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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Bruins Are Really On A Roll Headed Into The Postseason, Oh Wait......

What the hell is wrong with the Bruins? The Northeast Division title and No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference have been laid out on a silver platter (as opposed to a silver Cup) but they can't seem to get out of their own way. Tonight, Boston (27-13-5) played maybe its worst game of the season in a wretched 5-2 loss to Philadelphia (21-22-3) at Wells Fargo Center.

Other than Nathan Horton, who hasn't been anything above average this season, the B's don't have any major injuries to use as an excuse so what is it that's caused them to go 1-4-1 in their last six games? Lack of goal-scoring certainly has hurt them but this loss was all about an endless array of turnovers by the Bruins.

The only good news is that the Canadiens are playing even worse. They lost 3-2 at New Jersey tonight so Boston is still in control with one more game left than Montreal but the same amount of points (59).

Scott Hartnell gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead at 1:40 of the first period, that's how long it took the Bruins to make a fatal mistake. The Wade Redden tied it with his first goal as a Bruin at 4:54 with assists to Jaromir Jagr and Carl Soderberg. Redden was rewarded after his net drive following Steve Mason's (39 saves) juicy rebound, his followup was in the air and crossed the line before Philly could clear it.

For all intents and purpoes, Philadelphia clinched this with a pair of goals seven seconds apart in the second period. Yes, seven seconds. First Matt Read batted a rebound out of mid-air then Zdeno Chara had the hockey equivalent of an own goal (soccer) when he banked an awful pass attempt off Anton Khudobin's skates into the net.

Jakub Voracek made it 4-1 early in the third period but David Krejci cut it to 4-2 with a nifty move for his 10th goal of the season. One more time, the B's were caught with their hockey pants down only 13 seconds later as Redden's turnover gift-wrapped a goal to Simon Gagne.

It might be time to sit Chara for a game or two, the big guy is clearly exhausted (rightfully so) and not himself. If the Bruins are going to play this bad with him in the lineup then what's the difference? They return to TD Garden on Thursday (7:30 p.m., NESN) to host the Lightning (17-24-4). Tampa Bay isn't going to the playoffs so you'd think that they would be a pushover however Philadelphia is going nowhere but they rolled over the B's.

There is no secret formula but with the playoffs starting a week from tomorrow, Boston needs to wake up before they head to another first-round exit like last season against Washington.

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