Here are the Talking Points after a dismal and forgettable game by the Boston Bruins in a 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils.
GOLD STAR: Kyle Palmieri. The trade target of the Boston Bruins and plenty of other Stanley Cup contenders at the last two NHL trade deadlines definitely piqued their interest again as he scored his first two goals of the season. Both of Palmieri’s goals were breakaway goals showing he’s got some wheels to go with that scoring prowess. The Bruins will have to face Palmieri three more times before the April 8 NHL trade deadline and if he’s not dealt again, five times more in the regular season. They may want to circle him on the chalkboard and focus on him more going forward.
BLACK EYE: The overall team effort in this game was arguably the worst they’ve put forth this season. The Boston Bruins almost looked like they mentally already got on their flight to Lake Tahoe for their outdoor game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. The Bruins looked like they were skating in quicksand in the first two periods and their lack of mental discipline led to three goals off turnovers. The only area the Bruins really had success in was faceoffs where they went 34-22 at the dot. However, the majority of that was thanks to the faceoff master, captain Patrice Bergeron who was an astonishing 15-7 at the dot.
“I don’t think anyone is happy with this game tonight,” said Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk who scored his first goal of the season on the powerplay at 12:36 of the second period to cut the Devils’ lead to 2-1 at the time.
TURNING POINT: Can the opening faceoff and the following 60 minutes count as a turning point because despite cutting the lead to 2-1 in the second period and then to 3-2 with a Charlie McAvoy powerplay goal with 1:06 left in the regulation, the Bruins just weren’t ready for this one. All kidding aside, the turning point in the humble opinion of this puck scribe would’ve been Pavel Zacha’s goal just 3:01 after DeBrusk’s powerplay goal, making it 3-1 Devils. The Bruins just never seemed to harness any momentum after that goal and the Devils pounced on the sleep-walking Bruins.
HONORABLE MENTION: Boston Bruins fans will hate this but former Montreal Canadiens defenseman PK Subban gets the nod here. The former Bruins’ nemesis didn’t finish with any points but he was a presence on every shift that he took. He finished the game at plus 1 with one shot, four hits, and two blocked shots in 20:27 TOI.
BY THE NUMBERS: 11 turnovers for the Boston Bruins. The Bruins had more turnovers than a North End bakery midway through the day. Three of those giveaways led to Devils goals and were just another example of the lack of mental fortitude for the home team in this game.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “They were winning the races; the one-on-one battles. We just weren’t doing what we had to do to win. We just have to buy in a little bit more.” – Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy on what happened to his team, specifically in the second period when the Bruins were outscored 3-1.