Some thoughts on last night’s depressing evening for the Carolina Tropical Depressions:
- Don’t get carried away: this game was, after all, against the Carolina Hurricanes. I’m not one of the “woe is me” people who believe the Bruins are headed for a first round sweep; I think the team is in a slump and will work itself out. However, even I’m not taking last night’s win to mean everything is right in the world. There were plenty of good things, plenty of troubling things, and a few just plain bad things. The offense showed some jump and creativity (good), Jaromir Jagr looks like he’s settling in (good), the B’s allowed 40+ shots again (troubling), Tuukka Rask had to bail the team out a number of times when this was still a game (troubling) and Tyler Seguin all but disappeared (bad). A win is a win, sure, but let’s not take it to mean the B’s have righted the ship.
- Speaking of Tyler Seguin, I’m not entirely sure what to think about his slump. On the one hand, it could be argued that it’s of his own doing: he’s not performing, so he gets bumped down a line or two. However, he’s been juggled around quite a bit by Claude Julien since the Patrice Bergeron injury, and hasn’t really had much time to get acclimated to his new setting. Just when he’s played a few shifts with, say, Jagr and Paille, oops, demoted, back to the third line. It’s definitely not the best way to handle things, but I’m not sure Julien has any other options. The return of Chris Kelly should help balance the center duties a bit more, and hopefully Seguin falls back in line.
- The B’s defense still needs work, as allowing 40+ shots nightly in the playoffs will earn the team a quick trip to the golf course. This has been a strange season for the Bruins: they’re usual airtight and responsible on defense and rarely blow leads, but this season they’ve blown leads like it’s their job and have been unusually porous and careless in their own zone. It needs to be fixed, and fast: Tuukka Rask is in the zone right now, and 42 shots from Carolina aren’t going to be that troubling, but that won’t work long term.
- The first line is still a mystery to me. The trio of David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Nathan Horton was pretty much invisible at the start of last night’s game, then seemed to wake up later on. Horton’s goal was a tap-in, made easy by a perfect Dougie Hamilton pass. However, the trio hasn’t seemed very dangerous lately. Hopefully they wake up and get going soon, as they’ve been the only line that hasn’t been shuffled yet. If they keep playing the way they have, that will probably change pretty soon.