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Talking Points: Leaky Boston Bruins Defense Dooms Team Vs. Oilers

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Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers at TD Garden where, once again, the B’s are having some defensive issues against good offensive teams.

GOLD STAR: Everybody was focused on Connor McDavid prior to the game, but it was Leon Draisaitl that ended up stealing the show for the Oilers. Draisaitl scored a pair of third period goals to help Edmonton separate from the Boston Bruins and once again exposed the softness of the Bruins defense against good offensive teams. The B’s actually had a 3-2 lead in the third period, but it was Draisaitl jumped on a Brandon Carlo turnover for the easy game-tying goal and then he posted up with good inside position on Carlo after Cody Ceci sped around Jake DeBrusk and fired a puck to the middle of the slot. Draisaitl finished with two goals, three points and a plus-2 rating in 22:32 of ice time with five shot attempts and a takeaway along with 27 face-offs taken. It shows how dangerous the Oilers are having the 1-2 punch of McDavid and Draisaitl when you focus too much on the speedy, flashy McDavid.

BLACK EYE: Brandon Carlo called the third period “probably the worst period of my NHL career” and he wasn’t wrong. He simply flubbed a D-to-D breakout pass by handing it over to Leon Draisaitl right in front of the Boston net for the game-tying goal and then he allowed Draisaitl to get inside position on him for his game-winner a couple of minutes later. Carlo was a minus-2 in 20:21 of ice time even after scoring a goal in the second period and did nothing to really slow down the Oilers once they got running downhill in the third period.

TURNING POINT: The Boston Bruins just completely imploded in the third period after playing well enough in the first 40 minutes to win the game. The fourth line was able to hold Connor McDavid in check and the Bruins scored three goals, which once upon a time was good enough for the Black and Gold to get two points. But this time around the Bruins shot themselves in the foot multiple times in the third period, gave up three unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes and didn’t play close to well enough when the game was on the line. The Bruins simply aren’t playing winning hockey against quality offensive teams, and it may be time to start asking/wondering whether the B’s simply aren’t good enough as currently constituted.

HONORABLE MENTION: The good news is that it looks like David Pastrnak is really beginning to find his game. Pastrnak scored first for the Bruins in the first period, had eight shots on net, 12 shot attempts and finished with a goal and two points in his 19:58 of ice time. The chances are coming for the Perfection Line and they accounted for two of the three goals scored on Thursday night, and continue to carry a Boston Bruins hockey club that has yet to show some of the defensive traits that have long been a blueprint of the Black and Gold attack.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – the number of home losses for the Boston Bruins this season after dropping their first game at TD Garden this year with the 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We absolutely beat ourselves. 100 percent. So I have to do a better job. When a team beats itself, that’s on us as a staff. We need to do a better job of getting them ready to play.” –Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy taking the onus on a loss where the B’s made some familiar mistakes in defeat.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Brian

D is not good enough neither is the offense. Need changes

William Mahoney

Without a Jack Eichel on the B’s roster he Oiler game will be repeated many times this losing season. Get used to it!

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