MONTREAL – The Boston Bruins’ horrible to start to their Stanley Cup defence stings a little more after back-to-back losses to the rival Montreal Canadiens.
Montreal’s 4-2 win Saturday night left the Bruins languishing in 15th place in the East and 29th in the league overall. Only the Columbus Blue Jackets sit below them.
“Obviously that’s not the place we want to be. That’s not the way we planned it to be but that’s the situation right now. We’ve just got to battle our way out of that,” said Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, who has yet to get a victory in three starts so far.
Added Bruins captain Zdeno Chara: “I believe in this team. I know we’re in a deep hole but if anybody can get out of it, it’s this team.”
Last year, the Bruins blazed out of the gates with a 6-2-0 record in October. They scored at least three goals in all but one of those wins and finished the season averaging 2.98 goals per game–fifth-best in the NHL. This year, the offence has struggled; they sit 25th in the league averaging 2.10 goals per game.
“It seems like we usually have a pretty good start and get opportunities early and then we’re not capitalizing and get frustrated, and our game changes,” said winger Brad Marchand. “We have to find a way, even if we don’t bury it to continue working hard and creating those opportunities.”
The frustration is building and it was clear against the Canadiens. The Bruins took several retaliatory penalties over the course of the night. While some on the Boston side felt they drew the short end of the stick with the referees, they weren’t pinning the final result on the officiating.
“We lost the game and we can’t be blaming anybody else but us,” Chara said. “We are right there; it’s so close.”
Next on the Bruins’schedule is a date with the streaking Ottawa Senators. They’re a team on the rebuild but right now, they are also one of the hottest teams in the league with five consecutive wins.
“When we all get on the same page and start trusting each other, that’s when things will get better,” said Boston head coach Claude Julien. “Right now, there’s some hesitation in our play.”
Already the chatter–be it about the coach’s job or trade speculation–has begun. The Bruins, though, aren’t paying any attention to that.
“We know that it comes from not winning. If we start winning, there won’t be that talk,” Marchand said.
If the pain of losing wasn’t enough, it might seem to sting the Bruins even more losing a home-and-home to their biggest rival. But after dropping three straight and four of their last five, it doesn’t matter who is handing them the loss.
“Every loss is the same. It’s a bad feeling and everyone hates losing,” Marchand said. “It doesn’t matter who it’s to. We all want to win.”