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Talking Points: Boston Bruins Collapse Defensively In Sens Loss



Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 7-5 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night at Canadian Tire Centre.

GOLD STAR: Drake Batherson was right in the middle of things for the Ottawa Senators and finished with a goal and three points along with a plus-3 rating as Batherson and Brady Tkachuk tormented the Boston Bruins defense. Batherson popped in the net-front score that gave Ottawa a 3-0 lead in the first period, and he also fed to a wide-open Tim Stutzle for his score in the second period in a wild back-and-forth game that the Senators finally seized in the third period. Batherson finished with two shots on net, six shot attempts, three hits in 20:44 of ice time.

BLACK EYE: Anton Stralman wasn’t alone, but he had a rough, rough night in his first game for the Boston Bruins after sitting out the first three due to visa issues. There was most definitely some rust on his game after not playing at game speed for more than a week, and it showed in a number of turnovers and breakdowns that led to a minus-2 rating for the game. Stralman was on the ice for three straight goals against in the second period when the game truly began to spin out of control for the Boston Bruins. The good news is that now the first one is out of the way and it’s only going to get better for him from here. Stralman had no shots on net, one hit and two blocked shots in 18:06 of ice time that should get a little higher as he begins to round into form.

TURNING POINT: The Boston Bruins were somehow trailing 6-5 at the end of the second intermission after they clawed their way back to that point, and they opted to pull Jeremy Swayman in favor of Linus Ullmark with two points on the line. It was absolutely a winnable game for the Black and Gold at that point even if they had started with a horrendous first period where they spotted Ottawa three goals to start. But the problem was shoddier defense sunk them as Mike Reilly and Hampus Lindholm couldn’t stop the immortal Artem Zub from getting on the board with the back-breaking seventh goal midway through the third. Once that goal beat Ullmark, it was pretty much over for a Boston Bruins team that had battled back twice to get in the game.

HONORABLE MENTION: Patrice Bergeron still was solid even in the losing effort. He finished with a goal and three points in 16:17 of ice time and passed Rick Middleton for sole possession of third place on the Boston Bruins all-time scoring list with 403 career goals. At this point only Johnny Bucyk and Phil Esposito are ahead of Bergeron in terms of Boston Bruins goal scorers, and that is some rarified air that the Boston Bruins captain is breathing these days.

It wasn’t perfect for Bergeron as he was on ice for some goals against and he only won 11-of-23 draws for the game, but he was among the best Bruins players in a gut check game where they didn’t appear to collectively have a lot in the tank.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 – the number of goals that the Boston Bruins have scored in each of their first four games, which puts them as the NHL’s highest scoring team and has them accomplishing that fear for the first time since the Bobby Orr era Bruins.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Our checking was, I guess the best word to describe it is atrocious. We were on the wrong side of pucks, we weren’t coming back hard enough and we left our goalie out to dry. We didn’t protect the net front.” –Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery to NESN on a B’s defensive performance that led to seven goals allowed to Ottawa.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston,, 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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Here’s a talking point: how much of an unfair advantage, at the beginning of a season, are back-to-backs, to the team that didn’t play the night before? I never played an 82-game season and then a playoff run. But I have biked across Europe a few times and done other long-distance stuff. I learned a lot about my body and what it takes, generally, to get yourself into what pro athletes refer to as “game shape”. When you’re there, your body is very much like an efficient machine. But as you struggle in the first week or so to push… Read more »


BTW- it’s “waiting for approval” or “awaiting approval”. Not “awaiting for approval”.


Joe: How was this a “gut check” game after winning the first 3 games of the season? Sounds like you’re trying to make something out of not much.

Michael Parahus

I can only imagine how Cassidy would have reacted to giving up 7 goals!!! That was NOT a pretty game from our B’s.


Under Cassidy the team was always one of the league’s best defensive teams…so I’m sure he wouldn’t be happy!


Looked like a pick-up hockey game with barely any defense being played by either team


It was Forbort and Clifton on the ice when Zub scored the 7th goal. Not Lindholm and Reilly.



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