We’re only five games into the Boston Bruins season and the team has posted a 2-3-0 record. Definitely not ideal for a team with high expectations with such young talent in David Pastrnak, Charlie McAvoy and Jake DeBrusk.
The B’s also have their veteran core of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask, but the team has just looked sloppy. Their last win came against a winless Arizona Coyotes and their loss on Sunday came against the NHL’s newest team: the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
What made that loss the worst one of the young season was the Golden Knights goalie, Malcolm Subban, who Vegas claimed off waivers from the B’s, shutout his former team until there were 30 seconds left in the final period.
A team already without Bergeron (lower body), David Backes (diverticulitis) and Noel Acciari (finger) lost Adam McQuaid (leg) and Ryan Spooner (lower body) in the 3-1 loss to the Golden Knights on Sunday.
One thing is for certain – this team misses Bergeron and desperately needs him back in the lineup. Marchand needs him back on his line, the rookies need his veteran voice and the team needs him to win faceoffs and rack up assists.
In Sunday’s 3-1 loss, Boston lost 67 percent of its faceoffs. 67 percent. Bergeron is a consistent faceoff leader for the team and throughout the league in faceoff wins each year. The center has yet to play a game this season – but Thursday’s bout against the Vancouver Canucks has not been ruled out by head coach Bruce Cassidy.
All of Boston’s problems won’t be fixed once Bergeron returns to the lineup. This team needs to clean up their passes, take more shots and get to the front of the net. There have been plenty of opportunities – especially in Sunday’s game – where the B’s could have placed a shot on net but didn’t.
In fact, while they were down 2-0 in the third, Boston had four shots on net until Pastrnak scored with 30 seconds remaining.
Four shots on net. Four shots on a goalie who they were familiar with. Four shots against the team that has only played five NHL games.
Granted, Vegas has been much better than people anticipated, but when they put in the goalie the Bruins drafted and saw much of, there shouldn’t be an excuse as to why they couldn’t put any aggressive shots against him.
Boston has two games over the next 10 days – so they will have plenty of time to shake off any early-season cobwebs they have been experiencing. They need to be aggressive on the ice, charge the net and most importantly – put shots on net.
A record of 2-3-0 through their first five games isn’t a terrible record through five games and it could most certainly be worse for the black and gold. But 3-2-0, 4-1-0 even 3-1-1 looks so much better than 2-3-0.
Maybe the Bruins are just off to a rough start and the panic button is being hit too early. Maybe once the veterans of Bergeron and Backes are back, the team will start to come together. This team needs to start meshing and get on the same page.
Otherwise, it’s going to be a long, drawn-out season.
Written by: Lauren Campbell (@lalalalaurrrren)