For the fourth time this season, the Bruins and Montreal Canadiens played a one-goal game Saturday.
For the third time this season, the Bruins were the team that came up one goal short.
Boston dropped a 2-1 decision at Bell Centre. Here’s the NHL.com game recap.
So now everyone’s all in a panic. The Bruins lost three out of four to Montreal. But they were outscored by just two goals over the course of the seasons series. While Montreal has clearly been the better team most of the season — and leads the Northeast Division by three points over the Bruins — the difference between these two teams is quite miniscule, especially when healthy.
The Bruins undoubtedly have to be better. With nearly a minute of 6-on-4 at the end of a game, a team has to get at least one shot on net. Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand cannot go an entire game playing the type of minutes they play without landing a shot on Carey Price.
The Bruins are in a little rut right now. They’re missing Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly and trying to integrate Jaromir Jagr into the lineup. They’re still 24-9-4 on the season, which if you combine the losses is still 11 games over .500.
This shortened NHL season, since the Bruins have separated themselves from the pack of teams battling just to get in the playoffs, is all about seeding. Right now, Boston is still in solid position to earn home-ice advantage and the Bruins could still catch Montreal. Of course, Los Angeles proved last season that seeding means nothing.
Boston’s three one-goal losses to Montreal are about as important as its four one-goal wins against Ottawa. They’re a gauge of a team’s ability to grit out two points, and lately the Bruins haven’t been doing. Better to struggle now than three weeks from now when the games really count.