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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Bruins Still Can't Put Together Consistently Good Efforts at Home This Season

At a certain point after watching a team win a game then lose the next one almost every time in the same season, you start to think that maybe said team isn't particularly good. Rather than focusing on what they could or should be, maybe you have to conclude that as currently constructed, that's who they are. Enter your 2015-16 Boston Bruins. Coming off a nice win over the Red Wings on Saturday, the B's (8-8-1) were their own worst enemy in a 5-4 loss to the Sharks (10-8-0) tonight at TD Garden.

It was 2-2 after the first period and Boston even led 3-2 early in the second before they allowed three straight goals by San Jose (including 2 on the power play) to take control. Patrice Bergeron gave the Bruins and their fans some hope in the third with Boston's second power-play goal of the game (his 7th goal of the season) cut it to 5-4 at 6:28 but they couldn't complete the comeback against Martin Jones (25 saves) who was a Bruin for five days over the summer before being traded to the Sharks.

Boston's top-ranked power-play can't mask the fact that their penalty kill is atrocious (No. 30 in the NHL). San Jose's power play was No. 28 entering this contest but you wouldn't know it by the way that they took advantage of the Bruins' stupid mistakes and sloppy all-around play. Tuukka Rask (23 saves) still can't figure things out at the Garden this season and the Sharks jumped ahead 42 seconds into the game. Joe Pavelski put in a rebound from Melker Karlsson and Thornton for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.

The Bruins tied it less than nine minutes later as Tyler Randell tipped in Dennis Seidenberg's shot from the point at 9:20 for his third goal of the season. Boston's first power-play was successful as Brad Marchand banked a backhander off one of Jones' leg pads at 11:50. Marchand's sixth goal of the season was assisted by Zdeno Chara and Brett Connolly. My man Joonas Donskoi had Paul Martin's harmless shot from the sideboards bounce off him and in at 15:18 to tie it at two apiece.

The B's had one last lead, 3-2 at 1:53 of the second period thanks to Loui Eriksson's one-timer (his sixth goal of the season) from David Krejci and Seidenberg. Karlsson's one-timer at 5:56 (his 2nd goal of the season) from Thornton and Pavelski tied it at three then San Jose's power-play took advantage of a too many men on the ice penalty on Boston and tripping on Ryan Spooner. Patrick Marleau notched his 999th career NHL point with a power-play tally at 8:56 when he knocked in a rebound for his sixth goal of the season, assisted by Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Brent Burns. The wheels started to fall off for Boston when Thornton (who's not exactly known for his shooting ability) hammered in a one-timer at 9:21 from Pavelski and Burns for his third goal of the season.

There are two more chances for the Black and Gold to get things straightened out on home ice this week where they are 2-6-1 this season. They host the Wild (10-4-3) on Thursday (7, NESN) and Maple Leafs (6-9-4) on Saturday (7, NESN). Minnesota is a good team but with star center Zach Parise out with a knee injury, they predictably aren't the same. Toronto is still a dumpster fire so there is no excuse to ever lose to that clownshow franchise.

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