Was anyone else positively underwhelmed with the effort the Bruins showed last night? The game was blah and had me flipping back and forth between the Patriots game. Anyone that knows me knows that a Bruins game is a sacred experience (don't talk through the anthem, hockey-only talk throughout the game, etc.), so I am slightly ashamed with myself. And I'm not even that much of a football fan.
For the second straight game, the Bruins were present on the ice...and that's about it. They did not appear engaged in the process and I'm thinking that Claude is going to snap the belt pretty hard shortly. He somewhat called out the team after the victory against the Habs (shows you how well the Bruins have been playing this year by getting called out after a victory). He said that bad habits were creeping back. They were on full display last night.
-Just how much is the lack of Marchand playing into this? Yes, he's a VERY important part of the "2nd" line, but the Bruins have depth...well they did until now. Normally they'd be able to insert anyone in the line-up and just keep plugging away. About the most positive thing I can say about Pouliot for last night is that he didn't take any horrible penalties. That's kind of like saying "well at least I didn't kill anybody." You're not supposed to. Patty Cake has the ability to make an average player rise above their normal level, but it wasn't there last night.
-Campbell and Kelly have to get it going. I'm starting to think that they are both nursing some type of nagging injury, as their play has tailed off in the last few weeks.
-I'd like nothing more than to have him prove me gloriously wrong, but I'm starting to think that Caron is the modern-day Andy Hilbert. Highly touted, apparent skill, tears shit up at the AHL level...but just can't string it together in the NHL. Caron was in some bad spots last night and had a few turnovers. He's getting pushed around and doesn't appear to have adjusted to the speed of the big leagues. As previously stated, I'm not a fan of the late season trade, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Bruins brought in a bottom six forward at the deadline. They did the exact thing with Kelly and Peverley last year and that paid huge dividends.
-Corvo...I've had enough. Once again, he's an improvement over Kaberle, but that's like saying you only severed an artery instead of cutting your whole damn arm off. He hasn't panned out as the team has hoped. He skates smooth and has a hard shot, but so did Dennis Wideman. And the fact that he NEVER takes the body, even when it's there and could kill a play, has me thinking his time in Boston may be short.
-I'm going to organize a blood drive. We need to learn Adam McQuaid's blood type, because he is blocking so many shots with his legs, arms, chest and balls that I'm pretty sure he has heavy internal bleeding. He keeps going though. That's one tough kid...it's gotta be the mullet.
So there's no reason to panic, as it was next to impossible to maintain the level the Bruins were playing at for so long. The season is coming up on the midway point, and the majority of the boys will get some time off. One of my fears was that the team would peak way too early and have nothing left for the playoffs. They looked tired last night, as on several occasions the Canes had sustained and brutal pressure in the offensive zone. I thought for sure Julien was going to call a timeout and give them the ol' "boys, what the fuck are you doing?" speech, but a TV timeout saved them.
All that being said, our team remains in a good spot. It's not like they've been wallowing around, playing shit hockey for seven or eight games, but eventually the hockey gods that gave them crazy goal totals and all the right bounces will turn their attention elsewhere and the Bruins will have to find victories on their own.
Panthers on monday night. Maybe a day of R&R in Florida will do the boys well.