I wish I could come here and tell you that I'm disappointed in the Bruins 4-3 overtime loss in New York last night, but I can't. Honestly, Boston was lucky to come away with a point because they had absolutely no business going to overtime. Boston's defense played terribly for about a period and a half before they decided to wake up and even then...yikes. Outside of Dougie Hamilton putting on his big boy pants, no one was back there and left Tuukka Rask high and dry most of the game. I mean, watch the first goal by Gaborik:
if you stop the video at 5 seconds, Gaborik has already blown past Chara and effectively has put Johnny Boychuk in a 2-on-1 situation against Nash AND Gaborik. Let that goal be a microcosm for how the Bruins defense played in this game. They were constantly getting beat, turning the puck over in high scoring areas and taking awful penalties (looking at you Quaider) to put the Bruins in situations where they had to dig themselves out of holes.
The saving grace for last night was that Tuukka stood on his head for most of the game. Here's his FIRST snow angel of the game:
Again, defensive breakdown and Brad Richards (probably the hottest scorer on the team right now) is able to slide behind Boychuk and get a fresh stab at the puck. It's a good thing Tuukka is able to basically latch on to each pipe like Spider-man and not move from the red line.
Here's the save at the end of the game:
Oof. Nash absolutely poops all over Lucic and then creates another 2-on-1 with Gaborik, but Rask once again stands on his head. He carried the team tonight, no doubt about that.
You have to tip your cap to the Rangers because they came out and played like a desperate team, which I said they would have during the preview. I didn't think, however, that the Bruins would just let the Rangers top line walk through the slot uncontested all night. It was an absolute disaster behind their blue line for about 45-50 minutes of that game.
Let's continue to break this down....
Dougie Hamilton: Hamilton was a monster tonight. First lets talk about his offensive game. His shot selection was on point because his shots were getting through to Lundqvist. Remember, the Rangers block a ton of shots (as proof when the Bruins power play would shoot directly into their opponents) but Hamilton seemed to know how to get around that. While Chara was ripping slap shots into the legs of the Rangers, Hamilton was using hesitation moves and then adjusting. It was nice to see.
He was also on the power play for about 4 and a half minutes (4:23 exact PP TOI) and made the most of his opportunity, including some excellent passing from the point. It was refreshing to see something over than the defense move the puck from side board to side board and then shoot it into someone's legs. Hamilton brought a different aspect to their PP last night and acquired his first NHL point (and 2nd star, if you care about those things).
Milan Lucic: Jesus Christ, I'm never going to live down my hate for Lucic am I? Anyway, Lucic scored his second of the season last night. He's been good so far in this young season, but DOY is going to stick with the fat theme because it's obviously pissing him off and making him play well.
He was a beast again, though the stat keeper at MSG recorded zero hits for him, which makes me furrow my brow. Zero hits last night? I don't think so.
I would show you Lucic's second goal, but NHL.com apparently didn't care enough to add it to the game highlights. ScottyHockey hooked us up with a recently uploaded Youtube video of the goal.
Nathan Horton: Man, it was so good to see Horton score last night.
I was genuinely happy for Horton when he scored last night because you know he wanted it badly. I hope this is a sign of things to come with Horton and he's officially over the concussion. He's skated well the past 3 games and has had a large amount of scoring chances. Good to see him pot one.
Tuukka Rask: Do I need to even state this? Dude was a machine.
Penalty Kill: Bruins did a lot to put themselves in a hole. Their biggest test was a 5-on-3 in the third penalty when Aaron Johnson went to the box for tripping and about a minute later Adam McQuaid went for boarding. The Bruins were able to kill off that penalty and remain perfect on the penalty kill this season.
Marian Gaborik: Dude was awesome last night. Did the Bruins defense help him out? You betcha, but you can't deny that he has the skill and the talent to make any defense look like trash. His overtime goal was fantastic. After the initial save by Rask, Gaborik had the wherewithal to locate the puck and put it behind Rask for the game winner. What can you do?
Bruins defense (minus Dougie): Holy shit. These guys were fucking HORRIBLE last night. Chara got burnt on Gaborik's first goal. Ference got burnt on Gaborik's second and third goal. Adam McQuaid looks out of shape and has taken stupid penalties since the season began. Aaron Johnson can't get out of his own way. Just thinking about their performance last night makes we want to violently throw up all over myself.
Like I mentioned throughout this whole recap, the Bruins defense left Rask out to dry on multiple occasions, the worst being overtime.
Ference coughs up the puck in the offensive zone, Gaborik grabs it and Boychuk makes a futile attempt to stop him. Drag him down, trip him, do something. Chances are Tuukka has an easier shot at making a save in a penalty shot situation then he does in a breakaway situation.
It was bad man, just bad. I'm trying to put into words just how bad the Bruins defense was but you can just watch all of the videos I posted. Rask had to make ridiculous saves to keep this a game. How Rask doesn't grab Aaron Johnson and Adam McQuaid by the fucking face and introduce them to a flying milk crate is beyond me, especially with Pyatt's goal.
Power Play: I just, I give up. Yes they scored last night, but they're still 1 for 13? 1 for 14? Not even going into it, honestly.
- Is Seguin still in Switzerland or is he home now?
- Why is Aaron Johnson not in Providence?
- How does Geoff Ward (Bruins PP "coach") still have a job?
- Does the Bruins defense go well with chipotle mayo and oven roasted turkey?