October 29, 2011

Post-Game Breakdown: B’s still in basement after another loss to Habs

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Montreal 4, Boston 2

Recap: After a fast-paced start to the game, Montreal capitalized on a power-play late in the period when Tomas Plekanec’s shot was tipped by Brian Gionta past Tuukka Rask to make it 1-0. The Habs doubled their edge a little more than a minute later as Lars Eller snapped one over Rask’s shoulder to make it 2-0.

In the second, David Desharnais’ tally with 7:36 made it 3-0, but Boston responded with Milan Lucic’s third of the year at the 16:28 mark to cut the lead to two goals again. The score remained the same until 55 seconds remained when Tyler Seguin beat Carey Price in close to make it 3-2. But, with the Boston net empty, Plekanec buried his second of the night to close out the scoring, giving the Habs a 4-2 victory.

Records: Montreal 4-5-2, 10 points; Boston 3-7-0, 6 points

Key Play of the Game: With a two-man advantage having just gone by the wayside, the Bruins were still on a power play early in the third when yet another brain camp by Nathan Horton nixed it. The winger got frustrated in the Habs’ end and cross-checked Hal Gill. His trip to the sin bin sucked a lot of life out of Boston’s strong comeback effort.

Connolly’s Commendations: Other than Horton’s error in judgment, the reunited first line of Horton, David Krejci and Milan Lucic had a strong game. Even before Lucic potted a goal, the three were buzzing in the Habs’ zone. The line combined for five shots on goal and jelled well after some time apart.

Patrice Bergeron should also be absolved for any blame in this one. The center dished out a game-high five hits and led all players with five shots on goal. Minus-1 rating or not, this loss — as is the case with virtually every Bruins’ setback — wasn’t due to a lack of effort from No. 37.

Connolly’s Critiques: Nice goal by Seguin to give the B’s a chance at the end there. However, where was No. 19 in the first 59 minutes of the game? It’s no exaggeration when I say I never once noticed him prior to the tally.

This critique might not fall specifically within the context of tonight’s game, but Joe Corvo certainly hasn’t done enough to get anyone excited about his presence on Boston’s blueline. The former Hurricane now has just three points in ten games, none of which are goals. Furthermore, his minus-4 rating is the worst among Boston’s defensemen.

Quiet night at the office for Brad Marchand. No. 63 didn’t record a shot and has now gone six-straight games without a point.

Notes: Tuukka Rask received a season-high two goals of offensive support tonight. He hasn’t won a hockey game since a 3-2 victory over the now-defunct Thrashers on Apr. 2…

Final Thoughts: Will this be the last time we see the Bruins roster and/or coaching staff as currently constituted? Many are calling for heads to roll or for trades to be made, as the Bruins are now off to a downright miserable start after capturing the Cup in June. Boston badly needed a win tonight — not only to climb out of last place in the conference but to give a major shot in the arm to their collective morale. In the end, they capped off a tough first month of the year with another dejecting setback.

Next: The B’s will be back at it on Tuesday when the Ottawa Senators visit TD Garden.