"Defensively Brain-dead" Bruins Hand Buffalo Two Points
Buffalo Sabres 7 - Boston Bruins 4
Well at least I was right about something in yesterday's preview...anyone looking for a skilled hockey was sorely disappointed in watching last night's beat down of the Bruins by the previously dismal Buffalo Sabres.
Buffalo strolled into Boston with something to prove and right out of the gate they made sure the Bruins knew that they could be just as tough as the Big Bad Black and Gold. Shawn Thornton and John Scott dropped the gloves early in the first and that was all of the hockey game "Twos" got to see. Scott, 6' 8", took down the Bruins heavy weight champ without breaking a sweat. It was brutal to watch and not something Boston fans are use to seeing from their favorite brawler. Not only did Thorny not return to the game, but announced this morning, due to a concussion, he will not return for seven to ten days. I know a lot of Bruins fans have complained that this wasn't a well matched fight, that is a little hypocritical considering their captain is an inch taller than Scott. The Sabres took down Shawn Thornton, fair and square, and really never looked back.
Brad Marchand showed some signs of life for the Bruins with two goals, but even his honey badger hustle couldn't save this massacre. So what went wrong for the Bruins and right for Buffalo?
Coach Julien put it best, when in his post game interview he referred to his team as "defensively brain-dead". Unfortunately, this isn't anything new, but when you're one of the hottest teams in the NHL your fans tend to over look how awful certain aspects of your game are. This epic fail falls on pretty much every player on the team, remember, defense is not just the responsibility of the defenseman. Too many times this season we've seen the Bruins out of position when defending their zone, Rask can only stop so many shots on his own. At the risk of sounding cliche, defense wins championships, and the Bruins won't be winning anything if they keep playing defense with more holes than the cheese Seguin and Bergeron brought back from Switzerland.
Its no secret that I don't really care for the Buffalo Sabres, but stick tap to them for actually playing hockey last night. It will be interesting to see if they can repeat what they did against the Bruins to continue winning games, I'll wager money they don't, but I'll definitely be watching. Its also no longer a secret that Thomas Vanek owns the Bruins. Last night he nailed Boston with a hat trick and two assists. Vanek has always had luck against the B's but this is by far and away his best showing thus far. Thursday night showed that Buffalo no longer has any excuses to lose like they have been so far this season.
Moving on...Daniel Paille took a stick to the eye Thursday night and will not make the trip to Toronto due to an "upper body injury". Paille wears a half shield, yet still always seems to get his eyes poked, nose smashed and other parts of his face destroyed. Either forget the shield or always wear a cage...God clearly doesn't like your face. Jamie Tardif has been recalled from the Providence Bruins. Not sure what the third and fourth lines will look like moving forward, but Chris Bourque better leave his "pressure" jitters in Boston before the team hits the road. The Bruins only have three home games in the month of February and, at least for the next week or so, looks like they'll be playing with three AHL players on ice.
The Bruins visit Toronto tomorrow and Montreal on Wednesday, before heading home to face the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday. Oh and fun times when the Bruins head up to Buffalo twice in February...if the B's don't get healthy and fix their defensive issues the shortest month of the year could feel like an eternity.
Keep you heads up and your sticks down...especially when playing Buffalo it seems.