The Bruins looked to bounce back sunday after a tough loss to the Islanders the day before. This would not be an easy task however as the Bruins had to take on the first place Rangers. The Bruins got out to a rough start and went down 2-0 early in the game forcing Claude Julien to call a timeout. The Bruins seemed to get their act together and put together two goals to tie the game. However, in the third period Marian Gaborik scored which forced the Bruins to answer. With under 10 minutes to go in the game Tyler Seguin led the rush up ice and David Krejci notched his 17th goal of the season. However, several seconds later the Rangers answered with a goal of their own(a bad goal by Tim Thomas’ standards) and the Bruins were not able to answer as they lost their second straight.
The Bruins need to find their game before the playoffs. Although the Bruins expect Horton and Peverley to be back in the lineup you can never be sure with injuries in today’s NHL. In the meantime the Bruins need to simplify their game, last year they relied on their defense to help win games and it looks like they need to get back to this philosophy. My three points for the Bruins to get back on track are:
- Stay defensive minded- Although Claude Julien was heavily criticized last year for his teams lack of offense, his teams defensive strength is what won them the cup. Many coaches will tell you the offense comes from the defense. In the Bruins now almost 2 month long slump, defensive turnovers have been in abundance with the key turnover contributor being Zdeno Chara. In last years playoffs Chara was a workhorse for the Bruins and was the Bruins best player besides Tim Thomas. If Chara’s game continues to slip I don’t give the Bruins much chance in the Playoffs.
- Step up the physical play- The Bruins got their Identity by their physical play and it helped them win the cup as they were able to physically humiliate the Vancouver Canuck’s in last years Stanley Cup Finals. This year it seems like they are very timid at times to start the physical play. The majority of the time they play physical is when its in response to another teams physical play. The Boston Bruins need to make teams adjust to the Bruins game instead of always adjusting to the opponents.
- Keep the puck down low in the zone- The Bruins cannot simply stand at the blue line and just rip shots towards net. They need to create their own space along the boards and attempt to start more plays in Gretzky’s office(behind the net). Tyler Seguin needs to work on his board play as it seems that all he can do sometimes is skate and shoot. He needs to round out his game and be dangerous in all area’s of the offensive zone. Also by keeping the puck low in the zone they can eliminate costly turnovers that turn to breakaways.
If the Bruins can get back to their old ways they definitely have a legitimate chance of being repeat champions. They have some more skill than last year but have maintained the teams chemistry. They also may have an easy road in the playoffs as the Flyers continue to have goaltending problems and the Penguins are still without Crosby. The one team that can give them some serious problems is the New York Rangers. Hopefully for the Bruins they can once again find their post season magic
About the Author
Written by Patrick Regan
Lives in Cumberland, RI. I Love the Pats and the Bruins.