Coming into last night's game the Bruins had a great chance at showing the NHL how much they have improved. Both Toronto and Ottawa lost, so if the Bruins had won, they would've been in third place in the Northeast division and eigth place in the Eastern conference, while still having the least amount of games played in the conference. Poor offense and poor defense though didn't let any of that happen and the Bruins got smothered by the New Jersey Devils.
The Bruins main problem was the lack of scoring opportunities. The Bruins were just not taking shots and were not creating solid chances. Against a future hall of famer like Brodeur you have to create too many scoring opportunities. The Bruins only shot 20 shots last night. The refs didn't help out our offense though at all. Boston had zero power plays. Though the box score may say we went 0-2, all three New jersey minor penalties came along side Boston minor penalties and they cancelled out. Boston not once had a man advantage. Also the two line (Tenkrat Savard Murray) were terrible. Yes Savard did score but it was with a different line. All three players on the number 2 line had a -3. Along with those three, Brad Stuart, who earned this blog's player of the week for last week had the worst night of all with a -4.
In the first period, the Devils scored twice. The first goal was on an odd man rush, the shot looked saveable but then again I'm not an NHL goalie. The second goal was when a wide open Devil got the puck in front of the goal and shot a beautiful wrist shot past Thomas to the top of the goal. It looked like Paul Mara missed his coverage on that play.
In the second period, with the Bruins down 2-0, Coach Lewis decided to put Hannu Toivenen in for Thomas. It really paid off in the second period. Hannu was light out, making some very nice clutch saves. Three minutes into the period, the Bruins had a delayed power play. They took Toivenen out of goal and sent in Marc Savard. Bergeron had the puck at that point and passed it to Milan jurcina at the Devils blue line. Jurcina's drive to the goal was tipped by Marc Savard into the net cutting the Devils lead in half 2-1.
Everything went bad in the third period. The Bruins mustered only six shots and Toivenen, while still making the hard saves, started giving up the easy goals. Ten minutes into the period a very weak back hand shot by a Devils player went under Toivenen and in, giving the Devils a 3-1 lead. Then four minutes later, the Devils were on a power play when they sealed the deal on a 2-1 odd man rush, with Chara being the only defensman back. Chara though didn't see Donovan come and cover one of the guys. So Chara went over to the skater who Donovan was trying to cover. Both of them going after the same guy left the other Devils player wide open and he got an easy goal. (By the way, Brad Stuart was the other defender who was not their to help the Bruins at all) The Devils were still thirsty for more though and after Toivenen saved a Devils shot, Sergei Brylin put the rebound into the back of the net, giving the Devils a 5-1 lead to end the game.
A few last notes on the game: Andrew Alberts was a hitting machine out their last night. Also, at one point in the game a Devils player tried to poke the puck out of Toivenen's glove. That player was then pushed to the ground and surrounded by four Bruins players. That's how you're supposed to protect your goalie. Also, Chara seemed to be very passive. At one point a Devils player looked to be challenging big Z to a fight. Chara then just put his glove in the Devils player's face mask and just toyed with him. It was funny to watch, but I would like to see our 6-9 defensman beat the crap out of someone at some point this season.