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Boston Bruins Didn’t ‘Lay On The Gas & Keep Going’ Vs Isles

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There have been some humbling losses for the Boston Bruins this season. They’ve been outscored 16-1 by the Carolina Hurricanes in three defeats this season, and the final loss to the Anaheim Ducks ahead of the All-Star break pushed Tuukka Rask to retire rather than continue struggling through a 34-year-old body that wasn’t up for the NHL challenge anymore.

But Thursday night’s flat 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders at UBS Arena might have been the most disappointing considering the opponent, and that the Boston Bruins should be at a point in their season when they can grind out these kinds of games. Instead, they folded after opening a 1-0 lead in the first period and allowed a hopeless Islanders team to take it directly to them for the final 40 minutes of the hockey game.

Clearly the Boston Bruins were missing their best player in Brad Marchand, but they also had plenty of passengers against an Islanders team that wasn’t going to roll over for them.

“It’s kind of been like that all year,” said Taylor Hall, who scored the B’s only goal and had a whopping 11 shot attempts as the best player on the ice for the Black and Gold. “Even when Brad [Marchand] is in the lineup, it’s not like we’re beating teams 6-5 or 4-3; it’s usually a 3-2 win or 3-1 or 4-1 with an empty netter, those kind of games that we have to be comfortable playing. Tonight, we were up one going into the second, that should be a signal to lay on the gas and keep going.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think we did that. I don’t care what their record is. This team has had a lot of success, especially in their building. They’re gonna play hard, get pucks to the net and get gritty goals. That’s how they play. It’s what they did to us tonight.”

Instead, there were extreme difficulties breaking the puck out of the Boston end, and key guys like David Pastrnak struggled throughout the game when it came to decision-making. A horrendous Derek Forbort turnover behind the Boston net led directly to the Islanders go-ahead goal in the third period and essentially doomed a Boston Bruins team that has zero injury excuses when it comes to a defensemen group that just wasn’t good enough against a non-playoff team.

“We were the better team in the first period,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “They’re at home, obviously got a lot of pride, and what happens a lot is if the home team doesn’t have a good first period, they’ll push in the second. We’ve addressed that, it happens to us a lot – New York [Rangers] the other night. We’ve just got to be ready for it and execute. Got to be able to execute at a level to stem the pushes that they have.”

Clearly the execution wasn’t there for the Boston Bruins, and they still have a couple more games without Marchand in the lineup. And they are only six points ahead of the Detroit Red Wings as the Bruins tread water in February after a very strong month of January that slotted them firmly in a playoff spot.

But the deflating loss to the Islanders served as another warning sign that the Boston Bruins aren’t going to be around very long in the Stanley Cup playoffs unless they address some pressing needs with this current roster.

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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Paulie B

Mark it down, this team is TOAST. They might squeak into the playoffs but they will be dispatched because they can’t get it done. The GM gets the largest piece of the blame pie.l

Michael Parahus

Looking at their body of work so far……we’d like to think the B”s are the team that went on a tear through January. But…after last night….and, after this long road trip upcoming…I’m more inclined to think that January was the exception and what we saw last night was really who they are.
I was EMBARASSED to be a Bruins fan last night.

Rick W Murray

the bruins are dead in the water, sell!!! as usual Sweeney with his bad decisions has destroyed this franchise it’ll take decades to fix everyone’s expendable, everybody. Won’t watch again until one of two things happen Sweeney makes the trade of a lifetime or they fire his sorry carcass out the door

Art

Lots of baggage last night! Why not play Steen, Studnicka? I’m sure they would have played harder than our roster. Time to forget about this season…Detroit is 6 points behind and that gap is going to get closer.

William Mahoney

The Bruin need to make major changes. Time to think of trading some big name players for the future. Also think of new Management! Not having an Eichel who can score and carry the team with the best offensive player Pasta playing with a minus one defensive rating.

Tucker Bones

The Bruins are in deep trouble. Another embarrassing loss. What are you going to do about this mess you’ve created Sweeney??? Trade for another fringe player? Do nothing at all and make excuses? GTFO.

Phil

So Sweeney doubled down on bottom six players in the off season because of how the Islanders beat them and last night showed how bad that plan was. The team that played last night had no energy, no speed and couldn’t generate anything. Dumping the puck in was difficult last night. What more do you need to know about Foligno, deBrusk, and Nosek? Find a place for Steen, Studnicka and anybody else who will play with some urgency. They are not tough enough to play the grind’em game and they can’t score enough to play the game more wide open.… Read more »

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