Picking up the pieces: From the Canes to the Leafs
I attended Tuesday night’s game at the Garden, with my mother, who was seeing her first hockey game ever. First game in 55 years. I was excited, so was she. We were hoping for an excellent match-up, and redemption of the Bruins’ play from last week against the Canes.
We left utterly confused and disappointed with what we’d seen. Indeed, we didn’t see a whole lot of hockey. We saw a lot of needless fights and scrums and dozens of beer bottles and cups tossed onto the ice. And true, we saw something I never thought possible: Claude Julien getting assessed a misconduct and ejected (though it’s since been repealed apparently).
It was a dreadful game. The Bruins had three excellent scoring opportunities in the first minute of the game alone. Alas, they weren’t able to extend this energy through the rest of the game. Instead, they were fumbling, defensively weak. They are in disarray without Krejci. It’s difficult to pin it all on the absence of a single player, but given the Bruins’ demise in the 2010 playoffs without Krejci, it’s clear that it’s a markedly different team. Krejci provides a quiet but forceful offensive presence and agility few Bruins can match. He is defensively sound, wins his face-offs and he provides a whole lot of stability. He keeps Horton and Lucic in line, I’m convinced. But the rest of team failed to step up without him.
Another point: Tuukka played much too far out of his net. This isn’t his game–he’s a deep-net goalie, not as deep as Lundqvist or anything, but fairly deep. Thomas plays far out too (ah, the wandering goalie) but he is comfortable with that. Tuukka might have been cribbing the wrong tips or something. Tuukka needs some wins, and soon. The Bruins play terribly in front of him, and I can’t understand why.
But the overriding factor was the club’s poor discipline on Tuesday night. They were instigating, trashing and thrashing.
Hopefully, that’s over. Bring on the Leafs.