Going into the third period of last nights contest at home against the Minnesota Wild, the Bruins were sitting comfortably with a two-goal lead. Rookie Seth Griffith was having himself a great game with two goals and one assist and Tuukka Rask looked unstoppable. Then the third period came and went and the Bruins were left on the losing side of things as the Minnesota Wild scored three goals in a little over ten minutes to win the game.
The Bruins defense completely collapsed with second year defenseman Matt Bartkowski and rookie defenseman Zach Trotman on the ice for the first and tying goals. Both players looked lost in their own end and could not clear out the front of the net. For most of the game, the Wild were in the Bruins zone and Rask did all he could but with the defensive mistakes the Bruins made, they could not hold the lead.
We’re almost into the first month of the season and the Bruins still sit behind .500 with a record of 5-6. The defense corps was hit hard at the beginning of the season with the trade of Johnny Boychuk. To make matters worse, both Kevan Miller and Zdeno Chara sustained big time injuries early on in the season, which left the Bruins from one of the best teams with depth at the defense position to scrambling to find able bodies.
Bartkowski’s play has been unacceptable as of late. Known for his speed and skill in his own zone, he has been coughing up the puck a lot recently. To make matters worse, he hasn’t done much of anything offensively either so just having him in the lineup at this point is having someone who has a little bit of experience until Chara and Miller come back. Bartkowski did not see any more ice time after the Wild tied things up with ten minutes left in the period.
Today, the Bruins recalled defensemen Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky from Providence. Morrow may be a good replacement for Bartkowski but Warsofsky is an interesting call-up. Torey Krug took a heavy shot off the foot last night and was seen with a heavy limp. To make things worse, Krug also took a slash to the hand and will miss 2-3 weeks. He was not on the ice in the final minute with the goalie pulled, a spot he usually sees time in. The loss of another defenseman, especially rug who has played very consistent all season, will surely put the Bruins in another bad spot.
Going forward, the Bruins need to start stringing along some wins as they are already almost 12 games in the season. They want to get as many points as possible in the early going so they don’t have to worry about those wins later on in the season. The Bruins will take on the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night in Buffalo, a game that they should surely win.