Alright, just like the Bruins, I am dropping the gloves. I know it’s only October and there are A LOT of games left to be played but the Bruins are doing little to inspire confidence for the rest of the season.
There have been some good notes so far, Tim Thomas hasn’t looked his age completely. Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand are turning into prominent fixtures on this offense.
But overall as a team the Bruins are doing it wrong. I don’t know if they over bought into the idea that they won by beating up opponents last year. Physicality will certainly help you win when paired with smart play and discipline, but the Bruins don’t have that discipline right now and it is oozing out with every loss.
The Bruins had not one, not two, not three but four yes four misconduct penalties last night, along with two fighting penalties among other minors totaling 17 different penalties. Captain Zdeno Chara had 4 penalties of his own. Three came from him jumping in late to a scrum and starting a fight with Carolina’s Harrison then receiving an instigator, fighting penalty and 10 minute misconduct. Chara is a great physical presence on the Bruins, I can only think of one player who matches up to him physically (John Scott) and Chara is light years ahead of Scott in actual hockey skill. He jumped in to defend 6’2 229 lb. Nathan Horton. True, there were two Hurricanes pushing Horton but Chara does not need to be the third or in this case fourth man in.
Chara’s fight can be argued as defending a teammate but punching over and through the ref to get at Harrison was a little ridiculous and then getting in the face of Cam Ward, causing Rask to skate down and get a two minute penalty of his own.
THIS is exactly how you lose focus on the game, get involved in stupid side stories and forget that the main reason you are out there is to put the puck in the net.
This is not the way the Bruins won the Cup last year… This is not the way to go about repeating that this year.
I have seen the opposite affect and know that it can be just a harmful to your team. Last year the Blackhawks were sorely missing a physical presence on their team often getting pushed around and beaten up by bigger teams and losing because of it. But the Bruins are taking this to the opposite extreme this year.
I am not claiming that the Bruins are filled with goons are that they are somehow long lost relatives of the Hanson Brothers, but when you look to be physical sometimes you forget that the purpose of the game is to put that black piece of rubber in the net. 72 penalty minutes last night! Claude Julien even received a misconduct.
When a team is struggling early in the season it isn’t unheard of for them to try to get some kind of spark going. It seems like the Bruins are trying to get that spark from physical presence, when they need to be trying to get it from their offense and especially power play and that is going to be difficult when are busy killing off penalties all night. Even when the Bruins were able to get a man advantage they couldn’t stay out of the box.
Julien mixed up the lines to try to help the Bruins refocus but it seemed that they were more focused on racking up their PIM then their goals.
Yes, the Bruins out-shot the Hurricanes 34-23, but at the end of 60 minutes looking up at the scoreboard to see a 4-1 loss, it’s difficult to feel good about your performance.
Needed to get that out there because even though you can’t make the playoffs in the first 20 games of the season you can play yourself out of them, if the Bruins don’t change their attitude and focus they may just do that.
Full Recap of the game to be posted shortly.