Welcome to Grinding Gears. Last time Angry Bruins Fan, Greg, ranted about how the Boston Bruins are screwing up Tyler Seguin's development. This week, he takes on the Bruins defense... or lack there of.
For more Greg, follow him @PezDOY.
Welcome back to another wonderful edition of Grindin' Gears with Greg. Before Detroit rolled in to town, everything was okay. Our beloved Boston Bruins would skate on to the ice, beat a few faces in, score a few goals and win some hockey games. Life was good in the "Hub of Hockey" because "Big" and "Bad" were back baby! They were kicking ass, taking names and chewing bubble gum except the concession stands were all out of gum. No one could stop the Bruins hellacious fists of fury...or so we thought.
Enter Friday night where the Detroit Red Wings laid a virtual pimp slap to the Bruins' black and gold face. I was at the game and sat in the lodge, six rows from the ice. I was surrounded by Red Wings fans. I felt like I was at Joe Louis Arena for fucks sake with all the red sitting around me. I can hold my own though. I can dish it as much as I can take it. What I can't take was the "product" the Bruins put out on the ice Friday night (6-1 loss at home to the Wings) and on Sunday afternoon (4-2 loss in Detroit).
The biggest issues with the Bruins were defense and discipline. It's staggering to see the lack of talent the Bruins have when they're not bashing people in to the boards or beating their faces in. Detroit is not a physical hockey team, especially when it comes to fighting. The Red Wings have eight fighting majors on the year while Boston had five against Montreal alone. It was disheartening to see Boston come out flat on Friday, but I wouldn't say it was unexpected. We've seen this before and it happened less than a week ago (at the time of the game). After a very emotional and physical game against the Dallas Stars, Boston played an afternoon games against the San Jose Sharks and pooped their pants, allowed San Jose to skate free and eventually lost 2-0.
What I didn't expect to see was the Bruins defense hanging Tuukka out to dry many, many times. Jesus Christ it was like holding a baby over a shark tank. There were numerous times where the defense was out of position, pinched to far in or caused a turnover that allowed Detroit to have the puck in high scoring situations.
After the jump Greg goes over three defensive lapses that bug him the most...
There were three situations that stand out in my mind that perturbed me the most.
1. The turnover at the Bruins' blue line that led to a breakaway, luckily stopped by Rask. On a night where Rask was as sharp as a mound of sand, this save was very good. The issue though, you can't give away breakaways!
2. Steve Kampfer pinched on a rush up the ice and left Chara by himself, which resulted in a two on one going the other way. I've noticed Kampfer do this alot, which begs the question as to why Julien lets him do it. If that is "his thing" then get a forward back there to balance out the ice and make it so the Bruins don't face the dreaded two on one. It is poor play and poor coaching.
3. Holstrom's power play goal was a direct miscue from the defense. It allowed Holmstrom to get the puck in front of Thomas and easily put it home to bring the score to 6-1.
These past two games really proved that the Bruins aren't ready to skate with the non-physical teams. If the Bruins can't impose their will on to a team, they can't win. When Marchand (aka Mawshmond from now on) tried to drop the gloves with Patrick Eaves on Friday night, Eaves skated away and Mawshmond took a roughing call, Chara took a lazy man's penalty (high sticking) and the 5-on-3 led to Holstrom's PPG.
The same thing happened on Sunday. The defense made mistakes, the team produced turnovers (looking at you Mawshmond) that directly led to goals and the team was not sharp.
Personally, I'm glad that the Bruins had this little stretch with Detroit because its time to bring the club (and the fans) down from Cloud 9 and take a realistic look at their team. They have holes and major ones at that. Friday's debacle proved that the Bruins need a defenseman who can move the puck out of their zone. As well as Steve Kampfer does it, he can't be the only one. Also, kudos to Claude Julien for sitting Kampfer down. The Bruins needed Stuart's physical play on Sunday (and could also be a trade bait move).
Boston's not ready for a Cup run -- plain and simple. They still need a center and they need a PMD (puck moving defenseman). Now, why couldn't Boston go after Mike Fisher? They currently have two first round picks (Toronto's pick and their own pick) and two second round picks (Minnesota's pick and their own). They can fit his contract under the cap this year (Savard's LTIR money), next year (Ryder's $4M comes of the books) and n 2012-2013 when his contract expires, the Bruins will have enough contracts off the books to make it fit. He would've fit well in Boston's system.
- Random Thoughts -
- I'm glad such a reputable broadcasting company like NBC gets to cover hockey games. On Sunday, the wonderful people of NBC butchered Brad Marchand's name throughout the entire game. I hope Todd, Chad and Andrew Marchand were happy they were mentioned on tv.
- I didn't mind the Chara shift clock. It wasn't annoying or over the top and provided some information on the guy's ice time. He logs a shit load of minutes a game.
- Tim Thomas is still the best goalie in the NHL.
Peace, I'm outta here!