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January 21, 2011

Boston Bruins Hit Roadblock

The Boston Bruins have been a very solid team throughout the season but in two recent games they were crushed by their opponents. I watch the Bruins often just because they happen to be on the NHL Center Ice package quite frequently. I would not generally choose to watch the Bruins, not because they are not a good team but because…well, their games are generally kind of boring. With that said, even so they have been able to maintain a playoff position and accumulate some impressive wins. So why, I wonder have they had a couple of games where they have been destroyed?

On Monday the Washington Capitals scored 10 goals against Boston and last night the Toronto Maple Leafs were able to score 8 goals against the Bruins. This is interesting because it is Boston’s strong defense that has carried them through the season. Tim Thomas, the late blooming goaltender that took over after Andrew Raycroft proved to not be Boston’s answer to the goaltending question, has played a major factor in the Bruins resurgence. Thomas who had played exceptional well for the Bruins and went to the All Star game this year was yanked and jeered by fans last night. Seems unfair since the guy has helped to make the team a playoff contender but I guess most fans are fickle and have short memories.

In between the two embarrassing losses the Bruins played Florida who beat them 1-0. With Craig Anderson in net Florida was able to stop everything that the Bruins threw at him. It’s not like they did not send 40 shots Anderson’s way so it is not fair to say that the Bruins did not put up an effort. Also, the Bruins had a really good record going into Monday night’s game against the Capitals and had been the subject of several sport write ups during the previous week. That is why the losses against the Caps and Leafs are a little shocking.

While I was watching both of those games, I was amazed at some of the goals that went in the net. Some of these were long distance shots that just trickled through the goaltender’s legs. Both Boston goaltenders were in on the two games that opponents scored 18 goals against them and even though the Boston commentators were constantly whining about bad penalties that were called against the Bruins, the team did not play well.

Of course, everyone has their off days. Two games dropped with lopsided scores is not the end of the world. The true test will come tonight when the Bruins face the New York Rangers. Will we see Alex Auld in net since he was the one who played in the 1-0 loss to Florida, a game in which he made 31 stops? Or will we see Tim Thomas, their number one guy? Will the defense of the Bruins come out on the ice and play a bounce back game? Tonight’s game against the Rangers will be the first clue in the mystery surrounding this roadblock that the Bruins have recently hit.

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