Monday’s matinée match-up against the Stars was a good news bad news situation for the Bruins. The good news is that the Bruins showed real mental toughness when battling back from a 2-0 deficit. The bad news is that they let another point slip through their fingers in overtime. While the Bruins’ effort to get back into the game was impressive, former Bruin Tyler Seguin was just too much in overtime.
Bruins Looked Sluggish
It was apparent that the 1 PM start was not ideal for the Bruins on Monday afternoon. The Bruins opened the first period getting out-shot 12-1 by the Stars. They seemed to not be able to find any rhythm offensively. It took a bit but the Bruins eventually found their skating legs and were able to battle back to finish the period with the shot distribution being 12-10 Dallas. The effects of the bye week were quite obvious during the matinée game. After being away from the game for five days it’s hard to get back into battling for every single puck, especially after that roller coaster game in Montreal.
Despite the sluggish start to the period the Bruins were able to escape the first period scoreless. Largely due to the efforts of Anton Khudobin, who was solid throughout the afternoon. Khudobin stopped twenty-nine out of thirty-two shots, but eventually looked helpless on Seguin’s eye-opening overtime goal. Although the Bruins were able to battle back from being down 2-0, when they got to overtime the team had nothing left in the tank.
Overtime Continues to Be a Problem for the B’s
There has not been a lot to criticize the Bruins for the past few months. But one thing that is a notable weak point for the B’s this year has been their performance in the three on three period. After giving up the game winner to Tyler Seguin the B’s record in the extra session this year fell to 1-6. While it may seem like nitpicking, if the Bruins could have won a few more of those overtime games they would be at least in range of the juggernaut Lightning.
The big problem is structure in their own zone in overtime. It’s man on man across the ice. While the Bruins have plenty of talented offensive players such as Spooner, and Pastranak, they also struggle in their own zone. When a team is able to pin them in the defensive zone it almost always ends badly. Bruce Cassidy needs to work on defensive structure for his team in overtime so they can start getting two points instead of one.
In three games in a row the Bruins have faced someone who used to be a key part of their organization. Two games against Claude and one against Seguin. While Montreal has struggled this season and the Bruins just won up in Montreal, this is still a sneaky important game for the B’s. It would be nice to see the Bruins squash the Canadians and Claude Julien for good with a dominant showing on Wednesday night. Let’s see if Bruce Cassidy is able to refocus his team against a lesser team to earn two points.