WILMINGTON, Mass. — Lost in the all the hoopla this morning over Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty last night in Montreal has been the horrible effort the Bruins put in during their 4-1 loss.
People keep telling me they played a strong first period by outchancing (not sure who tracks “chances”) the Canadiens. All I saw was a team that looked deflated through the rest of the first period after Johnny Boychuk got pummeled by Ryan White, and then used the second and third periods to get in some light skating.
Plus, Tuukka Rask looked like he reverted to his October/November form when faced with an offense that didn’t belong to league bottom-feeders Edmonton and Ottawa. He definitely didn’t look like a goaltender the Bruins could trust if forced into action in the playoffs.
So that head coach Claude Julien decided to make his charges show up at Ristuccia Arena and get in some practice makes solid sense. And there are a number of things this team can work on:
•Figure out how to get the puck to go in the net when up a man or convince the league to award power-play goals based on the prettiness of the passing. The Bruins should’ve learned quicker that just putting the puck on Tomas Kaberle’s stick wasn’t going to make goals magically appear on the scoreboard.
•Find out if Chris Kelly ever made it to Boston after his visa troubles. With the exception of one play he made on Steven Kampfer’s goal last week and a few faceoffs, I have yet to witness a player that was worth trading anything for, let alone a first-round pick.
•Examine whether there’s a reason only one line scores per night. Balanced scoring, I’m pretty sure, is supposed to mean multiple guys on multiple lines scoring every night. Even during the latter stages of the winning streak, it seemed like one line was scoring every night.
•Figure out when the next time Boston’s fourth line of Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Tyler Seguin/Daniel Paille is going to start pinning teams into their own end again and/or make some significant body contact in any of the three zones to build the momentum they’re supposed to create when on the ice for their brief stints.
There’s plenty more to work on, but this list is a start.