BOSTON – The Bruins didn’t have anything that really went right for them on Monday afternoon.
Tuukka Rask gave up a couple of pretty soft goals in the first period to dig an early hole, the Bruins did a lot of settling for shots from the outside against a very good Semyon Varlamov and the youthful talent looked like rookies after such impressive debuts last week.
That all added up to a 4-0 loss to the lowly Colorado Avalanche that evened the Bruins record at 1-1-0 on the season, and a B’s group with some things to prove after a fairly rudderless effort after getting three days of rest following their home opener. In a refreshing change after the game, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy spread out the blame evenly to pretty much everyone and everybody, including himself.
“We had plenty of time to get back in the game. The core group that we rely on – it just wasn’t a good effort from young, old, in-between, and I clearly put myself in that category. We’re supposed to be ready to play at home, especially after a couple days off, so that was the biggest disappointment to me,” said Cassidy. “Things aren’t going to go your way some nights, you’re going to fight the puck, and it clearly looked like it was going to be that night, but to not have the energy to sustain it and get yourself back in the game is disappointing.
“We lose some key guys on certain lines and so now the lines again, you kind of start over a little bit. So some of [the line changes] are going to be, was self-inflicted through injuries and some of it is on me for not being more consistent. But that’s the way we’re going to do things around here until we see what we like. We liked what we saw against Nashville after a short period of time. We seemed to get everyone where they best fit. Tonight I never found the right combination. So, I think it goes on both the players – it’s their job to play, whatever position they’re out there – and it’s up to the coach to find the chemistry. I couldn’t find it tonight, so shame on me.”
Clearly, Rask failing to execute a clean glove save on the first shot of the game wasn’t Cassidy’s fault, however, and getting a “passenger” type game out of Brad Marchand wasn’t something to blame at the coach’s feet either. But it’s a welcome change to hear the Bruins head coach accepting some of the blame for a loss after that was rarely the cause under Claude Julien, who for all his good qualities could sometimes rub players the wrong way for singling them out after losses while rarely accepting his own responsibility in losses.
Cassidy certainly could have pointed to the injuries to Patrice Bergeron, David Backes and Noel Acciari, and the rustiness of a returning player like Torey Krug, as excuses for Monday’s stink-bomb on the Garden ice. Instead, the message the B’s head coach was sending is that the Bruins win as a team and lose as a team, and that’s probably the only one positive development to come out of an atrocious matinee loss to a bad Colorado hockey team.