Brad Marchand caps off ugly night for Bruins
A game after picking up their first road overtime win of the season on Saturday, the Bruins were cruising to what would have been their fourth straight victory.
I mean they were up 5-2 in all midway through the second period.
But then defensive breakdowns by the Bruins allowed the Flyers to strike for two goals in a 1:32 span in the second period, and then Travis Sanheim’s game-tying goal in the third period.
“Our second period was not good enough. We kind of let up from the intensity and got away from our system. That's something that if you don't play a full 60 minutes that's gonna affect your results,” said captain Zdeno Chara.
"I think that was definitely the case tonight. I think we've got to be a little harder and bear down in those situations. It's not just the defense. We have five guys on the ice, we have to play as a unit, play together, and do a better job defending our lead."
Of all five Flyers goals that led to overtime for the second straight game, and then eventually the shootout, it was the tying goal scored by the Flyers that angered head coach Bruce Cassidy the most.
It was ugly defense all around by the Bruins, allowing the Flyers to carry the puck into the zone 1-on-3 with ease, win a puck battle behind the net, a poor attempt by Matt Grzelcyk to control and clear the puck from danger, and finally no one in front of Jaroslav Halak to slow down the Flyers net front presence.
"Talk about the goaltending, talk about our D in front of him - I think they can both take their share of the blame on some of those goals. We've got three different guys circling out of there. It's inexcusable,” said Cassidy.
"You're in the third period, you've got a lead that's gotten away from you, we're pretty good at buckling down - I don't know what to tell you on that particular play. No compete in front of the net, no urgency to keep the puck out of our net from three of our players. Clearly not a good enough job.”
After overtime provided no winner, the Bruins had their chance to right the ship in the shootout, a spot where the Bruins have yet to earn a win.
But as they usually do, the Bruins failed to score in the shootout through four rounds before Travis Konecny put the pressure on Brad Marchand and the Bruins with the shootout strike.
All Marchand had to do was a find way to get the puck past Flyers goalie Carter Hart and the shootout would have continued.
Well, he did this….
“Yeah, I know the rule, touch the puck on the penalty shot, and that’s your shot,” Marchand said. “It’s unfortunate. A tough way to lose on a play like that, but we have to be better when we have the lead.”
The loss dropped the Bruins to 0-7 in the shootout this season.
Here a few more Bruins thoughts from the last few days.
Tuukka Rask says no to All-Star weekend:
Set to take place in St. Louis January 24 and 25, Tuukka Rask will no longer be making an appearance in St. Louis, deciding to sit out the 2020 All-Star game.
“First of all, it’s a great honor to be chosen, obviously. These decisions are tough, but for me, I had to be kind of selfish, thinking of how much hockey we played last year, the short summer and thinking of playing until June again,” Rask said prior to Monday’s contest with the Flyers.
“This game is falling right in the middle of our bye week. I wouldn’t be able to do anything with the family. It was kind of a selfish decision to spend time with the family, go away, get your mind and body rejuvenated and be ready for the last couple of busy months of the season.”
Rask was the leading vote-getter among Atlantic division goalies, an Atlantic Division team that will be captained by teammate David Pastrnak. Because he will be skipping the weekend festivities, Rask will need to serve a one-game suspension per the NHL rules.
His suspension will either take place the first game before, or first game after the All-Star weekend.
Zdeno Chara plays 1000th game as a Bruin:
On Monday, Chara became the sixth player in franchise history to play 1000 games with the Bruins joining Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk, Don Sweeney, Wayne Cashman, and Patrice Bergeron.
"It's a huge privilege and obviously a tremendous honor. I've been very lucky to play with many great players and have great coaches,” said Chara who has played in 1530 NHL games. “This is obviously something I will always remember and cherish. [There are] so many people I'm very, very thankful to.”
Chara and the Bruins are back at it Tuesday night in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.