After another solid, and near dominating, performance last night at the TD Garden, the Bruins once again lost in agonizing defeat, 3-2 in a shootout, aginst the Montreal Canadiens.
The Bruins extended their current losing streak to nine-straight [0-6-3] tonight – and their home-losing-streak to eight games (0-6-2), with their last “home” victory coming on Jan. 1 at Fenway Park, in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Flyers. The last time Boston has actually came out victorious in the TD Garden was on Dec. 30 – a 4-0 blanking of the Atlanta Thrashers. Right now, the B’s are just two home-losses away from trying a club record of 11 straight – a record dating all the way back from Dec. 8, 1924 – Feb. 17, 1925. To make things even more gloom, this is their longest home win-less streak since Nov. 28 – Dec. 30, of 2003 [0-5-4-0].
“”It’s been tough for us lately, but we have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to find a way. I mean, it’s got to end right now.” from Bruins forward Steve Begin. “We’ve got to put those games behind us. It’s over and there’s nothing we can do about it. We’ve got to regroup and think about the next game.”
It’s tough to remain focused and upbeat for anyone in a disappointing run such as this. The losing streak is reaching a historical high as the Black-and-Gold watched a two-goal lead disappear in a matter of 39 second. With the Canadiens win, and Bruins overtime-loss, the Habs have now taken over sixth-place in the Eastern Conference [60 points], as the Bruins remain in 12th, with 56 points.
To make matters even more discouraging, the Bruins – call Ripley’s Believe it or Not – have now out-shot their opponents [47-25 last night] in seven consecutive games by a total of 246-171.
“How do you stay positive? You have to. You don’t have a choice. You don’t get out of this by just quitting.” head coach Claude Julien said after the gut-wrenching defeat. “With the amount of chances that we’re getting and the amount of shots that we’ve been throwing at the net, it’s been frustrating to say the least, when you have three goals to show for probably 89 shots, I think it is, in two games. And you got three goals to show for it, and that’s without talking about quality scoring chances.”
It was the second-straight loss, maybe even third, where the Bruins had completely dominated their opponents. Last night was no exception, as Julien had this to say.
“unless somebody wants to correct me on this, I think we were the better team out there, again.
“if you want to call it average when you dominate the best team in the league in the league which was Washington, and we were the better team that night, and we were the better team tonight. Because we don’t score goals, all of a sudden we’re a bad team? I don’t think so.” continued Julien with added tension in his voice. “Because those same guys in the past have produced and scored goals. I think that’s where we’re challenged right now. They’re challenged there, but I’m not going to stand here and say we’re a bad team. Absolutely not.”
The Bruins, again, have had their chances. But they have yet to capitalize on such scoring opportunities to blow games wide open as they did repeatedly last season. More often than not, the Bruins have made it look too easy for the opposing net-minders: clear shots and not bouncing on juicy rebounds; all while remaining pedestrian in front of the net.
“We need traffic. We need guys in front of the net. We need guys to jump at rebounds.” Begin added when asked what can be done differently. “It’s all details. Now we have to get those guys in front – get those rebounds. Just be in front of that goalie. The first goal, that’s how we scored tonight. Traffic.
“Even if you get 20 shots from the blue-line – if he’s has got a clear vision, it’s not hard for the goalie to stop it. Just put his body in front. They have to pay the price.”
And as they try to put the nine losses behind them and look forward to next game, Begin knows the competition remains just as fierce. Despite losing their last two consecutive games – on the road – the Vancouver Canucks had won their previous seven-straight, and are 14-4-2 in their last 20 games.
“Keep working. Take those good things we’ve seen tonight and the last few games. But take those things to the next game. We have to be ready. We know it’s a good team” Begin said. “So it’s going to be a good challenge for us – a good time for us to start winning.
“We’ll get over it and we’ll find a way to win. And then we’ll laugh at it after”