An admitted lack of urgency and as a result, another slow start finally did the Boston Bruins in Saturday night in Boston as they fell 4-1 to the Colorado Avalanche in a battle of two of the NHL’s elite. As a result, the Bruins saw their 13-game point streak snapped and their second-longest home point streak snapped at 17 games. The B’s are now 12-1-5 in the comfy confines of the revamped TD Garden.
Chris Wagner was the only one to light the lamp for the Bruins, while Valeri Nichushkin, Ian Cole, Andre Burakovsky and Gabriel Landeskog all scored for the visitors who haven’t lost in regulation in Boston since 1998 and swept the season series with the Bruins for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
Slow Start Finally Burns Bruins
Heading into the game Saturday night the Bruins had trailed or were tied heading into the third period for five games straight and gained a point in every game going 4-0-1. Against a team like the Avalanche though, the comeback kids were bound to meet their match if they played with fire again and they did in a big way. Colorado’s puck possession and speed was just too much to play behind against and the Bruins third period luck ran out.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy had nothing but praise for the Av’s but didn’t hesitate to once again call his team’s lack of urgency again and this time it was a clear ‘I told ya so’ shot across the bow to his teammates.
“For us, lack of urgency. We talked about it the other night, again tonight, some of that definitely in our game early on,” Cassidy pointed out. “If we’re on our toes, I think we’re cleaner. I’m not going to say that we’re not going to execute from time to time, but it’s been an issue for us I think. Some of the unforced errors — I just look at the play, Grizz [Matt Grzelcyk] takes a hit, [Danton] Heinen goes back with the puck. If we’re playing the right way, we’re in and out of our end. We’re gone.
We go back with it and all of a sudden, we win a faceoff to start a period, we ice it instead of making a play. Now we’re in our end and there’s just a lot of details that are working us against us now and we’ve just got to wake up, and start playing to our abilities in those situations. And live with the result, doesn’t mean we’re going to win, but I think we’re leaving plays on the table because our lack of urgency or understanding that teams are coming after us. And they’re good teams. Now, we got away with it for a while here, good for us, right? It’s a results-oriented
business. But against the better teams, I think at some point, they will close out games. Tonight, great example of that.”
Bruins winger Brad Marchand was blunt as well when critiquing his and his team’s slow start.
“That’s a losing game,” Marchand said bluntly. “You can’t continue to get down by a couple goals, especially to really good teams. Teams like [Colorado] know how to win; know how to keep a lead and regardless of how many times we’ve come back in the past, eventually it’s going to catch up to us and it did tonight.”
“We’ve had that, especially early on,” Marchand continued. “We tend to be much better when we’re behind. I think then it’s a bit of a wake-up call and we all have to play good to come back. We need that from the first shift of the first period if we want to win and wanna be a good team and wanna have a good shot and chance in the playoffs, then we have to be able to do that all game long. So we just have to be a little bit better. It’s tough sometimes, the season gets long and it’s no excuse but you’re not going to be perfect every game and we know that, but we gotta find ways to win, but we do have to realize the mistakes we’re making and improve them if we want to get better. That’s what good teams do and that’s what we’ll look at again tomorrow and try and bounce back Monday (at Ottawa).”
Size And Speed Kill
It’s one thing to fall behind and trail heading into the third period against smaller teams with speed but when you’re playing a team like the Av’s with eight of their top nine forwards six feet or taller that also has blazing speed, you’re literally going to be chasing the game if you start slow.
“They do this to a lot of different teams,” Cassidy said. “They just went into Toronto, good offensive team, one goal against; Montreal, good offensive team, one goal against; the Bruins, a good offensive team, one goal against. This isn’t like dumb luck. They know what they’re doing, and some of it is the fact that they’re a good puck possession
team. They can get in and out of their end, right? That’s one way to beat a good offensive team, is put them on their heels and force them to play defense. They did that to us very well.”