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B's fall again, 4-1 to Kraken

February 16, 2024, 4:31 AM ET [40 Comments]
Ty Anderson
Boston Bruins Blogger •Bruins Feature Columnist • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Much to the chagrin of the Seattle Kraken, the slumping Boston Bruins hit the ‘comedy of errors’ chapter of their post-break slide Thursday night at TD Garden.

It was in this latest setback, which hit a 4-1 final in favor of the visiting Kraken by the night’s end, that saw the Bruins by all means gift wrap goals to the opposition.



It started when Jeremy Swayman couldn’t gobble up a rebound — and lost the puck — en route to an easy-as-can-be Jordan Eberle tap-in to knot things up at 1-1. And it continued in the second period when Brandon Carlo blew a tire and gave Seattle a 3-on-1 chance they would not miss. Oh, and just for good measure, the Bruins continued their self-inflicted nightmare with a puck right into a Seattle body, which gave the Kraken an odd-man rush finished (and with ease) by Matty Beniers.

WOOF.

To make matters worse, the Bruins had stretches where they absolutely dominated the puck, but failed to beat Joey Daccord (36 saves) on anything beyond the David Pastrnak dribbler that squeaked through at the 4:56 mark of the opening period.

Not even the decision to pull Swayman with five minutes remaining and down by two goals could spark the Bruins back into this game, as the team fell to 1-3-1 since returning to action on Feb. 6.

Despite struggles, Montgomery preaching process

When you have one win in your last five outings, it’s awfully easy to throw some chairs, call out some players, and put everyone on notice. But Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery is having a hard time doing that right now.

Montgomery is instead acknowledging that the Bruins are simply going through a dry spell when it comes to their scoring luck.



To Montgomery’s point, only the Jets and Sharks are shooting worse than the Bruins and their 5.67 shooting percentage since returning from the break. But the Bruins are generating chances. That part is encouraging.
But when the secondary scoring isn’t there, the pressure put on the Bruins’ Marchands and Pastrnaks is noticeable. And right now, it’s a bit too much.

Everything else

- I know Montgomery is prone to juggling his lines on a period-to-period basis let alone a game-to-game basis, but the Bruins really should stick with this DeBrusk-Zacha-Pastrnak line for the foreseeable future and see if something clicks there. I’ve long said that putting DeBrusk to the left of Zacha and Pastrnak was the Bruins’ best bet at replicating last year’s late-season line with Tyler Bertuzzi to the left of Zacha and Pastrnak, and it never hurts to put two players the Bruins need to get going (DeBrusk and Zacha) with an all-world talent such as Pastrnak.

In 9:25 of five-on-five ice together on Thursday night, the DeBrusk-Zacha-Pastrnak line out-attempted the Kraken 20-5, outshot them 9-2, out-chanced them 11-2, and scored Boston’s only goal of the evening.

- At the risk of sounding a tad hyperbolic here, this is a wildly important stretch run for Jeremy Swayman. On a one-year ‘prove it’ contract, there’s been some talk that Swayman’s next deal could be worth $6 or $6.5 million per year. That would make him ‘The Guy’ for the Bruins, and likely spell the end of Linus Ullmark’s tenure. (I can’t see the Bruins committing over $11 million to the tandem.) And it’s really on Swayman to take the net and run with it. Nights like Thursday kind of make you wonder. The Bruins dominated that first period. And that leaky goal allowed by Swayman gave the Kraken some life. And even that third goal. It’s a hell of a shot by Beniers, I know, but you need a “timely save” there when you’re pushing for an equalizer. It was the same last week when the B’s were pushing against the Flames. I feel like that part of Swayman’s game is still an obvious area for growth.

- For a non-tanking team, I must say, the Kraken play the worst brand of hockey going. Holy cow. Just low-event play after low-event play. I get that part of that is likely by design given the current build of their roster, but this game felt taxing. (It of course didn’t help that the B’s couldn’t bury a damn thing, I know, but still. This is a team that should be way more exciting.)

Up next: The Bruins will be off on Friday and welcome the Kings to Boston for a 12:30 p.m. head-to-head on Saturday.
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