The title might be a little bit of a force but you have to start to wonder if this is really happening to the Boston Bruins. A Stanley Cup hangover? Some might call it frustration and some could call it bad luck. Whatever the phrase may be, its aurora is surrounding the B's at this point in time.
In arguably the most frustrating game played thus far in the season, the Bruins fell to the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 4-1. However, the final score is a side note compared to what happened during this game tonight.
The first period was nicely contested between the two teams. Anthony Stewart put Carolina on the board early by sneaking the puck past Tuukka Rask. Brett Sutter shoved Bruins defenseman Joe Corvo hard into the boards. It did draw an interference penalty, but this was the incident that triggered something in the minds of the B's. It woke them up.
With about six minutes elapsed from the second period, the fans at the TD Garden witnessed a donnybrook. Zdeno Chara received 17 minutes worth of penalties (two minute instigator, five minute fighting major, ten minute misconduct) for sticking up for his teammate Nathan Horton. Jay Harrison was roughing Horton in front of the net by giving him shots to the head. Keep in mind that Horton is recently removed from a concussion. The captain had seen enough and decided to step in.
In the third period, Chris Kelly dropped the gloves for a rare fight against Sutter. Horton, Milan Lucic, and Brad Marchand were all giving ten minute misconducts. At that point of the game the referees were literally abusing their power by handing out misconducts for minor incidents. Were they trying to get the game back under control? That is a possibility, but a far-fetched one at that.
Even head coach Claude Julien was ejected from this game. Now I have a huge problem with this. This is not like basketball where referees can hand out technical fouls to coaches for showing them up from the bench. However, in hockey the referee has to go out of his way and skate over to the bench to hear what the coach has to say. He could have gave his explanation on the calls to Julien and simply skated away. Head referee Paul Devorski did not do that. A terrible case of an official abusing his power.
Oh yes there was still a hockey game to finish up. Joni Pitkanen put the Canes up 2-0 during the midst of all of these scrums. Rich Peverley added a goal for Boston. He now leads the team with three goals scored. Eric Staal and Tuomo Ruutu each added five-on-three power play goals late in the game, capping off the victory.
The Garden ice was littered with bottles and trash thrown onto the ice by frustrated Bruins fans. I know it is a difficult task to control your emotions as a fan. With that being said, one should not do that to their team's home ice or any ice for that matter. Reacting like that only makes the city of Boston look bad.
Getting back to the game itself, Julien tried switching up the lines several times tonight. Benoit Pouliot and Patrice Bergeron got some ice time on that first line. Even switching things did not prove to be affective for this game. Tuukka played decent, stopping 19 shots on 23 attempts. You can not really blame him for the last two goals because by then the game was already taken away from the B's by the calls on the ice. He also received a minor penalty for leaving his crease during one of the scrums.
The Bruins won more face-offs (35-32) and out-shot (34-23) their opponent. When you accumulate over 70 penalty minutes, that is where the game is lost. On a side note, David Krejci and Adam McQuaid did not play but they are both listed as day-to-day. The Bruins will be back in action on Thursday night as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Gold Star: Gregory Campbell...As the penalties started coming, he was ready to take on a bigger role as the game went on. Even though he finished with a -2 rating, he played tough. Not much else he could have done.
Black Star: Nathan Horton...I understand when a player like Tim Gleason (CAR) gets under your skin. But he took a double minor penalty and a misconduct when the Bruins were only trailing by one goal. An overreaction after a small tap on the leg.