Post Game Talking Points: Canes vs Bruins

(Photo Credit: Sportsnet YouTube)

By: Joe Todd | Follow me on Twitter @heyjoetodd

The Bruins raised #22 to the rafters to honor Willie O’Ree, the first Black player ever to play in the NHL. O’Ree currently works as the league’s Director of Youth Development and as an ambassador for NHL Diversity. This honor was well deserved and a long time coming for O’Ree, who was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2018.

Tuukka Rask made his second start of the season but would have no help from his defense on an embarrassing night for the Bruins. Rask was pulled after the first period after allowing five goals, leaving Ullmark to handle the rest of the 7-1 blowout. While we can still celebrate O’Ree’s legacy on hockey, we should not celebrate the performance that his Bruins played for him tonight.

Defense defeated

To start at the top, McAvoy got caught chasing the puck in the first. He left Kotkaniemi all alone in front of the net on the second goal and made an awkward switch from left to right, leaving Forbort to miss his man in Teräväinen on the first Carolina goal.

McAvoy is up a little too high…

Forbort looked awkward and slow tonight, most notably on the Stepan goal after giving the puck away trying to make a pass to Clifton, and then being unable to defend against Martinook in the corner. Speaking of Clifton, he took an undisciplined crosschecking penalty at 3-1, and while the Bruins were able to kill it off, it disrupted any momentum they could have salvaged after Bergeron’s goal.

That 3-1 goal was a result of Carlo losing a puck battle in the corner and Vaakanainen being unable to prevent Kotkaniemi from deflecting the puck. It was also Vaakanainen’s pass that missed both Clifton and Steen, resulting in Jarvis’ goal to make it 4-1. Grzelyck was the only defenseman I do not believe had an issue, but if I am missing an egregious error of his, please remind me as most of the Bruins defense struggled against the Hurricane’s forecheck. An uncharacteristically bad defensive performance tonight.

Uuuuugly.

Steen struggles

Oskar Steen looked every part of an NHL rookie tonight. An atrocious minus three after the first period. He showed some hustle getting back on Carolina’s first goal but got lost in coverage and could not close on Slavin, who made a great pass to Teräväinen. On the second goal, he could not stop the pass from getting through to Svechnikov, who wired it on Rask, resulting in Kotkaniemi cleaning up the rebound. Then on the third goal, while the pass from Clifton was bad, Steen showed very little to prevent Jarvis from taking that puck to the net (see above). While I do not want to pile on the rookie who has been excellent since his recall, and I recognize that it was not his fault on most of these goals, it might be time for a game off when Foligno and Frederic return to the lineup.

Todd’s and Ends

Bruins struggled to defend the front of the net in particular tonight. For the first time since he left, I missed Zdeno Chara and his ability to punish those who got in front of his goalie.

Bruins were unable to capitalize on a minute-long five-on-three powerplay in the second period. Scoring on both penalties could have brought the game within reach at 5-3. Bergeron’s powerplay goal was the lone marker for the Bruins.

Rask made a great stop on Aho’s breakaway in the first after Marchand gave the puck away at his offensive blue line. Marchand tried to play like a Lambo tonight but looked more like a Prius.

Marchand would end up deleting this post to his Instagram. A good thing considering the result of this game.

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