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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bruins Get Humbled by the Canucks, a Crappy End to a Nice Road Trip

After holding off the Maple Leafs then taking care of the awful Flames and Oilers, the Bruins skated into Vancouver with confidence on Saturday night despite all the recent turmoil with injuries, illness and suspensions. Unfortunately, the Canucks (20-10-5) proved why they are the hottest team in the NHL (7 straight wins) as they dealt the B's (22-9-2) a harsh 6-2 beating (that wasn't nearly that close) at Rogers Arena.

Jannik Hansen opened the scoring at 16:37 of the first period by shooting from center ice, the dipping puck eluded a baffled Tuukka Rask. Reilly Smith took advantage of a failed dump-in along the boards to skate in on a breakaway and tuck a backhander past Roberto Luongo (39 saves) at 4:11 of the second period. It was Smith's eighth goal of the season.

From there, the roof caved in on the Black and Gold. David Booth's snap shot beat Rask 1:20 after Smith had tied it then Chris Higgins scored at 8:46 on a rebound. After Yannick Weber of all people scored his first goal of the season at 1:34 of the third period, Rask's night was over. Chris Johnson allowed two goals: to Henrik Sedin (power play) and Chris Tanev (shorthanded).

The only positive for the Bruins is that Smith recorded the first two-goal game of his career (I'm going to say it won't be the last either). He fought for a rebound at 16:43 in the third period, assists went to Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg.

It appeared that Boston suffered another serious injury in the first period when Jarome Iginla's fight with that weasel Ryan Kesler ended with one of Iginla's fingers totally crooked. Ugh, seriously look it up online if you want to be grossed out. Then again NESN spot-shadowed it later in the game so obviously they are clueless. Thankfully, Iginla miraculously recovered (thank you pain killers) and even started the second period. The drugs' after-effects clearly clouded Iginla's mind though as he tried to brawl with Dan Hamhuis in the third period when it was well over.

Tonight was a bucket of crap for the Bruins but they still finished 3-1 on the Western Canada road trip and were able to mostly survive so many issues that would have taken down lesser clubs. Their reward is that the next nine games are all against teams under .500, starting with Calgary (13-15-4, 6th in Pacific Division) on Tuesday (7, NESN) at TD Garden. Normally I would yawn at such a lame few weeks but it is perfect timing for the Providence Bruins I mean Boston Bruins.

UPDATE 12/16: The Bruins recalled forward Craig Cunningham from Providence on an emergency basis. Bad news on the injury front as Daniel Paille has a concussion and Loui Eriksson reportedly is not progressing from his second concussion very well.

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