Talking Points: B's fight back, but fall in OT
Sebastian Aho scored two goals, including the game-winner, and was involved in things for the Hurricanes all night with five shots on net and seven total shot attempts in 16:10 of ice time. Aho scored Carolina’s first goal by parking in front of the net, redirecting a puck and then taking a hit from Brandon Carlo en route to the hard-working goal. Then Aho went back to work in the OT with Carolina turning the B’s over in the Boston zone, and then Teuvo Teravainen fed Aho for a wrist shot that beat Zane McIntyre low to the blocker side. Aho has been a great story this season for Carolina with his 10 goals on the season, and he’s done some damage to the B’s this year.
So is John-Michael Liles’ fault that he made an incredibly soft play in OT to lead to Carolina’s game-winning goal in his first game since Nov. 27? Or is it Claude Julien’s fault for scratching Colin Miller in the middle of a very solid stretch of hockey to push Liles back in the lineup, especially when he could have scratched either Adam McQuaid or Kevan Miller for the night. Instead Liles was put into the lineup and Julien was forced to go to him in the 3-on-3 OT where he panicked with the puck behind the Boston net, and threw a weak backhanded pass off the wall to David Krejci. It was easily picked off and then turned into the game-winner for the Hurricanes in yet another night when the B’s left points on the table.
Give the Bruins credit for at least fighting back and getting things into overtime with a spirited, energetic third period that was very different from the bleck-worthy second period. Goals from David Backes and Brad Marchand were both hard-working goals around the front of the net, and showed the kind of work ethic and desperation that the Black and Gold need to show on a much more consistent basis. It’s the kind of spirit in coming back that the B’s have shown this season, but they’re still not finding ways to win these games, and that’s a problem. It’s also a problem that they can’t play more consistently in the first two periods like they did in the third period.
Kevan Miller deserves some special credit here because he played very well, and he was absolutely destroying Hurricanes players with body checks during the loss. You could see he was trying to set a tone for all the rest of the Bruins players to follow, and in the third period it finally worked. Miller finished with an assist to make it points in three games in a row, was a plus-2 in 19:02 of ice time and had three shot attempts, four hits and three blocked shots in the kind of gritty, ballsy game that needs to be a lot more common to a lot more Bruins on a lot more nights. Miller is playing at a very high level right now, and he should get credit for that given some of the blame that falls on his lap when mistakes are made on the ice.
BY THE NUMBERS:
2 – the number of shorthanded breakaways given up on the Bruins only power play possession of the night in the second period. Both were given to Jordan Staal, and it took two huge saves from Zane McIntyre to keep that from imploding the Bruins during regulation play. Without McIntyre’s play in the second period the B’s don’t even make it to the extra session.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
“It was one of those momentum shift games, and in the third period we came out hard and played really well, and you could tell we really wanted to win. But when you play back-to-backs you need everybody going, and tonight we didn’t have everybody going.” –Claude Julien, on a game that had some high points but fell short yet again with another loss.