What a thoroughly disappointing game this was for the Boston Bruins against the Toronto Maple Leafs. There’s almost no other way to describe it. For most of the game, they out-shot the home team by a noticeable margin. But for most of the game, they were completely off the score sheet altogether. But then, like that student in a group work project who does absolutely nothing until the day before the project is due and then puts in some effort, they got within a goal–and lost anyway, 3-2.
Though one could count the amount of Maple Leafs shots in the first two periods using both hands and actually have one digit left over, they scored two goals on those measly nine shots while all 20 of the Bruins’ shots in the first 40 minutes produced completely nothing. At many points, it looked as if just four forwards (David Krejci and the three members of the Merlot Line) were the only players really aware that a game was even happening. Even Patrice Bergeron, the faceoff specialist, wasn’t as hot on the dot as he usually is.
As for Milan Lucic, perhaps his most noticeable move was when he did absolutely nothing to stop Mikhail Grabovski as he made his way to the Boston net to score the second of the night. In fact, Lucic politely got out of Grabovski’s way instead of getting right in it. It’s time for him to hang out in the press box for a game or two. It’s been done to other lackluster performers so far this season, so why not number 17?
Both goals this evening, scored in that hasty third-period attempt to make a comeback because playing a full 60 minutes is apparently for losers, came from the sticks of defensemen: Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference. The team also, of course, failed to capitalize on what was touted as a supremely important power play.
The fact that Anton Khudobin was eventually yanked from this game in favor of Tuukka Rask shouldn’t be read solely as an indictment of Khudobin’s ability. He’s not getting support from the team in front of him, just as the Bruins have occasionally hung Rask out to dry this season too.
So here’s the postmortem from the Bruins’ four-game road trip: three losses and a win earned by the skin of their teeth. That’s not exactly impressive. I risk sounding like a broken record when I say this, but this team has some issues and they don’t seem like they’re interested in solving them. Sure, they might come back on Monday night, return to their home ice and beat the Leafs in the second part of the half-and-half. But if they do that without addressing any of their underlying issues, they’ll find themselves right back in the losing column.
Jack Edwards has advocated for bringing good luck charms to TD Garden on Monday night–and for the players to burn their sticks and “make a Pagan fire ritual” since the good juju has apparently been sapped from them. He might actually be on to something here.