Inconsistency Poses Problem

Milan Lucic and Benoit Pouliot need to step up to the plate with injuries plaguing the Bruins (Photo Credit: Steph Phillips)

The key word that the Bruins have been preaching as of late is CONSISTENCY. Unfortunately, their performances create the exact opposite effect. Between the ups and downs of David Krejci, the post-concussion symptoms sidelining Nathan Horton, the third degree knee injury to Rich Peverley and line changes, inconsistencies remain the key problem for the Bruins.

While Krejci appeared to get his groove back scoring the second goal of last night’s game  against Winnipeg, the Bruins were unable to pull off a second consecutive win and have gone 3-5-0 in their last 8 games.  In the past twelve games straight, the Bruins have not had the lead at the end of the first period, where as in the month of November, they were the least scored against team and led every single game.

“We can’t, for some reason, find [ways] to win two games in a row,” said Krejci, whose goal tied the game early in the third period. “We felt pretty good after we scored that second goal, but I think from there we kind of sat back and we can’t do that.”(via Bruins Website)

While Tuukka Rask has fallen 0-4-1 in his last five games, he isn’t the only guy to blame for the team’s devastating loss.  Every player on the ice has to put in a solid effort and the defensive zone has the most stepping up to do.

“Besides [Patrice Bergeron‘s] line right now there wasn’t much going on, I think we might have had a couple of scoring chances at best and that’s not going to do it.”-Claude Julien

Zdeno Chara was on the ice for two of the Jets’ goals and is sporting a -6 plus/minus in his last three contests,as well as turnovers and slow movement, not exactly how you want your Captain to perform. Tyler Seguin missed today’s morning practice in St.Louis and Chris Kelly is spending the day at the dentist to get his front teeth fixed after taking a hard hit into the boards at practice. Along with the political views of Tim Thomas and back-up woes of Tuukka Rask, the main focus of the team is questionable.

With Rich Peverley being side-lined for the next 4-6 weeks, the Bruins are lacking in offensive depth and need to make a move with the trade deadline being a mere two weeks away. Rumors of Mike Knuble coming back to finish his career have been laid to rest as well as any interests in Columbus Blue Jackets Captain Rick Nash, but there are still other options for the Bruins.

The Bruins are currently in contract negotiations with four roster players that are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season, along with the signing of defenseman Johnny Boychuk. Assuming everything checks out, Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly will all stay for the right price.

The only thing that can get the Bruins out of their own stupor is the desire to want to win.While Claude held a physical and tough practice in St.Louis this morning, the true difference is going to have to be made by each and every member of the team if they expect to remain in the running for the Cup.  It is time for players like Benoit Pouliot, Milan Lucic and David Krejci to begin stepping up on the second line and for the goaltenders to start providing the confidence boost the entire team is lacking. With stellar performances from the goaltending and forwards, the defense is sure to follow. Good, hard, solid efforts from all twenty-something members is the only way to get out of this mid-season lag.

 

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