The period had no score, but it did start with something ominous to the rest of the game: defense, and a lack of offense.
At first it just looked like two teams feeling each other out, neither getting tremendously strong shifts but also neither getting great chances either, both goaltenders looking perfectly fine. In reality, it was a team slowly being shoved to the sides of the ice and not reacting to it until it was too late.
2nd Period, when it was too late:
So the first goal was the first NHL goal for Alex Tuch, who took full control of an absolutely disastrous set of shifts to get all on his own to get the knights up 1-0:
And following up on that miserable defensive performance, the McQuaid-Krug pairing got their chance to look painful as a net-man scramble got Tuukka down and almost nobody picking up the player in front of the net, who happened to be Vadim Shipachyov. 2-0 Knights.
From that point, Boston spent the entire game chasing the score, and finding out way too late that the Knights had found a way to neutralize them.
The Bruins definitely tried, but everything the Knights were doing had them completely stymied. They spent the final period doing much of the same that they had in the 2nd; not taking too many shots, not getting too many opportunities, and giving up way too many odd-man rushes. Eventually, David Pastrnak bounced the puck off of Will Carrier in the final minutes of the game and managed to avoid the shutout. 2-1 Knights lead.
But of course, Cassidy got greedy and pulled Rask again...and then the Knights ended up scoring again, 3-1 Knights and the Golden Knights would take their first win over the Boston Bruins.
- Your possession leaders for the Bruins tonight were Ryan Spooner (who got injured), Charlie McAvoy, David Pastrnak, Riley Nash, and Brandon Carlo. Not that it mattered much.
- The Neutral Zone was Boston’s kryptonite for most of Sunday night. When they got in the offensive zone they could be alright, but it was in the middle of the ice that almost everything went to hell for Boston. And it went to hell in such a way that Boston ended up giving up two goals because of disastrous plays starting in the neutral zone.
- The Bruins got badly outpossessed tonight by a team missing a lot of players, but as it turns out...those players Vegas has kept on reserve are actually freaking superstars! Who’da thunk it?
- Tuukka Rask played about as adequately as he could. Not a good game by any stretch, but about as well as you figure he can in front of a team that was brutalized defensively.
- Sean Kuraly had some kind of beef with Colin Miller tonight and it got Boston screwed up at least twice, including getting the Bruins on the penalty kill. He also kind of had a miserable game otherwise. May need him to unwind a bit before getting back into the lineup. Can’t let players get inside your head.
- Of course, with Boston’s offense continuing to make no headway without Backes/Acciari/Bergeron and the defense looking like a bunch of pylons, anyone can look like a superstar against the Bruins right now. You cannot have Pastrnak, Marchand, or Jake DeBrusk intermittently continuing to be the only players on the board. The Bruins were held to 15 shots on Malcolm Subban through 40, and finished the night with 22 shots on goal. Something. Has. To. Change.
- Speaking of defense, it would be better for this team to find a single blueliner that actually looked good in tonight’s game, because right now as the B’s have a serious consistency problem on their hands and it was across the board. Shutdown players not actually being able to shutdown plays, mobile players frequently losing sight of who has the puck and/or turning the puck over, rookie mistakes from all rookies...Paul Postma will likely find himself in Thursday’s lineup, and he’d better be ready with his A+ game.
- ANYONE WHO WAS INJURED PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON GET WELL SOON WE NEED YOU
Next game is the Canucks on Thursday for Hockey Fights Cancer night. I will see you at the game.