If I were a soothsayer, I would tell the Bruins to beware the Ides of March. For that is the date that the Senators (the hockey team from Ottawa, not the Roman Senate) can really make the division race interesting. The Bruins will be on a southern trip, playing Tampa Bay on Tuesday and Florida on Thursday, while Ottawa plays in Montreal on Wednesday. If the Bruins lose both games and Ottawa wins, the divisional race will be all tied up, with one game in hand for the Bruins.
The Bruins have brought this upon themselves. Inconsistent play in the crease and terrible starts have been their downfall.
Only once in the Bruins last seven games have they given up less than 3 goals in a game, a 3-1 win over Buffalo March 8th where they only gave up 20 shots. Tim Thomas has been shaky at best. Thomas’ save percentage since March 1st is .860 over the seven games. Ouch. During Sunday afternoon’s game against Pittsburgh, he was pulled after one period after giving up three goals on 10 shots, giving Marty Turco his first action in a Bruins uniform.
The Bruins gave up the first goal in their last five games, often early so that they have to climb out of a hole. Not something they want to do when they’re struggling. Here’s a small breakdown of the last five games:
- March 11th vs Pittsburgh: The Pens score 3:24 into the game, adding another at the 7:12 mark
- March 10th vs Washington: The Caps score two goals in 25 seconds, at 7:50 and 8:15 of the 1st period
- March 8th vs Buffalo: After controlling the play for much of the period, the Bruins give up the first goal of the game at the 16:39 mark of the 1st
- March 5th vs Toronto: The Leafs score just 3:01 into the game.
- March 4th vs New York: The Rangers score at the 5:05 and 6:15 mark of the 1st period
After beating the Maple Leafs and Sabres for their first back to back wins in two months, it looked like the Bruins had come out of their slump, considering how well they played against Buffalo. But they followed it with two bad losses this past weekend. Unless the Bruins get some consistency soon, they will have an early exit in the playoffs.
It starts in goal. The Bruins should start Marty Turco.