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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tonight Was Not The Time To Stay In And Watch The Bruins

Nassau Coliseum is a dump, or so I've heard, and the Bruins acted like they wanted to be anywhere but there tonight as they lost 3-1 to the Islanders. The crappy performance was made even more forgettable since it might as well have been a preseason game because it pitted backup goalies Chad Johnson (31 saves) vs. Kevin Poulin (26 saves).

Is it time to look closer at Boston's (8-5-0) recent struggles? They've lost three out of their last four games and this evening was a perfect time to bounce back facing the Islanders (6-5-3), who weren't playing well plus they had a game in Ottawa on Friday. As is usually the case when the B's aren't playing well, it all ties in to them not scoring enough goals. Even if Tuukka Rask had started this one, it wouldn't have mattered not that Johnson was brilliant or anything.

If you slept through the first period then blacked out in the third period, then you lucked out because the second is all that really mattered. If the Isles can ever get consistent goaltending, look out because they are loaded with offensive talent. John Taveres batted the puck out of mid-air off a rebound for a 1-0 lead at 6:15, former Sabres great Thomas Vanek had the lone assist. Andrew Macdonald made it 2-0 at 13:13 when his blast from the point, way out, got through the masses and past Johnson. Travis Hamonic and Kyle Okposo had the assists.

It looked like Boston might make a game of it when Dougie Hamilton scored a power-play goal at 15:27. His third goal of the season was assisted by Reilly Smith and Ryan Spooner (his second assist in two games). Hamilton had tried to connect with Carl Soderberg who drove to the net but the puck deflected into the net off an Islander.

41 seconds later, Vanek put the dagger in Johnson and the Bruins' back. He skated in on a 2-on-1 with Okposo and he hammered a one-timer by Johnson. Hamonic had the second assist on the insurance tally. Shawn Thornton hit the post in the third period and Boston had some other glorious scoring chances but predictably they couldn't take advantage of them.

The Bruins will try to turn things around beginning on Tuesday (7, NESN) as they host Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and the Dallas Stars (their first meeting since last summer's huge trade) at TD Garden. It is the start of a season-long five-game homestand, time for the Black and Gold to find some consistency.

UPDATE 11/4: The Bruins sent Ryan Spooner back to Providence, a move that on the surface doesn't make sense unless Loui Eriksson is close to returning. In the interim, I bet that Jordan Caron will suit up vs. Dallas tomorrow night.

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