BOSTON — The Bruins have been a very busy team the past couple of days.
After Tuesday night’s fiasco in Montreal, the talk has been non-stop about captain Zdeno Chara. But for a while on Thursday night, it seemed as if the Bruins had put it all behind them and really wanted to come out strong at home.
And for the most part, they did.
The Black and Gold had the Buffalo Sabres trailing 2-0 at one point, before relinquishing two goals of their own, and eventually taking a 4-3 loss for their third defeat in a row.
It has become a growing trend for the Bruins to go out and play well on a road trip, only to come back home and fall on their faces. While this game, they could have used the excuse of Chara’s incident, it went in a much different direction.
“It might be a matter of how we focus on the road,” Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. “We are all kind of together, and we all know that every time we are at the rink, there are families and girlfriends and other distractions. But we have to find a way to put that aside every time we go to the rink and focus on a solid 60 minute effort. Maybe we want to make our fans proud or try and impress them, but we just seem to have a little more on the road.”
However, it was tough for the Bruins to get going, especially after the second period when Boston was called for seven different penalties. Their penalty kill played for a good chunk of time for the entire game, including a number of 5-on-3 opportunities–one which resulted in the tying goal in the third.
“[Penalty kills are tough] especially when it puts us down 5-on-3,” Marchand said. “Those aren’t situations you like to be in, and they are very tough to defend even if you have a good PK.”
Being on the penalty kill a number of times during the game meant less of an opportunity to put shots on net. But it also meant there needed to be more of an emphasis on defense.
Unfortunately for Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, the more opportunities for Buffalo meant more work for him between the pipes. Though the calls were seemingly always going against his own team, he realized that they should have been able to adjust.
“After the first couple, you realize that they’re going to call them tight, at least against us,” Thomas said. “So you’ve got to be smarter than that, and not do borderline plays that can get you those calls.”
Luckily the Bruins won’t have to sit on this loss for too long, as they ship out again Friday to play the first of a four-game road trip against the Islanders. And if there’s one thing they can be confident about recently, it’s their ability to perform on the road.
“I figure it’d be good for us,” Marchand said about going back on the road.” We have a great road record and maybe we will have time to bond and get back together here.”