The Boston Bruins entered this week with a solid 3-1 record. After Monday night’s game at TD Garden in Boston, the Bruins fell further down in the Atlantic Division.
The Detroit Red Wings came ready to play and hopped on the Bruins early applying tremendous pressure and forced multiple turnovers. The Red Wings opened the scoring midway through the first period on a one-timer pass from Pavel Datysuk to Henrik Zetterberg, after some astonishing finesse stick-work around Zdeno Chara.
However, three minutes later Johnny Boychuk answered back for the Bruins, releasing a rocket shot from along the boards to string up the game at one.
Milan Lucic again was the man making the last two minutes of the game a nail-biter, scoring with 1:20 left on the clock. Even though the Bruins showed strength in the final two minutes of the game, Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson was able to halt any more goals and collected another victory for Detroit. The aggression and will to score a goal came too late for the Bruins, costing them a win.
Boston has two more games to play this week, both away. On Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m., the Bruins head to Florida to face off against the Panthers and possibly former-Bruin Tim Thomas. Two days late, Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m., the B’s will be in Tampa Bay playing the Lightning for the second time around this season.
Heading into games on Thursday and Saturday, the Bruins have multiple pros and cons that could either make or break them.
Con: Lack of scoring
The Bruins have netted only a mere 12 goals in the five games they have played this season.
Heading into Thursday’s game against the Florida Panthers, the Bruins need to be ready to apply tremendous pressure on the defense, look for any loose rebound, and put pucks in the back of the net.
Five minutes into the third period of the Red Wings game, the Bruins found themselves on a two-man advantage, which they were unable to capitalize on.
Con: Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning score goals
In the their last four games, the Panthers have scored 11 goals, six of which were scored in a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. That is the only loss the Penguins have suffered so far this season.
Yes, the Panthers are struggling this year in the win column, but they do score goals – something the Bruins have been strongly lacking lately.
On the other hand, the Lightning have been explosive when it comes to shooting and scoring. After the season-opener loss to the Bruins 3-1, the Lightning have come around to score 22 goals in five games.
Pro: Tuukka Rask
In the five games Rask has started in he has allowed only seven goals, while maintaining a strong .951 save percentage. He ranks third (out of goalies that have played five or more games) in three categories: goals allowed, save percentage, and goals against average with an average of 1.41. Also, in his first four games of the season only four goals have slipped passed him. Clearly, Rask is a strong force between the pipes and is essential to the Bruins in keeping games low scoring.
The defense has really stepped up this season to assist Rask in net, except for the one play where Datysuk tooled around Chara making him look like he belonged in learn-to-skate – but that’s just how insanely swift Datysuk is.
Johnny Boychuk leads the Bruins in plus/minus with +3, is second in assists (3) and is third in points (3).
Three out of the five top with shots on goal are defensemen: Chara (16), Torey Krug (15), and Boychuk (13).
Pro: Panthers allow many goals
The Panthers have been stepping up their game offensively in recent games, however I cannot say the same defensively. In seven games, the team has let in 28 goals, the highest goals against in the Eastern Conference so far this season.
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