The Bruins season started 10 days ago, I know that. They’re 3-2, I also know that. However, what I don’t know is this… Should we be concerned? The three wins on the team’s record have all been great, including the home opener I was so lucky to be at. The losses, though, have been really not great.
Before I get into this season, let’s just take a look at personnel, or lack there of. After pretty much clearing house from the 2011 championship team, the majority of the guys are younger, newer faces. Think about everyone from that Stanley Cup team, and where they are now. Lucic had an unreal season out in LA and now is an assistant captain up in Edmonton. Boychuk continues to do Johnny Rocket-like things for the Islanders and now is accompanied by former Bruins teammate Denis Seidenberg. Loui Eriksson may have had an embarrassing debut for the Canucks, but we’re all well aware of what he can do. Last but not least, Tyler Seguin. Do we really even need to break this one down? Trading him to Dallas started this downfall, and broke my damn heart for those who care. If you’re not understanding where I’m going with this, I’ll put it into plain terms. THEY’RE ALL SUCCEEDING. In his first two seasons with the Stars, Seguin had 37 goals on the season, almost 10 more than his career high (29) with Boston. Let’s just take a second and remember how amazing that line was with him, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron…
Ok moment of silence over.
Taking a look at these two losses on the season, both at the hands of the Canadian rivals Toronto and Montreal, I was kind of disappointed. Backup goalie Anton Khudobin started both of these games, so I can’t place any blame on Tuukka… Yet. Although he let up 4 goals in the game against Toronto, he still saved 20 shots in his season debut. He said he was frustrated in the first period after letting up the first three goals of the game. Although the goalie’s main job is to make sure the puck stays out of the net, the defense’s job is to help him out, which this Bruins defense hasn’t exactly done over the past few seasons. If you watch the video of the third goal in this game, you can see plain as day that the defense was rattled. Bodies were just flying all over the place, no one knew what the hell was going on. That’s peewee stuff. Boston ended up losing 4-1 up in Toront0, thanks to the one goal from David Pastrnak fighting off the shutout.
In yesterday’s matchup against the Canadiens, again Khudobin was in net. I got the notification earlier yesterday morning saying they recalled a goalie from Providence, because Tuukka’s injury from game one of the season was bothering him. (???). He looked sharp as ever Thursday night aside from the cheap five-hole goal he let up on a powerplay. This poses the question, is Rask so afraid of Montreal that he refuses to be on the ice for that game? This isn’t the first time we’ve seen him duck out of a game against the Habs last minute. Just something to think about.
No loss against Montreal is acceptable, but it just adds salt to the wound when you let Brendan Gallagher score. I don’t know what it is but there’s just something about him that makes me hate him more than any other Canadien player. What makes all of that even worse is the headline for this game on NHL.com. It’s been almost five years since the B’s beat Montreal at the Garden, so basically since my sophomore year of high school. I’m now a junior in college… Nice.
Boston managed to put up two late goals in this game, coming from Ryan Spooner and Dominic Moore, who’s proving himself worthy of wearing the black and gold, but it wasn’t enough and the B’s fell 4-2, giving them their second loss of this young season.
This offense, when it decides to click, is unstoppable and we’ve seen that time and time again. But when they’re off, boy are they off, and that radiates throughout the entire team. Hopefully these young guys can help with that, like Carlo and Pastrnak did the other night in that decisive win against Winnipeg. Guys like Tim Schaller and Noel Acciari who both have two assists on Dominic Moore goals, are making this fourth line something to fear.
Jimmy Hayes and Matt Beleskey, however, need to wake up. These two are supposed to be the aces on the third line, and so far they’ve done absolutely nothing. It’d be one thing to use the “they’re young, still finding their rhythm” excuse, but these guys are veterans who we’ve seen be productive before. Claude Julien, who I defended tooth and nail this offseason against those who question how he still has this head coaching position, needs to somehow get these guys back to the big bad Bruins we all know and love. They may not be the iconic 2011 team, but who’s to say they can’t be something similar if they get their you know what together… Maybe it is too early to be worried about these guys. Maybe I’m just used to them breaking my heart come playoff time, and that’s why I’m so ready to jump to conclusions. I do think this team has potential to be playoff contenders, but I say that every year in hopes I’ll actually be right. The real test will be how these guys play against a red hot Rangers team Wednesday night, which scares the hell out of me but who knows, the Bruins always seem to have the Rangers number early on in the season.