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BOSTON (CBS) – Welll now. It seems we really have no idea what to expect from the Boston Bruins these late days of the season.
Game number 69 was just a gross exhibition of hockey from the start. Newly acquired Marty Turco (never been a fan) got his first NHL start in more than a year, and boy did it show. Turco was gone before the game was five minutes old, surrendering three goals to the Lightning and his teammates in front of him putting a mere two shots on the young goaltender for Tampa Bay who previously had only 167 minutes of NHL action.
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After winning back-to-back games for the first time since early January, the Bruins have now lost back-to-back-to-back games, and have lost them in embarrassing fashion. They’ve been bad starts in which they’ve allowed two or more goals in the first period and have not had the scoring needed to get back in the game. The goaltending has been less than stellar, and the team is taking really dumb penalties at bad times and allowing goals on the resulting power play. The Bruins has looked lost since the new year and no one seems to know what it’s about or how to put a stop to it.
You can point to the plethora of injuries to key people who has haunted the team the last few months. It’s been a lost season for Nathan Horton and Rich Peverly is still a month away from returning to the ice. Johnny Boychuk, Adam McQuaid, and Patrice Bergeron are among others who have been dinged up in one way or another, which definitely contributes to the inconsistent play.
But the team has been coming out flat and listless to start their recent games, and that’s what’s so baffling. How could this team come out and play so bad? Sure, they are first in the Northeast Division and the second seed in the Eastern Conference, but the Ottawa Senators are hot on their heals just two points behind (luckily the Bruins have two game in hand). However, when you are losing those games, your position get more precarious. Dropping out of first can seed you much lower (anywhere from fifth seventh most likely) and put you in a fight for home ice in the first round.
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Boston has a baker’s dozen of games left in the season, with the Florida Panthers closing out this three game road trip Thursday night. They have three weeks to see exactly what this team is made of and what they can expect as the playoffs loom. Because right now, this team is in trouble and it seems the coach nor the players can seem to get them out of this three-month funk.