The New York Islanders handed the Boston Bruins a look into the future with a 3-2 drubbing tonight in front of a capacity crowd. In the process of the game we also lost the Capatain Zdeno Chara to a knee on knee hit with John Tavares. Tavares is not the goon here as Chara initiated the contact and it's still unclear how serious the injury is at this time.
The game started on a neutral happy note with good cheers for John Boychuk and a video tribute on the Jumbotron over the ice. To be honest, the Bruins looked sluggish from the get go and were chasing the puck for most of the night as the Islanders played good possession and patient hockey. Former Bruin Chad Johnson was in net for the Islanders and stopped 30 of 32 shots and looked in control all night. Boychuk led his team with 23:18 of ice time and played his stable hard game all night setting an example for his fellow defensemen on how to neutralize the Bruins forecheck and get good passes out of their defensive zone. The Islanders got on the board first with a goal from Frans Neilson who was left uncovered in the left slot for a quick shot.
The Bruins countered with a Milan Lucic tip on a shot from the point, but it was clear after the Chara injury, that the Bruins were circling wagons and trying to fight through the game with 5 lesser defensemen. In the second period Kyle Okposo slapped a puck past Niklas Svedberg and later Cal Clutterbuck sniped in a wrister to complete the Islander scoring halfway through the game. There after it was a matter of the Islanders stifling the Bruins as they attempted to enter the zone with possession. But it seemed half hearted and the Bruins were guilty of many offsides and icing calls. There was no concerted effort to their game until about the end of the third period with 8 minutes left. Chris Kelly had just scored an opportunity gift goal and the Bruins pressed hard, but without Chara, the defense appeared to be gassed and unable to assist the forwards on the offensive thrusts. Down through the final five minutes of the game, Chad Johnson was in control and turned several Bruin shots away and never seemed hard pressed to make a game saver.
Allin all, the Bruins seemed to out match themselves and losing Chara to injury seemed to deflate the overall effort of the team. After three games with no even strength goals from the second line, I want to ask, is there something wrong? They have speed and jump, but no finsih. They should be smoothing into form, not losing they're rhythm after nine games. Very unsatifying game and puts the questions back on the table about the identity of this team moving forward.
Until Next Time!