What we learned: Nothing doing for Bruins vs. Ducks
Nothing doing for Bruins vs. Ducks
By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider
Here’s what we learned from the Bruins' 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks that dropped them to 0-2 on the trip through California and saw them outscored 10-2 in their two games against the Ducks this season. It certainly appeared to this humble hockey writer that the Bruins were like a boxer futilely fighting out of their weight class in getting whitewashed by Anaheim on Friday night:
1) The John-Michael Liles movement has taken a turn after an encouraging start.
Perhaps it was the adrenaline of his first few games in a new uniform with the Bruins, or Liles, 35, is simply an up-and-down player this point, but he’s seen his ice time and role in the B’s D-corps waver the past few games. He had his worst game in a B’s uniform on Friday night. The second Anaheim goal was equal parts the fault of the B’s forwards for not getting the puck deep and both Liles and Dennis Seidenberg for letting Andrew Cogliano and Ryan Kesler cross them up with speed and aggressiveness in transition. Then Liles coughed up a puck to Ryan Getzlaf behind the Boston net in the opening minutes of the third period for the back-breaking third goal for the Ducks. A performance like Friday night (a team-worst minus-3) makes one wonder how much of an upgrade that Liles will be, over Zach Trotman or Joe Morrow, once the playoffs get started. He needs to be stronger on the puck than he was on Friday night if he’s going to help the Black and Gold.
3) One encouraging sign was David Pastrnak's five shots on net and 10 shot attempts.
The 19-year-old had 16:48 of ice time in the game and got a number of scoring chances in the second period that he couldn’t bury. It would have been even more encouraging if he’d lit the lamp once or twice, but it was a noticeable performance against a big, heavy Ducks lineup in a playoff-style atmosphere. Pair that with last year’s trip to California when Pastrnak was a bit of a ghost in the game in Anaheim and seemed to be staying out of the physical fray for the most part. This continues a recent stretch of strong performances for Pastrnak and bodes well for what he may be able to bring the Bruins in the playoffs. In the past four games, Pastrnak has three goals and four points, and 14 shots on net, in a strong string of performances that make him one of the most effective B’s players in these intense, high-pressure games.
*Frederik Andersen stepped up for the Ducks with a 38-save effort and was at his best in the second period while making 16 saves as the Bruins tried to get back into the game. Andersen has 15 wins in his past 17 starts and is making his case to be “the guy” in the playoffs.
*Two assists, a plus-2 and seven shot attempts for Ryan Getzlaf, who made the play to break the collective backs of the Bruins when he stole a puck from John-Michael Liles behind the net and served it to Hampus Lindholm for the Ducks third goal of the game.
*Five shots on net and 10 shot attempts for Pastrnak, who along with Patrice Bergeron was the best player on the ice for the Bruins in a shutout loss to the Ducks. Pastrnak just keeps getting better and better down the stretch.
*The refs missed a high stick to the face of Noel Acciari, a high stick right under the right eye of Matt Beleskey and a blatant slash to Loui Eriksson’s hand that affected the outcome on a Bruins scoring chance. The Bruins only had two power-play chances and they should have had at least two more in the game where high sticking calls are pretty cut-and-dried. Not a good night for the zebras in Anaheim at all.