The Bruins continued to give up approximately 100 goals a game out in Colorado late Wednesday night. The 6-3 loss proved that the goaltending situation is now approaching defcon 1 and the defense is arguably just as bad. The continuous break-outs off turnovers that turn into goals against reminds you more of the Dallas Stars than the defensively sound Bruins of the past.
However, there is one focal point of this team that seems to have no plans of slowing down. That is, of course, the best line in hockey. Pasta, Bergeron and Marchand continue to dominate essentially every time their skates hit the ice.
No line has been more dominant and despite being a point behind Bergeron for the team lead, Pastrnak has continued to evolve into a superstar. He netted his league leading 17th goal in his 18th game Wednesday.
The whole first line is averaging over a point a game and are lethal in 5 on 5 and on special teams, whether it be power play or penalty kill. Marchand seems to be the lesser of the bunch with a measly 20 points in 18 games, but he’s also collected three game winners this season. I can’t say enough about how good these three guys are.
As for the rest of the bunch, shame on you. It’s clear something is going on in Tuukka’s life that is affecting his performance. Maybe Friday when he is due to return to the team we will find out more, but knowing hockey, this will likely be something we find out sometime down the road. Regardless, if he can resolve some of his personal matters in his time off, he may feel a weight has been lifted. We won’t know until he’s back on the ice. It felt like Halak had bounced back from the 8-goal fiasco against Vancouver a week ago. Despite him proving to be a very reliable back-up, he can no longer be a good starter in the league.
It’s not all their fault either. The defense is young and unexperienced. Many players talk about defense being the hardest adjustment from the college/junior level to pro-level. That is proving to be very true in the Bruins back end.
I believe the Bruins are approaching a crossroad sooner than later. Tuukka will be returning Friday, and McAvoy’s return looming, the Bruins will be getting back two pieces that are essential to this teams success. McAvoy looked good to start the season and stepping back into his role will sure up a few issues in their own zone. The crossroad is how much McAvoy can fix and whether or not Tuukka can turn it on. We’re nearing the point of the season where games are starting to pile up. There is plenty of hockey to be played, but the Bruins won’t make the playoffs giving up six and eight goals in games.
If the hockey Gods are in our favor, Tuukka and McAvoy’s return will realign this team. They need to because it would be a shame if this top line went to waste.
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