Another great night at the Garden and special thanks to Shipyard Brewing Company for supporting us in our efforts to be the ONLY Maine outlet to cover the Bruins in Boston Saturday night!
So, what was wrong with the Bruins last night...hmm..well, where do I start. A couple observations.
Tomas Kaberle. He was HORRIBLE. As inconsistent play as I have ever seen during the playoffs.
If Kaberle was supposed to be thw power play wunderkind, he sure hasn't shown it here. He was terrible on the point, not shooting, waiting that one extra tick to pass, not good. Yet, Claude Julien keeps throwing him out there, hoping he can make a difference. I fear that is never going to happen.
Let's talk about the giveaway. You know which giveaway, that awful, terrible, back-breaking, unforced error, where Kaberle basically gave the puck to, GULP, Former Maine Black Bear Teddy Purcell. I heard criticism all around the Garden last night that while the Bruins and Lightning both were changing up, Dennis Seidenburg was all alone on the right side and should have skated into the neutral zone. Ok, that would have left the 2, count them 2 Lightning forecheckers with a 2 on 1. I think Seidenberg made the right choice and furthermore, the wisest choice giving the puck to a guy like Kaberle. Kaberle choked...PERIOD. You plain can not be the caliber of player Tomas Kaberle is and give that puck up, no way no how.
I can't sit here and totally rag on Kaberle, because I did see some spark I hadn't in the previous trips to the Garden. He did actually skate, with the puck, through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone to attempt to make plays. He did this on many occasions and seemed to effectively break the vaunted Lightning blockade. The Bruins need MUCH more of that effective offensive skill, it could be a difference maker.
Ok let's talk about Tyler Seguin. Tyler Seguin, for all of 5 minutes ice time in the first two periods, gave this team an offensive spark. No, he is not the second coming of Bobby Orr, he is not Espo in the waiting, but he was skating and putting offensive pressure on the Lightning.
Is Seguin's defense where it needs to be? No. OK, the Bruins have enough blue line talent to make up for that. Was Bergenheim his man on the 1st goal of the night? Yes. I thought he made the right play attempting to step out and cover Victor Hedman. Seguin over-committed a tad, got loose on his skates, and was a little out of position. Bigger problem on that play was Seidenberg lost his stick and watch Michael Ryder. I wouldn't call him the Statue of Liberty, but pretty close. So the sloppy play, a player without his stick all bigger negative contributions to the goal than Tyler Seguin.
His offensive ability, as in it's infancy as it is, is there. Ask Mike Lundin how talented Seguin is. Seguin left Lundin's jock strap somewhere out on the Zakim Bride with that move. As quality a goal score as you will see in the NHL.
While there are some holes in Tyler Seguin's game, the Bruins need that offensive talen in the lineup. Without Patrice Bergeron, that much is 100% clear. The kid deserves more than 9 minutes of ice time.
This team also misses Patrice Bergeron and his 60% faceoff wins. Last night the Bruins won a meager 39% of all faceoffs, maybe the biggest reason for the lack of offensive fire power last night.
Bergeron skated by himself in the morning, was in attendance, posing with soldiers during the game (to which I thought the building was going to crumble it was so loud), looked in good health. I am hoping Bergeron and the Bruins are playing this smart. They lost one player to this devastating issue, they can not afford a second. My belief is that Patrice Bergeron is a very smart man, and would not jeopardize his livelihood and his life for a Stanley Cup. I think in the end, they will make the right decision. If you believe the scuttlebutt, Bergeron may suit up Tuesday. Time will tell, but it is clear the Bruins need him.
Last but not least, in the you had to do it didn't you department, two Maine Black Bears alum took part in taking down the Bruins last night. Brett Clark (1995-1996) and Teddy Purcell (2006-2007) each scored 1st period goals that helped to put the Bruins back on their heels much of the rest of the game. Clark's rush was kinda cool. Here is the video.
THE MAINE SPORTS NETWORK'S COVERAGE OF THE BOSTON BRUINS IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS PRESENTED BY THE SHIPYARD BREWING CO.