Bruins Barely Take 2 vs Jets in MLK Day SO
Boston Bruins (2-0-0) 2, Winnipeg Jets (0-1-1) 1
Brutal. I'm not really sure which team is the real Boston Bruins, the team that out played the Rangers Saturday night, or the sloppy whiffers who barely squeezed out two points against the Winnipeg Jets this afternoon.
For their own sake, let's hope the Saturday night guys are the ones who make the trip to Manhattan on Wednesday.
Dennis Seidenberg was a late scratch, he's day to day with a lower body injury. Aaron Johnson, new in town on a one year two-way, got his chance to earn a spot in Boston, and he made quite the first impression.
The eight year NHL veteran came out strong and physical. The Jets drew first blood in just under two minutes, capitalizing on a face-off win allowing Chris Thorburn to tally his first of the season.
Rather than spark the Bruins to bite back, they played a rather sloppy first period, with laxed defense allowing the Jets 11 shots in the first 20 minutes (NYR were held to 21 shots in all of Saturday's game).
Lucky for the B's Tuukka Rask came ready to play and bailed out his defense. There were too many missed opportunities for the B's offensively, especially with Ondrej Pavelec's less than stellar puck control, too many whiffs, wide shots and hits off the post.
Two-thirds through the period, on a line change, Nathan Horton chiped the puck down to Tyler Seguin seemlessly, keeping control and finding Brad Marchand right in front to put one past Pavelec. Giant sigh of relief heading into the locker room with it all tied up, though definite frustration knowing the score could have easily been in the Bruin's favor.
The second period had two early power plays for Winnipeg (Krejci: High-sticking, Ference: Tripping), no complaints on the Bruins penalty kill, solid all night. Boston had woken up a bit, driving the net, keeping bodies in front, all the key elements seemed to be in place, they just couldnt bury the puck and their full strength defense just couldn't stay tight.
Huge miss toward the end of the period with Seguin whiffing on a "gimme" from Bergeron, the breeze from that will be powering the south shore for the remainder of the winter. An interference call on former Bruin, Marc Stuart, at the end of the period only allowed the Bruins another chance to not score on the power play.
Alex Burmistrov started the third period by wisely walking away from a possibly riff with Adam McQuaid, though in an otherwise rather boring game a little donnybrook would have been more than welcomed to wake up both the crowd and the players. After an interference on goalkeeper call on Evander Kane, Dougie Hamilton started an onslaught from the Bruins, three shots from yet another unsuccessful PP effort (deja vu anyone?).
Johnny Boychuck ended the third period with a high-sticking call, with Seidenberg out, the big defenseman's presence was definitely missed on the penalty kill and started overtime 4-on-3 for the Jets.
Overtime saw two completely different teams fighting for two points, but unfortunately ended with a nomination for "Horrible Call of the Year" with a holding call on Zdeno Chara against Blake Wheeler, who had somehow already fallen before Big Z ever made any contact.
Wheeler's dramatic crash into the net didn't help the Boston captain's cause either. Once again, the only true star of the game, the Bruin's penalty kill, gets them out of another period. On to the shoot out...Seguin and Bergeron put the puck past Pavelec with no problem. For the Jets, ex-Bruin Wheeler, got one through Rask, but Jokinen and Little just couldn't beat him.
Coach Julien surprised everyone by giving Boston legend Ray Bourque's son, Chris, a chance, but his miss didnt matter and the Bruins got their two points.
It wasn't pretty but at the end of the day, two points is all that matters. However the Bruins will need to figure out their personal Rubix Cube a.k.a their power play, tighten up their defense and just connect, connect, connect if they want to make four points six.
The Bruins hit the road Wednesday for a rematch against the Rangers who are hungry for a win. This kind of sloppy play just won't cut it.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this season is too short for the mistakes the were made today.
Hmm...anyone want to guess what the boys will be working on in practice tomorrow morning? Rhymes with "shower clay".