BOSTON, MA – As the Bruins inch closer and closer to the postseason, they continue to try and build to a full 60-minute effort. On Thursday night at TD Garden, in front of a sellout crowd of 17,565, the B’s fell to the suddenly surging New York Islanders, 2-1.
The Black & Gold saw positives in their game, however, and said fatigue factored in towards the end of the game after playing the second night of a back-to-back and the third game in four nights. With Patrice Bergeron, and now Brad Marchand out with concussions, the Bruins want to continue to build up their game and be ready to turn things on when the second season begins.
“I think we’re happy with the progress we’re making,” said Tyler Seguin, who scored the Bruins’ lone goal. “We’re not jumping to conclusions saying that we’ve got to be a lot better in back-to-back games. Playoffs, there’s not too many back-to-backs, so I think we’re making progress with eight games left now.
“It’s a good sign to see, and hopefully we can stay consistent and work hard in the playoffs.”
The Bruins were happy with their start against the Isles, the perception in the dressing room after the game being that it was their best first period in a while. But, in the end, B’s Head Coach Claude Julien said his team “just ran out of gas.”
“I thought the first period was the best first period in a long time,” said Julien after the loss. “And the rest of the game, although they were the better team for the most of it, I just felt that I could see our guys were trying, we just ran out of gas. Third game in four nights and the effort, will was there, but [the Islanders] did a great job.
“They were obviously a little fresher than we were and they did a great job of closing in on us and not giving us much, and even when we did penetrate the offensive zone in the third, we didn’t spend much time there; it was in and it was out. They did a great job, I give them a lot of credit.
“We just didn’t have enough in the tank tonight, I think, to battle through that.”
It has been five games since Jaromir Jagr joined the B’s and he has yet to see his new team boast a full, healthy lineup. Once that happens, Jagr said it’s going to be exciting to see what the Bruins can do.
“Well, you know, two top guys are out of the lineup,” Jagr said. “It’s not easy to win a hockey game against a great hockey club without two top guys. But I think we did a pretty good job and hopefully those guys will be coming back pretty soon.
“It’s my fifth game and we haven’t had a full lineup. Before I came, Bergy got concussed and Marchy is out right now. So, I cannot wait for when we are all healthy. It’s going to be a different game then.”
Zdeno Chara says while it is tough to play without two of the Black & Gold’s top players, the B’s can - and should - still play well without them.
“Every night it’s not easy,” Chara said. “We’re missing some guys, but that’s just the way it goes. Obviously, we do miss them, but at the same time, it’s not like we can’t play without them.
“For sure we are better with them, but every team has some kind of injuries or is missing guys. But to answer your question, I don’t think there’s going to be an easy night.
“I don’t think there has been any easy nights this season, or any season. It’s hard.”
When asked what would indicate that the Bruins have a played a complete game and are ready for the postseason, Seguin smirked and explained his perfect scenario.
“I’m going to say a 4-0 win, with a goal from each line, and under 25 shots against....then I’ll say we’re good to go.”