BOSTON– Monday night’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes might have looked good for the Bruins on paper, but as is often the case, the final score may have been a little misleading. Sure the B’s rolled to a 6-2 win over a hapless opponent, but this was not the dominant effort the score might suggest.
The B’s did plenty of good things, but they’re far from out of the woods right now, and they showed even in winning easily that there’s still plenty of room for improvement over the final 10 games of the regular season.
It was a game that lacked any real dominant storylines, but there were plenty of things worth breaking down. So without further ado, here’s the good and the bad from the win over the Canes.
The combination of Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr
It’s been a work in progress to not only assimilate Jaromir Jagr into the Bruins’ lineup, but to figure out where he fits best. It’s beginning to look like he’s got at least one compatible linemate in Brad Marchand. The two combined for two more goals Monday night, and they now have combined for three goals in Jagr’s three games with Boston.
Bruins’ offense breaks out
The B’s took full advantage of one of the worst teams in the league, and in the process, they scored a season-high six goals. The Bruins had 11 guys register at least a point, and six of those players had at least two. On a night that Claude Julien once again rolled new lines, it was encouraging to see such a balanced attack. Jordan Caron scored his first goal of the season, Rich Peverley scored for the first time in 10 games and Dennis Seidenberg tied a career high with three points.
Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference get involved on both ends
Seidenberg and Andrew Ference were fanastic offensively Monday night. The D-men combined for a goal and four assists, with Seidenberg chipping in as a plus-4 and Ference a plus-3. It was especially encouraging to see Ference come alive. He’s been up and down this season with the emphasis most times on the latter, but he’s coming around as of late. He logged a team-high 22:05 of ice time and blocked three shots in addition to his offensive contributions.
Issues in the faceoff circle
Any team would feel the loss of a player like Patrice Bergeron, and the Bruins are no different. The reigning Selke winner is one of the best two-way forwards, and when you take him out of your lineup, you’re going to suffer in all three zones. One area the Bruins really feeling Bergeron’s absence is in the faceoff circle. The B’s still lead the league in faceoff percentage, but they have dropped off some. Heading into the Ottawa game that Bergeron suffered his concussion in, the Bruins had won 57.1 percent of their draws. After Monday’s win, they’re at 56.2 percent. Boston opponents have won the faceoff battle in each of the three full games that Bergeron has missed.
Third-period breakdowns continue
The Bruins continue to have issues in the third period, even on nights like Monday where they were in control for just about the entire night. Yet, the Bruins saw more defensive breakdowns in the third period, and Carolina made them pay. The Hurricanes put 12 of their 42 shots on goal in the third, and they scored twice. The Bruins have now been outscored 18-14 in the third period since March 3.
Shots, shots, shots, shots
The Bruins have been under siege as of late in terms of shots on goal allowed. The Hurricanes put 42 shots on Tuukka Rask on Monday night, which marked the third time in the last four games that the B’s have allowed at least 40 shots. The B’s have allowed an average of 39.5 shots per game over that stretch, a stretch that they have gone 3-1-0, thanks in large part to the goaltending of Anton Khudobin and Rask. Still, it’s probably something they want to shore up before the regular season wraps up.