The Bruins just wrapped their annual Western Canada trip and it was one that was a lot less than desirable. The team finished 0–1–2 in the three games and grabbed just two of a possible six points. For a club with as much talent as the Bruins, going winless against Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver is extremely bad.
The trip got off to a bad start with a rough first period in Calgary. After a hot start for the Bruins, the Flames capitalized on defensive mistakes and terrible goaltending by the Bruins to take a 3–0 lead. The Bruins got goals from Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand but they truly never got themselves back into the game. They ultimately fell 5–2.
The next night in Edmonton the black and gold took their only lead of the three-game stretch when David Krejci picked up his first goal of the season. However, Edmonton quickly tied the game up. The Oilers then took a 2–1 lead in the third before David Pastrnak scored a game tying goal of his own. In overtime, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl capitalized on a defensive breakdown by the Bruins and capped off a 3–2 OT Edmonton win.
Desperately needing a win in Vancouver, the Bruins came out as flat as ever. The Canucks took a quick lead on a cheap goal by Brandon Sutter and held that lead until mid-way through the third period. After a relentless start to the third period, the Bruins got a goal from Joakim Nordstrom to tie the game up. However, much like Edmonton game, the Bruins fell in overtime after Bo Horvat scored on a 3–1.
The Bruins held the lead on this trip for a total of 2:17 and they were only able to score a total of five goals on Mike Smith, Cam Talbot, and Jacob Markstrom. In other words, they really underperformed out in Western Canada. Leading for under three minutes over a three-game span is terrible. Only scoring five goals in three games on goalies who aren’t good is terrible. Going 0–1–2 against three teams that are easy to beat isn’t ideal for a club that’s expected to contend for a Stanley Cup. The Bruins were missing David Backes, Kevan Miller, and Charlie McAvoy in the final game against Vancouver, but that’s no excuse for a loss against a team that’s in full rebuild mode right now.
It’s too early in the season to freak out about losses. However, this three-game stretch of hockey could come back to haunt the Bruins down the line.
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-Kevin Maggiore (@kevin_maggiore)