The Bruins were shutout 2-0 against the waiting Montreal Canadians last night. It wasn't much of a game or challenge for the Canadians. They played a perfect road game by focusing on defense and patiently awaiting for their offensive chances and they buried two of the eight they had.
The Bruins for their part came into the game depleted by injury and rest after having played the night before. Brad Marchand was added to injured reserve and it is unknown when he may return. Chris Kelly sat out with an undisclosed injury from the Columbus game and his injury is being evaluated for extent and how long he will be out of the lineup. David Krejci seems to have been benched by his injury and we don't exactly know what it is. We do know that some games he feels he can play and then gets worse or reinsures it. I say sit him until he is healthy at this point. I still don't think Torey Krug or Kevan Miller look 100%, but they are warm bodies able to play right now. With Kelly and Krejci out, two of your top three face-off men are on the sidelines making it trial by fire for Carl Soderberg.
Last night the Bruins were out matched on paper in every line combination and defensive pairing. I thought Tuukka Rask played very well in only giving up one power play goal and a goal on a perfectly executed three on two. If I had to pick one thing the Bruins didn't do last night, it was shoot high glove side on Carey Price as I think thats his vulnerable spot. On the other hand I thought the defending forward was dropping towards the slot all night to add a layer of blocking so those shots couldn't get through, kudos to the Montreal game plan.
I thought Coach Julien's line combos were anemic and maybe I would have shuffled them more, but nobody seemed to be getting dirty enough around the Montreal net. I thought the line of Alexander Khokhlachev, Matt Lindblad and Matt Fraser could have gotten more ice time in a losing effort. The line of Greg Campbell, Dan Paille and Simon Gagne while robust, proved you can't dump and chase against teams with a solid core defense. I saw some glimmers of chances with Soderberg, Loui Ericsson and Milan Lucic and we should see where it goes, but face-off losses killed the zip on this line. Seth Griffith doesn't belong on the ice with Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith, he's not big enough or smart enough in traffic to play with them. Fraser should play that side in future games while Marchand is out.
Getting the first goal last night was the critical achievement and Montreal got it on the power play. The Bruins had to match it right away and couldn't. That was the game right there. Price made 33 saves, but only faced down 8 or 9 real decent chances and none of them were spectacular. The game was over at the end of two periods.
Next the ever dangerous Pittsburg Penguins on Monday night. Things are not looking good without bodies coming back as the team moves forward.
Until Next Time!