Talking Points: Bergeron a bright spot in Bruins' rough night
Erik Karlsson has struggled defensively at times against the Bruins over the years, but he was totally on point in Monday night’s big game against the Black and Gold. He finished with a pair of assists including the primary helper on the eventual game-winning power play blast, and was a plus-2 in 23:56 of ice time. Karlsson finished with three shots on net and eight shot attempts overall while also blocking four shots in a pretty dominant showing at both ends of the ice. Some of Karlsson’s recent efforts against the Bruins have highlighted how invested the Swedish defenseman is in the ultimate win/loss result from a team standpoint at this point in his career. He was the most dynamic player on the ice for either team on Monday night as it should be.
Brandon Carlo was one of the younger players that struggled to manage the puck and avoid the turnovers against the trapping style employed by Guy Boucher, but he wasn’t alone. Carlo finished a minus-2 with zero shots on net, and had some real difficulty at points simply getting the puck out of the B’s defensive zone. It’s too bad for the 20-year-old because he’d seemed to have stabilized his game recently after some struggles in December and January. But one could make the argument this was an isolated result for Carlo against an Ottawa team that’s been frustrating opponents all season long. The piece de resistance was Carlo struggling to keep the puck in the offensive zone with the goalie pulled in the third period right before the Alex Burrows empty netter.
The first five minutes of Monday’s game were a tire fire for the Bruins, and featured the worst start by the B’s since Bruce Cassidy took over as coach. Tuukka Rask looked shaky right out of the chute and the defense was getting pushed around and exploited by the Senators all around the front of the net. Not so surprisingly, the Senators scored a pair of goals in the first 3:25 of the first period to take control of the game, and Ottawa never trailed in the game while setting up their trapping game to frustrate the Bruins once they tried to come back in the game. There were plenty of things that happened after Ottawa’s first two goals, but the game was lost in those opening four minutes.
There were plenty of Bruins players that weren’t quite ready to play or had their rough moments against a frustrating Senators team, but Patrice Bergeron was not in either of those categories. Instead the B’s center scored the goal at the end of the first period that got the Bruins back into the game. Bergeron was all-around excellent throughout the game while trying to help push them over the top. His efforts weren’t successful when the game was over, but Bergeron finished with six shots on net, 10 shot attempts, two takeaways and 11-for-20 in the face-off circle during his 18:34 of two-way hockey ice time.
BY THE NUMBERS
15 – the number of giveaways for the Bruins against the frustrating, slogging Guy Boucher-coached Senators with Colin Miller and David Krejci leading the way with three turnovers apiece.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
"When you get down by two in less than 10 minutes it's tough to get back in the game." – Patrice Bergeron, to reporters in Ottawa following the 4-2 loss to the Senators.