Bruins 3-2 Loss Not Attributed To Lack Of Effort

On Monday night the Bruins took to their own ice and lost to the division leading Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in regulation.  Many fans today are disappointed by the defeat but I am not.  I’m a little dissatisfied by not taking two points but not about the loss itself.  I think the Bruins found themselves a little bit during the game and I am hoping that good ole Claude has learned who the man between the pipes should be from here on out.

When the puck was dropped last night the Bruins were ready to play.  The black and gold came out hitting and they were playing an intense style of hockey, an element that has been absent until a few games ago.  Vladimir Sobotka and Milan Lucic were throwing their weight around and I truly got the feeling that the game was going to go well overall.  The Bruins got on the scoreboard first on a move that belongs on the Krejci family highlight real that showed off how tremendous David Krejci’s hands really are.  However, as the period came to a close the Bruins found themselves down 2-1 despite a spirited effort from most of the club.

Shortly into the second frame after falling behind 3-1, the Bruins world finally learned that the crease officially belongs to Tuukka Rask for the remainder of this season.  The first goal was not Thomas’s fault but the other two should not have been anywhere close to going in the net.  All things considered, had Tuukka started, the Bruins (theoretically) win that game 2-1.  Thomas has been great for the Bruins since he’s been here.  He has shown the hockey community that hard-nosed hard work can get you onto a roster no matter the skill or the style of the player.  However, he peaked last year (with a team performing well in front of him) and with his goaltending style, it will be difficult for him to compete on a team that does not score often.  It’s Tuukka Time!!!

Tuukka Rask gives you the most consistent and reliable effort night in and night out.  He makes difficult saves look simple because he is ALWAYS in position, has ice water running through his veins, and always appears calm during play.  To a fan that has never played the position it appears that he isn’t even trying and that is how remarkable this kid is.  I was lucky enough to work/intern with an AHL franchise that saw the Providence Bruins come to town for a few years while Rask was there and I have been in love with this Rask’s goaltending abilities since day one.  When the Bruins traded Andrew Raycroft to Toronto for Tuukka and I found videos online of this kid from Finland, I knew there was something special to his game.

A downfall to this team’s efforts has been the defensive play of Dennis Wideman.  To this point in the season Wideman is a minus-16 on a team with the best GAA in the league.  He was also a minus-3 last night…i.e. on the ice for all three Buffalo goals.

I know this team probably won’t do anything significant in the playoffs but, with Tuukka in net and Wideman getting limited minutes, this team will at least be exciting to watch.

One of my final pet peeves has been the lack of effort on the penalty shots this year.  In the non-overtime penalty shots Marco Sturm (last night against Ryan Miller) and Daniel Paille (a couple Sundays ago against Henrik Lundqvist) both tried to shoot the puck from in close.  I hate this because it shows a lack of creativity and when it’s in close there is no angle to get the puck past the big and talented NHL goaltenders.  Marco Sturm is more predictable of the two because you know he is always going to shoot because he always does during the game.  He gets to the top of the circle and winds up.  If you don’t see that coming then you’re sleeping.   They need to take a little from advice from Blake Wheeler, David Krejci, or dare I say it…{gulp} Phil Kessel to learn that different moves (shooting and dekeing)  keep the goaltenders on their toes and increase the chances of scoring.  Believe me, when you have no idea what the shooter is going to do I would guess penalty shot/breakaway scoring would increase by at least fifty percent.

Here’s to an interesting rest of the season…

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2 Responses

  1. “Exciting”?…yes…depending of course on which team shows up……this was a good post however….I appreciate the hint of Thomas…appreciation…

  2. I actually watched a Bruins game in full for the first time the other night against the Devils. That was a perfect display on how they NEED to win games in order to be successful. They have a team full of grinders and they need to play into that. Finishing their checks, getting into shooting lanes, and playing solid defense is the only chance this team has of doing anything for the rest of the season and into the playoffs. Although, I doubt there is any chance of them doing anything positive against Washington.

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