Monday, January 03, 2011
BRUINS GO NUTS IN BUFFALO
For the first time in team history, 4 defensemen scored goals. It was part of a 6 goal night for the B's, and they still failed to leave Buffalo with two points.
Most of the blame can be focused on Tuukka Rask, who made some poor decisions trying to play the puck a few times, and also allowed some soft goals. Now, it was his first start in 16 days, so a little rust is excusable. But he flat out didn't have it Saturday night. I'll give Julien some credit for pulling him after the 1st.
Even though they led 3-1 at one point, it wasn't as if the Bruins were dominating the Sabres. They were taking shots from the point that were finding holes through Ryan Miller. Then the well dried up, and Buffalo scored their share of the fortunate goals. Everything was going in.
The Bruins took a 6-5 lead in the 3rd, and how they blew that really pissed me off. For 3 minutes, they were pinned in the defensive zone, icing the puck three times, desperately trying to survive. Then Buffalo pulled their goalie, and playing 5 on 6, both Savard and Recchi attacked the puck carrier at the point. This left 3 Bruins to defend against 5 Sabres.
When games get frantic, and other teams get desperate, the Bruins' positional discipline and situational awareness simply breaks down. Claude Julien receives a great deal of praise for the well organized defense the Bruins play. But maybe there's too much focus on careful and logical play. Maybe the players need to play with more instinct, and less contemplation. At least in those furious moments at the end of a close game.
As this road trip moves north, it's starting to turn south. Buffalo isn't a good team. And neither is Toronto, whom the Bruins play tonight. Anything short of 2 points tonight is inexcusable.