Bruins Play Catch-Up Once Again, Still Fall 4-3
What seemed like a hopeful game early in the first period ended in a game of catch-up for the Bruins and resulted in a 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.
Shawn Thornton set the tone about four minutes into the first period when he decided to go with Frazer McLaren. The crowd welcomed Thornton back from his suspension with a playoff-loud ovation as soon as the gloves came off.
Despite Thornton’s efforts, a buzzing atmosphere was not enough for the Bruins to take home the win. In their recent slump, the Bruins have been falling behind in games more and more.
After a back and forth first period that left the game tied at 2-2, the Leafs came out in the second period and scored two more goals. After the score became 4-2, the Bruins play declined up until the last few minutes of the third period.
“Well I think it’s hard to win in this league when you’ve got to play from behind all the time. I think that’s the biggest thing for me right now.” Coach Claude Julien said about his team’s catch-up play. “We’re not great at playing catch-up hockey. We’re a team that’s pretty good playing with the lead, and we didn’t do a good enough job of that tonight.”
Though Gregory Campbell scored late in the third to make the game 4-3, another comeback against the Leafs was not in the Bruin’s future.
Special Teams Continue to be a Weak Spot
Along with a slight slump during the midpoint of the season, the Bruin’s penalty kill and power play have been lacking as well. The lack of a power play is to be expected from the Bruins, but a dismal penalty kill is unheard of for this team.
“It’s not the system, the system that is in place has worked for years and it’s been able to put us at the top of the League.” Gregory Campbell said about the struggling penalty kill. “It’s something collectively as a group that we have to look at. Like I said, it’s not the system it’s us as players. The ones that are given that responsibility have to do the job.”
A team that is usually at the top of the league for penalty killing allowed two power play goals. The Leafs were awarded five power plays in total, another part of the game the Bruins should cleanup as soon as possible.
Out of the three power plays the Bruins were awarded they scored on none of them.
The Smith, Bergeron, Marchand Line Shined
One positive that did come out of the game was the impressive game by the Reilly Smith, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand line. Both Bergeron and Marchand had multi-point nights and were awarded a goal and an assist each.
“I think we’re starting to click a little more every game. It just seems like it’s almost a little bit of a snowball effect.” Brad Marchand spoke on his line’s performance.
“Even on the west coast trip we should’ve had a few goals that normally we’d capitalize on. It was nice to get a couple tonight, but we still need to do a little more.
Phil “The Thrill” Kessel
The crowd’s taunts were not getting to Phil Kessel who greatly helped his team to victory. Out of the 4 goals scored by the Leafs, Kessel had assists on 3 of them.
Aside from his multi-point night, his line was effective and energetic for the majority of the game. Maybe the shaky play he has been known for when he comes to Boston is finally wearing off? It has been four years since the controversial trade after all.