Monday, January 11, 2010
The Bruins and Rangers have played each other pretty close. Lots of 1-0, and 2-1 games. And as frustrating as those losses can be, they're at least exciting to watch, and the Bruins typically register a good effort. Neither of those things were true Saturday afternoon.
You can blame the injuries all you want, and the Bruins have had their share and a half. But injuries don't excuse Dennis Wideman's inability to consistently handle the puck. They don't excuse Michael Ryder's stilted and deliberate shooting (in high traffic areas, he doesn't one-time the puck, he catches it, handles it, then tries to shoot. Of course, by that point, a quick reacting defenseman has poke-checked the puck away). They don't excuse David Krejci's puck ignorance in the crease. They don't excuse a defensive scheme that surrendered the neutral zone without a fight, and yielded the defensive zone almost as freely. Saturday afternoon, the Bruins' supposedly vaunted layered defense looked more like the French in WWII.
From now on Dennis Wideman's new name is Harvey Dent, because he's a Two Face. He flips a coin, and half the time he does something clever with the puck, the other half he does something wholly moronic.
David Krejci is a premature ejaculator.
Derek Morris is back to being Derek Useless.
And I'm starting to think that Michael Ryder is the reason the Bruins acquired Miroslav Satan.
How many Too Many Men violations have the Bruins made this season? 10? Isn't anything higher than 2 at this point far too many? If you want tangible evidence for a team not focused, look no farther than their obscene amount of Too Many Men penalties.
At the game, some people around my seats kept yelling for Rask. Talk about treating the headache by taking some Pepto-Bismol. The goaltending is not the problem on this team. Nowhere near the problem. Injuries and good players playing like bad players, that's the problem. These "Tuukka Time" people are the same guys who wanted the Pats to put in Michael Bishop.
Nothing against Rask. I'd venture to say that he and Thomas are close to equals. And I don't really mind who is in net. But mostly that's because when the defense forfeits the zone so easily, it doesn't much matter. You could have Vladislav Tretiak and Patrick Roy's lovechild in net, and you'd still give up bad goals.
The Bruins have a West Coast trip that might help them get their heads back in the game. But how many times have I had to write something like that this season? "Hopefully this gets them focused," "Maybe now they'll get their act together," "This trip is what they need to get back on track."
Bruins @ Ducks Wednesday at 10 Eastern.
AP Photo/Mary Schwalm