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Bruins: Consistent Effort Needed


The roars of the TD Garden, the intimidating chorus of Zombie Nation, the shrieking one liners of Jack Edwards, and hard nosed tough two way hockey. This is what we have come to known for years as Boston Bruins hockey. After game one of the season was easy to say the Bruins may have forgotten who they were and what they represented. 

The Bruins entered their home opener on Monday still quivering over the thought of the romping they received last week from the Washington Capitals. The worst opening night loss in franchise history is certainly not a statistic a team wants on their stat sheet. The Bruins were embarrassed in all phases of the game as the reigning Stanley Cup Champions looked as if they had not missed a beat over the offseason. One would have hoped that all of the keg stands that Alexander Ovechkin did with the cup this summer would have slowed him and his teammates down. This was clearly not the case, it is hard to come up with one positive from that game for Boston. The only hope is that things could possibly not have gone worse. Perhaps game one is the perfect place to find yourself at rock bottom, only one way to go from there. 
The Bruins had a great opportunity over their next two games to bounce back and bust off the training wheels as they were facing two much weaker opponents. The Buffalo Sabers and Ottawa Senators. The Bruins were extremely lucky that their second game of the season was the night after the Washington fiasco, there was no time to dwell upon the loss. How defining could a second game be for a team? Well, after night one it was crucial for the Bruins leadership to step up and help the team bounce back. Zdeno Chara led the way with the first goal of the game as the Bruins went on to a 4-0 win. Buffalo did not put up much of a fight as Jaroslav Halak got his first start and shut out of the season. Dare we suggest a goalie controversy is to begin, it might be a little early for that. Tuukka Rask cannot take all the blame for the Washington loss as the whole team played atrocious hockey. 
The Bruins had an odd home opener as they played a Columbus Day matinee, the Bruins faithful still filled up the barn as some patrons likely took a “sick day.” With the comforts of home present the Bruins had flashes of their style of hockey. 

Patrice Bergeron who played in zero preseason games due to a back injury netted a hat trick which was extremely encouraging. Bergeron’s first goal required a second and third effort as he hammered away at the puck. Younger players should be taking note that this hard nosed play will be necessary to succeed in the National Hockey League.  Jake DeBrusk exhibited some grittiness as he was launched into the boards in the third period, DeBrusk who was visibly in pain rubbed some salt on the wound and continued his shift. Players like Noel Acciari played a physical game which can instantly bring the Garden to its feet. Bruins fans can also be thankful that the first line is clicking. Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak all had multiple points. Even a third period “Yankees Suck” chant made it feel like a perfect day at the rink. 

While all of these components of the game can make us feel good about the early 2-1 record there are still many areas that need to be addressed. The Bruins simply had too many turnovers against the Ottawa Senators, while this may have been okay against a young Senators team it is obvious that this will not fly against the stronger teams in the league. Zdeno Chara coughed up a puck in the second period after fumbling around with his head down, luckily the post came in to save the day. 

The Bruins also seemed to have a hard time putting the Senators away as they went back and forth in the third period. The Bruins will need to continue working on their defensive efforts especially for the one goal difference nail biters. 

The Bruins have one of the best first lines in hockey as stated earlier. They have great vision, create spectacular plays and more often than not, find the back of the net. A consistent problem over the last few seasons for the B’s: there a one line team. On Monday the first line was responsible for five of the six goals, the other belonged to newcomer Chris Wagner who played on the fourth line. The Bruins need to try and find a spark with the other three lines, while the one line juggernaut will work against a team like Ottawa it has proven to not be enough when push comes to shove. Players like DeBrusk, Ryan Donato, even veteran David Backes have a great opportunity to fill the role as a consistent scoring threat from the second and third lines. Donato and Wagner are the only forwards not on the first line who have tallied a goal after three games.


The Bruins can be pleased that they take a 2-1 record into Thursday’s meeting with Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers but it will be important to keep an eye on some of the struggling areas of this team. A consistent sixty minute effort is still needed from this team, the Bruins have a talented roster but all pieces need to come together to be a legitimate threat in this league. 

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