Talking Points: Semyon Varlamov outplays Tuukka Rask
Semyon Varlamov was much better than his counterpart Tuukka Rask between the pipes, and was undoubtedly one of the big reasons behind Colorado’s victory. Varlamov was truly on point in the first two periods when he stopped 22-of-22 shots including a couple of Sean Kuraly bids at the front of the net, and a five-star save on a David Pastrnak cutting drive to the net where he held his ground at the far post. In all, Varlamov made 29 saves in the win for the Bruins where they probably made his job a little bit easier by settling for shots from the outside, but the Avs goalie was really good when he had to be in the sleepy Monday matinee. The blanking was the 22nd shutout of his career, and the second time he’s tossed up all zeroes against the B’s.
Meanwhile, Tuukka Rask allowed two goals on the first five shots of the game, and struggled mightily on each of the first two goals allowed to bury the Bruins team early. The first goal allowed was on the very first shot of the game where Sven Andrighetto fired from the high slot, and the puck glanced off Rask’s glove on the way into trickling to the back of the net. Rask was then beaten high glove side on a transition play later in the first period, and that was all Colorado was going to need on a day when they were getting shutdown goaltending. To make matters worse, Rask misplayed a puck in the third period as well to give Nail Yakupov an easy chance at a vacant net for the goal that salted the game away. Rask allowed three goals on 22 shots and really looked like he was going through the motions during a Monday afternoon matinee.
The Bruins outshot the Avalanche by an 11-5 margin in the first period and clearly had some offensive chances, but they still found themselves down by a pair of goals after a sleepy, mistake-filled first period. The engagement and the execution weren’t there early for the Bruins in the Monday matinee, and they were never good enough to really catch up after the fact either once they spotted Colorado a couple of goals.The Bruins never brought their good game to the rink on Monday afternoon, but the opening 20 minutes was particularly bad as Boston shot their way out of the game early.
Nail Yakupov really didn’t do his damage until late in the game, but he had a two-goal game and had the back-breaking insurance goal in the third period when the Bruins were still scrambling to get back into it. Yakupov beat Tuukka Rask to a puck in the corner and then flipped the puck into the vacant net as the Bruins goaltender was caught in no-man’s land after failing to win the puck race. Yakupov finished with a pair of goals, four shots on net and a plus-2 rating in 10:39 of ice time while providing support from a bottom-six spot in the lineup. Yakupov isn’t ever going to live up to his No. 1 overall pick billing, but Monday afternoon was a good day for him.
BY THE NUMBERS
12 – the number of consecutive home games without a win against the Colorado Avalanche dating back to March 30, 1998. The Bruins are 0-10-1-1 in those 12 games while going without a home win versus them in our current 21st century.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"This just wasn't a good effort. Young, old and in between...and I put myself in that category too.” – Bruce Cassidy, clearly not pleased with the Bruins complete lack of anything in a 4-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.