Bruins

Bruins DieHard: All Is Not Right With The Bruins

A Bruins Blog by Ric Duarte of BruinsDieHard
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BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Benoit Pouliot #67 of the Boston Bruins collides with goalie Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals as he scored a goal in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 14, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 in double overtime. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – APRIL 14: Benoit Pouliot #67 of the Boston Bruins collides with goalie Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals as he scored a goal in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 14, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 in double overtime. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – The Bruins haven’t had a lead in their opening-round series with the Capitals, yet they have a victory.

But, all is not right with the Boston Bruins as they head into Washington for Game 3 of this series with the Capitals.

Both teams have scored but two goals, and if you are looking for a bright spot, it has been the stellar play of Tim Thomas, whose Stanley Cup Playoff shutout streak ended at 161 minutes, 41 seconds.

However, the Capitals first goal is one I’m sure he’d like to have back.

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But what of the Bruins offense? Where is the traffic in front of the net? Where are the second and third chances on the young inexperienced goaltender? Right now, they are nowhere to be found.

It seems that one (shot) and done is the nature of this series for the B’s. The one second chance they had was a loose puck squirting out in the slot with Benoit Pouliot beating Braden Holtby to the puck to tie Saturday’s Game 2.

The Capitals have played the way they wanted perfectly. They’re blocking tons of shots and when Bruins shots made their way to the net, they were an easy save for young Mr. Holtby because he had clear sight of the puck. Capital defensemen are making sure of that.

I have not questioned Claude Julien’s in-game decisions and said I would not since June 15, 2011, but being what happens over time, you knew that would change.

Julien has put together a couple of curious line combinations for the Bruins. At one point, he double-shifted Tyler Seguin, putting him on the David Krejci line with Rich Peverly and again on his usual line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. OK, he’s young and can take the cardio and who knows, you might just strike goal.

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But, the more curious decision is the defensive combo of Greg Zanon and Joe Corvo. That duo had many issues in the first overtime and when they were out there with the fourth line of Greg Campbell, Shawn Thornton & Daniel Paille, well let’s just say things were very scary.

I know the coach and he is not gong to change his formula for success, we know that. But he should not have those five on the ice at the same time.

Also, revisiting one key element in last year’s playoffs is Johnny Boychuk being on the ice at the wrong time. He was the only player on the ice for both Washington goals and had a bad hand in them, especially the whiff on the clearing attempt that led to the Johansson pass to Niklas Backstrom, whose snap-wrister ended the suspense and sent this series to Washington tied one game apiece.

It’s time for the upperclassmen of the Bruins to get going. Patrice Bergeron and Krejci were not good in face-offs and Washington out-hit the Bruins and were patient enough to get goals on plays that Boston could have prevented, instead of boo-boos that have cost them a series lead.

Ric Duarte has covered hockey and the Bruins for various media outlets since 1986. You can follow Ric at BruinsDieHard.com and at twitter @bruins_diehard.

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