April 12, 2013

Postgame Breakdown: Bailey, Isles sink sluggish Bruins

By Jesse Connolly

Josh Bailey pulled a Greg Campbell and scored two big goals on the road for the Isles. (Getty Images)

Final: New York 2, Boston 1

Recap: The Bruins finished the first period with a 16-9 edge in shots, but they trailed 1-0 thanks to a Josh Bailey snipe with just 21 ticks left in the frame.

In the second, Tyler Seguin knotted things up with a power-play tally, burying a nice feed across the slot from Greg Campbell. With under seven minutes to go in the middle frame, Bailey blew past a rusty Adam McQuaid and sent a shot that bounced around through Tuukka Rask's pads like a Plinko chip on "The Price is Right" before crossing the goal line.

The B's sleepwalked through the first 17 minutes of the third period before finally making a push to even things up, but it -- hey, you haven't this a thousand times this season -- was an unspectacular and unsuccessful effort.

Records: New York 21-16-4, 46 points; Boston 26-10-4, 56 points

Key Play of the Game: Bailey's goal late in the first was not only a back-breaker. It completely flipped the game around. The Bruins were in total control leading up to it, but the Isles held a 27-15 edge in shots the rest of the way.

Connolly's Commendations: Jaromir Jagr continues to the the B's best player. He's now up to 1-5-6 totals through his first five games with the club thanks to an assist on the Seguin goal. He showed major initiative with the puck and led all B's forwards with four shots on goal.

This one's a little out there, but I liked the energy that Kaspars Daugavins showed in his limited ice time. He pounced on opposing puck-carriers defensively and managed to put three shots on goal in a little over eight minutes of action.

Connolly's Critiques: New game, same criticisms. David Krejci and Nathan Horton were both minus-2 on the night. It's hard to blame anyone that was on the ice for Bailey's soft second strike, but those are the facts. Krejci's mishandling of a great setup in the final minute from Jagr with Rask pulled was also a major kick in the (insert your preferred term for private parts here).

Notes: Had the season ended right before the opening faceoff, Boston would've played the Isles in the first round of the playoffs in a matchup between the second and seventh seeds in the conference. With the loss, and Montreal's win over Buffalo, the Bruins slipped back to second in the division and fourth in the conference.

Final Thoughts: The Bruins looked like a tired team as tonight's game wore on, but that excuse is about as relevant as Color Me Badd. Every other NHL team is going through this grind, and there's no way -- Boston's record be damned -- that teams are getting spanked when it comes to effort and intensity at the rate the Bruins do. Pretty alarming, isn't it?

Next: The Bruins will head down to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes on Saturday.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com