The Boston Bruins were handed their sixth regulation loss in the last 13 games Monday night in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It was a much-improved effort, though, after players and coaches criticized just that Saturday following a loss to the Rangers. That was perhaps the biggest reason why Bruins veteran Brad Marchand expressed content in the result, noting how Boston’s dressing room is more concerned in the process than a single-game outcome.
“Obviously, it’s not acceptable to go up and down and have a good game and a bad game, but I think our biggest thing is it’s OK if you lose and you have your best effort on the ice,” Marchand told reporters Monday. “I think the road we don’t want to go down is where we aren’t playing our best hockey. If you play your best hockey every night, you’re going to win more games than you’re going to lose.
“? So, that’s what we have to get to and what we’re more focused on is not the outcome, but the process — how we need to play each night, the accountability we have to bring to each other and just making sure you bring your best game every night.”
Boston’s confidence it’ll get to that point is why the B’s are not panicking despite a down stretch.
“? But we’re not panicking in our room. We always seem to be able to bounce back and regardless of the loss tonight, we had a good game. We had a really good game. And if we continue to build on that and work like that each night, we’re going to continue to be fine.”
Bruce Cassidy doesn’t seem overly concerned either, especially seeing as the Bruins had plenty of offensive chances.
“They generated enough to win the hockey game. You got to finish, I know that, so stating the obvious here, but I’m more concerned when you don’t generate,” Cassidy told reporters. “Obviously, it means you’re not doing the right thing to get the opportunities. So, you continue to generate, I believe there’s enough talent there to get enough goals.”
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Penguins:
— Pittsburgh took a 2-1 lead after scoring consecutive goals within 1:43 at the end of the first period. They came on a pair of stops that goaltender Jaroslav Halak routinely makes, but the Bruins were more disappointed they couldn’t pick him up with their production elsewhere.
“We have two of the best goalies in the world, very lucky to have both of them,” Marchand said. “When they’re dialed in every night, they give us a chance to win, and we got to return the favor every now and again. ? It would have been nice to be able to help him out and pay him back there, but unfortunately, we didn’t. We just got to re-group, and hopefully, we can do it tomorrow for him.”
Cassidy added: “Yeah, he wasn’t good in the first period. He’s played a lot of hockey for us lately, a lot of good hockey, so you have to push back, right? He’s bailed us out lots of times.”
— Matt Grzelcyk scored his first goal of the 2020-21 campaign with a power-play tally in the first period.
The 27-year-old defenseman unleashed eight shots, which showed he’s getting back to full-go after injuries plagued him so much this season.
“I feel pretty confident. I think my legs are there. I’m a much better player when I’m able to skate and just try to make quick plays, get it up to our forwards and let them go to work down low,” he told reporters. “Just looking back, especially the game before, I was kind of turning down shots and just want to have more of that (offensive) mentality. You’re not going to score every time, but I think it creates a lot of havoc down low.”
— The Bruins’ scoring woes continued Monday as Boston now has netted two goals in the most recent four losses. Perhaps a hat tip to Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry, who stopped 42 of the 43 shots he faced, was the best way to go about it.
?Eventually, I mean, when you get that many shots, they?re going to go in the net,” Marchand said. “But you got to give their goalie credit. He made some big saves at the right times. But that is what we need to continue to build — the foundation of our game — and if we can consistently play that way, we’re going to be a really good team.”
— The 14-8-4 Bruins return to the ice at PPG Paints Arena again Tuesday for the second game of the two-game set.