It was Military Appreciation Night inside TD Garden, but the Boston Bruins had no intention of showing their thankfulness by actually winning. They must’ve been working off of old recon about the New York Islanders, still assuming they were an easy win and a non-playoff team despite being the exact opposite of both assumptions these days. That plus their slowness, inability to put together chances and the inexcusable lack of effort from certain members of the lineup equals a 2-1 win where the home team never held a lead and I swear that I heard quite a few boos and groans of displeasure from the home crowd.
Those noises would not be without merit. Even though there was a lot on the line tonight–a playoff berth would come from earning even a single point, the Northeast Division lead would possibly remain in Boston’s clutches and they would earn even more important points from this game–it looks like the Bruins decided that none of those things were actually important. Aimlessly, slowly skating around the ice and trying to do things but failing was a much better game modus operandi for them.
A mostly unexciting first period that had Boston controlling much of the action didn’t pay dividends for them: instead, right as it was ending, they gave up the first of Josh Bailey‘s twin goals. Thankfully, Tyler Seguin averted the shutout with a power play goal, but it was a fantastically juicy chance and really it would’ve been more surprising–in a bad way–if he hadn’t scored on it.
But down by one, this team showed no desperation and didn’t seem to care about all the big things on the line. Tuukka Rask had to carry this team on his shoulders again and Jaromir Jagr even tried to lead a reluctant horse named Milan Lucic to water, but he found out that you can’t make a horse drink. Lucic has just been unforgivably bad this year. It’s hard to even explain why, but he’s starting to look less like a valuable part of the system and more like a liability.
Yes, this team is missing Patrice Bergeron (who was in the house for this game and went to a practice today) and Brad Marchand (out with a mild concussion), but this team had issues long before those two injuries and the absences just make it worse. What’s even worse is how the Bruins seem satisfied with their effort tonight. Gregory Campbell, who has been doing rather well in a different role due to those injuries, even said the team is just trying to find chemistry in the hopes that, when 37 and 63 come back, the team will be better. Why not be good now until they come back? Considering there are just eight games left in the regular season, it behooves all Bruins to do their best in every game, no matter what, no excuses, no matter who is in the lineup and who is in the press box.
Too bad the team doesn’t seem to understand that concept.
Let’s see if they learn anything new or if a day off will do them any good when they face the Carolina Hurricanes again on April 13 at 7 p.m.