WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: Cody Eakin #50 of the Washington Capitals brings the puck around the net against Chris Kelly #23 of the Boston Bruins at the Verizon Center on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
It looked as if the Bruins were already on their way out for the All-Star Break. Sloppy defensive play was the theme of the night for the Bruins as they let a short-handed Washington Capitals team get the best of them in a 5-3 loss Tuesday night at the Verizon Center.
Usually when the Capitals are minus the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom it will mean an easier night for the competition. Unfortunately for the Bruins, it seemed like the D-corps felt the need to check out early as well. At least three of the Caps goals, including two of Perrault's hat-trick goals, were the product of turnovers off Bruins defensemen. Usually the Bruins are extremely effective with their D-to-D passes in the offensive zone but the Bruins lacked awareness all night, letting Caps forwards jump on ill advised passes creating costly turnovers.
Though it's hard to blame Rask for his rough night considering his shoddy defensive support he still was not his normally sharp self. The first Capitals goal of the night was one that he should have had and it set a bad tone for the rest of the game.
Let's Just Get Home
The All-Star Break could not have gotten here at a better time for the Bruins. Through January they are 7-5-1, not bad by any means but certainly not up to the standards they had set since propelling themselves to the top of the eastern conference. What has been more worrisome than their record has been the bad habits that have been creeping in. Sub-par defensive play, incomplete efforts, and average goaltending have certainly made their presence known despite the Bruins' ability to scrap out wins when they perhaps didn't deserve one. That's before even mentioning the recent injuries and suspensions that have had their own effects on the Bruins' game.
Hopefully the break will serve as a good chance to simply clear the mechanism and re-focus before what should be a competitive final stretch. The Bruins will return to action next Tuesday when they face the surprising Ottawa Senators.