Chasing the Florida Panthers in the standings, the Bruins entered Thursday night looking to snap their season long four-game losing streak. With a chance to pull within one point of the Panthers atop the Atlantic Division, the Bruins needed their best effort in over a week.
With the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings both three points back of the Bruins in the playoff picture entering Thursday, Claude Julien and company knew their final contest with the Panthers was important in more ways than one as the Bruins looked to complete the season sweep of Florida.
After jumping out to a 1-0 lead on Ryan Spooner’s 13th of the year, the Bruins allowed the next four goals as the Panthers reclaimed the top spot in the Atlantic.
Let’s take a look at what we learned.
Bruins on wrong side of lady luck, again:
The hockey gods have not been too nice to the Bruins in their last two contests. Wednesday night in New York, the Bruins had a goal disallowed after a coaches’ challenge showed Brad Marchand was just a bit offside on a Lee Stempniak tally. Later in the contest, Stempniak had appeared to score yet again, only for there to be not enough conclusive evidence the puck crossed the line.
Fast forward 24 hours and it was the same result. It had appeared Patrice Bergeron has knotted the game at two in the third, but once again the no conclusive evidence rule struck again.
‘You’re… I think you need to call the league because I can’t explain it either. I’m as baffled as you are right now, and I looked at it many times here before coming out here. It looks like it’s in. It looks very conclusive. That’s two in two games now,” a frustrated Julien said.
Who texted Claude?
Speaking of Julien. When voicing his frustration in his postgame sit-down with the media, Julien mentioned he’s not the only coach who was confused by the non-goal call.
“We think we’ve got great technology. We’ve got everything going, but people just think we were getting it right. I don’t necessarily agree with that because we’re obviously still not getting it right” Julien said. “I’ve got another coach that texted me, and there was, “WTF. How can that not be a goal?” That’s coming from somebody who’s neutral.”
Who was it that texted Claude? Bruce Boudreau is my guess. After all, he was one of the several coaches — along with Bill Belichick among countless others — who congratulated Julien in a pregame ceremony for having the most wins in Bruins history.
Spooner scores five-on-five:
Much has been talked about of late of the Bruins scoring woes. The lack of scoring outside the Bruins’ top two lines has been well documented of late. With that, the scrutiny of Bruins’ forwards has been magnified during their losing streak.
Entering Tuesday’s contest, Bruins center Ryan Spooner had just one goal and four assists while playing five-on-five since the start of February. After nice puck movement and determination from Frank Vatrano in the Panthers end, a wide open Spooner buried home just his second five-on-five goal since the start of February.
“Yeah I mean they were on me about that, I think I went nine or 10 without a point there, five-on-five something that has been a little bit inconsistent for me the whole year. But I think at the end of the day, if I just go out there, and I attack with my speed and stuff like that, which I wasn’t doing four or five games there in a row, it’s a mental thing,” Spooner told the media after the loss. “I thought tonight it was a little bit better but there is still a lot of things that I need to work on.”