5 reasons the Bruins lost to the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday Night
Reason 1: Not finishing their chances
The Bruins lost 3-2 at home against Chicago on Thursday night. However, this was not a bad night for the Bruins. The intensity was there all night, you could even argue that the Bruins were the better team on the night. One thing really separates the Bruins from being an elite team again, and it comes down to converting on their chances. If you watched the Blackhawks last night, they didn’t play a great game they played well, but they buried the chances they got. One example that will really stick out from the loss was a Bruins 3-on-1 rush up ice in which they didn’t even get a shot off on net. You need to convert on those chances, or at LEAST give yourself a chance to convert. Opportunities are very slim against teams like the Chicago Blackhawks, take advantage if you’re to win the hockey game.
Reason 2: Tuukka Rask
Now don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely not putting this loss on Tuukka Rask’s shoulders. He was not bad out there, but he needs to step his game up another level if the Bruins are going to beat great teams. The first goal of the game is one he’d like to have back, he was beaten from the edge of the face-off circle. Bad goals have been a thing for Rask this year, it seems he makes those phenomenal saves and than the next thing you know there goes an easy save right to the back of the net. Tuukka needs to pick it up along with the rest of the team, his numbers are down this year and he’s not the difference maker he once was.
Reason 3: Sluggish Chara
Now it was a little surprising that Claude felt comfortable enough to play Chara for over 24 minutes in his first game back. Chara had missed the previous 19 games with a knee injury. His return to the lineup will be great for the team in the long run, however he was sluggish right off the bat on Thursday. There was a play in the opening period where Chara simply fell down allowing Marian Hossa a clean look on Rask, fortunately Rask bailed him out. Chara took two minor penalties on the night, one for hooking, the other for delay of game which I felt was just a result of lack of games played. Look for Chara to step it up as he goes along and help the Bruins charge back up the standings.
Reason 4: Trips to the penalty box
This area of the game didn’t hurt the B’s on the scoreboard Thursday, but it didn’t help them at all either. The Bruins had to kill off 2 separate 5-on-3’s in the second period and the Blackhawks had double the powerplay opportunities than the Bruins had. It’s not a recipe for success when you’re in the box more than your opponent is. The Bruins also happen to rank last in powerplay opportunities as well.
Reason 5: Scott Darling
Not sure what to say about him really. Had never even heard of this guy until the other day. He was fantastic in net for the Hawks all night long, a couple of very challenging saves that helped keep the Bruins off the board for awhile. I pointed out that the Bruins didn’t finish as much as they needed, this guy was part of the problem. Great game for the rook, stick tap.