The Bruins and Sharks traded quite a few early blows as both teams played a fairly back and forth, tightly packed game that force both goaltenders to be their best. Unfortunately, that didn't exactly translate perfectly for the Bruins skaters, as most of the lines throughout the night were stymied by the Sharks and were generally trading hopeless opportunity after hopeless opportunity. Halfway through the first period came the Sharks opening goal from Joonas Donskoi to Melker Karlsson:
The Bruins would kill that penalty, but would effectively act like they were more or less down a man for the rest of the game. San Jose completely overwhelmed the Bruins defense and offense, stymieing the top line, making the third line look foolish, and in general allowing the 2nd and 4th lines to be the only ones generating any real chances in front of Reimer or anywhere even close to him, as most others were too busy farting around in their own end or desperately defending to gain any ground. Sometimes they would try to hem the Sharks in, but it would never exactly stick, and the Bruins would be defending again.
Not helping was the Boston defense as a unit, as many players would bite HARD on certain situations and require forwards, some of whom who hadn't had to do this recently, to defend as best they could to...uhh...
Whoo boy, the third period.
This felt rough from the beginning. The six minutes of penalty kill felt even worse. And especially since it broke the idea of any good will of this game paying off. 5 minutes into the period Jimmy Hayes took his second penalty of the game and it was absolutely one hundred percent genuine boneheaded. You cannot throw bad hits to the head of a player, even if he's sandwiched between another player. That just does not happen.
And the Bruins paid for Hayes' mistake.
- The second line was a force for the Bruins all night. Every single player involved with them got a fantastic opportunity at least once, and part of that was actually being able to outskate the Sharks in key situations and take risks that forced Reimer to make saves that wouldn't be described as "routine".
- On the other hand, I can't remember a time in which I've seen the Bratrice line be so stymied by another team's play. That was very out of the ordinary.
- David Pastrnak's streak of points extends to four in three games. On top of that, he was with his linemates, Patrice Bergeron, and Torey Krug as the top 5 players in possession for the Bruins in all situations. On 5on5? He was the only forward to post a 50% CF%. Better than Marchand, Bergeron, and Krejci. The best player of tonight's game in terms of 5on5 possession? Adam McQuaid.
- Possession in general has been tanking hard for awhile now and the Bruins have yet to implement a strategy that will make it better. Nobody seems to know how it's happening, and the stats people have yet to get back to us (read: post anything in the staff chat that could help figure this out). Until then, the bruins are letting up a lot of shots and nobody seems to know why.
- The Neo-Merlot Line, while not exactly getting tremendous shots, did get their licks in regarding pushing play in the right direction. Especially a fantastic sequence that would've REALLY helped the Bruins had they been able to cash in. Where was Noel Acciari before this, and why wasn't he on the team before?
- Jimmy Hayes was the worst forward in terms of generating shots and stopping them tonight at 5 on 5. And it felt it. The Dorchester native can still shine but tonight was just not a great night for the big guy.
- The Bruins have two REALLY REALLY ABSOLUTELY GOOD teams that they have to play on Friday and Saturday. Whatever is ailing them now, has to stop.
- The "Lets go sha-arks!" chant still sucks.
- WHERE DID THE POSSESSION GO. WHERE HAS IT BEEN GOING!? WHY ARE THE BRUINS DOING SO BAD AT IT RIGHT NOW!?
- GET A WAISTSTRIPE ON YOUR SWEATERS, YOU RUBES.