Post-game notes: Penguins vs. Bruins 2/4/12

As if the Bruins losing their second straight game wasn’t bad enough, it was against the Pittsburgh Penguins. And the game-winning goal was scored at the hands of Matt Cooke. The one thing I took away from that game was the Bruins didn’t deserve the win. They have failed, once again, to put forth a full sixty minute effort. They made costly mistakes and couldn’t produce anything offensively (with the exception of Joe Corvo’s goal).

After Boston’s remarkable run in December, you’d probably never believe this Bruins team could go almost two entire games without scoring a single goal. In fact, up until Joe Corvo’s blast from the blue line, the B’s hadn’t scored a single goal for over 5 periods. To be exact, it was 113 minutes and 15 seconds. A scoreless drought like that is a rarity for the B’s.

Losses are more painful when they don’t happen often. The Boston Bruins of 2012 aren’t a team that has consecutive losses, they’re not a team that gives up more than 3 goals per game, and they’re not a team that struggles offensively. So when the Bruins of 2012 fail to bounce back and give up undeserved goals in multiple games, you know something is wrong.

It’s not just a bump, it’s a slump. The Boston Bruins are slumping.

As stated by NESN’s Gord Kluzak, the real game-changing goal was scored by Evgeni Malkin with 8 seconds left in the first period. There was a whole mess in front of the net, Timmy was flopping out of the crease and McQuaid over-committed to one side and fell to the ice. It was the type of goal that would leave a team deflated going into the locker room for the first intermission.

The second period didn’t see much action as neither team was able to score. The Bruins had scoring opportunities but couldn’t get a single puck in the back of the net. Marc-Andre Fleury played strong between the pipes, denying the B’s offense multiple times throughout the game. Sounds kind of familiar, huh? (See “Post-game notes: Hurricanes vs. Bruins 2/3/12)

The start of the third period was just plain ugly for Boston. The Penguins displayed very, very strong puck possession and it cost the B’s as Matt Cooke tallied the second Pittsburgh goal of the game at just 1:53 of the third. The Bruins would go on to score just one goal later in the period, but fell short in the end.

What we learned: the Boston Bruins are slumping. Just remember: Be physical. The lack of physicality has been incredibly profound over the past few games. Is it because they’re the most suspended team in the league and are afraid to commit to the big hits? Who knows. What I do know is that the Bruins would never admit to that but it could be playing a factor in their toughness deficiency. Ah, that was a worded poorly. The Bruins are still tough, they can still take a hit. Take a look at our boy Danny Paille with the bionic face. Orpik unloaded on him sending him flying awkwardly to the ice, but Paille got up without issue.

I’m getting tired of saying it but the Boston Bruins must find consistency. Tomorrow will be a test against the Capitals. They have to bring more physicality to their game, score first for once, and limit the mistakes. Don’t over-commit to a block. Goaltenders take note: don’t leave the crease if it’s unnecessary. Let’s hope this slumping B’s team can get back to their winning ways tomorrow.



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