Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/31/13
Boston-bruins-florida
BOSTON — The Bruins are a defensive team with a defensive-minded coach who has instituted a system rooted in playing defensive hockey. If you watched the Bruins play the Sabres on Thursday night, though, you would think those statements are nothing more than bold-faced lies. The B’s had by far their worst showing of the year Thursday in a 7-4 loss to Buffalo. It was an uncharacteristically sloppy game in just about every facet, but it was the defense that had Bruins head coach Claude Julien ready to tear what little hair he has left out after Boston’s first regulation loss of the season. “Defensively, I don’t think I remember the last time we were this bad,” Julien said. “The breakdowns, and the mistakes and the opportunities that when you give [Thomas] Vanek those kind of opportunities, he’s gonna make the most of it.” Julien gave due credit to Buffalo, who came into Boston for what was surely going to be an emotional tilt, and they delivered. The Sabres entered Thursday’s game 0-3-1 in their last four, and they came up with a big win when they needed it. Much of that credit belongs to the aforementioned Vanek who had a hat trick as part of a five-point night. But really, this one falls on the Bruins more than anything else. In their own end, the Bruins had as bad of a game as they’ve ever had under Julien. There were missed assignments all night, sloppy play both in the neutral zone and in the defensive zone. “Our guys defensively were just totally, totally out of it,” a visibly frustrated Julien added. “We were told before the game to have our heads on a swivel. They really activate a lot in the offensive zone and our guys were defensively, I guess you’d say brain-dead.” The Bruins, who have made a habit out of dominating the third period, did no such thing on Thursday night. In their six games prior to facing Buffalo, Boston outscored its opponents 7-0 in the third period. Thursday, they were outscored 4-1 in the final 20 minutes. Making things more frustrating for Boston is the fact that they actually had a lead in the second period. After giving up the game’s first goal, the Bruins stormed back with three second-period goals — one from Rich Peverley and two from Brad Marchand. However, the B’s allowed two goals in 1:33 late in the second period to cough up the lead. Thursday actually marks the first time in 43 games the B’s have lost a game in which they held a two-goal lead. Keeping with the defensive oddities was the fact that it was one of Bruins captain Zdeno Chara‘s worst games in recent memory. He was a minus-3, and he committed a critical turnover that led to a 2-on-1 on the Sabres’ first goal of the game. “They have some good players, they made some plays, but I think it was more about us defensively,” the 2009 Norris trophy winner said. “Sometimes you’re going to have nights like that,” he admitted. “I didn’t play my best game, that’s for sure. I made some mistakes that cost us.” He certainly wasn’t alone. The good news for the Bruins is that it’s only one game, but it was an ugly one. They don’t have much time to stew over it, either, as they head to Toronto on Saturday night where a Maple Leafs team that has scored 15 goals in their last four games awaits the Bruins. It’s just a setback for now, and there’s no reason to believe, Julien and Co. won’t have the ship righted by Saturday night. But for one night, at least, they looked like a totally different team than we’ve come to expect in this era of Bruins hockey.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Andrew Luck tried not to watch Super Bowl, was still ‘salty’

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Former USC linebacker suing school over insurance policy

Report: Fred Jackson expected to sign with Seahawks

Adrian Peterson accused of fathering another child out of wedlock

Robert Griffin III liked fan’s Instagram post trashing Redskins

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Tom Brady may have been ‘open’ to one-game suspension

Fenway Park staff reportedly confiscating Don Orsillo signs

Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer betting on himself

Titans' Marcus Mariota: ‘Statistics don’t matter to me’

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

FSU names Everett Golson starting QB for 2015

Jaguars OC: WR Marqise Lee is like 'the albino tiger at the zoo'

Rangers have got themselves a bullpen

Do the Washington Nationals need to fire Matt Williams?

Most surprising developments from 2015 NFL preseason

Herschel Walker supports Trump’s candidacy for president

WATCH: Kevin Kiermaier robs Manny Machado home run shot

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Caroline Wozniacki smoking on cover of ‘Rhapsody’ magazine

Could Robert Griffin III be the NFL’s next Steve Young?

Spurrier: SEC fans right to be upset with Ohio State's schedule

Report: 'Deranged' fan shot outside WWE building

Report: Brady convinced Harbaugh to return to Michigan

Ronda Rousey gets Venice mural from artist Jonas Never

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Urban Meyer won't announce QB before season

Teammates relieved RG3 was benched?

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker