“I mean they’re a great team but we weren’t ready at all. For whatever reason we weren’t sharp from the get-go and that hurt us. We know they’re gifted and control the puck, and they did. We didn’t match it. We’ll have to be a lot better on Sunday. It was a good eye opener for us. We haven’t had one of these in a while so let’s hope that’s it for a long time again.”
Mark Recchi after the Bruins get smoked by the Red Wings tonight.
After an emotional, ‘hate’ filled game Wednesday against the Canadiens, the Boston Bruins looked to size themselves up once again, against one of the Western Conferences best teams. With the west’s #2 seed in town the Bruins picked the wrong night to come out flat. The Red Wings, coming off a brutal loss to the Predators, came to Boston looking for redemption. Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Cleary started on the road to redemption on their first two shots of the game.
With a two goal lead just 3:10 into the game, the Wings were able to execute their puck possesion game to perfection. Rask wasn’t good but he wasn’t completely horrible tonight. The whole team in front of him flat out stunk. Halfway through the first period, this game could have easily been 4-0 if not for Rask but in the end, Tuukka didn’t make the saves when he had to.
With a couple minutes left in the first, the B’s tried to make a game of it. Even their lone goal was a stroke of luck. On the power play, Zdeno Chara tried to take one of his record breaking slap shots from the right point. With his stick splitting in half right in the middle of the shaft, the puck just dribbled to Jimmy Howard’s short side where Milan Lucic gained control and passed back to David Krejci in the slot. Howard overcommitted on Chara’s shot and got lost in his crease at the near post. He never had a chance to get in position for Krejci’s shot and the wings lead was cut in half.
So with a slight ray of hope, the Bruins came out of the locker room and once again gave up a goal on the first shot of the period. This one was score by Jiri Hudler but the play was made by Henrik Zetterberg. Holding the puck outside the left face off circle, Zetterberg drew four Bruins attention and slipped a dandy of a backhand pass to Hudler. He was able to one-time a shot over Rask to give the Wings a two goal lead once again.
Late in the second period, Zetterberg and Bertuzzi scored 24 seconds apart to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 5-1 blowout. Goodnight Tuukka, hello Tim Thomas. Thomas was good but not perfect. He gave up a goal to Tomas Holmstrom on a 5 on 3 Red Wing power play where he didn’t have a chance on.
So what do we make of this? This is the second consecutive game where the Bruins gave up 6 goals. This is also the second consecutive game where the Bruin had a highly charged emotional game on this homestand (vs. Dallas and then vs. Montreal) where they just couldn’t get the emotional level up for the competition.
First the consecutive six goals against. This is definitely not what Claude Julien preaches. Tonight was just the Wings taking the B’s out behind the woodshed and whipping them. Tuukka should have had the first one for sure. Maybe the second one as well. The B’s defense really broke down allowing Cleary the inside position on Rask. He was at fault for the last two he gave up. Of the five he gave up, only the Hudler goal he really didn’t have a chance on.
I can see the the difficulty getting up for every game. It’s a long season and especially after the emotion of a brawl with a divisional rival, I can see being somewhat flat in the next game against a western conference, “once a year type opponent.” The thing here that bothers me is they were playing the Red Wings. The Red Wings are always a measuring stick in the NHL so for this team to come out this flat was very disappointing.
There is very little time to rebound. Both teams are jumping on a flight to Detroit tomorrow for a rematch Sunday afternoon. For the Bruins, this is redemption time like it was for the Wings tonight. I expect the Bruins to show up for this one. I’m not predicting a win but as a collective unit, they better play much better than they did tonight.
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Written by Jim Mulligan