It isn’t time to panic about the Boston Bruins despite New York horror show

Boston Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak (41). Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak (41). Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Don’t panic if you are a Boston Bruins fan just yet.

We may have cursed the Boston Bruins given that it was only a couple of days ago I penned a piece lavishing praise on this team and how good they’ve looked through the first quarter of the 2020-21 season, and since then they’ve been blown out in two ugly losses in New York.

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Okay, so we probably can’t take all the blame for what has unfolded over the past few days given that we were not actually on the ice playing the game, but despite how bad it has been for the Bruins in The Big Apple, it isn’t time to get too worried if you are a B’s fan.

Firstly, there is no denying that it has been a rough few days for Boston who imploded in an ugly 7-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday, before being blown out in a 6-2 loss by the struggling New York Rangers on Friday night. Allowing 13 goals against and scoring just four in two games is not great to say the least.

It was the way that the Bruins lost both games that was troubling, though, given that it was 2-2 game with the Islanders heading into the third period, when New York’s offense exploded for five goals in the final 20 minutes, including lighting the lamp three times in a crazy five-minute span.

Not time to panic about the Boston Bruins despite horror shows in New York

Then, looking for a much-needed response and a bounce-back against the Rangers the following night, the Bruins instead came out slow and were eventually blown out by the Blueshirts, while they were also outhit and outmatched and just played with very little energy.

Given how badly they collapsed in both games, and how badly they responded to adversity, you can’t be blamed if you are concerned at how the last couple of games have gone for the Boston Bruins, but there are signs out there that suggest this is just a temporary blip, rather than the start of a really alarming long-term problem.

For starters, all teams will put up one or two stinkers during the course of a 56-game shortened season where you playing the same teams up to eight times a year in each division, so a bad blowout over the course of a rough stretch is going to happen and we’ve seen that with a lot of teams already.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the main reason for Boston’s struggles in New York boil down to bad defense, which is understandable when you consider the type of personnel out there at the moment. Veteran John Moore played big minutes in both games due to injuries, and he was a -2 in both games and looked weak around the net.

Boston Bruins
Head coach Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The reason Moore has seen an increase in his minutes is because the Bruins have a plethora of blueliners out hurt, including Matt Grzelcyk, Kevan Miller, Jakub Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon, and that is big blow for a backend unit already incredibly young and inexperienced with an average age of 26.3.

It is no surprise that this defense unit has struggled with that amount of manpower out of the lineup, not to mention being without a player like Grzelcyk who can move the puck and help with the transition game, while not having Miller’s grit, tenacity, snarl and wealth of experience clearly hurts a young group.

However, those players will eventually return, along with veteran center David Krejci, and when they do the Bruins will not only be at full-strength again but they will also have plenty of depth to fall back on too, which is a must in what is a shortened and congested schedule.

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Granted, the Boston Bruins played as bad as you can in every single area in the two games against the Islanders and the Rangers and their response to going down was worrying, but this team is far too good and far too talented to play that bad again and I wouldn’t be surprised if they responded emphatically against the Blueshirts later today, while getting certain players back from injury will only help them to get better the deeper we get into the 2020-21 season, so now is not the time to panic about this team.