Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Observations: Sabres 6, Bruins 0
By James Murphy
The Bruins suffered their worst defeat of the season at Buffalo on Wednesday night, losing 6-0. Sabres goalie Ryan Miller made 36 saves for the shutout while Jason Pominville scored twice, Tyler Ennis had a goal and an assist and Ville Leino had two assists as the Sabres beat the Bruins for the first time this season.
Bruins allow frustration to unravel them: One of the Bruins' greatest characteristics last season and for the majority of this season has been their ability to not let bad calls or breaks affect their psyche and their game. But in this game they strayed from that strength. At 8:20 of the first period and already down 1-0,it appeared Milan Lucic had tipped the puck past Sabres goalie Ryan Miller to tie the game. But referee Rob Martell waived the apparent goal off immediately, ruling that Rich Peverley had inadvertently interfered with Miller just prior to the play. From there on it seemed the Bruins were rattled. They allowed the Sabres -- especially Patrick Kaleta, who was a pest all night -- to capitalize in one of Boston's worst efforts. Every team goes through ups and downs, but the Bruins seem to have hit a rut, not just a bump. They have lost three of their past four and are not playing their game.
Rask pulled: Just as his teammates did, Tuukka Rask had an off night and was pulled after three goals. CClaude Julien decided to give Rask the hook at 1:52 of the second period when Tyler Ennis beat him on a goal the Finnish netminder probably wants back. While Rask -- who allowed three goals on 10 shots -- had some bad luck with Gregory Campbell accidentally tipping in a Christian Ehrhoff shot at 6:23 of the first period, he was not on his game like he has been so many times this season. Unfortunately for the Bruins, neither was Tim Thomas, who let in three goals on 19 shots in relief of Rask.
Krejci doesn’t respond: Julien decided to switch up David Krejci and Chris Kelly during the Bruins’ 4-1 win at Washington, but the same move didn’t pay dividends Wednesday. As the game went on, Julien was juggling his lines once again. But the question remains: What is wrong with Krejci? He has been streaky throughout the season and appears to be searching for his game again. On Wednesday, Krejci was basically invisible. He was a minus-2 in 15:41 and didn't help his new linemates Jordan Caron and Benoit Pouliot; his playmaking skills have seemingly disappeared as of late.
Bad blood continues: When the Bruins and Sabres met on Nov. 23 after Milan Lucic bowled over Sabres goalie Ryan Miller on Nov. 12, the two teams let their grievances be known in a physical affair. That bad blood was evident again in this game as there were three fighting majors and plenty of rough stuff. Some of that was due to the lopsided score as the game went on, but it is clear that the remaining three games (at Buffalo Feb. 24; at Boston March 8 and April 7) between these two clubs will be physical affairs.