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Bruins start slow, can’t catch up against Avs

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Perhaps the B’s can try NOT falling behind 3-0 in the next game...

Colorado Avalanche v Boston Bruins Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, right?

The Bruins didn’t learn Wednesday night, and repeated it last night.

After falling behind 3-0 to Washington and clawing back to earn a point in a shootout loss, the Bruins fell behind 3-0 again last night and, in spite of the Herculean effort of David Pastrnak, couldn’t complete the comeback, falling 4-2 to the Avalanche.

The win was Colorado’s first since before Thanksgiving.

The Bruins came out flat, with the fourth line being the only unit to really generate chances in early in the first.

After Pastrnak and Nikita Zadorov were called for matching minors, the Bruins had a dumpster fire of a shift that got things moving in the wrong direction.

Ryan Spooner couldn’t get control of the puck in the offensive zone, losing it to Matt Duchene; Duchene skated up the ice, drifted across the slot and found a ton of space, beating Anton Khudobin clean with a wrister.

The backcheck from Spooner wasn’t ideal, nor was Kevan Miller sliding across the ice in a feeble attempt to discourage a Duchene shot.

Things didn’t get better from there.

Nathan Mackinnon’s shorthanded wrister was one that Krug (diving to keep a puck in the zone) and Khudobin (beaten cleanly from decent range) would like to have back; John Mitchell’s goal came after Brandon Carlo’s directed his dump-in attempt directly into Mitchell’s shin pads.

The Bruins clawed their way back again, but looked gassed by the end of the game and couldn’t solve Calvin Pickard.

A disappointing loss, especially considering the Avs began the night in 30th place in the NHL. However, the blow of the loss is softened by the 4-0-2 run that came before it.

Random notes

  • David Pastrnak is incredible. That is all.
  • Pastrnak is going to need help. The kid is shouldering the load offensively for the Bruins right now, and it isn’t going to last. Pastrnak isn’t going to shoot 20% for the rest of the season (or maybe he is, who knows). Right now, too many big names aren’t carrying their weight in the offensive zone. Most Bruins fans turn toward blaming Jimmy Hayes for that; while it’s true Hayes has had a disappointing season, guys like Krejci, Bergeron, Marchand and Backes should be producing more as well.
  • The power play is a disaster, and could use an overhaul. Colin Miller’s PPG last night came during the the “punt it” period of the PP, with just seconds left. Tonight, the power play was dreadful. It hurt more than it helped, with too many passes and not enough movement. The Bruins have lived and died with the bumper play, hinged on Patrice Bergeron. Teams have caught on, and no one has filled Loui Eriksson’s net-front role. Given his hot streak, it’s probably time to move Pastrnak to the first unit (and may bring Marchand with him) and to rethink Austin Czarnik’s role on the PP.
  • Riley Nash was the Bruins’ only sub-50% CF player, checking in at 47.37%.
  • It’s tempting to consider this an overreaction to one loss, but it might be time for Claude Julien to do something about the forward lines.
  • A good third line eases the strain on the top two lines. The Bruins’ third hasn’t been very good. Czarnik has one point (an assist) since Thanksgiving, and that was on the power play; Riley Nash has one point since Veterans Day; Ryan Spooner has two assists since Thanksgiving.
  • Combine that third line with a frequently bad possession-wise second line and a fourth line with some interesting parts, and you could blend up some different combinations. Anton Blidh with Spooner and Czarnik? Krejci with Backes and Hayes? There are plenty of options, but trying something new can’t lead to less production than the Bruins are getting now.