This kinda sucked to sit through but I will recant as much of it as I can.
How can I best describe last night's contest...
I'll go with "uneven".
From the very get-go it appeared that this particular group was not entirely ready for much of any sustained attack, defense, or really much of anything other than a token effort. They were outmatched. One player who showed up with the intention of playing was Malcolm Subban, who was strong through the first 17 minutes, being called on frequently to stop odd-man-rush chances that occured when the aggressive style of the Bruins this evening caved under pressure and led to players chasing the puck carrier.
And then Ryan Spooner took a Faceoff Violation penalty.
If nothing else, if the Bruins are going to lose, they should keep it inventive.
One scramble in front of the net and Kyle Criscuolo put the puck past Subban to put the Wings up 1-0. It would not get any better as Steve Ott less than a minute later was not picked up by the defense, and was able to slip the puck past Malcolm Subban to put the Red Wings up 2-0. That ended the period for Boston.
This is where it all came crashing down around the ears. Once again, a strong showing for the first half, and the Bruins were definitely playing better than they were, tightening up and actually taking shots that would challenge Jared Coreau and attempting to put within at least one.
But alas...Luke Glendening happened. He managed to pick the same shoulder play to get a goal in on Subban and put the Wings up 3-0. And then two minutes later Anthony Mantha took advantage of a slowing Chris Casto and just ripped the puck top-shelf. 4-0 and it appeared all was lost...but a minute later, Ryan Spooner and Matt Grzelcyk combined a good passing play to open up Austin Czarnik to pull the Bruins within 3. Not great, but surely the Bruins could come back and make a real feel-good ending, right?
Hah. You thought there was hope.
So after two periods of hideous defensive play, the coaching staff decided that it was Daniel Vladar's turn in net. And to his credit for most of the shots he ended up saving he did a pretty dang good job...
...Except the one shot that he needed to have most. Drew Miller got in front of him, stickhandled, baited him, and put the puck past his five-hole, sealing the loss. 5-1 Red Wings.
From then on, the Bruins played disinterested, painful hockey that looked like everyone just wanted to go home. They got their pot-shots in on Coreau, but otherwise they were generally creating low danger chances and struggling to get out of the defensive zone. The game ended and the Bruins are still winless in the preseason. They will be back in action on Friday against the Red Wings again.
- There really is a difference made when most of the good players are gone, huh.
- Tonight's SOG leaders were Colin Miller and Zach Senyshyn
- The top five in fancy stats (CF%) were Czarnik, Spooner, Mueller, C. Miller, and Beleskey, respectively. And most looked it.
- The only player that had a good, consistent game on defense was Colin Miller. Good in that it all but guarantees at this point that he'll be sticking around, bad in that every other player has more than a little bit of work to do.
- Although with that said, Chiller-Arnesson was one of the few pairings to consistently leave the defensive zone on their own and should be experimented with as more players return from the WCOH.
- Adam McQuaid played ugly and made a lot of players better than him look worse. I wish I could emphasize more about how badly he played tonight. I should also suggest to writers who complain about turnovers to find game footage of whatever McQuaid was doing tonight because I promise you the number of passes he completed is a very low double digit number, if it is a double digit number at all.
- Noel Acciari left tonight's game early, many writers recognizing that he was limping when he got back to the bench and did not return to action.
- Subban let in four goals, Vladar let in one. Both had a sub-.900 SV% at the end of the night. The thing I learned from watching this game was that inevitability when it comes to a young, unproven defense is that sometimes things go very badly. For what it's worth, Subban and Vladar had long stretches where they were playing lights out and doing their damnedest to keep the score from getting worse, but the long periods of dawdling about in the defensive zone meant both were marked for giving up a goal. Or multiple. As the case may be.
- Rookie of the preseason appears to be Austin Czarnik. A couple of goals and plenty of strong play made him one of the better forward options for the B's. It helps his case immensely that he was the sole player to score and that Acciari appears to be out of commission for a while.
- Now that the Red Sox have made the postseason, can we live for a little bit and watch some hockey, NESN?
- The next game is on Friday in Detroit. Most of the team's heavy hitters will be returning from the World Cup and thus the lineup for the weekend games should be much, much improved.