by Andrew Mannix
To summarize the Bruins’ previous week, it was a disaster. In three games the boys in black and yellow went 1-2-0, with bad losses to the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders. They were able to pull out an impressive win over the Anaheim Ducks, but that was overshadowed by the two losses that dropped the team to 8-5-0, moving the Bruins from second to fourth place in the division. Wednesday, while everybody was watching the Red sox win the World Series, the Bruins lost their game to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Patrice Bergeron and former Penguin Jarome Iginla each scored their third goals of the season, but it was not enough.
Sandwiched between two bad losses was an impressive win against the Anaheim Ducks, one of the best teams in the NHL. Rookie Carl Soderberg scored his first goal of the season, but it looked like it would not be enough to win the game with the Bruins down 2-1 and three minutes to go. However, Zdeno Chara tied the game with 2:50 to go and Jarome Iginla scored the lone goal in the shootout giving the Bruins a 3-2 win.
Sadly, winning did not have time to sink in because on Saturday the Bruins had what Head Coach Claude Julien described as “probably the worst loss of the season.” The team played terribly in every way. There was a lack of energy and focus; The team was just completely flat. That was showed in the Bruins’ 3-1 loss.
Even with a tough week behind them, I expect the Bruins to have a better week this time around. The schedule will be in their favor, however, it will not stay that way.
The Bruins will start with a five game homestand by welcoming back Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley, who had been traded away to the Dallas Stars in the offseason. The man they got in exchange, Lois Erickson, will make his return. Expect to hear ‘boos’ from the crowd when Seguin touches the puck in the Bruins’ game against Dallas. For this game I expect the team to beat the Stars, improving their record to 9-5-0.
Following the Stars, the Bruins will welcome the team they beat two weeks ago, the Florida Panthers. The Panthers, in second to last just like the Stars, are flat out awful. Tim Thomas, who was our goalie when we won the Stanley Cup in 2011, will be playing for the Panthers. The last time we faced him in Florida, he played poorly and I expect him to do so again, giving the Bruins another win Thursday.
However, I expect the two game winning streak to end on Saturday with the Toronto Maple Leafs coming to town. The Leafs will be looking for revenge after the Bruins beat them with two goals in the last 1:30, winning the game in overtime and knocking the Maple Leafs out of the playoffs. Toronto is also the best team in the Atlantic Division in first place with 20 points. Expect the Leafs to take down the Bruins on Saturday.