After the Bruins' hard-fought (literally) win over Dallas, you couldn't help but feel optimistic. But as they've done with frequency for the past 3 years, the B's followed a strong performance with a flat one.
They absolutely dominated the Stars, and if not for Rask and the refs, the score would have been closer to 8-1 as opposed to 6-3. Then they give us 60 minutes of mediocrity against San Jose. They managed 26 shots on Niemi, very few of which came from good scoring positions. The thing about Niemi is that he'll give up some juicy rebounds. The Bruins didn't collect any of them. Give credit to the Sharks, who usually had 4 bodies positioned around Niemi at all times, and clearing those rebounds. They outmanned and outmuscled the Bruins down low.
They outmuscled the Bruins everywhere, and that's been a repetitive theme of Sharks/Bruins games. The Sharks are bigger, they skate with power, they win battles.
The Bruins had 4 power plays, and failed to get a shot on goal for 3 of them. That's simply sad.
Krejci played like an utter turd. I don't know how he received the 3rd Star. Maybe it was a typo. Maybe it was a joke. I wouldn't be surprised if I heard he played the game drunk, he was that careless with the puck. It was the worst game I've seen him play. He was by far the worst player on the ice. His shorthanded foolishness cost the Bruins a goal, and who knows how many scoring chances he cost Lucic and Horton with his giveaways.
It's the same old story with this team. Ups and downs. Fighting for 60 minutes, then a few days later relaxing for 60. Playing with intensity and focus, then making stupid mistakes. And simple adjustments fail to be made during the game. Niemi gives up rebounds, so why not try some bad angle shots? Bad angle shot=good angle rebound, as this kindergarten level diagram illustrates:
I just don't expect much from this team. Not with these same repeating lapses in focus and intensity. Not with this coach. This cast of characters. This GM. Guys like Thomas, Lucic, and now Bergeron and Marchand have carried this team. Along with the defense. But they've been undermined by the likes of Michael Ryder, Blake Wheeler, Nathan Horton, and Claude Julien.
We have a good team in Boston, but they're too good at self-sabotaging themselves.
A few days off, then a short but tough stretch of games. The Bruins are 2 points ahead of Montreal and host them Wednesday night. Then it's a home and home with Detroit, the #2 team in the West. Time for the B's to bring their A Game.