In their second game of the season and their second home game, the Boston Bruins played host to the Colorado Avalanche. After an impressive outing in the season home opener against the Nashville Predators, in which the young players brought their scoring, the second game for Boston was the exact opposite.
“I don’t think we were good in any area early,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “The core group that we rely on—it just wasn’t a good effort from young, old, in between, and clearly put myself in that category.”
From the drop of the first puck, there seemed to be disconnects, miscommunication, and bad bounces. There never seemed to be energy from any of the lines, despite the fact that Coach Cassidy tried to spark the bench by adjusting those lines.
“We liked what we saw against Nashville after a short period of time. We seemed to get everyone where they best fit and tonight I never found the right combination,” Cassidy explained. “So, I think it goes on both the players—it’s their job to play, whatever position they’re out there—and it’s up to the coach to find the chemistry and I couldn’t find it tonight, so shame on me.”
The Avalanche were up two goals, which included a shorthander scored by J.T. Compher that ricocheted off of Tuukka Rask’s shoulder and in, going into the first intermission. Just over six minutes into the third period, Rask made an aggressive move well above the circle trying to reach a misplayed puck before Nail Yakupov could get to it on a breakaway. As with everything else in the game, the bounce went to Yakupov—which is not to take away from the hard skating of Yakupov that allowed him to get therein time—and the Avalanche were up by three.
Some of the other numbers showed that the Bruins should have been doing better. They were dominant in the face off, yet, they spent most of the game chasing the puck. They were outshooting the Avs, and yet Semyon Varlamov denied every shot the Bruins took.
For Varlamov it was his second shutout against the Bruins—who have struggled when the Avalanche are in town—and his 22nd career shutout.
The Bruins will head out on a three-game road trip, which will begin with a rematch against the Avalanche on Wednesday, before heading to the desert to play the Arizona Coyotes and the Vegas Golden Knights. The Bruins continue to be without some key players, as David Backes and Noel Acciari have been put on injured reserve and Patrice Bergeron is still day-to-day.
Based on the lack of chemistry in Monday’s matinee Coach Cassidy will look to see what he can do to get some of that back, but road trips are always a good bonding experience and the Bruins will put this loss behind them and look toward the rematch and bringing the play they had against the Predators back to the forefront.