Talking Points: Lack of energy dooms Bruins


Talking Points: Lack of energy dooms Bruins

GOLD STAR: Leon Draisaitl had five giveaways and got smoked by Noel Acciari on a heavy hit in the third period, but he also came up with the play to win the game for an Oilers group that needed something to build on. Draisaitl bombed down the left wing, put the Bruins defense on their heels and then fed Ryan Strome for the scoring wrist shot from the slot midway through the third period. Draisaitl then picked up a goal on the empty netter to ice things in the final minute of the third period, but it was a nice little finish to the game after the big Edmonton center had a pretty slow start to the game. It just goes to show you how much talent the Oilers have on that roster that’s completely underachieved to this point in the season.

BLACK EYE: A very difficult, uneven game for Torey Krug that ended with more bad plays than good for the Bruins puck-moving defenseman. It was Krug’s weak clear attempt off the boards that ended up setting things up for Edmonton on their first goal, and then it was Krug as part of a very poor five man unit trying to defend on the game-winning goal for the Oil. The Bruins D-man tried to make up for it by blocking a shot in the closing minute that was destined for the empty net, but appropriate for the whole game the puck went right back to Draisaitl for the empty net goal to ice the game. In all Krug finished with a minus-2 along with two assists, and was involved in his 19:36 of ice time in nearly everything that happened both good and bad in defeat.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins essentially lost the game in the second period when they came into the frame protecting a 1-0 lead, and left in a tied hockey game after getting outshot by a 17-5 margin in the middle 20 minutes. The Bruins were outhustled, outmuscled and outworked by the Oilers at the end of a long East Coast road trip, and generally looked like a team that didn’t want to empty the bucket for the two points. Edmonton finished behind Boston in the registered hit battle (31-to-27) and in the blocked shots category (11-to-5), a couple of clear examples where they weren’t working as hard as the Oilers in this one.

HONORABLE MENTION: Call Patrick Maroon a certified Bruins killer because he once again did some major damage against the Black and Gold. Maroon scored his sixth goal against the Bruins in the last three seasons when he opened Edmonton’s scoring with a quick strike on the Boston net after a cross-ice pass from Zack Kassian. Predictably Maroon scored by shooting high on Tuukka Rask to the short side when he didn’t have time to shut off the post, and it was one of four shots on net for the Edmonton power forward. Maroon also stepped up to Zdeno Chara briefly after the B’s captain mugged Connor McDavid in the corner during a testy second period exchange.

BY THE NUMBERS: 8 – the number of points Tuukka Rask has accumulated in 13 appearances this season, which is only a 1/3 of the 24 points for the Bruins this season. Rask’s won-loss record dropped to a brutal 3-8-2-with the defeat to the Oilers.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We were fortunate there to make a good play [on the PP goal], but that couldn’t kick-start us, in terms of energy, to extend the lead. It’s disappointing. You’re at home. We’ve played well of late. We started well Friday, just didn’t have it tonight.” –Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, disappointed at the lack of energy in Boston’s game on Sunday vs. Edmonton. 


Morning Skate: 100 reasons to love the NHL at 100


Morning Skate: 100 reasons to love the NHL at 100

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while "The Last Jedi" is officially open for business.

*In honor of the 100th anniversary of the NHL, here are 100 reasons to love the league, its players and its storied history. I’ll give you one reason: Bobby Freakin’ Orr.

*It looks like Milan Lucic is becoming a good fit on a line with Connor McDavid out in Edmonton, something that I think the Oil envisioned when they originally signed him.

*A nice piece on the lasting friendship between Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury even after they’re no longer goalie tandem partners in Pittsburgh. A couple of Stanley Cups will do that for a goalie duo.

*They say that there’s no dancing in hockey, and there’s this ECHL player that is getting his groove on during pregame warm-ups.

*It sounds like Anthony Duclair is attempting to adapt and evolve his game with the Arizona Coyotes after fighting through the trade rumors.

*For something completely different: Speaking of the release of the new "Star Wars" movie, here is the first reaction from fans.


Cassidy takes issue with no 'third man in' call

Cassidy takes issue with no 'third man in' call

BOSTON – Brad Marchand understands the rabble-rousing game as much as anybody at the NHL level.

So, the Bruins left winger isn’t going to be the one to complain when somebody begins targeting him with the same kind of borderline hits and rough-edged play that he doles out on a regular basis. That was the case again in the 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at TD Garden.


“That’s his game. I mean, [Tom Wilson] plays that way, and he’s effective at it, so, you know, that’s what’s got him a job in the NHL and continues to allow him to play,” said Marchand. “Again, you know, he’s effective at what he does.”

Marchand finished with a point and a minus-2 and was once again bumped and knocked around by the bigger, stronger Capitals team that knocked him out of the lineup with a high hit from Wilson more than a month ago.

Once again the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Wilson was at the heart of the proceedings in this one as he jumped on the back of Marchand, and caused the B’s winger to slam the back of his head into the boards after he’d already squared off with Dmitry Orlov following a whistle. Both Marchand and Orlov were understandably whistled for matching cross-checking penalties at the end of the second period, but Wilson got away completely free despite clearly jumping in as the third guy into the fracas.

Compare that with the lame third man in/instigator call against Jake DeBrusk last week when he stepped up to defend a teammate the proper way and it’s no surprise Bruce Cassidy was a little miffed at the officiating after the game Thursday.

“I voiced my opinion at the end of the period. I think it’s wrong. And to me, to just put two guys in the box in that situation, when a third guy comes in there should have been an additional call,” said Cassidy. “That’s the way I felt about it. They didn’t see it that way. Cleary two guys, [Dimitry] Orlov and

Marchy [Brad Marchand] was battling and for him to come in is unnecessary to say the least in that situation. Their job is to police it on the ice. In that particular instance, that’s the way they saw it. That’s the way it went.”

Of greater concern to the Bruins should be Wilson continuing to target Marchand in plays that result in smacking his head into the boards and putting him in danger of another head injury after he’s already been in the concussion protocol twice this season. Nobody from the Bruins stepped up to Wilson in the third period after pulling that stunt with No. 63. The feeling at this address is that it’s going to continue happening with Marchand until somebody decides they’re going to protect Boston’s star player.