Wednesday, February 16, 2011
This man will helped break a 39-year drought, or something
I don't know which was more disappointing last night: the Boston Bruins' 4-3 gag reflex loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs or the trade that they made following the game.
I'm sure Chris Kelly is a decent player and a good guy but he got caught in the Bruins' impeccable timing as all day there were rumors of Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle getting dealt to the Bruins. He would sure up the power-play (a big weakness) and give us a puck-moving defenseman which makes us all weak in the knees.
Sadly, Boston's front office doesn't know how to make a big splash properly so even if that or something grander is in the works, you have to do that first. Trading for Kelly, a defensive center from the Ottawa Senators, for the minor fee of a second-round draft pick means nothing.
Kelly will be on the third line but explain how he's any different from Gregory Campbell or Daniel Paille?
Moving on. You had to know that ex-Bruin Phil Kessel was due for a goal against his former team. It turns out, he doubled his pleasure and fun as he and teammate Mikhail Grabovski both put in a pair of goals in Toronto's (24-27-6) comeback victory over Boston (31-9-7) at TD Garden.
The Bs lost their third straight and this one was inexcusable since they were playing a bad team and had a 3-2 lead with under seven minutes left in regulation.
Paille gave Boston a 1-0 lead at 8:04 of the first period when his pass deflected off a Maple Leaf skate. His second of the season was assisted by Mark Stuart and Campbell.
Kessel tied it up and broke his extended slump when he batted a rebound out of mid-air at 17:22 in the first period. It was his 20th of the season, on the power play from Dion Phaneuf and Joffrey Lupul.
Grabovski made it 2-1 at 4:35 in the second period from Mike Komisarek and Carl Gunnarson.
Campbell tied it up at 18:34 in the second period with a power-play goal (his 8th of the season) from Brad Marchand and Michael Ryder. Like Kessel before him, Campbell showed his quick hands by batting it out of the air.
Patrice Bergeron put Boston ahead 3-2 at 9:08 in the third period and his 20th of the season looked like it would be a fitting game-winner. Adam McQuaid and Mark Recchi assisted but Bergeron did the grunt work by fighting through a hit and putting the rebound past Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer (32 saves).
However, Tim Thomas (24 saves) and the Bruins couldn't keep the lead as Kessel (another power-play goal, from Lupul and Kaberle) and Grabovski (with 1:01 left in regulation, from Clarke MacArthur and Phaneuf) each undressed Boston defenders with individual moves and beat Thomas.
It was a bitter loss, one of the worst of the season, and that rancid taste was just added by the intrigue and then disappointment in the Bruins' trade. There's 12 more days (Feb. 28) before the trade deadline and it's clear this team needs more skill to get anywhere in the playoffs which is all that matters.
Boston will play six straight games on the road, starting with a back-to-back in Long Island tomorrow vs. the Islanders then Friday night in Ottawa (Chris Kelly night?).
Time for the Bruins to play better and beat all these crappy teams.