Monday, May 06, 2013

Bruins Revert to Regular Season Habits

The Bruins dominated Toronto in Game 1. And that doesn't mean a thing. Whether you win 8-0 or 4-1 or 1-0 in quintuple OT, it only counts as 1 playoff win. In Game 2 the Bruins eased up their intensity, while the Maple Leafs not only brought their own intensity, they were poised as well. The Leafs made fewer mistakes, and they won. It's not a complex formula.

James Reimer was a rusty colander in Game 1. In Game 2 he tightened up. Meanwhile Tuukka Rask had some rebound issues and allowed at least one goal that he should not have. Give the goaltending edge to Toronto there.

The Bruins, who had one of the best Penalty Kill units in the NHL during the regular season, allowed a power play goal. And the B's also managed to commit a few silly penalties such as Rich Peverley's delay of game. The Bruins only had 9 seconds of Power Play time. Power plays are typically the product of strong play in the offensive zone (desperate defending teams are more likely to commit hooking and slashing penalties). I think the refs called a good game, and the lack of Bruins PP time was because the Bruins didn't play a good game.

They had spurts. They had moments. They had sporadic instances of good play. But it's a 60 minute game. And once again this team's inconsistencies cost them.

Now they've given a young goalie confidence, instead of adding to his doubts. They've also now given a streaky scorer like Phil Kessel confidence. If he gets on a hot streak, that could decide the series. And now the Bruins have given a rabid and starving fanbase in Toronto a 1-1 series, and the Leafs now have home ice advantage.

Thankfully, Ference will return for Game 3. That helps Chara and Seidenberg more than anything. Seidenberg is a fantastic #2 defenseman. He's only a decent #1 defenseman. Putting Seidenberg on the ice with Chara is like putting Pippen with Jordan. It helps both of them, Seidenberg more than Chara, and significantly helps the team.

Nevertheless, the Bruins need to pick up their game. I haven't been impressed with Milan Lucic. He disappears for several shifts at a time. I haven't been impressed with Rask. I haven't been impressed with the Bruins' PK.

This is the First Round, they're playing the 5th seed, it's time to step up and play 60 full minutes. Or more. It's the friggin' Playoffs.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

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