Tuesday, May 11, 2010
You can explain the Bruins' 5-4 OT loss on Friday as a close game won by a desperate Flyers team. I characterized it as a wakeup call. But the Bruins apparently hit the snooze button. They didn't hit much else after that.
Trent Whitfield can teach his teammates something. That's an odd statement, but he was the ONLY Bruin who consistently fought hard, won battles, skated strongly, and didn't fuck up. Dennis Wideman relapsed into regular season mode. Michael Ryder was useless. Blake Wheeler also returned to his regular season form. Shawn Thornton didn't play physical (all he's good for in the playoffs). Boychuk and Chara failed to get a shot on goal. Lucic bungled and bobbled the puck.
I'll give credit to the Flyers for playing relatively mistake free, being physical yet disciplined, and for Ville Laino having the game of his life. But they beat a Bruins team that wasn't motivated, wasn't disciplined, and should be ashamed of themselves, except for Trent Whitfield.
The Bruins allowed 9 power plays. They only managed 23 shots on net. And when Brian Boucher got hurt and career backup Michael Leighton replaced him, the Bruins seemingly avoided shooting the puck. They managed 1 shot on him in his first 6 minutes on the ice. Meanwhile, the Flyers got 31 shots on Rask, but had 21 blocked by the Bruins.
Blocked shots are great, but when you're blocking so many, it's indicative of an opponent being allowed to spend far too much time in your zone.
The Bruins lost battles everywhere. Races for pucks, physical battles for loose pucks, battles for position in the crease. They had occasional stretches of intense play, but these were the exceptions, not the rule.
If the Bruins lose this series, I want Claude Julien fired. And Michael Ryder banished.
Game 6 Wednesday night in Philly.