Friday, October 24, 2008

Soft Game Costs B's

Disappointing effort (or lack thereof) from the Bruins last night. They played softer than that plush doll pictured here. Give Toronto credit, they did enough to win. But this was a game that was there for the taking. All the Bruins had to do was WORK for it. But from the drop of the puck, they showed no interest in getting dirty to earn the two points. The Leafs looked completely over matched defensively. Bruin forwards were able to find all kinds of room in the Leaf end, often slipping behind them on the fly.Sadly, they were unable, or unwilling, to continue to apply pressure to a shaky D. You just knew if the B's didn't start doing SOMETHING, the Leafs would find their way back into a game they had no business being in. I'm saving my WTF Milan!? rant for later, after I watch the game tape again. But Looch was guilty of an awful lot of standing around (again) last night. The hit on Van Ryn not withstanding, Lucic hasn't been much of a physical presence. And honestly, the hit looked a lot harder that it was. Speaking of hits....hit of the night (season?) was Wideman on Stajan. Perfectly clean, and a hammer shot. So when did it become standard practice that every time a player gets hit hard, and clean, a teammate feels like they HAVE to "respond" by fighting (or trying to) the guy that made the hit? Hey, you won't find a bigger fan of fighting and sticking up for your teammates. But this IS a contact league, and players shouldn't feel a need to "get" whoever makes a good hit. Just hit them back later. That being said, I'm sure Leaf fans were happy to see the rookie, Schenn, go after Wideman. I'm also sure Schenn soiled himself when he ended up with Chara. Funny how things settle down when Z is in the middle of it.

On the bright side of things (this should be quick), Bergeron got his first goal. That's a big monkey off his back, and finishes off his "firsts" list. First game back, first home game, first point, first he can just play hockey. Beyond Bergy, Krecji may have been the only other player that stood out, in a positive way. The kid is still making plays, he just needs someone to finish off some of his good feeds.

Bottom line is, Saturday's tilt against Atlanta becomes an early season "must win". Another West coast trip looms next week, and the B's simply can't afford to give away more points. Blame tired legs, blame the schedule maker, blame the HORRIBLE officiating....make all the excuses you want, but Boston simply has to be better. Good teams win when they should. Great teams win when they're not at their best. So far, Boston should have no delusions of being either of those teams. They're average at best. And average doesn't play deep into the spring.

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