Right from the opening puck drop, it just felt like a bad night for the Boston Bruins.
And to a degree, is that shocking?
Playing in the final contest of a four-game road trip where the latter three games were in Western Canada, the Bruins were absolutely lifeless in an ugly 9-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.
They showed a little bit of life in the early going, but three goals in the third period by Vancouver to go up by four heading into the second intermission buried the B’s.
Look, getting rolled by any team 9-3 isn’t a great look. But the Bruins had won their last five games, entered Saturday 9-1-0 in their last 10 and are coming off a simply draining win over the Calgary Flames a night earlier.
In other words, getting worked up over this result is needless, and thinking this is anything other than a (somewhat predictably) bad night is silly.
Still though, it was a listless performance, and head coach Bruce Cassidy assessed it as such while still keeping perspective.
“As a whole, listen, we’re playing good hockey,” Cassidy told NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley following the game. “Tonight clearly we were not the better team, didn’t deserve to win, didn’t do what was required to win and didn’t have much luck our way either and (the Canucks) were full value for it. So we’ll have to put this one behind us and get ready for Calgary once we get back. But yeah, we played some good hockey on this trip, have been of late, felt we’ve been full value for the majority if not all of our wins. But like I said, tonight clearly they were the better team, the hungrier team, maybe took advantage of one of those … scheduled losses. … We were going to have to play a pretty solid game and we weren’t able to do it.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Bruins-Canucks game:
— In the first period, when things looked more promising for the Bruins, they leveled the score at one on a nice goal from David Pastrnak.
Matt Grzelcyk’s deft diagonal stretch pass found Pastrnak at Boston’s offensive blue line, and the speedy winger scored on a breakaway for his 44th goal of the season.
Then in the third period with the game well out of reach, Pasta buried a one-timer from his office on the power play for No. 45.
With Auston Matthews unable to score in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ loss, Pastrnak now is the sole league leader in goals.
— Things got a little chippy late in the second period.
With the Bruins down 5-1, both Zdeno Chara and Charlie Coyle got into fights with Canucks.
Chara took exception to a hit Tyler Myers put on Karson Kuhlman, which launched the Bruins winger partially into the Canucks bench. After Coyle gave Myers a slash, Chara stepped in and fought the also very tall blueliner. Both were given rough penalties in addition to the fighting majors.
Just a few minutes later before the period ended, Coyle and Bo Horvat went at it. The two had been chirping and shoving one another before deciding to just go at it right near the Bruins bench.
— After a big shot block on a third-period penalty kill Friday, Jeremy Lauzon was considered a game-time decision against Vancouver.
The young defensemen ended up playing, meaning John Moore was a healthy scratch for the fifth straight game. It’ll be interesting to see what happens once Connor Clifton is healthy enough to return to game action, but suffice to say Lauzon seems to have grabbed hold of that third pairing spot alongside Grzelcyk.
— Tuukka Rask has been great lately, but Saturday was not a good night for him.
Cassidy ultimately replaced Rask with Jaroslav Halak before the midway point of the third period. Rask finished his night having allowed six goals on 27 shots.
Thumbnail photo via Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports Images