I’m not Irish and don’t believe in Leprechaun’s, but the Boston Bruins had better come up with a Four-Leaf Clover, a horeshoe, or rabbits foot come Saturday afternoon when the face the hot Philadelphia Flyers because at this rate, not only could they be in 7th or 8th place in the Eastern Conference, they could be struggling for their playoff life.
Friday night the Ottawa Senators host the Montreal Canadiens and should they win, the Sens would be in first place in the Northeast Division and the number two seed in the East pushing your Boston Bruins all the way down to the ranks of the also rans. Holy Crap! Did anyone see that coming? It would be the first time Ottawa was in first place since March of 2011.
Thursday nights embarrassing loss to the Florida Panthers (recurring nightmare theme here) gave the Bruins there first four-game losing streak of the year. But more importantly was the way they have lost these games. Showing no signs of the pride in which the Spoked B is supposed to represent.
Claude Julien said it best, “a whole team collapse”! Of course he was speaking of the Panthers game but that could be said for the entire month of March as the B’s have lost six of the nine games played and outscored 27-13 in those six losses. (12-3 in Florida) They’ve allowed 3 or more goals in four straight games and eight of their last nine.
This Boston team resembles nothing like their November/December counter parts. Right now they are a tired, hurt, confused troupe with what seems like no bottom to the pit they have gotten themselves in. But they also do not have time to feel sorry for themsleves. We all remember when they had all those home games and multiple days off at the beginning of the year. Now they don’t. They have played every other day and back to back games on the weekend since February 28.
What has happened you ask? Well it seems to have all started way back on January 7, the “Rematch” of the Stanley Cup Final. (Silly to call it a rematch because it really isn’t, but…) In that game, the Bruins began taking ill-advised penalties and the Vancouver Canucks made them pay scoring all four goals on the power play winning 4-3. Oh, by the way, it was a Satuday afternoon game in which they are a disgraceful 4-7-2. Brad Marchand received a five game suspension for his clipping penalty on Sami Salo.
The Stanley Cup Championship White House Celebration!
They then began to lose to teams that were not in the playoff picture. Teams that they are supposed to beat such as the Carolina Hurricanes who will not make the playoffs but the Bruins managed to lose the season series to the ‘Canes/Whalers for the first time in that franchises history.
Their goals against in October-December (35 games): 67 goals allowed. In January-March (35 games): 107 goals allowed. That amazing stat from twitterer @MichaelSBerger. Shabby goaltending, shoddy defense, way too many god-awful turnovers resulting In opponents goals.
Of course injuries pay a part in this collapse but even with injuriries, there is no reason to just go out for an evening skate or go through the motions. That’s unacceptable.
Who would have thought that a game between the Habs and Canada’s Capital City team would have some Bruins fans (definitely not me) rooting for the Canadiens on Friday.
Well, its St. Patrick’s Day Saturday in Boston. The Broad Street Bullies are the opposition. The game is once again in the afternoon and to paraphrase Tom Brady, “..the crowd will be lubed up early”. Lets just hope this early wake up call brings the Irish out of these Bruins, otherwise this long season, down to 12 games could get very short very quickly!