Talking Points: Rough night for Khudobin vs. Avalanche
Nathan MacKinnon wasn’t the first goal scorer for the Avalanche, but he really pushed the Bruins down into a hole with his shorthanded strike in the first period. MacKinnon took advantage of Torey Krug laying out for a puck at the blue line, and was able to beat him down the ice when the Bruins defenseman couldn’t make a play after keeping it in the attack zone. Instead MacKinnon was off to the races for a shorthanded strike for his seventh goal of the season. MacKinnon finished with five shots on net and a plus-1 rating in 18:32 of ice time, and also won 9-of-17 draws for the Avalanche in a solid overall effort.
Anton Khudobin wasn’t very good once again. He couldn’t make a stop on either of Colorado’s first two successful scoring chances, and then got lit up for a short side wrist shot off the rush by John Mitchell. In all he allowed four goals on 22 shots and dropped to 1-4-0 on the season with one really good game under his belt thus far. Even with all of the missteps early, it could have been a different game if the goaltending and defense had been able to hold things down at the end of the second period when they’d closed it to 3-2. Instead there were more breakdowns and a goal allowed to Carl Soderberg, and that was all she wrote for the Black and Gold.
The Bruins simply didn’t show up in the first period. They allowed two goals to the Colorado Avalanche on mistakes: one with Matt Duchene all alone in the slot with too much time and space on the 4-on-4 play, and then a complete breakdown on back-to-back power plays leading up to the Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded strike. The Bruins lollygagged through the first settling at both ends of the ice and making lazy, ill-conceived plays, and simply looked like they weren’t ready to play in the opening 20 minutes of the game. They attempted a David Pastrnak engineered comeback in the second period, but it was too big of a hole to escape.
It’s got to be David Pastrnak, who now has banged home 18 goals in 23 games while sitting in a tie with Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals scored. He showed his offensive range in the second period when he finished off a nice stretch pass banked off the boards from Tim Schaller for his first partial breakaway score, and then destroyed a one-timer off a Brad Marchand dish from the corner for his second score. Pastrnak was Boston’s best player on the ice, and finished with a plus-2 in 16:25 to go along with four shots on net and a couple of penalties as well.
BY THE NUMBERS
11 – the Bruins have now lost 11 games in a row to the Colorado Avalanche at home with a 0-9-1-1 record, and haven’t beaten the Avs on home ice since prior to the Ray Bourque trade on March 30, 1998.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“There were a lot of problematic things tonight. No doubt that the power play could’ve helped us in the first period and it failed to do that. We needed some saves tonight & we didn’t get ‘em. A lot of things here we can be better at.” – Claude Julien, not loving what he saw out of his team losing to the lowly Avalanche by a 4-2 score.