Monday, October 24, 2011

Bruins Giveaway a Game

The good news is that the mistakes that the Bruins made are easily fixed. That's also what makes them so frustrating to watch. San Jose came into Boston after playing 65 minutes in New Jersey the night before. The Bruins should have tried to grind a game out, play mistake free, and hope to outplay and outwork the Sharks in the 3rd. Instead, they made some stupid mistakes (especially David Krejci) early on and were playing catch-up hockey most of the night.

Pavelski's goal 72 seconds into the game was assisted by Joe Thornton, but Krejci deserved the second assist. He surrendered the puck in the Neutral Zone with a careless pass that had no chance of not being a turnover.

San Jose's second goal came when Krejci didn't cover the slot in front of Thomas. Instead, he kind of joined a 2-on-2 scrum for the puck on the boards behind the net (I say "kind of" because he didn't really do anything to help the two Bruins defensemen engaged). This left Logan Couture uncovered in front, and when the Sharks won the board battle, Couture made the Bruins pay for Krejci's absentmindedness.

I criticize Krejci for not being much of a scorer. The playoffs silenced that critique. But he's praised for his puck-possession skills. Turnovers and defensive mistakes are acceptable realities for guys who can score 40 goals. For someone who struggles to reach 20 goals, and who is supposed to do the smart, little things, Krejci's mistakes were intolerable.

He's -5 on the season and that's one of the reasons he's been taken off the top line. He's better than this. He'll play better.

The Bruins' play improved in the late parts of the 2nd and scored twice in the 3rd. Lucic's goal was pure effort and muscle. Seguin's goal was a bit cleaner, but still assisted by the strength of Lucic and Kelly. I'm liking the Lucic-Kelly-Seguin line.

But the Sharks got the game-winner thanks to a faceoff win, some food forechecking, and a bit of indecisiveness from Steve Kampfer.

The Bruins are successful when they do the little things right. ALL the little things. That's why they won the Cup, that's why they had a good start to the 3rd period. Overall in the game, though, the Bruins turned the puck over 23 times (San Jose had 6 giveaways) and didn't complete many of their passes.

We saw this routine last year. We even saw it a few times in the playoffs. The Bruins fell behind to Montreal and Vancouver because they didn't take care of the puck. This team can play better than this and I'm sure within the remaining 74 games, they will.

Big game Thursday as the Habs come to town. Montreal is 1-4-2 and this is a good chance to keep a divisional foe down.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo

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