Bruins Post-game breakdown: Round Robin #1 : BOS vs PHI
Concerns about the Bruins effort and urgency after their exhibition game seemed to dissipate after an energetic first period. However, they quickly reemerged with a tough 2nd and 3rd period. Costly mistakes and unfortunate turnovers led to a 4-1 loss to the quick and opportunistic Flyers. Read on as we breakdown the Bs first official game in months.
Sections: The Recap - The Story - The Stats - Video Breakdown - Moment of the Night
A quick recap of tonight's action by period
1st Period - The Bruins came out strong in the first. While they fail to score they drive play both on the counterattack and with zone time. They put up 65% of the shot attempts and 73% of the expected goals. However, when the Flyers get chances they are of the high danger variety.
2nd Period - The middle frame was the most eventful on the scoreboard with 4 goals scored, 3 of them by the Flyers. A turnover trying to exit the zone on the breakout leads to Michael Raffl getting the puck alone in front and deking Jaroslav Halak before putting it top shelf. A neutral zone turnover leads to a 3v3 rush for the Flyers which is neutralized by the Bruins until Nate Thompson arrives late as the 4th player and beats Halak high blocker. Chris Wagner split the lead in half jamming the puck in from the side of the net with help from a Flyer defenseman's skate. But seconds later, another neutral zone turnover leads to a 2-1 and third high shot getting behind Halak.
3rd Period - The Flyers dictated play most of the 3rd including scoring their 4th goal of the game which essentially sealed the result of this one. A mishandled puck by Brandon Carlo at the offensive blue line is recovered by Scott Laughton who headed up the ice on a 2v1 and finished the play with a snapshot over the glove of Halak. Late in the period, the Bruins showed a bit of life as the physical play amped up just a little and the Bs pushed for a goal with an empty net for nearly 4 minutes.
Highlighting the key storylines and narratives of the game from across the Bruinsverse
Costly turnovers are the story of the game tonight. The Bruins continue to look sloppy and a bit in exhibition season mode. A team that usually manages the puck so well has really struggled in this area since arriving in Toronto. In addition to it leading to goals against, trouble with the puck has also led to a lack of finish on the offensive end as well. Coach Cassidy talks about overhandling and passing up shots in his presser.
Is this just getting the rust out or indicative of a concerning trend? History would suggest a blip and at Bruins Breakdown our bet is on the team straightening up in time for the playoff round. Nonetheless, Bs fans will be watching nervously against the Capitals and Lightning.
Bruins beat writers, blogs, and twitter had the following to say:
Pre-game with YouTuber Cameron Young over at @Blackngoldpod produced the right winner though a more generous offensive output than the actual game
BlacknGold recap the actual action HERE
Amongst those areas to work on, Fluto Shinzawa at The Athletic discussed the urgent need to re-ignite the offense
Porter at the Globe calls the Bruins sluggish
From Flyers' fansided site Broad Street Buzz, Philly's depth scorers kickstarting the scoring is the focus
Kevin Paul Dupont shares this sentiment:
Twitter user Caylee (@2kaRask) found a silver lining:
Taking a look at the stats and analytics of the contest to dig under the hood and complement the "eye-test" in breaking down the game
The Bruins had several bursts throughout the game where they were the stronger team in terms of driving play. Much of that came in the first period where the Bruins 3rd line was dominant.
The Bruins produced a number of chances on the powerplay and late in the game when they had the empty net. In fact, they produced more than double the expected goals on special teams than they did at 5v5. Unfortunately, they were unable to finish any of these opportunities, stifled by the cool and collected Carter Hart.
Looking at the 5v5 expected goals chart may be more indicative of the flow of the game. The Bruins were dominant in the first period, taking the games to the Flyers. However the Flyers did have some dangerous opportunities and once they converted for a goal they took control over the contest until about halfway through the 3rd when, with the comfortable lead, they chose to play a more conservative game against the Bruins' more urgent attack.
