Patriots

Haggerty: Ten thoughts from Bruins-Lightning

701424.jpg

Haggerty: Ten thoughts from Bruins-Lightning

TAMPA BAY Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 4-0 train-wreck after the first 20 minutes of play at the Tampa Times Forum. Ouch.

1)Three goals allowed by Marty Turco on six shots and he was all done. He looked shaky from the start when he lost his stick during the first opening flurry and was beaten by a puck deflected off Tom Pyatts skate in front of the net. He didnt cover up on the second goal when he had the chance and that turned into a Nate Thompson goal into an open net. Two very goofy, bad goals allowed right off the bat. Not what the Bruins were looking for and that makes it very difficult to rest Tim Thomas like they want to. He has now played in 10 straight games. First goal shouldnt have been overturned in my humble opinion as Pyatt appeared to move his skate toward the net to guide the puck in. But that had nothing to do with the collapse that followed.

2)The Bruins havent lost three in a row since back in October during their initial hangover phase, but it looks like thats going to happen again tonight. With the Ottawa Senators again idle the Bruins are losing another game in hand and could wake up tomorrow only two points ahead of the Ottawa Senators with just one game in hand. Stuff just got real for the Bs.

3)Worst start the Bruins have had this season and the fourth time in the last six games theyve fallen down by at least two goals in the first period. Totally inexcusable for a team that doesnt seem to feel any urgency right now, or seem to be taking the final month of the season very seriously.

4)The third goal was a power play goal, but a complete blown play by the Bs penalty kill allowing Ryan Shannon to get behind Zdeno Chara, David Krejci and Dennis Seidenberg to beat Marty Turco once more. The Bruins just arent moving at the same speed as the teams that theyre playing against and its more evidence this is a team without much bounce and energy.

5)Shawn Thornton at least doing his job and pounding Mike Commodore toward the end of the first period. The Bruins havent shown enough life in instances like that lately, and No. 22 is one of the only players thats consistently bringing it on a nightly basis.

TAMPA BAY Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 5-0 train-wreck after the first 40 minutes of play at the Tampa Times Forum. Ouch.

1)The Bruins outshot the Lightning 15-3 in the second period, but couldnt crack the scoreboard. So theyve got that going for them.

2)After giving up another weak goal to Steven Stamkos, Marty Turco was tossed back into the game in place of Tim Thomas. That basically wipes out the desired effect to give Thomas his needed rest, but at least they decided to leave Turco out for the remainder of a now-meaningless game.

3) Milan Lucic taking the puck hard to the net, playing with some pride and intensity and seemingly one of the few guys dressed in Black and Gold taking things seriously.

4)The Bruins will drop to 1-10-1 in the last 12 games that Trent Whitfield has played in including the playoffs if they cant come back in the third period. So its as good as done.

5) Ill bet Patrice Bergeron is glad he swallowed a whole bowl full of anti-inflammatories to come back for this one. This team isnt the same Bruins team that won last season due to fatigue, injuries and satisfaction from last years accomplishments. Its a debilitating cocktail.

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

pastrnak_102117.jpg

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.