The Boston Bruins typically pride themselves on grit and an unbreakable will to win, but there wasn’t much shown of either Thursday night at TD Garden.
What started as a back-and-forth affair quickly turned into an ugly rout, as the Bruins fell 8-5 to the Vancouver Canucks in the second game of their current homestand.
After the game, head coach Bruce Cassidy hinted that changes could be coming in wake of the way his team responded to facing a multi-goal deficit.
“I didn’t like the push back of some of the guys in our group,” Cassidy said, as seen on NESN’s Bruins postgame coverage. “A team shouldn’t be able to come in here and — listen, the goaltending wasn’t great, we all saw that tonight. They had an off night, it’s going to happen. We play 82 of these, (Jaroslav) Halak’s been great for us, we know Tuukka (Rask) is going to be solid. But even at the end where Torey (Krug) has to jump in there, we need to redefine a few roles. That’s on the coaching staff to make sure the message gets across. In games like that you’ve got to turn the tide. It’s through goals, it’s through big hits, it’s through physical play. I just think we have to readdress certain individuals on that aspect of the game.
“I think you’ve seen this year when we’ve got behind by more than a goal, we tend to want to press instead of sticking with the plan and try to chip away. I think that’s a product of we have some young forwards that are skilled and they kind of want to do it themselves. That’s a good thing they want to take it upon themselves, it’s just they need to be reminded that it’s a tough league and you can’t do it by yourself.”
It’s still early in the season, so there’s no need to panic in Boston. But Thursday night served as a bit of a wake-up call, and the Bruins certainly know that that kind of effort won’t fly moving forward.
Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Bruins-Canucks game:
— Halak finally came back down to earth and was pulled in the second period after allowing his fifth goal of the game. The veteran netminder entered Thursday with a 4-2-2 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and .936 save percentage. Against the Canucks, however, he logged an 8.57 goals-against average with a .737 save percentage.
— The second line was the only bright spot for the Bruins. Jake DeBrusk (two goals, assist) and David Krejci (three assists) were the only B’s players with more than two points.
— Matt Grzelcyk and Danton Heinen both scored their first goals of the season.
— Old friend Loui Eriksson came up big against his former team, potting two goals to go along with an assist.
— Boston converted on two of its five power-play opportunities.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports