|11.01.11 at 9:44 pm ET|
The Bruins needed some different results after starting the season 3-7-0, and they got them Tuesday from some different faces in a 5-3 win over the Senators at TD Garden.
Johnny Boychuk and Daniel Paille scored their first goals of the season 37 seconds apart in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and send the B’s on the way to their first win in four games. The victory also snapped the Senators’ six-game winning streak.
Ottawa got three ugly goals from the likes of Nick Foligno, Stephane Da Costa and Jared Cowen. Milan Lucic had a power play goal in the first period for the Bruins, with Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly providing tallies in the second period. Tim Thomas picked up his fourth victory of the season.
The Bruins will next play Saturday, when they travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Good to see the fourth line get back to providing a little offense, which they did more than anyone expected a season ago. Paille’s goal marked the line’s first score of the season, with Thornton and Gregory Campbell getting assists and notching their first points of the 2011-12 campaign. It was Paille’s second tally of the season. Benoit Pouliot is now the only skater on the team without a point.
– Bergeron is on a five-game point streak, with three goals and two assists over the Bruins’ last five contests. With Bergeron’s second-period goal, Brad Marchand‘s five-game pointless streak was snapped thanks to a secondary helper.
– The Bruins put a ton of shots (41) on Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, and one would have guessed entering the night that it would be their plan. They were facing a team that’s given up more goals per game than any other team in the league, so when the scoreboard read five for Boston by the end of the night, it wasn’t ultimately surprising. The Bruins’ five goals were the second-most they’ve had this season, behind only the six they had on Oct. 20 in their win over Toronto.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins are back to their old tricks when it comes to allowing the first goal. Foligno’s first-period goal made it the eighth game this season in which the B’s opponent has scored first. Unlike the majority of those other contests, the Bruins got two points out of the night.
– It’s still unknown whether Pouliot sat Tuesday as a healthy scratch or due to illness, but Jordan Caron had a rough start before picking up an assist on Boychuk’s goal. Caron was on the ice for the Senators’ first two goals and played sparingly.
– Tyler Seguin set up Bergeron’s second-period goal by taking the puck down the right wing and hitting his center in the high slot, but the youngster had some frustrating moments as well. The second-year player whiffed on a one-timer, causing the puck to leave the zone on a power play in the first period, and also sent a puck off a rebound over the net with tons of space. The most puzzling moment, however, was when Seguin beat Ottawa’s defense at the blueline to give himself a breakaway. Rather than shooting, Seguin tried a drop-pass, which was intercepted for an easy turnover.
|11.01.11 at 7:04 pm ET|
|11.01.11 at 12:53 pm ET|
Stick-tap to the people from the Days of Y’Orr blog for tweeting this Tuesday morning. Check out this Discover commercial starring none other than Tim Thomas.
|11.01.11 at 11:57 am ET|
The Senators are riding a six-game point streak thanks to solid offense and the best power play in the league, but their biggest weakness may provide an opening for the Bruins to break out of their own offensive slump.
The Bruins are currently 26th in the league with just 2.10 goals per game, and on Tuesday they’ll face a team that is used to allowing more goals than that. Led by starting goaltender Craig Anderson, the Senators have allowed a league-worst 3.8 goals per game. Though they’re 7-5-0, the have a minus-6 goal differential on the season.
Might this be the Bruins chance to ramp up their scoring and even notch a W? The B’s plead ignorance regarding how poor Ottawa’s goaltending has been, but there’s no denying that Tuesday presents them with a good opportunity.
“They’ve got a really good goaltender who’s able to steal games,” Rich Peverley said. “I think it’s about going to the net and doing the small things tonight.”
Since scoring six goals on Oct. 20 against Toronto, the B’s have totaled five goals over a three-game losing streak. While this could be a chance for the B’s to score like they did against the Leafs, their main priority when it comes to goals is to just have more than the Senators. When a team is as desperate as the Bruins are for some points, it’s that simple.
“We’re just looking to come out and try to win,” Chris Kelly said. “It doesn’t matter how we do it or how many goals we score. We just want to find a way to get two points.”
|11.01.11 at 11:41 am ET|
The Bruins held an optional morning skate Tuesday, with only three players taking the ice in Steven Kampfer, Benoit Pouliot and Tuukka Rask.
