It was better, but the B’s need something. Maybe Bergeron, maybe Backes, maybe something but whatever it is, they need a change.
Things didn’t look any better than the first game against the Avs, and eventually it didn’t end up any better, as the puck careened off of Adam McQuaid’s stick and right past Rask eight minutes in. 1-0 Avs.
And so things settled, but did that mean the Bruins were going to go quietly? Hell no! They slowly picked up the pace, put their skating legs on, and Brad Marchand found a way to tally from a pillow-soft feed from Ryan Spooner in the defensive end, putting the Bruins in a 1-1 game heading into the second period!
And on to the second we go!
...do we have to?
[sighs, takes a long drink]
Arright let me tell you something about this next goal that puts the Avs up 2-1. It was part of a theme of blueline ineptitude.
The theme of “defenseman 1 can’t keep puck in the zone, transition happened, and on a 2-on-1 defenseman 2 gets caught doing something stupid and the other team scores” ran all the way through this period. The team was caught up in their own end plenty of times and couldn’t clear, they couldn’t get anything going because the defense as a whole couldn’t pass, receive or send, and it all came to a head when Adam McQuaid gave Tyson Jost a dangerous shove, and ended up putting the Avs on the power play...where they scored AGAIN.
Oh yeah and uh...McQuaid fought or something after this. Who cares. And then, yet another bad pass resulted in an odd-man rush that resulted in a goal. 4-1 Avs.
At this point, I don’t even know anymore. End of period. This would end Rask’s night.
The third had the cruelest thing of all: Hope. Now that Khudobin was in, the team seemed to get the message and play with slightly more pep in their step than they had.
Tim Schaller scored a little over half-way through the period, a gritty little attack of the puck made it squirt past Varlamov and into the net. 4-2 Avs.
And then, on a fortunate power play, Torey Krug got involved in the rush and knocked a rebound out of the air to make it 4-3!
With that, the Bruins looked like a completely different team. They were winning battles, getting closer to seriously attacking and tying this game...But then Coach Cassidy pulled Khudobin.
And then one ENG went in...and then another.
And the Boston Bruins had to leave the Pepsi Center in a 6-3 loss, having been swept in their season series against the Avalanche.
Their next game is on Saturday night against the Coyotes at 9:00pm EST.
- Your leaders in possession tonight were Ryan Spooner, Frank Vatrano, and a three way tie between Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Tim Schaller. Not that it mattered, really.
- Coach Cassidy should’ve been slapped by someone for badly overexposing Riley Nash like he did tonight. He was effectively useless on the power play, was behind Ryan Spooner in Faceoff-%, the 2nd worst player in possession-%, and clearly showed that if he honestly believes he has some kind of offensive flash left in him, it’s better served in the depth for roughly 10 minutes a night. He is not the player the Bruins think he is.
- Tim Schaller played 4 minutes tonight and scored. Hockey’s weird sometimes.
- Adam McQuaid should absolutely not play on Saturday night. Putrid possession wise (33% in CF%!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?) Directly responsible for two goals, arguably responsible for the first, and indirectly responsible for a penalty that ended up getting a goal scored on Boston, threw a garbage, dangerous hit, and in general set the position back about ten years. To say he had a bad game among a host of defenders that played extremely poorly as a unit is seriously understating it. He played like dogshit and it reflected on the scoreboard. Yeah, he fought, but y’know what? That was right after the third goal went in on a penalty he caused.
- Inarguably the only defender worth a good goddamn tonight was Torey Krug, and mostly that was because he both scored and proved who was the actually defensively responsible player on his pairing.
- I’ll come to Ryan Spooner’s defense tonight. While he wasn’t exactly lighting the world up and took limited minutes, he was also not necessarily doing anything wrong either, ending the night better than either of his linemates in possession and assisting on the Marchand goal. Certainly put more of an effort forth than Nash did.
- Rask didn’t have a great night again. Did the defense in front of him do anything to counteract that? Maybe play a little tighter or help him in problem areas? NOPE! They just kept on sucking. And even with Khudobin in for the last 20 minutes the Avs got dangerously close to making it 5-3 or 6-3 with and without him.
- In general, Cassidy needs to seriously reevaluate what kind of line he puts out against the Coyotes. They’re not any better than they used to be, and both teams need wins. His lineup on Saturday morning’s practice better look much less risky than it did tonight, because he paid for it in full. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak cannot alternate nights where they quietly push play in the right direction without Bergeron, it just will end in more losses.
- If anything, these games against Colorado have really underscored how badly Boston needs any combination of Patrice Bergeron, David Backes or Noel Acciari to have anything resembling line balance. GET WELL SOON, PATRICE!!!