The Boston Bruins have had to go to extra hockey in both of their most recent games, coming off their bye weekend. Saturday night they took the two points in a shootout at the Bell Centre in a game with the Montreal Canadiens. Monday’s matinee at home in Boston against the Dallas Stars did not turn out as well—though Boston has now gone 13 consecutive games where they have earned at least one point from a game.
When the Dallas Stars come to town, for some reason everyone starts talking about Tyler Seguin. He’s been gone from Boston for five years now and, like or hate the trade that July 4th of 2012, it really is time to let this one go. Of course, when Seguin notched the overtime winning goal for the Stars, it did send the fans into a bit of a frenzy. However, the concern should have been how the Bruins played, not who scored that goal for the other team.
The reality is that the Bruins came out flat in the first period, and gave the Stars a two-goal lead. The Stars had twelve shots in the opening ten minutes of the first period, while the Bruins had just one. It looked like Boston had finally gotten their legs as the period progressed because they proceeded to deny Dallas any additional shots for the remainder of the first and the first almost four minutes of the second period. Regrettably, on their first shot of the second Dallas notched a marker, and the Bruins found themselves playing from behind.
Nine minutes into the second, the Bruins were down two goals. Still plenty of hockey yet to be played, and captain Zdeno Chara would get one of those back with 3:32 remaining in the middle frame, and the teams would go to the second intermission with Dallas ahead by one.The third period saw Ryan Spooner blast a one-timer that ultimately went in off the stick of the Stars’ Esa Lindell and in at 11:21 to tie the game.
Unfortunately, Brad Marchand got whistled for a slashing penalty just 24 seconds later. The Bruins backup goaltender Anton Khudobin had made some major saves to keep the game low scoring up to that point, but a man-advantage late in a game that saw many of the Bruins flat-footed seemed like a possible recipe for defeat. The Bruins managed the kill, and of particular note was the fact that Chara—who many believe is either over-the-hill, or should simply be traded—was on the ice for the entire two minutes of that kill. He continues to lead by example.
In the end, the buzzer would signal the end of regulation and one second shy of the three-minute mark of the overtime period, Seguin would send everyone home with his goal.
Frankly, the Bruins were fortunate to get a point from the game given their many lapses in offensive momentum. There were glimmers of solid plays, but in the NHL, give an inch and the opposition will often take a goal.
The Bruins will face the Canadiens on Wednesday in the second of three games against their rival in eight days. It will be the first time that former coach Claude Julien has returned to Boston in a regulation game—his prior appearance having been during the pre-season. The Bruins are notorious for struggling during matinees, which may explain some of their lifelessness on Monday, but they would do well to come out fast on Wednesday night against Montreal. Much better to be ahead of a game than playing from behind.