It’s the morning after the game, and everyone seems to have calmed down a bit. Here are some thoughts on that ugly affair:
- Blown leads What, really, is there that can be said? Recent iterations of the Boston Bruins under Claude Julien were notoriously airtight with a late lead, to the tune of a record close to 30-o-o when leading after two periods. This year? Nope. Blown leads led to losses against Buffalo, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Washington, and now, Winnipeg. To put it plainly, the B’s didn’t match Winnipeg’s desperation in the third. The B’s are coasting towards the playoffs, while Winnipeg is scratching tooth and nail to get into a better position. Call it fatigue, or disinterest, or complacency; what it really is is troubling, and something the B’s need to fix.
- Spoonman! The play of Ryan Spooner was a bright spot last night, as the kid racked up 15:29 TOI, close to three times what he skated in his first NHL game a few weeks back. Spooner looked comfortable between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, and didn’t hold those two players back at all (in fact, it could be argued that the play of Lucic kept Spooner from a few golden opportunities for his first career goal, but I digress).
- Missed opportunities The B’s had a lead for a large part of this game, but repeatedly failed to build on it. A few posts come to mind, as do some lazy passes or weird plays by Lucic, but the one that stands out to me is Zdeno Chara’s miss on a third period power play. Patrice Bergeron spotted Chara heading towards the far post and gave him a great pass, one that Chara inexplicably settled down and shot instead of just one-timing. That brief hesitation allowed Ondrej Pavelec time to get across and make the save. Huge miss.
- Tumbling McQuaid Another awkward fall into the boards by Adam McQuaid. After seeing the replay a few times, it looks like it’s possible that McQuaid separated his shoulder, or suffered some kind of upper arm injury (hopefully it’s not a break). That’s just speculation on my part, going off of what I saw, but it didn’t look good. Aaron Johnson should play first in case of a McQuaid absence, though a call-up of Torey Krug isn’t out of the question.
- No big play from Rask Some people were mad at Claude Julien last night, upset that the coach said the team didn’t get the timely saves it needed. Julien hardly put the blame solely on Rask’s shoulders; rather he stated a fact, and that fact is that Rask couldn’t make a big save when the B’s needed. Calling it a “big” save is hyperbolic, as he should’ve controlled the rebound of the initial shot that led to Kane’s goal. It was less than a minute after Winnipeg had tied the game, the MTS Centre was rocking, and the Jets were flying (pun intended). That’s when a team needs its goalie to clamp down on a puck, get a whistle, take a face-off, and settle things down. Instead, Rask allowed the shot to trickle through, where it was banged home by Evander Kane. No, the loss wasn’t Rask’s fault, but he didn’t do what he could’ve to prevent it either.