It was a rough start for the Boston Bruins in their season opener against the Washington Capitals last night. The 7-0 loss was the worst opening night loss in team history and, for fans, it was extremely painful to watch. The team on the ice last night was not the team we know and love. The Bruins simply did not show up to play. They lacked the competitiveness and grit they usually display, and against a team like the Capitals, who are stacked with superstars like T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and of course, Alex Ovechkin, that isn't going to cut it.
One good thing, however, did come out of last night's massacre and his name is Jaroslav Halak. Halak replaced Anton Khudobin, outstanding former backup goalie for the B's, and is quickly proving himself to be a strong asset. He took over for Tuukka Rask halfway through the second period after a spirit-crushing fifth goal and managed to stop 16 of 18 shots, including a monster save against Nathan Walker in the third.
A majority of last night's goals came on the Capital power play. The Bruins were taking penalty after penalty, and Washington capitalized on every opportunity. With Krug out after re-injuring his ankle during the preseason finale against the Flyers on Saturday, and the notable absences of Tim Schaller and Riley Nash, the Bruins penalty kill left much to be desired.
The B's need to regroup before tonight's game against the Buffalo Sabres, hopefully coming out a little hungrier for that W. Patrice Bergeron had this to say about the Bruins overall performance, "A lot of work to do to say the least. It was embarrassing to be out there. Gotta be a lot better. Hopefully we can use [Thursday's] game to be refreshed and reset. There's gonna be a lot of things that we have to be better at."
Bergeron missed the entire preseason due to off-season groin surgery, as well as suffering from back spasms. He admits he didn't have the strong start that he had hoped for, but it was clear he was growing more and more comfortable as the game went on, despite the outcome. I have no fear he will be back to his old self in no time.
Meanwhile, the boys need to get their heads back in the game and dig deep for that Bruins fire we know they possess. Resident pot stirrer, the beloved (at least to Bruins fans) Brad Marchand, channeled some of that feistiness that our opponents love to hate when he took on Lars Eller late in the third period. Frustrations had reached their boiling point and spilled over after Eller celebrated the seventh Capitals goal by rubbing the Bruins' noses in it. Not cool, and Marchand let him know it.
As an avid Bruins fan, it was a hard game to watch and certainly not the way you want to start off the season. After all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the raising of the Capitals' Stanley Cup banner into the rafters of the Capital One Arena, I wanted to see the Bruins put a proper hurtin' on them. Alas, it was not to be, but we've seen the Bruins bounce back from rocky beginnings before and they'll do it again.