(Photo: Alan Sullivan)
As the Boston Bruins took to the ice for their morning skate, there was talk about how important Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings was. It was described as a measuring stick game to see how they stacked up. They discovered, they come up short—embarrassingly short.
Though Brad Marchand was able to get the Bruins on the scoreboard first just 5:03 into the game on the power play, that was really the only thing that went right for Boston. In fact, the Kings would have seven unanswered goals before the Bruins would again find the back of the net in the third period, when Tyler Randell scored his fifth goal of the season in his first game back after having been a healthy scratch for a number of games.
Randell would answer the bell in the first period and drop the gloves with Kyle Clifford a couple of minutes into the game. This seemed to generate some energy for the Bruins and then when Christian Ehrhoff was whistled for a trip, and the Bruins were able to convert on the man advantage, it looked like it could be an important and positive game for the team.
Unfortunately with Marchand in the box for slashing, Jeff Carter would tie the game with his own power play goal. Though this had happened to the Bruins before, it was the goal by Marian Gaborik with a mere 16 seconds remaining in the first frame that would knock the wheels off the black and gold wagon and send it hurtling into the Grand Canyon of bad games.
Coming out into the second period, Andy Andreoff would get his fourth goal of the season less than three minutes into the middle frame to give the Kings a two goal lead. About ten minutes later Drew Doughty put the puck behind Tuukka Rask with the Kings’ fourth goal and second on the power play. Before the Bruins could blink, 33 seconds later to be specific, Dwight King made it 5-1, and that signaled the end of the night for Rask. Jonas Gustavsson didn’t fare much better allowing an additional four goals on the night.
Patrice Bergeron told reporters after the game that the list of what went wrong was too long to mention. And where did the team discover they measured?
“A lot of work to be done. It’s one of those things where, we have 29 games left, and we knew we had some work to do, but we have, I guess, a lot of work to do,” he said with strain in his voice. “So, hopefully we have plenty of character in here to kind of realize that we’ve got to be much better, and work on things we saw today, and I think we all know in here what those things are.”
Words like embarrassed and angry were heard from all the Bruins players available to the media after the game.
If there is one sliver of possible positivity in the week ahead, it could be that they are going on the road. For whatever reason this season, the Bruins have been more confident on the road than they have been on home ice. The next six games will find the Bruins in Winnipeg, Minnesota, Detroit, Columbus, Nashville and Dallas. Fortunately they will not be seeing the Kings on this trip. But these games are important given how tight the points are in the Eastern Conference.
“It’s huge. Especially now, it’s huge. I mean it’s, we talked about it before even tonight’s game that the games coming up were really important, and now they’re paramount,” Bergeron explained. “It’s one of those things where, the breakdowns we had tonight need to be fixed ASAP, and we really need to have our heads up tomorrow and be back at it, because that’s the only way we can get out of this.”
“They’re huge. With the way the race is right now, and how close everyone is, we know we’re going to be playing some tough teams, and we need to get some points,” Marchand agreed. “So, hopefully we can regroup and bounce back, and have a good road trip.”
The constriction in both their voices was evident showing that the mention of anger wasn’t just lip service. They will practice at Ristuccia on Wednesday before heading off to Winnipeg, where the Jets will host them on Thursday for an 8:00pm ET start.
Post game interviews with Bergeron and Marchand: