Talking Points: Bruins crushed by Maroon, Oilers
Patrick Maroon set the tone early with a pair of goals in the first period to give him five goals vs. the Bruins in two games this season, and he brought the physicality to the table as well. Maroon crushed both David Pastrnak and Brandon Carlo with big hits in the opening period before he finally encountered Adam McQuaid in the corner, and ended up dropping the gloves with the Bruins defenseman after an active period. Maroon finished with the two goals and a plus-2 rating, four shot attempts, five hits and a pair of takeaways in 16 plus minutes of heavy, blue collar hockey that the Bruins weren’t really equipped to stop.
One shot on net and a team-worst minus-3 for Frank Vatrano, who was part of a team-wide malaise in the defensive zone that allowed the Oilers to pin the Bruins down for seven goals in defeat. Vatrano an the Bruins third line was outplayed and outclassed by the Oilers, and proved to be a weak link for the Black and Gold. Vatrano has no goals in his last nine games and has one shot or fewer in three of his last four games while not really doing what he was best at the NHL level. The loss certainly isn’t laid at the feet of Vatrano when so many things were going wrong up and down the lineup, but Vatrano needs to start picking it up a little bit.
The Bruins gave up the first three goals of the game, and absolutely looked like they were playing their third game in four days out in Western Canada. But they fought back with a pair of goals to close it to a one-goal lead for the Oil with less than a minute left in the first period, and it certainly looked like the B’s were going to get out in pretty good shape. But instead the Bruins defense was caught sleeping in front of the net with Anton Slepyshev cutting in front of Frank Vatrano to bang home a Connor McDavid feed to make it a 4-2 lead at the end of the first. That was a costly goal allowed and the Bruins never were able to fully get the momentum back.
The Bruins lost but Brad Marchand managed to collect three points and continued to keep pace with Connor McDavid on the NHL points leaderboard with 79 points apiece as the Oilers forward also posted three points on Thursday night. Marchand also made one of those points a goal, so he extended his NHL lead while matching last year’s career high with his 37th goal of the season. Marchand finished with a goal, three points and a plus-1 in 22:25 of ice time to go along with an active seven shot attempts in defeat. Marchand and Patrice Bergeron were both pretty good in this one, but too many of their teammates were not up to the task.
BY THE NUMBERS
12 – the number of goals allowed on the three-game road swing through Western Canada that’s a pretty clear sign that the Bruins have some tightening up to do in the defensive zone.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"It was just an awful game by everyone, and it's proof that you can't rely on what we've been doing lately. Too many breakdowns defensively. We’re down by three goals in the first 10 minutes and it’s definitely tough to catch up from there.” – Patrice Bergeron, to reporters following a loss in Edmonton where they gave up seven goals.