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Monday, January 16, 2017

Bruins Fail to Ever Show Up, Lose 4-0 to the Worst Team in the Eastern Conference (Islanders)

If you are a Bruins (23-19-5) fan (and I assume that you are friend since you're reading this), it is no-show performances like today vs. the Islanders (17-17-8) at TD Garden that drive you crazy and make you pull your hair out (if you still have any left). For the second time this season, Boston lost to New York and it was truly pathetic this time around as they were blanked 4-0. Thomas Greiss (32 saves) recorded his first shutout of this campaign (New York's 1st in franchise history here) and it's not like he even had to work to hard to get it. Conversely, Tuukka Rask (12 saves, 3 goals allowed) gave up a really weak goal and was benched after the second period was over with his team trailing 3-0.

Three goals scored has been the magic number for the Islanders this season because they are 16-4-2 when they score 3+ and 1-13-6 when they score two or less. If you were taking a nap on Martin Luther King Day, you certainly didn't wake up during the beyond dull first period (0-0 with 10 total shots on goal). New York's fourth line carried them (it was that special kind of forgettable occasion) as Nikolay Kulemin scored two goals, Casey Cizikas had two assists and Jason Chimera added a goal and assist. Cizikas was a game-high +3 while Patrice Bergeron, Torey Krug, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak were all a game-low -3.

New York scored three goals in a span of 5:20 late in the second period. Kulemin scored out front after he was left all alone with Rask. Cizikas and Chimera assisted on Kulemin's sixth goal of the season. Josh Bailey received an absolute gift when he threw the puck at the net and Rask let it sneak under his pads at 15:00. Bailey's sixth goal of the season was assisted by Anders Lee and Adam Pelech. The beating only got worse as Rask stuffed Cizikas on a breakaway only to see him pass it to Kulemin for a one-timer at 18:38. By that point, you knew that the Bruins would not recover on this day from a 3-0 hole even against what coming into the contest had been the worst team in the Eastern Conference.

The Islanders proved that their 4-2 victory here on Dec. 23, 2016 was no fluke as Chimera got a shorthanded breakaway at 12:00 and blasted the puck by Boston's backup goaltender Zane McIntyre (11 saves). Mercifully they meet one more time this season, except it is in Brooklyn. Chimera's eighth goal of the season came in the game where Boston pulled its goalie for the fourth time in 2016-17 (obviously they are 0-4-0 in said tilts). All that was left for the family oriented holiday crowd to do (well the ones that stuck around to the bitter end) was to boo the B's off the ice at the final whistle.

With the one-sided loss, Boston fell back below .500 at the Garden (10-11-0) this season and dropped their first matinee (5-1-0). They are at Detroit (18-19-6) on Wednesday (8, NBC Sports) before they host Chicago (27-14-5) in an extremely rare Friday night matchup (7, NESN). The Bruins are 13-8-5 on the road and the Red Wings currently tied with the Islanders for last-place in the East so they are a disaster. If Detroit was coming here, I'd say that was bad news for the home team but since the road-loving B's are going to Motown, I like their chances much better.

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