Depressing. Lethargic. Uninspired.
All good words to describe tonight's effort against the Phoenix Coyotes. We're talking about a team that just replaced 25% of it's roster yesterday. About the only good news tonight is Washington also lost tonight to the Maple Leafs.
In a night where Mark Recchi and Steve Montador made their debuts in the Black and Gold, the Bruins started out relatively quickly. Just 7:09 into the game, Chuck Kobasew's wrist shot from the slot found it's way past Ilya Brezgalov and the early Bruin lead. The goal was set up by P.J.Axelsson's forecheck in the corner. He passed to Patrice Bergeron behind the netÂ who then found Kobasew. A couple minutes later, Zdeno Chara absolutely ran over Petr Prucha at the Phoenix blueline. The Bruins outhit the Yotes by aÂ margin of 31-10Â tonight. The only problem with this hit was the fact Chara didn't even try to play the puck and went to the box for interference. The Coyote power play was fairly impressive moving the puck in the Bruin zone. At the very end of the man advantage, Joakin Lindstrom stole the puck right off Wideman's stick and fed Scottie Upshall cutting to the net. He lifted a backhander past Thomas to even up the game.Â For Upshall, he now scored in consecutive games against the Bruins while playing for two different teams. It's a good thing the Yotes can't trade him to Chicago before Saturday. It's a better thing that this is definitely the last time we see this pest this year. The Bruins outshot the Yotes by a 9-6 margin for the first period. All but one of those shots were on the power play that Phoenix scored on.
The second period wasÂ the worst they played all night.Â They were unable to control the puck and therefore, unable to sustain any offensive pressure. Again, passes were on the backhand side of the stick or in the skates. Eight minutes in, the Coyotes struck for the final goal of the game. Off of a Bruin turnover at center ice, newcomer Nigel Dawes, found an uncovered Steven Reinprecht racing through the slot and while Reinprecht didn't get all of it, he got enough of it to put the Coyotes in the lead for good. David Krejci was a little slow to realize the defensive coverage. He picked up a late coming defensman while either not realizing or assuming Blake Wheeler was taking Reinprecht.
The third period was the best the Bruins played all night. They came out taking the body and that led to many offensive chances. Unfortunately, Bryzgalov was up for every chance the Bruins had. A good start to the road trip for Phoenix.Â Gretzky said after the game about how the Bruins stormed them in the third period afterward, “We knew they would. Theyâ€™re a great team. Theyâ€™ve got a lot of skill over there. Theyâ€™ve got a lot of size. Theyâ€™ve got a lot of energy and are well-coached. Thereâ€™s a reason they are where they are right now. So as a group, we knew they were going to come at us, and I thought we held composure pretty well. We did a pretty good job. It was a nice road win for us.”
In speaking to the two newcomers tonight, some of their thoughts about the Bruins:
Steve Montador on hisÂ first game as a Bruin. “I wish we would have won certainly. Seems like weâ€™re a team that doesnâ€™t give up a lot which is obviously great. So thatâ€™s certainly where we need to be. I think a couple minor components from obviously a very short time here will help turn this thing around. I think we just realized what happened tonight and get back to work tomorrow.”
About his new D partner, Mark Stuart. “Yeah, hey, heâ€™s solid, absolutely. When you get a feel early of when a guy is simple like that, and I mean that as a compliment, then itâ€™s easy for me to want to be the same and to know what to expect of him, and hopefully Iâ€™m doing the same for him.”
His thoughts on the crowd/atmosphere in the building. “Itâ€™s wonderful. Kids, gramps, grandmas, everyone in between itâ€™s pretty solid. Itâ€™s just right from the Black and Gold on our sweaters, to the seats, to the guy that was painted. A few people painted, itâ€™s awesome. Thereâ€™s great fans in Anaheim, but itâ€™s obviously just a much different atmosphere here. It goes deeper and I like that.”
Mark Recchi onÂ his first game. “Obviously you like to win it, but I felt comfortable out there. System, structurally, was no problem at all. I didnâ€™t quite have the energy I wouldâ€™ve liked to have on my first game, but it was a whirlwind day yesterday and I really hadnâ€™t skated in four days so, besides the morning skate today, so Iâ€™ll feel better as we go on here. Iâ€™ll get a nice practice in tomorrow with the guys and that will really help me.
Recchi speaking about actually coming to Boston. “I got told at 1:30 [I was traded to Boston] and I was on a plane at 7:00 last night, so I didnâ€™t have a whole lot of time to really get organized, but thatâ€™s part of the business. I just wanted to get in the night before and get settled and get in the morning skate so I could get out there tonight and I felt fine out there. Like I said my energy wasnâ€™t quite what I liked, what I should, will have, but at the same time I had some good opportunities. I overpassed in the first period on the two-on-one, I probably shouldâ€™ve shot that, but thatâ€™s maybe trying to impress a little bit.”
Don't forget to look for Zach Smith's view of tonight's gameÂ from the Coyote side.
Tonightâ€™s Three Stars…all three goal scorers
1 – Scottie Upshall with the firstÂ goal that started the period and a half downward slide for the Bruins. He plays with a ton of grit and is aÂ pest to play against.
2 – Steven Reinpricht with the game winner.
3- Chuck Kobasew with the only Bruin goal.
Next up -Â the Chicago Black HawksÂ here in Boston on Saturday afternoon.
As always, you can reach me here by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Written by Jim Mulligan