It’s hard to imagine the Bruins getting off to a worse start to a season than what just transpired over a horrific long weekend at TD Garden.
Where to begin? They were blown out in all three games, one of their best players (Brad Marchand) suffered a concussion, goaltender Tuukka Rask looked nothing like himself, one of their new defensemen — Matt Irwin — was so bad that in the first two games he was sent to Providence, and the B’s allowed the most goals (16) in the first three games of a Boston campaign since 1965.
Considering how ugly things got against Winnipeg (a 6-2 opening-night loss), Montreal (a 4-2 loss on Saturday) and the 6-3 loss to the Lightning on Monday, it can only be a good thing for the Bruins (0-3) to get out of town for the rest of the week.
They are at Colorado (1-1-0) on Wednesday (10 p.m., NESN) before visiting Arizona (2-0-0) on Saturday (10 p.m., NESN). Those clubs are off to good starts but both aren’t expected to make the playoffs in the rugged Western Conference. Starting with three games at home should have been a positive thing for the B’s, but truth be told, they did play two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference along with a team that made the playoffs last season in the West.
Not every club has played three games so far, but Boston has allowed the most goals in the league. It shows how bad their defense is when they managed to score three power-play goals against Tampa Bay but still got doubled up. Head coach Claude Julien, who is probably fighting for his job, is clearly fed up with his defensemen being stuck out of position, coughing up turnovers in dangerous areas and giving up way too many odd-man rushes.
“Defense used to be our strength and now it’s our weakness,” he admitted after the loss to the Lightning.
One positive to come out of the latest debacle is that captain Zdeno Chara made his first appearance of the season and looked OK (21:27 ice time, -2, 3 shots on goal, 1 giveaway and 1 blocked shot).
The players know that, ultimately, they are the ones who are going to have to turn things around.
“Of course, the effort is there,” explained center Patrice Bergeron. “I’m really surprised by this start; we have a lot of games ahead of us but we need to fix this quickly.”