Last night the Boston Bruins had more shots on goal, hits, takeaways and more offensive zone time than their opponent, the Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, they also had more penalty minutes and one more goal allowed in a 1-0 loss against the undefeated Avs. Although new coach Patrick Roy has brought a new level of intensity to the Avalanche team, the loss had more to do with a hot goaltender and some tough breaks for the Bruins.
In their first game since Saturday, the Bruins showed some signs of rust, taking a while to get their skating game up to the level they needed it to be at to compete against a fast and talented Avalanche team. Their slow start was evident in the first period as it was the only period that the Avalanche out shot the Bruins.
Boston seemed a step, or in this case a stride, behind the gifted skaters for the Avs. A hooking penalty by David Krejci late in the first period led to the only goal in the game. The layoff seemed to be a factor in the penalty as Krejci found himself a bit slow rotating down to cover center Matt Duchene, leading to the penalty. Colorado scored on a redirect past goalie Tuukka Rask 26 seconds into that power-play.
After the slow start in the first period, the Bruins picked up their skating game and outshot the Avalanche 29-16 in the final two periods. Unfortunately for them, Colorado goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere saved them all.
Giguere, the team’s backup netminder, did his best impression of a brick wall stopping every one of the 39 shots he faced. The Bruins had plenty of opportunities on the night, including a couple point-blank scoring chances. Jarome Iginla and Jordan Caron found themselves wide open in front of the net with the puck on their sticks, but neither were able to capitalize on their opportunities. Bruins coach Claude Julien summed up the loss by saying, “I think you run into a hot goaltender, you run into a team that’s been playing well, and they did…But it’s one of those things where you’ve really got to grind it out some nights.” I’ll sum the loss up like this, trying to get a goal off Giguere last night seemed about as likely as Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog dropping the gloves against Milan Lucic.
In what turned out to be a smart decision, Landeskog tried wrapping up Lucic during a scrum that ensued between both teams around the Avalanche net. Taking exception to being put into a headlock, Lucic challenged the captain, but Landeskog was more content with using his mouth than using his fists. A late shove by Lucic resulted in the first line rugged winger receiving a ten minute misconduct that took him out of the game until about the eleven minute mark of the last period. The absence of Lucic forced Daniel Paille to play up on the first line. While the team may not of scored even with Lucic available for the entire third period, his ability to create space for Krejci and Iginla was certainly missed.
It was a tough loss for the Bruins as they played better than the Avalanche for most of the game after the first period. Three of the teams 39 shots hit the post and the puck bounces were just not going the Bruins way for the majority of the night. The most consistent line in the game was once again that of Chris Kelly, Jordan Caron and Reilly Smith. Going forward however, the team will need more consistent efforts from the top two lines. While going 82-0 is now out of the question, the team hopes their first trip on the road this season will help them be more focused from the opening puck drop.
The Bruins face the Columbus Blue Jackets (2-1) at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Puck drop is scheduled for 2:00pm and the game will be televised for local markets on NESN and FoxSports Ohio.