Bruins

Bruins look to get back on track on the road

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Bruins look to get back on track on the road

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

The Bruins built up the third-best road record in the Eastern Conference last season, and poured the foundation for their Stanley Cup run with a 10-day trip to Europe to begin the season.

The Bs actually struggled on their own home ice for long stretches of the regular season before catching fire late in the year, and some of their finest moments came together in rinks not named TD Garden. So with that in mind, Boston will lick their wounds at a Tuesday morning practice at Ristuccia Arena, and then set off for a two-game road trip that will take the Bruins through Carolina and Chicago.

We need to be together as a team and go out there on the road, said Patrice Bergeron. We can't panic right now. Yeah, we have to be better and, yeah, we have to expect the best out of every team.

It's a real challenge, so we have to go into Carolina and have our heads up. We need more. We need to be better.

The trip will span six days and give the Bruins a chance to get out of dodge after managing only win in their first three home games of the year, and totaled only a single goal in the two losses while getting inundated with Stanley Cup hoopla.

Both the Hurricanes and Blackhawks are expected to have playoff-caliber teams this season, so they wont be easy games for the Black and Gold. But perhaps thats a good thing after the Bs players failed to properly wake up against the lowly Colorado Avalanche Monday afternoon at the Garden.

I dont think going on the road is going to hurt, but at the same time I really think its more about our approach to the game thats going to make a difference, Claude Julien said. Now whether that helps getting away to get us focused and being in the hotels, being around each other and knowing the purpose of us being on the road certainly could help. As you know at home there are always more distractions.

Its important that the Bruins dont view the road as a cure all given some of the consistency issues in a pair of home games at the Garden, but the road isnt quite so cold and unforgiving at the NHL level.

The Bruins learned their first important lesson of the new season when they paid dearly for overlooking an Avalanche team at the Garden, and there should be a few more learning moments on the road over the coming week.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

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Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.