To further illuminate the shifting of the tide in this game the Bruins posted the following expected goals totals by period:
1st - 73% - 2nd - 53% - 3rd - 21% (This would make a depressing chart)
The Bruins 4th line had a very uneventful first period but all three forwards ended up leading the team in game score on the strength of strong 2nd and 3rd periods. While they traded chances in their shifts, they got the better of the expected goals. More importantly, they managed to score an actual goal after gaining possession and were able to get the puck to the night for Wagner's jam play goal.
Early on, the Bruins 3rd line looked to be the darling of the ball. They were dominant in the first, posting 11 shot attempts to 1. As a line, they finished the game with 75% of the shot attempts and 58% of the expected goals. The line demonstrated some speed and skill on several rushes but faded a bit as the game went on. Charlie Coyle, in particular, played a great game and was rewarded with extra ice time. However, the line was victimized for 2 goals against damaging their game score and the Bruins' chance to win.
Some of the Bruins top players struggled in this one. The top two lines came out on the wrong side of the possession and chances ledger especially when on the ice against the Flyers talented first line. Zdeno Chara looked at times like he was struggling with the Flyers speed. He also had trouble making little plays to get the puck moving up ice. He was 2nd last on the team with a 20% expected goals percentage and attained a team-worst game score.
courtesy of Hockeystatcards.com
The Bruins managed some good opportunities early on. They also had several rushes where a fumbling of the puck, or passed up shot, did more to neutralize the attack then the opposing team. The Flyers generated slightly fewer attempts but managed to get to the front of the net and produce a number of chances via odd-man rush or dangerous puck movement.
Heat Map courtesy naturalstattrick.com
Video analysis examining the finer details of a key moment of the game, an important strategic decision, or a particularly impressive play
For today's video breakdown we are going to look at the Flyers' second goal. Like the other 3 Flyer's goals, this one starts from a Bruins turnover, a key struggle in this game. It will also highlight some of the challenges the Bruins had with the Flyer's speed and showcase the strength of many of the Flyer's opportunities.
Click HERE if the video fails to load
The play starts out with a controlled breakout from deep in the Flyers' end. It is well broken up by Lauzon. We pick up our first clip as Lauzon then tries to start the counter-attack.
Lauzon tries to make a little slip pass to Coyle who has just come on the ice and curled in support. The pass is off the mark and Coyle just tries to knock it ahead with one hand to a curling Marchand.
The puck is behind Marchand. Both he and Pastrnak are heading up the ice as the puck sits in the neutral zone. Coyle off balance will try and make the play on the puck.
Coyle's attempt on the puck goes awry as his fishing expedition turns up air. Marchand heads to the bench. Pastrnak seeing what is happening begins to turn back. Note the lines though, and how massive a gap there is between the Bruins backline and forwards. This will be an important factor in allowing the Flyers to build speed and enter the offensive zone with the puck.
The Flyers not only gain the zone but drive the Bruins back deep in the zone because of both their speed and numbers advantage. Note from the line how deep the Bruins D are in respecting the Flyer's rush. While Coyle has tracked back there is still plenty of room, noted by the square, for the Flyers puck carrier.
Coyle did a great job in getting back in the play to make it 3v3 and takeaway Raffl's opportunity to shoot. Raffl though makes a great play and slides the puck to open space for Thompson. Pastrnak in the X, despite tracking back, hasn't closed enough to really affect the play. Lauzon seeing this, steps out to try and put pressure on Thompson. Unfortunately, he only succeeds in creating additional traffic for Halak. Thompson shoots and scores over the blocker of Halak.
MOMENT OF THE NIGHT
The Bruins have now struggled to score in two games back from the break, in spite of generating some opportunities in both contests. While the Bruins middle 6 have had moments and the 4th line keeps 4th lining, the Bruins top line has yet to really get going. While the first seed would be nice, limiting turnovers and putting some pucks in the net will be the goal of the next two round-robin games.
See you Wednesday #BruinsFam
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