Monday night Boston took on a hen pecked Buffalo Sabres team and controlled the pace of play. Taking advantage of the mental errors and cashing in on the power play.
When the dust settled, Boston skated off with not just a 4-0 victory, but a full 60 minute effort under their belt.
Which was refreshing but the real challenge loomed on the horizon.
Boston flat out competed with Montreal Tuesday night on the road, putting in another hard fought 60 minute effort against their arch rival.
Out shooting the opposition 43 to 23 and yet again scoring on the power play. In fact, it appeared Boston would, at the very least, take a point out of the match up. This of course was squandered by Paul Byron’s go ahead goal with just over a minute remaining in regulation.
It was Montreal’s 11th win on the season, the back bone yet again being Carey Price.
As tough of a pill it was to swallow on Tuesday night, there are some distinct takeaways that spell positivity. For starters, Zane McIntyre looked comfortable in net for Boston, in Montreal no less. Shea Webers power play tally was a near impossible shot to stop and the eventual game winner came out of a mad net mouth scramble. I don’t blame the loss on lack of sufficient goal tending.
Secondly, the power play unit showed that the Buffalo game was no fluke. Pastrnak’s half wall bullet to tie the game at two a piece was a beautiful shot that will have the coaching staff talking.
Lastly, the blue line looks solidified. Krug was all over the ice offensively, desperately looking to chip in. Miller was moving the puck well and his unorthodox carrom off the boards resulted in a goal.
While it may appear as a defeatist attitude to look back on a demoralizing loss just to take positives away from it. This is what the Boston Bruins are now. Little victories over the course of the season will hopefully paint the bigger picture.
Standing at 7-6-0 Boston is as mediocre as you can be 13 games into the season. Not yet a force to be reckoned with in the traditional sense, nor are they kicking a can waiting for the draft. You see the problem with being average at best is that you’re more apt to remain that way you are rather than improve. That’s the nature of the beast.
With the eyeball test suggesting that things will improve over the course of the season contrasting with the only stat that matters, wins.
Unfortunately, the only hope they appear to have is improving their lackluster play on home ice. Referencing the last paragraph Monday night may be a sign of things to come.
Looking towards the future with optimism isn’t necessarily my golden trait, but in the last two games the effort has been there. After all, the Bruins were one fluke bounce away from taking two points from Montreal in their building.
Columbus awaits a hungry Bruins team come Thursday night. It’ll be interesting to see how they respond after their devastation Tuesday.
Will we see McIntyre again? Or will Rask be back?
One thing is for sure Jimmy Hayes still has a job, which irks me more than the lost to Montreal. That says a lot.