Monday, October 26, 2009
Mixed emotions about this game. On the one hand, the Bruins scored 2 goals in the last 88 seconds to force an overtime, and eventually triumph in the shootout. On the other hand, they NEEDED 2 goals to force an overtime.
If this were just an isolated game, it would be a thrilling victory to be celebrated and enjoyed. But the Bruins have developed an awful habit of inconsistency. They played a solid 1st period, a fantastic 2nd period, and for 18 minutes in the 3rd they let the Senators dominate them. It's got to stop.
Tim Thomas was Jedi-like in this game. His stat line isn't impressive (27 saves on 30 shots), but without him this game would've been 5-1 or worse. And that's not an exaggeration. He made some inhuman saves, staying in plays that no other goalie could stay in.
Derek Morris has another good game. But not many Bruins did. Blake Wheeler scored a goal, but also had some dreadful giveaways. Bergeron, Ference, Stuart, and Wideman all made nervous looking passes.
This team's problem isn't a lack of fire, it's a lack of focus. They don't have that workmanlike attitude that characterized their regular season play last season. They'll be too casual for 15 minutes at a time, trying to make cross-ice passes that are broken up by a defender literally 2 feet from them. They'll lose battles along the boards, and make moronic decisions with the puck. Then after 15 minutes of this, and an opponent's goal or two, they'll have fire and play with a fury for 10 minutes.
They don't need a fire lit under them. They don't need players traded to "send a message." They need veteran guys like Chara, Sturm, Savard (when he returns), and Rechhi to play with a collected passion and an even keel. When Aaron Ward and PJ Axelsson left, this team lost some of its calm and confident character. That needs to be replaced from within. And I think eventually it will be.
The Bruins have 6 power play goals. They've allowed 3 shorthanded goals. They'd better find that character.
Almost a week off until the B's host the Devils on Thursday.
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand