Bruins Continue to Search for Consistency

Any momentum gained from the improbable win against Ottawa on October 24 was not apparent in the Bruins next game, a 2-1 loss to New Jersey on Thursday, October 29.  The Bruins played well, but it was New Jersey that capitalized on one more chance than the Bruins.  The fact that the game was lost in the last-minute and half of the third was tough enough to swallow, as Dainius Zubrus scored with 1:26 left, but the fact that it wasn’t even Martin Brodeur in net made this game seem like one that ‘got away’ for the B’s.  Backup goalie Yann Danis made 31 saves, as New Jersey won their sixth straight road game.  So it was another chance for the Bruins to finally post back to back wins, and the result instead was another loss.  The Bruins path to their 5-5-1 record at this point: L-W-L-W-L-W-L-W-OL-W-L.   The Bruins had so far been consistent in their inconsistency.

The Bruins hosted the Edmonton Oilers for a Halloween matinee, and I attended my first game of the season.  It was good to see the Garden ‘Claw Man’ outside the pro shop:

Claw_Man

Any job where you can mingle so freely with the public, as well as frighten children, must be immensely rewarding.

Perched in great seats right behind the goal judge in Section 18, the proximity to the ice surface brought us right into the action.  Here’s big Zdeno Chara finishing a hit behind the net:

Chara SMASH

This was a playoff style game for the first two periods, not so much in intensity but in style.  There was good goaltending on both ends, as Tuuka Rask and Nikolai Khabibulin both kept all pucks out of the net through the first two periods, and both teams struggled to get quality scoring chances due to the tight defense from both teams.  Here’s a few more action shots from behind the net:

Bruins Shot

Nice seats

Get Down

Oiler effort

In the third period, Blake Wheeler and Vladmir Sobotka took turns feeding each other and scoring the goals that added up to the 2-0 final.  This was a good game for the Bruins, as they got better as the game went on and the sellout crowd left happy.

Shutout 2

This was Rask’s second career shutout, and by coincidence I was in the same seats for his first shutout last season against the Rangers…here’s the pictures to prove it:

DSC01404

DSC01405

As it was Halloween, there were many amusing costumes in the Garden for this afternoon matinee….here’s a few I ran into:

costume 2

Costume 4

costume 3

Sorry about the ‘bigfoot-effect’ bigfoot in the Hulk Hogan  picture, but the Hulkster hulk-hogan-hulkamania is a swift, elusive creature and difficult to get to pose.

So once again, the Bruins follow-up a loss with a win.  They had only 24 hours to savor this shutout of the Oilers, as they traveled to New York to face-off against the aforementioned Rangers for their second afternoon matinee of the weekend on Sunday.

The Rangers game had a couple of parallels to the New Jersey game three days earlier:  the Bruins ran into solid goaltending, this time from Henrik Lundqvist; and the Bruins’ power play was dismal.  Against New Jersey, the Bruins were 0 for 2 on the power play, and against the Rangers they were 0 for 5.  This power outage is starting to cost the B’s games, as they have had several one-goal losses. Tim Thomas could not be faulted for this loss, as he was solid.  The lone goal was a change-up from Marian Gaborik that fooled Timmy.

Tonite, the Bruins travel to Detroit to face an aging but potent Red Wings’ lineup.  Let’s hope the Bruins have paid their electric bill and their power play gets back in gear.  November is where the Bruins established themselves last season, as they went 11-1-1.  Without the power play clicking, it is almost impossible to put together a stretch like that. Following tonite’s game in Detroit, the Bruins have a 4-game home stand which starts with their first game of the season against the Canadiens on Thursday.

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