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The Bruins Still Have Work To Do

In: Sports

Posted By: The Booze at 10:31 pm

14 Dec 2009


Vladimir Sobotka was the one bright spot of Monday’s game. However, this picture overshadows that performance.

On Saturday night I was singing the Bruins’ praises. I even said they looked unbeatable. Their energy level was high, physicality was present, and the team leaders were hitting their strides. When we proceeded to lose to the lowly Islanders in OT I was frustrated, but found some consolation in getting 1 point.

Then came tonight’s game. The B’s were once again playing physical and took a 2nd period lead. They seemed to have the Flyers on their heels. Unfortunately they came out as flat as can be for the final period. A missed assignment in front of the net led to a tying goal at 2:48 and an unfortunate redirection by Wheeler’s glove put the Bruins behind with 9:32 to go.  A short-handed empty-netter sealed the deal with under a minute to play. It was truly a frustrating loss against a struggling Flyers squad. Which brings me to my point…

Overlooked during the Bruin’s recent turnaround, is their inability to put away games in the 3rd period. That reality has slapped us all in the face during these last two contests. Sure, Sabotka’s no-goal in the first period should have counted, but good teams don’t make excuses and they certainly don’t make it a habit of collapsing in the 3rd period.

The Bruins have played 12 overtime games this season. For a team that is batting only .500 in the extra frame, that is definitely not a good thing. Many of those games could have been decided in regulation. Three last-minute goals against Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Ottawa in November forced extra time. Yet goals against aren’t the only 3rd period issue. The last two games have shown a lack of offensive firepower in crucial situations.

With Buffalo continuing their winning ways, the road to a quality playoff spot is not getting any easier. With Tuukka racking up the wins, it would be easy (but stupid) to blame Tim Thomas for the team’s struggles. The responsibility falls on everyone’s shoulders to perform at a higher level. The B’s are still an elite team and certainly show glimpses of excellence, but they will need to find their 3rd period mojo if they want to have any success in the playoffs.

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