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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Safe to Say That Wasn't Quite the Start That the Bruins Wanted to 2015-16

With their top two defensemen (Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg) sidelined for the start of the season, the Bruins' most glaring weakness became even more bleak. Their 6-2 loss to Winnipeg tonight at TD Garden will only increase the panic for Boston fans with high-octane Montreal (on Saturday night) and Tampa Bay (on Monday afternoon) coming to town this Columbus Day long weekend. Would you believe that the B's actually led 1-0 after a pretty decent first period?

Yeah, it was all downhill from there as the Jets outscored them 3-0 and scored three more in the third after Boston briefly cut it to 3-2. Tuukka Rask (26 saves) wasn't at fault so much as his awful defense which time and again let him down. Conversely, Boston generated plenty of scoring chances but couldn't finish (a huge problem last season) and therefore made Ondrej Pavelec (29 saves) look like a quality NHL goaltender which is not the easiest thing in the world to do.

Things began on a good note for the home team as David Krejci scored just 5:36 into the first. David Pastrnak stole the puck behind Winnipeg's net then passed to Krejci (with the help of a Jets' skate) and he calmly finished on his backhand. The goal was determined to be unassisted but I thought Pastrnak should have gotten credit for his hard work, oh well. The Jets tied it at 5:26 of the second period on a one-timer by Mark Scheifele from Dustin Byfuglien. Matt Irwin did not have a good debut for the Bruins as he was stripped of the puck leading directly to Winnipeg's second goal by Blake Wheeler (his one-timer was assisted by Andrew Ladd) at 9:17. The Jets punctuated a strong frame with tic-tac-toe passing that ended with a goal by former Sabre Drew Stafford, assisted by Adam Lowry and Ben Chiarot at 17:39.

To Boston's credit they came out with some energy to start the third and were quickly rewarded as David Pastrnak scored on a sweet wrist shot that beat Pavelec up high from a tight angle. Matt Beleskey (his 1st point as a Bruin) and Kevan Miller had the helpers on what was the first of hopefully many goals by the young Czech winger. As fast as you could say we miss Johnny Boychuk, the Jets put it away with a pair of goals. Irwin got caught up ice leading to a 2-on-1 break for Winnipeg and Chris Thorburn's shot went in Boston's net off of Krejci's stick (similar to an own goal in soccer) at 5:17. If that wasn't ugly enough, rookie Nicolas Petan scored in his first career game when fellow rookie Andrew Copp's pass bounced in off the heel of his skate at 9:51. Burmistrov's empty-netter with 3:38 left in regulation sent the disappointed Bruins fans streaming for the exits.

Montreal kicked off its campaign with a 3-1 win at Toronto last night. They will be well rested and ready to go on Saturday against their bitter rivals that they have owned for the last couple years. If we're being positive, things can't get much worse for the Bruins than they were this evening. Then again, the Canadiens are expected to be one of if not the top team in the Eastern Conference yet again so it could very well be another blowout on Causeway Street on Saturday (7, NESN). Just in case, you better start drinking early this weekend to ease the possible pain.

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