While Andrew Ference and Tim Thomas may differ in their political perspectives, the scrappy defensemen has undoubted importance to the Bruins’ defensive core.
Overall, the system has hit a bit of a lull recently, as the Bruins have given up three or more goals in four consecutive games.
Thursday night the Bruins squared off against the Carolina Hurricanes, a team who has given the defending cup champs fits all season long. The Bruins are 0-3 against the Hurricanes this season, and looked to get their first win against the Southeast Division foe.
Tuukka Rask (11- 5 with a 1.82 GAA) faced Cam Ward in net for the Hurricanes; Ward entered the game 18-18 on the season, with a 2.87 GAA.
Midway through the first period the score was knotted at one. The Bruins second line of Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand had the most productive shifts in the early going, consistently applying offensive pressure and producing numerous chances.
A Dennis Seidenberg giveaway led to first great Carolina chance, but Jaime McBain ran iron on the backhand; McBain has always done a good job joining the rush in his short NHL career, something the Bruins must be aware of in this game. Seidenberg and Joe Corvo need to step up their in-zone coverage, and work together to bat away as many loose pucks as possible.
Eric Staal scored the first goal of the game for the Hurricanes. It was an unfortunate play for Johnny Boychuk, who was drilled into the boards by Tuomo Ruutu and forced to go to the locker room due to an injury. Jiri Tlusty then found a loose puck and swung it across the Bruins’ net to Staal, who one-timed it past Rask for the game’s first goal.
The Bruins continued to create chances in the second period, getting help from each and every offensive unit, but struggled to beat the Carolina net-minder.
After some strong puck possession by the Bruins forwards, a breakdown by rusty Bruins defensemen Ference, and recently injured Adam McQuaid led too the second Carolina goal of the game. Ruutu scored on an easy open-net chance, as the goaltender Rask was way out of position following the breakdown.
Ruutu, an oft-suspected Bruins trade target, certainly made an impression Thursday night in Boston, bringing it with all aspects of his game.
Early in the third period Brandon Sutter extended the Carolina lead to three, Andreas Nodl recorded the only assist on the play- McQuaid and Ference were once again on the ice for the goal.
The game ended with a 3-0 Carolina victory, successfully pulling off the season sweep of the defending cup champs. It wasn’t a great return for Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, who was a -2 on the day. Unfortunately, its now five games in a row the Bruins have given up three or more goals, a theme that must be demolished as soon as possible.
Hopefully a Super Bowl Sunday matinee against the Washington Capitals can get this team back to their winning ways- dynamite team defense, and opportunistic offense. Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara had a simple message post-game saying “This is no longer fun…”
Well, it’s time to have some fun again, boys.
From The Room
Something Extra: A little post-game fun at North Station