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Bruins vs. Islanders 2/17/22 RECAP: Listless 2 period Effort by Boston dooms them in 4-1 loss

Increasingly, we are beginning to see just how important certain players are to this team, and why that might not be a good thing.

Boston Bruins v New York Islanders Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images

A Morass of Highlights:

Things kicked off with Taylor Hall doing the sole positive thing the Bruins did all evening. Thanks, Taylor!

The rest of the game was the Islanders, plugging away slowly and attacking at any opportunity. They would score the next four goals of the game on the way to the Bruins getting a 4-1 loss. Dobson, Nelson, JG Pageau...and of course Mat Barzal...were the scorers for the Islanders.

So yeah. That was a disastrous game all around. We don’t have to go into any deeper meaning than that...but we’ll do that anyway.

Game Notes and also coming to Grips with what this team actually is:

  • Your TOI Leader was Charlie McAvoy with 26:19 logged, 21 of which was at even strength.
  • Linus Ullmark had an .893 SV% by the end of the night, which was exacerbated primarily in the last 40 minutes where he gave up one goal that was one in a million, and then another where he just got beat clean. It’s hard when your defense is giving up so much ice for the Islanders to do stuff.
  • As I was watching this game, I began to notice a lot of the same frustrating things that happen when the team starts to struggle or they have an important piece out, and the most obvious example is David Pastrnak’s maybe forgettable performance tonight where he didn’t exactly have the best eye test in spite of the fact that Hall, Pasta and Bergeron had an overwhelming share of the shot-attempts and unblocked shot attempts on the team by a startling margin and probably the game itself, and I had an epiphany about the way the Boston Bruins, as of right now, are constructed, whether on purpose or by accident. The entire system as we are at least moderately aware, runs through about four or five players; Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak, McAvoy, and maybe Hall if you’re being generous. The team is in fact constructed like a Rube Goldberg machine around those four/five critical elements that must produce somewhere between 1.5 and 2 goals a night in order for the rest of the machine to work. And if any one of those pieces is say...taken out of the equation or operating at half efficiency, the other four feel obligated, as the critical elements in this machine, to overcorrect and do the thing they’re supposed to be doing less well as a result, and the whole thing unravels. The rest of the team is just string, dominoes and hot wheels cars carrying a quarter.
  • Bruce Cassidy’s done what he can but he’s almost certainly reached the limit of what he can do. He can yell and scream and shout all he likes and maybe he gets a game or two out of that...but it’s not a sustainable model. Eventually he still has to set up the Machine again, using that same string, dominoes and hot wheels cars. In order for them to be competitive, they need to find, at the very minimum, another player that can be a major structural element.
  • And hey, credit to the Islanders. They have effectively nothing to play for but pride and Barry Trotz can do a lot with just pride given the less than string he’s often given by professional dinosaur Lou Lamiorello. They showed up ready to party and did so, even when down to begin the game.
  • And no, they’re not going to blow it up. Frankly, if you’re coming to this thread to suggest they blow it up, you’d probably be coming into our announcement of them blowing it up to say how “insulted” you are that they’re blowing it up, because blowing it up means a lot of the guys you personally enjoy would be gone and gone forever. Playoff money is what the Jacobs family wants, and if there’s a chance they can lurch this corpse over the finish line? They will.
  • I can very easily imagine however, that the trade deadline will be exceptionally interesting. There are a lot of ways the B’s can theoretically make noise and maybe get a little bit better. Or ship out some faces that we can finally move on from.
  • Whatever. We’ll see how things shake out against the Senators. They’re gonna need that going into the Avs game.