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Ifs and Buts: The Blame Game

There is little rational explanation, however, for the Bruins’ 4-3 loss to the Maple Leafs last night before 17,565 at TD Garden. -

I think "The Leafs scored more than the Bruins" is a fairly rational explanation actually, but if you want to get down to it the Leafs led the game in even strength scoring chances and got better goaltending from James Reimer than Boston did from Tim Thomas.

"Unacceptable,’’ said coach Claude Julien. "It’s one of those situations where if you have any sense of pride, you’re embarrassed about tonight. Not because the other team played well. But because we did not play to the level we should be playing."

Oh, there's the other rational explanation: the Bruins lost because they played poorly (and certainly not because the Leafs played well...)


The identity of the 2010-11 Bruins, like the three previous iterations that Julien has coached, is defense.

27th in the league with 33.5 shots allowed per game. This sentence should replace the word "defense" with "goaltending".

But in the last four games, the leaky Bruins have given up 20 goals. Thomas, asked to do more amid Tuukka Rask’s inconsistency, could be wearing down physically and mentally.

Tuukka Rask has a 0.916SV% despite getting one start every two weeks and having a losing record in games where he only allows one goal.

Perhaps Tim Thomas isn't wearing down "mentally", maybe he had unsustainably high numbers all season and they're regressing towards the mean a little bit.

It says an awful lot about a team if they won't play their 0.916 backup and that message isn't "we have great defense".

"You’ve got to take the body on skilled guys, or else they’ll dance around you,’’- Tim Thomas

Easier said than done, but good criticism from a guy who got beat on the minor league side with a minute left. Perhaps Andrew Ference or Dennis Seidenberg would like to let the media know that "you've got to get your body in between the puck and the back of the net" to help Tim Thomas out.

The Bruins should have scored more. But they couldn’t bury three of their power-play looks despite heavy pressure, especially by the No. 1 unit. David Krejci had a chance in the final minute, but he didn’t get enough muscle behind his shot.

Shoulda but didna. If David Krejci was stronger would he have shot the puck through James Reimer's arm leaving a bloody puck shaped hole complete with smoke?

Nathan Horton (one shot, 12:31 of ice time) was so invisible he could have been selling popcorn. Tyler Seguin (zero shots, 12:12) played with pace early but faded.

Let's hope Florida fans chant "THANK YOU HORTON" the next time Boston goes to... oh who am I kidding.