Post-game notes: Lightning vs. Bruins 3/13/2012

You can talk about the injuries all you want. You can say, “Oh, when they all come back, everything will click and we will be perfect again.  We won’t be a .500 team anymore!” But that kind of optimism is unrealistic. The Bruins were supposed to be a deep team. They were praised for the depth of their lines and how they never had just one “first line” but four. They were a team with two outstanding goaltenders who were brick walls between the pipes. But now we have goaltenders who are averaging 3.60 goals allowed.

The Bruins are in a slump. They are mentally and physically sluggish. They have no motivation on the ice to play their best hockey. They are tired. They are broken. As Jack Edwards quoted Monty Python nicely, “It’s just a flesh wound!” is one way to picture the Bruins – with their arms and legs cut off.

No words can describe the frustration Bruins players and fans felt alike tonight in the 6-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning struck first, and then again, and again, and again. It all started with a goal that looked like it had been kicked in by a skate, but the referees ruled it a goal. Still, that should not have derailed the Bruins from making any sort of effort to win the game. On the other hand, Tampa was playing phenomenal hockey. They capitalized on their chances, forced turnovers, were great on the forecheck, and pounced on rebounds. The Bruins made TWO goalie changes in the game. After letting in three goals in 4:30 minutes of the first half, Turco was taken out and Thomas was put it. Thomas let it another goal in the first period making it 4-0 in favor of the Lightning. By the beginning of the second period, Tampa scored again and Thomas was taken out and Turco was sent back in to finish the job. I’m pretty sure the Bruins knew at this point there was no way to physically win the game.

The third period was probably the best form of hockey the Bruins played. They definitely had the advantage in shots on goal, but that didn’t matter. The Bruins power play was also unproductive, going 0-3 in the night while the Lightning capitalized twice on the power play.

I think it definitely said something about the Bruins when NESN only interviewed Tampa Bay Lightning players.

Also, congratulations to Steve Stamkos for scoring his 50th goal during this game. I have a lot of respect for him. He is definitely a fantastic player. He joins some of the hockey greats to score 50 goals in two seasons while under the age of 23. I think we can expect to see more great hockey from Stamkos in the years to come. He is one unbelievable player and I wish him all the best for the remainder of the season and for the seasons to come. It’s always great to see him play.

So what can we learn from this game besides drinking out of anger and crying into our Bruins jerseys? They’ve hit a slump. They aren’t the team they usually are. This is not normal for the Bruins. We can only hope and pray to St. Patrice that the Bruins will some how heal their wounds and play the level of hockey they played in November and December. If they can’t do that, then we are going to be in for a tough post-season.

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