Lack of discipline dooms B’s in shootout loss to Flames
One can argue that the Boston Bruins lack of finish was the biggest reason why they lost Thursday’s game against the Calgary Flames, but don’t ignore their lack of discipline in the 4-3 shootout loss.
The Black and Gold got the start they wanted scoring the first goal in their sixth straight game off the stick of Brad Marchand, but the Flames hung around in the first period resulting in a power-play goal by Sean Monahan, his 23rd. Matt Bartkowski committed his first penalty on the night on a hook that started the barrage of penalties for the hometown team.
It seemed as if the B’s couldn’t build momentum or build their lead due to another player heading to the box on top of their inability to score.
“You know I thought we had a great start there in the first period and two or three penalties right there at the end of the first kind of took it away from us there and they managed to tie the game,” head coach Claude Julien said. “Staying out of the box is an important part of the game for us, especially when you struggle to score goals and our penalty kill right now has been giving up too many goals. We’ve got to get ourselves right in that department.”
It was a back and forth game all night long. The B’s blew two leads, the Flames blew one of their own, but Boston eventually beat themselves.
“Yeah, I don’t think it’s the recipe to win some games,” said newcomer Max Talbot, who notched 10:56 of ice time in his first game with the B’s. “We were in the box and when you’re in the box your offensive guys are sitting on the bench. A little undisciplined, but you got to learn from that.”
It seemed as if some of the penalties resulted in the Bruins being lazy by not moving their feet. One example was Reilly Smith’s hold and Bartkowski’s second penalty of the night that led to the go-ahead goal by Jiri Hudler in the third period before Loui Eriksson tied it up.
One team was getting the calls, the other wasn’t. Though the Bruins had the upper hand at even strength, they weren’t making excuses afterwards.
“I think both teams got a little bit in penalty trouble,” Chris Kelly said. “I think it was the third period, it seemed back and forth, but penalties are penalties. They’re part of hockey just like anything else and you just play through them.”
“A couple soft calls but some calls we deserved,” added Milan Lucic. “It’s just the part of the game where we need to be better at it. We knew going into the game that they were the least penalized team in the league so we had to stay disciplined and unfortunately we gave them a lot of power play time and they were able to capitalize twice on that.”
Goaltender Tuukka Rask did all he could on the night stopping 29 of 32 shots on the night (29 of 30 at even strength), but it just wasn’t enough. The Black and Gold committed too many penalties.
“Yeah, there were too many of them, obviously,” Rask said. “Some of them good, some of them bad. But still, we have to step up as penalty killers and get those kills. Today we really didn’t.”
Killing off a lot of penalties in hockey games tires a team. That was a prime example on Thursday night for the Black and Gold. Not only was their finish not there, but their legs were heavy towards the end of regulation. Playing smarter and more disciplined hockey is what should be on the Bruins’ mind right now not how they lost in another shootout.
The B’s were a well rested team heading into Thursday night’s game, but it wasn’t their readiness that should’ve been the concern, it’s their lack of discipline.