The Bear Essentials By Mark Feldman, 98.5 The Sports Hub

BOSTON (CBS) – As cliché as this may sound, the Boston Bruins lost Monday because they weren’t able to put together a full 60 minute effort.

Had they not started the game with two back-to-back penalties resulting in a 5-on-3, the momentum may have been in their favor.

But by the time the forwards started clicking in the 2nd and 3rd periods, it was too little too late. There were encouraging moments from the second line, as well as Tukka’s performance,  but overall the Colorado Avalanche simply had the edge.

Read: The Bear Essentials

Here are four things to take away from the 1-0 loss:

Varlamov’s Wall

Either Semyon Varlamov is angered by his release from the Washington Capitals earlier this year or he’s embracing the fact that Colorado traded their number one pick for him, either way he’s playing well. Facing 30 shots with several legitimate scoring chances, Varlamov was able to keep the puck out of the net and maintain his shutout.

Stats: Bruins-Avalanche Box Score

At times it seemed certain that Boston would score, from Marchand’s shorthanded breakaway to a number of close calls on the power play, but with an incredible performance, Varlamov kept the Bruins off the board.

Rask Stands Tall

With the re-emergence of Tim Thomas last year, Tukka Rask was placed on the back burner.  He became the scapegoat for the majority of his losses; including the ones with poor defensive performances.  At times, people seemed to forget that Rask is a great goalie. Hopefully this afternoon changed that. Yes, they lost. But number-40 was impressive between the pipes.

“He’s probably the only bright light on this game today,” said coach Claude Julien of Rask’s performance. “Had it not been for him this game could have probably been over much sooner than it was. And he kept us in there and gave us a chance and we just didn’t respond.”

“He played awesome. He made a ton of big saves,” said Brad Marchand. “He gave us every opportunity to win. He played an amazing game. It was by no means his fault.”

Colorado was relentless at times, peppering him nonstop from every angle.  Rask ultimately stopped 35-of-36 shots and looked like a number one goalie.

Tuukka On Loss, Debut

Second Line Powerhouse

If it weren’t for a poor start and Varlamov in net, the Bruins would have won this game. If they had, it would’ve been mainly due to the 2nd line. Marchand, Bergeron and Peverley placed themselves into several 2-on-1 scoring opportunities and hustled at every play. Every group seemed to be playing well by the third period however, the 2nd line’s work ethic and overall performance placed them above the rest.

Afternoon Mess

Last year, the B’s had 12 early starts in the regular season, resulting in 5-7 record. There are no excuses for their performance but the number may indicate lack of preparation for some of their earlier games.

Whether the game started at 7pm or 10am, the Boston Bruins simply didn’t play to their fullest potential. With a poor start and lack of effort, the stronger team came out on top.

Follow Mark Feldman on Twitter @mfsports21

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