BOSTON (CBS) — Bruce Cassidy’s Bruins entered Monday night’s Atlantic division showdown with Guy Boucher’s Ottawa Senators in practically a must-win situation. The game was crucial for both teams’ playoff seeding hopes – which only made the Bruins’ effort at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa that much more frustrating to watch.
CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday to break down the Bruins’ effort in their 4-2 loss on Monday, spotlighting the team’s no-show to start the game. After giving up two early goals, the Bruins – especially the younger ones – started to press more, and that’s when Senators head coach Guy Boucher flummoxed them in the neutral zone and forced a lot of turnovers with his 1-3-1 trapping style.
“I think a lot of the younger [Bruins] players – and even some of the older players – were getting frustrated by the Guy Boucher trap that he employs,” said Haggerty. “[The Bruins] turned the puck over a lot and made a lot of mistakes; there just wasn’t a lot of flow to the game.”
Haggerty, like many who watched the Bruins’ letdown, saw how the team’s poor start spoiled their chances of possibly tying the game later on.
“Credit to the Bruins for making it a one-goal game late and at least having a chance to maybe tie it in the third period, but when you spot a team like [the Senators] a couple of goals, you’re not going to win,” said Haggerty. “[It was] disappointing from the aspect that this was a very important divisional game. … This should have been a game that the Bruins were up and ready to go for immediately, right out of the drop of the puck, and they weren’t.”
It was frustrating to watch the Bruins get bottled up by Boucher’s trapping system – and to watch the Senators’ style of play in the first place. Bruins fans better get used to it because the B’s and Sens play each other two more times in the regular season and could meet in the playoffs.
“Guy Boucher looks like a Bond villain and he looks like it behind the bench, and he’s diabolically trying to kill the entertainment value of hockey,” said Haggerty. “And that’s exactly what’s going to happen in the first round of the playoffs if [the Bruins] play the Ottawa Senators. We’re going to see a big helping of what we saw last night, which is not fun to watch.”
Haggerty also talked about the ups and downs of Brandon Carlo’s rookie season and what the Bruins need to do in order to keep their spot in the playoffs by the end of the season. Listen to the full podcast below: