The Bruins have now lost three of their first four games, the latest a 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes on Wednesday. The Bruins fell behind 1-0 early and then 2-0 in the third period, but a Tyler Seguin laser shot made it 2-1. Carolina would score again, but a Brad Marchand goal gave the Bruins a breath of life before their ultimate defeat. Here are my five observations from the game.
Number Five- Where is the first line?
Yes, David Krejci is hurt and Seguin has been fantastic, but the other two, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic, are absolutely invisible. This is nothing new, as both players have been victim to cold spells, but it is nonetheless a concern for this team. Last season the two top liners saw their struggles at times and they still won the Stanley Cup, but it is an issue Bruins fans would like to see fixed, especially if Krejci’s injury is anything long-term.
Number Four- Milan Lucic
This is a follow-up on the last point with Lucic, but with a new twist. Every year, even at times in his breakout season, he was widely criticized by fans and media. This is when I start to think, ‘Have we all begun to think too much of Lucic?’ When he was drafted, he lured the comparisons to Cam Neely, and maybe unfairly so, but I think with those unfair comparisons came unfair expectations. Is Lucic, well, what he is? Will he ever be that prominent 35-goal scorer? Will he ever be that perennial all-star we expected when he came up as an 18-year-old?
Lucic is a good hockey player, but are we just expecting too much? He might not even be a first-line player, and the ice time could be exposing him. He is very talented, scoring 30 goals last season, but to expect much more is very unfair at this point.
Number Three- Power Play. Again.
On the night when Boston goes 0-for-5 on the power play, Tomas Kaberle’s team beats them. A bit of irony, seeing as his predecessor and former Hurricane Joe Corvo was a part of each and every one of the Bruins’ power plays. The power play continues to be a problem. It is still early, but unless it gets fixed, Corvo needs to take a lot of responsibility. Corvo is not a great defenseman, and his skill comes on the man advantage. What is the point of his game without the power play succeeding?
Number Two- Emotional Engagement
We all know that the Bruins play better when they’re emotionally engaged. So do their opponents. Notice now how teams are not emotionally engaging Boston any more? There has not been a fight through four games, and all of the net scrums dissolve in a matter of seconds. Teams have not allowed Boston to become emotional in games, thereby reducing the team’s energy.
Number One- Tyler Seguin
SeguinMania is about ready to take the city of Boston by storm. His goal was a sweet snipe over Cam Ward’s glove that the goalie had no chance on. And more of that is coming soon if what has happened so far this season continues. Seguin has been the best Bruins player on the ice this season, and he has been rewarded by being bumped to the top line in Krejci’s absence. Wednesday night he had 20 minutes of ice time, 10 more than his average last season.
The Bruins get back into action Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. when they face off against the Blackhawks.