Plus/Minus: Blame Pie Lies With Bruins’ Young Defensemen In OT Loss
BOSTON (CBS) – The Bruins fell 4-3 Thursday night in Toronto in overtime to the very desperate, fighting-for-their-playoff-lives Maple Leafs in what was the second night of a back-to-back.
It marks the second loss in a row for the conference-leading Bruins, and the point earned from the OT loss puts them in a tie with St. Louis for highest point total in the NHL.
The story of the game was the sloppy play of the Bruins’ young defensemen, who on some level all contributed to each of the Leafs’ four goals. Bartkowski had one caught in his skates then forced a very poor turnover, as did Dougie Hamilton, that led to goals. Krug’s penalty in overtime would prove costly as well with the game ending 60 seconds later on the 4-3 man advantage for Toronto.
After the injuries to Adam McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg, the knock on this team has been the lack of experience on the blue line. With the postseason fast approaching, now just five games away, who cracks the top six on defense has been a big topic of discussion surrounding the hometown team.
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones was on air following the game to discuss the loss with Dave Goucher and Bob Beers of the Bruins Radio Network to get their thoughts about this very topic, as well as a host of others.
“The only decision right now is whether it’s Andrej Meszaros or Matt Bartkowski [in that final defensive spot],” said Bob Beers to start the conversation.
“And that could change, after all you still have a few games left. But Dougie Hamilton has played well; he didn’t play well tonight, but he’s played very well. I haven’t had much of a problem with his game. Torey Krug is gonna be in there mostly because of the power play. His 5-on-5 play has been alright, but I don’t blame him at all for that final penalty in overtime. It was a pretty good play defensively by him.
“It’s between Bartkowski and Meszaros. As it is right now, today, it’s those two guys fighting for that final spot.”
With five games to go before the postseason, Dave Goucher brought up the topic of resting players, given the Bruins have all but clinched the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
“I’m curious to see how they move forward because it hasn’t really happened yet to be honest with you, you know, how do they dole out the ice time here over the final five games? They’ve gone basically with their whole lineups here for the most part. How do they dole it out?” asked Goucher.
Listen below for the full postgame recap, including Beers’ one concern with the forwards:
After catching up with Dave and Bob, Jones provided his three highlights and lowlights from the game in a segment we call “Plus/Minus.”
1. Brad Marchand: After Toronto’s Paul Ranger got on the board first six minutes into the first, Marchand tied it up 1-1 just 56 seconds later. Marchand would also have an assist later on in the third period.
2. Milan Lucic: Goal no. 22 on the season for Lucic came at the 05:03 mark in the third period and got the Bruins within one of tying.
3. Patrice Bergeron: Shades of last year’s opening round series? Bergeron provided some late game heroics with the game tying goal at the 12:51 mark in the third period, which would force overtime. It was his ninth goal in nine games and is up to 28 total on the season.
1. Matt Bartkowski: No one had a worse night, particularly early on, than rookie blueliner Matt Bartkowski. “He would get an assist later on so he was only a -1, but overall not a very strong night from him,” said Jones.
2. Dougie Hamilton: Sticking with the theme of young defensemen struggling, Hamilton didn’t have the best night either. A Hamilton turnover led to a James van Riemsdyk goal in the second period, which gave the Leafs a two goal lead.
3. Torey Krug: The OT holding penalty against Tyler Bozak was admittedly very questionable, but it would be the difference in the game as Nazem Kadri shut the door just a minute later on the 4-3 man advantage.
Listen below for Plus/Minus:
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