Big Bad Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network
Posts related to ‘ESPN’
No Bread and Butter for B’s 10.24.08 at 12:43 am ET
By   |  No Comments

Not good times for the Bruins on a Thursday night when things looked so good early, but then the fat-and-happy B’s allowed a seemingly lesser Toronto Maple Leafs team to outskate, outwit and outlast them over the final two periods of a 4-2 loss at the TD Banknorth Frozen Sheet.

A shiny nickel to anyone who can tell what's wrong with this picture...

A shiny nickel to anyone who can tell what's wrong with this picture...

Things got off to a swimming start when Patrice Bergeron potted his first goal since coming back from a season-ending concussion last season and rookie Blake Wheeler shook off some rookie doldrums to the give the Spoked B’s a 2-0 lead. There was also some physical intimidation mixed in with the lamp-lighting as Dennis Wideman completely smoked Matt Stajan at mid-ice in the first  period, and Milan Lucic shattered the large block of glass around the boards when he flattened Leafs defenseman Mike Van Ryn into the side wall.

The incident was voted Number One on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays for the night, but the tumbling shards of glass also resulted in injuries to four fans while also causing a roughly 15 minute delay to replace the glass. In the balance of those few minutes the life seemed to get sucked right out of the Bruins, and they really couldn’t do anything right for the rest of the game.

 

The Leafs, on the other hand, went from being puck roadkill over the first 20:20 of the game to a nothing-to-lose bunch firing away on offense and watching Vesa Toskala and the Leafs ‘D’ shut down an easily satisfied B’s offense.

There were a multitude of postgame quotes about being outworked and outhustled in the Bruins locker room — the first time this season that the B’s dropped a stink bomb down at an NHL rink without their customary grit and sandpaper style. Two of the biggest culprits for the Thursday night breakdown seemed to be Phil Kessel and Marc Savard, who were kept off the scoreboard, registered only three shots on goal and each had a game-high two giveaways. Julien didn’t call them out by name, but you’ll get the drift. Heeere’s Julien:

I think that some of our top guys tonight weren’t playing like our top guys.  I’m not going to mention any names.  I don’t have to.  Everyone knows what I’m talking about.  Your best players have to be your best players.  I know it cliché but it is what it is.  Our best players were certainly not our best players.  Everyone from top to bottom was flat. This is our bread and butter, our work ethic, and our commitment.  We didn’t have our bread and butter tonight.”   

To the Bruins credit, many of the players rang a similar tone in the Boston locker room including Milan Lucic, the author of the body check felt ’round the hockey world, who teamed with Savard and Kessel to form a pretty lackluster line thar could get busted up by an unhappy Julien if things continue as they have. One thing is for certain: the guys in the Bruins sweaters will do a fair amount of skating in practice on Friday.

“I think [embarrassing] is the right word,” said Lucic. “It wasn’t a good effort. There was nothing really positive that we can take out of that. Pretty much, [in] your home building, you should never get outworked in your own building. That’s probably the best word for it.”

 

The Good news: P.J. Axelsson appeared to be over his back spasms. 

In the bad news department: The Bruins power play went 0-for-4 and was another areas that made Julien chafe visibly following the hockey game: “We had a chance with a power play to score the third goal.  You have to learn to play with the lead.  When you have the lead it doesn’t mean you can take the foot off the pedal.  Tonight even though it was a 2-0 hockey game we had a couple breaks, a couple lucky bounces to get the 2-0 lead.  We should have taken advantage of that and understood that we weren’t playing that well.” 

 

 

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Dennis Wideman, ESPN
Bruins Box Score
Bruins Schedule
Bruins Headlines
NHL Headlines