Bruins powerless in 4-1 loss to the Capitals
|10.01.09 at 9:24 pm ET|
Claude Julien said he before Thursday night’s opener that his Bruins are going to have to ‘grind out’ their first few games this season, and that was readily apparent after watching a 4-1 loss to Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals.
It wasn’t a sterling defensive night by the Caps or a spectacular goaltending master class put on by Jose Theodore. Instead it was simply a sloppy first game of the NHL season for Boston with turnovers, unnecessary penalties and a rink-full of missed offensive opportunities.
“It was a night where we had too many good players at their worst,” said Julien following the loss. “You have to be focused for 60 minutes in this game and we weren’t. We had a lot of good players who weren’t very good tonight.”
Julien knew there would be some period of adjustment skating Marco Sturm on a top line with Marc Savard and Milan Lucic while the German forward shakes rust off, and throwing David Krejci out on the second line after missing the entire preseason could have ended up with some sloppy moments on the ice. But last year’s Jack Adams Award winner certainly didn’t know it was going to be this putrid. Following a pretty solid 10 minutes of Bruins-style pressure and poise with the puck in the first period, things devolved into an error-filled, disorganized, panicky performance with a bevy of neutral zone turnovers.
This was not last year’s Bruins. Not by the longest shot in the history of long shots.
This was clearly a more slipshod brand of hockey than the B’s coaching staff anticipated, and revealed Washington to be the better team at this point early in the NHL season. It can ‘ and likely will ‘ be different when the B’s start clicking again on all cylinders later this month, but there wasn’t much room for encouragement in the first 60 minutes of Bruins hockey.
You’re the best around, and nothing will ever keep you down: Alexander Ovechkin showed exactly why he’s the best thing on skates in the NHL with his mix of electric, breath-taking skill and bullish on-ice physicality. Ovie showed off his ice vision with a sweet cross-ice pass that set up the Caps’ first power play goal, played the trailer and ripped a sizzling top-shelf sniper shot for Washington’s second goal and then dumped Mark Recchi in the final seconds of the second period in a signature crunching hit.
He added another goal in the third period and finished a plus-two with five shots on net just for good measure. Ovie was all over the ice, and Claude Julien and the B’s might want to sand-blast the drawing board the next time Boston plays the Czar of hockey and his linemates on Feb. 2.
Goat Horns: The entire offense was nothing to write home about after the first 10 minutes of the game. No one player ‘ aside from Patrice Bergeron‘s goal-scoring rush in the third period — was able to put finish on anything in the offensive zone. But the game’s tone was set by Dennis Wideman‘s errant pass to the Boston bench that resulted in a ‘too many men on the ice’ penalty in the first period.
Washington’s high-wattage PP unit hopped on the ice and did exactly what they do best: tic-tac passing followed by a Brooks Laich goal right at the right post. Wideman finished a minus-1 on the evening and had three of his shots blocked by a condensed Caps defense. Not a good night for the sometimes trick-or-treat blueliner.