With loss to Blues, Bruins get reminder they can't let up against other good teams

Scott McLaughlin
December 22, 2015 - 6:11 pm

The Bruins didn'€™t play a bad game Tuesday night. But playing a merely OK game against a very good team usually won'€™t be good enough, and it wasn'€™t against the Blues. Through two periods, the B'€™s were outshooting St. Louis 26-21. They had created some good scoring chances and they had given the Blues only a few good looks. The game was still 0-0, but the Bruins had probably been the better team. But then a bit of an offensive letup to start the third combined with a couple key defensive mistakes allowed the Blues to take a 2-0 lead they wouldn'€™t relinquish. The Bruins managed just two shots on goal in the first 13 minutes of the third, during which time the Blues registered seven and scored twice. The Blues'€™ first goal came when Dennis Seidenberg and Colin Miller got caught too far apart, allowing the always-dangerous Vladimir Tarasenko to streak up the middle and score on a breakaway. The second came on a bad defensive change that resulted in Robby Fabbri having a free path down the left wing, which he took advantage of before sniping high glove. The Bruins didn'€™t make many defensive mistakes Tuesday, and they haven'€™t been making as many over the last month or so as they were earlier in the season, but they got a reminder that even a couple can cost you a game. "It was two bad plays. You know, it was two breakaways," Patrice Bergeron said. "Obviously you can'€™t do that, especially in the third against a team like that. I mean, it'€™s breakdowns. Other than that I thought it was an even game." Obviously the other thing that didn't go right Tuesday night was that the Bruins didn't score. They did put up 32 shots on goal, and more than a couple of them were quality scoring chances, but the Bruins weren't willing to just call the shutout (their first of the season) bad luck. They felt like they didn't do enough to make their shots count. "I didn'€™t think we worked hard enough to get on the inside," Claude Julien said. "They did a good job of keeping us on the outside. There were a lot of times we were shooting and we had no net-front presence. They were boxing us out and we weren'€™t working hard enough to get on the inside." The Bruins should still feel good about where they are heading into Christmas. They'€™re still 11-2-3 in their last 16 games, and they'€™re still just one point behind the Canadiens for the division lead with three games in hand. Tuesday night'€™s loss is not a cause for alarm, but rather a gentle reminder that despite being a good team themselves (probably a better team than most people expected), the Bruins aren'€™t quite good enough to beat other top teams if they bring their '€˜B'€™ or '€˜C'€™ game. "We've taken a lot of strides forward and we definitely have to build on that and realize what we've done," Bergeron said. "But at the same time I think we can'€™t be satisfied and we have to, you know, it'€™s games like tonight that we have to keep getting better and finding ways to win those types of games because that'€™s the type of hockey you play in the playoffs."