There’s a new streak in town
After going 19 consecutive games without a regulation loss, the Bruins now have failed to earn a point in three consecutive games, all road losses.
Thursday’s loss marks the first time the Bruins have dropped three straight since January, and the first time they’ve gone pointless in three consecutive games since December.
For the fifth time in six games, the Bruins found themselves in a two-goal deficit, a disturbing trend of late. But after a pair of goals by Charlie McAvoy and Joakim Nordstrom—his first in 26 games—the Bruins were able to get themselves back even with the Jets.
The Jets would once again go on to score a pair of goals, before Charlie Coyle’s first as a Bruin cut the Jets lead to one with just under three minutes left in the third.
Despite heavy zone time with Tuukka Rask pulled, the Bruins couldn’t find any more magic in their bags, falling to the Jets 4-3, and failing to earn a point on their three-game road trip.
The Bruins have shown the ability to erase the two-goal holes they’ve found themselves in, but in the long run, it’s not a recipe for success.
“I think we played three very good hockey teams this week. That's part of it. Part of it is we haven't started on time, so we put ourselves in a hole,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy. “We're playing catch up every night. That's a bad formula in the National Hockey League."
The game was an entertaining contest, with both teams playing well throughout, as both the Bruins and Jets entered Thursday on a two-game losing streak. The difference in the game was the Jets ability to capitalize on a couple of defensive breakdowns.
Blake Wheeler’s game-opening goal 1:08 into the first was a prime example of what the Bruins breakdowns looked like. Wheeler was all by himself to knock a loose rebound past Rask and into the Bruins net.
Forced to put together a lineup without some key contributors due to injury, Cassidy once again juggled his lines mid-game, hoping for any sort of offensive production.
But it was the trio of Paul Carey—making his Bruins debut—David Krejci and Charlie Coyle that I thought was the Bruins best.
Carey was engaged all evening long, making big plays, and showing the type of energy that has been lacking at times during the Bruins three-game losing streak. Carey finished with three shots on goal in 16:47 of ice time. Carey’s work along the boards to force a turnover led to McAvoy’s first period goal.
“He was good; he was very good. He was attacking the net, he had good composure,” Cassidy said of Carey.
“He's played 100 games in the league, so that's part of it, it's not new to him to play in the National Hockey League. It's new to him to play for the Bruins with the linemates he had. I thought he did very well and I was happy with his play."
David Backes got the start to the right of Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. I thought Backes had a good game on Thursday. He finished with four shots on goal, and landed three hits. Backes seemed to be more energized, and was often in the right spots when Marchand and Bergeron needed him to be. Is part of thing playing with the team’s two most skillful wingers? Maybe. But nonetheless, it’s nice to see from Backes.
The Bruins return home Saturday night to host the Blue Jackets, before hitting the road for a four-game trip that sees them take on the Islanders, Devils, Panthers and Lightning. The Bruins hope to have a few healthy bodies back with them.