The Bruins loss to the Montreal Canadiens was almost staggering. Despite only losing 2-1, they actually never touched the puck that went into the net.
No, that's not an exaggeration.
The one goal credited to Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron actually never touched his stick or any part of his hockey equipment. It was a lost faceoff in the Montreal end for Bergeron, and Habs center Tomas Plekanec used his bankhand to draw the puck back to his goaltender. Unfortunately for them, Canadiens netminder Carey Price "Bill Bucknered it" and let the puck slip right through his five hole to give the Bruins an early and much needed first goal.
So while it was credited to the Bruins, and as a power play goal, there is still much more work to be done for the staggering Boston unit.
Montreal on the other hand finally was able to place back-to-back wins and knock the Bruins down to last place in the conference, sitting right with the New York Islanders.These two teams match up again on Saturday--this time back in Montreal at the Bell Centre--and the Bruins will have to start from square one yet again.
Perhaps they could learn a thing or two from tonight's game.
After the Bruins took the early lead, the Habs came back in the second period, with a goal just halfway through the period. Jaroslav Specek skated through the zone and fired a shot from just above the red circle. Erik Cole, screening Tim Thomas in front of the net, deflected the shot up and over Thomas' shoulder to tie the game at one.
Montreal completely dominated the second period, putting up 18 shots in the second frame alone. Granted, the Bruins were responsible for a number of penalties, but after being held to just six in the first period, the Canadiens' defense suddenly sparked and provided just enough.
Meanwhile, Brad Marchand and P.K. Subban tried to create their own momentum, attempting to fight three separate times before the refs just stopped trying to step in. The first two times, the couple was charged with a minor holding penalty followed by delay of game. The third time, the two threw off the gloves and entertained the crowd with a couple punches to their faces.
"I’m not a very good fighter, so, I guess you could say I was going for the knockout, but it was a pretty bad attempt," Subban said. "So I don’t know, I’m probably better to keep my gloves on most of the time."
The back breaker came in the third period, when Plekanec knocked a puck towards Adam McQuaid who fumbled at it with his feet. Plekanec gathered the puck back up, past the defense and put it past Thomas, making the Habs nation forget the early goal blunder. That goal was enough to give the Canadiens the lead and the win, and their third victory of the season.
According to Price, the little things they do are what seem to matter and so far, at least the last two games, they seem to be getting a lot of things right.
"Well we’ve got a lot of character in this room," Price said. "We all said it before--we weren’t in any panic, we knew we had the talent in this room to win hockey games. Right now we’re just getting back to the basics--it’s kind of cliché, but it’s true. We just keep things simplified out there and it’s been working out for us."
As for the Bruins, finishing seems to be the key to their success. Captain Zdeno Chara pointed out that they had the chances to win tonight, but without burying the puck, those chances don't seem like much. Claude Julien said the same thing but added execution to the mix and not doing things fundamentally right.
"We can sit here and look at those things and think it’s great, but when you really look at the game itself, our team is not playing the way it should be or can play through the whole 60 minutes," Julien said. "I need to look further than just missed opportunities. If we want excuses, they’re out there for us, and the one thing it won’t do for us is get us going in the right direction.
"I think what we have to look at is, what is the issue. Yes, we’re not scoring, that’s certainly one of them, but it’s only part of the problem right now. The execution is not there. We’re not moving the puck from the back end to the front end and making plays like we know we can, so there’s more to the issue that just not scoring enough."