While it’s no surprise that Kampfer won’t play Tuesday against the Senators, it’s interesting that Pouliot skated. He didn’t play Saturday due to illness, though he returned to the ice Monday. Expect Jordan Caron to play in his place Tuesday, though it’s unknown whether a potential night off for Pouliot would be due to illness or a healthy scratch.
Expect Tim Thomas to be in net Tuesday.
|10.31.11 at 8:22 pm ET|
As surprising as it seems, even a good start might not have prevented the Bruins from trailing the Senators in the standings’¦ seriously.
While there’s been plenty of attention paid to the last-place Bruins’ 3-7-0 start to the season, folks in Boston might not know that the Senators — the same Senators who picked sixth overall in June’s draft — are 7-5-0 and are currently on a six-game winning streak. That’s bad news for fans who saw Ottawa on the schedule for Tuesday and thought the Bruins would finally have an easy one.
Leading the Senators in points is former second overall pick Jason Spezza, who scored two goals in Saturday’s win over the Rangers and has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists). Milan Michalek is on pace for a career season with 13 points (seven goals, six assists).
While the Senators have averaged three goals per game, it’s rather surprising that they have the record they do when considering they have allowed a league-worst 3.75 goals per game. Craig Anderson (6-2-0) has a 3.66 goals against average in 10 games, while Alex Auld (0-3-0) has a 4.88 GAA. Robin Lehner has won his only start, allowing two goals.
If the Bruins want to snap their three-game losing streak, they’ll have to take advantage of the fact that they have the goaltending to stop Ottawa’s offense and take advantage of an opportunity to bust out of their offensive funk.
|10.31.11 at 5:21 pm ET|
Last week, we noted the Bruins should want to be either in or very close to the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference by the time the first of November rolls around. Now, the day isn’t over yet, but chances are there will be no Halloween miracle that takes the Bruins out of dead last before the second month of the season, and based on history, that means they’re in deep trouble.
Without totally recycling last week’s story, each of the last two seasons has seen only one Eastern Conference team not in the top eight on Nov. 1 go on to make the playoffs. That means, for the most part at least, that the playoff picture is largely made up after a month, and it barely changes.
So, with the Bruins 3-7-0 and in last place at the end of October, they are going to have a heck of a climb back into the playoff picture if they don’t want the season that follows June’s Stanley Cup victory to be a colossal failure. It means they’re going to need to turn things around quickly to avoid suffering the fate so many teams who start slow, finish strong and still miss the playoffs, see every season. Last year, it was the Devils and the Hurricanes whose stellar play late couldn’t save them, but those teams didn’t have nearly the expectations of the depending champs.
“You look back at things like this [later in the season],” Milan Lucic said Monday. “Obviously, there’s adversity that you have to face throughout the season. For us, it’s right now. We’ve got to figure it out quick, because I know it’s only 10 games, but you know how many teams that have had starts like this that haven’t been able to recover.
“You look at New Jersey last year, who finished as probably the best team since January, and they weren’t able to recover. You can reflect on this. Obviously we’ll see what happens down the road, but we’ve got to do everything we can to get out of this as quick as possible. We’re going to have to do it as a team and as a group effort. The only way we’re going todo this is if we help each other.”
There seems to be an understanding throughout the Bruins’ dressing room that as far as time for struggles go, this is it. They won’t be able to slump at later points in the season, because with overtime losses in place, it will be hard enough as it is for them to gain ground.
“Basically, every team in the league is going to go through a rough patch at some point this year. Our’s is right now, unfortunately. We understand that this is our rough patch, and we won’t be able to have another one, or we’re going to sink ourselves,” Claude Julien said. “There’s a lot of things that you just keep trying to figure our they those things happen, and there are no answers. ‘¦ Right now if we had the answer, it would have been fixed. That’s why you try to find those answers.”
Whatever the answers are, the Bruins need to find them quick. The last defending champion to miss the playoffs was the 2006-07 Hurricanes.