. It is a flaw that could very well be their undoing as the season progresses.

And then there's Tuukka Rask. 

What is going on here? The defending Vezina Trophy winner has posted a save percentage barely north of .900, which has him currently tied for 44th overall in the League among goaltenders. That's pretty far down, at least for the guy who was considered the best for his position in 2013-14.

That all said, the Bruins are facing an opponent tonight who aren't exactly setting the offensive world on fire. The Habs, ranked near the bottom of the League in overall offense (and let's not even get started about their powerplay which might be having its worst season in more half a century), might just be the defensive cure the Bruins have been trying to find the past while.

In any case, Rask will be playing against a team, in a venue that's been miserable to his career record. He, like the rest of the Boston lineup, will be hoping the Habs post another night of hapless passing, transition, powerplays and scoring. Then, and only then, will the Bruins have a pretty good chance of winning tonight.

Otherwise? May we be so bold as to suggest the Bruins suck? Because, defensively speaking, they do.

Puck drops at 7:40 EST.

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