Bruins Out of Character in 4-0 Loss to Flyers

1,624

Bruins Out of Character in 4-0 Loss to Flyers Well, maybe we all forgot. Or maybe the Bruins had us all fooled. Whichever it is, Monday night's 4-0 loss at the TD Garden was an unpleasant sight for a reinvigorated fan base in Boston.

Claude Julien summed things up nicely after the game.

"Is it surprise or is it disappointment?" the coach asked. "I think we definitely thought we were going to be a better team than that tonight, and we [weren‘t]. We didn‘t respond. Sports are sports, and some nights you think you‘re ready and then you‘re not."

It leaves the Bruins with a 3-2 advantage in the series, but the Flyers clearly have momentum on their side. Yet Bruins fans looking to find some positives (there has to be at least a few out there, right?) can look at Game 5 and simply see it as an odd night.

Odd event No. 1: Milan Lucic tips a shot toward the net, but the puck squarely catches the post. The shot clearly didn't go in, but the spotlight shines on Lucic as if he'd scored a goal.

Odd event No. 2: Ryan Parent, who was at least partially to blame for Lucic's game-winning goal in Game 2, falls onto Brian Boucher, who bears the brunt of the weight of Parent and Miroslav Satan on his bent knee. He leaves the game and is replaced by Michael Leighton, and the two go on to record the second-ever combined playoff shutout. The first victims to the combined shutout were … the Boston Bruins in 1955.

Odd event No. 3: Down 3-0, the Bruins are going for broke. After an extended stagnant stretch in the offensive end, the B's finally get some pressure on Leighton in the third. As the puck comes up the boards toward Dennis Wideman at the blue line, his stick inexplicably snaps. Unable to take a penalty (because the Bruins were shorthanded for much of the night already), Wideman simply tries to slow down Simon Gagne. It doesn't work, and Matt Hunwick can't catch up, and the Flyers take a 4-0 lead.

If the events weren't enough for you, look at the numbers:

  • The Bruins took just 23 shots on net. Their lowest this postseason is still 20 in Game 3, but before that, they hadn't taken 23 or fewer shots in a game since March 18 against Pittsburgh.
  • The Bruins' 22 penalty minutes weren't the highest total of the playoffs, but the disparity with the opponents' PIMs was stark. The Flyers had just six penalty minutes on Monday, making the 16-minute differential the largest gap of the postseason by 12 minutes.
  • The Bruins had issues scoring goals all season, but they were shut out just six times (and three of those came in November). The 4-0 shutout loss was the worst of the season, topping their 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh on March 18.
  • Tuukka Rask stopped 93.1 percent of the shots he faced in the regular season and 92 percent of the shots he faced heading into Game 5, in which he stopped just 87.1 percent of the Flyers' shots.

Looking at those numbers and subscribing to the law of averages, you'd have to think the Bruins, with a bit more discipline, will get more shots, play much fewer shorthanded shifts, get on the scoreboard and play some better defense. Or you could look at the same numbers, credit a good portion of it to the absence of David Krejci, and believe the sky is falling. We won't know who's right until Wednesday night.

Obviously, whether Game 5 was an aberration or not won't eliminate what took place on Monday night. The Bruins simply looked bad, and if they don't completely turn things around, they could be looking at a very, very ugly number for a team that was up 3-0 in the series: Game 7.

TMZ logo

© 2018 NESN

Partner of USATODAY Sports Digital Properties