January 15, 2013

Ugly loss to Providence not the end of the world for B's

By Jesse Connolly

Tuukka Rask finished Tuesday's scrimmage with a .750 save percentage. (Getty Images)

Kiss the Cup goodbye. Say sayonara to the playoffs. Don't even bother tuning in at any point during the regular season. 

The Boston Bruins fell by a score of 7-5 in an exhibition contest against their farm team, the Providence Bruins, on Tuesday night at TD Garden. Judging by the general reaction from fans on Twitter and a smidgeon of audible boos after the final horn, you'd have actually thought the game, well, meant something.

While the sloppy play and -- let's be honest -- horrendous netminding was far from encouraging (Tuukka Rask took the loss after allowing six goals on just 24 shots), the fact remains that there's no need to reach for the panic button. In fact, you don't even have to be in the same room as said panic button, or even at the same address.

Tuesday's tilt in front of a soldout (though not quite jam-packed) crowd at TD Garden was a glorified practice, a way to get 42 different players game-like action and a chance -- for those that'll be with the big club -- to shake off the rust and get ready for Saturday's season opener. And through it all, there were a few positives to take away.

Jay Pandolfo (Burlington, Mass.), who's with the club on a professional tryout, scored the opening goal for Providence to get things started. Fellow Massachusetts native Chris Bourque (more on him later), who was also appearing in his first "game" as a Bruin, knotted things up for Boston in the second period and finished the night with a goal and an assist. 

Perennially-injured prospect Max Sauve tallied twice for the P-Bruins. The 22-year-old forward also assisted on Pandolfo's strike and finished with three points on the night.

The Bruins will practice for the duration of the week up in Wilmington. They'll reconvene at the Garden on Saturday to square off with the visiting New York Rangers, when we can all really begin to judge what this club may or may not be capable of.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.