The time has come.
Being merciful is the right thing to do, so I’ll cut to the chase: the Bruins lost 6-1 yesterday afternoon and were later eliminated from the postseason picture because the Flyers did more than the bare minimum. The Flyers have 27 pieces of flair.
The Bruins couldn’t even muster up the requisite 15 pieces of flair. Nope. Not even a bare minimum performance by most of them. They managed to keep up at first, gain a lead, and then just gave up completely.
Yesterday in our game thread/preview, I mentioned consistency. What I meant was that if the Bruins put forth a consistent effort and played hard and smart for sixty minutes, they should have beaten the Senators handily. While non-playoff teams often relish playing the spoiler role, the Bruins showing up and doing their jobs for the entire game would likely have brought them to the Promised Land.
Admittedly, the Bruins were behind the 8-ball with Rask out due to illness.
It seemed reasonable, though, to believe that if they brought their A-game, they could still win, as Jonas Gustvasson is a serviceable backup.
The first period was pretty even, with lots of back and forth play. An equal opportunity period, you could say. When the opening 20 ended, the Bruins had a 1-0 lead on a beautiful David Pastrnak goal, set up (maybe unintentionally) by a stretch pass/lob from Brad Marchand. Obviously it was no sure thing that the Bruins would hold on to this lead, but one couldn’t help but feel good after the first period.
— Weekend at Bergy's (@weekendatbergys) April 9, 2016
David Pastrnak has every intention of dragging this team to the postseason, kicking and screaming. #OTTvsBOS 🍝🏒🐻
— Bobby2Bergy (@Bobby2Bergy) April 9, 2016
But it was not to be.
The second period went the way typical Bruins second periods seem to go. Chris Neil was hanging out in the crease, unbothered by Bruins defensemen who were, inexplicably, behind the net. Neil wouldn’t give up on a puck buried under Jonas Gustavsson, eventually managed to squeeze it into the net, and tied the game. Goals by Smith, Puempel, and Zibanejad followed. 4-1 Senators at the end of the second.
Both Bruins defensemen behind the net on that Neil goal. Cooooool. pic.twitter.com/yeVQ0RNlPb
— Ian McLaren (@iancmclaren) April 9, 2016
The third period was all about missed opportunities, turnovers, and lost puck battles. Boston lucked out and were awarded a powerplay after Ben Harpur (I think I saw him open for Pearl Jam in 1998?) interfered wtih David Pastrnak. Claude Julien then took a page out of Patrick Roy’s book and pulled Gustavsson in hopes that the Bruins could make something happen offensively if they’re up two players. Reasonable, especially if the season — and possibly your job — is on the line. Of course, since they were shorthanded, the Senators weren’t afraid to ice the puck, and Pageau scored on the empty net. The Black & Gold looked better than they had in the second period, but not good enough to tie the game, or more importantly, win.
There’s little doubt that the Bruins will be shaking things up in the coming weeks, and addressing the defense issue. Or maybe they won’t.
A FEW POINTS I’D LIKE TO MAKE:
Chara asked why B's so prone to big-game letdowns this season. Coaches? Players? "I wish I had an explanation. I wish I had an explanation."
— DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) April 9, 2016
That’s all I’ve got.